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Worthiness of car that's been sitting

A family member is offering (for free)an older diesel Mercedes to my soon to be driving son, that hasn’t been driven and has been sitting outdoors for over a year. It did run fine prior to them not using it any longer–just needed a wheel alignment. Not sure if it’s worth pursuing this or if too many components will need to be repaired. what should i be aware of?

Not knowing where the car has sat makes a difference in the ability to answer properly.

Hot or humid climate, or wet and cold climate?

Sitting on the tires or up on blocks?

We need more info from you as to the complete identity of the vehicle (year/model/engine size and mileage) and what was done before being left to sit.

The older MB diesel’s were pretty reliable, lasted a long time, and were very slow. All positives for a teen driver. I don’t think diesel fuel deteriorates over time as gasoline does. Check the car for infestation of mice, critters, insects, etc. If the interior didn’t get wet it should be OK. Clean all the gunk from the vents under the front windshield and make sure the drains for rain water aren’t clogged.

A year of little to no driving isn’t that long. The battery maybe shot, and fluids like oil, coolant, transmission fluid, and brake fluids may need changing. With a charged battery it might just fire right up.

If you and your teen aren’t familiar with diesels you should do a little research on how they need to be driven and maintained. If the owner’s manual is available read it over carefully. The most critical item is to be sure to use the correct diesel fuel and absolutely NO GASOLINE ever in the fuel tank.

These were nice cars for wealthy people who could afford to maintain them. Even little things can be shockingly expensive. Like replacing the power steering belt. The year of outdoor neglect in itself is not a big problem. Check for rust in the foot-wells…

You need to drive it in normal traffic your son will encounter, see if it’s up to the task. Which model, exactly?

Thanks for responding. No Calif valley climate-so hot and relatively dry in the summer and not so wet the last couple winters. The car is parked on the tires and I am working on getting the actual model, mileage, etc. The car was just driven to its location and left to sit, not sure why they didn’t just sell it since they didn’t need it anymore.

thanks for the info. It doesn’t sound like too bad of an idea. I will definitely have a mechanic check it over to make sure I won’t have to sink more than what’s reasonable into it.

I know what you mean. I used to have a Volvo and every little thing seemed to cost a fortune. Thanks for the input, I appreciate it .

In this case the maintenance expense could become a educational opportunity for the new driver.

my teen son learned on an 82 300 sd ie oler body , 5 banger
when your mech check make sure frame is sound , hard to due unless on a lift
because of the heavey under coating , may look ok , may be ready to turn to dust…
if 5 plug it in at thing like cold weather, if newer 6 banger ( have one now) not unless below zero . alway good to have portable battery jumper pack in trunk really get one… and keep it charged it will save you from a trip to save his/her stranded but… remember… GLOW PLUGS first!!!