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1999 Cadillac Deville, 4 door Sedan, 52k, last serviced 5 oct 2007

Question is this: car was last driven 4 years ago. What needs to be done now to get the car going?

At a minimum…
The gas tank will need to be drained, and the fuel system will need to be purged of the gas remaining in it.
The brake fluid will need to be changed.
A new battery will need to be installed.
Fresh gasoline of the correct octane–with a healthy dose of Chevron’s Techron fuel system cleaner–should be added to the tank.
The tires should be inflated to the pressure specified on the label on the driver’s door jamb.

There could potentially be much more that will be necessary, but these procedures should at least allow you to get the engine started and to drive safely to a mechanic’s shop for an oil change, further examination, and–most likely–replacement of the aged, dried-out tires.

If your tank is full or near full…you may be shocked to see it run…but like VDC said…the gas is highly suspect…It goes stale rather often…and fairly quickly…although I have been surprised to see a car sit for 5 years and then start up with that old gas… And then other times…it wont start after like 2 years…never know…but its best to err on the safe side and get fresh fuel in there…it will prevent headaches for sure. You can try to start it and see what you get…couldnt hurt…and its best to just burn up that fuel rather than have it sitting in containers…wondering how to dispose of it… See what you get.

All other comments by VDC…as usual are on the money.

The gasoline CAN be an issue…I would try to siphon a sample out of the tank and into a clear container so you can take a look at it. It should be almost clear or have a SLIGHT green or blue tint to it…If it looks orange, especially darker orange, that is a problem…Also the smell. It should smell like gasoline, not old paint thinner. use a SMALL clear vinyl hose to try the siphon. 1/4 inch or 3/8 max. You may be able to snake that into the tank…

A new battery, check all the fluids, tires, fire it up…Then ASAP, I would have ALL the fluids changed…

I would also not rule out a fuel pump failure; either from the start or down the road in 3 months, 6 moths, or even a couple of years.

Stale gasoline can often cause a pump failure and while the car may run as is the pump will always be suspect.

Open the fuel door and hold a lighter to it, if it explodes, the gasoline was OK.

VDCdriver forgot to mention that the tires & belt(s) might be unsafe.

Changed oil+ filter, spark plugs, air filter, and battery. Plan to change coolant and brake fluid to start, but first the old gas in the tank…

The siphon hose will not go in and was informed there is a valve in there to specifically prevent inserting a siphon for fuel theft. What about getting at the fuel from above? Can it be done thru the back seat or trunk? Display says tank has 17 gallons. Is that amount enough to keep gas from going bad? Tires do not look dried out, just brought up air pressure and they look good. VDC says to purge fuel system of gas, does that mean more than the tank? And how to do that? I don’t have any fancy equipment.

Thanks to all for the tips. -djs

“VDCdriver forgot to mention that the tires & belt(s) might be unsafe.”

Ummm…then how would you interpret my earlier statement, namely, "There could potentially be much more that will be necessary, but these procedures should at least allow you to get the engine started and to drive safely to a mechanic’s shop for an oil change, further examination, and–most likely–replacement of the aged, dried-out tires. "

I would hope that no one takes the holding the lighter to the fuel filler door seriously and attempts. I’m sure tha comment is made in jest but that actually happened in my area just a few years ago when 2 guys were stealing gasoline at a farm so one can never underestimate Darwin. :wink:

That checking the tank with a cigarette lighter trick burnt up the barn, a 2-ton bobtail, a Ford pickup, couple of ATVs, and the most horrendous of all; fried a 67 Corvette 427 convertible along with leaving both of those guys with burned arms and eventually arson charges.

If you use a SMALL (1/4" OD) vinyl hose you can sometimes manipulate it past the check-valve in the filler neck…Twist it, play with it, you can usually get it to slip in…Blow in the free end of the hose to determine when you have achieved your goal…

Or…Look at the fuel rail, a metallic pipe that feeds all the injectors. Look for a pressure testing port. It will have a valve very similar to a tire valve. Usually the same tool will remove it. Slip a length of hose over it and feed that into a bottle. Turn the key on and off several times. Fuel should flow into your bottle. Take a look at it…

This car does not seem to have a fuel rail, unless it’s burried in the “V”. I just see the fuel line coming in and there is some sort of clip that makes a connection to the lines going into the engine. Above there is a plastic line that has a tag reading “evaporative 1 psi” and that is the only thing find with a bicycle valve thingy, but it is too deep in for a stem remover tool from a bicycle valve to work. The people at the parts store say fuel would not spray out of this valve and recommend a fuel conditioner to make the fuel usable again, but the bottle says it works on fresh fuel to keep it up to 1 year, not to bring back fuel that has been sitting for 4 years. Any ideas?