4 things to check before Starting a car that has been sitting for 6 months

You get to face many challenges with starting a car that has been sitting for 6 months. However, our focus on this page guides you through all you can do to start your car.  Most of us know that the longer the car sits, the harder it is to restart. So even if your battery is still strong, your starter can give out because it hasn’t been exercised for some time.

The easiest way to avoid this problem and improve your battery’s life span is by performing monthly maintenance on your car. As a general rule of thumb, you should start it up once a month and drive it around the block for 10 minutes or so.

Starting a car that has been sitting for 6 months

Starting a car that has been sitting for 6 months

If you ever leave your car to sit for a longer period, it is expected that it will either fail to start due to some reasons or the start of you are so lucky. Here are things you should do if you ever leave a car sitting for 6 months.

Check the battery

The car’s battery is the first thing that you need to check. If it shows it still has charged, it is likely to start while other parts are in good condition. However, if it fails to start, you need to get another battery or recharge it if the battery is still good and can retain charges.

Mind you, leaving a battery for that long will damage the battery. So, your chance of getting back to an active battery is so slim.

Check the engine oil/other fluids

You should check your car’s engine oil before you ever try to start a car you allow to sit for 6 months. Make use of the dipstick to check the condition of the oil and the level. It is a good decision for you to empty the engine oil and refill it with a new one.

The same with other fluids you have in your cars, such as the transmission fluid and brake oil. You need to check those as well and change the oil. You should never take any risk of driving the car with the same fluids sitting for 6 months, even if the car chooses to start.

Empty the gas tank

There are two ways to deal with the car gas tank. If you have the gas empty while you let the car sit for that duration, you need to get a mechanic to blow out the air, wash and ensure the tank doesn’t have any rust formation before you refill the tank with gasoline.

The second way is that if you have the tank filled up with gasoline, you need to empty the tank and get a new one into the tank. You can recycle the gasoline you emptied and reuse it if possible.

Check the coolant

The next thing you should do is check the coolant in the radiator. It is possible the coolant is not good anymore, and you should do well to change the coolant before starting the car.

You need to understand and follow all said above before starting the car. The other thing which could stop you from starting the car is the key starter. However, you should not have any issue with that if you leave the car for 6 months.

If the car refuses to start after doing all the suggested above, you should consider changing the key starter. Above all, you need to get the car to your mechanic to help you fix the necessary and get the car back to normal condition.

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Starting a car that has been sitting for 15 years

Starting a car that has been sitting for 6 months

Several factors come into play when answering this question including, oil type and condition, fuel used in the vehicle, ignition system type and condition, gas tank condition, weather conditions after the vehicle has been stored, including temperature variations, and the list goes on.

The short answer to the question is yes, and you can start a car sitting for 15 years. Usually, the fuel tank is always full to prevent moisture from getting in and for easy access. First, you will need to check the oil. If it’s black and smells burnt, it’s best to replace it.

If you don’t know how to do this, your mechanic will help you. Otherwise, start by checking the battery. Usually, these sit for so long that they don’t hold a charge and need to be replaced.

After sitting for over 15 years with an empty tank, remove the fuel pump relay. The relay is located under the dash on the driver side, protected by a rubber pad. If it makes no difference or worse after removing the relay, then clean any corrosion from battery connectors and the posts inside the battery itself.

How long can a car sit before the engine goes bad?

If you’re planning on taking your car out of circulation for an extended time, it would be better to maintain it properly than chock it up to laziness. Having a mechanic take care of maintenance will ensure that your vehicle can start and run correctly.

Vehicles with engines from the ’70s and older may start to require fuel systems if left sitting for two or more months. Fuel and fuel injectors may begin to get old and wear out, and there is also a chance that rust may damage the engine in the long run.

In addition, every car manufacturer has a threshold for how long you can safely leave it sitting. And that period depends on which type and how much the car is driven. That’s why it’s important to know your threshold before going on vacation, switching cars in the family or selling a car.

Also, the amount of time you can leave a car parked before the engine goes bad will depend on what kind of engine the car has. Engines begin to run into problems when they lay dormant because oil, coolant and fuel boil away while they’re not in use.

So, give or take, you should be able to leave your car for 6 months to 1 year before you get to experience some setback with the car engine.

Can you start a car after sitting for years?

