storing car for winter and a couple misc questions

All,
Well, I've decided that I'm going to put my car up for the winter so I can get the work done that she needs. What should I do to make sure she survives the winter without causing more problems? The specifics: I don't
have a garage, just a carport, I'm going to put up some heavy duty tarp around the sides, and get a heater so I'm not freezing while doing the work; I will have to start it up at various points, so draining the coolant would not be a very good idea, as with disconecting the battery. Considering this, should I just keep her as she is and make sure I start her up once a week or so to keep the battery charged and make sure the oil is still coating everything?
To those who remember my last set of posts, I still haven't figured out the stuttering/missing issue. I have narrowed it down to the fuel system, I put a fuel system treatment in and it didn't stutter at all for that tank of gas and half of the next. So the work is going to be getting that sorted out. I'm also going to do some body work, a little patch of rust on the door, and a few other misc things that I've just been putting off.
Does any one here have any experience with Lakes Region Audi in Gilford, NH? I still don't have the VAG tools (I really should break down and spend the $400 for it, but... anyone know of a place where I can get a used one?) I'm going to take it to a dealer who has the tools in order to diagnose the problem. The Bently book has a lot of diagnosing procedures, but it explains it using the VAG tool. Lakes Region Audi is a bit out of my way (I live in Manchester, NH) but, I've all ready scratched off the Audi dealer in Nashua (I thought the parts department was quite rude), and Manchester Volkswagen (I know they have the tools, but the car sat in their parking lot for 3 days without being touched).
Thanks in advance, Bill
1991 200TQ 1996 K1500 Silverado
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bill, On storing the car - make sure that the area underneath stays dry - decent asphalt of concrete is good, soil and gravel is bad, grass is the worst. If you're unsure, get some scrap plywood and build a "floor" underneath it. Give it a good wash and thorough waxing, spray the undercarriage really well to get rid of grime. Leave the coolant in and make sure it's the right mix to survive cold temps, put fuel stabilizer in the tank and top it off so there's a limited amout of air in there. You can get a cover to keep the dust off - just make sure it's breathable (since you're in a carport the car will be fairly protected by rain) and tie it down well so it doesn't flap and wear the paint down. Very important is the vermin consideration - even indoors the car may be a target as a warm place to make a bed for a mouse/rat/squirrel/etc. I put steel wool in the tailpipe of my stored cars, and a ziptied plastic bag and rag in the intake so that the critters keep out. Just remember to take them out when you restart the car - makes for some frustrating moments until you hear the backfire!!! (BTDT) Consider the other access points for the critters too - like the ventilation system. They not only love the insultation in the cars (there's lots to keep the interior quiet) but the wire insulation is OH SO TASTY!! (what they told me, can't say for myself). I haven't had much luck with ultrasonic pest repellents, but mothballs work well (but they last in the interior) If you go out to restart once a month is good, the battery might suffer though, depending if you have a current drain somewhere (the radio, clock, etc. really do add up). I'd say make sure you have the radio code and the pull the battery, keep it in your workshop and top up the carge from time to time, or get a battery minder with a floating charge to do it automatically. On the other stuff, you might consider an independent Audi specialist - the techs at the Audi shop are trained in the latest and greatest Audi engines - only the seasoned veterans there know about how to work on an inline 5 and the Type 44's associated systems and they get fewer every year (both the techs and the cars, I suppose). The wait for your car could have been that they didn't want to deal with the annoying frozen bolts/vacuum leaks/wiring shorts that older cars bring, as opposed to working on the newer VW's that they are more familiar with/training is more fresh in their minds. It's not that you're driving a Saturn V and all they work on is the Space Shuttle......but you might ask other Type 44 owners in your area (you might have to chase a few to the local mall/etc.) for independent shop recos and try them. Cheers! Steve Sears 1987 Audi 5kTQ 1980 Audi 5k 1962 and '64 Auto Union DKW Junior deLuxes (SPAM Blocker NOTE: Remove SHOES to reply)

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve,
Thanks for responding. I never even considered the vermin aspect, which is especially strange since I've been woken up at 3 am several times with my cat playing with one of them! So I'll definitely have to work on that and make sure everything is well covered. I really don't want to do the mothballs, the smell does linger forever, but, I know they work. As for the VW dealer, I completely understand their situation. They did tell me there was only one person who could work on it, and it was the shop foreman. What got me was that I made an appointment, and was patient for 3 days. I understand the different things going on, and since this wasn't a car they sold, and this wasn't a car they were going to service, this would be put onto the back burner, but, why even pretend they could get to it? As for independent shops, I've been to several in the area. The drawback to most of them was kind of mentioned in a previous thread, a lot of them are "I think I know what it is, so I'll replace parts till we get it" types of mechanics, as opposed to "lets really spend some time and figure out what the problem is, then we can fix it right the first time". I understand that there are a lot of people out there who would complain about paying for 2 hours of diagnosis to fix a $10 part, but, in my mind that's better than randomly fixing things that may be the cause.
Well, I think I got a bit off topic there. So thank you for the advice.
Enjoy Bill

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.