I need your help. And I am counting on you and the power of the Internet to fix an issue dear to my heart.
I have a gorgeous 1966 split-screen VW camper van. And rather cruelly I have left it on its own for basically a year at my mother-in-law’s house because the practicality of having it in the heart of San Francisco is not great (plus we never use our other car anyway).
To cut a long story short, I was starting up the van every few weeks, and asking my mother-in-law’s husband to do the same. But, inevitably, the frequent start-ups lapsed for about three months and when I next tried to start her up, she refused. I thought it was the battery, so I got a man from AAA out to start her up – he said the battery was fine and drove off. The van hasn’t started since.
So today – finally – I decided to have a big stab at getting the van started. I bought some petrol/gasoline to top up the tank (it was low); I connected my portable jumpstarter to the battery to get it to kick in; I even give the top of the carburetor a tap in case the float valve was stuck. To no avail, the van won’t start.
I recall once when this happened when I was living in LA, a wise old mechanic turned up and told me about a trick to add a small amount of gasoline to the top of the engine (where, I don’t know) and that would help it kickstart itself. I have searched online for this tip and found nothing.
This is where you come in. I recorded my efforts to start the van. And I’ve posted the file here. What you can hear is me turning it on next to the engine, leaving the device (my iPhone), going to the van, starting it up, turning it off, starting it up, turning it off, a car driving by and me returning to the engine.
I just know that there are plenty of people out there that will know *exactly* what this sounds means. And I am trying to find just one of them. So please help me out and link, post, whatever this to anyone who has some VW know-how. And you will get a very appreciative Kieren.
Why not just go to a garage?
1. I’ve got to get the van there
2. Most garages these days have no idea about old vehicles like this
3. I want to fix the issue myself – a big part of why I have the van in the first place
So come on social media / Internet / humankind – help me out.[audio:http://kierenmccarthy.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Car-engine-not-starting.mp3|titles=Car engine not starting]
You can download the MP3 here.