My car has been stuck abroad for over a year. What should I check when I get back to it?

I've had a Volkswagen Passat Estate parked in an underground car park in Spain. The battery is disconnected. We have not been to Spain since November 2019 and do not know when we can get back. What problems would I have with the car when we get back at some stage, hopefully later this year? Thanks in advance.

Asked on 2 February 2021 by Shelton Nethisinghe

Answered by Keith Moody
There'll be quite a few things that you'll want to check here. You'll need to make sure the tyres are correctly inflated, but you'll also need to make sure the brakes haven't stuck on or seized (depending on its service history, you could well be due a brake fluid replacement). Next, think about the fuel - if it's old, consider draining it or at the very lest topping it up with plenty of fresh diesel. If the cooling system is in good condition (i.e. sealed, not leaking) then plan for a refresh soon after the car's up and running - but pay special attention to the temperature gauge because it's quite likely the thermostat could be stuck or the water pump seized - which means the system won't work and the engine will overheat. Finally, visually inspect the bodywork for rust, the underneath for leaks, the exhaust system for cracks. Also, make sure the battery is fully charged before trying to start it and that you have any radio codes required to hand.
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