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Winterizing My 996


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I am getting ready to put my car away for the winter months and I wanted to ask if there were any good tips I may need to know. For instance, should I fill up the gas tank or leave it on empty? I just purchased the Porsche Charge-O-Matic so the battery should not be an issue. Should I start it up and run it every month or can I just let it sit from December to April. I usually prefer to take the insurance off of the car when it sits for the winter which usually saves me about $500. All tips are welcome! Thanks!

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Fill it up and put in a can of gas dryer (like HEET). If you don't keep it full you will get condensation in the tank (i.e. water).

The charger is a good idea but I would start it and bring it up to operating temperature as often as possible - if not weekly then every other week.

You might consider car cradles or move the car every week or two keep from flat spotting the tires.

I assume that your car will be in the garage and covered under your homeowners insurance. If this is the first time you have done this you should let your (homeowners) insurance agent know.

That is what I can think of. I'm sure others will add some tips too...

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1) Fill the tank (very full)

2) Use a fuel stabilizer

3) Over inflate the tires to 58-60 PSI

4) Use desicators in the interior

5) Park on a plastic tarp

6) Don't use parking brake, use a wheel block

7) Battery maintainer

8) Cover

9) Wash & Wax

10) Remove any food from the car

11) Top up washer fluid

12) Change oil

13) lock & alarm

14) Turn off insurance (most of it)

15) Don't run the car till Spring

16) Prior to starting in the Spring, put in gear, 5th or 6th, and push the car several feet to turn engine over, and coat the cylinder wall with oil

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If you do everything above, you may only have three (3) potential problems that are easily avoided.

1) A minimum of 3 of your cylinders will have an exhaust valve open. This essentially is an open, unrestricted path for air to enter your cylinder. The air will in time equalize with the outside air and eventially have an even higher humidity due to nightly condendation as the tempertures drop. You will also get water pooled up in the bottoms of the cylinders a few thousanths up to a quarter in deep depending upon humidity, temperature fluctuations and length of sitting. This will and does happen in the cylinders with an intake valve open and no valves open but to a lesser degree. The pooling water is acidic and quite corrosive and will stain or at worst pit your cylinder walls, rust and corrode your top compression ring. I have personally witnessed this many many times and actually had it happen on one of my racing motorcycles stored in the slightly heated garage in less than 2 months.

2) The majority of your transmission mainshaft, countershaft, and gears are in an air space in the mid and upper portion of your transmission housing. Only the lower 20%-30% is protected by being submerged in oil. Unfortunately the airspace contains moisture and the same scenario above takes place nightly. It rains in there and the acidic moisture coats all the exposed metal parts as soon as the protective oil has sluffed off. The oil also has acidic water that seeks the lowest point of the trans case as it is heavier than oil. If it sits for a long time the gears and shafts will actially become etched and pitted. If severe enough and thru the hardening of the gear faces the teeth can actually fracture and break, bearings like ball, roller, and drawn cup needles will be affected as well. I have actually drained a trans and had clear water in a small amount come out before any oil, and the oil was milky due to the water content. Out of curiosity, I tasted the water that got on my finger and it was very bitter like vinegar. The under side of the drain plug was also rusty from the corrosive water.

3)The Porsche uses double row ball bearings for the wheels. Compared to standard bearings like a tapered roller Timken cup and cone, these are very expensive and take special tools and equipment to service. They are self lubricating and of a perminently sealed variety. They seem to go bad with great regularity compared to simpler and cheaper more common types. To get maximun service life from your wheel bearings, avoid having your car sit in one spoy for a long time. Move the car as often as possible to allow the balls to move to another position and get a fresh coat of lubrication. Again there is moist air space between the balls and the lube. A droplet of water will form and fall to the bottom of the bearing which will start corroding the lowest ball and race. This is why, other than incorrect assembly on a replacement bearing, they fail. I've personally replaced 100s of failed wheel bearings, all from deteriorating while sitting in the garage for months over the winter.

