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1984 Honda Accord Won't Stay Running

I have an 84 Honda Accord that has been sitting for 4 years. I replaced the fuel pump, and two inline filters. The car will start but dies after a few seconds. I drained the tank about 2 years ago and filled with good gas and stabilizer. Would a bad battery cause the engine to die? I took the fuel lines off and I’ve got fuel all the way to the carb. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks

Did you have to jump start it? If not, the battery is not the problem. If you did, it could be the problem, although it doesn’t take much electricity to keep your car running once it’s started and it would take a completely stone-dead battery to stop your car from running. A merely weak one should keep it running for a little while at least.

If you’re getting plenty of fuel to it, you’re probably looking at something with the carburetor. I’d especially check over the choke linkage. Move the throttle all the way open and confirm that the choke opens at full throttle. Also, the choke should be completely closed with the cold engine sitting, but have an assistant turn the engine over while you watch to confirm that the choke opens a little bit while the engine cranks over.

Most likely, though, you’re probably going to have to take the carburetor off and at least take it apart and clean it. This would be an excellent time to give it a rebuild if you’re planning on driving this car regularly. I would also give the ignition system a look over, especially the contacts in the distributor, but since your car does run for a few seconds, this probably isn’t your problem.

I would also add that, even with stabilizer, I would still consider two year old gas suspect. Depending on the local and seasonal blend you’ve got in there, it could still be an issue. You could confirm this by putting a pint of fresh gas in a quart-sized container and then carefully running a hose from the jar to the fuel pump inlet and having an assistant start the car and see if that makes it run better.