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I work from home, so I seldom need to use my car. It's kind of nice that it can stay cleaner in winter, too.

I could probably get away with almost never driving it winter, but I haven't prepped it and don't really have a good storage option for that. I've generally been making sure it gets driven every 1-3 weeks. I always let it get up to operating temp, drive for a good 20-30 minutes.

Should I doing anything special for this driving pattern? It's a modern car (Infiniti G35), I change oil with full synthetic once a year, I generally keep the gas tank full to cycle in fresh fuel, I recently replaced the battery.

Should I consider using fuel stabilizer? Is that something I can do and still semi-regularly drive or is that for storage use only? Anything else I should be doing?

  • If you're not driving far, you may want to consider generally keeping the gas tank half full instead of full, so the fresh fuel is better at diluting the old fuel. – Peter Mar 11 '18 at 16:46
  • @Peter: I try to keep it near full in winter to prevent tank condensation, but I'll keep that in mind as spring rolls around. Thanks! – Recovering Nerdaholic Mar 11 '18 at 16:57
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It sounds like you're spot on for your car. Words of advice:

  • If you only want to change the oil once a year, use something like Mobil 1 Annual Protection, which is a full synthetic oil. It's good for one year or 20k miles. Remember, oil is dependent upon time as well as mileage.
  • Driving it once every 1-3 weeks for 20-30 minutes is spot on for less used cars. This keeps everything lubed, especially the seals.
  • Keeping the fuel tank full is a very good idea. This makes it so there is very little air space in the tank, which means there's less water the fuel can absorb. Ethanol in the gas will absorb water over time. The more air left in the tank, the more water which can be absorbed.
  • Using fuel stabilizer is not a bad idea. You can use it without worrying about it bothering your engine or how it runs. That's what it's designed to do. It's designed to keep your fuel in good shape, whether you're storing the gas or you're using it as you're doing.
  • You may want to consider using a battery tender type device on your battery. It can help keep your battery in tip-top shape even when the car isn't being used. I'm not talking about a trickle charger, but rather, something which is designed to maintain the battery like a Battery Tender. There's a lot of different versions on the market, this is only an example.

Overall, I think you've got it covered. I doubt you're going to be seeing issues with your car as you're thinking about how to maintain it and treating it accordingly.

  • Great detailed response, thanks! I've been using Castrol Edge 0w30 (endearingly referred to by community groups as "German Castrol"). I sent in a sample for lab testing after my last change and the report said it was still performing excellently, even after a year. – Recovering Nerdaholic Mar 11 '18 at 17:03
  • @RecoveringNerdaholic - Absolutely agree that getting the oil tested is the best way to "know" what's going on with your oil. Most people will not take the time nor spend the money to have it checked. If it's working for you (and the car, of course), there should be no problems with doing as you've been doing. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Mar 11 '18 at 17:47
  • In order to add up to this thorough and informative answer, another good thing to remember, in order to preserve the AC system's health, would be running the system for some minutes every time you get to actually drive the car. That way the system's seals and most importantly the compressor's shaft seal stays lubed and leaks much less gas than it would without doing that, so that the compressor always gets proper lubrication whenever its run. – Al_ Mar 21 '18 at 21:58

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