I have a question about my 1986 el Camino, as relates to how much it has or hasn’t been damaged after a 6 month hiatus from action.

Last July I bought a 1986 el Camino from a private seller. The engine has 100,000 miles on it; the seller had driven it daily and taken good care of it, bought it nice wheels, and gave me all the receipts for it since it was made.

After the first month, the front two tires kept becoming flat when I would drive it, then I went out of the country a few times, and upon coming back I never got around to getting the tags for it (opting instead to use my 2015 Nissan Altima as my daily driver, being the safer / less maintenance option).

I thus let the car sit for about 6 months, from July to February in Nashville, TN, with flat tires.

2 nights ago I went outside and started it up for the first time since then, and it was able to start.

However, I’m wondering how much damage this might have done to the car, letting it sit for 6 months with flat tires? Pistons, tires, etc. - how much damage, both existentially and economically (the “value” of the car, and/or the price of how much it would cost to bring it back into the same fighting form it was in 6 months ago)?

Thank you in advance. My knowledge of cars is very limited other than the basics.


1 Answer 1


6 months won't have done much damage. It might be worth changing those tyres if it's been sat on them flat for months. It started so battery and fuel system are probably OK.

Sometimes brakes will stick on when a car has been stood for a while.

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    Agreed. I don't see where it would have caused any damage either. It's obviously better to drive the car every so often, but that doesn't mean damage is being done to it. Like you said, get the tires changed (or the leak fixed at a minimum) and retag it. In fact, not driving it means the OP hasn't put any miles at all on it, so intrinsically that may have been better for it, because overall mileage will be less. Feb 21, 2020 at 13:12
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    Yep would likely changes tires - as they went flat even before the 6 month period
    – eagle275
    Feb 21, 2020 at 13:43
  • Thanks! Glad to hear it's not problematic. There've been a few snow-days around here, some non-mechanic friends told me things might expand/crack in the cold, but my instinct says that wouldn't be problematic as long as it didn't stay too cold for too long (which it didn't). Thanks again! Feb 21, 2020 at 18:38

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