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Major Geek
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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, for everyone following along, last week I asked for pointers on what YOU would look for in a used car just to be used for commuting purposes at 150 miles/day. That was before I remembered that I could rent a car a month at a time (max 84 days at a clip, actually). I went that route, and I pick up my first rental tonight.

So moving on, if you had to store your Murano for a mid-Atlantic winter, what would YOU do? I know the gearheads here will have a slew of suggestions on the best way to prepare a car for long-term storage, particularly through the winter. From fuel and oil additives to any special kind of protectant that should go on before covering it. Should it be kept on asphalt, or is grass okay? Or if I don't have a choice but to keep it on grass, should I at least lay down a huge tarp and park it on that? Should I always clear the snow or will it make a protective shell? Worse comes to worst, should I drive it to Central Florida and keep it in my Mom's garage until I need it next Spring when I expect to stop this crazy commute?

Let's hear your ideas.
 

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If i had my choice - it would go inside. 2 problems with storing it on grass/uncovered. Even with a cover - there will be a certain amount of moisture that gets trapped between the cover and the finish. Some have mentioned issues with it staining being the cover will attach itself to the car.

The second problem is with the amount of snow you guys have been getting the past couple years - come spring time the ground is gonna be REALLY soft. Soft ground + 4000# worth of Murano = ugly spring thaw. You might be better throwing down a couple pieces of plywood versus a tarp.

I'd add some fuel stabilizer - I've used STA-BIL in my lawnmower and snowblower. I know they make auto specific formulas. You'll want to either pull the battery - or keep it on a trickle charger to avoid it going completely dead.

There's nothing saying you can't drive it every weekend though. That'd be my choice if I wasn't going to drive it during the week.
 

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Mr. 3 K, 3/3/5. 5K,10/5/7
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Oh this is easy.

1. Go to Florida.
2. Stay.


Grip :D
 

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Seriously - why not simply drive the vehicle? Cars were made to run. The Murano was made for winters! Simply driving it once a week for 30 minutes or so could keep it running smoothly.

If you HAVE to store it (as opposed to driving), here's the procedure I use on all my seasonal engines (think motorcycle, boat, lawn mower, chain saw, etc.)

1. Fill the gas tank and stablize the fuel. Over the winter, water vapor may condense in the empty spaces in the gas tank. This can cause problems in the spring if significant amounts of water accumulate. Filling the tank minimizes water condensation. Gasoline is also a volatile mixture. It will degrade over time into a sludge-like varnish that will clog intakes and fuel injectors. Best way to accomplish both steps is to drive to a gas station, add the appropriate amount of Stabil or equivalent, then fill the tank. Following these steps will mix the Stabil in the gas tank. Driving home will then ensure that stablilized gas is in the lines and engine.

2. Wash and wax the car. This removes dirt, gum, tar, bugs and other stuff that can eat into the paint over the winter storage period. The wax provides a sealing coat to protect the painted finish. Also, don't forget about polishing the chrome grill and tailpipes too. A thin layer of clean oil will keep the chrome tailpipe covers from rusting. Be sure to also clean and dress the tires.

3. Move the car to the spot where it will be stored. Inside a garage is best - with a light cotton cover. Others have noted the importance of storing inside versus outside. I would agree that parking the car on grass would cause a quagmire in the spring, not to mention exposing the vehicle to more moisture and the elements (even with a cover).

4. Change the oil and filter. In addition to lubricating vital engine parts, oils capture and suspend contaminants and acids that are created as by products of the combustion process. Changing the oil ensures that you have removed any such contaminants in the old oil and will store the engine with fresh new oil. After changing the oil and running the engine to circulate the new stuff, do not run the engine again if you can help it at all. Some folks say to start the engine every few weeks during the winter. This only creates more contaminants and acids. Its better to leave the engine alone after this step - especially given the step 6. While your at it, check the antifreeze level and condition. Change it if necessary.

5. Change the air filter. As you drive, debris accumulates in the filter. Changing the filter before winter storage ensure you have a fresh clean filter for the spring season and is one less thing to worry about when the car is ready to come out of hybernation.

6. Treat the engine cylinders. Use fogging oil (available at marine supply shops) to shoot a thin coating of oil inside the cylinder walls. This will prevent rust from forming inside the engine over storage. While you're at it, check the spark plugs to make sure they look good. Use "anti-seize" when reinserting the plugs and torque to manufacturer specified values.

