Q: Need to get my car that's been sitting for 2 years legal.

asked by on

My car has been sitting for 2 years because I couldn't afford tags and insurance but now I am trying to get the car legal. It passed smog right before I stopped driving it but not sure what I need to do first to make it run smoothly. I need tags (and smog) within 2 days or it gets towed says my rental company because they noticed it having expired tags. What do I need to do first as in maintenance?
My car has an automatic transmission.

Buy a brand new battery that is fully charged prior to installation so that you do not needlessly load the alternator. Change the engine oil and filter. Ideally (but this is optional), you should pressurize the oil system prior to starting, otherwise you will be starting the engine essentially dry. If gasoline was left in the fuel tank for 2 years, the tank would have to be thoroughly drained (mandatory; it MUST be drained of all old gas). The fuel filter should be replaced and it is preferred to remove the fuel injectors from the fuel rail and send them to a lab such as Mr. Injector for ultrasonic cleaning on a machine (can be done "later" but the injectors could be partially blocked due to oxidized gas, varnish and gum deposits from the stale fuel). During such service, the filter baskets in the injectors are removed and replaced with new filters, and then injector output and spray pattern is measured and documented. The other major issue is typically rust and corrosion in the brake system causing the brakes to be at best sticky and, at worst, rusted shut. The brakes might need to be disassembled and restored. Those are the two principal problem areas, fuel and brakes. Additional faults could come into view once the vehicle is actually running. If you want the vehicle inspected for any and all deficiencies, right at your location, please request a vehicle inspection and the responding certified mechanic will address all of your concerns and get the car running for you once it is determined exactly what services will be immediately required. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Need to get my car that's been sitting for 2 years legal.

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

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Eml, dmc, brake warning lights. No start

The BMW models are notable for going into "limp" mode or "safe" mode when one or more vehicle systems are not operating correctly. This is a difficult issue to diagnose without more information. I would recommend having an expert...

Q: fan somehow putting hole in radiator

Hi there. If all the mountings are secure, the only thing I can think of is something that is pushing the fan into the radiator. Have the engine and transmission mounts checked. If the engine and transmission are moving around...

Q: Loss of power while driving and it feels like my car is bogging down - 1994 Chevrolet Camaro

Hello. The issues that you are having can be caused by a number of things. Most of the time, this is caused by a sensor issue. The most common sensor to cause this is the throttle position sensor. When this...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.