Many of us have, for one reason or another, had to leave a car idle for an extended period. But reviving a vehicle that hasn’t moved for months isn’t as simple as turning the key – it needs a more delicate touch. We share insights on how to safely start a car that has been sitting for months.
Inspect for External Damages
Let’s start with a walk-around. Look out for any obvious signs of damage inflicted by weather, humans, or animals. Check if the tires are flat and inspect for any rust on the chassis.
Check the Car’s Essential Fluids
Next, pop the hood and check the state of natural wear. Inspect the oil and coolant levels and ensure the brake fluid is still in good condition. Without these your engine might grind to a halt.
Inspect the Battery
The battery will probably have lost some power if unattended for a while. Check its voltage and if it lower than 12.6V, you might want to consider a jump-start, or even replacing it.
Inspect the Fuel System
It’s vital to check the fuel as unused petrol can solidify over time, causing blockages in the fuel system. Some experts suggest adding a fuel stabilizer if you know that the car is going to sit unused for a long time.
Start the Engine and Monitor
Finally, it’s time to start the engine. Start with two-minute intervals, don’t rush. Listen for any unusual sounds, smells, or smoke that could indicate an impending problem.
In conclusion, while starting an idle car after a few months may seem daunting, it is not an insurmountable task. By following the steps outlined above, you can safely start your car without causing any unnecessary damage to the vehicle. Remember, your safety comes first and, when in doubt, always consult a professional mechanic.