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Long term storage

Discussion in 'Model S' started by kjl, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. kjl

    kjl Member

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    So I'm going to store my Model S for at least a year, probably two. I'll leave it in the garage, with a 50% charge rate, plugged in, perhaps with a cover on it. I was also planning on putting it on some of those circular-depression ramps - something like these, but not sure if that is sufficient to prevent any kind of tire shenanigans considering the length of the storage and the fact that the car is so, so heavy.

    Anything else I should do, or do you all think this would be sufficient? Tires inflated to full pressure? Anything else? I think when you usually park a car for a long time you're supposed to not engage the parking brake because it might get stuck eventually. Is there a way to do that with the Tesla? Can I put it in neutral and get out of the car without it putting itself automatically in park?

    Also, the car will be stored in the SF Bay area in CA - if the car does not have the parking brake engaged, how likely is it that an earthquake could push the car off those race ramps?
     
  2. drklain

    drklain Member

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    I store an ICE car for two years when I went to Japan. Battery was disconnected, minimal fuel and car was put on jack stands vice sitting on tires.

    You might want to get some guidance from Tesla. It might be best to put the car in some sort of cold storage mode like they do when they ship cars to the Middle East...
     
    • Like x 1
  3. EVCarGUy

    EVCarGUy Member

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    Unfortunately, the car's electronics won't be off, so they will run down the 12v battery multiple times per day. Yes, the main battery will recharge it, and eventually, the big battery will get recharged back to 50% from the charger plug.

    But, it's not likely your 12v battery will survive this abuse for a year and not 2. Get a 12v battery charger/maintainer (a trickle charger is not sufficient), and hook it up to the 12V battery. Depending upon whether you have the removable nosecone or one of the rear wheel drive model S with the large frunk, access to the battery or access to the 'jumper points' vary. I removed the relay that switches power to the 12v accessory plug and replaced the relay with a shunt wire so the 12v plug is always active. The charger I have plugs right into the 12v plug in the center console. I do this most every night. I've left the car like this for a month, and the range reported on the app never changed - the big battery was never needed to recharge the 12v battery because the 12v battery was never discharged. I expect my 12v battery to last for quite some time.

    Make sure pre conditioning is off. Make sure your HVAC is off.
     
    • Informative x 2
  4. Tiger

    Tiger Member

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    It would definitely be financially more viable to SELL your car now and BUY another of same age&mileage after 1-2 years. Or you might decide to buy something completely new on the market at that time. Storing a car long term does not make sense financially because of the car depreciation.
     
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  5. drklain

    drklain Member

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    That depends on your approach to car ownership. I tend to buy and own cars for a very long time. When I put my car in storage for 2 years when the Navy sent me to Japan, the car was about 2 years old and was fully paid off. It was in storage from 1990-1992. I traded that car in when I bought my next car...in 2001. Depreciation was a non-factor because that is only relevant if you intend to buy a new car in the near future...if you are going to keep the car for years after the storage period, the depreciation factor becomes negligible and (if anything) your car is more valuable because it has much lower mileage. The 12 year old sports car I traded in back in 2001 had less than 50,000 miles on it and the dealership indicated the exceptionally low mileage and like-new condition of the car made it more valuable as someone would snap it right up off the used car lot.

    Now if you intend to just jump to a new car every 2-3 years, then depreciation is a real factor to consider....but at that point one would argue that leasing makes far more sense than buying....
     
  6. appleguru

    appleguru Member

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    The owner's manual has a tip for the tires:

    To minimize at spots during storage, inflate tires to the maximum pressure indicated on the tire wall. Then, before driving, release air to adjust tire pressure to the recommended levels.
     
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  7. kort677

    kort677 Banned

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    The op might want to consider putting the car on jack stands
     
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  8. Struja

    Struja Struja

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    That would be my biggest concern because of the weight of the car. Even if you inflate over the suggested amount, that is a LOT of weight sitting on 4 wheels and tires for 2 years with no movement. I would be concerned about damaging your wheels and tires (although I also think what @Tiger suggested - selling made some very valid points).
     
  9. tga

    tga Supporting Member

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    IMHO, fear of flat spotting tires is much ado about nothing. Modern tires are pretty resilient. My 911 sits for 5-6 months through the winter. I over-inflate the tires in the fall and don't worry about it. I've never had an issue in the spring. Several winters with some variant of the Michelin Pilot Sports (the Michelins Tesla uses on the 21" wheels).

