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Very strange problem, engine stalling instantly, possibly fuel related


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happy1029
Novice

Feb 10, 2016, 3:25 AM

Post #1 of 4 (819 views)
Very strange problem, engine stalling instantly, possibly fuel related Sign In

Hi all,

1999 Mitsubishi Pajero (NL)
3.5L V6 Petrol
220000kms
ALL STOCK

Novice here, trying to figure out a very, very strange problem, it happened once a few weeks ago and again today. Basically, both times I had just driven the car home, everything was fine on the drive but shortly after returning home I needed to pop out again. When I tried to start the car it turned over but ran at very low revs and felt like it was about to stall, a few seconds later, it did. Every time I would try to start the car after that it would sputter out pretty much right away, each time dying faster. I found that priming the fuel pump any number of times did not help (turning ignition to ON, waiting 5 seconds), what did however, was putting in a couple of liters of fuel (not that it was CRITICALLY low) and leaving the key in the ON position for about 5 minutes. I came back and it started up no problem, engine was tapping a little louder than usual at first but was fine after a short time. I did notice both times this happened was when the fuel light came on due to low fuel, but it had only come on just a few streets away from the house so there was still quite a bit left in the tank. Car is running fine now, starts up as usual, WHAT IS GOING ON?! I should also mention that just putting in fuel did not help, I did that, primed and still nothing, I had to leave the key in the ON position for anything to happen. Any advice would be handy, thanks in advance :)


(This post was edited by happy1029 on Feb 10, 2016, 3:33 AM)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Feb 10, 2016, 4:44 AM

Post #2 of 4 (812 views)
Re: Very strange problem, engine stalling instantly, possibly fuel related Sign In

In tank fuel pumps are cooled and lubricated by the fuel in the tank. When you run a car out of gas or very low, it pumps a lot of air through the pump which overheats it and causes some severe wear and many times, failure when they cool off.
You will need to use a fuel pressure gauge to verify this



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happy1029
Novice

Feb 10, 2016, 10:37 PM

Post #3 of 4 (791 views)
Re: Very strange problem, engine stalling instantly, possibly fuel related Sign In

Thanks for the reply, this sounds like a logical solution, although it troubles me that this could happen when the fuel light had only just come on, this could be a problem with my fuel gauge though. Can you think of any other possible causes for this problem other than this? Being an older car I had actually ordered a fuel pump when this first happened thinking that was the problem (thought I couldn't hear it priming), so I'll replace that today in case any wear has occurred (might as well, its just sitting on my desk). Thanks again :)


(This post was edited by happy1029 on Feb 10, 2016, 10:38 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Feb 10, 2016, 11:26 PM

Post #4 of 4 (783 views)
Re: Very strange problem, engine stalling instantly, possibly fuel related Sign In

Don't wait for a low fuel light to get fuel or count on I working or be accurate. That's already pushing it for too low and wrecking the fuel pump IMO. Seems silly but fill up when @ 1/3 of a tank left and pumps will stay cool and be of little issue ever. Run out or low they lose cooling, overheat and fail newer or older so have it your way.


BTW if a fuel pump isn't doing its quick prime up or you can't hear in area you are at a funnel and helper to turn key makes the noise loud enough to hear thru the filler or blows your head off (hope I'm kidding!) but a way to hear it. Hearing one still doesn't mean it makes adequate pressure though,


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