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Dissembler 08-11-2010 07:53 PM

Car stalls while driving
I was driving down the 401 today, holding a steady speed, and my engine cut out. No warning, no noises nothing abnormal, the engine just turned off, and all the lights came on on the instrument cluster like it does before you start the car.

I tried cranking the motor over while coasting along the highway, it cranked and cranked but would not fire. Pulled over to the side of the road, decide to start checking some stuff out. Accessed the fuel pump, cranked the car, fuel poured out of pump, so its okay.

Put the fuel line back on, cranked the car for shits and giggles and, geuss what? It started instantly. I should note that at this point about 10 minutes had gone by between coasting down the highway, cursing furiously than deciding to check out what happened.

This same issue also happend monday, except that after about 1 minute of sitting there thinking "wtf!?", the car started. Now that I'm thinking about it, at while lapping at eurofest, later in the day the car started to cut out at 6000rpm (I have a markd chip so its got the 7k redline), but I figured the car was just hot so I didn't think about it.

Fuel economy is normal, cranktimes are the same they've always been, no misfires, power levels feel normal and there are no codes stored in ecu.

The first thing I looked at was the fuel pump relay, it seemed loose, so I cleaned the connectors and used a ziptie to secure it, then checked out my engine grounds and they're clean and tight. Any ideas?

Found this thread, but nothing conclusive comes up Can anyone confirm the main relay shoudl throw a code?

SamE30e 08-11-2010 07:57 PM

Something with the fuel pump. Next time it happens, access the fuel pump and tap it with a screw driver while cranking it. See if that works.

If not then maybe the relay.

Dissembler 08-11-2010 08:22 PM

Was pretty much the first thing I did, did not start though. Anything can be a possibility, but the pump is new, doesn't make any noise (literally) and fuel did come out of it quite quickly. Fuel just seemed like the easiest place to start, so I'm not ruling anything out yet.

Sam, maybe you just need to drift it to fix the problem, kinda like the leaky o rings last time lol

T.Dot_E30 08-11-2010 09:58 PM

When it happens again check for spark.

Based on the symptoms my first guess would be iqnition related, which would lead to no spark, then you check the coil, ecu, loose connections, etc.

When my e30 died it was the coding plug relay (obc ignition kill), but my issues were different it completely died and never started until I figured it out b

You haven't ruled out the fuel pump yet, unless you can confirm it is getting power n working when the car doesn't start.

SamE30e 08-11-2010 10:09 PM


Originally Posted by Dissembler (Post 1443340)
Sam, maybe you just need to drift it to fix the problem, kinda like the leaky o rings last time lol

Hahahaha, I drift it and I find the problem!

E30 Girl 08-12-2010 10:00 AM

The same sort of thing happened to me a few years ago and it ended up being my ECU. I had a leak and the compartment was getting water in it and eventually it just fried. May or may not help but it's an idea.

MarkD 08-12-2010 10:05 AM

It could be a bad crank sensor.

SamE30e 08-12-2010 01:35 PM


Originally Posted by MarkD (Post 1443449)
It could be a bad crank sensor.

That was my next guess.

Dissembler 08-12-2010 02:51 PM

when engine cuts out, if left in gear, rpm still registers correctly, put in neutral and rpms drop to 0, back in gear and rpm went up again (i only let it drop to about 2k though when i pushed the clutch out)

InfiniteDice 08-12-2010 03:18 PM

I had a situation similar to this, whenever i was speeding up and took a left turn the car would die, sometimes the engine would shut right off then run again... for me it was the Main Relay.

SamE30e 08-12-2010 04:49 PM

So just the tach is going wonky, or its actually stalling when you put it in neutral?

everlast 08-12-2010 10:04 PM

I vote "main relay".

Dissembler 08-12-2010 10:55 PM


Originally Posted by SamE30e (Post 1443571)
So just the tach is going wonky, or its actually stalling when you put it in neutral?

nothings wonky here, engine just decides to take a break regarless of gear, road speed or road road condition. First time it happened I was doing 30kph in second. I should have clarified that even though rpm was registering, the engine was definitely not on.


Originally Posted by everlast (Post 1443631)
I vote "main relay".

I'm thinking this too, I checked out the main relay tonight, the prongs were black at the tops of them, and brown the rest of the way down with the only shiny parts being where they actually contacted in their connectors.

I just cleaned the contacts for now and zip tied it tight. Lol, I forgot that my plan was to run the car and pull the relay to see if I could simulate the condition. Anyways, we'll see what happens but I think I'll be making a trip to Maranello soon for a relay, atleast for peace of mind.

The car behaved great today, didn't shut off. Even the idle was smooth lol

everlast 08-12-2010 10:58 PM

Main relays are so common to break that I made a little relay jumper that just jumps the right pins together so I can bypass it if necessary, and threw it in my tool box. If you continue to have trouble, you could make one and toss it in when the car next stalls.

tig 08-12-2010 11:15 PM

had similiar problems in the past on my e36, changed the MAF and it went away

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