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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Group,

I'll probably be taking a job overseas for a year. I want to keep my car in good condition. It will probably be stored outdoors, under a car cover, in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

Should I pull the main breaker on the 144 volt battery? Pickle the engine? Install a solar charger? Put it up on blocks?

Or fugettabout the whole thing and sell it?
 

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Well, cover craft makes a really nice custom fitted car cover for the Insight. I just got a tan flannel one, probably not the best for long term storage, but I know they make the weather guard type ones as well.
 

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If possible, have a friend drive it once a week or so. That is the best thing...to keep it running. You'll do your friend a favor...to save on gas, and he'll be doing you a favor by running it!
 

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Storage

I parked a Civic in San Diego for 2 years. I put a car cover over it and tied it down so it wouldn't blow off. The only thing I did other than that was disconnect the battery. I came back after 2 years and the car was still there but the car cover had rotted off and fell to the ground around the car. I connected the battery and it actually started but the tires were down to 18 psi. I let it run for a while to make sure everything was ok before taking the rental car back to the airport. Have fun, RIck
 

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Agreed; keeping it running is important. Another thing you can look forward to from a car that's been left sitting is deposits in the radiator.
 

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Before storing, you should:

-change oil, coolant and brake fluid
-completely clean and detail the interior, wash and wax the exterior
-put the car on jack-stands (to prevent the tires from flatspotting)
-use fogging oil in all cylinders
-disconnect 12V battery
-turn off (via breaker) 144V pack

You'll want to use a GOOD car cover, and crack the windows slightly to allow airflow.
 

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You should also fill the gas tank (reduces moisture) and put in some gas stabilizer (I use Stabil? brand). Gas breaks down over time (I have heard that this can happen in as little as a few months), and bad things can happen.

You might want to take the battery (12V) completely out of the car and (if possible) leave it on a Battery Tender, or similar device. (It's not good for the battery to be completely drained.) I don't know if the 144V battery has the same issues.

This is how I've always stored motorcycles and cars.

There are car covers available that are like hermetically-sealed environments, but I'm sure that they are expensive.

Randy
 

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Here's the custom cover craft car cover I was talking about.



I wouldn't recommend the tan flannel like I got for storage, but they do make one, weather shielf I think, that would probably be good for storing it and protecting it from the elements. It took them about a week and a half to get this one to me because they had to have it made. I was somewhat suprised they even made a cover for the Insight. Just a thought, but the thing fits the car perfectly. I picked mine up from APA industries (http://www.apaindustries.com) for $120, I think the weather shield is a bit more, you'll have to call their order number, but they are very helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi Gang,

I'll be pulling my Insight out of long term storage in a few weeks and putting it back on the road in Pennsylvania.

I will be upgrading a few things, mainly ground wires and adding fender washers to the underside fairing bolts. The cardboard radiator mod is also a done deal.

This car was detailed and stored in Pittsburgh for 2 1/2 years, covered inside a garage with a friend regularly starting it and running the the A/C, windows, transmission and etc. I had a radiator flush, brake fluid, & engine oil change done at Honda before it was stored on jackstands. Fuel (at $1.34 per gallon) was topped off and stabilizer added.

The only reported ill effects of the storage so far was the 12 volt battery (replaced about 9 months before storage) being unable to hold a charge for more than a few weeks. I will replace it and check for ignition off 12 volt drain once I get it back on the road.

I have a few questions for the group.
Is there any other actions I should take before I return the car to the road? Flush the Stabil Gas, the radiator or etc?

Can anyone recommend a good brand of snow tires that won't kill the mileage (70 + LMG, as I recall) too much.

Car insurance. Does any company cover the the Insight at reasonable rate? Any reccomendations?

Thanks
 

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The only reported ill effects of the storage so far was the 12 volt battery (replaced about 9 months before storage) being unable to hold a charge for more than a few weeks. I will replace it and check for ignition off 12 volt drain once I get it back on the road.
If you've already started the car then it's too late to properly unstore it.

I have a few questions for the group.
Is there any other actions I should take before I return the car to the road? Flush the Stabil Gas, the radiator or etc?
Since it's already been started some of the most important steps (like lubricating the cylinders) can be skipped.

But yes, you need to drain and refill the gas tank. Even with stabilizer gas will loose it's goodness after about 12 months or so. You need to thoroughly inspect the car especially the rubber hoses and belts, make sure the brakes function, etc. After sitting for two years I would change the brake/clutch fluid but the other fluids you changed before storage should be fine. Tires will likely be dryrotted.
 

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WB state side Kevin :!: :)

Well looks like you covered everything well for your Insights long term storage.:!: :) Please keep us informed about any "problems" that seem related.

An IMA reset wouldn't be a bad idea but I'd also bet that it will recal on its own shortly after driving anyways. The other obvious unstated item is tire pressure. :p Since the car has been regularly started another oil change would be a good idea.

AFAKI there aren't any high MPG snow tires. The Nokian Hapakilitta (sp. from memory) seem to be a favorite. Try searching on snow tires.

