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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2005 Grand Caravan 3.3L 54k miles
As you can see drive this one part time. Usually store it every year for 6 months (inside a barn, no climate control) in NW Wash state and use it when return there. Have never had problems with fuel or oil being bad. Its stored with full tank and fuel stabilizer. Covid changed all that in 2020.... its been in storage since 11/2019. Looks like earliest will get back is 04/2021. Worried fuel, oil, other things might be no good after 1.5 years. My research gives answers all over the place with "best" information. So asking the forum for your thoughts and experiences. Risk starting it? Drain fuel first?
Appreciate your responses.
 

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I've been able to run some vehicles on gas as old as three years. But that is dumb luck that any vehicle could still run on three year old gas. Given your circumstance, I'd give the fuel some faith since you put a stabilizer in it. I'd say pop the fuel cap off and take a whiff. If it's not E85 and it still smells like gas, try starting it up and see how it runs. If it doesn't perk up in a minute or two of idling, then you'd probably want to drain the tank entirely and fill with fresh gas. If you feel good enough to run on the gas in the tank, let it run down a quarter tank and fill it up. Then let it run down a quarter tank and refill again. After that, let the tank get down to less than a quarter tank and refill it. The point is to keep mixing in some fresh gas gradually and there wont be any long term problems with the fuel system. As soon as you get the van up and running again, change oil right away. Assuming the gas is not an issue, you can drive as far as you need to find a place to get the oil changed at least.

I'd sooner pay attention to the under hood to see if and where rodents have made it home. Look for chewed up wiring and at least one rodent nest in the air filter box. Check for rodent nests in the vehicle too. There's a wealth of places under the dash they could nest, but you can at least check out the glove box and under the seats. Be ready to replace the battery too. For sitting a year and a half, it may not be able to hold a charge anymore. And do the common sense stuff by checking the rest of your fluids while you're under the hood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
to: no_common_sense
Thanks for taking time to post the great info. Oil change, battery and prob tires my first stop. Its a question of if I'll be driving my van or tow truck to the shop. At least now I know some good starting points how to make that decision when I finally get back. Will take your advise and do complete inspection for rodent damage, nests, etc. Again really appreciate everyone's inputs.
 

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If the tires have good tread on them, you may not have to swap those out. Look for dry rotting and weather cracking on them. If you don't see it, get all your tire pressures up to 36 PSI and on the first successful test drive, you may notice a bit of shaking or vibration in the steering wheel at higher speeds. Because the van has been sitting for so long, the tires can get what's called flat spotting. It's not the same as a flat tire. That patch of rubber thats been making contact with the ground tends to flatten out a little regardless of tire pressure and it's just from sitting too long. Driving the van will be enough to help the tires eliminate the flat spotting by themselves. I'll be rooting for you to come away from this needing a battery, an oil change, and a car wash at most.
 
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