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Will not start...

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Started the car a month ago then a couple of weeks back tried to start it again (1986 S3 normally aspirated) but no joy. It almost sprang to life a few times but didn't catch. I did noticed that from the time before I had left the choke out. I checked the engine and also discovered that the air inlet to the engine had become unclipped (I only have three clips so sometimes happens).

Trying to start the car I managed to run the battery flat. Last weekend and today I've been trying to start the car using jump leads but although it turns over, it still does not catch.

Anyone any ideas of what might be wrong or how I can fix this? I have a feeling I may need a new starter motor :-(

Thanks in advance


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If the starter motor cranks the engine over at a reasonable speed, it won't be that. Have you checked the inertia fuel pump cut out? If the red button is sticking right up you will have no fuel! Also check the connector to the can disturb this so that it isn't making contact without it being obvious..guess how I know?!! I think I'd start by removing the fuel inlet pipe from the carbs, putting it into a suitable container and checking if you have fuel flow with the ignition on. If you have, check that you have a spark...pull the no.4 plug (easiest to get at!) connect the lead and rest the body of the plug on the engine to earth it... get somebody to crank the engine whilst you observe the spark..if any. Those two checks should reveal if your problem is fuel or ignition. Another thing that can cause lack of go is the 3 pin connector in the ignition system wiring to the distributor..unplug that (it's under the carbs) and see if the pins/sockets are corroded. The distributor is also prone to losing it's drive if allowed to get loose in its fitting...there's a spring which will push it out so that the drive disengages. If you have fuel to the cylinders, a spark at the right time and engine compression.. it will run!! Having left the choke out shouldn't make any difference, imo... same for the unclipped air inlet. What else...? Might be the carb.float needles stuck shut. Or the ignition switch itself having a fault where it switches OFF the ignition whilst the engine cranks...I had that happen once, took a lot of finding! But unlikely. First sort out whether your problem is fuel or ignition and go from'll work in the end!!

Edited by molemot

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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Yes, hitting the right thing with a hammer can often work wonders...but usually best to make sure there's no fuel at the carbs first, before you crawl underneath to bludgeon the pump!

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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