I know that electric fuel pumps and to a lesser degree electric fuel injectors are ubiquitous, but I am wondering how many automotive or truck engines actually shutdown by starving fuel from the cylinders.

Diesels would be the exception, because as far as I know virtually all diesel engines shutdown by stopping fuel to the injectors.

Can anyone give me any examples of production automobiles where fuel starvation or leaned out mixture is normally used to kill operation?


  • I don't know about cars, but this is the standard procedure to shut down aircraft piston engines which have magneto ignition (they use magnetos so that the engine doesn't stop if the aircraft electrics fail). For safety reasons you want to be sure there is no fuel left in the cylinders, otherwise if the magneto is accidentally left "on," nudging the propeller can be enough to start the engine - and people have been killed by the injuries caused by the prop, when that has happened unexpectedly..
    – alephzero
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 1:17
  • I am well aware of that, thanks. However with electronic engine controls and more complex fuel injection that will likely change...at least the part where a cam in the carb blocks a jet. I know an aircraft mechanic who got bonked in the head by a prop after a single cylinder firing. Know any cars who totally shut off fuel? I know I have a mid sized engine on equipment, which shuts off fuel, but the shutdown is slow, so they also kill the ignition. Otherwise the engine lingers.
    – mongo
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 3:10
  • Well, if you want to fly in a single-engine aircraft that depends on electronic engine controls, that's up to you, but I wouldn't ;) Even modern jet engines have some mechanical fail-safe devices that look like James Watt might have invented them for his first steam engine - and they are there for good reasons!
    – alephzero
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 10:19
  • Well I have about 8000 hours in single engine turbine. It has some of the old controls, but it also has enough electronics to cause a problem. I have continued my search for an answer to the above question, but have not found concrete examples. For example, one engine has a fuel cutoff solenoid, but it kills the ignition also.
    – mongo
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 12:59


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