Fiat Start Problem

manual-transmissions
fiat
transmissions

#1

I’ve been watching my mother’s 1976 Fiat convertible this summer. It had been taken to the shop about 6 weeks ago and it’s been running fine without any problems. I had to leave for about three weeks and now the car will not start.

When I turn the key in the ignition with the clutch engaged, the engine turns, but pressing down on the gas pedal has no effect. The engine doesn’t rev nor does it catch. There is gas in the tank and clean oil. I checked all the connections I didn’t find anything loose. I can attach picts, but I don’t know what to take a picture of!

Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance


#2

I’m guessing that this is still carbaratored, vs injected. So it’s still the basic, does it get gas, does it have spark.
Check online for ways to test those two


#3

I would also make sure I had a full charge on the battery. Since you said the car sat for three weeks between starts, a weaker battery might not provide enough starting power. I am assuming the condition/age of battery is pretty much unknown.


#4

I’m sorry, it is a '78, not a '76 Fiat.

When it was in the shop, the fuel lines were cleaned out, the fuel pump was primed, the battery charged, fluids topped off, and it got its state inspection (Va).

The lights are working when I turn the key and though we were going to replace the battery earlier this summer, our mechanic assured us that it was in great condition.

Could it be a problem with the fuel pump? If so, any ideas on where I can look to find out more information on diagnosing/fixing the problem?


#5

The first two steps, remove the air cleaner, look down the throttle bore and work the linkage, do you see gas being squirted into the throttle bore?

If it passes that test, pull the wire from the coil to the distributor cap from the distributor cap, put it close to ground (any metal part of the engine) and have some one crank the engine, do you see a spark?

If both of those tests pass, then remove the distributor cap and have someone crank the engine again, it the rotor turning?

If it passes this test, remove all the sparkplugs and perform a compression test. If it passes this test, put everything back together, start the engine and go for a drive.


#6

Keith’s suggestions are on the money…You might try this quick test…Remove the air cleaner and give it a shot of starting fluid. Will it start, even just momentarily, then? If so, then it’s lacking fuel…If the starting fluid makes no difference, then you can assume there is no spark…

These cars were emissions nightmares…There is no telling what kind of ignition it had in '78…But virtually all cars used some type of electronic ignition by that time…These early electronic systems were not much better than the points they replaced…Restoring them to working order today can be a real challenge…


#7

These suggestions are great and I can’t wait to try them out. I’m going to hold off a few days until I can coax my brother to help me out with it (I’ll be less culpable if WE mess it up!). I’ll let you all know how it works - and hopefully I’ll have more information to get you all soon. Thanks so much for the help!