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We have recently added a 2005 Mercury Montego Premier fwd with around 19,000 miles to our stable. This was my late Father-in-laws car and I had a few questions I wondered if anyone had any thoughts on a situation with the car. The car is out of warranty but seems to be in good condition. The car sat for over a year while everything was sorted out, with from what I understand with very little or no use. I was wondering what suggestions anyone has as far what we should do for maintenance catch-up. I know it needs an oil change but was wondering what else you would suggest before returning to regular use. I thought perhaps changing the transmission fluid, flushing the coolant, and possibly the brake fluid. My wife did add a fuel additive/cleaner but we haven’t done anything else. I didn't want to do anything unnecessary, but don’t want to cause damage by not doing anything either. I haven’t had experience with modern cars in this situation. We plan on getting back on the scheduled maintenance
 

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I've been told that when a vehicle is left sitting unused for extended periods of time you change ALL fluids. I'd say check the tires for dry rot as well or for flat areas. hopefully a mouse hasnt made itself at home inside of it depending on how it's been stored. If you run the heater fan and smell nasty, there could be a critter home somewhere inside it :-O

Just a few tidbits i've picked up from people. I havn't personally dealt w a vehicle that has sat so no personal experiences to share.

Good Luck!
 

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I would change all the fluids. I would also look at all the belts. If they look fine, just keep using them. Also check the hoses. AC doesn't like being left unused, but on something that new it should be fine. I would have a basic service on the AC system performed, could save money down the road, and its cheap up front. I only paid $28 for my last AC service, which I had done on a working system as a precaution to ensure it stays working.
 

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Just drive it. Not enough miles on that car to have any problems other than flat spots on the tires (which I doubt) and some rust on the rotors. If you are concerned about critters... pull the blower out of the HVAC box to check for signs of critter damage. It's the easiest part to pull and it's where the buggers like to nest (lots of space)

Toss a good dose of fuel injector cleaner, and maybe a new can of that ethanol gas treatment into the tank... drive it to a gas station and fill it up. Then take it on a nice long drive to get all fluids up to temp which will remove any residual mosture from them.

If it's due for an oil change go ahead, but I wouldn't put too much worry in doing it before you drive it.

Brake fluid will be fine...

Tranny fluid will be fine...

Coolant will be fine...

Windshield washer fluid will be fine too ... ;)

Oh yea... charge the battery...
 

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Changing all fluids would be good.

Check the brake lines and pressure, make sure they are good. A/C should be checked.

I would check the coolant cap and make sure the seal is still good. Check the gas cap as well. Turn signals, etc.

Change the cabin filter and I would replace the foam seal around it (if it has one). Personally, I would take apart some of the dash to get to the air ducts and clean those out thoroughly.

I would also use fuel injector cleaner a couple of times. (At least some sort of gas tank treatment).
 
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