I need some help from the car pros...

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jason L., Nov 16, 2003.

  1. Jason L.

    Jason L. Second Unit

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    I left to take a job in Kuwait back on January 16th. I have a 1992 Toyota Celica GT Convertible sitting under a car cover in my garage with the battery disconnected.

    I am not going to be returning to the U.S. anytime soon. The car has not been started/driven since Jan 16. There wasn't that much gas left in it, perhaps 1/8 of a tank.

    What kind of problems are there in leaving the car in this state? Does the gas "go bad" after a certain amount of time? Will condensation occur in the gas tank? The car is located in Dallas.

    Thanks in advance for all of your help.
     
  2. Eric Kahn

    Eric Kahn Guest

    You are going to need to have the gas tank drained, gas does go bad, and with an 1/8th tank, there is probably lots of condensation in the tank
    if you are going to leave a car for awhile, you should put a fuel stabilizer in the tank and fill the tank, then drive it about 10 miles to make sure the stabilizer is throughout the whole fuel system, the full tank also will prevent condensation to an extent since there is very little room for air to move in and out of it
     
  3. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    The car should also be put up on blocks so the tires aren't ruined and the springs and struts retain their suppleness.
     
  4. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    gas goes bad pretty fast these days, I'd put sta-bil in my motorcycles if they were going to sit for more than a month or so, they ran like ass on it, but it beats having to drain the tank and the carbs gum up.
     
  5. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Manual or automatic transmission? I left my 65 Lemans (manual) on blocks when I was in the Army (way back when) and when I got back the pressure plate & disc had rusted to the flywheel. Like to never got that damn thing loose.
     
  6. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    Get the engine fogged.

    Brent
     
  7. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Jason,

    have someone drain out the gas--I work on Toyotas for a living and I'm pretty sure the tank on a 92 Celica has a drain plug in the bottom. The tank is located roughly under the back seat btw, and if it has a drain plug it's usually a 14mm. If there's no drain plug you can siphon it out more effectively thru the gas guage sending unit openning.

    Remove the back seat cushion (pull up firmly at the front edge of the cushion where it meets the car floor at the right and left sides). There will be an access plate in the floor under the cushion which you can remove to get at the sending unit and/or fuel pump mounted to the top of the tank itself, which is easily removable.

    Condensation in gas tanks is more likely if there are severe temperature changes, which you might not have in Texas vs say North Dakota.

    The best course of action would be to refill with fresh gas and have the car driven 20 miles or so once a week. If it must remain undriven, leave the tank empty with the fuel cap off to unseal the system and thus prevent the condensation.

    The main benefit to putting it up on blocks would be to prevent the tires from flatspotting but that's already occurred if it was going to.

    Before restarting the car, drain out the old oil and change the filter. Refill with fresh oil. Disable the ignition/efi systems by removing the fuse marked "EFI" in the fusebox under the hood. Charge up the battery (you may need a new one after this long). Crank the engine with the starter repeatedly for about 5 seconds at a time, maybe 5 times or so to get oil pumped around the engine, then re-install the fuse and start the car. It may not idle warm at first, just drive it around a bit until the EFI computer "relearns". Ignore any smoke it produces on the initial startup--after sitting so long some oil may sneak down past the valve stem seals and cause a cloud of blue smoke on startup. It also may take an extended crank to get it started and it may flood so you may have to floor the gas pedal while cranking until it starts to catch then gradually ease up.

    The front rotors and rear drums may be rusted and cause brake pulsation and/or god-awful noises at first but should scrub clean with use.

    Drive the thing around for a few days and all should be well. It may develope some oil leaks due to sitting idle so long and gaskets drying out but it's usually just the valve cover gasket and distributor "O" ring on that engine--not major projects to replace.
     
  8. Jason L.

    Jason L. Second Unit

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    I wanted to revisit this thread since I will be coming back to the US in June, which will be about 16.5 months that the car has not been moved. I will only be staying a few weeks and I will then be headed back to Kuwait until early 2005.

    I had some specific questions that I didn't understand the first time around? Keep in mind I know very little about cars.

    1.What exactly is a fuel stabilizer/sta-bil? Is it the same as dry gas?

    2.What does it mean to get the engine fogged?

    3.Steve, I wanted to make sure of one thing. The fuel plug is under the car, right? If I can find that, I won't need to look under the seats. Is that correct?

    4.The car isn't worth a whole lot right now - I would guess about $4000. My main goal is to be able to drive it to the dealership to be looked at. My plan of attack would be to:

    a. Have battery re-charged at AutoZone or buy a new one.

    b. Drain oil. Refill oil. I don't think I will change the filter right away since I want to take it to a Jiffy Lube about 3 miles away and have them do it.

    c. Drain the tank. Add gas to tank from recenty filled gascan. Assuming I able to do this.

    If I can't do this, what then? Put additive in the tank and fill the tank at the nearest gas station?

    d. After a stop at Jiffy Lube, take the car to the dealership to be looked at.

    e. I don't think I would get new tires unless I absolutely had to since I will be leaving again.

    Thanks again for your help.
     
  9. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    If the tank has a drainplug it will be under the car. The tank is located ahead of the rear wheels roughly under the rear seat, easily recognizable from under the car. If you can't find a drain plug you can get most of the gas out by removing the fuel fill hose from the tank. The filler neck is metal, of course, but there's a section of rubber hose between the bottom of the filler neck and the inlet on the tank, usually on the left rear corner of the tank.
     

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