Some Common Austin-Healey Problems and Some of the Possible Causes

Compiled by David Nock

Originally published in the Austin-Healey Magazine, August 1990


(Not a Complete List)


Does your Healey leak oil from the rear carburetor?

  • Your rocker arms are worn

Do you have a water leak from the overflow hose?

  • Expansion of hot coolant

  • Your radiator cap Is the wrong depth

  • Radiator cap is faulty

Do your feet get hot while driving?

  • Hot air is leaking into the cockpit

  • Tunnel is not screwed down

  • Heat shields are missing

  • Grommets are missing

  • Heater is on

Do you get bad gas mileage?

  • Carb jets are worn

  • Carbs are adjusted too rich

  • Mechanical advance is frozen

  • Ignition timing is retarded

  • Vacuum unit leaks

Is there a rattle at the front of the engine?

  • Crank pulley is loose

  • Timing chain is worn

Do you smell gas in the car?

  • Carb jets are leaking

  • Carbs are flooding

  • Sending unit is leaking

Is your engine temperature too high?

  • Check your gauge for accuracy

  • Water level is too low

  • Faulty thermostat

  • Fan belt is loose

  • Ignition timing

  • Carb adjustment

  • Wrong temperature thermostat

Is there a clunk when braking or accelerating?

  • Hubs are worn

  • Wheels are weak

  • shocks are loose

  • Steering box adjustment

  • Idler arm is worn

  • Wheel out of balance

Does your steering wheel shake?

  • King pins are worn

  • Shocks are weak

  • Shocks are loose

  • Steering box adjustment

  • Idler arm Is worn

  • Wheel out of balance

Does your car wander when driving?

  • Rear springs are loose

  • Steering box adjustment

  • King pins are worn

Does your speedometer needle Jump around?

  • Speedometer cable is worn

  • Angle drive is stiff

Is your handbrake stiff or sloppy?

  • Cable is frozen

  • Linkage is frozen

  • Brackets are broken

Do you have problems getting into gear?

  • Gear shift lever is worn

  • Reverse lockout is stuck

Does your engine crank slowly?

  • Battery is old or flat

  • Starter Is faulty

  • Battery terminals are dirty

  • Ignition timing

  • Battery switch

  • Engine ground

Do your brakes grab?

  • Oil on brake shoes

Do your brakes pull?

  • Oil on brake shoes

  • Wheel cylinder Is frozen

Are the doors hard to open?

  • Worn striker

  • Door handle stiff

  • Frame is weak and rusty

Does your door open when driving?

  • Door strikers are worn

  • Frame is weak and rusty

Does your fuel pump run and run?

  • Air leak at pump

  • Bad valves In pump

  • Float needle not seating

  • No gas in tank

Is your car low on one side?

  • Broken or weak spring

Do you have low oil pressure?

  • Check accuracy of gauge

  • Rocker arms are worn

  • Crank bearings are worn

Does your engine stop while running?

  • Fuel pump is faulty

  • Blockage in fuel line

Is your electric tach not working?

  • Incorrectly grounded

  • "U" shaped bracket missing

Does your overdrive operate slowly?

  • Blockage inside unit

  • Wrong oil

  • Wrong adjustment

Did your overdrive solenoid burn and smell?

  • Wrong adjustment

Docs your overdrive work in all gears?

  • Isolator switch is bypassed

Does the overdrive not operate?

  • Solenoid adjustment is incorrect

  • Low on oil

  • Isolator switch

  • Overdrive relay

  • Governor switch (on 3-speeds)

Not what you were looking for? Don't forget you can check our back issues using the AHCUSA Magazine Index.

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