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-   -   Starting a Car that's had a Long Sit (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=655854)

mojave19 11-03-2012 04:08 PM

Starting a Car that's had a Long Sit
 
I have a 1989 325i that had been sitting about a year; I won't go into why. I'm in a rural desert area and someone from the county seat an hour's drive away came out here and cited me (and others, I presume) for having an non-operating vehicle on my property. I had it covered and it's in the back of my driveway (not like it's parked across the front yard or on blocks!), but she claims the code is that it has to be in storage if it isn't operating--even though I've kept its registration and even the insurance current. (Is it time for me to switch to the Libertarian Party?)

Anyway, I tried to start it and the engine would try, but just not start. I thought it might be the battery, so I installed a brand new one this morning. Still the same thing. I saw the gas indicator said empty (and the indicator might be out, for all I know; it's had electrical problems in the past), so I put a gallon of gas in. Still not starting. It's turning, the engine just isn't engaging. Might it need new spark plugs?

Sorry I don't know the correct terms. I know very little about cars. There's a neighbor I have a couple blocks away who told me he once had the same car, so I'm hoping I can find him and that he'll stop by for a try and some advice.

Until then or in case I can't find him, does anyone have tips? Please keep it kind of simple for a non-mechanical dumb blonde. :dunno:
The county's giving me two weeks to get the car out of sight or operating.

hornhospital 11-03-2012 04:38 PM

Put more than a gallon in it. That may not be enough for the fuel pump to start picking it up.

Not knowing how much you know about testing engine function, I'll just give you basic stuff to look at.

Check to see if the fuel pump(s) are working. You should have fuel pressure at the fuel rail (where the injectors are). You can take the fuel line off and put it in a small container, then turn the key on for a few seconds. You should get a strong flow of fuel into the container (it really helps to have some help holding the container and fuel line while the key is turned on and off) You should be able to hear the high pressure fuel pump working when you turn the key to "run" position (where the dash lights come on). It will run a few seconds, making a buzzing or humming sound.

If you have fuel flow, next check for spark. You can get a spark tester at an auto parts store, and they only cost a few dollars. If you have spark and fuel the engine should crank.

Now I want to ask, how the heck does this inspector know the car isn't operable? If you moved it to a different spot in your yard and leave the cover off, are they going to come out and check to see if you can crank and drive it? Pardon the rant, but every time I read of this kind of government nannying it makes my blood boil. What right do they have bothering you in a rural area, especially since you've kept it licensed and insured the whole time??? Grrrr. Just pisses me off hugely. :mad:

Nick323 11-05-2012 01:10 AM

How glad I am to be living in the uncivilised world :D
& then some fools ask me why I left America :tsk:

E30949/909 11-05-2012 12:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hornhospital (Post 7174011)
Put more than a gallon in it. That may not be enough for the fuel pump to start picking it up.

Not knowing how much you know about testing engine function, I'll just give you basic stuff to look at.

Check to see if the fuel pump(s) are working. You should have fuel pressure at the fuel rail (where the injectors are). You can take the fuel line off and put it in a small container, then turn the key on for a few seconds. You should get a strong flow of fuel into the container (it really helps to have some help holding the container and fuel line while the key is turned on and off) You should be able to hear the high pressure fuel pump working when you turn the key to "run" position (where the dash lights come on). It will run a few seconds, making a buzzing or humming sound.

If you have fuel flow, next check for spark. You can get a spark tester at an auto parts store, and they only cost a few dollars. If you have spark and fuel the engine should crank.

Now I want to ask, how the heck does this inspector know the car isn't operable? If you moved it to a different spot in your yard and leave the cover off, are they going to come out and check to see if you can crank and drive it? Pardon the rant, but every time I read of this kind of government nannying it makes my blood boil. What right do they have bothering you in a rural area, especially since you've kept it licensed and insured the whole time??? Grrrr. Just pisses me off hugely. :mad:

Thumbs up to that.

If you have a garage you would be able to park it in there and shouldn't have problems with the county if you can't get it running in time. I know where I live if your car isn't registered with current tags or non op it can't be parked in your driveway it has to be non visible from the street.

BMWFatherFigure 11-05-2012 05:05 PM

and I thought Western Australia was the Nanny state.............

hornhospital 11-05-2012 05:44 PM

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They'd have a fit if they saw my yard. 4 BMWs in various stages of restoration, one dead Chevy Blazer and a '92 Chevy Lumina Euro (for sale! cheap!), plus another BMW and a '71 Firebird in the garage.

I believe California has most of the rest of the world "out-nannied". They're never satisfied until they've got their fingers in everybody's pie.

Mojave19, how about an update? Any luck getting your E30 running?


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