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This might sound off-topic, given this is a Ferrari forum, but perhaps my logic will become clear at the end...

I like in Toronto. Yes, Toronto, the place that was considered the worst duty in the British Empire due to the freezing cold winters and overly humid summers. I live downtown-ish, and the roads around me basically go from nowhere to nowhere, and when you do managed to get out of town into cottage country everything starts getting a little bumpy.

Driving in TO is such a boring experience that I gave up my car four years ago and never looked back. When I need to go somewhere the subway won't get me, which is maybe six times a year, I rent. It's cheap, and almost hassle-free. Even when I had a car (a boy racer prior to the kid, a Saab after) I rarely drove it, so much so that I learned a valuable lesson that you should never leave your parking break on for extended periods...

So here's my question: how does one care for a car that sits idle for four or five months of the year waiting for nice weather? Do you have to do anything? Drain the oil? Put it on blocks? Are there guidelines for this?

I'm sure there's Ferrari owners out there that have faced this problem (I see lots of Ferrari's in NY when I visit, I HOPE they don't drive them in the winter!) so I'm guessing this might be the right place to ask for some expert advice.

Well that's one reason anyway... the other is that I was walking down the street today and for the first time I come face to face with a red/tan F355. That was that.
 

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Haven't experienced a winter yet. My plan is to start the car regularly (twice a week minimum) and place a 52 inch Plasma in front. Then I can watch driving movies and pretend.

My garage lock down will be not be calendar related but rather condition related. I will not drive the car from the first snowfall until at least 2 heavy soaking rain storms have cleared the sand from the streets.

Lane
 

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That's rather amusing. The time of the year I don't drive my car is summer. It is so damned hot here that the only thing one cares about is good air conditioning. So I drive the Bimmer. Yes, the Ferrari has A/C, but who wants to drive it with the top on, windows up and marginal A/C on?

Anyway, the best thing you can do is run the car. I suggest that you put the car up on jack stands so that you don't flat spot the tires. Start the car every other week, go through the gears, and operate all the accessories. When spring arrives, change all the fluids, and away you go. If the battery doesn't like being charged that infrequently, you can either put a Battery Tender on it, or disconnect it between starts. -Steve
 

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well, I live in Brazil and our cars and bikes get driven every day hehehehe

but the question is: are you going for a F355, Maury Markowitz??
 

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That's rather amusing. The time of the year I don't drive my car is summer.
It gets hot here too, but not that hot. The real problem is the humidity, which makes a nice 75 degree day drench you in sweat. Now AC definitely helps here, but you can actually get away with running the AC into the cabin with the top down, it does nothing for the temperature, but it really cuts the humidity and makes everything a lot more comfortable.

That said, this summer was atypical -- a couple of weeks of very hot but dry weather. More Colorado than Philadelphia. A _perfect_ summer for a convertible!

Anyway, the best thing you can do is run the car. I suggest that you put the car up on jack stands so that you don't flat spot the tires. Start the car every other week, go through the gears, and operate all the accessories. When spring arrives, change all the fluids, and away you go. If the battery doesn't like being charged that infrequently, you can either put a Battery Tender on it, or disconnect it between starts. -Steve
What is a Battery Tender? A periodic charger?

Off the top of my head my plan would be to drain the oil at the end of the season and replace it with pure mineral oil. The idea of all those detergents sitting around in the engine for six months is worrying. In the spring I would just go and get a normal oil change. Even with a more "practical" car I rarely put in enough miles in a year to wear out the additives in the oil, so one change a year should be more than enough.

Maury
 

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Between my father and myself we have roughly 16 cars and only four of them are vehicles that we use in the winter I live in Iowa so while not as long or as cold as toronto the winters are fairly long and rather unplesant.

Here is our process
Vehicles are stored in a climate controled warehouse this can assist you because running a small heater to keep the car above freezing will prevent musty smells and keeping a consistant temp will decrease the chance for condensation inside the motor or gas tank.

Ok first all cars are given a full synthetic oil change driven and for about 20 min or so synthetic oils stick better to engine parts when sitting

Sta-Bil Milspec fuel stabilizer is added along with a MTBE additive in the old cars this will keep any wierd shit from growing in your gas tank (alge is common or sediment)

I would also recommend a battery tender...it is technically a smart charger it adds juice when needed but constantly moniters the charge level of the battery and can greatly extend battery life

After this I will wash and wax all of the cars (if there is enough time a full interior/exterior detail is nice)

I usually leave them on thier tires newer low profile tires dont seem to have as many flat spotting issues...if you dont want to do that get some car dollys from northern tool

If it is in a dusty enviornment you may want to look into getting a light car cover I usually recommend Griots or Wolf because they have the best scratch resistant linings and thier fitment is excellent

I usually try to start the cars once a month in the winter months and let them run for 10 or 15 min
 

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well, I live in Brazil and our cars and bikes get driven every day hehehehe
Yeah... but I do my bike every other day anyway... although it's a Trek road bike, probably not what you're talking about. :) I actually put about the same amount of distance on the bike as I do on a car.

but the question is: are you going for a F355
Oh who knows, but it's nice to have dreams right? It turns out you can rent one here in TO. Ridiculous cash, but I'm sure owning one would be worse. :) They say Sunday is going to be beautiful, so maybe I'll take it for a spin and see what it's like.

Maury
 

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I was actually talking about our motorcycles, but FYI me and my brother (and his girlfriend and my sister's boyfriend) do love cycling, and our bikes probably have more miles than our motorcycles hehehehehehe
 
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