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Old 08-25-2006, 05:34 AM   #1
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Storage Question

How long can the Boxster sit dormant without enough drain to the battery that I would have problems starting the car ?

I recently purchased a second car for the winter, but the Box will still be my primary car as long as there is no snow or salt on the road.

I was thinking of buying this :

http://www.rennlist.com/tequip/chargemat.htm

But I don't know if it will be necessary if the Box only sits for a week or two.

Thanks in advance for your help !

Nick

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Old 08-25-2006, 06:06 AM   #2
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My 2000 Boxster sits at the airport for two weeks at a time, never had a problem. I did take out an insurance policy, what I mean by that and I know I'm going to hear "are you nuts" from some folks, is I rerouted the manual release from behind the wheel cover to where I can operated from one of the bottom openings, just incase the battery did die. The biggest disavantage by doing this, your trunk is not totally secure, but I willing to take that risk.
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Old 08-25-2006, 06:13 AM   #3
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Thanks, John. Since I have a 99 I can still open the front even if the battery is dead, but I would hate to have a nice sunny day and go to start the car and the battery is dead....
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Old 08-25-2006, 06:41 AM   #4
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I remember seeing a thing called "trickle charger" sold by Porsche. I think it's supposed to maintain the battery when the car is stored for a long time. The thing NickCats mentioned seems to be smth different -- a charger for when the battery is already dead. Or are they the same thing?

My S has a procedure in the manual on how to open the hood when the battery is dead. It requires sending an electric pulse by shorting something on the left side of the driver's footwell.

I too am not clear as to what exactly I am going to do for the winter. The garage where I park it now has no power outlets, and it is likely that the car will be sitting there for more than a month undriven in winter (in case of no sunny, dry weekends). Shall I consider unplugging the battery? What is that going to do to the car's electronic systems when I connect it back in? Is starting the engine and idling it for few minutes every week or two good or it's better left alone? I've also read somewhere (maybe here) that it's good to overinflate the tires and to push/move the car few feet every couple of weeks to change the sitting spots on the tires.

I'd be curious to learn how others have handled prolonged storage like this.
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Old 08-25-2006, 07:01 AM   #5
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Just found a nice write-up on the subject...
http://www.porschenet.com/winter.html
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Old 08-25-2006, 07:21 AM   #6
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Check your owners manual, it as the basic storage instruction (page 193 in mine)
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Old 08-25-2006, 07:49 AM   #7
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Hi,

Here a copy of a checklist I did for storing a car for any extended period. Each of these items has it's own import, and the item you skip is usually the one you wish you hadn't in the spring. A lot of people spend more time performing one wash and detailing than they do in prepping the car for storage. I consider it one of my last Car Afternoons of the season each year and merely the cost of owning a seasonal sports car. While lengthy, this list can save you $$ down the road in maintenance and premature replacement. It is most relevant for cars stored in Midwest winters in unheated garages, but has relevance for any long-term storage.

HI,

Several weeks ago, I posted the Winter Storage Procedure I have followed for nearly 30 years. Never let me down and I even still own the car I originally started using this procedure with - a 1-owner, Pristine, '71 Datsun 240Z w/ 20k mi.

Also, for your amusement and berusement, I'll post the Storage advice from the Boxster Owners Manual. Not surprisingly, there are several similarities. Hope this helps...

Hi,

Here is a copy of some good Winter Storage Tips I posted a few weeks back. Hope it helps...

The best way to store any car for the winter is to do the following:

1. Change the oil just prior to storage. Oil absorbes moisture (a natural byproduct of combustion) and if old oil is left in the motor, moisture will evaporate out of the oil and condense on the engine internals causing corrosion. Also, oil becomes acidic with use and should be changed for this reason also. Change oil, start engine and run just long enough for the oil to circulate, then shut off for the season to prevent a buildup of moisture. If planning to change the tranny fluid in the coming season, it's also a good idea to do this now for basically the same reason.

2. Loosen the spark plugs and shoot either fogger oil (aerosol - NOT WD-40!) or a squirt of motor oil from a can into the sparkplug holes - about 1 tsp. This will prevent the rings from corroding and seizing to the cylinder walls over the winter. Upon initial startup in spring, oil will burn off in the 1st few minutes. I have seen piston rings seize to the Cylinder walls and tear-up on initial start-up requiring a rebuild to correct it, so I always follow this step.

