Alfa Romeo Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi All

Spider has been laid up for a few years now and gets started every 4-6 months. Always starts on the button except for tonight !

Turn the key and only heard a whirring so I thought motor is not engaging, tried a few more times and it took and started. Great except whirring still in background:thinking:. Guess I ran it for a minute before realising this is probably not a good idea. Turned off and popped the bonnet to be met with a totally encrusted thermostat with an inch or more of coolant gunge/crystals all over..
So I'm guessing the thermostat is leaking/busted as the header tank was also dry. Mt guess then is that whirring was the water pump running dry. Woulds this be damaged in a minute or so? I didn't have any coolant to hand so will have to go back in a day or two to it and try.

Thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,510 Posts
Coolant is designed to keep the engine from overheating, hence it's a water cooled engine. If you ran the engine from cold for only a couple of minutes, I can't see any damage happing from you overheating the engine
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,799 Posts
hi All

Spider has been laid up for a few years now and gets started every 4-6 months. Always starts on the button except for tonight !

Turn the key and only heard a whirring so I thought motor is not engaging, tried a few more times and it took and started. Great except whirring still in background:thinking:. Guess I ran it for a minute before realising this is probably not a good idea. Turned off and popped the bonnet to be met with a totally encrusted thermostat with an inch or more of coolant gunge/crystals all over..
So I'm guessing the thermostat is leaking/busted as the header tank was also dry. Mt guess then is that whirring was the water pump running dry. Woulds this be damaged in a minute or so? I didn't have any coolant to hand so will have to go back in a day or two to it and try.

Thoughts?
could you post the sound?

you have several scenarios that are possible,

it could just be a duff battery and a noisy pulley somehere..


or

1) you have a failed water pump that is not circulating water, you will have done no damage with the little bit of running you did, however this is likely to ave happened on your last run, so the question is at what point onyour last run..? if damage was done it was then.


The fact it was hard to start implies you may not be completely out of the woods by replacing the waterpump..poor starting could be a sign of low compression and therefore a possible HG, can you compression test it?

as you have to remove the cambelt to even check the water pump I would do a full cambelt, the tensioners idlers ,water pump ,aux belt and IMO leave the balance belt off.

2nd scenario.

the aux belt has gone pop, and it was hard to start becasue the alternator isn't charging the battery..It wouldn't explain the whirring though

after having been through similar problems with a PH2 TS in a GTV and going through the process of flushing the rad, bleeding the system thorougly and eventually doing a cambelt and water pump with still having the car overheating I would do what I didn't think to do.


could also be the hard start is unrelated.? oil in the plug wells due to a failing rockercover gasket ? or any number of other small things.





3rd scenario, the starter motor is on the way out and the whirring is the pulley on it, mine on the TS screeches on the first start of the day and then is fine on any subsequent start..you opened the bonnet and saw the coolant around the stat and jumped to conclusions , coolant was already low and you just didn't notice?


check the easy stuff first, perhaps change the stat and top up the coolant, and get a multimeter and check the current at the battery when the car is both running and not, just to see if the battery is good.


very best of luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies
Hmm. Not too worried about overheating the motor (only running for a minute and the dipstick oil was barely warm.) Mainly wondered if running the water pump dry can damage them - it was replaced by me a few years but less than 2k miles ago. Will top up with coolant and see how the noise sounds then.

Cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
692 Posts
Are you sure it was the water pump that was making the whirring sound? It's belt driven not electric so wouldn't be working unless the engine is running. Sounds more like the fuel pump. It also sounds like you don't drive the car much so the fuel might have gone off which is why you had starting problems which will only get worse as the fuel in the tank degrades further
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
692 Posts
Ps to answer your question I can't see how running the water pump dry will cause any damage as it's a simple belt driven impeller
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The car's in storage right now but hopefully I'll be back over there with some coolant in the next day or two and try and pinpoint the issue. Stuff like this needs to to be used I know but I put quite a bit into the car (1998 83k P1 TS)3-4 years ago yet I know its still not worth much and I get free storage. Nevertheless maybe it's time to move it on.:depressed:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
First thing I would do is take the auxiliary drive belt off and see if it still makes the noise as by doing this you eliminate the: alternator, power steering, air con pump, tensioner and pullys, and the belt, if the belt is damaged it will make a noise too.

My alternator had recently seized and the car was hard to start, and it had only been sitting for a few month.

And You definitely can't damage the water pump by not running it in water, you will eventually damage your engine, as if it will overheat, but otherwise it'll be fine, it is an impeller, kinda like a turbo, so it will make a noise with no water present.
:thumbup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Don't forget that you should change the cambelt et al every five years irrespective of how far the car has travelled! :vs_shocked:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top