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Thread: Garaging a car over winter

  1. #1
    Craftsman
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    Garaging a car over winter

    Iíve noticed there are a good few knowledgeable car folks around here so a quick question.

    I have a rather lovely (well I think so 🙂) Landrover Defender 50th Anniversary. Due to various commitments itís simply not being driven at the moment so has been sat on the drive for a good couple of months.

    Today I have managed to clear one half of my garage so I can actually get the car in it (thatís a first!) and Iíve given her a wash and dry and parked her up.

    The car had a full service with new callipers and pads in May and since then has only covered a couple of hundred miles. The garage is bone dry.

    My question is; should I do anything else? Trickle charge the battery? Cover it? Start it every so often? Anything else?

    Iím slightly annoyed with myself as I feel as though I should have given her a good run before cleaning and parking her up.

    TIA

  2. #2
    Master
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    Just lend it to me for the winter and I'll park my 20 year old Rover in your garage!

    Seriously, if you are going to park it up, use a maintenance charger similar to:-
    https://www.halfords.com/workshop-to...enance-charger
    If you can, jack it up on axle stands or move it around to rotate the wheels occasionally. Run up to full operating temperature at least once a month and use all the electric ancillaries to keep them moving (+ washers, wipers, mirrors, locks, windows,doors, clutch etc.). If it's a petrol, you can add special fuel that won't go "off"!

    I envy your motor, being kept snug for the winter!

  3. #3
    Master RLE's Avatar
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    Tend to garage one of ours over the winter months. I personally avoid a cover as moisture can sometimes get trapped between the cover and the paint. Have mine on a trickle charge but periodically start it more to rotate the tyres. If it is going to be static suggest inflating the tyres to the maximum recommended to avoid flat spots. Our garage is dry too but noted last year some tiny bits of mould on the mats. Cleaned off within seconds but think I am going to leave my window down a touch this year or allow it to air with the doors open when I am pottering in the garage. Don’t want the upholstery getting mouldy.

    Oh and leave the handbrake off........

  4. #4
    Being a Defender I'd chock the wheels and leave the handbrake off. Defenders have a nasty habit of rusting the shoes in the drum. I start the engine every few weeks just to keep her lubricated and operate the clutch
    Probably be worth while rolling her back and forth and pumping the brakes out every few weeks.
    You could trickle charge the battery however if the battery is good Defenders suffer from very little quiescent drain so it really shouldn't be a problem.
    Cover wouldn't hurt just to keep the dust off.
    one thing that should be mentioned just pop your head out every so often and say hello to her.....they get a bit funny if you don't :-)

  5. #5
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    I would def get a trickle charger so the battery is cycled and fresh, also leave the handbrake off and leave in gear so the brakes dont bind over winter.

    Its also good to start it up and let it tick over for 10mins every couple of weeks, engines can dry up in the bores, crank, cams etc if left a long time so that when you do start it up the first few seconds can cause excessive wear.

    EDIT; posted same time as Franky Four Fingers with the same advice!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franky Four Fingers View Post
    one thing that should be mentioned just pop your head out every so often and say hello to her.....they get a bit funny if you don't :-)
    That made me laugh out loud 😂

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the tips guys. I hadnít thought of any of those points.

    It is petrol (4ltr V8 😋). Can the fuel really go ďoffĒ ?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by murkeywaters View Post
    I would def get a trickle charger so the battery is cycled and fresh, also leave the handbrake off and leave in gear so the brakes dont bind over winter.
    !
    Itís an automatic* so is just being in park OK?

    *As an aside this was my justification for buying her. I had a 90 previously but due to my ankles being completely knackered I simply couldnít handle the heavy clutch and had to sell it. I looked at getting a conversion but in the end found this minty 50th. Her V8 also sounds sublime, I may just sit in the garage and listen to her burble 😛

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by murkeywaters View Post
    I would def get a trickle charger so the battery is cycled and fresh, also leave the handbrake off and leave in gear so the brakes dont bind over winter.
    !
    Itís an automatic* so is just being in park OK?

    *As an aside this was my justification for buying her. I had a 90 previously but due to my ankles being completely knackered I simply couldnít handle the heavy clutch and had to sell it. I looked at getting a conversion but in the end found this minty 50th. Her V8 also sounds sublime, I may just sit in the garage and listen to her burble 😛

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Barney12 View Post
    Thanks for the tips guys. I hadnít thought of any of those points.

