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Restarting a long dormant car

Discussion in 'Car Repairs / Maintenance' started by kaseryn, 30 Jun 2018.

  1. kaseryn

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    Hi. Ive had a 1988 3 series bmw sorn in a dry garage for around 8 years and want to get it on the road again either as regular use vehicle or to sell on. I changed the battery and the engine is turning over but not starting. What are the most likely things that need to be looked at? I know nothing about mechanics so am just wondering if i can tinker enough to get it to the mot/service place around the corner or if i need to get a callout mechanic..
     
  2. HERTSDRAINAGE2010

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    Are you using 8 year old petrol?

    Andy
     
  3. Motman

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    Stale petrol. Might also benefit from an oil and filter change and with taking the plugs out, squirting a few drops of oil in cylinders, spinning it over, plugs in and trying again with fresh fuel.
     
  4. kaseryn

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    I had added a bit of new recently but i hadnt drained the tank. Should i siphon that off first? Do i need any special tool to take the plugs out?
     
  5. kaseryn

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    If memory serves.. it had been near empty before i added the small jerry can recently. Maybe if i fill her up a bit more with new fuel whatever was left will be diluted?
     
  6. HERTSDRAINAGE2010

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    By you asking about a special tool to remove spark plugs shows us that it might be best to call someone out to help you.

    Andy
     
  7. Burnerman

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    I guess this is a fuel injected car?
    Can you hear any fuel pump whirring with the ignition on?
    John :)
     
  8. kaseryn

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    Hi, yep it is injected but i don't know if im hearing that or not. Got a mechanic in the same underground garage so might be able to have him take a look. Should i still empty the tank.. and would i have clogged it up turning over with a bit of the old stuff in?
     
  9. HERTSDRAINAGE2010

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    You cannot even remove a spark plug....................do not drain the tank.

    Andy
     
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  10. Burnerman

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    Old fuel doesn't usually clog but it is incombustible.....best to get rid of it! It turns into a kerosene like liquid.
    Depending on the type of injection system its possible to undo the connections at the cylinder head end and see if fuel is flowing. If you can see Kugelfisher on the injection system, leave well alone and have it professionally checked.
    You could, of course, tip some raw fuel into the air intake (filter pan off) and see if the engine kicks over.
    John :)
     
  11. kaseryn

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    Ok thanks again.. all that stuff about the cylinder head sounds a bit much for me at this point but if it has to come out anyway i'm up for siphoning whats left from the fuel tank (rear seat acccess) and changing the oil, filters etc. I have the time atm and am keen to learn about the car. Would the spark plugs neccessarily need changing having sat so long.. corrosion?
     
  12. Burnerman

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    Not absolutely necessary to change the plugs but it is a good idea - especially if they look dirty. Lay them on the cylinder head and look for sparks (in the dark!) when you crank the engine.
    John :)
     
  13. DaveHerns

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    If you're in an underground garage, don't do anything involving fuel. Vapour sinks and is inflammable.
     
  14. Keithmac

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    Fuel pump(s) will be siezed up with petrol residue. Probably require replacing.

    I've worked on a few bikes and cars that have been stood years and its not pretty!.

    Injectors will more than likely be glued shut as well and would require cleaning.
     
  15. kaseryn

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    Ok then.. so its basically issues with old fuel. Watched a few videos and think i can sort out the drain, pump replacement and turbo cleanup. How about belts.. do they degrade badly sat still or only really from actual wear? All told i think it has probably been sat for 8 or 9 years now. Regarding ventilation/being underground.. it's not completely underground in the sense you mean. This block is split level and the garages face a low stret level with large door access to the outside so should be ok.
     
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