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Honda 2005 sat for 13 years need help

I have a question about maintenance and cost. We have this car in the garage my uncle owned it and he bought it brand new and added custom parts and drove it for only about 5,000-20,000 miles(family guess) they know he barely drove it and it sat. The car is a 2005 Honda Civic Coupe 2 door Manual. I was told I should take it to a honda dealer for a full maintenance sweep for full repair which appearently cost 300$. Or should I take it to a regulator mechanic and buy parts my self and which ones should I replace? Car was new when it sat.

A vehicle that has sat for 13 years will have gasoline that has turned to varnish.

Remove the gas cap and take a whiff at the fill neck and see if it has a rancid odor.

If does, the entire fuel system will need to be rebuilt.

And that’s just for starters.


I can’t see this being road worthy for 300.00 - The fuel tank and lines are probably clogged from stale fuel. The tires are dry rot and need replaced. It may need a complete brake job just from moisture collection . This is not a dealer type repair. All the hoses need replaced and the engine will need to be turned by hand just to make sure it is not seized.

You shouldn’t do that for any car. The mechanic, IF he will work on your car, won’t guarantee the parts.

I doubt that price is correct but if they think they can get it running for that, I’d take 'em up on it. Be ready to change every fluid in the car and replace the tires - I don’t CARE how good they look, they are old, dry and hard and no longer grip the road.

I don’t see for one minute that you’re going to get an all-inclusive ready to drive service for 300 bucks.

As Tester and Mustangman mentioned, the fuel system and tires are likely shot.

On top of that you have to consider an aged timing belt and accessory belt, the possibility of brake hydraulics failing, battery, and a list of “likely to happen” on top of all of that.

As a DIY project it’s possible. If you have to pay someone a 100 bucks an hour to sort it all out then not so much.

So a full sweep how much would honda charge? As if the car was running in 2005.

There is not a way to answer that . Your location is unknown and as I said before this is not something that is in a dealers normal type of work.

I live in North New Jersey

I bet the dealer was saying they would do a ‘full sweep’ of the car to see what needed to be fixed for $300, no repairs included.

Not something I’d take to a dealer. I’d need to have it towed (flat bed) to a trusted shop, have them check it out first for, say, $200, then start on the list of repairs if it then seems worth it. First, as everyone said, is to have the fuel system drained and cleaned out, then all fluids changed, then the brakes inspected, then new tires, etc, etc. $2,000 minimum, I’d think.

New Jersey? Was it stored in a dry location? Any rust?

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It sat in the garage under a thick cover. Inside the car looks exactly how it was left and only the solid cover was dusty. Should I run pictures here?

Pictures are not going to help. All the problems this thing will have are unseen mechanical items. It could look like new and still cost a small fortune to make road worthy.

A gallon of detergent won’t dissolve it? Put it in, pump it through by hand, let it sit for a few years, drain it out?

What would be a good flushing fluid to clean out the fuel system?

I was thinking of the gas-line cleaner stuff.

Dealing with the large volumes of old gas and cleaning solutions is much better done by a shop that’s done it before.

There’s not detergent or cleaner that I’m aware of that will clean a heavily varnished fuel system. Usually what happens (assuming the pump even works…) is that the pump will fail soon after put into operation.

This (kind of…) reminds me of a Subaru towed in once. It had sat overnight in flood waters. The car was 1 owner and very low miles.

The insurance company asked that I replace every single thing that could be affected by water. Seriously? Do you realize what that entails? Don’t care, hang the cost, do it.

I don’t know the final tally on the bill but it was in the thousands of dollars and as a mechanic kind of made my week financially.
Personally, I thought the insurance guy was off his rocker but who am I to argue against demands. I tried to talk them out of it to no avail but they insisted…

This sounds like a fun project for the right person, but a money pit if having to pay professional mechanics. The custom parts just add complications.


At shop prices, this is likely to cost at least $2000, plus the cost of tires and a battery to get this running and reliable. But who knows? Maybe you can get this running yourself for a lot less than that.

What would I do if I inherited this car? I’d start by airing up the tires (yes I know that they’re not road-worthy at this point), checking the oil and transmission fluid, draining and refilling the coolant (yes I know that the hoses are not dependable at this point), removing each spark plug and putting a teaspoon of clean motor oil into each cylinder and then reinstalling the spark plug, then installing a new battery and cranking the engine several times (yes it won’t start, but this will get the oil circulating again). Next, I would add a bottle of fuel system cleaner to the fuel tank, followed by 5-10 gallons of new gasoline. Then I would try to get it started. This might take MANY attempts, just make sure to wait a few minutes after every 10 seconds of trying to start.

If the engine starts, then I’d let it idle in my garage, WITH THE GARAGE DOOR OPEN, for at least 30 minutes to make sure the engine has warmed up fully, there are no oil or coolant leaks, and it didn’t stall out.

Assuming this worked, I’d drive it cautiously around the block, at a time when there’s little or no traffic to make sure that the brakes work, and the steering works. After that, I’d proceed to replace the belts (including the timing belt and its associated tensioner, idler, and water pump), radiator hoses, thermostat, and tires, and change the oil, oil filter, and air filter.

That’s not how you get an engine that has sat for years back to life.

You FILL the cylinders with oil thru the spark plug holes.

Then you FILL the engine with as much oil as it can hold.

This is called pickling.

Then let the engine sit for at least a week

Then you remove the spark plugs and drain the oil.

Then you try turning the engine over by hand, and hope it moves.



How do you turn it over by hand? I asked about hand-cranking mine a while ago but got no help.

My tires are 16 years old, seem to work.

I’d change all the fluids; they’re cheap.

I’d check all the hoses. Mine are at least 20 years old, probably 30, don’t leak, flex, look okay.

I replaced mine for $40 - then again, it is mechanical.

I’ve driven 4K in the last 13 years. I’ve bought gas 25 times, sometimes not for more than a year. I’ve lived in deserts so I haven’t had a danger of rust. It’s probably worth it if you do your own work and want the car. I don’t know how good a price you’d get for it, even running.