Simple Fix

Watch as Harry Metcalfe tries to get his ancient Fiat 500 to start, after a 5-year layoff.

(yes, that’s Harry, back in the 1980s)

As it looks now:

Much frustration follows, as Harry and Charlie try one thing, and then another — and along the way, we get a lesson on how the Fiat’s simple engine works.

But… all is to avail, and in despair they start talking about having to drop the engine out.

And then… a simple fix, and there is much joy in Harry’s Garage.

Now, a tour of Harry’s garage.  And there’s a sequel to this, in the very next post.


  1. A great demonstration on how easy it is to overthink a problem. ICE engines are simple. Air – Fuel – compression and ignition. Get all four right and the engine will run.

    Oh …… and remember to put it back together EXACTLY as it was when it last ran before you messed with it. We’ve all failed at that part.

    Electric motors are even easier, each section of the rotor needs to be energized in sequence as they pass the stator. There is only one moving part.

  2. I am a bit surprised the carburetor wasn’t gummed up after all that time. IIRC, back in the day, cleaning the carburetor was about the second thing my day taught me, after checking/cleaning/gapping the spark plugs. But I don’t think the carb was ever the reason a car wouldn’t start, but often the reason it didn’t run well. (By running well, Dad meant you needed to brace himself against whiplash when you floored it – otherwise, it either wasn’t the right car for him, or it was ill and needed some attention.)

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