Q: Car has sat for three years.

asked by on January 14, 2016

My car has sat in the driveway for three years without starting. What do I need to do before I can start it?

Car is not starting Inspection $79.99 - $89.99 Get a Quote

Assuming the vehicle didn’t have any problems before it was parked, the only thing you will probably need to get it started is a battery. The battery will definitely be dead and most likely require replacement. Before you drive the vehicle, check all of the fluids and make sure they are full. Check the tires and tire pressures as well. I suggest you have a trained professional, such as one from YourMechanic, give you vehicle a checkup before you hit the open road.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

What others are asking

I put in a new starter and battery and my Jeep will not start. Please help me get my Jeep to start.

Hi there. Check to see if the wiring to the battery and the starter are tight and clean. A bad connection will cause a no start situation. If the battery cables and wires are all tight and clean, then go...

Battery dead after car sat for one month

Hi there. It sounds like the battery has an internal short. I would replace the battery. I would also make sure that the connections at the battery cables are clean and tight. If they are loose at all, then the...

Ignition not turning.

Sometimes the steering wheel is in a bind and will not let you turn the key. Try and move the steering wheel back and forth while turning the key. If this does not work then try a different key if...

What would cause coolant to be splashed on the engine and you hear a air sound while the car is running?

Hello, thank you for writing in. The first component that comes to mind is the water pump. It is one of the most common places to develop a leak. It may also spray out of that area, or drip down...

I replaced 2 spark plugs in cylinder 5 to fix a misfire.

Leaking valve covers on this engine allow oil down into the spark plug recesses as you note. Besides shorting the plug, the oil degrades the boot portion of the coil which plugs onto the spark plug, creating other opportunities for...

Car overheating and not starting.

If the engine has been overheating and got hot enough then you may have caused some serious engine damage causing the engine to no longer start. If it did not get too hot then these may be separate issues. When...

Remote start stopped working and check engine light went on.

Hi there. The codes are referring that that both banks on the engine are reading a lean condition. For a lean condition to occur, the fuel system is not functioning properly. Check the fuel pump, fuel pump relay, and the...

Erratic RPMs, 1995 BMW 318is

Hello there, there are a few possible causes for your 1995 BMW 318is to have a fluctuation in the RPM's. The most common are a vacuum leak, oxygen sensor, throttle sensor, exhaust leak, or the fuel pump. I recommend have...

My 745li won't stay in gear.

Hi there. The computer (ECM) is locking out the transmission from engaging a drive mode. When this happens, something inside the transmission has failed, like a solenoid or the pump pressure is low. Check the transmission fluid and make sure...

Related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Ignition Switch
If your car cannot start, starts but quickly dies, or has electrical components that stopped working, you may have to replace the ignition switch.
How Does a Starter Motor Work?
When you turn the key in your car’s ignition, the engine turns over and then cranks. However, getting it to crank...
What Are the Best Spark Plugs for Normal Use?
Spark Spark plugs are essential components of your ignition system. They’re responsible for supplying the spark that ignites fuel and starts the combustion process. However, not all spark plugs are created equal. You’ll find “normal” plugs on the market, but...