My 1997 Toyota Camry Auto has sat idle for about a year and I am wanting to ask what precautions should I take before running?

I am going to try to dillute the 1/5 of fuel currently in there with fresh fuel but am unsure on other actions to take before running the car.

I have read that I should disconnect the ignition and crank the engine to build up oil pressure and get the internal oiled up but I am unsure on how to do this.

Are there any other precautions I should take?

NOTE: I plan to park it somewhere just a couple hundred metres away, should I run in for longer before stopping it?

Thanks for any advice and apologies if this post isn't very good quality.


1 Answer 1


Checklist of things to consider doing:

  • Check oil and coolant levels.
  • Charge the battery if needed, before starting.
  • Ideally get the engine up to full temperature for an hour to remove moisture from the oil before storing it again long-term.

I would only bother diluting the old fuel, if it does not start. Also the fuel will probably last longer if you store the car with a full tank (ethanol-free gas preferred for storage).

Disconnecting the ignition to build up oil pressure reduces wear on the engine slightly, but is probably not really necessary in your case.

  • 1
    The problems with disconnecting the ignition (and doing nothing else) are (1) you will soon flatten the battery cranking the engine because of the compression and (2) you may be pumping unburned fuel straight into the exhaust system and the catalytic converter. That could be expensive if it destroys the cat. A better plan might be "if the engine makes strange noises for more than 5 seconds after it fires up, switch off and investigate rather than hoping the noise will go away".
    – alephzero
    Jul 21, 2021 at 15:40

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