Long time no drive


Came back from a drive 18 months ago and haven’t driven the vehicle since. Nothing really wrong with the vehicle except the battery went dead from non-use.

Suggestions as to what would be needed to get the vehicle going if possible other then new battery. Does gas go bad?

Thank you


Yes, gas goes bad. If you won’t be driving for a few months you should add fuel stabilizer to the tank. You might get lucky and have no problems, or you might need to drain the tank and refill. The more fuel (and less air) in the tank the better off you will be.

Check the tires for cracking on the sidewalls, especially if they have lost a lot of pressure.

If the parking brake was set it may be rusted fast. Check the air cleaner box for rodent nests.

Check all fluid levels before you try starting it. If you want to be REALLY cautious you could remove the spark plugs and squirt a bit of oil into each cylinder, then turn the engine a few times to lube the cylinder walls, then reinstall the plugs and start the engine.


In nearly all cases you simply replace the battery, crank the engine for a minute or so, squirt in some QuickStart spray, and give a cheer as it fires right up. Then you can cautiously go about checking out the other systems, pumping the tires, and so on.

Sure you can make a production out of it, removing spark plugs and hand turning the engine and stuff. Suit yourself. My recommendation is to keep it simple at first and hope for the best.


It would help to know the year, make and model of the vehicle, since old carburated vehicles would motvate a different answer.

Yes, gas goes nbad, but I really don’t think 18 months should be a problem if the gas was fresh when it was parked unless the tank was low when it was parked. I’ve known of guys starting cars up that hadn’t beem run for that long and having no problems whatsoever.

I’d test the brakes out carefully before going too fast or far, however. I helped a friend who had parked a car in a damp spot under the trees for some months and the cooling vanes in the rotors had rotted so badly they actually caused the rotors to warp. Apparently dew must have been settling in the vanes that were at the top of the rotor.