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My 1991 Alfa 2000 spider sat in my driveway for a month because it had a leaky water pump return hose leak, I started it right up and drove it directly into my garage 30 feet away and parked it so I could pull the radiator.
I disconnected the battery pulled the radiator for pressure testing and found a leaky hose, ordered all new hoses an install prior to reinstalling the Radiator with tested without any problems.

when I got it all back together and reattached the battery it wouldn't start, this Alfa for 11 years has sat every winter in my garage and always started right up without any problems.

It has spark at the plugs, it has gas, and I have checked the compression, sometimes it sounds like it wants to start but it sounds like the timing on the distributor is out of position I never moved the distributor and have checked to make sure it's still very tight. I installed new plugs removed the distributor cap and cleaned it added new gas, etc.

when I try to start it none of the dash lights come on except the 'Check Engine' light. We I pull the key out of the ignition the 'Check Engine' light stays on.

Someone mentioned on this website that i might have 'Fuel Wash' anybody ever heard of this with fuel injection cars???
please help, my only alternative is to get it towed to an Alfa Dealership as a last resort.

Regards...tony
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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when I try to start it none of the dash lights come on except the 'Check Engine' light. We I pull the key out of the ignition the 'Check Engine' light stays on.
Like, you remove the key completely, and the check engine light is still on? I don't even know how that could happen, but if it's happening you've got an electrical problem, not a fuel problem.

When you turn the key to "on" but don't start it, no other dash lights come on? Do the windows and radio work in the "on" position?
 
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I've got the same questions Tom has.

Note that getting it towed to an Alfa dealership is unlikely to do any good. A dealership dealing with new Alfas is not going to have any idea how to deal with your car and will likely refuse. I suppose there's an exception out there somewhere but in general it'll be as foreign to them as any other old car.
 

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...when I try to start it none of the dash lights come on except the 'Check Engine' light. We I pull the key out of the ignition the 'Check Engine' light stays on.
Very strange!

My random thought is to remove both battery cables, clean the terminals and cable connections and also follow the negative cable to where it bolts to the body (sort of hidden behind the battery). Remove, clean & secure that connection, too. Might not be your issue but if nothing else it'll eliminate all those connections.

Connect a voltmeter directly to the battery (a dash gauge is not useful for this test). With everything off a fully charged battery should read 12.6V. 12.3V is 1/2 to 3/4 charged. Next see what it reads when you turn the key to 'start'. Report back.
 

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My 1991 Alfa 2000 spider sat in my driveway for a month because it had a leaky water pump return hose leak, I started it right up and drove it directly into my garage 30 feet away and parked it so I could pull the radiator.
I disconnected the battery pulled the radiator for pressure testing and found a leaky hose, ordered all new hoses an install prior to reinstalling the Radiator with tested without any problems.

when I got it all back together and reattached the battery it wouldn't start, this Alfa for 11 years has sat every winter in my garage and always started right up without any problems.

It has spark at the plugs, it has gas, and I have checked the compression, sometimes it sounds like it wants to start but it sounds like the timing on the distributor is out of position I never moved the distributor and have checked to make sure it's still very tight. I installed new plugs removed the distributor cap and cleaned it added new gas, etc.

when I try to start it none of the dash lights come on except the 'Check Engine' light. We I pull the key out of the ignition the 'Check Engine' light stays on.

Someone mentioned on this website that i might have 'Fuel Wash' anybody ever heard of this with fuel injection cars???
please help, my only alternative is to get it towed to an Alfa Dealership as a last resort.

Regards...tony
Where are you located?

Your best bet is to find an independent Alfa specialist.
 

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besides the battery connection, I would make sure the fuel pump in the gas tank is working. The pump only comes on when the key is turned to start. It continues to run once the car starts. If you don't hear a hum when cranking this is your culprit. These fuel tank pumps do not last forever. Easy fix.
 

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I would start at the beginning. I'd get a scanner and see what codes you have. You can go to your local parts store and they can loan you a scanner. If that is no help then I'd trouble shoot your starting issue. Is the starter spinning at it's normal speed. Then I'd pull the plugs and make sure they fire. Then afterbl that cranking stick a lighter in the plug hole and carefully light it. It should shoot a nice blue flame out of the hole.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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He's gonna have a hard time finding someplace to plug that OBD scanner in on a Spider :LOL:
 

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I would start at the beginning. I'd get a scanner and see what codes you have.
These cars do not have OBD plugs.

Here is how to get the codes

Here is the code list

Let us know what code you get.

Vin
 
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How old is your battery? I'd disconnect it and put it on a charger for 24 hours. Then take a meter and measure the voltage. If it's not putting out 12.6v replace it. Then repeat the process. If it is, reconnect it and try starting it. If it starts great. If it doesn't, get back to us. Electrical problems can be difficult but if you take a systematic approach and keep notes as you go along you'll find the problem.

- Drew
 

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My 1991 Alfa 2000 spider sat in my driveway for a month because it had a leaky water pump return hose leak, I started it right up and drove it directly into my garage 30 feet away and parked it so I could pull the radiator.
I disconnected the battery pulled the radiator for pressure testing and found a leaky hose, ordered all new hoses an install prior to reinstalling the Radiator with tested without any problems.

when I got it all back together and reattached the battery it wouldn't start, this Alfa for 11 years has sat every winter in my garage and always started right up without any problems.

