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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm about to start a 4 month military deployment and I will leave a 2000 Avalon sitting in the garage. I live in New Mexico so I don't worry much about rust.

I plan to disconnect the battery, maybe put it on blocks, and add a fuel stabilizer. Is there anything thing else I should consider?

Are there any problems with disconnecting the battery for so long? I don't want to have the Engine Immobiliser System reset the code that matches my key or resetting some anti-theft electronics of the stereo (if there is such a thing).
 

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A few suggestions:

Is there someone that can check up on the car?

Change engine oil.

Wash and clean the car before storing, drive car to evaporate any moisture.

Fill the gas tank full to minimize water condensation, drive car with the fuel stabilizer in the tank to make sure it gets circulated to all areas of the fuel system.

Don’t set the parking brake.

If you have mice, etc, keep the windows closed. There are also some electrical sonic devices that will drive away mice.

Keep battery from freezing. Have someone charge it up once a month. You can leave it in the car and connected, just have someone charge it every once in awhile and check battery water.

Disconnecting the battery for 4 minutes or 4 months has the same effect on the immobilizer and any radio theft protection. If you have radio theft protection, make sure you have not set the code, or know what the code is (the car owners sets the code). These radios usually have something like “Anti-Theft System” written somewhere on the front of them.

If you really want to get into it add these steps.

Remove spark plugs and add a little engine oil or rust preventive compound to each cylinder then crank engine (plugs out). Reinstall plugs (put a note on steering wheel to remove plugs again before starting to blow out any excess oil).

Block up the car and reduce tire pressure to about ½.

Don’t have someone start the car unless they can run it for 45 minutes (to prevent moisture build up in the engine), but cranking it over every once in a while will be OK.

See posts at bottom of this page on this subject.

Good luck on your tour!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, that was a very comprehensive reply and I appreciate it.

I am planning on bringing the battery inside the house where I will leave enough heat on to prevent freezing.

I never set a code into my radio so I presume I don't have any antitheft feature to worry about. Although it is an XLS with the premium JBL sound system; I guess they didn't have anti-theft codes in 2000?

I read before about changing the oil before hand so it won't turn acidic. But, I have synthetic in there now so I was thinking it would be okay. I was going to change it before I drove it when I returned.
 

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Not sure on the codes, the 1996 OEM radio had them, but this was printed on the cassette lid.

You might call the Toyota dealer and state you situation. Ask about what happens with the engine immobilizer system if you disconnect the battery. I bring this up as MORE THEN ONE TN poster has had issues with this system when the battery was replaced. After replacement, the car would turn over but not start. The owners manual may cover changing the battery.

If the battery is kept charged up it will not freeze. Again only bringing this issue up due to the many surpised and PO'D members who found their car did not start or radio did not work once they replaced the battery.
 

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Cold storage is actually the best for a battery. If you have power, get one of the chargers that are designed to keep a battery alive during storage. I have that on my Miata right now.

Blocks is a bad idea. It is better to leave the normal weight on the suspension components. Lifting the car in the air puts some weird stresses on the rubber parts that they were not designed for long term. Hell, the cars sits on the suspension it's whole life. Crank the tires up to the max pressure marked on the tires to prevent flatspotting.

Never run it, that 4 months is not a problem.

I put my Miata to bed every winter with no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Okay, I will go look for a trickle charger tomorrow.

I will keep the car in the garage while I'm gone. I read in the manual to not charge the battery in enclosed spaces. If I run a trickle charger for 4 months in a closed garage, will that be hazardous? I don't want to come home to a burned down house!

When running a trickle charger for extended periods like this, should I leave the water caps off the battery?
 

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A small charger should not make the battery gas that much. You must have someone looking after the house. Have them occationally look at the battery to see if it needs more water (not that this should not be a problem at a very low rate of charge).

People who have large boats, run the battery on a charger all the time. The caps do not need to be removed.
 

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No no no...you don't want a trickle charger

You want a battery tender. You don't need to charge your battery, just keep the charge. I bought mine (for when I had a Z3) from Griot's Garage, but I'm sure I paid too much. I stored my Z3 for six months during the winter and the above points cover all steps I took. Except where my (then) five year son and I would sit in it every month and make 'zroom-zroom' sounds...

GregS_WI
 

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WOW all that just to leave your car in a heated garage for four month??? :disappoin dealerships leave cars out in the elements for over three to six months with out doing anything to them....I've left my '04 avalon in an un-heated underground parking storage for up to six months and came back and it started right up no problems....my son has been away to college almost six months now and i started his '94 honda civic yesterday no problems....just my two cents :)
 

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Fill it up add, gas stablizer, air up the tires and get a battery tender, just because the new cars drain the battery little be little and will run it down in 4 months. Disconecting the battery is just a pain as all the radio and anti-theft needs to be reset.

You can buy the "battery tender", which is what I was referring to as "get one of the chargers that are designed to keep a battery alive during storage",about $30 at Autozone, Pepboys, Advance, Wal-mart etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
jc1kz said:
WOW all that just to leave your car in a heated garage for four month??? :disappoin
If I could afford to heat my garage I wouldn't be going on another military deployment! (well, okay, I still would :whatwhat:) I never said the garage was heated.

On a serious note, thanks to all of you. I will worry less about the car now while I'm away.
 

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Sorry folks but some of these suggestions just seem over-the-top to me.

Sure - fill the gas tank and add stabilizer. Change the oil and fill the tires. I'd also disconnect the battery and make sure the windows are rolled up.

I wouldn't bother with a battery charger. Heck, when you get back, if it doesn't start - get a buddy to give you a jump and be done with it.

I wish you luck in your deployment. Keep your head down and your powder dry!
 
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