    Yes, the S probably weighs an extra 300 lbs/tire. YMMV.
     
  10. kjl

    kjl Member

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    Yes, I realize it is probably financially smart to just sell the car and buy one of equivalent age/mileage when I get back, but I developed an attachment to my car. It's older, no autopilot, no sensors (not even parking sensors), old plastic nosecone, but I bought it new and it's mine. I tend to buy cars new and then keep them until they die, and I was hoping to do the same with this one. If I sold this car, left, and came back, I'd be really tempted to buy another new one, but that would be extra financially dumb.

    I thought about jack stands, but if I understand right, you usually need to jack it up from the front and back so that you can put the jack stands in under the side? My garage is much too cramped to lift it from the front. I guess I will just put it on those circular depression race ramps and see how it goes. Absolute worst case is I buy new tires (and two of them need replacing right now anyway).

    I will call Tesla and ask about what I should do about battery / electronics stuff. Is the wear on the 12v battery that bad, really? I'd expect my 12v battery to last several years driving normally - why would it be worse sitting in the garage?
     
  11. JPUConn

    JPUConn Member

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    I'm also in the sell it rather than store it camp. In the next 2 years the artificial price floor on 'classic' pre AP Model S's is likely to go considerably lower to a point that you may be able to buy two of them when you get back. Instead of parking your $ in a depreciating liability that same $ can sit in an index fund or even tsla shares and generate a return over the next 2 years.


    Focused on your question if you still insist on keeping it:
    When I stored my sports cars in the winter I would park it on a pressure treated plywood square that I wrapped with outdoor carpet (covered the top and stapled it to the bottom of the plywood). This kept the moisture from the floor away and I never had an issue with flat spotting. Jack stands are overkill in my opinion.

    Just also be sure that wherever it is parked has failover for power loss. If there are power outtages or a breaker trips make sure someone will be able to reconnect your car so the battery stays happy.
     
  12. JPUConn

    JPUConn Member

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    Also be conscious of rodents and insects that could destroy the car - you may want to consider a car storage bag/bubble.
     
    • Informative x 2
  13. tga

    tga Supporting Member

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    One trick is a plate of mothballs on the floor. Supposedly, mice hate mothballs. Problem is, (a) it takes a long time to air the smell out, and (b) they won't last 2 years.
     
  14. patrick40363

    patrick40363 Member

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  15. mrElbe

    mrElbe Active Member

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    +I wouldn't worry about the 12V battery. In 2 years of storage it will not get any more charging cycles than if the car was driven for 2 years.
     
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  16. tga

    tga Supporting Member

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    The 12V battery doesn't cycle while the car is on. When the car is on, the HV bus is energized, and the DC-DC converter is powering the 12V system.
     
  17. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    If you don't mind about buying new tires then you don't need to worry about keep 4 tires off ground.

    That means: You don't need to do anything special about the tires. Just lock your car and say goodbye.


    As long as your car is plugged in, your 12V battery is fine.

    It's only a problem when your car is not plugged in and the 12V would deplete the main pack which won't be able to supply anymore recharges to the 12V which then will die which will shutdown everything including the doors so when you come back you will have to mechanically open the hood to access and replace the 12V battery.

    But that is not the problem here because your car is plugged in so the main pack always got charged as needed which has enough energy to recharge your 12V as needed. So everyone is happy.

    Just plug your car in and say goodbye!
     
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  18. Esme Es Mejor

    Esme Es Mejor Member

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    Aren't there any friends or family members who would be thrilled to drive it for a year or two?
     
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  19. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    I think that preAP cars have already suffered maximum depreciation since they are "obsolete" now. Probably will have less depreciation in the future. People who buy and sell cars all the time end up wasting a lot of money. I'd keep the car. Not much will happen to it and you'll enjoy having a "free" car when you get back.
     
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  20. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    If you want to experiment: professor Jeff Dahn who is research partner with Tesla said:

    "I have cells from 1999 that were stored at about 20% state-of-charge--So, may be 3.5 volts for those cells.

    Put them on in 2013: Like new!!!

    Because positive electrode side is not doing anything bad at low voltage but if they have been stored at high voltage it would not have been nearly as good."
     

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