1993 Chevy G10 VAN been sitting up a while (approx. 188k miles)


My van has been sitting up (approx. middle of yr 2018) and I need to move it from my yard. It was running when parked but I lost the ignition key and had to have one made this past weekend. It had about 1 quarter of a tank in it while sitting. I have replaced the battery and battery terminal connectors, replaced the starter as well as the fuel filter. Engine turns over and cranked briefly with starting fluid-small starter fluid flame in Carb area but I put it out with a towel (smothered it), but I can’t get it to really crank and idle. I checked the 20 or 30 amp fuel pump fuse (driver side kick panel) and it does not appear to be blown. I can’t find any of the fuel pump relays and AutoZone did not have schematics. Internet not much help. I hear fuel pump hum when I turn on ignition switch and I am wondering if a fuel pump relay is necessary b/c fuel pump appears to kick on. I purchased 6 plug and plugs seem hard to get to. I replaced 2 on left side inside of van (removed cover) and I noticed that the wires seem to be damaged (metal stuck to a plug when I pulled out a wire). I was going to replace some plugs or all plugs and maybe the broken plug wire or all plug wires. What else should I do? Should I replace the coil pack (where plugs go to) and distributor cap? I also put one quart of oil in the engine. Oil in engine was black, low, and old. I added about a gal or more of fresh gas; should I syphon all of the old gas out? What next to get this damned thing running? I am very frustrated! Please help.

Thank You!

Frustrated in DIXIE!!


My suspicion is your gas in the tank had gone bad, and since you tried starting the van, now all that bad gas has gummed up the works.

My suggestion is to have the van towed to a shop, and let them do what needs to be done. Hopefully it won’t be much in terms of labor or cost.

Good luck.


Ok, That makes sense. Maybe I could have my mechanic tune it up, maybe clean and drain the tank?

Possibly, yes. I fear the old gas could have also gotten into the fuel lines, which might have to be replaced too.

This could turn into a money pit really quickly. I sure hope not, for your sake, but it’s a reality.

A 1993 van does not have a carb… do you mean the throttle body fuel injection??

Looking like this?

When you crank the engine, do you see fuel being sprayed from under the two injectors? Do you get any spark?

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Oh Boy! That concerns me. I wonder what some fuel lines would cost me?

Yes, exactly like that!

Picture above.

Throttle body fuel injected.

I guess I will try to replace the plugs and wires I removed and have it towed to my mechanic. Any other suggestions? Or should I thro in the towel and have it towed to my mechanic?

Yes …


The fuel tank will need to be removed and cleaned out, the fuel pump and filter should be replaced at the same time. The fuel lines don’t need to be replaced, just pump fresh gasoline though the fuel lines.


I don’t think those old TBI’s are quite as easily gummed up as some of the newer stuff. Agree that cleaning the tank and fresh fuel might be enough, along with new plug wires since the ones on it sound like they’re damaged. Check for broken or rat chewed wires, particularly plug wires and wiring to the coil. Should be able to look at the injectors (there are two right on top of the throttle body bores) to see if it’s spraying fuel when you turn it over. Injectors are most likely pulsing if the pump is humming. I’m thinking you’ve got rancid fuel and maybe a broken plug wire or two from the sounds of it. I would not mess with new plugs just to get it running. Replace them if you plan to drive it, though.

Your terminology is a little confusing. Cranking is that rrr rrrr rrrr sound with the key in “start”. I’m guessing from what you say it cranks ok, but doesn’t pop and start running on it own. But it does at least pop once with starter spray, but doesn’t keep running. What you have going for you is that it ran ok when you parked it. Suggest the first step is to first fully recharge the battery. I presume you’ve already done that.

To me your symptoms indicates the electrical part of ignition system is probably not the problem, or at least not the main problem. Instead there’s a problem with the spark plugs, compression, or the fuel system. Since the first two are the easiest, suggest to start by replacing the spark plugs and doing a compression test. If that’s done and everything seems ok, next step is the fuel system. If you can figure out a safe way to drain the tank and refill with fresh gasoline, that’s probably where I’d start. Next step, I’d measure the fuel pressure. From what I see the spec’d fuel pressure is very low (compared to most fuel injection of the same era), spec’d at about 11 psi. Given that this system works at fairly low pressure, clogged injectors are a definite possibility. A shop could clean them for you. If you feel lucky and it is relatively easy to do, you might just replace the fuel pressure regulator and cross your fingers.

Removing and cleaning the fuel tank makes 100% sense, but that’s probably fairly expensive and it may not be necessary.

Is the check engine light on?