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my 98 chevy cavalier has not been driven since 2005 and has sat with empty gas tank..do I have to install new gas tank?

  • Probably needs a new in tank fuel pump due to non use and corrosion in the pump. – Moab May 25 '18 at 19:24
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The reason for filling the tank when storing a car is to provide minimal space for moisture to collect and rust the metal of the tank from the inside. It's not a guarantee, but the empty tank may be harmless. If you feel up to it, you could try to remove either the pump or sender (or one unit) if your car allows it and look inside the tank. Provided there's no serious rust inside, it should be fine to continue using it.

There's also a school of thought that gasoline ages and turns to a varnish-like compound with time plus air, so if the tank was empty and the lines have dried, you're probably in a better state than someone who left the car in ready-to-start condition for a decade.

If you're concerned about the state of the tank, add a small amount of gasoline and check for leaks, or the smell of fuel around it. Chances are, you're probably fine.

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If the car hasn't been driven since 2005 I would be more worried about the other components in the car that may have deteriorated over time. I would make sure to change all fluids like the oil and coolant before attempting to drive the car again.

  • And have the air conditioning system checked for leaks, any leaks repaired, oil flushed and then replenished if it lost any oil, and then vacuumed and serviced with the full charge. You don't want to seize that AC compressor. Until all of this is done, unplug the compressor clutch coil connector. If it has a clutchless compressor, even worse stuff, it might seize itself as soon as the engine is started if it lost all the refrigerant. – Al_ May 25 '18 at 19:01

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