What Happens When a Car Sits For 2 Years? (Explained)

Do you have a car somewhere that has been sitting for two years? Do you want to know what the possible outcomes are if a car is stationary for years? Let us find out.

So what happens when a car sits for two years? The answer is that it will deteriorate. The car’s performance will deteriorate along with its battery, engine, gas, fuel, cooling system, and many more.

It is vital to check your car first before using it. You need to check and replace a lot of things before you can start your car. With that, let us know all about a car that has been sitting for two years.  

What Happens When a Car Sits For 2 Years

Is It Bad For a Car to Sit For 2 Years?

Yes. Cars are made to be driven and not to be stationary in a place somewhere. Letting your car sit for two years or more will cause a lot of problems with your car. 

If your car is sitting for two years and you will start it immediately, that would be bad. You can experience a lot of problems along the way. 

You will need to check a lot of things before starting your car. If you are done checking, it will be safe to start the car.

Is It Safe to Start a Car After 2 Years?

The answer is yes and no. Before you start a car sitting for two years, you need to check all necessary things before turning on the engine. Before starting the engine, you need to do a lot of checking and replacing. 

If you have done checking and replacing old things and fluids in your car, it may be safe to start it again. But you must not start a car immediately. Check first the entire checklist below before starting the car.

What Happens to a Car After Sitting For 2 Years?

Allowing your car to sir for two years or more can cause severe problems with your car. If you drive a car that has been sitting for an extended period, you have to check and change a lot of things. If your car sits for an extended period, these are the things that can go wrong.

1. The Battery Of The Car

If you let your car sit for years, even if you will disconnect the battery, the battery will not retain all the juices inside continually. This will make the batteries drain their energy. 

In return, this will reduce the life of the battery. This will need to be changed as soon as you can before starting and using the car.

2. The Engine Of The Car

If your car sits for a long time, the various belts and wires can eventually get rusted. This is the result of not using or starting your car for two years or more. It is not just the belts and wires that can get rusted; the serpentine belt can also get rusted, for that matter. 

Aside from that, there can always be the possibility of an animal chewing up the wire of your engine or even damaging some essential parts of your car.

3. The Brakes Of The Engine

Even if you are constantly driving your car, there is always the possibility of your brakes losing their grip. This is a severe problem that you have to check and repair thoroughly. 

You cannot drive a vehicle with a loose brake. This will cause accidents on the road.

4. The Electrical Of Your Car

Your engine has a lot of electrical components. This must be checked as in-depth as you can. 

If the car sits over a long period, the electricals in your car’s internal part can cause faults. This can lead to a fault in the power windows and many electrical components in the area.

5. The Gas Leak On The AC

If your car has been idle for two years or more, this will cause impairment with the cooling of the air-conditioning in the car. This needs to be recharged and fixed right away.

6. The Fluids Of The Car

Your vehicles have a lot of fluids. These fluids can be engine oil or brake fluid. These fluids will loosen their ability for lubrication. 

In return, they will not lubricate the engine parts any more than they used to. These fluids must be changed as soon as possible before using the car.

Cars must be driven because that is what they are made of. If you are planning to let a car sit for so long, it would be better not to buy the car at all. Its performance will decrease, the battery will degrade, and there are still many problems along the way. 

Your money will go to waste. So make sure to drive your car and not let it sit for two years or more.

sitting car

What Do You Do If Your Car Has Been Sitting For 2 Years?

If you have a car sitting for two years or more, it will cause problems with the car. It is better not to start the car immediately. You have a lot of things to check first before actually starting the car. 

So before you start the engine of the car that has been idling for many years, you need to check first the engine oil. You need to replace this engine oil. The years that made it sit there will cause the engine oil to lose its thickness or viscosity. 

As a result, your engine oil will not do the job of lubricating the engine’s moving parts. You will also need to change the oil filter. The years will cause the oil filter to be dirty, which must be replaced as soon as possible. 

You also need to remove and replace the transmission fluid of the engine. Aside from all that, you also need to install a new battery. Replace the brake fluid of the car. 

Replace the coolants, and you also need to flush the radiator. The gas will also be old. You will need to pump out the old gas and put in fresh and new gas. 

These are some of the things you have to look into. It would be best to ask for a mechanic expert and ask help on how to start your car that has been idle for a long time. 

If you have done checking all the things and replacing them with new parts and fluids, you also have to check all the wirings internally. This is very important because you have to avoid any burning and electrical problems along the way.

What Auto Parts Might Be a Problem After Sitting For 2 Years?

There are a lot of problems that you need to expect. You need to check all of this before actually starting the car. The first problem can be that you may have harmful gas in your gas tank. 

Your gas must be free of any contaminants and foreign substances. If your car is idle for too long, your gas might contain many fluids and substances that must not be there. So you need to check and replace your gas. 

You can also have a bad gasket. This will lead to your car failing to start. Your wheels can also go wrong. 

They may be dead and will need immediate replacing. The battery will be dead because letting it sit for years can cause it to drain and get damaged.

Car Battery Sitting For 2 Years

Even if you disconnect the battery, it can still get drained and get ruined. All batteries must be used constantly. Letting it side and idle for two years will make it lose its ability and power. 

You will have to remove and replace your old battery with a new one so that you can drive the car with no battery problems.

Car Engine Sitting For 2 Years

Letting a car engine sit for two years will do a lot of damage. The primary damage is that there can be pests or animals that can ruin the engine. 

Some rats can chew on the wire and even damage the engine inside. Some parts of your engine will deteriorate over time if the car has been stationary.

Car Spark Plugs Sitting For 2 Years

Letting spark plugs sit for two years might not cause you severe problems. Manufacturers have been saying that a spark plug can sit for many years and not go wrong. 

But there can be another factor where spark plugs can get ruined. There is always the possibility of an animal ruining it.

Oil Sitting In Car for 2 Years

The oil will soon lose its thickness when it is just sitting for two years. As a driver, you might already be aware of how important it is for an oil to be thick so that it can lubricate the engine’s moving parts when the car is driving. If the oil is not new and has been losing its viscosity, it is essential to have this oil replaced with a new one.

Fuel Sitting In Car for 2 Years

Like the oil, the fuel will also lose its ability to do what it has to do. Everything that has been idle for many years will deteriorate over time and lose its effectiveness. Before starting your car sitting for two years, you need to replace this fuel with a new one.


In summary, it is not healthy for a car to sit around for two years. Cars are made to be driven and not to be left in your garage or somewhere else. 

Before starting the car, there are a lot of precautions that you must take. You have a lot of things to check and replace before starting the car.



Image credits – Canva

Share on:

My name is Hank, and I've been in the automotive industry for 27 years. I've been working in my own auto repair shop for the last 13 years, and now I want to help you here, on my blog. Let me know if you have any questions. Read more