My Elise is kept in a non-heated attached garage. During winter I donít drive it (Canadian winter and salty roads), itís always connected to a battery tender, however, I run the engine every 2-3 weeks and let it idle until it reaches operating temp (knowing that it takes longer for the oil to warm up). I Ďdriveí it on my salt-free driveway as I believe that engine parts would benefit from moving. I also avoid tire flat spots. Does it make any sense to keep doing it?
Honestly, cars (like airplanes) like to be either completely pickled or regularly driven. The longer they sit, the more likely you are to have things seize up, lubricants get hard, seals set in place, etc. EFI gets us away from the carburetor issues associated with infrequent operation, but not from the other stuff. Being able to actually move the car around up and down the driveway is probably a big help as it shifts some oil around in the (sling/splash lubricated) transaxle. I've been known to jack a car up at the suspension uprights and put it in a direct gear at warm idle to stir the driveline before loading it on a car that has set for years or decades. I suspect that what you're doing is not doing any harm as long as you change the engine oil come spring and you take the car out on long enough drives during summer to get the CVs and wheel bearings warm through for a few hours (redistributes the grease and resets the seals).
Depending on where you live having a vapor barrier under the garage slab along with insulation can be a night a day difference in condensation. The attached garage with vapor barrier and I suspect insulation where my Lotus resides has zero condensation problems but my larger garage gets such bad condensation depending on weather conditions that I have to use a squeegee and dehumidifier to keep everything from being coated in rust.
This is really
good advice. I've seen the use of huge sheets of heavy polyethylene vapor barrier over dirt to help with the rising damp problem. Really dry concrete lasts longer and stays stronger, too. Obviously the right way to do it is to put the vapor barrier down before pouring the concrete, but not everybody is building a new garage.
A customer asked me how to tell if the damp concrete in his facility was condensation or moisture coming up thru the cement floor.
"Duct tape a piece of thin clear plastic to the floor. If the moisture forms on the outside, it's condensation. If it forms under the plastic, it's coming thru the floor."
No idea how I knew that...
Also awesomely useful advice. I've observed this, but never realized it could be used as a diagnostic. Thanks!
That's what I mean by 'car in a bag.' There's nothing wrong with the idea, but I can think of a couple of issues: 1. What if there's a power outage (I have them regularly)? I think you'd still want to put a normal cover over the car to keep the bag from settling on the paint. 2. How do you control the moisture content of the air the fan is pushing into the bag? Blowing moist air in would be worse than almost anything else you could do. It seems like you'd need the cans of DampRid in there at least 3. What happens when mice chew through the bottom of the bag? Trust me, they will. Honestly, I think I prefer the tents with hoops to the blower thing - less to go wrong.
A good cover, extra air in the tires, check anti-freeze concentration, Sta-bil, Battery Tender, no salt on it when you put the car away and wait until it's all off the roads before you take it out, and you'll likely be just fine.
It's all about the temperature swings. The killer is when you have a cold car (say 25F) with warm moist air creeping over and under it (say 40F and foggy off the melting snow pack). Moisture coming through the floor is especially bad because airflow under the car is usually quite limited. If you don't have these problems, be grateful.