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woolveren
11-22-2012, 11:05 AM
Hi,

I am going for a 36 day vacation next month and have couple of questions regarding leaving the car (98 A4 1.8T) for that long.

1. I just searched around in the net and lot of people(hondas, toyota etc) suggesting to remove negative terminal. But doing this will make the alarm stop working and NO security? I don't have garage.

2. Do I need to assign somebody to start the car once in a week? ( But I really don't have somebody to do that..)

3. Also, some are saying to fill the gas tank full and NOT to use hand brakes. I don't know what's the theory behind this.


If somebody could help me with these above OR could suggest what all things should I do, it would be great..

moyenecorniche
11-22-2012, 11:22 AM
(1) fill tank up to full, it is winter and since you are in IN there will be drastic temperature fluctuations.
(2) if you are on the flats, there is no need to apply the parking brake, as it will just stretch the cables needlessly and keep constant pressure on the rear discs.
(3) No need to disconnect your battery an dif you are disconnecting it then it is the positive lead which needs to be disconnected not the negative. a connected cable to a positive lead will continue to have current flow thru the cable until it is interrupted.
However if you have electrical issues with the car that is an issue you should have resolved before the car is left for 5 weeks....
( 4) Starting the car once a week is unnecessary but if possible do have someone start it and drive it around once every 10 to 14 days.
(5) If your battery is up to spec than no worries.

Since you are going on vacation you also might want to inquire as to where to leave the car in either a secured parking facility close to your departure return point.
I would prefer to leave my car in a multilevel garage so that it would have a roof over it in case of heavy snow storms and for the reason of having it away from snow plow mayhem..
It is worth the cost to have ( or at least inquire ) in garaging the car with the benefit of someone watching over it while you are gone...There should be many such facilities close to an airport shuttle area...

Turbwhistle
11-22-2012, 11:58 AM
I have heard of people putting the car on jack stands to prevent your tires from getting flat spots and if the car is in the air, there would be no reason to have the ebrake on.

woolveren
11-22-2012, 12:35 PM
(1) fill tank up to full, it is winter and since you are in IN there will be drastic temperature fluctuations.
(2) if you are on the flats, there is no need to apply the parking brake, as it will just stretch the cables needlessly and keep constant pressure on the rear discs.
(3) No need to disconnect your battery an dif you are disconnecting it then it is the positive lead which needs to be disconnected not the negative. a connected cable to a positive lead will continue to have current flow thru the cable until it is interrupted.
However if you have electrical issues with the car that is an issue you should have resolved before the car is left for 5 weeks....
( 4) Starting the car once a week is unnecessary but if possible do have someone start it and drive it around once every 10 to 14 days.
(5) If your battery is up to spec than no worries.

Since you are going on vacation you also might want to inquire as to where to leave the car in either a secured parking facility close to your departure return point.
I would prefer to leave my car in a multilevel garage so that it would have a roof over it in case of heavy snow storms and for the reason of having it away from snow plow mayhem..
It is worth the cost to have ( or at least inquire ) in garaging the car with the benefit of someone watching over it while you are gone...There should be many such facilities close to an airport shuttle area...

Thanks for the info.

I will also inquire about garaging facilities, i dint think that way before :)

Lornnn
11-22-2012, 12:42 PM
I've left for 2 months before with no trouble. Just left the battery disconnected and let the dirt pile up!

Seerlah
11-22-2012, 01:28 PM
First off, never remove the positive cable without removing the negative "first". If you are disconnecting your battery, you unplug the negative and not the positive (or unplug the negative then the positive). And if unplugging it in the cold weather, take the battery out completely and store in a warmer place than outside winter temps. But if doing this, you need to keep at least one door or trunk (to crawl into) to be able to pop the hood (disconnecting it in general).

And the thing with the hand brake isn't really about stretching the cable as it is about actually seizing your caliper. It happens.

How safe is your area?

woolveren
11-22-2012, 01:51 PM
But if doing this, you need to keep at least one door or trunk (to crawl into) to be able to pop the hood (disconnecting it in general).

And the thing with the hand brake isn't really about stretching the cable as it is about actually seizing your caliper. It happens.

How safe is your area?

You mean if we unplug the battery, we have to leave one door open?

The place(Indiana) where I leave is okay, but not that great to leave one door open for a month. :)

Seerlah
11-22-2012, 01:52 PM
How you going to get back in the car to pull the hood latch?

woolveren
11-22-2012, 01:57 PM
How you going to get back in the car to pull the hood latch?