    It is petrol (4ltr V8 ). Can the fuel really go ďoffĒ ?
    Its does however I've started cars that have been stood for several years and been ok. Over winter you will be fine.

  10. #10
    I PDI'd a few of these back in 98 can't believe it was so long ago now.

  11. #11
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barney12 View Post
    Thanks for the tips guys. I hadnít thought of any of those points.

    It is petrol (4ltr V8 ). Can the fuel really go ďoffĒ ?
    Could try this STP treatment, over winter should be fine though..

  12. #12
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    Some good advice here.

    My competition cars never see the light of day in the winter so I have them all on auto trickle chargers ( a couple of optimates and a Liddl cheapie) . I start and drive/move them once every three to four weeks ( if I remember)

    Fuel can go off, but I've never bothered to drain / treat it except in the Reynard - and only then because the previous owner had put in a fuel tap and it was easy.
    JP

  13. #13
    Master PhilipK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barney12 View Post
    It is petrol (4ltr V8 ). Can the fuel really go ďoffĒ ?
    Store it with as little fuel as possible (under 1/4 tank) and then fill it with fresh when you take it out of storage and you should be fine.

    Don't forget to SORN it (no point in paying tax while it's off road).

    I understand that one of our other members will be able to provide advice on taking it for a spin without leaving your driveway...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barney12 View Post
    Thanks for the tips guys. I hadnít thought of any of those points.

    It is petrol (4ltr V8 ). Can the fuel really go ďoffĒ ?
    For the sake of a £10 a bottle, this stuff works. Used it in my motorcycles and lawn mower!
    https://www.frost.co.uk/sta-bil-fuel...CABEgLdGPD_BwE
    Frost have lots of other "goodies" for petrolheads too!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilipK View Post
    Store it with as little fuel as possible (under 1/4 tank) and then fill it with fresh when you take it out of storage and you should be fine.

    Don't forget to SORN it (no point in paying tax while it's off road).

    I understand that one of our other members will be able to provide advice on taking it for a spin without leaving your driveway...
    Interesting, aside from fuel going off, Iíd always been told to brim it & remove the ability for condensation to build in the tank within the available air space.

    Yes, first tank isnít optimum, but never takes long for the second tank to be fresh.

    No idea whatís correct, but interested as youíve got the exact opposite of my prior recommendations from garages.


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  16. #16
    It's a few months it really won't matter.

  17. #17
    Master Tifa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilipK View Post
    Store it with as little fuel as possible (under 1/4 tank) and then fill it with fresh when you take it out of storage and you should be fine.

    Absolutely fine in a heated garage.
    However, in an unheated garage, it's not a bad idea to brim the tank.
    This stops condensation (leading to water and rust) forming on the inner surface of the fuel tank.

  18. #18
    Master Skier's Avatar
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    I have regularly garaged cars for up to and, in some cases, for over 6 months when deployed (I'm ex-military). All I've done is put it on a trickle charger and brimmed the fuel tank though I leave the handbrake off, the car in neutral and chocked. I've never had an issue when coming back. You may experience a bit of a rumble due to a flat-spot on the tyres but this disappears within just a few miles.

  19. #19
    Craftsman Integrale's Avatar
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    MICE!
    set traps. The little buggers cause untold havoc.
    Cheap but expensive to remedy.
    Other points are academic in my experience.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using TZ-UK mobile app

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Barney12 View Post
    Thanks for the tips guys. I hadnít thought of any of those points.

    It is petrol (4ltr V8 ). Can the fuel really go ďoffĒ ?
    Yes it will. However, the clever motormanagement and injection system will cope with it. Straight to the pump for fresh fuel when put it back on the road. In the early days, the idea was to fill the tank to the brim to prevent rust. Nowadays, it's best to have as less fuel in the tank as possible; especially now most tanks are alloy or even a sort of plastic. Next to that: several brands have a 'fuel stabilizer' to prevent or at least slow down the deterioration of the fuel.

    Menno

  21. #21
    Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    I seem to remember reading that it's best to get your fuel from a garage with a high turnover as the smaller, less-used filling stations often have fuel that is older. Whether you can be bothered of course, is another thing.

