I have a 2009 Opel Astra 1.7 diesel (Engine Z17DTJ), manual transmission. In the last days it happened sporadically that the engine lost power immediately after startup


Fires up immediately

Idles fine

Has no power, struggles to move forward even in the lowest gear

When, while being in neutral, pressing the accelerator I cannot bring the rpm over about 2K

When driving the car only limps forward, while continuously pressing the accelerator from time to time the engine gets sporadically power for fractions of a second (this is called jerking?)

Problem totally disappears after several restarts

Happens independently of engine temperature


Interesting: When turning of the engine it took significantly longer for the engine to stop running, the sound was also completely different (difficult to describe, as if somebody would try to push start it)

I didn't observe the exhaust during those issues, since the car has a particle filter I suppose that excessive soot won't be visible anyway

Additional informations: The car has nearly 200KKm, no further known issues, regular maintenance every 15KKm. All filters were changed 10KKm ago

My best guesses are a sticking egr valve or a sticking volume regulator on the injection pump. Has somebody an idea on further troubleshooting?

  • What does the exhaust look like at any of the times it is not running right and you step on the pedal? Jan 3, 2020 at 1:18
  • 1
    Do you have a boost gauge on your car? Or another way of gauging the pressure in the intake manifold? With a turbocharged engine, the absolute pressure should be above atmospheric pressure. This means the inlet manifold should have a positive gauge pressure, probably around 5 - 50 PSI depending on load. As the car is from 2007, it should have OBD II (or EOBD). Have you tried using an OBD scanner? Even though nothing shows up in the dashboard, OBD can sometimes provide useful information. It might have a MAP sensor, which shows the inlet manifold pressure. It could be a stuck blow-off valve on Jan 3, 2020 at 8:15
  • @AlexanderCrone I've converted your answer to a comment. Welcome to the site!
    – Nick C
    Jan 3, 2020 at 10:05
  • Are you able to rev the engine up over 2k rpm when in neutral gear?
    – sam
    Jan 4, 2020 at 22:09
  • @Sam no I wasn't. Found the error in the meantime. Anyway, thank you
    – Martin
    Jan 5, 2020 at 20:49

1 Answer 1


The culprit was a seized EGR valve. I was under the impression that emission related issues would always throw a CEL. Turns out that I was wrong. The code reader revealed a P409 without CEL, later steps were easy.

I removed the EGR valve, found it stuck, cleaned and reinstalled it.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .