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Old 29-12-2011   #1
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Starting a car after a long time standing

Folks,

I have a Seicento MPi that has been standing I'm guessing unstarted since possibly February of this year, maybe even earlier.

I've recently bought it and am lead to believe that the cam belt has been changed along with water pump, etc, etc. I have new boxes with old components in them in the boot of the car. However I don't know it's history at all, (its all guess work). However expansion tank is free of rainbows and smells of antifreeze, the sump seems to be filled with the right level of oil and its fresh!

Everything seems in order and looks promising.

Just thinking outside the box here, would you think it a good idea to remove the spark plugs and squirt a little engine oil down each bore, and then to wind the engine over by hand before attempting to start it??

What are your thoughts??

Cheers

Jon
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Old 29-12-2011   #2
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Re: Starting a car after a long time standing

If the beast has been stood a while, then the oil in the bores may have dried out a bit... but don't worry about trying to lube them using oil in the bores. It's worth having the plugs out to clean them and check the gaps...

Stick one of those little bottles of octane booster in the tank. The petrol may be a little bit jaded, so this will give its mojo back.. and the stuff contains kerosene which will clean up any gum/varnish that's accumulated in the injectors etc.

It's good that the oil looks good.. If the level isn't quite up to the Maximum you can tip in half a litre.. but tip it in, don't be too gentle.. you want the oil to still be in the top of the cylinder head while you crank it over.

Press the clutch in and work it a bit to loosen up any stiffness. It's a cable, so it should be okay.

Then just crank the beast over. If it fires straight away... and why not?.. then great.. just let the beast idle normally and check that it warms up okay, nothing leaks and that the coolant level doesn't drop. If it takes time to start, just leave it a while or it'll flood. A bit of cranking isn't too bad since it gets fresh oil where it needs to be..

You also need to look at the brakes. When the idle has settled down and the beast is warmed up, drive it back and forth a few metres at a time but pressing the brakes hard to stop it, so you clean up the discs and work the brake pistons in the calipers. Make sure the fluid level is above Max.

That's pretty much all you need to do apart from take it for a good run.

Pump the tyres up to 2.2 bar first so that you know the pressures are all good.. and then take it easy while anything stiff loosens up. Take it easy to start with since the tyres and brakes need to get properly "worked in" again.... then you can progressively work it harder until you're happy that it's "done".


Ralf S.
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Old 29-12-2011   #3
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Re: Starting a car after a long time standing

The advice given by Ralf S sounds good. But why not lube the cylinder bores?

Actual scientific proof of the best way to start a car which has been sitting for a year is pretty thin. I've done it a number of times and I've rebuilt many engines as well. But I have no way of judging how much life is lost by not following good practices. Chances are you'll be OK if you just fire it up, but why not give your engine a little love?

The idea of building a new engine without lubricating the parts goes against everything mechanics believe about engines. True, your engine isn't new, but don't we all have a mental picture of most of the oil draining away from the various parts, oil galleries, pumps, etc. and just sitting there in the sump?

If you're going to take the spark plugs out to have a look at them, I can't imagine not wanting to give each cylinder a little squirt of oil. Then, I'd crank the engine over using the starter for ten or twenty seconds. This will make the oil pump distribute oil throughout the engine and the oil you squirted into the cylinders will lube the bores without any of the stress associated with combustion.

Then, I''d put in the plugs and run the engine with a warm fuzzy feeling inside that I've done something good for the engine.
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Old 29-12-2011   #4
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Re: Starting a car after a long time standing

Quote Originally Posted by Mozella View Post
The advice given by Ralf S sounds good. But why not lube the cylinder bores?

Actual scientific proof of the best way to start a car which has been sitting for a year is pretty thin. I've done it a number of times and I've rebuilt many engines as well. But I have no way of judging how much life is lost by not following good practices. Chances are you'll be OK if you just fire it up, but why not give your engine a little love?

The idea of building a new engine without lubricating the parts goes against everything mechanics believe about engines. True, your engine isn't new, but don't we all have a mental picture of most of the oil draining away from the various parts, oil galleries, pumps, etc. and just sitting there in the sump?

If you're going to take the spark plugs out to have a look at them, I can't imagine not wanting to give each cylinder a little squirt of oil. Then, I'd crank the engine over using the starter for ten or twenty seconds. This will make the oil pump distribute oil throughout the engine and the oil you squirted into the cylinders will lube the bores without any of the stress associated with combustion.

