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We have a 2005 Dodge Stratus that sat parked outside for 5 months (Feb to July).

We replaced the battery with a new one. The car started briefly but then died. Again started briefly and then died. After several attempts, it won't even crank over to start.

Could this be fuel or starter related? The headlights work. Just thinking it may be related to the fuel injector or fuel pump if not the starter.

Any suggestions or has anyone else experienced this? Another thought was maybe the car's computer needs to reset if it sensed the gas was bad and after a few attempts. Gas tank was 1/2 full.

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    After several attempts, it won't even crank over to start. . huh? what do those words mean. As written I take that to mean when I turn the key I don't hear any clicks or anything. . But that doesn't jive with started briefly and then died... . Possible to amend your question to accurately describe your symptoms? Also... is there a check engine light? Do you have a diagnostic tester available? – zipzit Jul 24 '17 at 17:07
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    Gas will not go bad after 5 months, is the battery fully charged? – Moab Jul 24 '17 at 23:33
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I would replace the ground to the battery , they are known for corroding internally , it will cause same issues but will not do it all the time, that's where I would start , good luck hope this helps

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When you put the key into the ON (not start) position, do you hear the fuel pump? Have someone stand at the back of the car, or better yet with their head under the rear bumper, turn the key to ON and listen for the pump. You should hear a whirring noise.

Your vehicle doesn't seem old enough, but the ethanol was killing the fuel pumps of a lot of late 90's cars after sitting for a short time.

You'll want to determine if the pump is coming on. If you hear the whirring noise, skip the Schrader test in the next paragraph.

There should be a Schrader valve at/on the rail in the engine bay. It should look like a bicycle/tire valve. Establish the location of this valve, and with safety glasses and a rag press down the needle on the valve. If you get a continued stream, rather than just a puff of fuel, you're likely looking at an electrical issue rather than fuel.

Visually inspect any wiring you see for damage, and look for signs of nesting by creatures. Visually inspect your air-box and filter for similar signs of habitation. Ensure all fluids are present and correct.

Inspect the Spark Plug Wires for signs of oil. Remove a plug wire and look inside at the spark plug for signs that oil is seeping up from the head. Given the vehicle spark plug tube seals may have failed causing the Spark Plugs to foul out, leading to failure to start and run properly.

I hope this helps.

EDIT: None of this matters because the starter isn't turning if you don't hear anything when attempting to start the car.

I am with @Jaden here. Ensure the battery is fully charged. Remove, clean, and reconnect the battery terminals, and any accessible main grounds, to ensure clean power. Corrosion on the "bung" of the ground screw, not visible while it's installed, tends to cause lots of gremlins. Carefully remove the Ignition Wire (disconnect the battery first!), inspect, clean the mating surfaces, and reconnect.

Use a highly abrasive synthetic pad, emery cloth and/or wire brush, ensure a metallic shine is returned to the terminals, conductive surfaces, and fasteners as best as possible. Too much is better than not enough, here. Just be careful not to bend or kink any wires during the cleaning process.

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Seems to be a dead battery to me... Make sure you give your battery a charge first or borrow someone's battery to see.

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    The question states that it is a new battery. – Chenmunka Aug 25 '17 at 7:34
  • The question states a new battery that was used to start a vehicle numerous times. The battery could now be dead. It takes a lot to start a vehicle, and the battery never got a chance to recharge given the short running cycles as described in the OP. I'd definitely start with making sure the battery is currently charged before moving on to more complex diag. Using a Multimeter, or bringing it to a parts store for testing is going to be far easier for OP than attempting any other diag. – NitrusInc Mar 25 '18 at 13:10

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