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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there have been some posts made about no-start problems after Spiders have sat for a period of time. I read through some of them trying to find an answer or fix since mine wouldn't start as well.

I had my Spider in storage this past winter. Every other month I'd uncover and start it. It would fire right up. The last time I tried to start it, it would just crank and sounded like there was no compression. Just the starter engaging until the sequence timed out. About 10 seconds each time. Over the course of the next hour, I must have tried to start it a dozen times with breaks to let it sit on a battery charger.

I read posts saying it was due to low oil pressure and no oil being in the top of the engine. I used an oil pump to suck oil out through the dipstick tube and replaced it with the same amount of fresh oil. I was trying to see if putting oil at the top of the engine might help pressure to build more quickly. During the first start attempt, the engine definitely sounded like it wanted to turn over but the start sequence timed out. It fired up on the second attempt. I let it idle for about 10 minutes and shut it off. It started again immediately after pushing the start button.

I don't post much in this forum but wanted to share this experience since I know this issue can be very frustrating. I hope it can help someone.
 

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I used an oil pump to suck oil out through the dipstick tube and replaced it with the same amount of fresh oil.
Thanks for the post jbbdc! Approximatly what amount of oil did you transfert from the pan? 1 cup / 2 cups...
 

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Great info jbbdc!. I was one of the unlucky that couldn't get their car to start and had to have it towed to dealership.
If it ever happens to me again I will definitely give your solution a try.
 
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@jbbdc. Interesting thread. Last week, my 2017 Jeep Renegade 2.4 Tigershark MultiAir wouldn't start after sitting for almost a month. Just kept turning over and timing out the start sequence. Finally started after a couple of minutes and many tries.

I do a lot of traveling and my cars tend to sit. I have never had any problems with starting after long term sitting with any of my previous cars, as long as batteries are kept charged.

Thanks for posting a solution.

BTW, what kind of oil pump did you use because mine says to use with warm oil. I have tried it with cold oil and it didn't really want to pump.
 

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This did happen to my wife's 500C recently. The car sat for two weeks and although it started on the first crank, it did idle super rough. I let it idle for about 5 seconds to ensure some oil made it to the electro-hydraulic actuators and shut it down. Immediately restarted it again and all was good.

As I understand the Multi-air 1.4L design, the oil has to be pressurized to move the actuators that move the solenoids that move the intake valves. Pouring oil through the top doesn't affect the actuators pressure, it has to come from the pump.

I would first ensure there is the oil is topped off as these 1.4L engines tend to burn some oil.

https://www.caranddriver.com/features/fiats-multiair-valve-lift-system-explained
 

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Looks like we have to buyy Oil Pump
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Russ, I don't know the brand name of the pump, but it's pretty typical and nothing special. It took a lot of pumping to get the flow started and the oil moved slowly through the tube. Warm oil would certainly flow better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
All I can attest to is that it wouldn't start no matter how many time I tried until I put oil in through the top. My engine oil was topped off. One of the first things I checked. I don't plan to let the car sit long in the future, but if I run into this problem again, I'm going to use the same technique that worked for me.



This did happen to my wife's 500C recently. The car sat for two weeks and although it started on the first crank, it did idle super rough. I let it idle for about 5 seconds to ensure some oil made it to the electro-hydraulic actuators and shut it down. Immediately restarted it again and all was good.

As I understand the Multi-air 1.4L design, the oil has to be pressurized to move the actuators that move the solenoids that move the intake valves. Pouring oil through the top doesn't affect the actuators pressure, it has to come from the pump.

I would first ensure there is the oil is topped off as these 1.4L engines tend to burn some oil.

https://www.caranddriver.com/features/fiats-multiair-valve-lift-system-explained
 

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Well I took my abarth out today after It鈥檚 foray long winter hibernation and I can attest that it would not start until I got some oil in the top end - meant draining and refilling - then fires up on second crank surprisingly disappointed - oil pump design is not good...
 

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Has nothing to do with the oil pump, it will get there eventually. It is due to the Multi-Air brick needing oil to function and it drains over a long storage. The owners manual states to start the car every few weeks to prevent this. If you do let it sit, you don't have to drain and refill, the fact that it worked is just luck and was probably almost circulated before you drained it. Just pouring oil in won't put any oil directly into the brick.

It takes up to 240ml of oil to refill the brick from dead empty and can be done from the oil cap hole. It is the official FCA tech manual procedure for priming the brick on replacement. There is a ball bearing check valve on the brick you can see from the oil fill hole, the oil needs to be pushed into there.

Really need to get the mods to pin the last post where I went over the procedure in decent detail with pictures or give me the green light to do a full write up that will be permanently pinned so this is avoided in the future.
 

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spent an hour with two 10 second cranks back to back - waiting 30 seconds and the repeating - At least 20 times

it wouldn鈥檛 go -drained and dropped new oils and she started on second go

pump or otherwise a car should be able to sit for more than 35 days without drying out -
Oil through the top end is getting to where it needs to be quicker than it pulling it from the bottom - clearly
 

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Yes, having a little extra oil on top from the pour in may have helped with it sucking through that same check valve you have to fill it with. It is a flaw of the MA brick absolutely, it is not the norm for any engine with an intake cam. The manual warns about it. If you had walked up, put 200ml in that hole, it would have started first crank. I promise you.

I'm not trying to be rude here. I have just read the manuals; owners, tech, repair, and diagnostic from front to back and torn this engine down to its last piece so I have a decent handle on how it works. I am here to help everyone, not start pissing contests. You want to see how anything works, now is the time to ask while the engine is in 1000s of pieces and I can go over ANYTHING you want with as many pictures, references, and explanations as you want.
 
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Would just adding that small amount of oil without draining any result in an overfill?

Starting ever few weeks sounds like a better alternative (10-15 minute run OK?).
I'd even drive around the neighborhood if the roads weren't snowy, icy, or salty.
 

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It is about 7oz but not a huge deal with how this engine uses oil in general. If it is a personal concern, you can suck it out of the pan and re use. Or like in the other post, if you are truly winterizing, leave it short on the initial fill and then prime the brick with the balance in the spring and then start.

The main point is to get everyone to understand the WHY it needs to be done if stored and figure out their best method.
 

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Just another FYI, I had a 500 Abarth before with the exact same engine and I was out of town for 7 months for work. My wife or son cranked it once a month until the coolant light changed at 140F and never had a problem.
 
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I'm not planning on winterizing. I'll just be picky on days I choose to drive it. I imagine the tires won't be happy with low temperatures, but is there a risk of damaging them if driven gently?

How much oil does the car burn? I wouldn't be keen on the idea of letting the oil get a little low as winter approaches but suppose there's some logic in it.
 

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Oil usage is all in how you drive it. You lose more the harder its pushed through the AOS, not due to bad rings or burning oil. This engine uses oil for lots of things and some of those things lose a little in the process.

As for tires, I live in the Phoenix valley. I only use summer tires, not 3 season or need to swap to winter, it gets below 40F for a handful of hours in late January for 2-3 days total. I have no insight on rolling a summer/all season tire in 0F weather. I've read about voiding the warranty etc and loss of traction in colder weather of course, but no first hand experience driving in that condition.
 

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I already have winter tires for my Giulia. I won't be getting a second set of wheels and tires for the Spider.

I won't drive the spider at 0F. It doesn't get that cold here often, anyway. 30F-40F is more like it. Potholes will probably be my largest concern.
 
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