Mustang won't wake from deep hibernation

Hi friends!

I’ve got a '99 mustang, V6, stick that has been sitting for several years without being started, garage kept. The vehicle was in great running condition before it was parked even with it having 200,000 miles. We try to take really great care of all our cars.

However, since it has not been driven in so long I’m having trouble getting it started. At first I thought it was simply a matter of replacing the fuel pump because when I turn the key to the “on” position I don’t hear that click or hum of the fuel pump turning on before ignition. So I go to a junkyard, get a used replacement and put the fuel pump in, change the fuel filter as well and put in about 3-4 gallons of gas but still no success. The starter is working but it won’t catch. From what I can tell, there is no fuel getting to the engine and the fuel pump still isn’t clicking or humming when “on.”

Now, I recognize that the junkyard fuel pump could be bad, but assuming it’s a good replacement why wouldn’t the pump be getting juice?

I know there is a switch that is triggered by a collision to cut off the fuel pump to keep from starting a fire, however, I’ve checked this switch and it’s good and in the correct position.

This car is my first and it would mean more than a lot of people could imagine to get it running again. I would be greatly appreciative of any help that anyone could provide.


Did you try a jump start.

I haven’t considered a jump start because I wouldn’t think it would work if the pump itself isn’t getting juice? Or am I wrong on that?

Qouting @BooBoo7750

"The starter is working but it won’t catch."
I think that means it’s cranking the engine, so a jump is not necessary. Right?

You might try just a quick shot of starting fluid in the air cleaner, or into the hole in the convoluted 3" diameter intake tube provided if you pull the smaller hose out of it. If it fires for an instant then, it may well be a fuel delivery issue. I THINK the '99 has a sensor under the package shelf in the trunk that tells the fuel pump how much fuel to pump. If that’s the case, it may also cause no fuel to be delivered. There is also a fuel pump relay that may not be telling the pump to turn on.

@“MG McAnick” that’s correct, the engine is cranking. It’s the same old battery that, on it’s own power is dead, however, I’m jumping it from my F-150 to see if it will at least run while being fed electricity from the truck.

I thought @Barkydog was referring to a push start, not a jump start.

I’ve heard about the relay but I’ve also heard that it’s rare for it fail. Do you by chance know how to test it?

You should be able to temporarily swap the relay with a similar one, maybe the one for the A/C? How about checking voltage at the pump?

You really should replace the battery. You’re going to have to do it anyway. Unless you have some truly hefty jumper cables, I doubt the car is getting enough juice, even if it’s cranking. You say you try to take care of your cars really well. The car made it to 200K mostly unscathed, so you must be doing something right. Why cheap out on it now and put in a junkyard fuel pump and not replace the battery? IMHO, this is not taking care of a car very well.

Turn ignition. Pump should run. Open fuel rail Schrader valve. Gas will spray out. If it does u can than try a fuel pressure tester

Another vote to get a new battery. If you get it running, the alternator could be damaged trying to charge up that old battery. If you don’t get a new battery, at least put a charger on the old one and see if it can take and hold a full charge.

You need to figure out if you have a fuel problem or a spark problem? Straying starter fluid into the throttle body should produce at least some fires and brief running - that would confirm a fuel problem. If you still get nothing then you need to diagnose why no spark from the ignition system.

If you have spark, and fuel, you still need compression to get it running. Pull all the plugs and squirt a little oil in each plug hole and turn over the motor by hand to spread the oil around. With plugs still out crank the motor over with the starter. Expect some oil to be ejected from the plug holes. Then do a compression test and see what the readings are. At 200K miles that motor might be tired and the rings might be allowing to much blow by resulting in low compression.