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Idle vehicle for 2 + years

When I return home, I have a truck that has been sitting in the rain literally (Juneau, AK) for 2 years. Should I have the vehicle taken to have all of the gas and oil removed and replaced before running the vehicle again?


How much gas is in the tank. Air space helps condensation (water in tank) my guess is your ok. Water shouldnt be able to get in the tank.Mayb some heet n fill it up. The oil i would run just long enough to warm it up and change it. My 2 cents…in Fairbanks

The gas will probably need to be replaced, and there may be problems with the fuel system. Was fuel stabilizer added before the truck was parked?

Since it’s in a damp atmosphere it would probably be a good idea to have the oil replaced, too. There’s probably water condensed in the engine, transmission, rear end, etc.

I’d want someone to check the brakes before I drove the truck. They may be rusted pretty badly.

Good luck.

I would recommend replacing the oil before attempting to start the vehicle.
If you start the engine to warm up the oil, any water and contaminates will then be circulated through the entire engine. This isn’t going to be a good thing.

I would also spray down the brake rotors and drums with brake cleaner before trying to break them free.

If the gas tank is mostly empty, just fill it up to dilute the fuel in there.
If its mostly full, drain as much as you can, and use it to start campfires for a while.
Make a nice bonfire, and give the astronauts something to see as they pass by you, if you’re feeling silly.


yes, do that, and it might not hurt to replace the coolant and the brake fluid either after such a long wet time out in the rain. Check the tires for rot, if there are cracks in the sides, replace them too. The battery might need to be charged and the water topped up in it, and the windshield washer filled, along with the clutch master resivoir if it has a manual. I wouldn’t worry too much about the pumpkin or the tranny, but it cant hurt to have them drained and the oil replaced after you get it running.

Thanks for the info. I have no idea how much gas was left in the tank or if there was any additive added at that time. I appreciate the input, and definitely helped me considered things like the brakes, the rear end, etc that would have escaped me.

Alaska’s cold climate may have preserved things, including the gas, so you may not have too much trouble…Siphon out a small sample of gasoline and take a look at it…If it still looks and smells like gasoline, it should be okay. The battery might even take a charge!

I concur with what Bladecutter and others have said, but I’d also add that you will likely need a new battery, and I would consider disabling the fuel system or ignition system and cranking the engine without starting it (with new oil in it) until the oil light goes out to pre-lubricate it.

I’d also consider changing the oil again after only a few hundred miles to get out any gunk/corrosion that has accumulated.

If the engine oil was clean when the vehicle was parked, it should be fine for the start-up at least… See what it looks like on the dip-stick…It might be worthwhile to remove the spark plugs and pour a tablespoon of motor oil in each cylinder and then crank the engine with the plugs out to distribute the oil and prevent a “dry start”…You can expect a bit of smoke when you fire it up…

It seems you weren’t the driver of this truck 2 years ago. If you don’t know about stabilizer in the gas, it likely didn’t get stabilizer in the gas. The chances the truck will start right up are slim to none.

First, the battery will be totally discharged. Whether it is dead or not depends on whether it takes and holds a charge. Plan to have a fresh fully charged battery with you when you go to start the truck. Or, put a battery charger on the truck for whatever time that charger says is needed to reach a full charge.

Next, oil in the spark plug holes is a good idea if you have access to tools. If a plug is very hard to reach just get a squirt of oil into the easy ones.

I doubt you’ll have water in either the gas or the oil. Whether the gas is good to go is questionable due to the time it has sat in the tank. I’d drain the gas tank and refill with 4 gallons of known fresh gas. Keep the other stuff. Once the truck is running you can add a gallon or two of the old gas to a 3/4 tank of good gas and get rid of the old gas in an enviornmentally safe manner.

I wouldn’t bother with an oil change before the initial start up. With a fresh battery and fresh gas it is time to see if it will fire up. If it starts and after a few minutes settles into a decently smooth idle, you should be good to go.

The brakes maybe “frozen” in place by rust. Put the truck in gear and see if it moves. It may take some revs for the brakes to break loose. You can try some rocking forward to reverse. Hopefully, the brakes will let you get rolling. Test the brakes at slow speed to make sure they work, you can expect scrapping noise at first.

Once on the road I’d get the oil changed, new coolant, new brake fluid, new trans fluid, new differential fluid, and new transfer case fluid. If it is fluid change it. Then monitor for oil use at every fill up for a few weeks.

If it doesn’t start you go with plan B which is a tow to a mechanic.