    Our local Shell garage seems to attract all the exotic classics - it's noticable that they drive past the nearby (and much more modern) BP station. Last week there was a GT40 and a 246GT. My vehicle was - how can I put it - moribund in comparison. Obviously they think it's worth making the effort.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Integrale View Post
    MICE!
    set traps. The little buggers cause untold havoc.
    Cheap but expensive to remedy.
    Other points are academic in my experience.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using TZ-UK mobile app
    A really interesting point. Funnily enough I set 4 traps today as I noticed droppings in the corner of the garage again. Being in a rural location theyíve always been prevalent in our outbuildings.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Integrale View Post
    MICE!
    set traps. The little buggers cause untold havoc.
    Cheap but expensive to remedy.
    Other points are academic in my experience.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using TZ-UK mobile app
    This !!!

    I live in the country.

    When the little blighters ate my ski boots I was cross, when they ate my crash helmet I was livid , but when they ate my Ferrari I was apoplectic with rage.

    Suffice to say the 911 stays in Carcoon. The garage is perfectly dry but the Carcoon keeps the bl**dy mice out.

  24. #24
    Master PhilipK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaOmega View Post
    Our local Shell garage seems to attract all the exotic classics - it's noticable that they drive past the nearby (and much more modern) BP station. Last week there was a GT40 and a 246GT. My vehicle was - how can I put it - moribund in comparison. Obviously they think it's worth making the effort.
    They are probably buying Shell V-Power (which is the only petrol that I use in my performance cars).

  25. #25
    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barney12 View Post
    Her V8 also sounds sublime, I may just sit in the garage and listen to her burble 

    Yeahhh... don't do that, unless you are feeling really, really depressed about the situation.
    So clever my foot fell off.

  26. #26
    My car is left for up to 9 months each year.
    I put some fuel stabilizer in the tank then fill it, overinflate the tyres, leave the parking brake off and disconnect the battery.


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  27. #27
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    Regarding the Ďstale fuelí issue, surely it makes sense to store the car with as little fuel as possible.When the time comes to drive it again, top the fuel up with a couple of gallons, run it a while, then fill the tank. Thatíll purge most of the old fuel out.

    One of the few advantages of a modern house with small integral garage is the fact that itís very dry, ideal for car storage over winter. Apart from blowing the tyres up hard and running the fuel to a low level I do nothing else. An integral double garage would be ideal.

  28. #28
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    I'd definitely be more inclined to store it with a full tank of fuel rather than empty. Yes the fuel.wont be as good in 6 months time but it'll preserve the condition of the tank.

    Also have a look at an electric oil fired heater that has as thermostat on it. If you can keep a bit of heat in the garage it'll limit the condensation. For the same reason I won't recommend covering the car - if any condensation forms under the cover it could struggle to dry out again. Better to put up with the dust and just safely wash it when you get it out again.

    Obviously start and run the car every month and roll it round on the tyres.

  29. #29
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    The full tank strategy has some merit. If the tank is sealed the volatile components can’t escape, so the fuel shouldn’t deteriorate.

    I’ve stored cars over winter ( approx 4 months) and never had any problems, but it makes sense to ensure the tyres are blown up quite hard.

    If the car’s only going to be stored for a few months I wouldn’t bother running the engine at all, but I’d take the plugs out and get the oil pressure up before starting if it’s stood for more than a couple of months, and I’d give the battery a charge too.
    Last edited by walkerwek1958; 9th November 2019 at 23:28.

  30. #30
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    Wow and I thought mine was a Garage Queen

    my regime is as follows.

    Place on SORN
    Make sure you have about 1/4 tank of fresh fuel (I use Shell V).
    Give car a good clean (inc wheel arches, etc), dry then polish (Zymol is my preferred brand)
    Park in garage and connect triple charger
    Handbrake off, but not in gear.
    Place a couple of "damp traps" inside the car and the boot (well bonnet in my case)
    Cover in a high quality car cover - mine is the fitted thick fleece lined one sold my Classic Additions.

    Then every 3-4 weeks when it's dry and sunny, remove cover, triple charger (important), start the car and let it run until the exhaust runs clean (no condensation) before putting it on the drive. Then wipe it over with soft mircofibre cloth, check the damp traps and stand back and admire.

    Then put it away again before you repeat the process again it again in 3-4 weeks.

