While driving, car grinds to a halt, engine stops

Tiny
ROBINPLANT
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 RENAULT MEGANE
  • 1.4L
  • V12
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 98,000 MILES
Summary

I have narrowly and frequently just missed head on collisions from an intermittent fault with the car and am now afraid to use it at all.

How long the problem has been present

Problem has been occurring intermittently for a year and a half, with each part replacement being accompanied by a "the car is fixed" statement from the garage,

Summarized symptoms

While driving, car grinds to a halt, engine stops, trying to restart finds no electric power, no sound when turning the key, sometimes the radio will work but everything else is dead.

Other symptoms

(1) Average waiting time before car will then start (with the key) six hours.

Or can be jump started straight away and sometimes can be driven away normally but other times may require a number of hours before power returns to the system.

(2) The breakdowns occur regardless of whether the car is hot or cold.

(3) After recovering from breakdown (.E.G via jump start) car will start every time, first time, until the next breakdown.

Frequency of breakdowns in distances driven (most recent first) has been:-

Five hundred yards
Eight miles
Three miles
Fifteen miles
Two miles
One mile

Periods of time in between breakdowns (most recent first):

Five minutes
half an hour
Three months
Two months
Two weeks
One day
One hour

Parts replaced:-

Battery (brand new)
Alternator (almost brand new)
Coil packs
Plug leads
Plugs
Crankshaft Sensor
Ww motor

Parts tested:-

Battery and alternator (multi-meter) all in order.
Engine computer management (garage computer) no faults found.
Main engine earth (cleaned).
temperature radiator sensor (all in order).
fuses (inside car) no faults found.
Starter motor.


Annual ministry of transport tests (MOT's)

Flies through every year for the last six years.

Responses from garages and mechanics so far:

1. We have checked the car thoroughly and can find no fault.

2. We have done everything we can but can help you no further.

3. We have not a clue what could could be causing the breakdowns.

Do you
have the same problem?
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No
Thursday, May 4th, 2017 AT 7:02 AM

6 Replies

Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Hello,

It is definitely a connection problem of some kind, the battery cables come to mind. With the car running can you move the cables around to see if you can get the car to act up?

Please let us know what happens.

Cheers, Ken
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Monday, May 8th, 2017 AT 12:38 PM
Tiny
ROBINPLANT
  • MEMBER
The battery and cables are brand new, they do not wiggle, nothing else under the bonnet that is wiggled brings on the fault, all voltages ohms and all the rest of it under the bonnet read ok, the ecu ditto, there are no discernible shorts, there are no fuel pump issues, the alternator is new and checks out fine, ditto coils, plugs, leads etc,

during my research I have, by pure accident, come across half a dozen press reports of head on collisions resulting in the death of the driver, in every case the car was the same as mine. I therefore summise that this fault is more prevalent than realised, on this car, and is unknown because all the drivers are dead.

I have now consulted 6 mechanics, 9 garages and 14 auto electricians and nobody has a clue.

My own current guess is that it is either the ignition switch or the immobiliser, or both, as (a) the symptoms are matchable to a fault ignition circuit and (b) the flashing immobliser red light does not stop flashing when the doors are unlocked.

But what do I know? Absolutely nothing but no less than anyone else it seems?
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Monday, May 8th, 2017 AT 2:36 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
An ignition switch could cause the problem you are describing. The problem is a difficult one to say the least, please let us know what you find. I would look a wiring diagram for you to help you further but we do not have access to them here in the US.

Best, Ken
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Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 AT 11:06 AM
Tiny
ROBINPLANT
  • MEMBER
Thank you for the thought Ken. I have today consulted 3 more auto sparkies, all have said that unless the fault can be replicated in their presence they could not find the fault. Well, if I had that attitude towards defending my clients they would all be in jail. The auto electric industry gets a thumbs down from me for no effort but it makes them all well qualified to go into politics.
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Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 AT 1:47 PM
Tiny
ROBINPLANT
  • MEMBER
PS Ken - You are in America? Well take a look at this!!!!!
http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2017/05/09/record-number-vehicles-with-unfixed-safety-recalls-on-roads.html
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Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 AT 2:40 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Thanks for the link, very interesting. Please let me know what happens with your car.

Best, Ken
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Wednesday, May 10th, 2017 AT 12:32 PM

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