All of the above will be avoided if you start your car weekly and let it run for just a few minutes, better is to let it reach operating temperature. While you're at it back it up a few feet and pull it forward again and turn the steering wheel lock to lock. This moves all the bearings in your wheels, coats all the suspension pivots and steering with a fresh coat of grease.

I have owned 5 Porsches, currently have 2 and have worked on motorcycles for a living since 1974. Everything I have written above is from personal experience that I have witnessed first hand. It took years of seeing the same things in varying degrees, asking lots of questions, seeking answers, and understanding what was happening and how to avoid it. It's most important to remember that most damage occurs to a vehicle from sitting idle.

Edited by nick49
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Check with your homeowners policy agent. My policy would not cover my auto in the event of fire therefore, I must keep the auto policy in force. You may want to run your engine a few minutes after putting the fuel conditioner in so as to get it all the way through the fuel delivery system.

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If you do everything above, you may only have three (3) potential problems that are easily avoided.

1) A minimum of 3 of your cylinders will have an exhaust valve open. This essentially is an open, unrestricted path for air to enter your cylinder. The air will in time equalize with the outside air and eventially have an even higher humidity due to nightly condendation as the tempertures drop. You will also get water pooled up in the bottoms of the cylinders a few thousanths up to a quarter in deep depending upon humidity, temperature fluctuations and length of sitting. This will and does happen in the cylinders with an intake valve open and no valves open but to a lesser degree. The pooling water is acidic and quite corrosive and will stain or at worst pit your cylinder walls, rust and corrode your top compression ring. I have personally witnessed this many many times and actually had it happen on one of my racing motorcycles stored in the slightly heated garage in less than 2 months.

2) The majority of your transmission mainshaft, countershaft, and gears are in an air space in the mid and upper portion of your transmission housing. Only the lower 20%-30% is protected by being submerged in oil. Unfortunately the airspace contains moisture and the same scenario above takes place nightly. It rains in there and the acidic moisture coats all the exposed metal parts as soon as the protective oil has sluffed off. The oil also has acidic water that seeks the lowest point of the trans case as it is heavier than oil. If it sits for a long time the gears and shafts will actially become etched and pitted. If severe enough and thru the hardening of the gear faces the teeth can actually fracture and break, bearings like ball, roller, and drawn cup needles will be affected as well. I have actually drained a trans and had clear water in a small amount come out before any oil, and the oil was milky due to the water content. Out of curiosity, I tasted the water that got on my finger and it was very bitter like vinegar. The under side of the drain plug was also rusty from the corrosive water.

3)The Porsche uses double row ball bearings for the wheels. Compared to standard bearings like a tapered roller Timken cup and cone, these are very expensive and take special tools and equipment to service. They are self lubricating and of a perminently sealed variety. They seem to go bad with great regularity compared to simpler and cheaper more common types. To get maximun service life from your wheel bearings, avoid having your car sit in one spoy for a long time. Move the car as often as possible to allow the balls to move to another position and get a fresh coat of lubrication. Again there is moist air space between the balls and the lube. A droplet of water will form and fall to the bottom of the bearing which will start corroding the lowest ball and race. This is why, other than incorrect assembly on a replacement bearing, they fail. I've personally replaced 100s of failed wheel bearings, all from deteriorating while sitting in the garage for months over the winter.

All of the above will be avoided if you start your car weekly and let it run for just a few minutes, better is to let it reach operating temperature. While you're at it back it up a few feet and pull it forward again and turn the steering wheel lock to lock. This moves all the bearings in your wheels, coats all the suspension pivots and steering with a fresh coat of grease.

I have owned 5 Porsches, currently have 2 and have worked on motorcycles for a living since 1974. Everything I have written above is from personal experience that I have witnessed first hand. It took years of seeing the same things in varying degrees, asking lots of questions, seeking answers, and understanding what was happening and how to avoid it. It's most important to remember that most damage occurs to a vehicle from sitting idle.

Thank-you very much for all of the time it must have taken to write all of that! I will follow all of these ideas very closely and will definitely run it at least once every week or two.

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