Old Gas (Car in Storage)

I have been out of the country for almost a year. Since I left, my car has been in storage (well it has been in my garage) and has not been driven. When I come back, in a couple of months, will I be able to drive the car without any problem or will I have to have the car towed, the gas drained and the fuel tank replaced?

That depends on whether or not you added fuel stabilizer before you parked the car, and how much gasoline is in the tank. With stabilizer and a full tank you should have no problems. Without stabilizer, and/or with the tank only partially full, you may have a few problems.

You certainly should have added a fuel stabilizer before you stored it. There are a number of steps you should take when storing a car for over a few weeks.

Depending on many factors like temperature the amount of fuel in the tank and the specific chemical makeup and age of the gas you may have no problems, minor or big problems now.

You may also have problems with the battery, brakes (if you left the parking brakes on) tyres (flat spots and low pressure) animal damage etc.

I forgot to add: you can put off draining the fuel and try starting it to see what happens. If the fuel is now too old, it will need to be drained. How ever I suspect it will be OK

I didn’t add a fuel stabilizer to it and I honestly cannot remember how much gas is in the car. I didn’t do anything to the car expect park it in my garage. I wouldn’t have thought there would be any problem, because I have left a previous car for at least that long. But, I happend to be watching a car show that talked about car storage. Now i’m really worried. I don’t know if it matters, but the car is a 2002 ford taurus. The gas that is in the car was bought at most a week before I went away.

I would certainly make an attempt to start the car as-is rather than to take any drastic initial action. Naturally you will have a fresh battery on hand.

I recommend having handy a spray can of Quick-Start or equivalent. Your major hurdle will be that initial firing up. Once you get the engine to run you should have no further problem beyond maybe a slight roughness.

If possible, have someone add a bottle of stabilizer now, and charge up the battery and take a look at the tires. One year is usually OK for gasoline unless the car is stored in a very hot climate.