3. Increase tire pressures to 50PSI. This will prevent flatspotting and leaks. The tire pressure will drop with ambient temp. Some will say to put the car on blocks, but with modern independent suspension, it's not good to leave it 'unsprung' for long periods. If you want to get really anal, fill the tires with Nitrogen. This is a Dry Gas and will prevent Dry Rot. Nitrogen can be obtained from any welding supply.

4. Store desiccants in the car. These can be purchased and laid on the floor front/back. This prevents mildew from growing and keeps leather from deteriorating due to accumulated moisture. Also, consider spraying some 'Fabreeze' in the Carpet, thisa will aid in keeping things fresh smelling. The 'Car Cacoons' currently being sold are very good for long term storage and use only a couple bucks electricity the entire season, also reduces door dings and the like. Absent this, use a quality car Cover.

5. Wash the car - don't allow pollution, Tree Sap etc. to work on the paint through the winter.

6. Remove battery from the car and put on a maintainer, preferably inside where it's warm. Be sure to allow plenty of ventilation to prevent Hydrogen Gas buildup.

7. Place the car on a sheet of Vinyl laid out on the garage floor. Make sure the vinyl extends 2 feet from any edge of the car. Garage floors seep moisture through the winter which can condense on the underside of the car, suspension, etc. causing corrosion.

8. Fill Gas Tank with Fresh, Premium fuel. A partial tank will corrode from moist air. Plus, it'll probably be cheaper than filling it next season. You can also add a stabilizer if you wish, won't harm and may help. Just be sure to run the car sufficiently that the stabilizer circulates through the entire fule system.

9. Check Anti-freeze to be sure sufficient for temps anticipated - not relevent to an A/C Flat 6.

10. Leave the car out of gear and with the Handbrake Off. If your garage is not level, place a brick under the front tire to prevent the car from rolling. Emergency Brake system and Calipers have been known to seize over a season of non-use. If they are engaged, it can be very difficult to dis-engage them (you may need to disassemble the caliper or mechanism to free it). On the other hand, if they are dis-engaged and seize, the hydraulic pressure and/or mechanical advantage of a cable/lever system is often enough to loosen them up again.

11. It may also help to place a couple of Mouse Traps strategically under the car, such as where the exhaust outlet(s), Frame openings, etc. are located. This can prevent something from Moving In to your car over the season. Mice will eat Plastic, Leather and Rubber, in addition to making a mess in general.

Now, from the Porsche Owners Manual

Storing Your Porsche

If you intend to store your Porsche for a prolonged period, please consult your Authorized Porsche dealer. The staff will be glad to advise you on the most suitable and necessary methods.

Clean your vehicle thoroughly inside and outside. Clean the engine compartment. The undercarriage and chassis components should be free of duirt and salt deposits.

Fill up the Fuel Tank.

Increase the tire pressure to 58PSI (4bar). It is not recommended to lift the vehicle, due to the possibility of corrosion on shock absorber piston shafts and potential bending of suspension components.

The vehicle should be moved approximately every four weeks to prevent flat spot on the tires.

Climate Control

The air conditioning system should be in good working condition and fully charged.

Change the Oil and Oil Filter, run the engine for several minutes.

Windshield/Headlight Washer

Check and correct antifreeze/cleaning solution level as necessary.

Electrical System

The battery should be removed from the vehicle and stored in a cool, dry, place, not on a cement floor.

When battery is disconected, the alarm system is deactivated.

Recahrge the battery every 3 months. If the battery remains in the vehicle with cables connected, it is necessary to check, remove and recharge the battery every 2-3 weeks.

Do not fast charge the battery

Follow the instructions in the battery chapter.

Vehicle Interior

The interior must be dry, especially in the area of the floor carpets. The use of drying agents (silica-Gel) is recommended in vehicles with Leather Interior and in areas with high humidity. The recommeded amount is 3 fabric bagsm of 1.1lbs. (500 grams) each placed on the floor carpets.

Windows, doors. lids and top must be closed. On cars with manual heating/ventilation systems, air flaps should be opened.


You'll need to undo several of these steps on Spring Start-up, add the battery and if stored longer than 3-4 months, it's a good idea to rotate the engine without starting it.

