Start car after a long time storage? Follow these steps please!

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Do not ever make the mistake of jumping right behind the wheel after storing your car for a long period of time. Find out here what you should do!

It is absolutely normal for a car that has been stored for long time to be without oil or other necessary fluids or components needed to power the car. When you force it, it can get really nasty for you and put you in serious financial trouble. No matter the time the car has been sitting for- whether a month or more, there are certain things you need to do before attempting to power on the engine. You just don’t sit behind the wheel and hit the road. Except you are ready to bear the consequences of your action on the road, you would want to have a rethink considering the love you have for your beloved car.

Doing some basic checks wouldn’t hurt a bit. Checks such as searching for leaks, rotted hoses, corroded fittings or even compromised seals. Make sure you inspect the power-steering system for any leak or in other areas such as the engine, transmission, brakes and rear axles. Here on Naijauto, are the steps to start a car that has been stored for a long period of time.

1. Fluid replacement

When changing fluids which require draining and replacing, you need to ascertain the length of time at which the car has been stored. The general thumb rule is actually draining the oil, flushing everything out and replacing with newer oil.


Check the oil and other fluids before attempting to start the engine to avoid more damages

If the car is on state of hibernation during the cold season, you would need to perform full oil and filter change. After which, you would need to drain the tank and carburetor float bowls of any gas still within. You would need to flush the fuel line and then, drain and replace the coolant in the radiator after flushing it. Make sure other fluids in the engine are sufficient enough for optimal performance and check if the tyres are properly inflated.

2. Check car battery

You will need to disconnect, remove and store the battery properly to avoid moisture, by storing it in a safe palace. Usually, what you should do is cleaning the battery terminals and posts using water solution and baking soda. What you need to do now is charge it well and install it again.


To avoid buying new battery, disconnect the battery before you store your car!

If you forget to remove the battery during storage and it has been lying down for quite a while, it is proper to acquire a replacement battery and get new cables to install it. As you keep using it, the properties of the cables of the battery lose their conductive properties.

>>> To protect your engine and other components before storing the car in the garage, read this: 8 steps to take while storing your car for a long time

3. Prepare ignition

Apparently, you might have stored the car for more than 3 months, detach the spark plug and apply some lubricants into the cylinder. You need put a tag on each plug wire before having them removed since the spark plugs specifically fire in an order. You need to know that getting a replacement plug wires could be costly. You should grasp them where it is nearest to the car's engine after pulling them out. If you discover that the spark plugs in the car are appears oily, white or even corroded, you should replace them immediately.

After you have removed those spark plugs, you should use key in turning the car's engine over for many times to ensure that the cylinder wall is well lubricated by the oil in the cylinder and also to prime the fuel pumps and oil as regards ignition. You need to maintain normal oil pressure gauge by consistently get the engine cranked. Another way is to make sure that the light indicating the oil pressure goes out before taking the leads and spark plugs back to their proper location.

By this time, there should be no old gasoline in the engine; all you just need to do is remove the cover of air filter and get the engine sprayed by starter fluid right into the carburetor’s opening. So, when you keep pumping the gas and allow just a slight choke, the engine would definitely comeback to life.

4. Do these things before leaving the garage

Don’t rev the engine just yet or take the car out for a spin. You only need it to be idle and warmed up. Check the level of transmission fluid, return the air cover and inspect under the car for any leakage while your car engine is running. After this, you need to power down the engine and look for dry rots with the hoses or check for cracked or loose belts.

Give a good lubrication job to the suspension while you also look for loose or worn ball joints, deteriorated bushing, leaks at the shocks, rusted shafts and broken or missing broken bump stops.

While your car is on jack, make sure you test the potency of the braking system by using your hand to rotate each wheel while someone else is at the pedal. Check if the drums, rotors and friction linings are in good condition. Lookout for corrosion or leakage with the calipers and cylinders. Also check all the lights in the car and replace blown fuse if  required.

How to Start a Vehicle After Long Term Storage - DIY

5. Drive now

You should start with short trip so as to loosen everything up and make all exhaust’s moisture to disappear. While you are driving, pay attention to the sound coming from the engine or any form of engine misses. When you return to the garage, take note of these small issues, you would need to fix them right away for better driving experience.

 Don’t be too anxious to get your car to the road, pay close attention to the instructions above in order to put your car in perfect condition.

>>> Meanwhile, don’t forget to check out our other useful car maintenance tips and advice on!

Oluwaseun Adeniji

Oluwaseun Adeniji is a passionate writer and a poet with special interest in writing about cars. He is a master degree holder in international conflict and management. He enjoys feeding the public with the latest auto gist and well researched car reviews. He is also a strong football lover. So, if Oluwaseun is not writing, expect him to be reading about sports.




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