View Full Version : Taking car out of storage
06-02-2006, 10:33 PM
Hi all, it's been a while since I've been here. I tried searching the forums but didn't find anything pertinant to my situation.
I have a 1992 Cutlass Supreme LS that has been in storage for the past year. When I used it the car ran extremely well for having 220,000 miles on it. Good gas mileage, good power.
I'm not an auto mechanic by any means and have been learning with the Cutlass. I'm about to take the car out of storage and was wondering if anyone would have any tips for me, as far as how to get it running again. To begin with I was pretty good about running it every couple weeks but now the battery is dead. It was new before going into storage. Will it hold a charge after this? Should I change the oil right away, and change it again after driving it for a couple days? What about the gas, should I be using some kind of stabalizer for that? Seafoam maybe? The plugs are pretty recently change before storage, as are the wires.
Any useful suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
06-02-2006, 10:42 PM
Change the oil before starting it. As for the battery, it should hold a charge but it's possible that it won't. When storing a car you should either pull the battery and keep it somewhere warm or have a trickle charger hooked to it.
06-02-2006, 11:05 PM
what turby said, when i had my z34 out of commission last summer the battery went dead and woulden't take a charge, then again it was lord knows how old.
i'd hook up a battery, check the fluids, and turn the key.
drive it for a little, change the oil and call it a day.
i'd also check over the tires to be sure that dry-rot hasen't set in, but it should be fine.
06-02-2006, 11:27 PM
The gas tank has about half a tank of year old gas in it as well. Seafoam for that? The two posts so far have kind of had conflicting advice, should I change the oil before starting it or after driving it for a little?
Anything else I should be looking for?
06-02-2006, 11:43 PM
Seafoam won't cure "bad gas" (assuming it's bad to begin with - did you put in any StaBil before you stored the car?) If it's truly "bad" then your only recourse is to siphon all of it out of the tank. Seeing as you're also from Da Tvin Sitties, remember that we have 10% ethanol in our gas, so (I've heard) it supposedly stays "fresher" longer than 100% petrol.
I suggest you hook up a battery charger to the battery (set it to the 2 amp setting, not the "quick charge") and let it charge overnight. Do not jump start it! You'll only be putting a huge strain on the alternator if you do.
I'd say if you changed the oil right before you stored it, you shouldn't need to change it again. Any condensation in the oil pan will evaporate as soon as the engine's warmed fully. On that note, I'd say take 'er to the gas station and top off your tank, check the fluids, check the tires' air pressure, and if it's all good then take it for a good long drive. Check for any abnormalities, and check all fluids again after you drive around for a bit.
FWIW, I "stored" my Regal all winter this year, and all I really did beforehand was change the oil, add some StaBil to the tank, and keep a trickle charger connected to the battery. As soon as it was warm out, I checked the fluids and took 'er for a long drive. I haven't had any problems whatsoever, so I must've done something right! :lol:
06-02-2006, 11:45 PM
just start it up, add some midgrade or premium gas to it for the first tank or so.
i don't think it really matters what order you change the oil in, i perfer to always change the oil hot so thats why i said that. year old oil won't hurt the engine to get it up to operating temp.
06-02-2006, 11:48 PM
One more thing: You should check out Paul Brand's column in the StarTribune. He seems to answer the "hibernation" question every spring. I'd check the "strib" website to see if he has the column archived (at least it was before they redesigned their site...)
06-03-2006, 01:57 AM
I'd put a trickle charger on the battery to avoid damaging anything
then just fill up the rest of the tank with premium, take it for a good drive. Change oil. If you think the oil is gonna be dirty, add some engine flush before changing it...
06-03-2006, 08:55 AM
If you think the oil is gonna be dirty, add some engine flush before changing it...
I wouldn't use engine flush unless you plan on dropping the oil pan to clean the oil pump screen off when you change the oil.
06-05-2006, 12:03 AM
The oil should be just fine -- after all the car just sat there 'in storage', right? I personally wouldn't bother changing it, unless it was due to be changed anyways.
Battery-wise, just give it a light charging. Fuel-wise, a few gallons of premium to dilute the old stuff should take care of pretty much anything.
Hopefully the rotors haven't rusted too much. This happens to cars that sit on the new-car lot for a while -- the rotors rust *except* for where the pad is touching the rotor. When the car is actually run, this causes the rusty sections to wear away, while the unrusted section remains, causing some pedal pulsation. New rotors and/or getting them slightly turned on a brake lathe will fix this if it turns out to be an issue.
06-11-2006, 10:52 AM
I follow DiscoStudds method each and every spring with the 6 (soon to be 7) cars that I store. I've never had a probem once.
From what I've heard about changing oil after "hibernation," apparantly moisture builds up and causes oil to break down; even if it is just sitting... oil changes aren't that expensive so I'd just do it to be safe. If there's one thing you shouldn't skimp on, it's oil changes.
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