My beloved Vectra C (2006) a previous story here developed a new "symptom": engine cuts out while driving. Since there are other (possibly connected) symptoms I am going to list them one-by-one:

Engine cutting out:

  • Today morning driving to work (engine already at optimal temperature) while doing around 70 km/h the engine just stopped without any prior sign of stress. I stopped, removed ignition key, reinserted, turned the key -> nothing. Tried once more but absolutely no reaction from the engine (lights/radio switched on as they should). Approx 2 minutes of waiting tried again: ignition worked properly. Then drove for another few minutes to work without any issue.
  • Today evening minutes after the engine started (-2 Celsius outside, engine is still cold) it happened again. Tried turning over, did not work. Tried again minutes later and worked again. Drove home for about 15 minutes without further issues.

Erratic idle:

  • It happened only once a few weeks ago: After 30 min drive the engine started revving around 3.000 RPM without touching the throttle. Left it for the evening, tried again tomorrow morning, it was fine. Went to a very good mechanic, they test-drive it, try to read possible error codes, they found nothing.

Rev counter / speedometer getting stuck:

  • Approx once a month after starting the engine I notice that the rev counter is stuck on 0, while otherwise the car is functioning correctly. I stop, re-ignite, it is all fine.
  • Only once, but the same issue happened with the speedometer. Car works, but speedoometer is stuck on 0. Restart worked here as well.

Possible solutions (if you can confirm any, or just exclude some that would already help):

  • Idle Air Control valve: it would surely explain the rough idle, maybe even the cutting out too? I am not the DIY type of guy but might be able to check that one.

  • Fuel pump? Read it just now that it could be a potential issue.

  • ECU: It would explain all the possible symptoms. But you can blame everything on it, so I am unsure on this one.

  • Crank sensor? Just from Google.

Service history: Battery replaced a few months ago, major engine-renewal also a few months ago.

Eventually I will need to take it to a mechanic I am aware of that, but I am currently in a country where I do not speak the local language, so I would prefer a some quick-fix if there is any until I can drive back home in around a month.

  • When you were trying to restart, did it crank and not start, or not even crank? Did you try pumping the gas? With the erratic idle - did it come up and then back down, or stay that high until you shut off the vehicle?
    – rpmerf
    Jan 15, 2016 at 12:55
  • @rpmerf , It did not even crank when I tried restarting immediately after stopping. I did not try pumping the gas. The erratic idle situation: it was exactly as if I was revving the car. It went from normal (around 850) to around 2.5k to 3k, then back to normal, then up again. Sometimes holding the high value for 2-3 seconds, sometimes letting it fall back to normal. But never below. Jan 15, 2016 at 12:59
  • no crank means there is an electrical break somewhere, but it is hard to determine where exactly. Could be a bad ground, relay, ignition switch. Difficult to tell without a test light. pumping the gas would basically mimic the IACV operation. Stalling and idle could be related to a failing fuel pump. Need a fuel pressure gauge to be able to tell. The idle going up and down shows the IACV is working and trying to learn or compensate for something. Hard to say on the gauges. If you are going to try another ECU, I would grab one from the junkyard. A lot cheaper than new.
    – rpmerf
    Jan 15, 2016 at 13:23
  • @rpmerf , Thank you. When I take the car to a garage, I will ask them to start with the electronic checks then. The IACV would have been the only thing I could check myself. Jan 15, 2016 at 13:28


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