Sportrak keeps cutting out


This is my first post and I really need help please! I am the lady owner of a 1992 Sportrak 1.6 ELXi and the engine has started to cut out. It starts like a dream first time, every time and pulls away/accelerates smoothly. It can run for days or even weeks with no problems but every so often will lose power and die.

It always happens when slowing down/stopping at a junction or roundabout, when changing down to 2nd or 1st. When slowing down the revs will suddenly die and the engine cut out. It will then refuse to start but if you leave it for between 5-15 minutes it will start again and run fine.

This intermittent problem has got my local garage stumped. I booked the car in there and they had it running/idling for a long while but it was OK; they also took it out for several test drives and it ran fine. As they say, unless the engine cuts out when they have the car, they cannot tell what's wrong.

A few faults have been suggested to me - electricals and fuel starvation are the 2 main ones. My father has checked the engine over and cannot find anything obvious; he put new plugs in but that has not cured it. Somebody suggested that perhaps the fuel pump is faulty "cos when the engine slows down for a junction, the pressure on the fuel pump is at its greatest and that's why it's seizing up". Muck/rust in the fuel tank clogging up the pipes is another suggestion.

My local Daihatsu dealer has quoted me £515 to supply and fit a new fuel pump (always assuming that is the problem of course!). I don't mind spending a bit of money getting the car fixed but I can't keep throwing cash at it.

Please, please can someone help a damsel in distress?!

cuting out

your fault could be anything ! but i have just replaced my fuel pump due to a leak and had great trouble geting a suplier to find the right one !i ended up putting a renault 21 pump on (early 90s vintage) from a scrapy ,your dad mite be able to do this as it's not a hard job, but the garage should be able to pressure test your old one in situ anyway to rule out this one.Have you checked you tank is venting still as a blocked vent will stop air geting in and cause a vacume causing fuel starvation ?I also had a fault that the car would start great when cold but if it stalled or was turned off it would not start for aprox 15-20 mins, it was the temp sensor just under the dizzy at the back of the head ,it was telling the computer the engine was cold all the time and was trying to start the car with too rich a mixture. Hope someone else can give a more positive answer !

cutting out (again)

I forgot to say in my first post that the garage has already installed a new engine temperature sensor cos I was advised that that was the probable cause of the problem. So that was a waste of £70-odd quid for the part and labour...

Any more thoughts anyone?

Fuel Filter

I would suggest getting your fuel filter and float level checked too as it definately sounds like a fuel starvation problem. You could try temporarily replacing the fuel filler cap with a rag pushed in the filler pipe, (to stop the fuel spilling out but loose enough to let air in), to check the tank breather isn't creating a vaccum. You could also use compressed air to blow back through the fuel line into the tank to make sure the fuel line/tank outlet isn't partially blocked and blocking during decelleration. One for my last, maybe helpful; the fuel cut-off switch which stops the fuel flow when the ignition switch is turned off could be worth checking to see it's not intermittantly failing or the wires to it earthing out somewhere.
I hope you can get it sorted without spending a fortune needlessly, try ringing your Diahatsu Dealer Service Centre and ask what they would check??? and if they have dealt with the same problem???, for other customers and what that cost???

My Truck:1988 RUGGER F75 2.8TD, Wife's:1993 RUGGER PRIOR F85 2.8ITD


Sportrak Cutting Out Problems

I have not worked on a Sportrak, but intermittant problems like this are difficult to spot, and you can end up spending a lot of money with garages.

All you can do is be systematic.

The percentages show that the most common problems are electrical, and they are relatively cheap to fix. Start with the battery by making sure the leads are making good contact with the terminals. Clean up the contact areas with grit paper. If you change all the servicable parts such as the plugs, leads, distributor cap, rotor, and the coil you can do that cheaply without involving a garage if you know someone who will help like your dad. They are all servicable items, and if you replace them you should get a few years use out of the new ones and it is usually as cheap to replace them as have a garage test them. If the problem is still there check the low tension wiring for the coil. As the vehicle ages oxidation on the terminals in the wiring loom, can make it difficult for the electricity to flow properly. Cleaning the terminals/connections removes the oxidation.

Once you have ruled out electrical then you can start on the fuel, but that is likely to be a bit more expensive. Again be systamatic. Check/replace filters, hoses, before moving onto more expensive items. I hope the info helps, but as with any intermittant problem - keep running it and it will break eventually. Then you know what to fix.