One of my friends left his car in the garage since five years back and he has lived abroad since then. He left it with a full tank(its a diesel), and it ran perfectly well back then. Now he's back and the car wouldn't start. The battery was left disconnected, and now he has replaced it with a new battery. The electric motor works, but the engine wouldn't start. Sorry, I don't know the model and make of the car.

So please help out. Thanks in advance.

3 Answers 3


I am not sure about diesel, but regular fuel jelliefies over time. And five years sounds plenty long.

In addition, you might live in a country that adds ethanol to its fuel. I read that this can also separate over time, though I have no direct experience with that.

Summary: check the fuel. Is it still liqued?


I suspect that the reason the vehicle will not start is that the fuel lines are dry. On diesel engined vehicles there is a priming procedure which is specific to the vehicle but may be completed by a plunger on top of the fuel filter in the engine bay or a separate "squeezy" hand pump in the fuel lines. This procedure must be completed if a diesel ever runs out of fuel so I suspect it will also need completed in this case because the car has stood for so long.

Refer to the manufacturers handbook for details of how this procedure is completed for your specific vehicle.


5 years its too long. He should not try to start the engine without doing these steps:

  • Empty the tank and get rid of the old diesel (of course, refill the tank with new fuel)
  • Clean diesel filter
  • Replace engine oil
  • Replace oil filter
  • Replace brake fluid

Also have look this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byqhfAl9-YE

hope it help thanks to Paulster2 for the text correction !

  • Additionally auxiliary belts may need replaced as they may have perished in that time. I'd also be tempted to remove the glow plugs and squirt some oil down the cylinders to help lubricate them (i know its a diesel and less prone to drying up than a petrol engine) and turn the engine over by hand (keeping the glow plugs out to reduce compression)
    – Mauro
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 9:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .