I just bought a car that has been sitting for a year. I open the radiator and the fluid is a brown color. I have roughly 20 miles to drive. Will this hurt the engine? Or should I get it towed? The heat works. I ran the engine for about an hour before realizing about the brown in the radiator. I don't want to drive it if I'm going to damage. So my question is having the car sit for a year will it make the antifreeze brown.
For your 2001 Buick Century the antifreeze would not turn brown if the car has been sitting for a year. This means there was water inside the radiator and that brown color is from rust (over the year) . It will not hurt the engine if you drive the vehicle as long as the radiator is fill of antifreeze. I recommend going to a reputable repair shop and getting the radiator flushed.
〉 Answered on Jan 11th, 2016 by Maryann Croce, Owner at Croce’s Transmission Specialists