Question about 1983 Honda Accord

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Preparing to start car

What should I do to prepare a car for running that has not been started for over 10 years?

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Hi there!

Obviously the engine has been sat with valves open, and corrosion will occur more on a petrol engine than a diesel.

I would advise removing the battery, and replacing with new, or at least a charged working one.

Check for any coolant in there, you will need some during initial start up, but this should have a coolant flush as soon as possible when running.

Check sump oil level. It is a very good idea to change the oil. Drain the old sump oil, and fill up to dipstick mark with el-cheapo brand 15-40 or similar.
Filling should be through the rocker cover - and do it fairly fast. This should put oil on the valve guides and stems.

Make sure the clutch is working and free. often it is not. Leave in neutral.

Take out spark plugs or heater plugs, and use a small bottle of 3in1 oil to pour about 20ml into the cylinder bores.

Turn ctankshaft by hand using socket bar. Eitherway to start it moving, then clockwise for a full 10 relolutions.


It is very likely a valve has stuck. Remove the rocker cover to see which one it is and try to free it.

If it turns over no problem for several revolutions - power up and crank it.

There is a risk of snapping the timing belt, and this should be replaced as soon as possible, but it is up to you how far you want to strip it before trying.

After the first fire-up, Replace rubber belts, drain oil, change filters & replace oil with fresh oil of your choice. Drain, flush and refill with fresh coolant. You may chose to replace hoses first if in poor condition.

Next - make sure all brakes are free and working, and that transmission works in all gears.

Hope this works for you.

Posted on Jun 21, 2008

  • Richard Perkins
    Richard Perkins Jun 22, 2008


    I noticed you only rated this as helpful. I understand you consider this free advice helpful, but it's actually reduced my % mark.

    Do you consider it to have left something out? If so, I can discuss this.

    If not, I would really apreciate the Fixya! thanks.



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