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Discussion Starter #1
So I will be storing my Abarth in November for the bad winters we have here in Pa. My question is should I remove the battery store at home for the winter and fully charge it once a month or leave it in the car and try to make my way out to the garage and start it once a month I cant put a battery tender on it because the garage has no power. Is there any danger to the electronics in the car by completely removing the battery? Thank you for any help with this question
Alan
 

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You won’t hurt anything by removing the battery. Cold is good for storing normal batteries, so simply disconnecting it will work too. Pull the ground cable and it should be fine in the spring. Also put some extra pressure in the tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the quick reply I remember from my boating days that leaving the battery discharge for 6 months significantly shortened the length of the batters life that it should be fully charged at least once every couple of months.
 

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Occasional, not continuous, use of a Battery Tender smart trickle charger would be a good idea for the battery (disconnected or left connected in the car). I pull my motorcycle batteries and keep them in my low-60F heated workshop, and once a month while in there I'll put them on the smart charger. Disconnect the charger at the end of the charge cycle. The battery does not need to, nor is it good to, continuously charge, even on a smart charger. This is what I've read in the past but don't recall details why.

http://www.batterytender.com

The "Jr." version is for MC and other small batteries, it is too small for a big car battery. Get the right trickle charger for the job. Also, they can't charge a flat battery, they just maintain a charged battery.

Your owner's manual has a section on long term storage. It also states to start the car and run the AC system every couple weeks during long term storage. HUH?! No way I'm going to start the car every couple weeks, only to introduce water condensation into the oil and internal engine air pockets and the exhaust system, and within the AC system, leading frozen water inside components and to corrosion problems. Like a bear in the winter, I will let it hybernate. Not to mention the wear on starting oil starved parts in a very cold engine- only do that once, at spring start-up. I don't understand this whole thing of "I gotta start my car and move oil through the engine once a month" attitude. This is, in my non-mechanic opinion, causing more harm than good.

There is a section of this board on long term storage, check threads there as well. This thread should be moved to that section by the moderators.

Steve.
 

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The engine needs to be started and run til the oil is warmed up every few weeks. If you skip starting over the winter you might have some difficulties getting it started in the spring. This particular engine's intake valve system can require more effort to get started the engine started after an extended time not being run which allows the oil pressure to bleed out on the solenoid brick that drives opening the intake valves. As others will be quick to point out that most do not have an issue but there is always the potential. If you start your engine about every two weeks and allow it to fully warm up you shouldn't have to worry about a dead battery. I can personally introduce you to several people with this engine in a Dart and one 124, not me, that have had issues getting the engine started after an extended storage period.

Tire should be set to 50psi to help avoid flat spots. But as someone else mentioned there is a section from last year on winter storage.
 

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I realize rear wheel drive is not the best option in snow, but other than that, what is it about the spider that has so many of you thinking it needs to be put away for the winter?

We had our first snow of the coming winter yesterday - slightly less than 5 months since the last snow of last winter. That's a heck of a lot of the year to have a car dormant. I just don't like the idea of any engine sitting unused that long. Heck of a lot easier to keep a car clean on the outside than deal with corroded cylinders.
 

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I realize rear wheel drive is not the best option in snow, but other than that, what is it about the spider that has so many of you thinking it needs to be put away for the winter?

We had our first snow of the coming winter yesterday - slightly less than 5 months since the last snow of last winter. That's a heck of a lot of the year to have a car dormant. I just don't like the idea of any engine sitting unused that long. Heck of a lot easier to keep a car clean on the outside than deal with corroded cylinders.
In my case...

- Rust. They put salt down here which corrodes the body and other areas. Unlike my econobox Chevy Cruze, which is a very good and relatively refined economy car, don't get me wrong, the 124 Spider is more of a timeless sports car I'd like to have in my garage for no less than 10 years, hopefully at least 15.

- Collision risk. I run snow tires on all of my vehicles, but everyone else around me usually doesn't. I can deal with my Cruze being in the body shop for cheap repairs, but I'd rather not have my Abarth hit.

- Ground clearance. Fortunately, I live in an area that prefers not to use salt, but when we get snow, the front end becomes a plow, and I'd rather not have to deal with that.

If it was my only vehicle, I'd throw some Nokians on all 4 corners and have the time of my life all winter, but I have the Cruze (and the 4x4 truck, worst case) to get me around during cold weather.
 

