I am in the military and I’ve been deployed for the past year and will soon be returning back to the States. My vehicle has been sitting in a secured storage lot, outdoors in the lovely Pacific Northwest. Before I left, I disconnected the battery and left just a couple of gallons of gas in the tank. Since it hasn’t been driven for about a year, what process would you recommend I follow when I finally start her up?
The battery will probably be dead due to self discharge. Sulfonation will have taken place if it has been allowed to remain discharged and the battery will never work well again, even after it’s charged. Plan on getting a new one.
You didn’t mention fuel stabilizer, so assume the fuel is nasty. A fresh tank of gas will dilute it enough to run, but it may take a little more effort to start it for a while. If it’s really bad, you might have to purge some fuel out of the fuel rail, but modern sealed fuel systems are not as susceptible to varnishing like older open systems were.
Tires need to be aired up to pressure. Don’t forget to check the spare.
Check for signs of vermin, especially around the fresh air intake of the air conditioner/heater blower. If a rodent nest is in there, get it before turning the fan on.
After you start it up, run it about a hundred miles and change the oil.
Check for standing water from condensation in the trunk or tire well.
The wipers will be trash. Replace them or you’ll wish you did first time it rains.
Make sure your paperwork and license plate are up to date. That should do you. It’ll be good to have you back. Welcome home, soldier.
I will not try to improve on boddgagger’s comments.
I just wanted to thank you for your service.
Agree; you’ll likely need a new battery, and I would syphon out the old gas and fill the tank with high-test. After doing all the checks advised by Bodybagger, I would carefully try to start it and not drive very fast initially. Getting the oil to circulate properly in the engine is the most important.
The battery may or may not survive…Try to charge it. If it was fairly new, it should be OK…For sure, get 10 gallons of fresh fuel in there BEFORE you try and start it. What kind of a vehicle is it?