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Old 11th September 2013, 14:44   #1
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Default Engine shuts off in neutral gear

I own a 2010 Fabia petrol. During a recent trip to a hill station, I encountered a situation where the engine would automatically go off when idling --- even in neutral. Some one suggested it could be because of the incline, or the low pressure in the hill region. The outside temperature was just about 25 degree C. I encountered this almost every time the engine was idling (especially when I engaged Reverse), and once down hill on the way back. There wasn't any problem while on the move, and the problem hasn't occurred again (this was a month ago). I am yet to take it up with the service guys. Can some experts please explain what could be the problem.
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Old 11th September 2013, 15:55   #2
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Default re: Engine shuts off in neutral gear

I think it could be due to lower oxygen content (and low air pressure) at higher altitudes and the resultant air/petrol mixture imbalance within the engine. Check out your fuel pump ... probably the fault is with that. Maybe the mechanic will ask you to replace it.
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Old 11th September 2013, 16:13   #3
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Default re: Engine shuts off in neutral gear

I find that a bit hard to believe - what height was the hill station at? Sure there are differences when one starts climbing higher up but it cannot be so drastic , i have taken my 1.6 - which in fact should possibly be more sensitive to heights , highest i took her was about 10,000 feet - no problem.

I would maybe start off wondering if the engine was maintaining its RPM's in neutral .....

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Originally Posted by 2cents View Post
I own a 2010 Fabia petrol. During a recent trip to a hill station, I encountered a situation where the engine would automatically go off when idling --- even in neutral. Some one suggested it could be because of the incline, or the low pressure in the hill region. The outside temperature was just about 25 degree C. I encountered this almost every time the engine was idling (especially when I engaged Reverse), and once down hill on the way back. There wasn't any problem while on the move, and the problem hasn't occurred again (this was a month ago). I am yet to take it up with the service guys. Can some experts please explain what could be the problem.

Last edited by puchoo : 11th September 2013 at 16:18.
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Old 11th September 2013, 16:55   #4
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Default re: Engine shuts off in neutral gear

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Originally Posted by puchoo View Post
I find that a bit hard to believe - what height was the hill station at?....

I would maybe start off wondering if the engine was maintaining its RPM's in neutral .....
The hill station was just about 1000m above sea level in Kerala. I had been to similar heights earlier too with no problems (a year ago). The RPM normally is at around 1000 at idle during start. During this incident the needle would raise to 1000 when I start and gradually fall to off, even in neutral. I had to keep pumping a little to keep the engine running for a while and then apply the gears.
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Old 11th September 2013, 17:03   #5
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Default re: Engine shuts off in neutral gear

At 1000 meters , it cannot be any influence of the height , it simply is not high enough , best if you speak to a workshop and ask them , maybe something to do with the Idle Air control valve.

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The hill station was just about 1000m above sea level in Kerala. I had been to similar heights earlier too with no problems (a year ago). The RPM normally is at around 1000 at idle during start. During this incident the needle would raise to 1000 when I start and gradually fall to off, even in neutral. I had to keep pumping a little to keep the engine running for a while and then apply the gears.
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Old 11th September 2013, 17:11   #6
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Default re: Engine shuts off in neutral gear

A Modern MPFI engine will not shut down,if operated at high altitudes.
There is some other reason behind this,that needs to be investigated.
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Old 11th September 2013, 17:18   #7
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Default re: Engine shuts off in neutral gear

Isn't there some vacuum based switch or something that makes the engine idle without going off? I had my old Zen which used to have engine die down when stopped because of some loose connection.
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Old 11th September 2013, 19:07   #8
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Default Re: Engine shuts off in neutral gear

Could be dirty/clogged or faulty idle air control valve or IAC valve. Also you may want to check for dirty/jammed air filter and air box. Lot of videos on youtube for cleaning the IAC.

Was the idle erratic, or did it drop to 1000RPM and then gradually shut off? When you provide throttle, you're no longer using the IAC, so the engine won't stall. Something surely wrong with the idling circuit.
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Old 11th September 2013, 20:13   #9
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Default Re: Engine shuts off in neutral gear

If its IAC valve or air filter, then the problem would have resurfaced.

My best guess is bad fuel. Temporary block in fuel lines.
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Old 11th September 2013, 20:35   #10
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Default Re: Engine shuts off in neutral gear

look for blocked IAC passage, choked air filter and anything in the intake system that might starve the car of air. 1000 m is not high enough to cause any problems whatsoever. I would also check for a clogged fuel filter, they are known to cause idling problems. I agree with dhanushs though, if it was just a one time thing it was probably just bad fuel.

Last edited by bullrun87 : 11th September 2013 at 20:37. Reason: spelling correction
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Old 11th September 2013, 23:04   #11
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Default Re: Engine shuts off in neutral gear

It is a dirty petrol filter, going up inclines sometimes makes the dirt enter the filter.
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Old 11th September 2013, 23:55   #12
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Default Re: Engine shuts off in neutral gear

By any chance did you happen to fill at a different petrol pump before going on the hill?
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Old 12th September 2013, 00:04   #13
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This is a high altitude phenomenon which is aggravated due to clogged air-filters.

We faced this , though at a much higher altitude at baralachla pass on way to leh in ford fusion. Severe lack of oxygen and terrible situation being stuck on steep inclines as engine would just stop once you lift your foot off the pedal.

Many would argue that in your case, it's not too high a altitude, but the fact is that it's lack of air being supplied to engine which caused the situation you faced.
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Old 12th September 2013, 09:38   #14
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Default Re: Engine shuts off in neutral gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by FastLove View Post
This is a high altitude phenomenon which is aggravated due to clogged air-filters.

We faced this , though at a much higher altitude at baralachla pass on way to leh in ford fusion. Severe lack of oxygen and terrible situation being stuck on steep inclines as engine would just stop once you lift your foot off the pedal.

Many would argue that in your case, it's not too high a altitude, but the fact is that it's lack of air being supplied to engine which caused the situation you faced.

Thanx guys for all the replies.
@Dhaushs and @diamond_dawg: I always fill at a HP COCO outlet.

The fact is I haven't faced the problem since that trip. But on that trip though it was regular. It was on an incline, and quite bad roads inside a private hill estate (Braemore) not really meant for cars. Going by the similarity (except for the altitude), I am willing to go by @fastlane's theory for now. My annual service was done just two weeks before the trip (did they change the filter?! at least they billed me) , and I am reluctant to take it to the service center with no problem to show them.

Last edited by 2cents : 12th September 2013 at 09:40.
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Old 13th September 2013, 21:10   #15
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Default Re: Engine shuts off in neutral gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2cents View Post
...on that trip though it was regular. It was on an incline, and quite bad roads inside a private hill estate (Braemore) not really meant for cars.
Was it rainy / high humidity conditions when this happened? Did you drive through water?
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