So the only "red flag" about this car that Wombosit and I can see is that it has been sitting for 11 months. My dad said that a car sitting can get rust internally, even inside the engine! What do you guys think?
I'd inspect the vehicle thoroughly before even starting it if it hasn't been started in 11 months.
You'll want to bring tools: Voltmeter, Good car battery, Gallon of fresh gas, sand paper, Spark plug socket, 7mm, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, and 17mm wrenches and sockets.
To Do before startup:
Inspect all rubber parts under the hood ie. vacuum hoses for cracks, spark plug wires for wear
Check the distributor cap by unscrewing it (7mm or 8mm) check for the dreaded red dust (sign of bearings going out in distributor) inspect and clean the spark terminals and rotor contact area. Also check the tops of the pistons with a flashlight while the plugs are out.
Open the gas tank and smell the gasoline that is in there to see if it is still good (IIRC Gas starts to go downhill after 4 or 5 months) If need be, drain the gas tank by unbolting the drain plug on the drivers side rear of the tank (into a container, of course) re install the plug and pour the fresh gas in.
Check the state of charge of the battery with the voltmeter, replace with the good battery if needed.
Loosen the alternator top and bottom bolts and take the belt off, inspect it for wear and make sure the alternator pulley can spin freely. put the belt back on if everything checks out.
Check the air filter
Get inside the car and turn the ignition to run only and listen for the fuel pump to prime. Do this a few time so the system can pressurize BUT DON"T START THE CAR YET. Have someone look under the car and in the engine bay to check for gas leaks.
Pump the brakes up until they're hard and have someone check for leaks.
Check the oil condition and level in the engine.
Now you can try starting the car and it should start.
Check the lights and take it for a test drive.
If you end up not buying the car, take out your battery and find a nice way to ask the seller for some compensation for getting the car back into running shape.
That is my little ditty on what I would do. Feel free to modify it any way you see fit, lol.
I am sorry for being misleading in my post! I assume the guy who is selling it has started it recently. Other people have probably test driven it at this point.. The point was it had been sitting for 11 months without being driven. I'm pretty sure the car runs fine. But I just wanted to know if there might be any hidden consequences from a car that has been sitting. So, for example, the car test drives fine. Nothing visible when looking at the car, the engine compartment etc. Everything seems to be fine. Test drive the car--no problems. Drive the car for an extended amount of time and then the check engine light comes on. You bring it to the mechanic and find out something is wrong that could have been caused from the car sitting. Thank you for that thorough break down tho!
If it went down this way:
During the 11 months it was started once a week and brought up to operating temp and then shut off....no big worries at all
If it went down this way:
During the 11 months it sat without being ran, then all of a sudden nothing was checked and then the thing was just started and ran....the damage has been done already. More than likely if there were any rust in the combustion chamber that would've been hit by the rings has been hit and the damage has been done, the old gas has been run through the lines and old oil ran through the motor.
Going with the second scenario:
With the damage already done (If I bought the car) I'd do an engine flush (and oil change), radiator flush, change transmission fluid, drain the old gas, put about a half gallon of toluene in the tank, run it until it's cleaned the fuel system and then change gas filter and put fresh gas in.
AS far as the check light coming on down the road...the first scenario that comes to mind that is directly related to sitting so long would be in mice took up residence and chewed something. That would more than likely show up right away rather than down the road though.