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I realize rear wheel drive is not the best option in snow, but other than that, what is it about the spider that has so many of you thinking it needs to be put away for the winter?
In my case, it's the chemicals they put on the roads here in Connecticut that cause a car to rust out much quicker than salt. :mad:
 

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In my case...

- Rust. They put salt down here which corrodes the body and other areas. Unlike my econobox Chevy Cruze, which is a very good and relatively refined economy car, don't get me wrong, the 124 Spider is more of a timeless sports car I'd like to have in my garage for no less than 10 years, hopefully at least 15.

- Collision risk. I run snow tires on all of my vehicles, but everyone else around me usually doesn't. I can deal with my Cruze being in the body shop for cheap repairs, but I'd rather not have my Abarth hit.

- Ground clearance. Fortunately, I live in an area that prefers not to use salt, but when we get snow, the front end becomes a plow, and I'd rather not have to deal with that.

If it was my only vehicle, I'd throw some Nokians on all 4 corners and have the time of my life all winter, but I have the Cruze (and the 4x4 truck, worst case) to get me around during cold weather.
See this makes sense, you see he Spider as something other than just another car, and you’ve plans to keep it long term. Storing it is something your doing to keep it in good condition for the long term rather than because it’s any less capable of handling Winter than any other car. I think, however, there’s some people that think the car just won’t cope.

I do accept the ‘snow plow’ point though. We have the same issue here where our community roads - which aren’t plowed - join plowed main roads they get badly rutted and there’s no way the Abarth is getting through that. However it’s only a day or two after a big storm. I work from home and rarely absolutely have to go somewhere on those days, and have a dull-but-worthy SUV for when we do.
 

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See this makes sense, you see he Spider as something other than just another car, and you’ve plans to keep it long term. Storing it is something your doing to keep it in good condition for the long term rather than because it’s any less capable of handling Winter than any other car. I think, however, there’s some people that think the car just won’t cope.

I do accept the ‘snow plow’ point though. We have the same issue here where our community roads - which aren’t plowed - join plowed main roads they get badly rutted and there’s no way the Abarth is getting through that. However it’s only a day or two after a big storm. I work from home and rarely absolutely have to go somewhere on those days, and have a dull-but-worthy SUV for when we do.
I'm fairly certain these wheel wells will accommodate one ratio taller of a sidewall, in which case you can help that case just a little. Compared to my Cruze, which has a deeper front air dam due to being the Eco trim (for aerodynamics) the 124 Spider at stock height is really not too bad. I think it would manage those conditions on snow tires very well in about any conditions you'd want to go out in without an SUV.

I also work from home. After 4 winters, my Blizzaks still have 7/32" - 8/32" of tread depth.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Here in Northwest Pa. on the shores of lake Erie our winters are long and hard lake effect snow can dump 6 to 12 inches of snow regularly driving a low clearance rear wheel drive small car with a convertible top is not a good option and with another winter car to drive for 5 months of the year I see no point.
 

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personally I wouldn't want to start it and let it run every few months..
warm the engine (slightly) and then get condensation?

no thanks



pull the batt and put it on a charger, or disconnect & leave in place.
start it when spring comes & you're ready to drive!
 

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I was going to use the 124 for the winter I really was. Then I realized that the soft-top is made of a weird absorbant canvas and that once calcium (salt) deposits get onto that, they'll be a major inconvenience to remove (and an eyesore) so I decided against it.

I live in Montreal BTW. Well, just outside of Montreal.

Besides, I have a Suzuki Sidekick convertible that I've been saving all these years for just such an occasion. Haven't used it in the winter since 2007, it'll be hilarious to drive that little 4x4 in heavy snow.
 

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There is a guy here in Detroit who drives his Miata everyday through the winter with his top down. Its nothing to see him blow by you on a zero degree day doing 80 on one of the local highways.

I have always stored my "toy" cars the same way for the winter. I get the tires to around 40-50 PSI, fill the gas tank, put in a bit of Sta-Bil, and throw a battery tender on them. There used to be an old commercial that said "90 percent of your engine wear happens at startup..." and more than a few piston engineers in this town have told me the same thing. I would rather deal with a slightly hard starting engine in the spring than run the drivetrain through a warmup cycle every couple of weeks. With 25 years of storing Corvettes, muscle cars, and other toy cars, this formula has always worked for me. I have a 2007 Corvette I bought new that has 11k miles on it and it still has the original battery in it with no signs of trouble.

Just my 2 cents.
 
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