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Unread 04-07-2012, 01:24 PM   #1
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Default Bringing car into use after 2 years

I have a car - a 1995 Proton Persona (Petrol, automatic) - which I've not used for 2 years, but am intending to start running again. It's literally been sitting in the driveway unattended for the entire time. The battery is now completely dead, but to my non-car-mechanic eye the outside of the car looks OK.

I'm wondering if there are any special precautions I need to take before using it given it's been idle for such a long time?

My current plan is:
1. Recharge battery (it's completely dead), check oil and water levels, pump up the tyres.
2. Drive it carefully to have an MOT (legally, this has to be the first journey I make on it).
3. If the MOT doesn't throw up anything so badly wrong that it wouldn't be worth paying to fix, take it for a full service.

That obviously would be a fairly normal procedure if the car had been out of use for a month or so, but 2 years is a looong time, so I'm wondering if anyone knows of anything else that could go bad in that time, that I really should check before I drive it again? In particular, anything that could be dangerous if I don't check it?

Thx

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Unread 04-07-2012, 01:34 PM   #2
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See how the brakes look is one thing I would definitely check
What was the reason for parking it and letting it sit for 2 years?
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Unread 04-07-2012, 02:22 PM   #3
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My Blazer sat for double that before I bought it. I hooked the silvy up to go for a jump, cranked it over and it ran just fine.

Make sure to change all fluids and grease everything, but tires are going to have flat spots in them so will probably need replacement.
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Unread 04-07-2012, 03:41 PM   #4
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If possible drain the old fuel and fill with fresh. Gasoline that sits for that long can varnish up engine parts when running, and when it cools down is like super glue!

I had an engine that started up and ran fine on old gas, but when started cold it bent valves, they were glued to the valve guides and didn't move, they hit the pistons.

Also all the above posts.
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Unread 04-08-2012, 10:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psp4ever View Post
See how the brakes look is one thing I would definitely check
What was the reason for parking it and letting it sit for 2 years?
Good point about the brakes. I'm hoping it'll be sufficient to test that they are working just before I drive off.

The reason for letting it sit is because I just wasn't using it enough to justify the cost of insuring it. (I probably would have left it longer, but after 2 years uninsured you lose your no claims bonus - which in my case is a lot of years). And it's an old car that's worth next to nothing, although it has been very reliable, so it didn't seem worth selling it.

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Unread 04-08-2012, 11:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike View Post
My Blazer sat for double that before I bought it. I hooked the silvy up to go for a jump, cranked it over and it ran just fine.

Make sure to change all fluids and grease everything, but tires are going to have flat spots in them so will probably need replacement.
Yep, I'll be very surprised if the tyres dont' need changing. But as long as they're good enough to get me to a garage to get them changed, I'm happy

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Unread 04-08-2012, 11:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Car Guy View Post
If possible drain the old fuel and fill with fresh. Gasoline that sits for that long can varnish up engine parts when running, and when it cools down is like super glue!

I had an engine that started up and ran fine on old gas, but when started cold it bent valves, they were glued to the valve guides and didn't move, they hit the pistons.

Also all the above posts.
Eeek, that sounds serious, and like a showstopper if that happened to me. Is that something that commonly happens, do you know? Unfortunately I don't have anything like the mechanical knowledge necessary to drain the fuel (or even to change the fluids as - Mike suggests - I can top them up but that's about it).

If that is a potential problem, would it be sufficient to fill up the tank with new petrol during its first journey - which'll hopefully mix with the old petrol as it runs?

Last edited by SimonR; 04-08-2012 at 11:04 AM. Reason: Spelling

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Unread 04-08-2012, 11:23 AM   #8
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I don't know how common it is, it happened to me. Maybe others don't know what happens. It is aggravated by the tight clearances in many import engines.

If you can at least add a 1/2 tank of fresh fuel you should be OK.
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Unread 03-05-2014, 11:18 AM   #9
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Holy necropost batman!
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