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Due to shoulder surgery, I won't have access to my Abarth 124 Spider for at least 8 months.

The car is in a storage unit under a car cover, tires have 50 PSI, there's a full tank of gas treated with fuel stabilizer, and the battery is out (and on a battery tender).

Are there any special considerations when bringing her out of hibernation for extended periods?
 

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Sucks about the shoulder surgery and I hope all goes well for a full recovery.. Looks like you have the bases covered as far a storage, but I will caution about taking some measures to keep rodents away, mice etc...unless the storage unit is perfectly sealed I would get some sort of repellent to keep the buggers away.

On eventual start up, there is a thread about the multi air brick losing oil prime, and there is a procedure to follow in case you have an issue. Well documented on this forum. Personally, I would check the car out every couple of weeks, take the cover off and have a peek here and there, and if convenient put the battery in and start her up and run to full operating temp, operate the heat and A/C, put it in gear if auto trans...activate the clutch if manual trans... Rolling it in a different position would also ensure the tires don't get flat spotted from sitting, but with 50psi I doubt that is a concern. Keeping an eye on it once in a while would be my approach.

I'm sure others will add to my comments.
 

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Please read this thread.
https://www.124spider.org/forum/129-2017-fiat-124-spider-issues-problems/26777-help-car-won-t-start-after-winter-storage.html

After 8 months, I think you have a better chance than not of having starting problems. If you have someone who could start the car on at least a monthly basis you have a good chance of avoiding these problems. My first winter I had this problem, as I've written about. This winter, my second, I've not, keep reading.

The owner's manual says to start and run a stored car every 2 weeks and run the air conditioner for at least 5 minutes to circulate that system. As I've said before, I've never seen this protocol for any car I've owned, and I think they put in this instruction to keep the Multiair brick pressurized, not to circulate the AC. My opinion.

The battery- there is no need to pull it. I've kept mine in all winter. Before I do the monthly start I put the Battery Tender on it until fully charged. I then start the car for a minute and shut it down, then reattach the BT until the battery is fully charged.

I wish you a smooth and speedy recovery.

Steve.
 

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I strongly advise running it for more than a minute any time you start it. Get some temp. into it to avoid oil dilution from a rich start up mixture, and allow any oil contaminants or condensation to burn off. Not to mention the possibility of fouling the plugs with continued rich mixture/short duration operation.
 

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hef- I understand what you are saying and will take that into consideration, thank you.

It does make me wonder, though. I put away the car on about Nov 1. I started it and ran it for about 2 minutes just after Thanksgiving. Then again at Christmas for a minute and change, then MLK weekend, and again in later February. 4 times so far over the winter and thankfully it cranked over and started right away each time. The last time I did it was for just shy of 1 minute. I would guess between the 4 starts I've accumulated 6 minutes of run time. No less, but likely no more.

My goal was to not create an accumulation of acidic water condensation that would sit in the exhaust system, and to a lesser extent in the oil. At idle, I'd have to let it run a solid... 20 minutes for everything to really come up to temp, and even then at air temps of 10-20F, water could be sitting in the muffler or low bends of the pipes. I base this off of idling cold cars at work (mid and full size American cars and trucks). After 20 minutes idling in the dead of winter water was heard burbling inside the exhaust, only blown out by a hard gas pedal hit, then driving.

I don't have the luxury of time to do this with the Spider. I can't, and won't, take it out to drive it in the winter in Minnesota, and I've got limited insurance on it in the winter- no driving allowed.

With my protocol, my hope is to limit water in the systems and to get oil pressure into the brick, do it fast and shut it down. I understand I may create a bit of fuel dilution in the oil (how much in this 6 minutes thus far, and probably one more start cycle before the season starts, is likely minimal, I admittedly would guess), but once driving season begins and I'm out for several hours at a time, the lower evap. temps of those fuel contaminants should work their way out of the hot engine oil, which was replaced with new oil at winter shut down. I'll pull the plugs this spring to check them as well.

Based on what I've described, does that change the level of concern for the momentary starts during the winter in an effort to avoid the several dozen start cycles (about 50 attempts), and the potential damage that can cause, I needed to conduct to get my engine to start last spring after my first winter storage? Which protocol is causing more harm?

I am not looking for a debate, much less an argument. I'm just trying to make the least harmful decision for a lousy situation, knowing full well neither method would be preferred (periodic starts or no starts all winter). Honestly, if I would have known about this unique "quirk" with our cars before I bought it, it likely would have affected my purchase decision.

My fuel injected Suzuki motorcycle parked right next to the car, after being shut down for the same time and without periodic starts, it will pop over and start this spring like it had only sat for a weekend.

Sometimes advanced technology might not be the best way to achieve a goal, and MultiAir technology in a seasonal vehicle is a good example of this.

Steve.
 

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Stevet: No debates or arguments. I agree that a short run time is much better than extended cranking to pressurize the brick. I was making you aware of the possible side effects of short run times especially in cold climates.. Yes, check the plugs, and check the oil level once in a while. If it stays the same, i.e. does not increase due to fuel dilution, then no problem. A quick sniff of the dip stick will also tell you of possible fuel in the oil.
 

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Thanks hef, I will check those items.

In the last few months someone suggested pulling the fuel pump relay or fuse in an effort to crank the engine and get oil back into the brick, but deliver no gasoline and prevent ignition. I don't recall if expert advice or insight was provided in that thread, maybe I should search it out again.

Steve.
 
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