I'm calling that a success. It'd been sat outside a local garage for 18 months following a head gasket replacement, the garage started it up and immediately noticed a rattling noise from the engine. The owner, a friend of mine, had only had it a week and wasn't impressed with it's behaviour so he told them to leave it and bought a rather nasty Clio off his brother instead. So it's done 0 miles on the new head gasket allegedly but has been sat outside for a fair amount of time, partly on grass and with the lid off the header tank, which was empty. A good sign, I'm sure you'll agree.
The owner offered it to me for free as it needed to go away and naturally I agreed to rehome it so this morning at 10AM, the rescue commenced.
I'm not used to having a co-pilot but as the car was only 9 miles away it was ideal as he could then drive my car back and act as support vehicle should anything go wrong.
Ten minutes later, the car was waiting with anticipation for the freedom it had been longing for.
The old battery out of RobT's Astra, although left on charge overnight, when combined with my knackered jump leads did not produce great results so the Octavia was brought in to assist. The header tank proved to be empty but only took a litre or so, which was a reasonably promising sign.
My assistant inserted a can of fresh petrol to dilute the 1/4 tank of stale muck that was in the car already...
and a few reluctant coughs eventually produced noise and a huge amount of blue smoke, a superb start. The smoke died away, it idled reasonably well once the cleaner petrol started coming through and most of the electrics worked, although the car's own battery was completely dead, not surprising really.
The engine noise is a distinct top-end rattling which may be hydraulic lifter noise, something these engines are known for. It quietened down a bit once it had warmed up and didn't sound too terrible so I've decided to see if a bit of use and an oil change will sort it, assuming it earns a fresh MOT first of course.
Once it had warmed up a little, the handbrake eventually let go on the 4th attempt and she was free.
Anyone who knows these engines knows what a pain they are to bleed and this one was no different. It took an hour of faffing about before the worst of the airlocks cleared and the header tank settled down, alas having used all the water I brought with me.
Whilst we waited for it to warm up, we had a chance to admire the slightly minging interior.
Seen and smelt worse, mind. Brakes look rough...
But at least all the tyres had around 30psi and plenty of tread. A quick wipe with some waterless wash removed the most obvious green muck and the scuttle panel was excavated.
Tidy enough for free!
It was keeping superb company in the yard.
Coolant now a bit low but pretty clear of air, a short run up and down the industrial estate to confirm the car drove quote well and the brakes worked, time to hit the road and get it 9 miles to my local tame mechanic for a chance at an MOT.
Success! It got a little warm in traffic near the end, the fan cut in though and the temperature gauge reads very low, I'll be over to it during the week with a spare battery (my spare is too large), some new wiper blades and enough water to top up and properly bleed the coolant system but overall, not bad. It is a little low on power and not 100% smooth but it's still running on mostly ancient petrol so it did well enough and you can't hear the top-end rattle on the move.
A pre-MOT assessment is happening later this week if he gets time, nothing obvious is wrong so we'll see what happens.