New car on the dealers lot for a long time

I just bought a new 2008 Ford Explorer Limited. It had about 100 miles on the odometer when it was delivered. In digging around under the seats, I found what looks like the “build list” from the assembly line. The car was manufactured on 6/27/2007 as a 2008 model according to the paper.

If the car has spent 14 months on the dealer lot, do I need to worry about changing any of the fluids right away?

No, don’t change a thing until needed.

If you do an average amount of in-town/highway driving, I wouldn’t worry about it. However, you can consider doing maintenance in accordance with the severe service schedule to counter-balance the extra time. Another choice is to do the first maintenance services using the time vs miles maintenance schedule using the 14 months as a component. After that, you can use your normal driving patterns to determine which maintenance schedule to use.

I would agree with that; the uncontaminated fluids do not really deteriorate if the car just sits there. However as an initial move, use the severe service, with the time schedule rather than mileage.

No, 14 months of sitting with a brand new car is not the same as 14 months of driving with a few thousand miles. The only fluid that deteriorates by itself with time is gasoline, and you’re already ‘changing out’ that fluid.

The only thing I can think of is the brake rotors may have gotten excessively rusty. So there is a possibility that the dealer has turned the rotors. This may or may not cause problems with the brakes in the future.

I’ve never heard of a dealer turning the brake rotors on a car for sale, unless it is a used car. Most new car dealer prep is washing and little else.

Thanks! I appreciate the viewpoints!


Biggest concern would be flat spots on the tires – if it rides rough you may want to negotiate for new tires. Old gas sitting in the tank could also be a problem – you may want to add a can of BG 44K and fill the tank.

Just my thoughts,

How does the date on the “build list” compare to the build date shown on the sticker/plate near the vehicle’s door latch?

Pay attention the the A/C compressor. The seals dry out when the unit is not run. I bought a Taurus in the late 80’s that had been on th elot for quite a while. When the A/C started to leak, I tried to help the Dealer make the right diagnosis. They didn’t want to listen. It almost cost Ford a new car (lemon law). Don’t demand that the dealer change the seals, just be aware that they might fail prematurely.