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I have had my 1985 Alfa Spider for about 5 years and have always had the same problem. The previous owner had the same problem too. It is an intermitten starting problem. Some days it will start right off and have no problems. Then all at once I will try to start it and it will just crank and never catch. I have changed all the fuel pumps, had an alfa mechanic check all the wiring and ground and have never found the problem. Also important to note, when it wont start by they key, it will push start. I have also changed the thermal sensor. ( i believe that it it called that. Any help on this would be so appreciated. I am very frustrated with this for an other wise great running car. When it does start it runs beautifully.
 

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One guess is a dodgy ignition switch. Usually, when the switch begins to fail, nothing happens when the key is turned to 'start' (then other times it starts right up).

The fix for a dodgy ignition switch is to install a relay so that the switch's contacts don't have to carry the full electrical load. Adding a relay will often make the ignition switch last for many more years.

Try this - when the engine won't start connect a voltmeter to the battery and see what it reads. (don't use a dash gauge for this test if your car has one) The system voltage must be above ~ 10.5V for the computers to wake up and send the make spark/squirt fuel signals. It can sound like it is cranking over with good vigor even if voltage is below that threshold.
 
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