Car Sitting for Months

I am stationed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and I have an '07 Eclipse with an engine that was kept in great condition. Just under 75,000 miles on it that was supposed to be taken care of buy my wife. Long story short she lost the key I got impounded for being parked illegally. Now my car is in storage and has been sitting there not being driven since the end of October/ early november 2014 close to 5 months now. I know I need a new battery and an oil change for sure. I have been told I would also need an engine flush, is that true? I will be going back to the states soon and would like to take care of my car. What all would I need to get my car up and running?

The battery will likely be discharged, but not completely dead. 5 months you should be ok to just fire it up and go. An oil change is a good idea pretty soon after you get it running. I don’t see any need for any kind of flushing. The only real issue is the condition of the gas. A fuel stabilizer would have been a good idea before you deployed, but 5 months isn’t that long - so I think the gas is OK. I’d top off the tank with fresh gas asap and put some miles on the car in the 1st couple of weeks to run the old gas out of the tank.

When you go to get the car a good jumper box maybe all you need. A fresh fully charged battery would be a good idea. Some cars will fire up after 5 months with no problem, others not. So, you just takes your chances and have a plan in case the battery is toast.

Oh, welcome home and thanks for your service and sacrifice for our country.

+1 to @Uncle Turbo, agree completely.

Also thanks for your service and sacrifice and welcome home!

+2 for Uncle Turbo and another thanks from me for serving your country. That service and sacrifice is appreciated far more than you will ever know.

Yep plus 3. Its not all that long but long enough for the battery to go dead.

Uncle Turbo pretty much nailed it… Just get a new battery and fill the tank with fresh fuel. Cars are not as sensitive to fuel destabilization as motorcycles are…so dont worry about it. NO MOTOR FLUSHING AT ALL…THATS TOTAL BS… Just fill the tank…new batt…and off you go. Change the oil after running her for a day or two…and all will be fine… Uncle Turbo is steering you right… You should be A-OK. Also thank you for your Service.


I have left my car unused for much longer than this and started it up without even a jump. Of course I disconnected the negative terminal of the battery first. I’ll bet you don’t need anything but air in the tires and a jump. Check the other fluids, of course. I’ve never flushed the engine in 17 years.

The vehicle is going to need a new battery.

I had a vehicle at the shop for only 6 weeks while hunting down a transmission for it. And in those six weeks the battery barely started the engine.

And it’s been warm in Minnesota.


To do best by your car, don’t simply drive it away from the storage area, even if it starts right up. Instead remove and charge up the battery for 12-24 hours with a battery charger at the low (2 amps) setting. In the meantime check the levels and appearance of the major fluids, esp the oil, coolant, power steering, brakes, and transmission fluid. If they look serviceable but are low, top them up first. And check to make sure all the parts are still there and that the wheels and tires are in good shape & securely mounted, the lug nuts tightened to the appropriate torque. And clean the windshield and put in WW washer fluid if necessary. Once the battery is fully charged, install it and hopefully the car will start right up and run fine. Good idea to drive it gently for the first few miles, use surface streets, not the freeways if you can. You may notice some weird sensation from the tires due to flat spots having formed, but that should go away over some miles driven.

I too thank your for your service. I only wish you didn’t have to worry about stuff like this while serving your country. Ask your buddies if they think you might could get your impound fees back if you presented your case to a judge.

Ya know I think cars sit on dealer lots for months, I went on a 6 month tour in europe, left my old pickup in a storage yard, now I am smarter sometimes than I was then, but had no other expectation that i would start it up and drive out of there, and that was the case (but it did smell a little funky). Sure now I would have other suggestions, but cannot deny my leave it blowit and go worked. ps I had everything I owned at the time in that old pickup truck, bed, table, triumph motorcycle, chairs, any one else remember when everything you need could fit in a pickup truck with a camper top?