Question about 1997 Hyundai Elantra

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Car won't stay started

97 elantra that has 69K miles. It's been sitting since 1998. It turns over but doesn't stay running. We've changed the oil, the starter, alternator, air filter and battery. We've put gas, and fuel injector cleaner in it. It stays running for about 2 seconds but then dies out. Please offer any help you can!

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  • fplqnewc
    fplqnewc May 11, 2010

    Put a bottle of HEET in the gas tank.  It can be purchased at all auto parts stores.  HEET removes water from your fuel and allows your engine to burn it.  If the car has truly been sitting for that long, I would expect there to be some moisture accumulation in the tank.


    Also, replace the fuel filter, the filter element would be deteriorated by now and it might be clogged.

  • Dan Todd May 11, 2010

    Have you checked the fuel filter?

  • Keith Heavilin
    Keith Heavilin May 11, 2010

    If you pump the gas will it stay running?

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When gasoline sits for that length of time it turns into a varnish like substance. It gets the consistancy of something like real sticky warm creamy peanut butter. (basically turns to thick sticky muck). Which plugs the pick-up screen on the fuel pump, the fuel injectors and can even plug the fuel lines. Fuel injectors are designed to "spray" the fuel into the intake in a very fine mist. I believe the reason it starts then dies is because even though the injectors are plugged they will "drip" fuel because of the pressure that fuel injection works on. The "drip" is just enough to fire the engine and then die.
What you can do to confirm that the problem is actually fuel related is, using a can of carbuerater cleaner (in a spray can) start the engine while spraying into the air intake. If the engine keeps running as long as you keep spraying, the problem IS fuel related. If the engine doesn't stay running when sprayed. Then the problem is NOT fuel related. I don't recommend using "brake clean" to do this because some brands of "brake clean" are non-flammable. I hope I wrote this so that you understand what to do. Good luck.

Posted on May 24, 2009

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I have seen this happen with a newer model car it
turned out to be the dash cluster. about 800.00 to fix. I went to test drive it at the dealership and it would turn on and then right after cut off. He took it to a volts dealer ship in FL turns out b/c the dash cluster had a short it would atomatically turn the car off soon as it was turned on,. Good luch cause if it is it its not cheap or atleast it wasnt for that car...

Posted on May 24, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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