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Old 12-16-2012, 11:26 PM   #1
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Driveway Queen Question

Since I gave up and bought a commuter car, my Jeep spends most of its life in the driveway. In the summer, I would drive it to work occasionally on nice Fridays but since the weather turned it hasn't been driven much. I know it needs to run occasionally to keep the battery charged and to burn up condensation in the motor, but how much and how often? I think it's been about 3 weeks since the last time I started it up.

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Old 12-17-2012, 12:24 AM   #2
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I try and drive mine once a week. I think three weeks would be ok. I would run it for a while to get up to operating temp for a while.

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Old 12-17-2012, 12:47 AM   #3
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I drive mine at least 3-4 times a week around the block. Last time I drove mine at more than 3 weeks, my tires stuck to the ground (flat footed) and it felt like I lurched forward instead of rolling forward.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:48 AM   #4
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I have a Jeep at the beach house which only gets started once a month in the winter and it's been fine.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:41 AM   #5
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I am in the same situation. Mine can sit for a week or a month, without driving. Battery always fine.

As to the condensation issues, it would seem to me that every time you drive a car and then allow it to cool, you will build up condensation. Not sure I understand the value in starting a car up just to burn something off when the act of running it an stopping is the issue.

What am I missing?
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterDR View Post
I am in the same situation. Mine can sit for a week or a month, without driving. Battery always fine.

As to the condensation issues, it would seem to me that every time you drive a car and then allow it to cool, you will build up condensation. Not sure I understand the value in starting a car up just to burn something off when the act of running it an stopping is the issue.

What am I missing?
Moisture builds up in the cylinders and other internal voids. And if the vehicle sits for an extended period (>6 months) there is the possibility that the film of oil will not remain adequate on the internal parts to protect them from corrosion. But simply bringing the engine up to operating temperature is not enough. It needs to be driven long enough to allow the oil to circulate enough to remove the contaminates from the metal surfaces and suspend them in the oil. Most experts agree that this would involve about 15 miles of driving at normal highway speeds. Just starting the engine and letting it run for a few minutes is not enough. And in that case, you are very correct that this would only result in enough heat to cause the condensation situation to repeat itself. If you are driving your Jeep once a week or so, you are probably fine. Once every month would probably be better to drive it 15 minutes or so to make sure the oil has a chance to clean the internals.

For vehicles that have been fueled with ethanol fuels (most of us) it is also a good idea to put an additive such as StarTron in the fuel tank to prevent phase separation of the fuel. Ethanol fuels will start to separate and absorb water from the atmosphere in around 60 days, depending on the conditions.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:31 AM   #7
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Seems like a reasonable explanation
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:14 AM   #8
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If your worried about your battery, put a maintainer on it. Got em on every sitting in storage over winter.
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:27 AM   #9
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Say it ain't so Ron... lol. I would say you are fine at the time you are at, if you need to leave the jeep at my place I will find someone to run it for ya
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:38 AM   #10
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parking your jeep over the winter is not really long-term storage, so you really only have a few things to do. add Stabil to the fuel, put a battery charge maintainer on the battery if you find you are lossing charge (otherwise you are fine), and be sure the coolant has enough freeze protection. that's really all you need to do, no need to start it every now and then, you are best to just do a full oil/filter change come spring.

i've been "storing" collector cars over the winter months for 30 years and never had any issues following these few simple steps.

now, if you are parking it for a year? that's a different situation.
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:04 AM   #11
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I guess it depends on the length of the winter. Our's feel like a year.
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:19 AM   #12
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..... add Stabil to the fuel.....
Good info and coming from experience makes it even better. The only thing I would change would be substituting StarTron for the StaBil. It has shown to prevent fuel separation better than StaBil.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:26 PM   #13
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Thanks, guys. I drove her today since I'll be off for the next week or so and I'll drive her until I go back to work. It was nice to get it out of the driveway. I even picked up a couple of Jeep waves today.

No way Ryan. Only one other person has ever driven my Jeep and that was when I was teaching my son to drive a manual. I didn't let him out of the parking lot.

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