I have an old Falcon that's been sitting for six months and won't start. The battery is fine -- I'm pretty sure the issue is that the gas in the carb has evaporated. As I understand it, the solution is putting a few drops of gas down the carburetor vent. I'm a little nervous about the possibility of fire.

What can I do to make this operation safer?

  • Isn't it possible to put some fuel in the float chamber? With a mechanical pump that has been sitting dry for a long time, it can take some time before it starts to pump some fuel.
    – Bart
    Jan 23, 2017 at 18:31

2 Answers 2


Simply cranking the car for 10 - 15 seconds should prime the carb.

  1. Crank the car for about 15 seconds
  2. Stop for about 15 seconds
  3. Pump the accelerator petal twice
  4. Crank the car again, if it doesn't start immediately keep cranking the car for a maximum of 15 seconds.
  5. Stop Wait at least 2 minutes, this is to prevent damage to the starter.
  6. Then go back to step 3

I had a similar situation with a dry carb bowl. My fuel pump is mechanical (not electric) so it takes a lot of cranking to get gas in the bowl. I didn't want to risk overheating the starter or draining the battery, so I removed 5 screws on top of the carb, lifted the "cover" a bit, and poured some gas directly in the bowl, reset the 5 screws, pumped the throttle a few times, then the engine started instantly. Putting gas directly in the carb vent doesn't appeal to me for safety reasons.

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