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E30 engine cuts out while driving. Theories?

  • 27-05-2021 8:26am
    Registered Users Posts: 54 ✭✭


    I've a E30 1992 convertible and while driving engine can cut out, all red lights on dash light up but car will start straight away if turn off and start up while car still moving. I've had the dips on at same time and when turned lights off didn't happen again.

    Any ideas. Starting appears ok and idling. Battery new and charged up prior to going out in car which was stored over winter. Thanks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,200 ✭✭✭kdevitt

    Sounds like the throttle position sensor

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,726 ✭✭✭Type 17

    Throttle position sensor could indeed be a suspect - has it ever happened whilst idling? (TPS shouldn't be involved when idling)

    Might be a failing hall sensor in distributor. If it is, it will happen when under-bonnet temps are high (traffic).

    Also could be a dodgy ignition switch, behind the key barrel.

  • Registered Users Posts: 54 ✭✭Tomal

    Thanks for taking the time to get back to me on this.

    There is no issue when car is idling except it will cut out til engine warms up if laid up a while but then fine. Starting is fine.

    Are any of these a hard fix or expensive. Can I check these myself.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,726 ✭✭✭Type 17

    The main issue is that the problem is intermittent, which makes diagnosis much harder.

    Best thing to do is keep driving it, and when it happens, note the conditions (traffic or free-driving, hot/cold engine, restarts immediately or not, happens on overrun or under power, etc), to try to narrow it down some more.

    You might also get/give it a basic tune-up, to ensure the timing is correct, plug-gaps are good, etc. You could also get someone to check the fuel injection system pressures and warm-up enrichment, as these can cause stalling if the pressures are too low, etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,061 ✭✭✭Kenny Logins

    Check those battery connections.

    I had this in an E24 - a sharp left turn would knock the engine off. :pac: Loose earth strap.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 54 ✭✭Tomal

    Thanks for all the great advice I will check out everything suggested and get back to you with the results. Really appreciate the help and knowledge from everyone. Its great to know there is a community out there with such a knowledge of the ICE etc... I hope we won't lose it going forwards.