'96 Saturn SL2 Not driven for 10 years

Hi - My parents took their '96 Saturn off the road about 10 years ago when it had just 60K miles on it. It was in an underground garage and not started. It’s at the mechanic’s shop right now. They say the only thing wrong is that the fuel pump needs to be replaced. I asked if anything else might be expected to turn up and if the tires need to be replaced.

I’m nervous and want to know if this car is safe to drive and/or sell.

Thanks in advance.

If it has a timing belt I would certainly replace that. If it has automatic, check if the fluid and filter have been replaced. If not I would do that as well. Don’t flush the system.

When they replace the fuel pump they will also purge out the fuel system, since 10 year old gasoline is nasty stuff.

The brakes need to be checked out as well to make sure they are operating properly.

If the cooling system has never been serviced, I would change the coolant at this time.

After that I would drive it in the local neighborhood first for a week, then take it out on the highwway while carefully monitoring the gauges.

The SL 2 engine (as well as the SL 1 engine) has a timing chain. I drove a 5-speed SL 2 for 181,000 miles, and for as much as the car press panned it, it served me very well.

I would change the oil, antifreeze, trans fluid, tires, and battery, then fire it up and see what happens!

BAD ADVICE. As Docnick states, the entire fuel system needs to be purged/flushed of old gasoline. The gas tank needs to be emptied. DO NOT attempt to start this car. If you do, count on major damage to the fuel system or if your luck is bad, the fuel injectors.

It would be a good idea to replace the brake and power steering fluids and bleed both systems.

Replace the tires and the oil, and if you trust the shop, I guess the fuel pump but even then only if it has failed.
Otherwise I suppose the belts and hoses might be suspect.

Hey doubleclutch: I’ve seen a lot of SL1’s around with head gasket problems. Do you know if SL2 engines are better and not prone to head gasket problems.

Good point! I forgot about the 10 year old fuel. That should be purged out.

I was not aware of the SL 1 head gasket problems. My SL 2 had problems with the head cover seal, which I had to fix myself. The dealer did it hot, which didn’t work so well. I also found that the OEM front brake rotors stunk. NAPA had good ones at half the price. No head gasket problems on mine, though.