Car Doctor: Long-term storage

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Indy Lifestyle Online

I intend to change my car to either a Volvo S80 or Saab 95. I seek your advice on which one to buy.
AL, Winchester

We largely answered this question in our Car Choice feature some weeks back. Both are big, comfortable and safe Swedish executive cars. They are best bought used because depreciation is considerable in the models' early years. The S80 is only available as a saloon; the 95 can also be bought as a stylish estate, so if practicality is an issue, go for the Saab. But the Volvo is the more modern design. Both are well-equipped and comfy, so go for a drive. The ultimate decision has to be yours.

I have stored my car in my garage since the beginning of February and I don't intend to use it until December. Apart from taking the battery out of the car, leaving the handbrake off and changing the tyres, I did nothing else. Is there anything I should do to the engine before I turn the ignition in December?
HB, Dorset

Ideally, you should have taken your car for a good long run to evaporate any harmful condensation and ensure that it is completely dry, then parked it in a dry, airy place, such as a well-ventilated garage. The car should be given a light service, changing the oil and filter. The cooling system should then be flushed and the water or anti-freeze replaced by special storage fluid. These products are available at most car accessory shops or from your dealer.

Disconnect the battery and grease the terminals. Leave the windows open. Cover the car with a cotton sheet. Overinflate the tyres by 5-10psi. Every few weeks move the car so that the tyres don't go out of shape. Give the battery a brief charge. Press the clutch and brake pedal a few times so that they don't stick. Don't leave too much petrol in the tank. It will degrade. When starting the car, disconnect the ignition and rely on the starter motor to turn the engine several times so that oil can lubricate the moving parts.

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