I usually keep a speed of 150-160 km/h (93-99mph) on the highway without any problems whatsoever. However, yesterday I decided to go up to 170 km/h (106mph) and the engine doing around 4600 rpm, when the engine suddenly turned off. The engine was not close to being overheated in the slightest, and I was not out of fuel. I did a full stop and started the engine again and continued driving with a speed of 140-150 km/h (87-93mph) without any problems.

In other words, it does not seem that the car turned off as a direct cause of too much strain on the engine (or anything else) since there was no overheating, no smell, and the car had no problems after starting the engine again (however, I did not try to drive 170 km/h (106mph) again to see what would happen).

What are the most probable causes of this? Is there a possibility that the car manufacturer has programmed this as a "safety" feature?

The car is a Nissan Primera from 2005.

Update: After further testing I have noticed that the engine does not turn off if I accelerate extremely slowly. Furthermore, the engine doesn't always turn off and seems to have a lower probability of turning off if this hasn't happened for a while.

Update 2: Things have gotten a lot worse. The car turns off at high rpm (~3000) even when stationary.

  • 4
    This is certainly not a safety feature. Loosing power steering and power brakes at that speed is not safe. The only safety feature you will find is a "rev limiter" where the engine just won't rev any higher.
    – JPhi1618
    May 23, 2016 at 20:09
  • 3
    Some systems cut fuel pressure or cut 12v to pump to govern top speed, maybe a weak pump and it dies when it hits governor speed.
    – Moab
    May 23, 2016 at 21:48
  • @Moab Does Nissan Primera do that? And how can you easily check if your pump is weak?
    – Gendarme
    May 23, 2016 at 22:14
  • 2
    No car completely shuts the engine off at speed as a limiter, they generally pull fuel or timing out, or cut spark for a bit. But yeah, the pump (or the relay controlling the pump) might be on the way out, and when the car tried to close the relay etc it didn't open/turn on again. Strange however, this could be spark or fuel related so it's not easy to diagnose. May 24, 2016 at 2:29
  • 1
    Faulty cam and/or crank sensor sounds like a possible explanation too. Apparently the ECU cuts power if it gets garbage data from sensors or if it gets info making it think the engine is misaligned. I had a faulty sensor (2001 petrol Primera P12 2500cc) which caused the car not to start. But I don't know whether this can happen at speed. You might just have to put the car in a dyno and try to reproduce the issue to be sure.
    – Madushan
    Jul 23, 2016 at 9:13

2 Answers 2


I am inclined to believe that your engine bay is heating up to a certain point and causing some component that controls engine fuel or spark to fail with said increased heat.
I would say check your camshaft or crankshaft angle/position sensors. Especially if they are positioned near the top and rear of the engine but this would depend on the car.

  • I somehow doubt it due to the additional details I just added with my edit.
    – Gendarme
    Oct 22, 2017 at 16:47
  • well i dont really think your edits have any effect on what I said. heat-induced component failure is a come and go type of symptom. actually ur edits probably supports my "answer" a little bit. at some point, youre gonna have to do some real troubleshooting and diagnosis lol
    – Zero
    Oct 24, 2017 at 1:07

I am not sure sounds like ground to computer or the Rev circuit in computer going out .when it gets bad won't let engine reach but a certain rpm then shuts motor off .I'd take it have computer checked ? loseing ground on that Rev circuit make get shut down quicker.less Rpms to kill motor.bad as I hate to say it sounds like circuit losing it's ground or cumpter getting week. I hope not good luck.

  • Welcome (again) to MVM&R SE! It sounds like you have a lot of experience based on all your answers you've posted in the last 6 hours or so. No pressure or anything, but we'd love it if you stick around! Good luck with your (daughter's) Jeep and your Ram!
    – Cullub
    Aug 24, 2018 at 14:37
  • Thanks just a old shade tree fix it man trying not be out all that money if don't have to . Aug 24, 2018 at 15:00

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