Archived Message
Problem starting
I have owned my 1993 RV8 for 2 weeks (UK spec). When I went to view it the seller was unable to start the engine thinking it was an immobiliser problem. He was not the owner (the owner spends a lot of time abroad) but was selling on his behalf. After about 20 minutes he tried again and the engine started. The car was fine and after a few days haggling I bought it and drove it home some 100 miles absolutely trouble free. I have been having the wheels refurbished and have not done any mileage in it since. Today I put the wheels back on and reversed the car on to the drive and parked it. When I next went to it and tried to start it up it wouldn't. The ignition light was on and the engine turned over but I could not hear the fuel pump working before I turned the key. Despite several attempts it showed no signs of bursting into life. I left it for about an hour and went back to it and surprise, surprise it started straight away! The car has a second key that has to be inserted in a 'lock' fitted above the ignition barrel in the cowl. I believe this is a security device but do not know if it is standard fitting or added by the last owner. The alarm on the key fob does not appear to have any effect. I am worried about taking the car out in case it refuses to start again when i am away from home. It has only covered some 400+ miles in the last 4 years!!! Could it be a fuel problem? Any suggestions would be appreciated as I am not a mechanically minded person just one who enjoys driving MGs. I also own a B roadster and a BGT. Thanks,
Gordon Russell
22/05/2012 @  22:08
Under topic: RV8
 
Archived Reply(ies) received for this Message
Problem starting
It is possible the fuel filters are blocked, if the car has not been used for a while sediment could have formed in the filters, they need replacing regularily. Hope this helps
Pete Jevons
23/05/2012 @  07:30
 
Problem starting
First place to look is the two fuel filters under the off side rear wheel arch. They are not expensive and are noted to clog up with rust from the petrol tank, I check mine every year now after having a similar problem. While looking under the same wing check that the petrol pump is OK. Check all earths. How old is the battery?
Brian W Kitching
23/05/2012 @  07:34
 
Problem starting
I think you have already discovered the fault because you coudn't hear the rear fuel pump priming the system, Gordon!
A replacment unit is available from Clive Wheatley. You could take it off but check the filter first and then check that the pump is actually functioning. There is a workshop note on this somewhere which I'll try to find for you this morning.
Peter Garton
23/05/2012 @  14:01
 
Problem starting
Before you do anything else,remove the drivers side rear wheel and check the two push on connections to the fuel pump.They should be clean and a tight fit.A bad connection here would create exactly the intermittent fault you are describing.I this know from experience.
Dennis Hodge
23/05/2012 @  16:28
 
Problem starting
Yes, I entirely agree with Dennis. There has been problems with earthing and connections before. Your pump is clearly not working, Gordon.
Peter Garton
23/05/2012 @  20:24
 
Problem starting
If you are expecting to hear the fuel pump running with the ignition as you would on your MGBs you wonít hear it on the RV8. Renew the fuel filters but before you replace the pump carry out a couple of tests. To test the pump circuit put a test lamp or meter across the terminals on the fuel pump, turn on the ignition while watching the lamp (or meter), the fuel pump should run for few seconds; then crank the engine on the starter motor, the lamp should again show a supply to the pump even if the engine does not start.
What happens to the rev counter while the engine is cranking? If it doesnít show a few hundred revs there may be an ignition fault, and if the ignition doesnít work neither will the fuel injection; although the fuel pump should run for a couple of seconds as soon as the ignition is turned on.
A car that has only covered a few miles in several years will likely have numerous niggling little problems Ė and maybe some not so niggling. How old are the tyres for instance, they may need to be renewed even if there is little wear. Clogged filters that everyone has mentioned and poor connections that Dennis suggests are typical on an unused car and if you have a problem with the engine idle speed the stepper motor will be blamed.
I suppose you topped up with fresh fuel for the 100 mile run home?
Geoff King
23/05/2012 @  21:04
 
Problem starting
I sincerely apologise if I'm treading on your toes, Geoff but I do have to disagree regarding the RV8 fuel pump initial priming characteristic "noise." One can hear it easily, at least I can hear mine and I only turn the starter key further when the noise stops. Some owners then wait a few seconds and then start to enable the ECU to catch up. Other than that point, I agree entirely with your diagnosis procedures, of course.
Peter Garton
23/05/2012 @  21:27
 
Problem starting
Hi Gordon,

The "extra lock" at the steering wheel sounds like an aftermarket immobiliser. Immobilisers typically inhibit on or more of fuel pump relay, starter relay and coil so a fault with the immobiliser could very well cause your kind of problems. Are you using the extra key when starting the car?

It could of course be a loose connection somewhere as well or clogged filters if the pump is running - which, as Peter says normally is pretty audible. EFI pumps typically make a high-pitched buzzing noise.

Another thing to check is the intertia switch and it connector. The inertia switch cuts power to the fuel pump in case of a sudden impact, like a collision. A loose connection to this switch would also cause the fuel pump to stop.

Hope you get it fixed. Happy motoring,
Erik Persson
23/05/2012 @  23:15
 
Problem starting
Peter,
Poor wording from me Iím afraid. I meant if Gordon was expecting the pump to be heard running continuously with the ignition on he wouldnít hear it from the RV8 because the pump times out after a couple of seconds. However, judging from Gordonís post on a separate thread he knows the characteristics of the RV8 and apparently the pump isnít running as you rightly stated. Why it doesnít run remains to be discovered. Usually rotary pumps work or they donít but this one seems to work when it feels like it instead of doing what it is told (by the ECU) and I still suggest that a test be carried out before renewing the pump to see if it actually has a supply when it should.
Geoff King
24/05/2012 @  01:40
 
Problem starting
Yes, in retrospect, Geoff I guessed that's what meant to say!
I looked up the RV8 notes, Gordon, but coudn't find anything relevant apertaining to the pump, but there has been quite a bit via threads over the past 2 years or so. When I have time I'll go through the archives to see what I can find.
Peter Garton
24/05/2012 @  13:59
 
Problem starting
Just went through the archives but could not come up with any additional fresh info. One comment, though, that I did repeatedly find. If your fuel filters are blocked it is usually the smaller one but does not affect the actual starting up. Performance is radically reduced. Thus one comes back to the pump malfunction (earthing connection?). You must hear the buzzing sound when the ignition is initially turned on. If the starter is turning over the engine you can eliminate a lot of the usual electronic faults such as starter solenoid or earth connections etc.
Peter Garton
24/05/2012 @  14:35
 
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