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Starting the car after a long downtime.

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

After a long downtime, a car is unlikely to just "start and go". Many components and systems of the car need to be thoroughly checked.

See below the list of recommendations from Cyprusautoservice on how to correctly get your vehicle going without causing any damage to it:

1. Check the battery

If the battery was not disconnected and the terminals were left screwed on, then it has most probably been discharged. The battery must be removed and charged before starting. Replace the battery with a new one if the battery fails to recharge. To determine the most accurate state of the battery, you need to perform a test with a special diagnostics tester.

2. Checking the engine oil condition

Modern engine oils are synthetic and are produced from regular oil and various additives. If the engine is running regularly, the additive package is mixed with the base. When the car is idle, all the additives fall to the bottom of the cavities and they simply separate from the oil. When the engine starts after a long idle time some damage may occur because of this separation. For this reason, it is necessary to evaluate the condition of the lubricant before starting your car after a long stay.

Thick and black oil is an indication that there is a presence of impurities and debris. In such a case, both the oil and the filter should therefore be replaced in order to avoid causing damage to the engine.

3. Checking fluids & lubricants

It is also necessary to carefully check the condition and level of all fluids & lubricants:

+brake fluid - requires replacement if level is low

+power steering fluid - if it is very dirty, you need to replace it

+transmission oil – level and cleanliness inspection required

+radiator coolant - level and density inspection required

All liquids must be filled in full before starting the car. A decrease in the level or an empty tank is an indication of a malfunction resulting from leaks because of faulty pipes, gaskets or seals.

4. Checking the spark plugs

They should also be checked before unscrewing. As a rule, their appearance is not affected by long-term Parking (with the exception of rust on the metal parts), but it is still strongly recommended to thoroughly clean them. Or even better-install a set of new ones.

5. Check the brake discs and brake pads

The long downtime of a car affects the brake discs and pads, which show traces of rust and possibly accumulation of dust. To clean these parts from rust, it is recommended to drive some distance, often slowing down in a smooth and controlled manner.

Special attention should be paid to the brake pads, which under the influence of external factors may detach from the base. This problem can only be detected by a thorough inspection at a service station. Should such an issue arise, they should be replaced.

6. Inspection of sealing rubber bands, gaskets, hoses

During prolonged Parking, they lose their original properties, micro-cracks appear, which may cause loss of tightness.

At the time of first starting the car, such problems may not be apparent but they may soon manifest as fluid leakages.

It is recommended to make sure that there are no leaks after the engine has warmed up. If a leak has been detected, repair or replacement of such gaskets, hoses, and seals is absolutely required.

We offer to carry out the above procedures via a comprehensive inspection of your car where it is currently parked. Should any problems be detected, most of them can be repaired on the spot by our technicians, to get in contact with us please click here Usefull links:

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