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'91 jetta WV which was sitting for about 4 years. Trying to weak it up

Thank you for reading my post!

I have this beautiful WV that I need to wake up. I have a charger solar 580 in the battery already, remove the spark plugs, put oil on it and was able to turn over the engine pretty decently; but as soon as I put back the spark plugs and wires, the engine will barely turn over, just a little bit… Any suggestions?

Many thanks

That battery is dead from sitting. A battery that sits discharged will die in a matter of months, so I can guarantee you you’re going to need a new battery at least.

Other than that, sounds like you’re ready to try starting it. Be aware that the gas may be bad and depending on how full the tank is you may need to drain it out or you may be able to dilute it with fresh gas. Also give very close scrutiny to rubber parts like belts, hoses (especially brake), tires, etc as these may also be damaged from extended sitting.

You’ll want to find out if the battery is taking a charge - there’s a good chance that it isn’t. First, though, I would pull all of the connections including the grounds and clean then thoroughly. See if that doesn’t help it turn over.

You also need to worry about the fuel. The stuff in your tank is likely no good at all, and you shouldn’t try to run it on it. If you can drain out the old and put in fresh. If you can’t drain it, add a bunch of fresh on top. But you could still end up with varnish problems.

Before you drive it anywhere, you really need to thoroughly inspect the brakes. I would tear them down, clean and relube everything (but only if it ought to be lubed!), thoroughly check the lines, flush them out and go with all fresh fluid.

I’m sure there’s other stuff that others will tell you.

Thank you for your replies… IS there a safe way to get this old gas out? Also, Some how the belts are not there… Would any one have the diagram for this so I could follow it?

Many thanks

Lead/acid Car batteries have to be shaken periodically (which happens when you drive). I won’t get in to the chemistry, but when a battery sits motionless for several months, the acid stratifies (stronger at the bottom, weaker at the top) and a chemical reaction begins that trashes the battery plates. This is why new batteries have a shelf life. Charging and discharging (such as occurs in an uniterruptible power supply on a computer room) helps, but shaking is better.

If I had a battery that sat discharged for four years without being shaken, I would presume that it had failed.

There’s no belts on this car? Unless a broken belt is what prompted it being parked, someone must have been taking parts off of this car. You need to make sure nothing else important has been taken before you start driving it. The belts should be pretty self-explainitory – basically if they’re V-belts, they hook up to the pulleys that line up with the particular notch on the harmonic balancer and if it’s a serpentine there should be a routing diagram on the hood. If you’re going to be doing a lot of work on this car, you should get a service manual-- I strongly suggest the Bentley Publishing Co’s one which is a little bit more expensive, but vastly better than the other brands.

As for getting the gas out, there’s not really any easy way to get all of it out, but you should be able to use one of those $10 squeeze-the-ball type siphon pumps you can get anywhere and you should be able to get most of the old gas out. It’ll be slow going and you’ll need to make sure you have enough gas can to put it in, but it’s the easiest way to do it short of an expensive electric siphon pump or dropping the fuel tank. Even if you leave a few gallons of the old stuff in there, once its diluted with a full tank of fresh gas the car should run, though perhaps poorly, until all the old gas gets burnt.

Thanks for the reply!

Well, The belts are V shape. I tried both largest auto part suppliers in our area to get the belts and there are many different combination, but I did not see any belt that mentions the main pulley, and that did not made sense to me. So so far I have not being able to get the belts! I currently I have the Haynes book and they carry so many different models and years that then they are very generic in their information and does not have a diagram for the belts!!!

If anyone could share the belt diagram on this car would be greatly appreciated,


Hello again,

I neglected to mention that the car has AC and PS, so if a kind soul could tell me the part numbers for the belts I need I would be very grateful.

Many thanks,