Problem: My 2001 Mustang Won't Start After Sitting All Winter

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It's frustrating to get behind the wheel of your 2001 Ford Mustang for the first time in months, turning the key and finding out your car won't start. After it has sat for a few months, there could be a number of reasons why it won't start. Most of the time, an issue such as this one can easily be solved by someone as long as they have some basic tools and mechanical know-how.

Things You'll Need

  • Jumper cables
  • Fuel
  • Fuel filter
  • Lubricating oil
  • Turn the key in the ignition and try to start the vehicle. If the engine doesn't turn over or turns over very slowly, you most likely have a very weak or dead battery in your Mustang. A battery will slowly discharge over time if the vehicle isn't periodically started. Try jump starting your Mustang, which will require you to hook it up to another running vehicle with jumper cables. The battery is located in the front of the engine compartment, directly behind the driver's side headlight. If the battery is completely dead, you may not be able to jump start the Mustang and will need to replace the battery.

  • Drain the gas tank to remove any old fuel. As gasoline sits, it begins to oxidize and can go bad. Also, temperature swings outside could cause large amounts of condensation to form in the gas tank, which leads to water in your fuel and will prevent the vehicle from starting. While the tank is empty, replace the fuel filter, which is attached to the fuel line a few inches in front of the gas tank. Refill the tank with fresh 87-octane and attempt to start.

  • Remove all six spark plugs and spray some lubricating oil into each cylinder. While your Mustang sat, the piston rings may have become stuck in position and the oil will help loosen them. With the spark plugs out, crank the engine until the oil light on the dashboard goes off, which will prime the fuel and oil pump. Reinstall the spark plugs and attempt to start your Mustang.

Tips & Warnings

  • Whenever working on the fuel system, always be sure to relieve the fuel pressure in the system to prevent fuel from being sprayed everywhere. To relieve the pressure, take the gas cap off. Also, disconnect the battery to prevent the chance of a spark igniting any spilled fuel.

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