    Come the spring, repeat the process but check everything (electricals, brakes, gearbox/clutch, tires/ bodywork, seals, pressures and levels etc) remove damp traps, and give it another good valet, take it off SORN and drive to your nearest petrol station before filling up with nice fresh fuel.

    Sorted.

    Regarding mice, I have never had a problem, but then we have a cat.
    Last edited by Andyg; 10th November 2019 at 00:07.

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  31. #31
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    Leave your handbrake off to save yourself a lot of mucking about next spring.

  32. #32
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Mark the tyres snd spin wheels every 2 weeks so vehicle rests on different tyre sections Ö to avoid tyres becoming 'square' with flat spots

    dunk
    "My friends, as I have discovered myself, there are no disasters, only opportunities. And, indeed, opportunities for fresh disasters ..." Ö Boris Johnson Ö After being sacked from the Tory front bench, 2004

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by sundial View Post
    Mark the tyres snd spin wheels every 2 weeks so vehicle rests on different tyre sections Ö to avoid tyres becoming 'square' with flat spots

    dunk
    ... and inflate them to higher pressure than normal.

  34. #34
    Fill tyres with nitrogen.

  35. #35
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Fill tyres with nitrogen.

    Which only cost me about £4 a rim. Bargain.

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
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  36. #36

    Garaging a car over winter

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilipK View Post
    They are probably buying Shell V-Power (which is the only petrol that I use in my performance cars).
    Indeed they probably are.

    Itís the only thing I use in my classics cars, bikes, M6 and my leaf blower!

    Just to add I generally brim the tank and leave any cars and bikes Iím not planning on using connected to a trickle charger. Handbrake off as others have mentioned.

    I also tend to fire them up every three or four weeks and drive up and down the drive to keep bearings moving and clutches from seizing.

    My garage is under the house and the boiler is in there but I also have a dehumidifier running which I would recommend to anyone. Itís amazing how much moisture comes out. I use a desiccant model and that has the added bonus of kicking out a little heat.
    Last edited by j0hnbarker; 10th November 2019 at 18:31.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Andyg View Post
    Which only cost me about £4 a rim. Bargain.
    I wasn't being serious but if you are, what's the point?

  38. #38
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    I wasn't being serious but if you are, what's the point?

    Oh sorry my mistake. I thought you were offering some wisdom. Alas not!

    But in answer to your question.

    Nitrogen is a more stable and inert gas.
    It has less moisture thus helps reduce rim corrosion.
    Nitrogen marginally improves tyre life - therefore it's safer and more eco friendly. Especially on cars which do little mileage, whose s tyres will most likely simply become old and brittle before they ever wear out.

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
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  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Andyg View Post
    Oh sorry my mistake. I thought you were offering some wisdom. Alas not!

    But in answer to your question.

    Nitrogen is a more stable and inert gas.
    It has less moisture thus helps reduce rim corrosion.
    Nitrogen marginally improves tyre life - therefore it's safer and more eco friendly. Especially on cars which do little mileage, whose s tyres will most likely simply become old and brittle before they ever wear out.
    Iím curious, how is it environmentally friendly to extract, compress, store, and transport nitrogen? Air is roughly 80% nitrogen anyway. Iím not aware of any data saying it improves tyre life or is Ďsaferí. I believe itís supposed to be less susceptible to pressure changes due to less moisture, but canít imagine that would be measurable in day to day use unless you check and adjust pressures daily. Genuine question.

  40. #40
    Master
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    Have had one of my cars stored in a slightly damp unheated garage for 7 years now. I've fired it up to move it a few times, drove it round the block once. Every time it's started up first crack. I've done nothing but leave the handbrake off and keep it on a trickle charger and put £10 of "fresh" fuel in it maybe 2 years ago.

    Jacking up and rotating wheels is completely unnecessary when storing a car for 6 months. I also wouldn't advise starting it up from time to time just to idle.

  41. #41
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt8500 View Post
    Iím curious, how is it environmentally friendly to extract, compress, store, and transport nitrogen? Air is roughly 80% nitrogen anyway. Iím not aware of any data saying it improves tyre life or is Ďsaferí. I believe itís supposed to be less susceptible to pressure changes due to less moisture, but canít imagine that would be measurable in day to day use unless you check and adjust pressures daily. Genuine question.

