Engine cutting out on B3 estate

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Peter1000
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Engine cutting out on B3 estate

Post by Peter1000 » Mon Nov 07, 2016 4:34 pm

Hi all.
I am having a current fault where I can have the engine running and after a while it will just cut out. As if someone has turned off the ignition. I have had the RAC out to look at it but they cannot fix it. They have tested the coil and this is fine.
I was told by the RAC man that it could possibly be the hall sensor, alternatively it could be the ECU.
Can anyone comment? Is this a known fault? Has anyone else experienced this who can help me diagnose the problem?

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fonzooorooo
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Re: Engine cutting out on B3 estate

Post by fonzooorooo » Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:11 pm

experienced similar on a mate's mk2 gti a few years ago.... Ran perfectly - started in all weather. Randomly cut out and wouldn't re-start. We thought it was the aftermarket immobiliser. Towed it to a (good!) auto electrician. He diagnosed the hall sender - new dizzy cured it.

Which engine? I might have a (used, good) dizzy.
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Peter1000
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Re: Engine cutting out on B3 estate

Post by Peter1000 » Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:36 pm

2 litre petrol
I've ordered a Hall Sender from Ebay for £15.

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fonzooorooo
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Re: Engine cutting out on B3 estate

Post by fonzooorooo » Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:42 pm

excellent.
hope that sorts it!
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Peter1000
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Re: Engine cutting out on B3 estate

Post by Peter1000 » Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:52 pm

Me too!
The RAC bloke mentioned it could be the ECU.
Would you recommend a new dizzy if the Hall Sensor does not fix it?

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fonzooorooo
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Re: Engine cutting out on B3 estate

Post by fonzooorooo » Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:50 am

probably not - the hall sender's in the dizzy, so if that's replaced, it shuold be sparking at the right time. (Assuming there actually is a spark) ...

It's worth goin gover it checking wiring, disconnecting/cleaning/reconnecting earths etc.

At least on a b3 there's no immobiliser to worry about, so if you could get hold of an ECU, it'd be a straight swap. (if that proves to be the issue)
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maclee
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Re: Engine cutting out on B3 estate

Post by maclee » Wed Nov 09, 2016 2:44 pm

The Hall sensor in the distributor does the same job that used to be done by the points in older engines, so if the Hall sensor is faulty, and is replaced there is no need to replace the entire distributor.

Other possibilities are the ignition coil and the ignition switch itself.

The coil can develop an internal short circuit of the HT pulse which will deprive the plugs of their spark, but the coil will check as OK when tested with a multimeter. The leakage to ground will only show up if you conduct a test between the HT terminal and ground using a 500v or 1kv Meggar, something that most people do not have.

If the new Hall sensor fixes it, all well and good. If it does not fix it, you need wait for the fault to occur and then try the following:

1. Do things that operate only when the ignition is on, (such as the indicators and wipers), still work when the ignition is on?. If not, it is probably the ignition switch at fault.

2. Assuming things in 1 do work, is there a spark from the coil's HT lead when you crank the engine? NB. DO NOT HOLD THE HT LEAD WHEN THE ENGINE IS CRANKING AS YOU RISK A REALLY NASTY SHOCK! If there is no spark with the new Hall sensor, then you probably have a defective coil.

Almost certainly the problem will NOT be down to the ECU.

Peter1000
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Re: Engine cutting out on B3 estate

Post by Peter1000 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:56 am

RAC ruled out the coil as they tried a replacement. Hall censor should arrive tomorrow so going to fit it on Sat and keep my fingers crossed. Where is the ignition switch?

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fonzooorooo
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Re: Engine cutting out on B3 estate

Post by fonzooorooo » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:50 pm

ignition swith is behind the barrel. A faff to get to -
steering wheel off.
stalks off
spline adapter off (you'll need a gear puller which, if you're lucky will work... if you're not lucky, a combination of: gear puller, hammers, gas torch, copious penetrating fluid will have NO effect and yu'll have to resort to a grinder and a new spline adapter)
drill the housing to remove the lock barrel (there's a specific place)
realise that ALL THAT was to get ato 1 screw... remove, replace switch, reassemble.

If the spline adapter is a nightmare, it can be easier to remove the whole steering column which will then JUST move far enough in the housing to get the screw out of the switch.
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Roger Blassberg
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Re: Engine cutting out on B3 estate

Post by Roger Blassberg » Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:48 pm

Does this car have a crank position sensor? My B4 ABF engine does but maybe not on yours. They can go faulty. It is just behind the front engine mount, rather difficult to access. You will need to undo the front engine mount bracket to get to it which means supporting the engine on a jack.

By the way, the ignition / steering lock issue can be tested by temporarily pulling off the electrical connector and connecting it to a new switch which you can turn on with a screwdriver in the slot. If the problem goes away then it is the switch at fault.

The steering column spline adaptor, if you have one, is indeed a potential nightmare. It has a very narrow, inadequtely so, step in it to allow a puller to get onto. I took an old open ended spanner which I ground out to exactly fit behind the step, then used a two leg puller on the spanner jaws, centred on the column. Leave the steering wheel nut on the threads to protect them.

If you have the key you do not need to drill the column lock body, just ondo the two socket head screws, release the steering lock with the key and it will slide off. Once that tiny screw holding the switch in place is out, leave it out and relocate the switch with a cable tie. So much easier if you have to do it again.

Do not be tempted to use a cheap and nasty new ignition switch; it will fail quite soon and the aggravation is not worth the saving over the price of a good one. I have found Febi or Topran to be reliable brands.

Other sources of potential cutting out are the fuel pump relay and the ECU relay.

best wishes

RB

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