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Exercising a laid up car - benefits?

  • 16-09-2020 5:16pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 7,703 ✭✭✭ BrianD3


    I enjoy looking at youtube videos of people starting cars that haven't been started in many years. Classic car enthusiasts would often have such cars laid up outside at their property.

    Is it worthwhile to start and move them a bit (that's if they start and drive!) every few months or so vs leaving them sit idle. What problems would this avert?

    From the videos I've watched, fuel pumps seem to cause problems after an extended period of non use.

    Is a timing belt less likely to snap on a car that is started every few months vs one that is started every few years.

    With some of my own cars I've noticed small things e.g. an analogue clock that doesn't work until the car has been running for a while and is nice and warm - moisture in the electrics?

    Leaving the handbrake off and smearing grease on brake disks makes life a lot easier - yes the pads will now be contaminated and probably need changing before the car goes back on the road but it will be much easier to move the car while it is laid up.

    Also, is it considerably better to store a car on tarmac/concrete vs grass/dirt or is that a myth.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,960 ✭✭✭ $hifty


    No advice on your query, as I wouldn't know much about the pros and cons, just wanted to drop a link to this guy's channel in case anybody hasn't seen him yet: Vice Grip Garage

    The vids are all great, but this one especially.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,140 ✭✭✭ Andrewf20


    Surely starting and moving the car regularly is best. Get some heat in the car to drive out condensation in the mechanicals and the electrics, especially if outdoors.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,472 ✭✭✭ Seweryn


    Starting and moving a bit is something I wouldn't do occasionally for a rarely used car. But driving for a good 20 min. that is a very different thing and should be done regularly.


  • Registered Users, Subscribers Posts: 13,038 ✭✭✭✭ antodeco


    Alot of people fall down on this. They start the car and rev it a bit and they think that's all you need.

    The car needs to move. As was mentioned, you need to clean out the condensation. You want the oil circulating around. You want the joints/bearings etc, getting moved to stop ceasing up, and you want the tyres rolling to remove chances of flat spots.

    An issue I used to have was the slow oil leak that fouled the spark plugs if the car wasn't used for a long time. I used to pop them out, blowtorch them and put them back in. They were right as rain for the next time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,240 ✭✭✭ 80sDiesel


    $hifty wrote: »
    No advice on your query, as I wouldn't know much about the pros and cons, just wanted to drop a link to this guy's channel in case anybody hasn't seen him yet: Vice Grip Garage

    The vids are all great, but this one especially.

    Thanks ,watched the whole thing. Reminded me of the roadkill episodes.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭ _ptashek_


    BrianD3 wrote: »
    Is it worthwhile to start and move them a bit (that's if they start and drive!) every few months or so vs leaving them sit idle. What problems would this avert?

    Start and move a bit, no. Start and drive a bit until everything is warmed up and up to operating temps, definitely yes. What problems does it avert?

    - rust forming on crankshaft, cylinder walls, pistons, rings, valves, cams and in oil passages due to residual moisture in engine oil that has no chance of evaporating as the crankcase is not ventilated

    - as it ages, engine oil becomes acidic and starts attacking the metal around it, accelerating the issues above; same goes for coolant

    - rust and varnish in fuel tank, and supply system - especially critical with the ethanol infused eco-junk we are sold at the pumps these days; it absorbs moisture like there's no tomorrow and deteriorates after barely a few weeks in the tank

    - bearings live longer when exercised

    - most seals in the engine need a regular oil bath to perform at their best
    Also, is it considerably better to store a car on tarmac/concrete vs grass/dirt or is that a myth.

    Ireland has an average annual relative humidity of around 80%. From about 50% onwards rust formation accelerates very rapidly. If the car is kept outside, what it stands on won't really make any difference in the long run. Maybe if it's in a shed, there will be less rising damp if the floor is concrete/tarmac.

    Climate control makes a massive difference. My daily is parked outside all year, and the brake discs have significant surface rust after a couple days of no use. The classic in the garage has none after standing from November to March.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,156 ✭✭✭ w124man


    All of my cars get a 25 mile drive once a month or more if the sun is out! Everything needs to get up to operating temperature. Half doing this will lead to more problems.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,914 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    w124man wrote: »
    All of my cars get a 25 mile drive once a month or more if the sun is out! Everything needs to get up to operating temperature. Half doing this will lead to more problems.

    Easier said than done for most people as the car would need to have motor tax, insurance and NCT to do that (and of course be road worthy enough). Nearly always at least one of those would be out in a car that's laid up...

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,156 ✭✭✭ w124man


    Agreed but I would never let an NCT or insurance lapse!


  • Registered Users Posts: 463 ✭✭ Testacalda


    w124man wrote: »
    Half doing this will lead to more problems.

    I think starting a car and moving just a little bit is certainly better than leaving it and doing nothing at all, that's if we are talking long term storage. Leaving it a few months at a time is no harm at all.

    I have a car in a shed waiting for a significant birthday. Every 6 months or so I start it, let it warm up for a few mins, drive it forward and back a bit, operate brakes and hand brake, steering etc...