You can do this in one of two ways. First, if a Manual, put the car in Neutral and push it back a few feet. Then, place the gearshift in 5th gear and push the car forward, this will rotate the engine. If you run out of room, say in a garage, go to neutral again and repeat procedure so you're sure one complete revolution of the engine has occured. This will loosen any frozen engine parts (such as rings, chains, etc.), without the extreme torque of the starter motor. This torque is so great that it can tear rings or do other damage. If you have a TipS car, take a large socket on a breaker bar and turn the crankshaft pulley bolt clockwise to rotate the engine.


I live in Mpls./St. Paul - similar winter conditions. This is how I store each of my cars - Boxster, Lotus Esprit, 240Z, Formula Vee. Hope this helps...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

Last edited by MNBoxster; 08-25-2006 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 08-25-2006, 08:30 AM   #8
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Thanks Jim. That was very helpful. Between your list, the link I found, and the manual I think I should be set for the coming winter. I especially appreciate the advice on rotating the engine before starting it in Spring. Very good point.

After reading all this it seems that I have to make a decision: I either drive the car at least couple of times a month in winter or just not drive it at all until spring. Seems like the "in between" option (drive it only couple of times in winter) is the worst. Looks like storing it will be the way to go.

In that case, I may have to remove the battery since there's no power (for the charger/maintainer) in the space where it's parked. Will this wreak havok with the electronics/alarm/etc systems when I put it back in?

NickCats, sorry for hijacking your thread. Thought this will be relevant to your inquiry and useful for many ahead of the winter.

Thx much
Z.
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Old 08-25-2006, 09:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z12358
Thanks Jim. That was very helpful. Between your list, the link I found, and the manual I think I should be set for the coming winter. I especially appreciate the advice on rotating the engine before starting it in Spring. Very good point.

After reading all this it seems that I have to make a decision: I either drive the car at least couple of times a month in winter or just not drive it at all until spring. Seems like the "in between" option (drive it only couple of times in winter) is the worst. Looks like storing it will be the way to go.

In that case, I may have to remove the battery since there's no power (for the charger/maintainer) in the space where it's parked. Will this wreak havok with the electronics/alarm/etc systems when I put it back in?

NickCats, sorry for hijacking your thread. Thought this will be relevant to your inquiry and useful for many ahead of the winter.

Thx much
Z.
Z,

No problem on the hijack, but I am still looking for answers on my original question :

How long can the Boxster sit dormant without enough drain to the battery that I would have problems starting the car ?

Thx !
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Old 08-25-2006, 12:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickCats
Z,

No problem on the hijack, but I am still looking for answers on my original question :

How long can the Boxster sit dormant without enough drain to the battery that I would have problems starting the car ?

Thx !
Hi,

The best answer is 2-3 weeks. I say the best answer because everyone has a different battery, different size (CCA - Cold Cranking Amps), different manufacturer (more or less plates and electrolyte), varying ages to the batteries, different climates and storage facilites, different options on their cars, different driving habits (some long-haulers, some short haulers), varying states of the condition of their cars, alternators, whether they lock their cars, whether or not they have ever had their battery run down completely (recent studies have shown a battery can lose up to 15% of it's ability to hold a charge with every discharge it experiences), and so on.

Each of these variables makes a difference. If you don't lock your car, several circuits stay live for up to 4 hours such as the airbag, power windows, and several engine control circuits, all drawing miniscule amounts, but it all adds up, especially if this is habitual.

Now, some people will testify they can go a month or more. I'm sure they can. But, if you examine their car, battery and their habits, I suspect you'll find that these things together prolong their batteries and it's health as opposed to some of the others. Hope this helps...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
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Old 08-25-2006, 05:10 PM   #11
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Thanks, Jim ! That's exactly what I was looking for.

I'll have to see how the winter goes, but if it looks like the car will sit for 2 or 3 weeks I will purchase the charger just to be on the safe side...

Thanks again !

Nick
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Old 08-25-2006, 05:56 PM   #12
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Hey Nick:

Here's what you need:

http://e-partssales.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=P&Product_Code=98061198100&Category_Code=POTEBXSS
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Old 08-26-2006, 12:50 PM   #13
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Thanks ! Cheaper than the one I found

Nick

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