7. Remove the battery and take it inside. Place it on a trickle charge with float monitor. The Battery Tender is a good model. It will charge up the battery and turn itself into "monitor mode" after the battery reaches full charge. This ensures no overcharging. When the voltage drops (as it is likely to do over time), the Battery Tender will automatically maintain the charge necessary to keep the battery at optimal status. Taking the battery inside will keep it from freezing.

8. Inflate the tires and jack up the car. If stored for long periods of time, tires can develop flat spots from the weight of the car sitting on the same patch of tire over several months. Inflating the tires to a higher value will help minimize this (i.e., 40psi may be a good value). Ideally, you want to take the weight of the vehicle completely off the tires. You can do this by placing the car on jack stands at all four corners of the vehicle. This will eliminate the chances of flat spotting on tires and wear to suspension components.

9. Place a cotton cover over the car. This will help keep off dust as the vehicle sits over the winter.

Remember, over the winter, do not be tempted to start the car. This will undue much of what was done above.

Good luck.
 

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Major Geek
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Discussion Starter #5
Great tips so far. I was a little worried that running the car half an hour a week, especially during the deep freezes would cause the battery to only suffer through cold cranks but never get fully recharged. Also, sure I could drive it on the weekends, but that would mean only running short drives once or twice a week which seem more damaging to me than long highway drives, again, especially at times when it's been 20F for 4 straight days. And with respect to pumping the tires to 40PSI, and then jacking the car, what about taking the wheels off and stacking them horizontally? Since I've been considering getting the Kumho ECSTA STX's anyway, now I can plan to do that when taking the car out of storage.

As much as I love driving the car in the winter, I'm beginning to get paranoid about having the most advanced car in my immediate vicinity. I have bad dreams about all the cars around me spinning uncontrollably while I, steady as a rock, get hit on all four sides, simply being unable to escape the situation created by the unwashed masses around me. Even the more simplistic vision of stopping short and watching in the rear view mirror as some 87 Monte Carlo rearends me completely out of control. Having the best car around just gives me the "steadicam version" of watching accidents unfold around me. You know how the commercials always say, "professional driver on a closed course." I may not be a professional driver (>300k miles in 17 years to my defense), and I damn sure don't drive on closed courses!!

Which brings me to this.. which really is better? Parking the rental on the weeknds and taking short jaunts with the Murano, or just storing it and only using the rental (aka putting it at risk on the roads) as long as I have it? And how long is a reasonable dividing line between storing and driving? Should I wait a month to see if the customer decides to let me resume working at home again? Should I wait at least until winter officially begins? Again, thanks for all the opinions. They're great!
 

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Risk management

EPA - its all about risk management and how much risk your willing to take. Granted, winter driving is certainly more hazardous than summer driving, and the number of bad drivers in winter is higher. But then again, isn't that what insurance is for? Living in the Mid-A as you do, I figure the Murano was the right vehicle for the variable conditions we get in this region. Hopefully, its additional features such as AWD and VDC will help me keep out of the way of incompetent or unlucky winter drivers. Then I also know that while I certainly keep the Murano in as good a condition as possible, sh_t happens. So I take care of the Murano, drive defensively, and trust in luck that I do not become the victim of some incompetent driver. If I do, that's when Nationwide gets a call. When it comes right down to it, the Murano is merely an object to me. It can be replaced if necessary.

As for your questions on tires, horizontal stacking is probably a good idea. For winter, I jack up my boat trailer (with boat properly prepped), put it on cement blocks, pull the wheels and stack them in the garage. The 40psi for the tires is really only if you don't end up jacking up the car.
 

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I think its better to drive it for 30 minutes a week than any preparation for storage you can perform. Keep a battery charger on trickle and it will start up even if the weather is cold. However I see that might not be possible since you have to park the car outside on the grass. There is no street to park on?
 

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Mr. 3 K, 3/3/5. 5K,10/5/7
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THOSE ARE ALL great SUGGESTIONS so is 1. Go to Florida and Stay.
Guesss who used to live in Florida? GRIP :D
 

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From long winters here, the best way I found to keep the storaged car in shape during a long winter is to ...

