Engine failed while stored in rural area for 6 weeks

We were traveling for an extended time period after selling our house. A friend in a rural area was keeping car and went to periodically start and my 2014 Explore would not start. It was towed to a dealer who says I need a new engine. The car had been to that same dealer 6 weeks prior for an oil change. Does not make sense to me. Can an engine fail for being dormant 6 weeks? Is it possible it is something else?

They must have provided an explanation of how the engine failed?


Doesn’t make sense to me either,
What was the mileage on the last oil change ?
What is the current mileage ?

Do those numbers match up to what miles you put on the car in the short time before being stored ?

Yes mileage was just under 81K and it has about 300 miles more now.

No they are not aware of what could have caused it.

Caused what?


Engine failure

Caused what? What was the nature of the failure? Crankshaft seized? Broken piston? Coolant loose due to overheating?

At this point I am still away so just talked to dealer rep yesterday. They are not aware of the cause to date but I will press them on this. Is nature of failure always apparent? They pretty much ruled everything out but mechanical. That is all they told me.


Any mechanic worth their salt can easily determine what failed in the engine.

What caused the failure isn’t always apparent.



Will be sure to press them on this.

I do not know what caused the engine to fail, but it wasn’t 6 weeks of storage. Unless it was stored underwater or something crazy. Maybe the dealer will clarify next time you talk to them.


I thought it bizarre.

What needs to be known is why the engine has allegedly failed. Just because it won’t start does not mean the engine is bad and IMO they should have given you a reason already. An oil change 300 miles previously raises a few possibilities…

Just curious, since the engine can’t fail while sitting and if the engine is indeed bad then where is the friend in all of this?
They put 300 miles on it so that means if the engine failed they must have had it towed. What do they say happened?


Or, has the OP considered the possibility that her car was not merely “started”, and that someone–not necessarily the rural friend–drove the vehicle and trashed the engine with some wild driving?

Did the OP carefully note the odometer reading prior to leaving it in the care of that friend? If so, how does that compare with the current odometer reading?


You tried to start it. In person? You had it towed via flat bed? It is awd? Motor will crank at dealer? 14’ explorer? Miles?

The vehicle owner did not try to start this thing , the people who are letting it set on their property did. The owner is still out of town so since it is out of warranty they need to have it towed to an independent shop that will give them real info or even back to the storage place untill they can deal with this in person.

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Friend that was storing it tried to start. Yes it was towed via flat bed and it it is AWD with 81K miles.
It does crank. Any thoughts?

I drove the 300 miles after oil change. Friend was just letting car stay on property and not using the car but just starting every few weeks. What are some of the possibilities referenced in oil change just 300 miles previously?

At least it’s not a 2013 Audi A8. They are touchy.
81k mile should not be worn out.

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