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Car sitting for 2 months won't start

I have a 2004 Ford Escape and it’s been sitting for 2 months. I changed the oil, changed out the battery and when I try to turn it on I got a wrring noise for a bit and heavy exhaust. I’m trying to figure out what to do next. Any help and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Try the “key dance” - turn the key to Run (not all the way to Start) and after a few seconds back Off then to Run for a few seconds, etc. Each time the fuel pump should run for a couple seconds then turn off. You may hear it. It’s bringing fuel and fuel pressure up to the engine. After a few repeats, turn the key all the way to Start. Does the engine start?

Try some heet and a battery maintainer, as you will probably need more cranks to get it going than the battery will provide.

Almost got it to turn over, would it help to jump it after trying the “key dance” ?

If the starter motor is turning the engine, there’s enough electricity to run the fuel pump. Try the key dance. Good luck!


Now that its started any suggestions? i.e. keep it running for X long etc.?

Probably OK to do nothing special - but if you’ve just changed the oil, it’s good to look for leaks, turn it off, and after a minute or so check the oil level.

I would take a 1/2 hour to 45 minute drive.

Why? To see if the car still uses gas?


Burn of any water condensation in the oil and fully charge the battery my thought. Somewhat related went to check the oil in our 2017 Rav4, 9600 miles, dipstick was stuck tighter than a toy drum at Christmas. Rusted up they said. They pulled the dipstick then the tube, cleaned and lubed it, warranty repair! Due to low miles and condensation they said.

Hmmm? I wonder if the OP pulled the dip stick to check the oil level?

We store cars over the winter. Never a problem with condensation.

And you damn well you run the risk of frying an alternator if you try to recharge a bad battery.


IDK if that means a new - or different - battery was put in. It had enough juice to crank the engine, so it’s probably not a bad battery. If there’s any concern it may be not fully charged, a 30-45 drive will do it some good. A battery charger overnight would bring it to full charge if can take and hold a charge. We may be worried needlessly.

Never fried an alternator yet recharging a dead battery, I know your wisdom is great, but my experience is not to be discounted.

Thank you all for the input. The vehicle is started and running fine, there are no oil leaks. I did add heat to the fuel just in case, and that seemed to help. The battery is brand new and under warranty so if I effed it up I can just return it for a new one. I’ve also found a leak in the power stearing system somewhere, added leak stop and refilled the reservoir. That’s a project for another day.
THANKS AGAIN ALL!!! :slight_smile:

So you’ve been lucky. But if you ever do, you’re the one that has to pay for a new alternator. Not some stranger you provided the bad advice to.

Here’s what comes with every alternator I install.

Now if that’s not a simple enough warning, I don’t know what is?



LOL… It seems that @Tester and I have had the same love affair with alternators over our lifetimes… I hear ya @Tester believe me I do…

The tires might have some flat spots, so do some slow neighborhood driving for 10 miles or so for the flat spots to work themselves out. I expect you are out of the woods now, so top off the gas tank w/fresh gasoline, start 'er up everyday and take a drive & enjoy!