... not do anything special except wash, wax and fill the gas tank. Start it and have a few drives during the winter when the streets are dry. Once every few weeks to keep the battery full charge and to prevent the seals from drying out, the tires from cupping...

All the fuel stabilizers do cloag the injectors, spark plugs and fuel lines with time. I prefer to totally empty the lawnmower's and snowthrower's gas tanks for the slow season. Not so obvious with a car but driving it a little from time to time will prevent a lot of problems. Change the oil and filter as soon as winter is over and it's time to hit the road again.
 

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Major Geek
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Discussion Starter #10
Got a Mecury Sable last night

Okay, for the first go 'round, got a Mercury Sable.

Things I miss from the Murano -- nav right off the top, power seat, 6 disc changer, automatic climate control, automatic headlights, and a tape deck believe it or not. My sister gave me some books on tape which are now useless. But the engine has good power and pickup, and the brakes are awesome. Had only one brake-slamming incident on the nj tpk this AM, and the lady behind me had to dive onto the left shoulder, almost hitting the concrete barrier (yes, this is normal on the NJ Tpk every morning). The Sable stopped a lot quicker than I expected it to.

You guys would have laughed, though, as I was driving behind an 18 wheeler that was showering my car in rocks and I was just riding along, smiling like the guy in the commercials buried in debt on the riding mower. Ah to be stress-free.

Oh, and the thing I miss the most from the Murano -- waving to other Murano drivers :( I had one stuck in traffic right alongside me for a good 10 mins this AM, and I just stared at it, with guilt.

In any case, thanks to all your tips, I think I'll take the Murano out on the weekends while I'm doing this. I felt so bad this morning getting my CDs, cellphone charger, and EZ Pass out..I could feel the car saying, "alright! another commute, let's go let's go let's go!" and then "wait... why.... are.... you.... ejecting all the CDs? grabbing your charger and EZ Pass?? WHAT'S GOING ON HERE!?!?"

And finally, as for the parking on grass questions.. my in-laws are five miles away and live on 2.5 acres with a separated 4-car garage. My wife and I are in a condo community practically with numbered spots. I'm probably going to leave the Murano at my in-laws during the week, but it would sit on grass and under trees if I did that. They've sold 2 or 3 cars out of the garage but there's just no room in there to store the Mo. Even if I kept it at home in the unassigned parking, it would still sit under trees. Might be worth just getting the cover and keeping it covered Monday to Friday.
 

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Just wanna help
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EasternPA...talking about mercury sable...I got one last weekend

Got a Mecury Sable last night
I got a 05 mercury sable last weekend as my rental.
The car only have 1,400 mile in it.

Four minus points:
1. cruise control is a joke...
Try going down slope, turn on my cruise control at 65 before that. On the end of the slope, i was driving at 80mph :rolleyes:
I thought cruise crtl is to provide some engine braking and maintain the speed AT THE DESIRED LEVEL?

2. fuel level indicator is defective. The nozzle gun clicked when filling the gas. So I tried to overfill but it keep clicking, refuse to take in more gas. It means full right? Not really. The level indicator is 2 notches away to almost full. When i return the car to the rental, I did tell the lady about the problem. She said: "oh. it is well known on this model . dont worry about it, we wont charge you on the gas...."

3. Break pedal has mushy feels to it But stopping distance is not bad.

4. Gas gusler (i average 22mpg om hiway and 16 in city).
A sedan whose mpg is comparable to our MO? :p

Some good pts:
Big trunk, i can put a 6'3" person in there, np
Granny style, no cops would be interested in giving me a ticket
Steering is light

Overall, i agree with you EasternPA....
I miss the murano everytime i am in rentals...
 

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Major Geek
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Discussion Starter #12
"Features" of the Mercury Sable

SugarRushMurano said:

2. fuel level indicator is defective. The nozzle gun clicked when filling the gas. So I tried to overfill but it keep clicking, refuse to take in more gas. It means full right?

4. Gas gusler (i average 22mpg om hiway and 16 in city).
A sedan whose mpg is comparable to our MO?

Granny style, no cops would be interested in giving me a ticket
Thank god you mentioned that. I got in and saw 7/8ths full on the gauge, and 8/8ths on the rental agreement. I even chuckled when I saw the threat to charge $2.20 per gallon if I don't return it full because I've been paying $2.32 lately! I thought wow, a discount on gas, finally! Also, I saw the 21.9 avg mpg on the trip computer when I picked it up, and 341 miles to empty. I thought, "jeez, the Murano can go 512 full according to Edmunds."

