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Old 03-14-2014, 05:15 AM   #1
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WINTER - Do's & Don't getting car out

Guys, need some help about what to do and don't do when getting my car out after its been stored outdoors in winter (Canada - very cold and lots of snow). Normally by now the weather is usually really nice and most snow melted but this year I am facing getting my car back on the road when it feels like dead winter still. I have concerns starting up my car after its been in the cold for months - all the engine parts are still very cold and metals have not had the change to expand in the spring sun. Should I not touch or move the car? What can I do to reduce or prevent any internal damage from the cold etc ?

Thank you everyone -

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Old 03-14-2014, 05:26 AM   #2
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I am not familiar with this situation as I drive my Box year round. But I would think that it would make sense to wait until you get warmer weather before you start it. +15C/59F or higher and don't put the top down too soon as it would be too brittle(rear window) until it is good and warm.

No revving above 3000 rpm until water temp is 80C plus(center of guage). Warm it up slowly. Finally got some dry roads here to open her up and another month can take the snow tires off.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:16 AM   #3
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I agree about not revving over 3k RPM until the car has warmed to the 180 mark. The convertible top should not be operated below 50 F, preferably closer to 60-70 F. I would personally wait until a sunny or very warm day to start her up. Add some octane booster to the gas tank, and let her idle for 15-30 minutes just to let everything 'thaw' since it is not warm where you are yet.

Did you change the oil before putting it in to storage? If you didn't, I would consider doing that.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:22 AM   #4
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I was under the impression from some unknown source that you don't want to idle the car for very long. I have no idea if I read that here or in the manual or some other source.

Because I'm not in the know, could someone back up or refute my claim. And soon, because I'm pulling my car out of "storage" too. (I say storage, but it just means I haven't replaced the tensioner yet and it's starting to get around the time I'm getting the itch to drive.)
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:29 AM   #5
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I am no expert, but I haven't heard about not letting it idle. A quick search didn't turn anything up about that. Also, if it has been outside without a battery maintainer you may need to give it a jump or hookup a trickle charger for a few hours.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:40 AM   #6
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I was under the impression from some unknown source that you don't want to idle the car for very long.
I think in the manual it says not to start the car until you are ready to drive off. But I just scanned the manual and couldn't seem to find it. I do feel fairly certain that I have read that from what I seem to remember as being at least a semi-authoritative source

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Old 03-14-2014, 11:34 AM   #7
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I have heard that some people pull the fuel pump fuse and turn the engine over a few times to get it well oiled before starting it, but I don't do that. I drop the tire pressure down from storage levels, disconnect the tender, and fire it up. I drive it slowly around the neighborhood for about twenty minutes and then take it out on the highway and blow out the cobwebs. I try and burn off about 1/2 a tank of the old gas and then top it up. After that, normal operation.

Oh, and it does say in the manual to start it and drive off immediately.
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:50 AM   #8
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I think it's pretty common practice to avoid long idle. You can warm up while driving off- unless you live at the freeway on ramp...
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:39 PM   #9
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I have heard that some people pull the fuel pump fuse and turn the engine over a few times to get it well oiled before starting
I can agree with this method. They say 80% of our engine wear takes place when you first start the engine. More so when it's been sitting for awhile.

I think this is a good precaution.
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:55 PM   #10
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Probably be a good idea to start the car and get it up to operating temps a few times (Weekly-Monthly) while in storage so that oil gets circulated around all the parts.

You should change the oil before putting it in storage so that its not sitting with the acids and moisture in the oil from combustion byproducts all winter long.

Keep the revs down while getting up to normal operating temps but do drive vs letting it idle. More pollutants produced at idle when cold so driving off is a better idea to speed up the warming process a bit.
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Old 03-14-2014, 01:07 PM   #11
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Probably be a good idea to start the car and get it up to operating temps a few times (Weekly-Monthly) while in storage so that oil gets circulated around all the parts.

Actually, that is exactly what not to do. You will never achieve operating temperature idling in a garage when the ambient temperature is -30. All you will accomplish is to increase the moisture levels in the gas tank and fuel contamination in the crank case.
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Old 03-14-2014, 03:28 PM   #12
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I am also waiting for this long winter to end. I placed my 99 Boxster base in storage in mid November. I have changed the oil, battery tender, over inflated the tires (they are on rubber mats to keep off concrete floor), fuel top up and sta-bil added and cover. I too live in Ontario but store inside my garage. I am hoping all is good when I pull her out in April. Still 2 feet of snow on ground. I plan on waiting for a warm day and rolling her first to move the engine prior to start. Will see how it goes.
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:39 PM   #13
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Just start it, as soon as it runs smooth, drive away and enjoy.
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:53 PM   #14
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Just start it, as soon as it runs smooth, drive away and enjoy.
What he said. I drive my car all winter here in Jackson Hole. It only got down to -20 F this winter . Just start it and drive away after 15 seconds or so. Don't do lengthy warm-up at idle. Idling is when your oil pressure is at its lowest. Best to drive it to warm it up.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:38 PM   #15
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Yup, Paul got it right. Start car, drive away.
Keep in mind that modern cars are meant to start and drive in a broad range of temperatures. Your engine really hasn't got much colder over the coarse of a couple of months than it would have by sitting on the curb at 0F overnight. Same recipe as always, drive it gently until operating temperatures are reached.
And nooo, don't start and let it idle for a couple of minutes when it is in storage. The moisture buildup in the engine will be horrible and your oil will turn into mayonnaise. Best investment for winter storage is a battery maintainer.

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