You go through a box full of parts and it still isn't running - so, what did you forget?? Read on to find out about a critical part which is almost always overlooked. One reader discovered the bad part on his own.

I have another "very unusual" car repair story if you would like it. When this happened I had no knowledge of mechanics.

I had a 1968 Fiat with about 5,000 miles on it. I stopped for gas at a local, but not my usual, station. After gassing up, my wife and I headed down the road. After about a mile the car slowly started losing power and running rough. Down to third gear, then second, then low. I managed to get turned around and back toward the service station. The engine would idle and rev up O.K., just no power. I had to help push it up the slightest grade while my wife drove.

We got back to the station and explained the symptoms to the owner. He said he would check it and "get it fixed". We got a ride home. The next day when I called the station the owner told me he did a complete electrical tune up; plugs, points, condenser, plug wires, cap and distributer. He also did a flow and pressure test on the fuel pump. He then said all that didn't fix it and it needed a carb rebuild. It would be a few days to get it done. After three days I went in to get my car. "The carb was rebuilt but it's still not any better." the station owner told me.

Well enough is enough. My brother-in-law (he knew less than I did about cars) and I towed it home. As I said, it would start, idle, and rev-up pretty good but....not enough power to pull itself. I started the car and walked around it while thinking of all the "repairs" that had been done. In my infinite wisdom I thought, " The only thing they didn't change was the gasoline". I drained the tank and put a few gallons of another brand in. Within a minute the idle really smoothed out. I got in, put it in gear and drove away She was running like a top.

I drove straight to the gas station and showed the owner how it was running and told him what I did. This was less than two hours after I towed it out of there! He said he would check his tanks and gas and let me know the results. About a week later he told me he had everything checked and found nothing wrong. RRIIGGHHTT!!!

A few months later I got gas at another station. Same brand...different store. Within a mile the car started loosing power. I pulled into the next station and got more gas, mixing it with the brand I just got, hoping to dilute it enough to keep from having to drain the tank again. Well, it ran a little rough for a while but I kept up with traffic till the next tankful.

There is probably nothing wrong with that brand of gas and there was definitely nothing wrong with my Fiat, It just would not run on that particular brand of gasoline. All this put me out about $100.00 1960's dollars, and I ended up fixing it myself, and I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT I WAS DOING. I thought , if I knew anything about this stuff I could save some $$$ and headaches, so I invested in a few repair manuals and studied, and studied, and studied. Today, unless it's under warranty, I do most of my own repairs. I still haven't figured out why my Fiat wouldn't run on that gas though.

Thanks again,

Marshall Bronne

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