I have, or "had" an immaculate 2010 Holden VE SS 6L 6spd Ute with 18,000 km. The plan was to wack it in a storage for 3 or 4 weeks while in Nz. That would have been no dramas.. But that was July, ... 2014!
2yrs & 4mths & counting What do you reckon? Any advice on what I'll need to do to before attempting startup would be much appreciated.

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3 Answers 3


You'll almost certainly need a new battery to start with, and the tyres might have developed flat spots. The brake discs will have a layer of rust, but as you're in a dry environment, they shouldn't be too bad, so should clean up the first time you use them (carefully!).

Before starting the engine, take the plugs out and turn it by hand to make sure it's free. Do a full service as well, especially all filters. Check all the rubber hoses for signs of perishing, and replace if necessary - remember the fuel hoses and power steeringtoo. Check or replace brake fluid and coolant too, and check transmission fluid.

For an older vehicle, I'd say to turn it on the starter with the HT leads disconnected to build oil pressure, but I'm not sure if that is still good advice on a modern car with a cat...


Agree with everything in Nick C's answer, also:

Do a full service as well, especially all filters

ESPECIALLY the air filter; In Australia where there is all kinds of critters that would have been eating it!

Drain the petrol and get new stuff in there. 2 years is too long. See How long does it take for gas to go bad?

I'd recommend going ahead and draining the coolant and getting new. With no circulation over that long a period, I would be concerned about something rusting. Draining the old coolant would be a good way to tell.

  • Cool. Much appreciated guys. Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 9:56
  • New fluids all round and some hand cranking sounds like business. Cheers Nate. Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 9:59
  • Dying to drive rr again! Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 10:00
  • Come back and let us know when you get it running, and what all needed to be done
    – Zshoulders
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 15:24

The biggest threat is stale gasoline. I once left a truck in storage for a year and the old gas turned partly to varnish and stuck all the valves. It was very expensive to free them.

Drain your gas from the tank and start with fresh stuff. Add one oz. of automatic transmission fluid (ATF) for every gallon of gasoline. Use gas stabilizer in the future before long-term storage.

The next biggest threat is stuck piston rings. Moisture rusts metal parts. I had a marine engine destroyed by this problem after leaving it in storage during the winter. The engine ran for a few weeks, but the stuck rings scored the cylinder walls and destroyed the engine.

You can free any stuck piston rings by removing the spark plugs, pouring 2-3 ounces of ATF into each cylinder, and cranking the engine a few seconds with the spark plugs removed. Allow the vehicle to sit a minimum of two days before attempting to start it. Warming the engine without starting will help greatly, such as by sunlight, space heater, etc. Before starting, drain & refill the crankcase with fresh motor oil, but substitute twenty percent with ATF. Once the car is up and running, drive the car at highway speed for a minimum 200 miles (max. 500) and change the oil again, substituting five percent with ATF.

The third major problem is corrosion in the cooling system. Another car I once stored for two years had major scale buildup in the radiator. Solution: Flush the radiator with a radiator flush solution before changing the coolant. Typically these solutions contain citric acid, which is highly effective and safe. Another trick is to drain & fill the cooling system with water mixed dish washing liquid you find in the supermarket, then refill with fresh coolant.

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