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I have just been confronted with a starting issue on my S3 1988 Spider. It has spent several months having new carbs fitted and was running like a dream, however yesterday on attempting to start I got a couple of spins of the starter but the engine failed to catch. Then on 3rd attempt nothing - not even an effort to turn the starter. So I have since conditioned the battery to fully charged and using a jump starter tried again today - same issue. Noticeably there are some oddities with the electrics - lights in dash coming then nothing at all, the digital clock reset to zero etc. Figured could be a fuse, but looks all Ok - any ideas? There has been some work done to replace all hi tension leads and I think it stood in the wet for some time while at the garage - looks electrical to me, but seeking some good thoughts on where to start. Alternator perhaps?
 

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where are you?
a carbed S3?......so you either have a euro S3, or, you converted from L-Jet injection to carbs...

If euro S3 then your battery is in the engine compartment (rather than the trunk), correct?

check the ground/earth lead, remove, clean, replace where it bolts to the chassis (even if you jump start, as you tried, you are still going through the same battery ground)

that'd be my first quick check.
Your clock resetting to 00:00 sounds like all power was cut (like a battery lead came loose)
 

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Thanks Spiderserie4 - indeed my thinking could be grounding issues - am going to give that a go and see what happens. The garage did indeed replace battery cables as they were pretty bad. I've had the car for over 20 years and generally it has been a great car. The issue with the carbs started late last year and was down to poor running. Alfashop in Norwich did a great job (I'm near Norwich in UK) in finding the issues and getting new Webers fitted and balanced etc. And yes - the battery is in the engine compartment. My car is one of the Bell & Colvill conversions from late 1980's when Alfa stopped official imports.
 
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