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Vehicle stored a long time

If you have a Van, etc. that has been setting for 4-years (3yrs.since last time it ran) Does the transmission usually last that long without going to pot? AND does that gas additive “Stable?” keep the gas good for that long???

Thanks, Randy

If you start it up the transmission will probably leak transmission fluid because the seals get hard and brittle from sitting that long. The transmission can last that long as long as there is no moisture in it.

I can not respond to the the Gas additive.

Sta-Bil will only keep gas from going bad for 18 months tops.


Automatic or manual?

The transmission itself won’t go bad, but the gaskets and seals may dry out and begin leaking when you try to put the van back into service. Indoor storage is better than outdoor storage.

I don’t think fuel stabilizer is meant for storage more than 12-18 months.

18 months under most any conditions. 48 months, maybe under ideal conditions. Modern fuels seem to last longer than then did back in the 60 and 70’s, but four years is asking a lot. Maybe Randy will get lucky.

Year, make model?? Fuel injected vehicles do better than carburetors after a long lay-up…I would siphon out a sample of the gasoline and look at it and smell it. It should be almost clear and smell like gasoline, not old paint thinner with a dark orange color…Gasoline holds up better in a cold climate than a hot one…

Tom and Ray: The lady who called in from Boston had a query today about leaving a vehicle under snow for the duration of the winter. My experience: In the late seventies, I received a wonderful gift from my parents of a new Lancia Fulvia Coupe (five smooth forward gears, even got me to the hospital in advanced labor with #1 child, the very best car I ever had – sold it four times its purchase price ten years later). My Lancia had to endure a Johannesburg icy winter one/two/three/ four years in a row. My Mom sewed a car-sized heavy plastic ‘shower-cap’ that fit over the car including wheels. A snap to cover and easy to remove and get started again. Apparently, one can buy these protective “shower caps” for cars online these days. Please pass this along to the Boston lady. Lots of love and best wishes for the New Year to you both. My Saturday is never complete without you guys. Jenny in Manhattan.