Car sat for 18 months, what do I do?

A freind bought a new car a year and a half ago and let his 1990 Nissan Pathfinder (that was working) just sit. He recently said I could have it for my daughter, who is just learning to drive. What can I do to test it out myself before having to turn it over to my mechanic? I have been told I need to squirt oil into each cylinder because it has sat so long, others say not so. What can go wrong for sitting so long. I live in Ohio so it has gone through 6 season changes.



Squirting oil is a good thing…although getting to the #6 plug is a pain.

Charging the battery is a good idea…And I’d also change the oil.

A side note…A SUV is NOT a great vehicle for someone who is just learning how to drive. They do NOT handle as well as a car and are more prone to tipping.

I agree with Mike, do you really want to give this thing to your daughter?

Unless you’re mechanically inclined, I’d say . . . pay a guy to tow/rollback the vehicle to the mechanic . . . since you said you’re going to take it there and have him check it out anyway. The tow might cost $50-$100 . . . cheap if you screw something up that the mechanic could’ve discovered and a million times SAFER than you driving a vehicle with unknown suspension issues . . . unknown brake issues . . . possibly leaky exhaust into the passenger compartment . . . inspection law violations . . . dry-rotted tires . . . need I go on? Rocketman

Call your mechanic and have him go to your place and have it towed to his shop. Ask your mechanic to bring along his portable air supply and ask him to fill the tires. If he feels that the present air pressure is adequate, no one will even have to mess with it. Ditto to rocketman’s reply. Think of it this way, also. For you to drive it to the mechanic’s shop, you’d have to get at least a temporary plate and probably have to secure insurance. Figure those costs. Then it would also need fresh fuel. Then you’d have to check the tires. KABOOM! if those tires are messed up. (Hospital/Doctor’s visit costs? Pain and suffering?). You’ll need to do a thorough check front to rear, top to bottom. Don’t mess around. Just get it towed to your mechanic. He’ll do a thorough inspection and let you know what the vehicle needs. Battery? Most likely. Figure that into your up-front costs, too. Then while the mechanic is getting 'er up and running, you can use some of that time to get it registered and insured. After he checks everything out and has done whatever repairs might be needed, he’ll most likely slap an inspection sticker on it if he’s a certified State inspection station. Figure that into your up-front costs, too. Remember Murphy’s Law if you try to do this yourself. A year and a half of sitting isn’t that critical, but again I ask, why take any chances?

Thanks to everyone for their input. I will have it towed to my mechanic this weekend. I showed all the responses to my wife, and we decided we will find our daughter a more suitable car when we can.