Ford Mustang Forum banner
Not open for further replies.
1 - 1 of 4 Posts

· Registered
115 Posts
Depending on how long "quite a few years" is, there may be more that you have to do.

If you are going to leave a car without running it for more than, say, a year or so, there are some things you should do ahead of time to prevent the kind of damage that time can do to a car. While I recognize that it's far too late for that now, it never hurts to share the info.

First, always drain your main fluids: oil, coolant, and gasoline. If you leave oil sitting long enough, it gets thick and viscous. Once that happens, even if you drain the oil, it leaves a tar-like coating of sludge in your oil pan. You know coolant has water in it, but did you know gasoline has water in it too? The water in gasoline will separate sooner or later and then guess what happens? Your fuel tank and sending unit rust like crazy. And, while coolant contains a rust inhibitor, it is exactly that, an inhibitor. It is not a preventer.

Second, disconnect your battery and put it in a safe place up off the floor. Connected to the car, it can't do any good, and may actually cause some harm.

Third, and finally, as ******* (apologies to all you ******** out there for the stereotype) as it may seem, take the tires off and support the car on its frame. Tires, when left sitting in one place for an extended period - especially if they go flat, as they almost always do - will "remember" the shape they have been in and will likely be out-of-round either permanently or for quite a while following the resurrection of your car. This can also damage the steel belts in the tires.

I picked up my '81 Mercury Grand Marquis from my friend's dad after it had been sitting for 8 years. My friend's dad stopped driving it one day (because the Ford Variable Venturi carb is a piece of S__T and was making the car stall all the time) and forgot about it. The gas tank had rusted to hell, the sending unit was shot, the radiator had rusted through in at least one spot, the oil pan had a thick coating of sludge at the bottom (as I discovered when I overhauled the car), the battery was toast and immediately started leaking battery acid, and the tires were all messed up.


My suggestion to you would be to check the radiator and gas tank for rust. (The former is easy and the latter can be accomplished by renewing the siphon in the fuel line and examining the fuel that comes out.) If they're rusted, you can replace them yourself or have a qualified mechanic do so. Regardless of whether they are rusted, you should replace the coolant and gasoline. (Gasoline *DOES* go bad.) Simply replace the battery, the oil, and the oil filter. You may wish to go as far as pulling and cleaning the oil pan. Finally, examine the condition of your tires. Any damage to them should result in replacement of all four tires. If the tires sound wrong or feel funny on the road, replace them.

I think everything else I was going to say in this post was covered by the article linked by 289Mustang above. Pay particular attention to his comments about examining rubber hoses and pre-oiling your engine.

Good luck and happy cruising! :wavey
1 - 1 of 4 Posts
Not open for further replies.