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Car Sat for 1 1/2 Years. Now What?

After we moved to Seattle my 2000 Ford Focus has sat in the same parking spot for a year and a half. Now it’s time to move and I want to get it running again. Say I replace the battery. Do you think I can drive it to the dealer? Is the gas in the tank okay? What else am I forgetting? Or should I just pay to have it towed to the dealer for maintenance?

Unless you added fuel stabilizer, the fuel will be bad. Unless you are up to draining the tank and refilling it with fresh fuel, I would just have it towed to a mechanic.

If it starts and runs OK, then go for it. A year and a half is pushing it, but it may work. I had know of a old car that had been in the back yard in Centralia (south of Seattle off I5) for over 5 years. A new battery was all it took to get it started and moving.

Good Luck.

The gas may be bad by now. I’m assuming no one added stabilizer before the car was parked. If the tank is full you may be lucky. The more air space in the tank the more likely the gas has gone bad.

I’d remove the spark plugs and squirt a small amount of oil into each cylinder before trying to start the engine.

If the parking brake is applied it may be rusted in place and difficult to release.

If you take this car to a dealer you’ll probably get a hefty bill. If it has to go to a mechanic I recommend an independent.

Fill the car with fresh gasoline, install a new battery, check all the fluids, pump up the tires, and DRIVE the car to a repair shop for an inspection. test the brakes in the parking lot before you drive off…Stay away from the dealer…