Better to drive every 2-3 months or leave alone for 6?

With mixed feelings I have been enticed by/had forced upon me a geographical separation from my California garage, living back in England for the first time in 30 years for the next 6 months or so.

I will pop back home at least once, perhaps twice in that time, and am mulling the pros and cons of driving it briefly during those visits. Until I left I attributed the fact that it ran so smoothly because I drove it multiple times a day - any excuse really (“Broccoli? I’ll go…” “Sprig of Rosemary? Back shortly…might take it up the mountain on way back…”) and indeed it was the very last thing I did before I headed for the airport, but now I’m in a quandary.

Is it better to give it a run every 2-3 months, or (try to) leave it completely alone for 6? 6 months hardly makes it a barn find, but does that increase the risk of seals drying out, etc.?

Or is it a wash either way?

68 S1.5

Properly stored, a 6-month hiatus is eminently doable: short runs, where everything is not taken up to temp, are hard on machinery.


I would say as long as you get it up to operating temp, driving it once or twice during the interim is better than not driving it for six months. What you don’t want to do is just start it up, let it idle for a minute and shut it off.

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I regularly let Tweety sit over our winters: I’d top the tank, change the oil, and put Sta-bil in the fuel. Disconnected the battery and put on a battery tender.

Went into “stasis” in late October, and fired right up, early April.

The key, as you say, is everything “up to temperature:” fail that, and not good things can occur.

Right, Paul. I think you and I agree. A six month storage shouldn’t be a problem, but exercise would also be good, as long as he gets everything warmed up, drives for at least 15-20 minutes at highway speeds, etc. What drives me nuts is the elderly gentleman (stereotype) who hasn’t driven his baby in 10 years, but thinks he is doing a good thing by “starting it up once a month to keep it fresh.”

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Oh good lord, that does so much damage… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

All very encouraging for some multiple runs, thanks!

Happily I live on the doorstep of some great drives up amongst the redwoods, and with a freeway in between to properly warm up, so I’ll give AAA a heads-up (many will still remember me from when I had a V12 XJS…) and give it a good outing during my visits home.

Perhaps best not t do what I did in my front garden a few weeks back in my other car…

Definitely better with sound…

The E-Type is hiding behind the bushes at the end, to the right (in the garage!)


What better place to practice your FnF moves, eh?

In addition, I have a switch to cut off the fuel pump - mainly anti-theft but also allows me the option of running the bowls dry.

Sitting disease kills cars, though 6 months is short and shouldn’t hurt it.

Given the choice between driving the car or not, I’d drive, as long as it is enough of a drive to thoroughly warm everything up, say 30 minutes, at least, preferably not in traffic. Moving and warming the bearings, warming up and letting the oils flow and warming the tires is good stuff for machinery.

If you can drive it, I would take that option. In addition to running the engine and drive train at full operating temp, I think it helps to use the hydraulics regularly. That includes the brakes, clutch and shocks. How many people have taken their cars out of winter storage only to find the brakes or clutch are out or operating less than optimally?

I’m sure you could find a volunteer willing to come take it out weekly for a nice long drive.

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Hey I have a young 30 something daughter in SF who unlike most Millennials does know how to drive a stick :rofl::rofl::rofl:

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Good answers everyone…

But no one mentioned that if not started, the rings WILL freeze to the pistons. Most often ties they break loose and keep the seal secure, but I have had to remove pistons and re-ring them.


 Don't you just hate those who live in the US for ten years and never bother to learn the language?

I think no one should graduate from grade school without learning either Cherokee, Apache, Ute or Arapaho.

LLoyd July, 2014

My E did a lot of sitting with the previous owner. It was an Oklahoma car. There are a couple of receipts they gave me about freeing the clutch and brakes so I have always been nervous to leave it completely dormant for months at a time. I make sure I operate the clutch and brakes at least every couple of weeks. Have you guys that have done this not had any clutch/brake problems after hibernation ?

68 E-type FHC

Good point, David.

The “E”, perhaps all Jags tend to have problems with clutch/brakes seizing after she sits a while. Don’t know why, but that’s the way Jags are…


 Don't you just hate those who live in the US for ten years and never bother to learn the language?

I think no one should graduate from grade school without learning either Cherokee, Apache, Ute or Arapaho.

LLoyd July, 2014

I never had to, but then again, I live in a dry environment.

Drive your jag every chance you get. It’s good for you.

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PPA: physician prescribed analgesia, right, @L.Lynn?


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