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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 10-16-2011, 06:45 PM   #1
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Winter storage!

Hey gents,

Well, it's getting colder and colder and soon snow will hit this wonderful city I live in. So I will be putting my M away for storage soon. Indoor non-heated (insuluated) garage.

I've been reading various articles/threads about winter storage - and would just like some feedback/info from you guys.

I plan on buying a good quality heater, and working on my car through out the long winter here. Perfect time to do most of my Inspection II, restore my worn leather, and restore/repaint my wheels!

1) I had planned on just leaving my car on jack stands. It would guarantee no flat spots, and just make it easier to work on my car. However, I read somewhere with a "modern" suspension it's bad to leave it unsprung for any long period of time. Thoughts? Suggestions?

2) I just changed my spark plugs, and a day later I read somewhere when you winter store a car you should put a teaspoon of engine oil into each plug/threading. That way they won't corrode over the winter, and when you start your car up in the spring/summer it will burn oil in a minute or two, and then be okay. I've never heard that before this article, it sounds good in theory - but i'm wondering what you guys think. Should I bother?

3) The oil in my car is still good. Some say change it, other say it's fine. I did hear however you're suppose to change it right when you store it - let it run just enough to circulate the oil and then leave it. Apparently otherwise moisture can build up and start corroding over the winter. Thoughts?

4) Since my car will be in an indoor garage, with no one accessing it besides me - Is a car cover really necessary?

5) I heard mothballs work well to keep rodents away. Just to be on the safe side would it be worth my while to spread these around the outside of the car, as well as a few in the interior?

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Old 10-16-2011, 06:54 PM   #2
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I say, your a little over cautious. It is just a piece of metal with 4 wheels on it. If you want to store it, leave it in the garage, cover it. Issue solved.
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:06 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by E46tknv View Post
I say, your a little over cautious. It is just a piece of metal with 4 wheels on it. If you want to store it, leave it in the garage, cover it. Issue solved.
Have you ever felt what -40 feels like? Welcome to January/February/March in Winnipeg.

As far as just a piece of metal with 4 wheels - Well it's an expensive piece of metal with 4 wheels, and i'm passionate about it and therefore want to preserve and take care of it the best I can.
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:12 PM   #4
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oh my bad dude. I am sure people take almost same precautions as you even in warmer temperatures. I drive all year round. Good luck in getting your answer
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:19 PM   #5
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I know its not good for the suspension. I just did my coolant overhaul and was on a lift for about a couple hours while we did the overhaul and beer time etc. When I drove away I got that bouncy bouncy thing. Like a big lincolns airshocks not working. This lasted for 3 days until everything was back to normal. Maybe you could just drive it forward a few times during storage and park it back that way you will not get the flat spot tires and proper lubrication for the engine! Mothballs in the interior-No Way those things leave a horrible odor! My car is just a 325i and I feel just as passionate as you do. Enjoy your beautiful canadian winter!
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:21 PM   #6
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I do the same thing, mothballs do work good, just throw a bunch under and around the car, dryer sheets in the exhaust pipe tips to keep animals out of those, its probably just wiser to leave your car on the ground, start and move it around every so often, that's what I tend to do with my cars. My dad left his vette on blocks for a period of time and it made the suspension still hang once we dropped it, but it's all persons preference. I suppose you could find a way to keep it on stands and maybe use something to prop the suspension up, but I can't imagine that's to good for it.

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Old 10-16-2011, 07:32 PM   #7
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For flat spotting, you could go with something like:

They're rather expensive, but so is a new set of performance rubber.

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Old 10-16-2011, 07:49 PM   #8
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Make sure you have a full fuel tank and you may want to consider adding a preservative while you're at it.
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:53 PM   #9
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If it were me, and extreme cold temps.

1) Block heater 24/7

2) Battery Tender

3) Sta-bil fuel stabilizer

Good luck.

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Old 10-16-2011, 07:59 PM   #10
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I topped off my gas with 91, checked air pressure in the tires, and folded the mirrors. All done.
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:11 AM   #11
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Fill your gas tank, putting an extra 5 psi of air in the tires will eliminate flat spots, crack the windows about a 1/4 inch to take pressure off weatherstrips, take the battery home and charge it once a month, it will be fine. Most important do not start the car once you put it away, it only causes moisture in the exhaust system, leave it shut off. I know fogging with oil was done in the old days, but for the winter never had a problem, a film of oil will remain on internal components.
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