Alfa Romeo Forums banner

No start troubleshooting procedure

1009 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Shiraz1965
With temperatures hovering around 0°C or slightly below, I've decided it's time to wake the Spider from it's winter slumber. Sadly I have a no start issue. Starter fluid doesn't help. Engine cranks fine and fuel pressure light goes on for a few seconds and then off as it should. Car worked fine when stored last November. I suspect condensation in the fuel system causing an ice block. Won't have time to tinker with this until Saturday but in the mean time, what would be the appropriate steps to troubleshoot this issue?

A few important details; Car is SPICA and fitted with electronic ignition. Winterizing procedure included fuel stabilizer in full gas tank and fogging oil in all cylinders. Battery is fully charged and cranks well.

Thanks for your help!
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
I would confirm that you have spark before messing with the Spica. Spica is noted to have start issues in very cold weather. Could you get the car inside to warm it up some to try the start?

Sadly can't get the car inside.

Will have to wait until it warms up. Wasn't intending on messing with the Spica. Just looking for the most logical way to troubleshoot no start issues.
We've had a few balmy days quickly followed freezing temperatures which is why I suspect some condensation might have taken place in the fuel system. Will need to wait another week or 2 before it warms up sufficiently to melt anything in the fuel system.

Our winters are bad. I guess is a trade off for not having rattle snakes and poisonous spiders....
Always check spark/electrics first. It's basically objective, works or doesn't, whereas fuel can be more subjective, if you will.

There was an Alfa-designed cold-start fix for Spica, an external lever with a cable that pulled the actuator richer than normal. Also, I have seen mini-radiator deals on northern and Canadian cars, soldered to the pump side, bringing engine water to heat the pump.

Heating the oil and water to get the engine spinning quicker can help too.

I will do that. My Spider was originally sold in Florida so no Spica heaters were installed.

Thanks for your input Andrew!
The heaters I have seen are homemade, but the enrichment thing was a factory or Don Black-engineered goodie; I got one just to have it, can't imagine I'll ever use it.

Agree that first thing is find out if there is spark.

To help get a cold car started try putting an incandescent drop light under the hood for a few hours. The heat the bulb puts out is often enough to make a difference. Be careful though - don't let it start a fire! I used to do this with my diesel pick up - plus I'd lay an old blanket across the top of the engine to keep the heat in. It can also help dry out wet wires - sometimes condensation is what's causing a no-spark problem.
I've decided to play it smart and delay everything by another couple of weeks. Roads are still very dirty and full of pot holes.

Need to replace the fuel filters and get the gas tank boiled out anyways. I'm sure she'll start right up once everything is replaced and the weather warms up!

1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.