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Engine stall after hours of driving

zersys

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Hey guys, good to see the forum alive and kicking, haven't been here in ages!

Got a real head scratcher here that even Holden hasn't been able to diagnose.

Old man has a VE 2010 3L SIDI with 200,000 on the clock. Never had any notable issues besides usual wear items, regular fluid changes, all the usual stuff of a regular owner.

The car frequently goes on long drives and for the last few months has had an on-going issue that hasn't really gotten worse but has been fairly consistent.

After 4-5 hours of driving (mix highway/city/urban), check engine light goes on right before the engine shuts off, electrics stay on, issue mostly occurs while car is in motion at any speed/rpm. If you try to turn the car back on straight after, it dies again in about 30-60 seconds, if you leave it off for 10 minutes you can usually drive 20~km/30 minutes before it shuts off again. Leaving it off overnight allows you to drive 4-5 hours before problem occurs again.

What's been done/checked since issue started happening
  • Temp gauge is fine before shut off
  • Had a misfire code once (general, not cylinder specific), but since cleared the problem has occurred three times and the code hasn't returned, checked with a Software on ELM reader from Envyous and at Holden.
  • Coil packs changed
  • Fuel pump changed, different fuels used
  • Issue cannot be replicated under any circumstances except for 4+ hours of driving - in an hour of driving have tried keeping in low/high gear while highway driving for 30-40km straight on motorway, uphill/downhill, high revs, aggressive driving, traffic.
What's been done by Holden after a day in the shop
  • All modules scanned
  • All grounds checked
  • Wiring checked
  • Spark plugs reviewed
  • Cylinders inspected
Holdens notes on invoice
checked vehicle for stalling issue / cutting out
unable to fault at time of test, checked electrical system for fault codes relating to sensors faults within engine no dtcs in ecu, carried out fuel system & electrical system values all ok, carried out ecu reset procedure checked over earths on vehicle all ok. left car idling for long period of time with no issues.
Sadly after a day with Holden they are pretty dumbfounded and say they don't really know how to investigate further as they can't replicate the issue and to come back if the issue recurs and pay another $250 to get it looked over.

Any help, ideas, or even a recommended mechanic in Sydney would be greatly appreciated!
 

lmoengnr

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Not the ECU getting too hot, then chucking a wobbly?
 

greenacc

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That was my first thought too, after 4 hours it could be something getting so hot it can't function and shuts down.
I guess you just need to stop for a coffee break every 3 hours before it happens
 

gossie

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[QUOTE="greenacc, post: 3022591, member: 41574"
I guess you just need to stop for a coffee break every 3 hours before it happens[/QUOTE]

May as well buy an electric car then.
 

Gotta_Drive_1

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Could possibly be an alternator issue.
 

commy vk

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Probably got nothing whatsoever to do with this and I have never tested it
but when the 2 hour rest chimes in and I just keep driving does the car eventually shut down?I
have always stopped when chimed.
 

gossie

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Mine chimes at 2 hours and I often press on for another 2 or 3 hours or more with no hesitation from the car.
 

VS_Pete

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Last edited:

lout

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if the cel comes on then there is a code
what is the reoccurring code
 

zersys

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Thanks for the responses so far fellas, the old man appreciates it!

Not the ECU getting too hot, then chucking a wobbly?
Sounds like the most plausible idea, but how would you test for this? Does the ECU itself have a temp monitor? Where is it located on a VE?

Could possibly be an alternator issue.
What makes you think that? Any way to test for this?

Not quite sure what you meant by this post Pete, any further context?

Probably got nothing whatsoever to do with this and I have never tested it
but when the 2 hour rest chimes in and I just keep driving does the car eventually shut down?I
have always stopped when chimed.
Good idea, but wouldn't explain why she shuts off again after turning it back on.

if the cel comes on then there is a code
what is the reoccurring code
Oddly enough, no code. The only code I have ever gotten is a P0300, random misfire, but even then it hasn't had a code since clearing it and the issue has happened a few times. Already went down the track of looking into a P0300, could my a myriad of issues, and most seem to report it as a obvious/instant issue rather than one that is caused after hours of driving https://www.obd-codes.com/p0300
 
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