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Old 8th March 2012, 15:17   #1
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Default Engine stalls after running for long with AC on

Hi all,

I own a 2003 Santro LP (Zip Plus model). It has about 83K kms on it. Since the last couple of years, I have been facing a strange issue - especially in summer.

If the car has been running for long (about 50 kms+) OR if it is fully loaded (3-4 passengers + some luggage in the boot) and has been running AC (at level 2 or 3), it suddenly stalls. I mean, the engine shuts off. If I restart, then the engine runs on idle, but if I switch it into gear and give some gas, then it stalls again. However, if I leave the engine to cool down (about 5-10 minutes), and then restart, then everything is normal again. Of course, after a while it might potentially reoccur. This phenomena is generally observed in summer only.

I got the fuel injectors replaced recently, as the service center guy said this could be the cause for it. However, in spite of the replacement, it still has occured again a week back.

Any ideas what could be wrong and how to fix it?

~Praveen
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Old 8th March 2012, 16:25   #2
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Default Re: Engine stalls after running for long with AC on

Since you have mentioned this problem occurs when the car is loaded and a/c is used and that it works fine when the engine is cooled down, it could be due to over-heating.

When the engine stalls, what is the temp. guage reading? You could have the radiator flushed and coolant checked.
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Old 8th March 2012, 16:31   #3
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Default Re: Engine stalls after running for long with AC on

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Since you have mentioned this problem occurs when the car is loaded and a/c is used and that it works fine when the engine is cooled down, it could be due to over-heating.

When the engine stalls, what is the temp. guage reading? You could have the radiator flushed and coolant checked.
The overheating bit is most probably correct, and rather obvious.

Since your car has run 83K kms, have you changed your timing belt? Did you change the idler/tensioner and the water pump along with the timing belt? Is the water pump running OK? Also, while you are at it, check whether the thermostat and radiator fan are working fine.
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Old 8th March 2012, 18:08   #4
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Default Re: Engine stalls after running for long with AC on

It could be your Ignition coils / Ignition leads. It could fuel pump heating up too.

Also check your low speed fan ( fan resistor). Do not run in this mode for too long , if it is due to overheating then a Headgasket could blow.
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Old 8th March 2012, 18:20   #5
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Default Re: Engine stalls after running for long with AC on

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Originally Posted by Catalyst_delhi View Post
It could be your Ignition coils / Ignition leads. It could fuel pump heating up too.
Had forgotten about the Ignition Coil! I remember we used to pack a wet cloth around the coil of the Ambassador while climbing up hills in summer. Same issue?
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Old 8th March 2012, 18:42   #6
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Default Re: Engine stalls after running for long with AC on

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Originally Posted by KiloAlpha View Post
Had forgotten about the Ignition Coil! I remember we used to pack a wet cloth around the coil of the Ambassador while climbing up hills in summer. Same issue?
Something like that , but nowadays we cant wrap a wet cloth around it , if there are cracks on the Ignition Coil then it will stall more and short. But yes you are right
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Old 8th March 2012, 19:54   #7
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Default Re: Engine stalls after running for long with AC on

Quote:
Originally Posted by avenger1976 View Post
If the car has been running for long (about 50 kms+) OR if it is fully loaded (3-4 passengers + some luggage in the boot) and has been running AC (at level 2 or 3), it suddenly stalls.
I have been facing similar problem in my car. When I run with the AC on, for long durations in traffic, at times the
engine seems to stall. The engine does not cut off. The feeling is more like i am in a higher gear and trying to gather
pace from low speeds. My instant reaction to the situation is to depress the clutch to avoid a stall. When i switch off
the AC, it goes back to normal. The temperature gauge never shows high in such situations. I can't confidently blame
over-heating because the moment i cut AC, car is back to normal. Is it possible for the AC to overload the engine to
the extent of stalling the engine?

Last edited by sumeshmani : 8th March 2012 at 19:56.
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Old 8th March 2012, 20:05   #8
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Default Re: Engine stalls after running for long with AC on

Quote:
Originally Posted by sumeshmani View Post
I have been facing similar problem in my car. When I run with the AC on, for long durations in traffic, at times the
engine seems to stall. The engine does not cut off. The feeling is more like i am in a higher gear and trying to gather
pace from low speeds. My instant reaction to the situation is to depress the clutch to avoid a stall. When i switch off
the AC, it goes back to normal. The temperature gauge never shows high in such situations. I can't confidently blame
over-heating because the moment i cut AC, car is back to normal. Is it possible for the AC to overload the engine to
the extent of stalling the engine?

I almost forgot IAC valve , Please check that as well and your low speed fan. Again could be ignition coils. Next time when you have AC on for long times, just check if the low speed fan or AC fan is on and running. AC at most take 2-3hp i guess ( may be wrong) never stall a car. How is your AC cooling though?
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Old 8th March 2012, 20:16   #9
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Default Re: Engine stalls after running for long with AC on

Quote:
Originally Posted by sumeshmani View Post
Is it possible for the AC to overload the engine to the extent of stalling the engine?
OE A/c's are calibrated to exert the load equivalent of two adults in the car. So when the car is full with people and luggage and the A/c is on, it will have the effect of two more people in the car. This situation can be an overload on the engine. If there is an overload effect with 1-2 people inside, it will usually be a problem with the engine.
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Old 8th March 2012, 22:55   #10
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Default Re: Engine stalls after running for long with AC on

Hi all,

Thank you very much for your replies. Here are my responses to the same:

1. I dont think it is over heating, as the temp guage does not show any over heat. The reading is the same as any other day.

2. I did get the timing belt and all the spark plugs, spark plug cables (atleast thats what I think they were) replaced and fuel injectors cleaned. The issue cropped up even after this was done.

3. AC cooling is normal and nothing out of the blue happening there. And when the engine stalls and cuts off, the AC does continue to run in all the three fan positions.

4. The levels and quality of all liquids too seem normal (got it checked when I faced the issue the first two times).

Will check on the other suggestions made around the ignition coils. Any other thoughts on what else would need to be checked?

I really like the car and would hate to replace it and take on additional EMIs for a new loan. At the same time, do not want to risk being stuck in the middle of no where when I am out with family :(

~ Praveen
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Old 9th March 2012, 00:00   #11
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Default Re: Engine stalls after running for long with AC on

It should most probably be the coil. Check the plugs as well.

Please check if you are getting constant power from the coil. Ideally, you should change the coil, the cables and the plugs.

Do you have vibrations when the car is in idle or minimum acceleration?
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Old 9th March 2012, 19:16   #12
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Default Re: Engine stalls after running for long with AC on

Hi Avenger1976,

If you have not replaced the fuel pump before, at 83k its time now. I think its definitely the fuel pump.
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Old 11th March 2012, 10:31   #13
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Default Re: Engine stalls after running for long with AC on

Santro's are known to have an issue related with IAC. In Santro its given some other name, but essentially a similar device which increases the idle when the A/C is switched ON is to be blamed here. No other significant issue. If ignition coil, etc. were to be the problem creators, IMO, that would have resulted into some performance loss. But performance loss is not reported here.
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