What To Do If Your Car Has Been Sitting Idle for a While

Follow These Tips

If your car has not been driven in a while there are some simple steps you can do to prepare it before you try to start it again. Otherwise, if you try to start a car that has been sitting for an extended period of time and the fluid levels are too low, the engine housing is not clean, etc., it can damage your engine. If you are unsure about what needs to be done or have questions about how to do certain procedures, let the ASE Certified technicians at Hi-Land Garage, in Kennewick, Washington, answer your questions, help do the work for you and provide you with expert counsel.

Before You Start Your Engineā€¦

You might be tempted to try to start your car first to see if it will turn over (before doing any maintenance), but you run the risk of damaging your engine. Here are some simple steps of things to do before you try to start your car:

  1. Inspect the undercarriage, wheel wells, and under the hood to remove any debris such as dried leaves, animals or nests (which can be fire hazards), and check any wires and tubes to make sure they have not been chewed through or compromised
  2. Change the engine oil and oil filter
  3. Add fresh gas or drain it (gas can deteriorate after three months)
  4. Charge (or possibly replace) the battery
  5. Check the coolant, brake fluid and power steering fluids
  6. Check the spark plugs
  7. Flush the radiator system

If your car has been sitting for years, it is likely that more extensive steps will be needed. A few of these additional steps include:

  • Lubricating the cylinders with a fogging agent while replacing your spark plugs. (This is a critical step if your car has been sitting for many months or years.)
  • Replace any cracked gaskets and seals

Quick Pro-Tip

Once you start your car, let it idle for 10 minutes before driving it.

Service Experts Who Know How To Make Your Car Great Again

No matter if your car has been sitting for months or even years, with proper measures your car can be up and running again. If you would like guidance or expert help, the auto professionals at Hi-Land Garage, located in Kennewick, Washington, can tow your car (if needed) and do all of the prep work for you. They offer a 48-month/48,000 mile warranty on their work and appointments can be conveniently made by phone or online. They can help make your car in tip-top condition again!

By on September 6th, 2020 in Auto Repair