    It isn't as good as actually taking it out for a drive but much less chance my brakes will be stuck if the are exercised even a little, less chance my clutch disc will get stuck to the flywheel, keeps cylinder walls lubricated, valve stems free, water pump spinning etc...

    Only thing is it will rot the hell out of my exhaust, filling it with moisture, but its a small sacrifice.

    Remember reading the owners handbook for a Rolls Royce 20/25. It recommended not to start or move it at all when laid up over the winter months. All that was recommended was to instruct your driver to take the weight off the tyres!
    unkel wrote: »
    ...the car would need to have motor tax, insurance and NCT to do that (and of course be road worthy enough). Nearly always at least one of those would be out in a car that's laid up...

    Several or even all of the above in my case!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,703 ✭✭✭ BrianD3


    Thanks for the responses, my cars are outside and I only have a medium length driveway so I can just about shift into 2nd gear and let out the clutch fully before stopping with a safety margin. I also brake hard as part of teh exercise - surprisingly, having the disks coated with grease doesn't seem to make much difference to the braking performance at those speeds at least. Also use the steering side to side etc. That is what constitutes "a bit" of driving in my case.

    I find that running a petrol engine for about 30 minutes gets it and the exhaust nicely hot. Also gets the cooling fan coming on, care is needed to avoid overheating here as an electric fan on a laid up car can stick slightly IME so I will exercise the fan by hand first and keep a close eye that it is coming on when it should

    My Laguna has developed a steering rack leak while laid up, maybe if I had been exercising it more often this could have been avoided.


  • Registered Users, Subscribers Posts: 13,038 ✭✭✭✭ antodeco


    1 of mine ended up having a perished fuel line (thankfully the one into the carb). It wasn't driven for a while and noticed a strong smell of petrol. Was able to see it dripping out under the engine. Little things like that you need to be aware of.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,533 ✭✭✭✭ galwaytt


    BrianD3 wrote: »
    Thanks for the responses, my cars are outside and I only have a medium length driveway so I can just about shift into 2nd gear and let out the clutch fully before stopping with a safety margin. I also brake hard as part of teh exercise - surprisingly, having the disks coated with grease doesn't seem to make much difference to the braking performance at those speeds at least. Also use the steering side to side etc. That is what constitutes "a bit" of driving in my case.

    I find that running a petrol engine for about 30 minutes gets it and the exhaust nicely hot. Also gets the cooling fan coming on, care is needed to avoid overheating here as an electric fan on a laid up car can stick slightly IME so I will exercise the fan by hand first and keep a close eye that it is coming on when it should

    My Laguna has developed a steering rack leak while laid up, maybe if I had been exercising it more often this could have been avoided.

    Grease on brake discs - that's a windup surely ??

    Ode To The Motorist

    “And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, generates funds to the exchequer. You don't want to acknowledge that as truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about at the Green Party, you want me on that road, you need me on that road. We use words like freedom, enjoyment, sport and community. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent instilling those values in our families and loved ones. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the tax revenue and the very freedom to spend it that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a bus pass and get the ********* ********* off the road” 



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,451 ✭✭✭ ba_barabus


    w124man wrote: »
    Agreed but I would never let an NCT or insurance lapse!

    Its the tax that would get me, I generally aim to tax and use from April to October


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,156 ✭✭✭ w124man


    June, July and August for me on the SL. Start using in May and if get caught tax it there and then online ...... ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,451 ✭✭✭ ba_barabus


    w124man wrote: »
    June, July and August for me on the SL. Start using in May and if get caught tax it there and then online ...... ;)

    Its my punishment for liking 90s cars


  • Registered Users, Subscribers Posts: 13,038 ✭✭✭✭ antodeco


    w124man wrote: »
    June, July and August for me on the SL. Start using in May and if get caught tax it there and then online ...... ;)

    I had to tax mine for an extra 3 months this year. Nearly broke me. Only another 8 years to go...


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,533 ✭✭✭✭ galwaytt


    antodeco wrote: »
    I had to tax mine for an extra 3 months this year. Nearly broke me. Only another 8 years to go...

    don't get me started: I taxed my 996 at beginnig of March.........and then watched it sitting there for lockdown.......... :mad:

    Ode To The Motorist

    “And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, generates funds to the exchequer. You don't want to acknowledge that as truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about at the Green Party, you want me on that road, you need me on that road. We use words like freedom, enjoyment, sport and community. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent instilling those values in our families and loved ones. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the tax revenue and the very freedom to spend it that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a bus pass and get the ********* ********* off the road” 



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,914 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    antodeco wrote: »
    I had to tax mine for an extra 3 months this year. Nearly broke me. Only another 8 years to go...

    8 years and 4 months for me :-(

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users, Subscribers Posts: 13,038 ✭✭✭✭ antodeco


    Thankfully 2 of them are at least 40 years old so can't complain too much!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,062 ✭✭✭ Redriddick


    Same as you lads, just bought a 94 a few months back. Tax is a killer. What's the tax like up the north for these cars?


