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Starting up a long inactive car

My 1997 Olds Achieva has been inactive for ~6 years and now won’t start. We are trying to syphon the gas out since the gas is so old but haven’t been able to get any into the syphon. How can this be done and do you have any other suggestions as to why the engine won’t turn over?..hope so!!!

Won’t turn over and won’t start are 2 different issues. To me won’t turn over, dead battery, won’t start try a shot of starting fluid and see if it kicks, if so it is a fuel issue.

This car is fuel injected. And with gas this old you have to start by replacing the gas tank/fuel pump. Then see if the fuel line/rails can be cleaned and blown out. Then you’re looking at problems with the fuel injectors.

This is not going to be an easy restart.


I would disconnect the fuel line, turn the ignition on, and let the fuel pump empty the tank for me.

I don’t think fresh gasoline alone will get this car running. The fuel system may have to be cleaned or replaced from one end to the other.

How much are you willing to spend to get it running? It may cost more than you think.

Electric fuel pumps in gas tanks don’t pump gas that’s turned to varnish very well. The fuel pump probably burned up at the first turn of the key.


Here’s a guy who knows a thing or two about starting cars that’ve been sitting :wink:

David’s Farm!!! I LOVE his YouTube videos. One of the best I’ve seen is the airbag-in-a-fridge video ( Some day Tom and Ray should go visit David…