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Removal from long-term storage

I am going to receive a car that has been in storage for over two years. It was not prepared for storage in any way. It is a very low mileage (15,000) '92 Honda Accord. What are the steps needed to safely return this vehicle to service?

The first thing you need to find out is the condition of the gasoline in the gas tank. Remove the gas cap and take a sniff of the odor coming out of the gas tank. If it smells like gasoline you’ll probably be good to go. If it has a rancid or a varnish odor then the gas tank will have to be drained and cleaned along with the rest of the fuel system.

If you don’t know the last time the brake fluid was changed you’ll want to bleed the entire brake system.

You should remove the spark plugs and squirt some fogging oil into the cylinders so prevent a dry start at the cylinders.

Then it’s just a matter of inspecting the different systems such as brakes and the cooling system for leaks.


Following what Tester said, if you can siphon out a small sample of the gasoline and look at it, smell it…It should be almost clear…Most unleaded regular is a very light green color…If your looks more orange, especially a deeper orange or brown, then the fuel system must be cleaned and flushed before any starting attempt is made…Modern cat-cracked gasoline degrades over time…Few batteries can survive sitting for two years, they go dead and then sulfate…So perhaps a new battery. Check the tire pressure and replace any that went flat…

Should you decide the gas is okay, at least fill the tank with premium fuel to dilute the existing fuel…

This car shgould be TOWED or TRAILERED into a good shop, don’t try to startt it where it is now.

The low mileage means that most components will still be OK, but, as suggested, you can’t take the brakes for granted. Tester outlined a good checklist.

When properly restored to run this vehicle will have a lot of good miles left on it!

You had better figure on a timing belt job also.

If the fuel system has the old house paint or varnish smell to it due to stale gasoline you might consider the fuel pump part of that equation.
Often what happens is that the pump may work fine for a while and then go belly up on you.

Should you decide the gas is okay, at least fill the tank with premium fuel to dilute the existing fuel… (Caddyman}

Why Premium Fuel?