It has spark at the plugs, it has gas, and I have checked the compression, sometimes it sounds like it wants to start but it sounds like the timing on the distributor is out of position I never moved the distributor and have checked to make sure it's still very tight. I installed new plugs removed the distributor cap and cleaned it added new gas, etc.

when I try to start it none of the dash lights come on except the 'Check Engine' light. We I pull the key out of the ignition the 'Check Engine' light stays on.

Someone mentioned on this website that i might have 'Fuel Wash' anybody ever heard of this with fuel injection cars???
please help, my only alternative is to get it towed to an Alfa Dealership as a last resort.

Regards...tony
Check the red stripe relay in the package tray, my car had a no start, just cranked and cranked. I put in my spare relay and it started right up. Also, check the two fuses in the package tray to see if they are good.


1993 Spider Veloce
2016 4c Coupe
2018 4c Spider
 

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distributor timing: not the problem, it is fixed and controlled by the computor (there is nothing inside the dizzy but a rotor)

But, back to basics: you have spark? on all 4 plugs and a good strong spark?
if so, your red stripe relay is good, you have correct cranking voltage to work the ECU etc.

Sudden no starts like this just after doing some work are 99% of the time related to the work just done!

As Tom points out the one big fault that stands out like a sore thumb, is the check engine light staying on AFTER you switch off the car and remove the key.
Something really odd is going on.

You removed the radiator.....did you get coolant splash out all over the engine department and maybe into some electrics?

think back carefully : what exactly did you remove during the radiator job?....
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Like, you remove the key completely, and the check engine light is still on? I don't even know how that could happen, but if it's happening you've got an electrical problem, not a fuel problem.

When you turn the key to "on" but don't start it, no other dash lights come on? Do the windows and radio work in the "on" position?
Gubi-Great idea let me they it.
How old is your battery? I'd disconnect it and put it on a charger for 24 hours. Then take a meter and measure the voltage. If it's not putting out 12.6v replace it. Then repeat the process. If it is, reconnect it and try starting it. If it starts great. If it doesn't, get back to us. Electrical problems can be difficult but if you take a systematic approach and keep notes as you go along you'll find the problem.

- Drew
Drew-thanks, I have a battery charger i will make sure it has a full charge and check the voltage.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
distributor timing: not the problem, it is fixed and controlled by the computor (there is nothing inside the dizzy but a rotor)

But, back to basics: you have spark? on all 4 plugs and a good strong spark?
if so, your red stripe relay is good, you have correct cranking voltage to work the ECU etc.

Sudden no starts like this just after doing some work are 99% of the time related to the work just done!

As Tom points out the one big fault that stands out like a sore thumb, is the check engine light staying on AFTER you switch off the car and remove the key.
Something really odd is going on.

You removed the radiator.....did you get coolant splash out all over the engine department and maybe into some electrics?

think back carefully : what exactly did you remove during the radiator job?....
Quote-removed the radiator, and three of the radiator hoses for replacement two where questionable and one if found had a leak. I didn't disconnect the electric fans I just laid them on top of the engine.

I tossed and turned last night wondering if the fact that I haven't reinstalled the hood could be my problem?
Someone mentioned the crash sensors could have deactivated the electronic when the button on top is released.
 

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To answer your question about "fuel wash", I believe that would refer to the situation where an engine is cranked (but doesn't start) for an extended period where the fuel injectors are spraying fuel, and the spark plugs are not firing. When this occurs, the liquid fuel will wash away the thin layer of engine oil that is the seal between the piston rings and the cylinder liner and cause a low compression situation. If the compression becomes too low, even if the (no) spark problem is corrected, the engine may not start. If this is the case, adding 1-2 ounces of engine oil into the spark plug hole and cranking the engine (ignition system and fuel injection systems disabled, spark plugs removed, shop towels covering the top of the engine) several times in 10 second intervals. This will distribute the added engine oil around the edges of the pistons and onto the rings and liners and will restore the lost compression from the fuel wash.
 

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An almost sure sign of fuel wash (happened to my s4 once) is the engine cranks over really fast.... rather like when you crank it with the plugs out!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Very strange!

My random thought is to remove both battery cables, clean the terminals and cable connections and also follow the negative cable to where it bolts to the body (sort of hidden behind the battery). Remove, clean & secure that connection, too. Might not be your issue but if nothing else it'll eliminate all those connections.

Connect a voltmeter directly to the battery (a dash gauge is not useful for this test). With everything off a fully charged battery should read 12.6V. 12.3V is 1/2 to 3/4 charged. Next see what it reads when you turn the key to 'start'. Report back.
Eric-thanks working on your suggestion right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Quote-removed the radiator, and three of the radiator hoses for replacement two where questionable and one if found had a leak. I didn't disconnect the electric fans I just laid them on top of the engine.

I tossed and turned last night wondering if the fact that I haven't reinstalled the hood could be my problem?
Someone mentioned the crash sensors could have deactivated the electronic when the button on top is released.
Drew-yes, when i removed the hoses their was still some radiator fluid in the hoses that spilled out and could have sprayed out over the electronics. How do I assure everything is dry once again?
thanks to everyone for your help, I love the spirit of Alfa owner and lovers helping each other!
 

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I would spray brake cleaner and blow air on all the electrical stuff that might have been in contact with antifreeze.
 

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Tony,

You have the engine light come on.

Read the code. The car is trying to tell you what's wrong.

Tell us and we will help.

Vin
 
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