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,765 ✭✭✭✭ BonnieSituation


    unkel wrote: »
    8 years and 4 months for me :-(

    'Til Date of Manufacture or date of first registration? :P


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,765 ✭✭✭✭ BonnieSituation


    Redriddick wrote: »
    Same as you lads, just bought a 94 a few months back. Tax is a killer. What's the tax like up the north for these cars?

    Depends on the year:

    Before 01/03/2001:
    https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-tax-rate-tables/rates-for-cars-and-light-goods-vehicles-registered-before-1-march-2001

    01/03/2001 - 31/03/2017:
    https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-tax-rate-tables/rates-for-cars-registered-on-or-after-1-march-2001

    01/04/2017 onwards:
    https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-tax-rate-tables


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 2,941 Mod ✭✭✭✭ macplaxton


    Redriddick wrote: »
    Same as you lads, just bought a 94 a few months back. Tax is a killer. What's the tax like up the north for these cars?

    c. 24 quid a month Direct Debit. Megabargain!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,062 ✭✭✭ Redriddick


    macplaxton wrote: »
    c. 24 quid a month Direct Debit. Megabargain!

    Bit of a difference alright, 270 sterling vs 700 odd euros for the year.......


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,292 ✭✭✭ traco


    The tax is a nightmare when trying to maintain a fleet. The only way I would take a SORN car on the road is for its NCT test. I'm not sure but led to believe that getting caught with expired tax is treated differently to car that has been off the road. Insurance is relatively easy to sort to get on the road.

    I'm going to have to come up with a plan in the next 12 month as I hope to add a few more and will need to be able to exercise them as people have posted to keep things right.

    Why can't you just walk into a garage and buy a weekends / 48 hours car tax? I'd pay €50 for a weekend if it meant I could get each one out every month or two for a shakedown and identify things that need sorting. Mine are a ways from classic so I'm stuck with the punitive system for many years yet.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,062 ✭✭✭ Redriddick


    traco wrote: »
    The tax is a nightmare when trying to maintain a fleet. The only way I would take a SORN car on the road is for its NCT test. I'm not sure but led to believe that getting caught with expired tax is treated differently to car that has been off the road. Insurance is relatively easy to sort to get on the road.

    I'm going to have to come up with a plan in the next 12 month as I hope to add a few more and will need to be able to exercise them as people have posted to keep things right.

    Why can't you just walk into a garage and buy a weekends / 48 hours car tax? I'd pay €50 for a weekend if it meant I could get each one out every month or two for a shakedown and identify things that need sorting. Mine are a ways from classic so I'm stuck with the punitive system for many years yet.

    Think it's something that they should look at, I am the same would have no problem paying 50 quid for a weekend here and there to take it out on the road.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,914 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    Well said traco. The last time I had my Porsche on the road, I had paid €1080 in motor tax for the year. That was like €200 or so for every time I took it out. I won't be doing that again, that's for sure. Might tax it just for 3 months once I get it back on the road again, or just stick it in storage until it's 30. Or, dare I say it, sell it.

    With either of these options, the state will no longer get my €1080 per year every year. They risk getting nothing at all from me with this policy. I wouldn't mind taxing the car (online) for €50 for a weekend. Or even pay a km based motor tax. Like €0.50 per km. But of course a km based system would easily lead to fraud.

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,533 ✭✭✭✭ galwaytt


    unkel wrote: »
    Well said traco. The last time I had my Porsche on the road, I had paid €1080 in motor tax for the year. That was like €200 or so for every time I took it out. I won't be doing that again, that's for sure. Might tax it just for 3 months once I get it back on the road again, or just stick it in storage until it's 30. Or, dare I say it, sell it.

    With either of these options, the state will no longer get my €1080 per year every year. They risk getting nothing at all from me with this policy. I wouldn't mind taxing the car (online) for €50 for a weekend. Or even pay a km based motor tax. Like €0.50 per km. But of course a km based system would easily lead to fraud.

    You're preaching to the converted here. Took mine out of storage last week to take pics of it for a possible sale, and I was standing there, looking - and listening to it - and this issue came up again in my head : a fine sunny day, and can't go down the road in it because of the tax.

    So, the State won't get any more til next April or so.

    Boils my pi$$ it does.

    Ode To The Motorist

    “And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, generates funds to the exchequer. You don't want to acknowledge that as truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about at the Green Party, you want me on that road, you need me on that road. We use words like freedom, enjoyment, sport and community. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent instilling those values in our families and loved ones. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the tax revenue and the very freedom to spend it that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a bus pass and get the ********* ********* off the road” 



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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 2,941 Mod ✭✭✭✭ macplaxton


    traco wrote: »
    I'd pay €50 for a weekend
    unkel wrote: »
    I wouldn't mind taxing the car (online) for €50 for a weekend.

    Are you mad? €50? For a weekend? I'd want at least month for €50!!

    If you're talking daily rates, mibbie a fiver tops.


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