1991 Nissan Sentra XE, 1.6L engine, 5-speed manual trans, 78k miles.

I unexpectedly had to stop driving this Sentra and it's been sitting unstarted in my garage for the past 6-years. It ran great, no apparent problems, very low mileage.

It's been a great car and now that I can drive it again, I want to "recommission" it correctly.

Advice varies--some say you must drain+replace all fluids; some say replace only gas and coolant; some say replace gas only if it smells bad and has turned to varnish; some say to only drop a little oil in the cylinders before starting.

So this non-expert is confused. What is the minimum required to safely re-start this Sentra? I have a new battery; I'd like to re-start car and drive to repair shop for inspection. How can I do this without harming the car?

Thx for info--


1 Answer 1


A bit of oil in the cylinders and then turn the engine over by hand 3 or four times would be a great idea. Then change the oil. The coolant, as long as it's full can be changed at the garage. The gas after 6 years is toast no and ifs or butts about it. Drain what you can then fill the tank with fresh stuff. Don't forget to change the fuel filter after going through a full tank of fuel. Everything else can be done in a case by case basis, fix whats broken.

  • Make sure you leave the spark plugs out when you turn the engine over. Before starting the car, I would leave the plugs out and crank it using the starter motor to blow any excess oil out of the cylinders. If there is oil left in the cylinders and the plugs are in, you could cause lots of damage.
    – HandyHowie
    Sep 10, 2015 at 7:20

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