Car sitting for 3 years


My daughters 1991 Honda Civic with auto transmission has not been started for 3 years. There is a mechanic 1 mile from where the car sits. Is it ok to start it and drive it or do I risk permanent damage if I do this? Should I change the oil and filter and what about the rest of the fluids?


I would squirt about a teaspoon of oil in each spark plug hole and replace the plugs and wires. Then pull the fuel pump fuse so it won’t start. Then crank it for ~10 seconds to spread the oil on the cylinder walls and pump oil into the galleries, replace the fuse and start it up. Of course the battery needs to be in good shape and charged. It might run crappy due to stale gas.


I would suggest that, after adding the oil to each cylinder but before cranking the engine, you turn the engine over by hand a couple of times. This will help to minimize any chance of scoring the cylinder walls.


The only thing the mechanic is going to do is check the fluid levels and the quality of the fuel, and you can do that yourself. Don’t waste your money on a mechanic who can tell you things you can find out for yourself. Just make sure that the oil levels are right and that critters haven’t chewed on wires or have nested. If the car starts then the fuel is fine, or it will run well enough to get to a gas station.
You are really asking this question three years too late. There are some simple things you could have done to make you sure the car would start three years later.
It will also be a good idea to make sure that there are no dry-rot cracks in the tires.


the cars 17 years old!so just charge the battery and see if it will start.the oil will circulate after a few seconds cranking,so dont worry.

Three years is a long time for a car to sit.  Frankly if it had been known it was going to sit that long, the best bet would have been to sell it and they buy a new car.  The fuel is likely to be bad after all that time.  Don't be surprised if you need to have some work done due to the fuel going bad.  

Having said that, there are times that even after that long, people are able to start the car and drive right off without a problem.  Follow the other advice you have received and good luck.