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Not sure if this here is the right section but ah well...

Whilst boming around on sunday the car started to tick over very slugishly whilst sat in traffic and just died. Stopped and would not start again. Si pushed it down the road a bit (so glad these things are so light!) fiddled with a few of the connections so see if it wouldstart again but alas. Waited for it to cool down so it would be easier to start but still no. Rang mr AA man... 45 mins. Tried to start it again and it spluttered back into life. What is wrong with it? a few observations:

Oil pressure was very low around 4 mm from the wrong end on the dial.

The car would tick over much lower when the electrics where working.. So with the lights on or the radiators going tick over would be noticably lower and erratic. I could feel the car was going to die so had to keep revving it at the lights to stop it from dying.

It sometimes just will not start... Spark plugs too coked up? havnt been able to get these out to have a scrape of these.

Any ideas?

Im flumoxed

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Initial guess sounds like an alternator charging issue? Connect up a voltmeter across the battery and see what happens when you rev the engine. Could also be fuel pump/fuel pressure issue.




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Is the oil pressure low when the idle speed is reduced??

If so then you would expect the warm oil pressure to be low.

Does the oil pressure read over 4 bar when cold ???

If so then the gauge is probably working OK

Could be a fuel blockage affecting one carb.

Need a few more detail to be able to pin it down further, such as are particular cylinders not firing etc.


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Im not entireley sure if a cylinder isnt firing. How would i tell? sorry im not too hot on all this technical stuff... Just never really had the oportunity to learn.

i will run out and have a good old mosey around in a little while

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With the engine idling, disconnect each spark plug in turn and listen to what the engine does. If the engine changes behaviour (e.g. starts spluttering and struggling) after removal of the lead then the cylinder is prob firing OK. If however you remove a lead and the engine is completely unchanged in behaviour, then it is likely you have a prob with the cylinder you have disconnected.

Hope that makes sense?

If loading the electrics (fans lights etc) is making it bad then for me that is still pointing to a voltage issue. Either the extra load is weakening the spark, or it's affecting the voltage to the fuel pump, which is either making a slowly dying fuel pump act worse, or a good fuel pump run slow.

Try a connecting a multimeter across the battery terminals. Rev the engine, the 12V supply across the battery should rise to say 13-15 volts as you rev the engine. If it doesn't and stays around the 12V mark then you are likely to have an alternator charging issue or battery issue.




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Right.. I had a little look at lunch and this is what i found;

Car was a bitch to start... it coughs and splutters and will only break into a linear idle after a fair bit of throttle pumping.

once started a few revs to get it up to idle... Sounds fine.

whilst cold idle is ablout 1k rpm 13.5 volts on the lecy and oil at 4 bar. all good?

Went for a spin after allowing it to warm up.

stoped the engine after a bit of running.. hefty backfire. Thats not right.

on the way back the oil pressure was dipping lower and lower. Around 1 bar at idle. In third doing 3k rpm 4 bar. idle now around 1300ish. lecy seemed ok at 13v though. (but the car had been turned of and on again)

got back tick over around 1400ish and just over 1 bar for the oil pressure or so.

cooling fans and lights up idle dips to around 1100 rpm and car doesnt feel quite so healthy.

Before randomly accumulating all this i took out the front spark plug... big change. 2nd.... big cange. 3rd... slight change.... 4th hardly any change. Only my front carbs working effectivley?

phwoar i feel like an mechanical sherlock holmes. Many thanks to all you Dr Watsons out there!

some good news though.. thought my exhaust was blowing, or slight crack in the manifold. This seems to have abated.

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This is going to sound silly, but if you had a sound that sounded like the manifold blowing which now seems to have gone and you are getting rough idling, just check that all the spark plugs are tight. I had a similar issue in a 240GL Volvo and it wasn't until the plug actually undid itself out of the block while we were limping our way home, that I realised what was causing the problem.

Just a thought.

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