Q: Now that we’re retired, we’re planning to go South for the winter. What is the proper method for storing a newer car for about six months? I have a 2019 Lincoln Nautilus. I’ve heard disconnecting the battery isn’t necessarily a good technique with newer cars because of the numerous computers. Is it better to keep them on a trickle charger?
A: You’re right about not disconnecting the battery. On many vehicles, doing so will erase the entertainment system memory (as an anti-theft feature), requiring it be reset. You might need a special code to do the reset. Without removing any battery cables, attach a smart charger (often called a maintenance charger) that will keep the battery charged without overcharging. Before storing the car, change the oil, fill the gas tank (add some fuel stabilizer) and crack the windows a tiny bit.
A sticky problem
Q: I had an HOV pass on my windshield that never seemed to stay on, so I removed it. However, the glue from the pass is stuck on my windshield. I have tried Goo Gone to no avail. Any other suggestions?
A: I suggest a razor blade scraper with a fresh blade to remove the adhesive. If you chill it, all the better. Try holding an ice cube on the outside of the windshield for a few moments. If the glue begins to smear upon scraping, apply more chill. Afterward, chill out with a cold one.
A dust buster
Q: As the owner of a Mercedes 380S, I was particularly interested in a recent question a reader asked about brake dust. I had the same problem, and it was driving me crazy until I found a solution. Eckler’s Automotive Parts (ecklers.com) sells plastic shields that fit behind the wheels and disperse the brake dust before it touches the wheels.
A: Dust shields are an excellent idea. Several companies make them, and most also are available at traditional auto parts stores. Eckler’s specializes in restoration and performance parts.
Beware excess oil
Q: We recently took our Audi A4 in to have the 55,000-mile service done. The dealer returned it to us running. When we got home and switched the ignition off, a message came up stating “Please drain oil.” I called, and they told me not to worry about it. My rudimentary knowledge from 1970s high school auto mechanics made me aware of the dangers posed by an overfilled oil pan. Does this still hold true?
A: The danger of an overfilled oil pan is that the crankshaft dips into the oil, whipping it into a froth. Frothy oil can’t be pumped and will not lubricate the engine. Damage is likely. If your crankcase is overfilled, have the excess drained. And if you’re still in the mood for froth, stop at a coffee shop on the way home and pick up a cappuccino.
Bob Weber is a writer, mechanic and ASE-certified Master Automobile Technician. His writing has appeared in automotive trade publications, Consumer Guide and Consumers Digest. Send automotive questions along with name and town to email@example.com.