Indy Auto Man
Indy Auto Man
Closed. Opens Monday at 9:00 AM
Closed. Opens Monday at 9:00 AM

How to Safely Start a Car After Sitting Idle

how to start a car after a long time idling | Indy Auto Man, Indianapolis

How Do I Start My Car After a Long Time Idling?

The most vital question for a driver who gets behind the wheel of a car after several months is whether it will start. But even if the engine still runs, this idling time may lead to unfortunate consequences. Check the recommendations from our Indianapolis chief serviceman to find out how to bring your car to life without harming the core systems.

What Happens If a Vehicle Is Not Used for Months?

what happens to the vehicle if it is not used

By and large, with careful preparation, nothing wrong will happen after a couple of months of idling, for example, with a convertible at seasoned storage . But there are a few weak points – systems that can suffer from downtime:

  • hydraulics;
  • pneumatics;
  • electrics.

And the issues may not show up right away.

When it comes to a rarity forgotten for decades, there is no way trying to revive it immediately: you need an inspection of all systems. Actually, to a certain extent, this also applies to fresh specimens.

The Battery Is Probably Dead

The maximum time a new battery may save energy to start the engine is six months. At low temperatures, the battery life is reduced to a month or even a week in severe frost. Therefore, while you deal with other systems, put the battery on charge or buy a new one in advance.

Tires Will Need Pumping

Even fresh tires can lose up to 15 psi in six months, that is, to lower pressure by half. So, if you are going to a parking lot or a garage to reanimate an abandoned vehicle, take a foot tire pump with you if you don’t keep one in the car .

If you neglect the tire pressure and drive several miles on half-flat wheels, the tire will overheat, the carcass may peel off the rubber in places, and the tires will fail.

Attention to Technical Fluids

fluids to check before starting the engine

Before trying to start the engine, it is necessary to check the level of:

  • engine oil;
  • brake fluid;
  • power steering fluid;
  • transmission oil level;
  • coolant in the expansion tank.

A drop in level or an empty tank will indicate leaks in pipes, gaskets, seals, etc. Also, if possible, inspect the radiator and cooling system pipelines for leaks on them. Sometimes after idling for too long, the car reanimation does not worth the efforts. If you feel it is your case, check our assortment and buy a car in good condition right now!

Grab a Can of Fuel

If the vehicle has been standing for a long time, does not start, or does it reluctantly, remember how old the gasoline is in its tank. The fact is that even in half a year, flammable fractions can evaporate from the fuel, which affects the starting qualities of the engine. Such gasoline or diesel should be replaced or generously diluted with a fresh portion.

On an older car, inactivity can accelerate the aging of fuel lines, especially gasoline ones. Therefore, after ten minutes of running the engine, pay attention to whether there is a smell of fuel. Perhaps the dry rubber hoses and joint seals cracked from vibration and could not withstand the pressure. The problem with carburetor engines is the fuel pump valve drying. To revive them, you need to moisten them with gasoline.

Hydraulics Malfunction Is Highly Possible

Hydraulics will hardly fail in a few months, but the brake and clutch actuators may lose their tightness in a few years of inactivity. To a lesser extent, this applies to power steering.

If the car has been sitting for years, check the levels in the hydraulic drives reservoirs. Make sure there are no spots on the pipelines and at the joints, at least in the visible places of the hoses. Check the operation of the brakes, clutch, and steering before starting.

Clutch Issues

In a car with a manual transmission , clutch discs sometimes stick together after prolonged inactivity. The clutch does not open, and you can’t turn on any gear.

There are several ways to overcome this problem. The most accessible for an inexperienced driver:

  • in a flat-free area, start a warm engine in first gear;
  • go and gradually accelerate and slow down, pressing the clutch pedal from time to time.

By loading the transmission in this way, you can hope to separate the discs. In critical situations, call the servicemen, like Indy Auto Man in Indianapolis. Sometimes, it’s much cheaper and safer to gain professional support from the service center instead of severely damaging the car. Or just trade it in and buy a used vehicle in just-like-new condition with no headache. Get your trade-in estimation right now!

Lighting Engineering

The contacts of the light bulbs in the headlights and lanterns sometimes oxidize. Before leaving, you need to check the operation of all lighting devices.

Rubber Needs Restoring

If the car was stored outdoors, all exposed rubber parts should be treated with a special preparation – a rubber restorer. It will return elasticity to the material and extend the life of the parts.

How to Start the Engine After Idling

how to start the engine after idling

if you are reanimating a car with a manual transmission, our recommendations boil down to the following:

  • Use a high-capacity battery. Before starting the engine, you need to turn on the high beam headlights for 5 seconds. So you can warm up the electrolyte. And the battery will start working at full strength.
  • Press the clutch before starting the engine. Then the load from the crankshaft will decrease. When the engine warms up, you need to release the pedal with a smooth movement. If there is a push, then press it again.
  • Turn a starter in no more than 10 seconds. Leave 15-second intervals between attempts. Prolonged rotation will drain the battery.
  • Before turning the key, pump fuel with the gas pedal.

Finally, if you managed to start the engine and can drive the car, we advise you to take it to the nearest service station for complete technical inspection and maintenance. In Indianapolis, you can always schedule a visit to Indy Auto Man .

Is It Bad for the Engine to Idle for Long Periods of Time?

sell a used car in Indianapolis

Most car systems and components require a regular operation. The engine is no exception. You should warm up the car and drive at least a couple of miles a week. Thus, you will restore the performance of consumables and prevent the aging and corrosion of parts.

But if you do not need the vehicle anymore, and it is idle more time than you drive it, get our firm offer online right now , and sell your car before it depreciates!