    Manufacturers define the tyre pressures for each car they make. If you can set the tyres to that pressure and maintain the pressure then logic would suggest it proves safety and fuel efficiency. Especially on high performance cars where pressure are a bit more critical.

    The lack of mosture is also beneficial, especially on alloy wheels which are susceptible to corrosion and can become more brittle with age.

    Cannot comment on the ecco impact of extracting, transporting and storing nitrogen, however I imagine it's tiny compared with the environment impact of manufacturing, transporting, storing, replacing and then disposing of Tyres.

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
    Friedrich Nietzsche


  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Andyg View Post
    Oh sorry my mistake. I thought you were offering some wisdom. Alas not!

    But in answer to your question.

    Nitrogen is a more stable and inert gas.
    It has less moisture thus helps reduce rim corrosion.
    Nitrogen marginally improves tyre life - therefore it's safer and more eco friendly. Especially on cars which do little mileage, whose s tyres will most likely simply become old and brittle before they ever wear out.
    Yes, your mistake.

    I realise it can have very marginal benefits but was offered as an OTT suggestion as I believe some of the other stuff suggested is (rotating tyres to avoid 'flats' for example). All unnecessary for the OP's vehicle.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andyg View Post
    Oh sorry my mistake. I thought you were offering some wisdom. Alas not!

    But in answer to your question.

    Nitrogen is a more stable and inert gas.
    It has less moisture thus helps reduce rim corrosion.
    Nitrogen marginally improves tyre life - therefore it's safer and more eco friendly. Especially on cars which do little mileage, whose s tyres will most likely simply become old and brittle before they ever wear out.
    It's a bit of a con to be honest. It has some effect but it's akin to farting before you get into a car to make yourself lighter.

  44. #44
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave O'Sullivan View Post
    It's a bit of a con to be honest. It has some effect but it's akin to farting before you get into a car to make yourself lighter.

    Maybe, but having owned and been storing classic cars for over 30 years, I follow what I know to work and what doesn't (for me). Plus I find my car (due to suspension set-up and tyre choice) is very sensitive to tyre pressures and personally think nitrogen simply better. Notwithstanding that a set of tyres for mine costs about £800 (rims over £1k a corner), so an extra £16 is a bit meh in the scheme of things

    But I am sure you are right - it's just snake oil. Better tell professional Racing teams, Commerical haulage companies and airlines that they are wasting their money.

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
    Friedrich Nietzsche


  45. #45
    A fool and his money...

  46. #46
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    A fool and his money...
    Said the person loittering on a forum dedicated to old fashioned time pieces. Many of which cost many many thousands of pounds. However in my opinion, my old porsche is well worth the money - which oddly is the only opinion that actually matters.

    I suggest you worry about your money and how you chose to spend it, and I will worry about mine.

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
    Friedrich Nietzsche


  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Andyg View Post
    Said the person loittering on a forum dedicated to old fashioned time pieces. Many of which cost many many thousands of pounds. However in my opinion, my old porsche is well worth the money - which oddly is the only opinion that actually matters.

    I suggest you worry about your money and how you chose to spend it, and I will worry about mine.
    It's a watch forum, many of which cost tens of pounds.

    If you weren't forever mentioning your Porsche maybe people wouldn't comment.

  48. #48
    Planes use nitrogen as any water vapour can freeze at altitude and throw the wheel out of balance causing vibration on landing. Race teams use it as it maintains a more stable pressure at extremes of temperature. Not sure about haulage. They have a valid reason to use, thatís not relevant to road cars. Each to there own though, but there is no evidence to recommend it. I guess itís another example of snake oil.

    https://www.consumerreports.org/tire...-in-car-tires/

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andyg View Post
    Maybe, but having owned and been storing classic cars for over 30 years, I follow what I know to work and what doesn't (for me). Plus I find my car (due to suspension set-up and tyre choice) is very sensitive to tyre pressures and personally think nitrogen simply better. Notwithstanding that a set of tyres for mine costs about £800 (rims over £1k a corner), so an extra £16 is a bit meh in the scheme of things

    But I am sure you are right - it's just snake oil. Better tell professional Racing teams, Commerical haulage companies and airlines that they are wasting their money.
    Each to their own my friend 😊

    I know a little bit about tyres but it is, of course just my opinion.

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