HTH! :)
 

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winter tires

Kevin Dougherty said:
Can anyone recommend a good brand of snow tires that won't kill the mileage (70 + LMG, as I recall) too much.
For decent mileage in a winter tire the important factors to consider are:
1) Tread design (look for continous or closely spaced blocks along the center of the tire.)
2) Narrow tire width (OEM size 165/65R14 or 155/80R13 with used 8lb civic VX rims)
3) Tire weight (This is not significant unless you do stop and go driving all the time)

The following winter tires are available in 165/65R14:
Bridgestone Blizzak MZ-03 Icegripper
Kumho KW19

There are many winter tires in 155/80R13 including the following models:
Bridgestone Blizzak WS-50 Winterbiter
Michelin X-Ice
Nokian Hakkapeliitta 2
Pirelli Winter Carving Tires
Dunlop Graspic DS-2

In dry conditions you may use 45 psi for better mileage
but in slippery conditions it's much safer to bring them down to about 35 or even 30 psi
(For ice racing we use 12 psi but we use inner tubes to make sure they don't leak air :wink: )
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks Gents,

Any ideas for the insurance?

I was planning on getting a set of old Civic steel rims for the snow tires and mounting them with Moonie wheel covers. I like the idea of eight pound VX rims however and I was wondering if there were a source (link)for cheap, used ones? Also can anyone please confirm that the wheel size is 14x 5.5 with a 100mm diagonal bolt pattern, (offset is ???) with an 80 pound lug nut torque. Would a 13" 155x70 tire be a lighter option? It would be cheaper.

My biggest concern is the oil and the fuel. I assume that the oil is highly acidic by now, and timewise it is due for a change. The fuel is a different issue, and I was wondering how best to flush the gas tank, or perhaps it would be better to just dilute it with some primo gas. The fuel tank is about 1/2 empty after 2 1/2 years, and I like the ease of just filling it up and running it. Any thoughts?

The IMA reset has more or less taken care of itself due to the failing 12 volt battery. I'm hoping that the 144v battery is in good shape, or else it fails before my extended warrenty expires in May
 

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While emptying the tank would be the best idea I'm afraid you'll find it to be quite difficult. IMO there should be no "damage" issues in trying to dilute the old fuel with some new. If it starts and runs reasonably well then all is OK. However, don't ignore any misfire conditions that will rapidly damage the CAT's. :(

The worst possible condition will be of gelled fuel (you'll know it from the inability to get it started). I'd also add some fuel line dryer (1 pt. of 100% isopropyl alcohol) to disperse any condensate that likely occurred. Failure to eliminate moisture will cause misfires and may lead you to believe that the gas is "bad" and unnecessarily drain the tank.

HTH! :)
 

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The main issue is that the fuel filter is located above the pump in the tank. If you clog it, you're in for a world of pain to replace it.

I don't know offhand if the Insight has a drain plug. I would assume not, so it would be becessary to siphon the fuel into the appropriate container. And then either dispose of it properly or burn it in the lawnmower.
 

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Kevin Dougherty said:
Also can anyone please confirm that the wheel size is 14x 5.5 with a 100mm diagonal bolt pattern, (offset is ???) with an 80 pound lug nut torque. Would a 13" 155x70 tire be a lighter option? It would be cheaper.
OEM rim size same as 14" civic rims.
14"x5.5" 4x100 bolt circle with 45mm offset
14"x6" 4x100 with 48mm offset aftermarket rims also fit well.

155/70R13 tires have a diameter that is 1" smaller then stock.
The load rating of a tire that size will not be adequate, if that tire is even available at all. I don't recommend it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
No major problems yet after pulling the car from long term storage.

Tire pressure droped to 35 psi (from 50) after 2 1/2 years on jackstands.

Replaced 12v. battery, which seemed to cure the issue with it dying over a week or two period. ( I think that this is a problem with the Blaupunkt radio, which I will investigate when its warmer).

Cleaned the "stabilized gasoline" with about three gallons of winter blend 87 octane.

I did have an antifreeze leak at the water pump gasket, added about 1 pint of water & so far so good.

Getting very strange readings on th SOC gage. Three recals so far, gage stays mainly in the 50% area. Mileage in Pittsburgh is high fourties / low fifties ...very disappointing, but I am relearning to drive the beast. I picked up a few bad habits :roll:

I have installed the radiator block and did a visual inspection on the ground wires (looked ok to me) temps have been in the 30 to 50 deg. F range.
 

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Kevin Dougherty said:
Getting very strange readings on th SOC gage. Three recals so far, gage stays mainly in the 50% area. Mileage in Pittsburgh is high fourties / low fifties ...very disappointing, but I am relearning to drive the beast. I picked up a few bad habits :roll:

I have installed the radiator block and did a visual inspection on the ground wires (looked ok to me) temps have been in the 30 to 50 deg. F range.
Have you brought it by the dealer? I don't know much about the IMA but I know if you leave batteries out for a long time they loose charge or even become unstable. Maybe the dealer could diagnose the problem for you.
 
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