how do I start a festiva that has been sitting for a long time?

Asked by Oct 11, 2015 at 01:03 AM about the 1992 Ford Festiva

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have recently changed out the starter and changed the fuel filter.  When I
bought the festiva I was told that the only problem was the starter.  It has sat
for about 2 years.  I know that gas is bad.  It will have to go as well.  What
other situations can I expect?  I will change spark plugs, charge the battery
and do an oil flush/change but I need to know if there is there anything else I
am overlooking?

6 Answers


The tires- if you tried to start it already, you pumped that bad gas up through your entire fuel system- that would make it more complicated to bring it back to life-

2 people found this helpful.

Starters don't normally go bad on the festiva's (I know.. they always fail at some point; but no really). I would bench test the starter and see how it is. There is a drain bolt on the bottom of the gas tank (14mm maybe?) and that will fix most of the bad gas situation. I would drain it and then turn the key on and off about 5 times to "prime" the system and hopefully get a good amount out of the fuel lines and maybe some of it to drain? Just a theory. But once you put new fuel in, you'll likely be okay. You can also add some HEET? to absorb any condensation in the tank as well. Pull the air intake plenum that wraps up to the throttle body and look at how clean/dirty the TB is. If it is oily, then the engine may have dirty, stuck or bad rings causing blow- by. You might also check the air filter and I will respond to your updates as you post. I would seriously like you to keep this question updated with your responses and things you come across, etc.

Just got it started. In total, I changed the starter, fuel filter, battery, fuel filter, and strainer. It fired up all right. There is oil on the outside of the engine. I can smell it as the engine warms. Is it ok to hose the engine down to get rid of the gunk?


It might be coming from a leaky valve cover or a number of other things. I would put down a box or trash bag to catch gunk and use a flat blade screwdriver to scrape off the big stuff. Is it all over the front of the engine or what?


and electrically, you DO NOT want to get the electrics wet. I know people do it but I wouldn't (and don't). But if you do, make SURE you wrap the disty in a good bag to keep water out.

Gotcha. I wasn't sure. I'll do the manual cleaning job before I do anything else. I don't want to bugger anything up now that it's going.

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