I have a 72 Karmann Ghia and have had trouble with it starting. For the last two weeks I have tried to start it on occasion and it sounds like it wants to start, but it doesn’t turn over. The other day it started and I drove it 7 miles or so…it did well. I parked it and turned it off and went to start it again, and it wouldn’t start. It has been inconsistent in just the recent month or so. I checked all of the connections, they look good. There’s fuel, there’s oil…hmmm.
How often do you drive this car? If the fuel in the tank is old and does not have stabilizer added it can cause starting and driving problems.
Otherwise, you need fuel, air, and spark. The spark must occur at the proper time. How are the points, plugs, and ignition timing?
Is the choke in the carburetor working?
“it sounds like it wants to start, but it doesn’t turn over”
Huh? If it doesn’t turn over, how did you determine that it wants to start?
Perhaps there is some confusion with terminology here. “Turning over” means that the starter turns the engine when you turn the ignition key. Do you mean that the starter is turning the engine, but that the engine does not start and run?
With the scant bit of information here, I am going to guess that your battery is weak and that the starter may sometimes be turning the engine too slowly for it to actually start. If you live in an area where temperatures have dropped recently, that could account for the sudden weakness of the battery. On the day when you drove it 7 miles, that drive was not sufficient to charge the battery. If you can get it to start, you need to drive it for at least 20 minutes in order to replenish the depleted battery.
I think that your best bet is to have a load test performed on the battery. That is the only sure way of knowing its condition.
You say there is fuel, but does that mean in the tank? Have you checked to see if there is fuel at the carburetor? Is there spark? First thing is pull the plugs and see what they look like. Are they wet with fuel? If not, maybe the fuel pump is going bad?
We clearly need more information here. An engine needs fuel, air, compression, spark and exhaust to be able to run. Take away one of those and it won’t start.
You need to clarify the part about starting. Do you mean the engine is cranked over by the starter motor? If so, does it crank slowly?
If not, do you hear a starter solenoid “click” sound when the key is turned?
It almost sounds like you’re describing a dragging starter but some more info is needed.
Does it seem to do it more when the car is facing downhill? After it does this, try getting out and going to the exhaust area and see if you smell gasoline fumes.