Oh I dint think about that the central lock won't work without the battery. I think then I've to leave the battery on.

melomandn
11-22-2012, 02:02 PM
How you going to get back in the car to pull the hood latch?

Use the manual key lock on the door?

Seerlah
11-22-2012, 02:03 PM
Does that even work? Real question. Thought it still needed the central locking pump to actuate the unlock. Came to that analysis from so many people needing to pop their hood but can't get into the car because battery was dead.

Stumanbmx
11-22-2012, 04:06 PM
Does that even work? Real question. Thought it still needed the central locking pump to actuate the unlock. Came to that analysis from so many people needing to pop their hood but can't get into the car because battery was dead.

Yes. There is an actuating rod connected to the manual lock that opens up the driver door. Can't get into the trunk, though.

Also, OP, you are way way wayyy overthinking this. It's just a month, don't worry about it. Just park the damn car.

SN95Audi87
11-22-2012, 04:49 PM
Wouldn't hurt to put fuel stabilizer in there if no one is going to touch it for a month. I would fill up the tires to 32-35psi, and check for little things.

Avant Nate
11-22-2012, 05:15 PM
I think you should put it on jack stands, drain all the fluids (oil, coolant, gas, etc.), disconnect battery, take the ecu, leave the door unlocked. Oh wait, nevermind, just lock the doors.

Seerlah
11-22-2012, 05:18 PM
I have had my car on down times longer than that, on ramps with the e-brake on (granted it was summertime weather). Person was right about him worrying too much.

legbuh
11-22-2012, 05:23 PM
It's only a month. Let it sit locked. If it was three or more then you may want to at least add stabilizer to the fuel.

TylerDSAudi
11-22-2012, 05:37 PM
Agreed over thinking alittle. If its not stored inside maybe take the battery out, maybe. If it was me I would just park it and lock it. Then when you get back if its cold plug it in before starting it, let it run for abit and just take it easy so the car so it gets use to moving again and your good to go!

Poopie
11-22-2012, 08:20 PM
my wagon sat for a few weeks in running condition. because a few bugs that made their homes in there, the car started up just fine. you are putting too much thought into it

coolgraymemo
11-22-2012, 09:27 PM
OP, you are thinking too much about it. Just leave it.

I think the door should open even if the battery is unplugged. I think there is a actuator (not sure what else to call it) that unlocks the door. The vacuum pump turns on when turn the key twice.

ianwpb
11-22-2012, 09:37 PM
You can unlock the door with the battery disconnected.

jvega21
11-23-2012, 07:34 AM
Car cover.
If you have issues with your alarm, then undo the battery. if youre worried about the parking brake, chock your wheels.
If youre just going to undo the battery anyway, the doors open without the battery, just have to use the key, or you can pop the hood and leave it.

woolveren
12-01-2012, 11:42 AM
Thanks for all the replies. I was a little busy this week making arrangements for the vacation and didn't get a chance to check this thread.


I've got one more question. The oil change is past due, usually I change at 3k miles and now it's almost 3.5k miles since last oil change. Today I checked the oil and it's little blackish in shade.

So is it better to change the oil before leaving OR can I wait till I come back?

ianwpb
12-01-2012, 12:04 PM
Leave the oil. 3k is overkill anyways.

Euromike
12-01-2012, 06:09 PM
OP, you are way way wayyy overthinking this. It's just a month, don't worry about it. Just park the damn car.


This.

My car sits for 3-4 months during the heavy winter months. No preparation, always starts back up and runs great.

And 36 day vacation sounds pretty sweet, have fun!

woolveren
01-20-2013, 08:34 AM
I came back after the long 36 days vacation and the first thing I was looking for when I reached the parking lot was my little A4 sitting in the extreme cold weather outside. :)

Next day morning, I went to start the car and the temperature was 16 degree F. It got started in three cranks, but was stuttering a bit and turned off itself within some seconds. Started again and it continued stuttering for some time and then with in some one minute everything became normal. I then took her to highway for a 1 hr drive to drop my sister to the Airport. :)

I assumed that the cylinders were misfiring initially after the cold start and two days later scanned with Vag to see that cylinder 3 and 4 misfire codes were logged once. I just cleared the faults in VCDS and everything looks fine.

Thank you all for the comments and support!

dr_always
01-20-2013, 11:50 AM
I let my car sit for 4 years and it's been running daily since it got back on the road 6 months ago, not one single problem.