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How about just start it and run it occasionally?
That's a better idea than cranking without starting on purpose. Oil may pump, but not much. Running it for a minimum of 7-10 minutes for at least something of a warm-up cycle is good for the engine, and a drive around the block, even better (partly so you can take note of other things that could be caught early, like a slightly low tire, and party to burn fuel, so you can keep putting fresh fuel in the tank). Also, if you let the car sit a long while, it's better to have the tank FULL or EMPTY, rather than half-way. With small equipment, it's easier just to keep it empty. For the 124, I'd suggest keeping the tank full. It leaves less room for water to enter and condense as temps change.
 

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2018 Classica stick, white with tech group option + RM, Enkei Compe, Driveguard RFT195/55R16
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I bit the bullet and fogged the cylinders late December on a warm day, put the plugs back in without connecting, removed the fuel pump fuse. I cranked a few times and could hear the compression, then cranked it again a few weeks later. I plan to do this about once a month when its relatively warm (not sub zero so at least the oil will flow a little)

Since I am only fogging the cylinders once, I don't want to crank it more than a couple turns until I can hear that it has compression but I was caught by surprise when it keeps cranking when you let off the button when it won't start (didn't notice in the summer since it starts quickly). You have to hit it again to get it to stop before it times out. Since there is no fuse for the injectors I was also cranking it with the pedal all the way down in the hopes that the injectors won't activate at all since there may be residual fuel pressure - I didn't want even a little fuel spray or combustion to either wash down the walls with fuel or cause condensation.

I'll post the outcome in the spring, but of course if it "works" and starts fine in the spring I will never know if it would have been ok just left to sit.
 

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Not sure what the date of HAZ's info is compared to mine, (i.e. which is more current) but they are different. Here's what mine says:

CONDITION: ENGINE WILL NOT START

POSSIBLE CAUSE:

8. Insufficient quantity of engine
oil in the Variable Valve
Actuation Assembly (VVAA)
due to:

  • Long term storage
  • Engine not started within the last 30 days
  • Replacement of the VVAA (MultiAir module)

CORRECTION:

8. Operate the starter to fill the VVAA with oil and enable its
operation:

  • Hold the Accelerator Pedal wide open during cranking to cut off fuel and avoid flooding.
  • After the first few cycles, release the Accelerator Pedal to allow fuel for engine starting.

CAUTION: Do not exceed 20 seconds of starter operation and allow 60 seconds cool-down between cycles.

The pedal instructions are interesting - perhaps they have been added as some were having spark plug fouling issues when trying to start after extended storage.
 

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My early 2018 in storage from mid February to 1 Nov (8.5 months with no attempt to start it). Went through 30 start cycles (I counted them) and then it started and ran normal. Did not hold the pedal down. Did have a battery charger on while going through the start cycles. Love the car.
 

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This afternoon I went out to the garage for my sub-one-month engine start. She popped right over, no problem. Hopefully the March session will be the last one for the winter season.

I only ran it for right about 45 seconds, what I theorize should be more than ample time to pump oil throughout the engine. I really do not want to form condensation. And as XR has stated, I also do not want to lead to fuel dilution of the oil.

Thoughts on running the engine for less than one minute? Is there harm in this?

(Trying to think like the Fiat engineer, I cannot for the life of me come up with a rationalization of why they thought this oil draining would be an acceptable side affect of the Multiair design.)

Steve.
 

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Just my theory.


If periodically cycling the oil and combustion chambers without combustion fixes the problem that could be the way to go. If combustion starts it should continue until a sustained operating temperature is obtained. Argument: This is how the car actually operates when used regularly. Pro: The engine is ready but never pushed to it's limits. Con: The on board computer thinks you are a wimp.


Perhaps it's a postulate. .....I don't know.
 

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Not sure what the date of HAZ's info is compared to mine, (i.e. which is more current) but they are different. Here's what mine says:

CONDITION: ENGINE WILL NOT START

POSSIBLE CAUSE:

8. Insufficient quantity of engine
oil in the Variable Valve
Actuation Assembly (VVAA)
due to:

  • Long term storage
  • Engine not started within the last 30 days
  • Replacement of the VVAA (MultiAir module)

CORRECTION:

8. Operate the starter to fill the VVAA with oil and enable its
operation:

  • Hold the Accelerator Pedal wide open during cranking to cut off fuel and avoid flooding.
  • After the first few cycles, release the Accelerator Pedal to allow fuel for engine starting.

CAUTION: Do not exceed 20 seconds of starter operation and allow 60 seconds cool-down between cycles.

The pedal instructions are interesting - perhaps they have been added as some were having spark plug fouling issues when trying to start after extended storage.

Followed this procedure yesterday when waking my car up from storage. I haven’t started or ran it at all since about mid-November.

This procedure worked like a charm. I pressed the accelerator to the floor, which prevented fuel flow. Cranked for 10 seconds (until automatic starter cutout), let the starter cool, did another 10 second crank, and then it fired up right away on the third start with the accelerator released.

Hard to know if it was even necessary... there was just the slightest higher crank speed for the first second of the first cranking, but otherwise it sounded like it had good compression the whole time, so I guess most of the oil stayed up in the mulitiair brick.

But this method certainly prevents fuel flow and the risk of flooding if you need multiple crank cycles to get oil pressure up.
 