Yes, you can start a car after sitting for years. All new cars sold in the United States must have sealed batteries. A sealed battery is not affected by cold weather or heat. If the battery is considered dead, it may be due to a slow loss of acid through a disconnected cell. All battery’s last around 4-7 years.

The exception scenario is when you have some parts of the car damaged, such as the spark plug, coolant, oil compartment, and rust in the gas tank. Many things could affect the car from not starting. Therefore, leaving a car sitting for so long is never a good idea.

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What happens if a car is not used for a long time?

Naturally, a car left unused for some time will not run as well as when it is regularly used. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this. What happens if the car is not used continuously can be fixed by rebuilding or reconditioning the engine and other parts.

But you should note that even if you rebuild or recondition the engine, it will still not run as well as when rebuilt from a freshly assembled state. Suppose you are going to store your car for a long time. In that case, it is advisable to run your car’s engine every day or every other day to keep the engine in usable condition and avoid problems with the starter, alternator, and battery.

How can I store my car for 20 years?

Starting a car that has been sitting for 6 months

You can do many things to keep your car sitting for years without losing any part of the car.

Fill up the gas

Your car is going on tour, but first, you need to fill it up with fuel to ensure smooth sailing on the open road. When you’re cruising down the highway, you won’t want your tank to run dry. If you’re storing your car for more than a month, don’t just leave your gas tank empty. Filling it up will save the gas from evaporating and keep your engine from rusting and deteriorating.

Change the oil

There are many reasons why someone may want to store their car. Perhaps they are planning on moving, or they don’t drive the car very often and want to free up some room in their garage, or maybe they just want to hold onto the car in case they decide to sell it later. If you’re storing your car for just a short time, simple garage storage is probably fine.

On the other hand, if you plan to store your car for longer periods, you need to be careful; 20 years is a long time! The most important thing is to change your oil so that the engine won’t become clogged over the years.

Protect the engine cylinders

If you want to protect your car from the damage of a long storage period, there are three important things to keep in mind:

  1. Protect the engine cylinders from corrosion and rusting.
  2. Keep all fluid lines clear for easy pouring and prevent any chance of clogging.
  3. Store the car in a cool and dry place

Once your vehicle storage is complete, don’t forget to protect the metal engine cylinders under the hood. The engine contains metal cylinders that typically store gas or diesel fuel. Left unprotected and exposed to rain, snow and extreme temperatures, these cylinders can rust over time, causing them to crack and leak gasoline.

These leaks can lead to hazardous conditions around your car, such as spontaneous fires, while they also make it very difficult to sell a vehicle later on. Protecting this part of your storage during storage helps prevent damage in the future.

Keep the battery alive

If you plan to store your car for an extended period, you want to keep it running well. This means keeping up with the maintenance. Even though you won’t be driving it, you should ensure that the battery stays charged.

To do this, periodically charge the battery as if you were going to drive it. Some batteries are equipped with desulfators and other devices to maintain their charges during extended periods of nonuse.

Also, the first thing that needs to be done is to keep the battery healthy. You don’t want it dying on you as soon as you start it up after a few years of storage. The battery self-discharge over time and slowly loses its charge. If the self-discharge rate is high enough, the battery can be considered dead.

In short, you need to start your car from time to time, even if it requires just a couple of seconds of cranking over to jump-start it.

Plug the exhaust outlet

With the tailpipe plugged in, no moisture can enter the exhaust system. It is important to ensure that this system functions properly throughout the 20-year storage period to prevent water damage.

Since you will no longer be driving your vehicle as it undergoes long term storage, be sure to remove any items stored in your glove box and trunk so they do not collect moisture and cause corrosion.

Elevate the vehicle

To store your car for 20 or 30 years or longer, you will need to elevate it off the ground. You can do this with cement blocks and bricks arranged in a sturdy frame or stack concrete blocks one on top of another between the tires.

Another option is to drive the car onto a trailer and park it in indoor storage space. What you do is up to you, but ensure that your storage location is dry, safe, and stable.

Use a car cover

A car cover is the best way to protect your car from mold, mildew, sun damage, and road salt. Car Covers provide complete vehicle protection during outdoor storage. Lining material helps protect against ultraviolet rays that can damage your convertible’s interior. The protective, sturdy fabric shields your investment from prying eyes while protecting it from tree sap and bird droppings.

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If you are starting a car that has been sitting for 6 months, there are many things that you need to know. However, you should never leave your car for that long because the propensity of damaging one or more car parts is so high.