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Major Issue - Engine Stalling / switching off abruptly

Discussion in 'Engine Compartment' started by Joeanil, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. Joeanil

    Joeanil

    Messages:
    7
    Chennai
    Hi Guys,

    I have a VERY SERIOUS issue with my Linea and need all your expert advise to sort it out. On 23rd I was doing a long drive and after having covered almost 350 kms, the car suddenly stopped. I was in the 5th Gear then and all of a sudden experienced loss of power. The engine switched off by itself. On the dashboard, the regular 3 lights came up (when you insert a key, before cranking). Brought the car to neutral and pulled over. Tried to restart the engine but It wouldn’t start. Called up Service advisor and on his advise, I disconnected the negative terminal of the battery and tried to restart the engine after giving a 5 min break. This time the engine started again. Drove for about 30 odd Kms and then once again the engine switched off. While driving I had been watching out for any overheat by looking at the Engine temp indicator. It has been right in the centre (mid point). Current odo reading of my car is about 11800 kms. It is about 1 year and 8 months old.

    After having driven about 400 Kms, took almost 2 hours lunch break. Thereafter, I finished the balance of 150 kms without any issues.

    On 26th Dec, I again undertook a 400 Kms (200 kms on 26th & 200 kms on 28th) round trip and this time the car drove without any issues.

    Again on 1st January, I started my return drive to Chennai – about 400 kms. I was driving continuously between 90 KMPH to 110KMPH. After having covered about 195 Kms, the car stopped again. This time I did not disconnect the negative terminal of the battery, and gave it a 5 min break and then tried to start, it started. I continued my rest of the journey. However I had about 5 more “engine switching off” episodes during the remaining journey. Switching off happened in almost all gears. Somehow completed the rest of the journey by stopping and then restarting the engine after about 5 min break. Must say it was a harrowing experience as at times motorist behind me did not understand as to why I was stopping suddenly. I was driving on National Quadrilateral with some heavy traffic as I neared Chennai.

    I am badly shaken and hence request your help in sorting out the issue. I really like the car but then engine getting switched off is just not acceptable. Planning to take the car to the SA this week. The issue becomes all the more serious as at high speeds when the engine gets switched off, within few seconds the Steering and Breaks get jammed and do not respond.

    Kindly note:

    ? Before starting I had done the “long drive” checkup at the dealership - adequacy of all fluids
    ? Throughout the drive, kept checking engine temp indicator for normalcy (it was normal)
    ? I filled fuel from a good bunk (regular bunk where I am sure of the quality).
    ? My last service was done in May/June

    As the issues is serious, insights into the issue will be very helpful.

    Joeanil
  2. PaddleShifter

    PaddleShifter Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,697
    Chandigarh
    Grande Punto 1.3
    This is indeed a serious issue.
    Experienced TFI members can comment on this better.

    Did you talk to the service center? What did they say about it?

    The three lights you are talking about, one is for the battery, second one is for engine oil and the third one (yellow/amber colored) is for EOBD failure check engine light (1.4 petrol variant).
    [attachment=0:2k5oyjzl]EOBD failure warning-1.4 petrol.jpg[/attachment:2k5oyjzl]

    EOBD failure warning-1.4 petrol.jpg
  3. FastLove

    FastLove Superiore

    Messages:
    606
    Mumbai
    Linea 1.4
    This looks like a major issue.

    However, could also be something to do with your driving...
    1. Did you see any message on the "MID" like - check oil pressure. This is generally due to driving at lower rpm on a higher gear. First time the car stalled you were on 5 th gear can you remember your speed at that time?
    2. Did the lights go off after the car started?
    3. Did the lights glow again every time the engine stalled?
    4. Did the SA mention to you what he felt could be the problem,?

    I feel it could be more to do with point 1 or in worst car problem with fuel/ fuel injection.
  4. vIjAy_kHaSa

    vIjAy_kHaSa Esperto

    Messages:
    1,352
    Panchkula
    Most probably there is a problem in fuel supply or some sensor and ECU is turning off engine to prevent damage to the engine.
    Or problem could be with ECU itself. Does Engine Check light glows before or after engines switches itself off.
    Don't drive the car, ask the SC to tow it to center and connect Fiat Examiner and see if some errors are stored.
    In the current stage the car can be dangerous to you and others on the road.
    @ Fastlove don't think that this problem is due to point no 1 mentioned by you. He have driven the car for above 11k kms so he will know at what speed and rpm the car will stall.
  5. FastLove

    FastLove Superiore

    Messages:
    606
    Mumbai
    Linea 1.4
    Valid Points Vijay ::T
  6. Joeanil

    Joeanil

    Messages:
    7
    Chennai
    When the engine was on and the car was running, there are no lights on the display. However when the engine switches off (while the car is moving) - the 3 lights on the dash return. These are the usual 3 lights that PaddleShifter mentioned above.

    Went to the service centre this morning and explained the issue in detail to the SA. He was not sure but said it might be something related to the electricals.
    I am still trying to figure out a logical explanation as clear understanding of the problem is issue half resolved. It puzzles me that I did not face any issues on 26th even though I did about 200 kms trip (one way) with just a 2 min break during the drive.
    Does Linea have some kind of engine immobilizer? Other than ECU & Sensors can there be any other possible cause? Also, vIjAy_kHaSa spoke about Fiat Examiner. vIjAy, could you pls throw some more light on this. If I ask the SA to show me the results of Fiat Examiner, can I see it?
    SA told me that it might take few days, I asked him to keep it as long as it takes but to solve the issue forever. Frankly, unless I know the definitive cause, I may not feel confident in getting behind the wheel.
    Any more suggestion / feedback will be highly appreciated.
    Joe
  7. riddler339

    riddler339

    Messages:
    11
    Bangalore
    Linea does have a immobilizer as far as i know but its linked to some signal received from chip in the keys. The key could not be the issue here as disconnecting the contacts from battery would not have solved it any way. My guess is there is some issue with the electricals that could be a manufacturing defect or related to maintainence(wires/Fuse coming loose or getting shorted).
  8. Joeanil

    Joeanil

    Messages:
    7
    Chennai
    Just Spoke to the SA. He says Fiat Examiner showed no errors and that all is fine. They are removing all the sensors / connections and reattaching them…. SA said he will revert after a road test this afternoon. It would have been really nice if I had known the actual cause. Now, I have no choice but to drive the car and pray that the issue has got resolved automatically.
  9. vIjAy_kHaSa

    vIjAy_kHaSa Esperto

    Messages:
    1,352
    Panchkula
    If Fiat Examiner is showing nothing then most probably its some loose connection.
    Let the ASS do what they are doing most probably problem will not reoccur but if it does occur again send a e-mail to service@fiapl.com for escalating the issue and solving it in priority.
  10. karan desai

    karan desai Superiore

    Messages:
    805
    Morbi, Gujrat
    these small problems are really scary. they would leave you stranded. even the CSC problem is experienced by many of the buyers even after changing new ones. such problems makes fiat an unreliable car. sorry fiat. i was so proud about the fiat quality and reliability i had in my uno, but things seems to have changed now.

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