Then, I''d put in the plugs and run the engine with a warm fuzzy feeling inside that I've done something good for the engine.
Guys - it's good to talk, especially to people here!

Thanks a lot & I'll let you know how it goes!!

Think I'll plugs out, drop a little oil into each cylinder and crank her over a little - just to be sure.

Cheers and Happy New Year.

Jon
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Old 07-01-2012   #5
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Re: Starting a car after a long time standing

Quote Originally Posted by Jonfiat View Post
Guys - it's good to talk, especially to people here!

Thanks a lot & I'll let you know how it goes!!

Think I'll plugs out, drop a little oil into each cylinder and crank her over a little - just to be sure.

Cheers and Happy New Year.

Jon
LATEST!!

Righty ho... Yesterday, I removed the spark plugs, number 4, (nearest the gearbox was really tight!! At first I was worried, however there was nothing that I could do about it, other than undoing it, so I persevered and eventually out it came, it appeared that the thread was corroded, even the spark plug washer had corrosion on it! Three and two were normal and number one was really oily, (quite gunged up actually)!

Cleaned all the plugs and then vaccumed debris from around the plug threads and then squirted an amount of engine oil into each cylinder.

Moment of truth, turned the key and she spun over spun her over for about three short birsts.

Re-inserted all plugs, sparayed HT leads with WD40, replaced injector connections, air filter.

Turned the ignition fully this time and she spluttered and stopped - good sign!

she caught on the third attempt!! Pumping out masses of white smoke - I mean masses, however this would have been the oild I squirted down the bores burning off.

Eventually the smoking calmed down, however she was still throwing a little white out the back.

Took her for a local drive, literally 1000m, that was all, still some white from the tailpipe.

Went home.

This afternoon, I turned the key, she caught first time, tiny amount of white smoke out the back and let her sit there idling with the expansion cap off for a while, until the thermostat opened.

Replaced the cap and my mate took her for a run - a short lap of the block, this time, when he approached my coming up the road, I was aware of a large cloud of smoke coming out of the back.

I was, well appeared to be oil this time.

After gently revving her for a while, seeing the cooling fan cut in and out, he took her for a run again, (this time however without the air filter as he was unsure of the condition of the air filter, (looked clean on the inside - but we couldn't see the exterior) - this time however there was NO somke!!

Could this have been the situation: the valve stem oils seals instead of being soft, had become hard, hence leaking oil. after running her for a while, the hot circulating oil had softened the seals, making them work??

We also noticed that the engine management light was lit??

After a while, after the second run, the high temp light came on, so we parked her up and switched off, (where exactly is the temperature sensor located)?? If I short that I can prove the relay and fan can't I??

Folks, very interested to hear your thoughts

Just to recap:

Me: Changed door locks, ignition barrel, loop antenna & imobilizer ECU, (code 2 system). Also changed main ECU.

Others: Believed to have changed:
Cam belt
Water pump
Thermostat
Rocker cover gasket
Engine oil
Oil filter
Air filter
Other non- engine related parts.

Look forward to your responses.

Cheers

Jon
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Old 08-01-2012   #6
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Re: Starting a car after a long time standing

Why not post it in the Cinquecento/Seicento section?

Do, at any rate:

Change the oil and filter (even if it has been changed it'll have picked up a lot of water which will take prologed hot running to remove).

On the SPI cars the engine fan is controled by a thermoswitch on the side of the radiator, on the MPI cars by the ECU.

Bleed the cooling system, pointless in the extreme running the car with the expansion tank cap off.

All this, and lots more is already there..................
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Old 08-01-2012   #7
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Re: Starting a car after a long time standing

Quote Originally Posted by fingers99 View Post
Why not post it in the Cinquecento/Seicento section?

Do, at any rate:

Change the oil and filter (even if it has been changed it'll have picked up a lot of water which will take prologed hot running to remove).

On the SPI cars the engine fan is controled by a thermoswitch on the side of the radiator, on the MPI cars by the ECU.

Bleed the cooling system, pointless in the extreme running the car with the expansion tank cap off.

All this, and lots more is already there..................
Hi,

This post is also in the Cinq and Seicento, (you contributed to is last week), reason its in both places, is that you get good advice in both places!

Cheers for your advice to date


Jon
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