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How to Start a Car That Has Been Kept in Storage

Do you spend the majority of the year in another state or traveling for business? Peterson Toyota of Sarasota’s service center will assist with all of your automotive needs, and provide service tips like starting your car after it was in storage. Give us a call if you have any additional questions.

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Tips to Starting Your Car That Was Kept in Storage

Whether you travel a lot, only spend the summers in Florida, or you don’t drive a lot, Peterson Toyota of Sarasota has a guide to how to start a car after it’s been in storage.

Inspect & Replace

The service needed is dependent on how long your car has been in storage. So, if your car spent years in storage, you will need to drain, bleed, and flush all fluid systems. Then you must refill them to the required levels.

However, if you only spent only spend the summer months in Florida, then you will need a complete oil and filter change, and you will have to drain any gas in the tank and carburetor float bowls. Inspect the other fluids and fill them to the correct levels. Don’t forget to add air to your tires!

Before you store your car for an extended amount of time, disconnect, remove, and store the car’s battery in a safe spot away from moisture. When you get back, you can clean the battery posts and terminals with baking soda and a water solution. Next, give the battery a charge, reinstall it, and then you’re good to drive it around Venice!

If you kept the battery in, it’s likely you will need to purchase a new battery and install it with new cables.

Prepping for Ignition

If you keep your vehicle in storage for more than 90 days, it’s best to remove the spark plugs and introduce a type of lubricant like Marvel Mystery Oil into the cylinders. Spark plugs fire in a specific order, so make sure you label each plug wire before you remove them. Inspect each and replace any plugs that look corroded, white, or oily.

Using your key, turn the engine over multiple times so the oil can lubricate the cylinder walls, as well as prime the oil and fuel pumps. Keep doing this until the oil pressure gauge is normal and the oil pressure light goes out. Then put the spark plugs and leads back in the right spot.

Final Inspections

Before hitting the Port Charlotte roadways, there are few service tasks to complete: replace the air filter cover, check the transmission fluid level, and look underneath the vehicle for any leaking fluids. Then, turn the engine off. Check the hoses for dry rot and the belt for any cracks or if they need tightening.

Other things to inspect:

  • Suspension: Inspect for any worn or loose ball joints, deteriorated bushings, leaks at the shocks, rusted shafts, and missing or broken bump stops.
  • Brakes: Inspect the friction linings, rotors, and drums. The wheel cylinders and calipers could get corroded and leak, so keep an eye out for these things.
  • Running Lights: With some help, check headlights, brake lights, high beams, and turn signals to make sure everything is functioning. If needed, replace any blown fuses and inspect it again.

You’re now ready to hit the Port Charlotte roads! While you’re driving home, listen for any noises or rattles, while keeping an eye on the gauges. You can bring your car into our Sarasota service center to make sure it’s running in top condition.

Have Your Vehicle Inspected at Peterson Toyota of Sarasota

If you would prefer to have a professional inspect your vehicle, you can trust the factory-trained technicians at the Peterson Toyota of Sarasota service center. Browse our available service specials and coupons so you can save on your next visit. Give us a call today with questions about starting your car that has been in storage or to schedule an appointment.

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    (941) 924-7700

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    7435 S Tamiami Trail • Sarasota, FL 34231

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    Peterson Toyota of Sarasota

    7435 S Tamiami Trail Sarasota, FL

    Phone: (941) 924-7700


    Phone: (941) 925-2886

    7435 S Tamiami Trail Sarasota, FL


    Phone: (941) 924-7700

    7435 S Tamiami Trail Sarasota, FL


    Phone: (941) 924-7700

    7435 S Tamiami Trail Sarasota, FL
    27.247252 -82.510502
    [schema type="organization" orgtype="LocalBusiness" url="" name="Peterson Toyota of Sarasota" description="" street="7435 S Tamiami Trail" city="Sarasota" state="FL" postalcode="34231" country="USA" email="" phone="(941) 924-7700" logo=""]
    Peterson Toyota of Sarasota
    Peterson Toyota of Sarasota
    7435 S Tamiami Trail
    Sarasota, FL, 34231 USA
    (941) 924-7700
    Peterson Toyota of Sarasota 27.247252, -82.510502.