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2018 Classica stick, white with tech group option + RM, Enkei Compe, Driveguard RFT195/55R16
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Yes, I did fog it in November and crank for a few seconds just enough to hear that it had compression about once a month at relatively warm temps (20 deg F or higher). Slow start this spring but with sound of cranking engine with compression right away - this may have been more about getting fuel up to it since I had cranked it with the fuel pump fuse out and accellerator on the floor all winter. Not much smoke from burning up the fogging oil.

'Course I'll never know if mine would have been OK without babying it all winter.
 

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I just experience the same problem. Fiat 124 Abarth stored from November to April, never has been started during storage. This weekend tried to start it, didn't want to start, tried all afternoon, so I gave up . Was planning to tow it to the dealership, but I visited them first. Speaking to them, they were aware of the problem. Multi-air engines have all the same problem once they are stored whether short or long period. The 2 solenoids become discharged and the engine won't start until the oil reaches the engine block. During storage all the oil drains from the engine. A security measure not to damage the engine. I was told to just hooked up a battery boost, even if the battery is fully charged, still connect the boost and try to start is. Lo and behold after about 6 to 8 attempts the car started. I was told that they would do the same procedure if I had towed the car in to the dealership. They also advised to start the car every 2 to 3 weeks with the air conditioner full blast during the storage period. It's the only way or else the problem will happen again. Hope this helps all those who are having trouble. It will start just attach the battery booster and don't give up. By the way after at least ten attempts, let the starter cool down, and try again it will start.
 

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Finally today back to brother in law's condo to "unwinterize" my 124 Spider. Did remove the F34 fuse (fuel pump) and did a 5-6 crank sessions with a least 30s-60s pause between. Then plug back the fuse and it took about 3-4 more crank session then it fired up!! :laugh:

I was happy until a saw a message on the infotainment about battery charging malfunction. :( Also a red battery light up in the gauge cluster. I guess I have a problem with my negative battery connector... I remember someone had the problem but can't find the post about this issue on the forum. Anybody have the link?

I drove the car back home and tomorrow I'll check again if the error is permanent. If so I guess I'll have to send my car to the dealer....
 

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Sylvain over winter battery does discharge. I plug a battery minder while car hibernates.
Or even better while I would have my other car sitting while I was on vacation, on the way back I would put a motorcycle charger 1AMP for 15 hours and she would fire and battery would be OK

So next time or year, charge the battery before firing her up.
 
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Sylvain over winter battery does discharge. I plug a battery minder while car hibernates.
Or even better while I would have my other car sitting while I was on vacation, on the way back I would put a motorcycle charger 1AMP for 15 hours and she would fire and battery would be OK

So next time or year, charge the battery before firing her up.
Frank, I finally found the Thread and my error message is the same as Chainringtattoo got. I had problem replugging the negative pole and had to force it a little. So I'm not certain it's the battery voltage, my car cranked up fine until it fired up. I'll check if I the plactic module next to the negative pole is broken but also check the battery voltage with my multimeter to be sure...
 

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I finally found the problem, it was a loose connector beside the black module on the negative pole (see Chainringtattoo thread above).
 

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Okay I am in the club now. I have been very busy over the summer and it sat with no love.

It will not start will all the great advise given in this thread.

Draining the oil now for a oil change. (needs to be done anyway)
Pulled tower brace
Pulled the plugs, they do not look like they are in a happy place!
Pulled Coils

Ordered new plugs from EC
Ordered 4C coil packs (might as well with the great reviews)

When the parts arrive I will fill it with oil and install them.
Battery is fully charged on a trickle charger (NOCO)
NOCO jump starter battery will be attached as well.

Fingers crossed! Fall....I need by baby up and running!
 
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No go! Did all of the above and it still just tries to start but won't.

Help!!
 

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Well, the Fiata is tucked away in the garage, cylinders fogged to be cranked - without fuel or spark - again monthly like last year. Don't know if it helped but its easy enough since I usually fog cylinders on multiple stored cars for the winter, and I just park this one where I can get in the drivers door to crank. I have 4 cars in a three car garage with some on dollys to push sideways so my wife has as much room as with 3 in the summer.

I found that the extra long bent plastic tube that comes with a SeaFoam spray (black 180 degree guide / hook removed) into the throttle body is long and stiff enough to fit into the cylinders, and an older "stable" brand fogging can fits the tube. You want to make sure you get into the cylinder not just the well, you can tell by the sound if you miss. Now I have to figure out what to do with the seafoam spray, otherwise it was an expensive little tube.

I still don't like the idea of short or even longer real starts in the winter due to condensation without a good hard run which I won't do with salt on the roads and with insurance removed.

Looking forward to spring, I only put 1000 miles on the Fiata in the 16 months of ownership but I am going to retire this spring (really this time) and it will be my daily driver which is why it replaced the 60 Karmann Ghia convertible project car that had been in the garage without moving since 1990.
 

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Discussion Starter · #140 ·
Hi Steve O,
In post # 15 I linked to my youtube video of what my no-start problem sounded and looked like.
I saw your other posted and agree with your assumption that if the car wasn't recognizing the key then it shouldn't turn over at all. Take a look at the youtube video and if your looks and sounds like my problem then it is most probably the loss of oil pressure in the multi-air unit that is causing your problem. Thankfully most people with this problem appear to be able to eventually get it started by using the procedure in Bill's post #124. just be persistent and have a battery charger handy.
 
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