Having Trouble Starting a Stored Car? See How to Fix It

Starting a stored car

Picture this: the warming weather and shining sun pair with a light breeze, and you’re ready to get your classic car out on the road for a midday cruise. However, when a car sits idle in a garage or lot for months, or even years, chances are it won’t start up right away. To maintain the quality and functionality of your vehicle, it’s important that you take certain measures before attempting to turn the key in the ignition. In the content below, we discuss a few tips to follow if you’re having trouble starting a stored car.

Where to Begin: Assess and Modify the Car’s Current State

Before anything else, answer this question: How long has the car been sitting? If your best guess is a few years, then you should drain, flush, and replace all vehicle fluids. This includes gas, oil, engine coolant, and windshield wiper, blinker, and brake fluid. If your car has only been idle since the winter season, your vehicle simply needs an oil change, gas drain, and starting fluid. Overall, be sure to restore all fluids to the proper levels and fill the tires with the appropriate amount of air.

Next, it’s important to change the battery and bleed the brakes. If you properly stored your car, the battery should have been removed. You can clean the battery’s posts and terminal, and then charge and reinstall it. If the battery was not removed and still rests in your car, the safest option is to buy a new battery and install it with new cables.

How to Continue: Examine the Car’s Spark Plugs

Once you cover all the basics, move onto examining the spark plugs. First, remove the spark plugs and label them; spark plugs fire in a specific order, so you must ensure that each plug returns to the correct cylinder. Then, lubricate the cylinders. While the plugs are removed, turn the key in the ignition a few times. Doing so helps oil up the cylinder walls along with the oil and fuel pumps. Then, you can go ahead and reinstall the spark plugs. However, if the spark plugs look either oily or corroded, it’s best to buy some new ones.

Final Check: Start Your Car

After completing all necessary changes and reinstallations, your car is now ready to go! As you start it, keep in mind to neither shift the gear into reverse nor rev the engine. Allow the car to idle for a few minutes and warm up. While doing so, check the transmission fluid levels and look under the car in search of any leaks.

After a few minutes, turn the engine off for a final inspection. Examine your hoses for dry rot and inspect the belts for any signs of wearing or cracking. Then, thoroughly check your brakes, wheel cylinders, and all headlights for full functionality.

Now you’re finally good to go! Head out for a short, celebratory drive, return home, and recheck all systems to ensure that there is still nothing wrong.

Car Won’t Start After Storing? Let Wrecktify Collision Get it Going

If you tried all of the above and your car still fails to start, Wrecktify Collision and Restoration can help! Our experts will examine your car to determine why it won’t start and will repair or replace any necessary parts.

Is your previously stored car a classic, prized possession? We also offer classic car restoration so your “first love” can be restored to its original glory. Please contact us if you need help starting a stored car, want to explore our restoration services, or if your car needs collision repairs.