Now that the car was at the stage of firing up, I turned it over regularly to keep things moving mechanically while it was awaiting the mechanical work on the chassis and brakes. The car was firing up reliably for a few weeks until one day something was missing. The characteristic whirr of the fuel pump priming was missing, replaced by a faint click. Not good. So began the masochistic process of trying to diagnose why the fuel pump won’t prime. These problems are great craic to solve but very frustrating also which makes them even more rewarding when they’re solved.
First, check for voltage at the fuel pump. Without an assistant, a multimeter with some extension leads and a phone to video the voltage output were all set up to see if I could get voltage at the fuel pump.
No (decent) voltage at the fuel pump meant an issue somewhere in the wiring, which is bad news. Tracking down a wiring issue, is, to use a technical term, a massive pain in the ass. A car that was laid up for a good while could have any amount of wiring faults – dampness, a short, a bad earth due to corrosion, or the nightmare scenario – a mouse or rat having eaten through a wiring loom. So, out came the trusty multimeter and a screwdriver wrapped in cloth to pick apart the flimsy plastic trim clips.
I pulled apart a good few trim panels and checked the wiring for any obvious issues. I checked any fuses I could, and found what looked like some wire breaks where the alarm immobiliser had been spliced into the circuitry. Having reached my level of competence, I called in the professionals to take out the old alarm system and replace with new.
It was a bit sad in one sense looking at what was once a state of the art security system consigned to a pile ow wires and electronics on the floor but it had to be done. On the plus side, there was now a brand new, modern, security system on the car and crucially voltage at the fuel pump!
Speaking of the fuel pump, while I was waiting on the alarm install I decided to make sure that said fuel pump was actually working. To do this was a bit messy and involved firstly exposing the fuel pump via the covers in the boot.
Then, connecting up the battery to apply voltage to it via a set of leads, the characteristic whirr of the pump reassured me that all should be ok once we got the electrics sorted.
Now that all that intricate electronic, voltage, intricate circuitry stuff was done, I could start the heavy mechanical work on the chassis, suspension and brakes. So in went the multimeter and out came the heavy artillery, breaker bars, torque wrenches and angle grinder.