Best things to do for a car sitting

My dad’s 1996 Dodge neon is basically just sitting at this point. We have taken away his keys and the car is just now sitting in his driveway and after this upcoming weekend his plates on the car will expire. I go out from time to time and start it nad such but it doesn’t go anywhere even though it runs okay. HE refuses to allow us to sell it so it just sits. My question, what are the best things to do for this car that once we can sell it at some point it’s still driveable.

Put fuel stabilizer in the tank now while the gas is still good.
And, instead of just starting it, maybe you can actually drive it instead of one of yours.
( I have three vehicles and two drivers , The 79 has not gotten new gas in two years but starts right up for its annual trip to Home Depot. )

Also, don’t forget that service intervals are based on mileage AND elapsed time, whichever occurs first. So if he changed the oil every 3000 miles, it should now be changed every 3 months. Read the owner’s manual for other service intervals.

And I agree, drive it a bit once in a while.

With the plates expiring this friday the drive will have to be in the neighborhood.

You could renew the tags anyway, just so you can drive it…plus…keep the insurance up , if even just liability ( like my 79 ).
And…even though you stopped him drive solo…if there’s ever an opportunity for him to drive WITH someone in the car …It’d be nice for him to drive his own.

I wouldn’t drive it without plates and liability insurance. While odd are small of an accident, if you have one you could be ruined financially without insurance, which requires plates.

Without routine service, like oil changes, and not being moved, the car will deteriorate quickly. I’d recommend selling it ASAP, You may get $800 if it’s in good shape.

You didn’t tell us how long it has been sitting? If it’s a year or more, the car may need some repairs, perhaps new tires.

And if selling it isn’t an option, and maintaining it is too expensive, then maybe turn into a permanent driveway ornament. Disable the engine to ensure no ‘spare keys’ show up in dad’s possession (just remove a coil wire, that kind of thing). When time comes to get rid of the car, donate it or call the junkyard to tow it away.

But you may get in trouble with the city/neighborhood if they have laws/rules about unlicensed cars on the driveway.

In most cases, you’d be better off to pickle it for long term storage than to start it and idle it once in awhile. It would take a long time idling to burn off moisture. And it does nothing to exercise the rest of the car. Although that would be better than going for very intermittent short trips in the winter if you get snow/salt where the car is located. The latter being a quick death sentence via rust. On second thought, that might be the best way to convince him to get rid of it. A 1996 Neon probably isn’t a huge loss either way…it’s the finality of the situation for Dad that bugs him…How much do you think it’s worth at this point?

Dad stopped driving back around March of this year, I have taken the car out a few times around the block or so and this past saturday to get washed and tires filled up to full pressure. Car has about half of tank of gas in it, have no idea last time oil was changed and Dad has no clue, but easy to bet it’s been at least 2+ years. Even when drove by dad he never drove more then 50+ miles a month. Car is okay shape, it runs and such but at most would only get a few hundred from a local scrap yard I bet. There is no insurance on the car or my dad, and plate expires this friday. Car is basically just sitting there and until dad goes, the car won’t. I will get some stuff to put in tank and may look into getting a tarp for it.

I am hoping that the city would come and take it once the plate expires to get it out of the driveway, but not sure if that will happen.

City probably won’t take it, but would ticket it. A car cover might help prevent that.

SELL IT To someone who is in need of Cheap Reliable Transportation. Its an insult and a shame to “junk” it…Salvage yards never pay a fair price. Metal Recycling Centers pay quite a bit more…But then again… thats really a shame.

There are Tons of people who wish they could find a Nice Reliable Affordable vehicle… It could literally change someones life. Sad to think that it needs to sit and molder just “Because”

Sell the thing…pretty much the only correct thing to do… It wants to be driven


Do not put a tarp on it. Trust me. It will trap moisture and the car will get moldy. The moisture will retain dust and the tarp flapping in the wind will abrade the paint. BTDTBTTS on a car that was worth a lot more than the Neon. It was a painful lesson…

I would love to sell and my dad could use whatever we could get for it. It runs just find, has some body rust issues but nothing danagous, but my dad will not sell it no matter what.

The tarp would be for protection from tickets…

Near zero chance to tickets, there are numerous homes in my division with old beaters sitting in their yards in a number of ways of disrepair that have not gotten ticketed. My thought was the tarp would keep the snow nad such off this winter.

Money talks.
see if you can get a true offer for the car, then talk cash and see what he says after ,say, a year of not driving it.

Already had someone in the neighborhood come up and offer him $500 for it, turned them down. He has no desire to sell it.

My dad is a “semi” horder…house filled with stuff, garage filled with stuff, poarch filled with stuff…no chance that car gets sold till he dies…