Some related topics:
How to maintain a sometimes-used vehicle?
How long does it take for gas to go bad?
The first related topic addresses preparing a vehicle for long-term disuse, and maintaining it during those periods. The second related topic addresses one of the effects of a long-term inactivity on a vehicle.
Here, I'm looking to cover what should be done after the fact. Say a vehicle has been parked for several months and was neither prepared for this, nor maintained during that period.
What particular adverse effects of long-term un-maintained storage should one be aware of when trying to revive a car in this situation? What things should be checked or touched on before starting the car? What measures can be taken at this point to prevent further damage to the vehicle during its first re-start, and facilitate bringing it back to a safe and healthy operational status?
UPDATE: Good news. The car ('96 Lincoln Mark VIII) that prompted me to ask this question has started successfully. It had been sitting for probably 6-9 months without any preparation. The battery is definitely toast, and the engine really doesn't like the condition of the gas, but it started pretty well and got around the block a few times.
For the first start, I swapped in the battery from my '94 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Then, after pulling the Mark VIII out to where I could reach it with jumper cables, I put the original battery back in. It's had to be jump-started every time since.
The engine is running pretty rough, and I've got a constant (and occasionally flashing) CEL going. It also turns out that I've got about 3/4 of a tank to burn through before it'll get any really good gas. I threw in a couple gallons of premium (91 octane around here) and a can of SeaFoam to hopefully help though.
Thanks for the tips, guys!