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Starting a car that has been sitting for almost a year

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A friend of mine recently got back from college out of town and left his car here... now he's here to stay and wants to run it again. It's a 1996 Oldsmobile 88 3.8L Series II (Naturally Aspirated) with the 4T60E Transmission with 180K. It's been parked on a quiet street but has been exposed to the fury of -50 degree weather. There were no mechanical problems or otherwise when he parked it in August. I've been making a laundry list of stuff that needs to be done to run it after a cold Canadian winter outside. I think he should just get a new car considering how much a lot of this is going to cost in my head, but he's adamant about driving the car.

So far I've come up with some problems and stuff that would need to be done

Laundry List:

-Oil Change + Filter

-Brake Fluid Flush


-Drain Gas Tank

-Re-Inflate Tires to proper pressure (they still hold air)

-Relubricate Top End

-Check Spark Plugs

-Check Steering and Transmission Fluid

-Coolant Flush

-Full Inspection for Rust on Frame and Critical Parts

-Inspect all belts and pulleys

Potential Problems: (in my mind)

-Rear Brake Drums have the potential to be rusted on

-Could be a problem with the transmission's park linkage

-Parking Brake should be checked

-Bearings will probably need re-lubing

-Mice are a possibility but not rats (Alberta is a rat free province though)

Am I missing anything? Any Pointers?

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  • 1 month later...

Actually fresh gas is not a bad idea, as the lighter hydrocarbons will evaporate off and the car will not run as well until it gets fresh fuel.

And I agree with DF, Dave, and WMJ. GM cars can suffer all kinds of abuse and just keep on running . List seems way overboard.


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