And finally, big thumbs up on the granny styling. I had a chance to get a sporty bright red Mazda 6 with a spoiler and happily turned it down. I need to blend in, thank you very much. A light gold Sable is just what I need for doing exactly that.

Oh, I also miss cupholders BADLY. As terrible as the Murano's cupholders' design is, its even worse when you don't have any to speak of at all. Same for the cellphone pocket. And armrest storage area. I'll probably have to go to Walmart or something and get one of those ridiculous little center console organizers or something. I can't drive for 2 hours holding a cup of coffee.

Also gotta dig out my Garmin and check the chip to make sure I have relevant maps loaded. That and the FM modulator that whines so I can at least listen to more than 1 CD at a time.

Oh, and I was hoping to get Sirius, but no such luck. I had Sirius in the Explorer back in January, but no nav, so my hopes were high.
 

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I bet the Sable does have a cupholder - check the center armrest if you have the front bench seat, the cupholder folds out (I noticed this in a rental Taurus I was forced to drive a while back). Retarded design, but its there...
 

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Major Geek
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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks, Eric. I'll look for it over lunch.
 

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Just wanna help
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Eric L is right, the cup holder for Sable is under the center arm rest

what you need to do is unfold the center amr rest , unfold the lower cup holder and extend it all the way to the front, and refold the center arm rest...

I still think Mo cup holder is better though...
Imagine if you have the venti latte. I dont think the sable's is deep enough to hold the cup :). Good luck in finding the cup holder.

PS: Based on your story (about getting sable versus mazda6), you got the rental from hertz right? Same like mine. Anyway, it is not $2.20 per gallon if you don't return it full, but last weekend while i was in midwest, a hertz rep rold me it was $5.32 per gallon. :p
 

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Major Geek
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Discussion Starter #16
$5.32!! That's nuts, but more along the lines of what I'm used to from Hertz. If push came to shove, the $2.20 is right on the agreement. And I'm sure they'll also point out fine print that says they can change that without notice, too.

I found the organizer in the center, thanks for the tips. Saved me a trip to Walmart or a car wash or something. And yeah, I saw the cupholders and said, "still won't hold a venti". Granted the Murano's are too short, too, but at least you can take the bottom out (and waste the passenger's side while you're at it). Maybe I can find one of those open-bottom ones that clip to a window sill or vent or something.

I just took a sharp turn to the left, accelerating through the turn, and felt and heard a loud bump or thump come from the right rear corner. I wonder if there's a body in the trunk ;)
 

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EasternPA said:
I just took a sharp turn to the left, accelerating through the turn, and felt and heard a loud bump or thump come from the right rear corner. I wonder if there's a body in the trunk ;)
Better check. The extra weight will cause your gas mileage to go up.
 

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zebelkhan said:

Better check. The extra weight will cause your gas mileage to go up.
Gas mileage to go down you mean. :D
 

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Major Geek
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Discussion Starter #20
Re: EasternPA...talking about mercury sable...I got one last weekend

SugarRushMurano said:
2. fuel level indicator is defective. The nozzle gun clicked when filling the gas. So I tried to overfill but it keep clicking, refuse to take in more gas. It means full right? Not really. The level indicator is 2 notches away to almost full. When i return the car to the rental, I did tell the lady about the problem. She said: "oh. it is well known on this model . dont worry about it, we wont charge you on the gas...."
I figured out that I can keep clicking the filler after the fumes trip the cutoff. It takes a dozen or two clicks, but I can get the indicator to go above Full. For example, when topping off tonight, the pump clicked off at $12.05. By the time I gave up on all the clicking, I was up to $15.50. Hate to bump this old thread, but I think its the gas tank or filler neck design that causes the premature cutoff, not so much the indicator. Unfortunately, at 155 driving miles/day and 291-340 miles per tank, I have to completely and truly fill it up, because otherwise instead of just needing to (completely) fill up every Sunday and Wednesday night, I run the risk of running out of gas on the way home every Tuesday and Friday night!
 
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