2013 dies repeatedly while driving down the road

Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
1,075
Hi all,

I have a 2013 cruiser, with 99.9k miles. I've never had problems with it, it has been terrific.

However... today, I hopped in with my wife to run to an appointment, and a few miles down the road, the engine died. The dash lighting and gauges stayed lit and active, but the engine shut off. Thinking I must have done something wrong, I stopped the car, put it in park and hit the start button, where it started right up. I drove a few more miles and the same thing happened: it died, and I was able to pull over and restart it. Finally, after the third time in 10 minutes, we turned around and returned home, during which time, it stalled twice more. The last time it stalled, all of the dash lights went out. The car restarted every time and when it was running, it ran well (as well as it always does). We parked it and grabbed another car.

So, now I need to figure out what to do to troubleshoot it. It seems electrical, but isolated to the engine, not the other electronics. The engine dies but the dashboard stays lit. Alternator? Voltage regulator?

How would you recommend troubleshooting this?

The battery is a new interstate unit less than a month old. The rest of the car is bone stock.

Thanks in advance for any guidance or advice.
 
Joined
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near Kennesaw GA, USA
I know the battery is new but I’d start there. More specifically I would make sure the terminals are clean and tight. I’d also give the bolted connections that attach the battery cables to the battery terminals a cleaning and confirm all is tight & right.

Next I’d probably top it off if it’s not near full.
 
Joined
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Well, to be honest, I am trusting the guage that read 1/2 tank (edit: 1/4 tank). The nearest gas station is only a mile away, so I can fill it up in the morning to be certain.

I'll check the battery in the morning too.

Thank you both for the suggestions.
 
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Joined
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Battery has 12.96 volts, terminals are shiny (I used a battery terminal brush on both the posts and the terminals when I installed them), the terminals are firmly attached.

The tank read about 1/4 full or so. I went to the nearby gas station (it died once on the way). I added 13 gallons (empty takes over 20). I drove a few miles and the motor died (electronics stayed on), I kept my foot on the gas pedal and after a few seconds, it restarted itself. I kept driving, and it napped again a mile later: engine died, dash lights remained on, kept foot on gas, a few seconds later it got going again. So, I backed into a driveway (to do a three point turn) and the car died, I put it in park, hit the starter button and it cranked over for a few seconds before it restarted... it died again just before my driveway, but this time keeping my foot on the gas didn't help. The dash went dark, the check engine and one other warning light popped on, then the dash went dark, then a bunch of warning lights came on all over the cluster, then it died. I put the rig in park, hit the starter button, and it started right back up. I drove into the driveway and parked it.

There are not any persistent check engine or other warning lights after it happens.

I don't know where to start troubleshooting. I am happy to work on mechanical things, but electronics are a mystery.

It seems electrical with the way it just cuts out and the weird dash light issues, but it almost acts like an intermittently dying fuel delivery issue. It doesn't seem like the battery is an issue (it restarts like a champ every time).

I have an inexpensive Toyota diagnostic cable from amazon, but no way to load the software because it comes with a weird mini CD that won't work in the CD reader in my MacBook.

I scanned it with a generic OBD scanner (Foxwell NT 510 without Toyota specific software). There are no stored, pending or permanent OBDII codes.

Here's a new fact pattern: it dies if I am sitting in my driveway idling. I timed it and it seems to be about 1:15 after starting when it dies. I did this 4x... Helpppppp
 
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Feb 4, 2005
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Thank you. Towing it to the dealer is plan B. I'm a pretty solid DIY mechanic, so I'd like to try some diagnostics before I resort to that.
 

bloc

SILVER Star
 
Joined
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Thank you. Towing it to the dealer is plan B. I'm a pretty solid DIY mechanic, so I'd like to try some diagnostics before I resort to that.
Thing is without diagnostic codes or capabilities there just aren’t many good indicators for where to start.

What I can say is this is not a common issue.

If you have the time to wait on shipping you could try and get techstream, which may get you more info from the ECU. It does require windows PC though. Or maybe post in your local clubhouse forum on mud and see if anyone with that software can help.

Edit: check your driver and passenger footwell floorboard for moisture, perhaps evening going as far as pulling the door sill trim. If the windshield was ever replaced it might be leaking and that can cause all kinds of electrical gremlins. Technically the engine harness goes straight to the ECU on the firewall but wires feeding the system power run through the footwell harnesses.
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
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The cable I have is a techstream knockoff that I got on Amazon, and it should work on my Mac (I run both Windows in boot camp and Parallels windows VMs). I run Durametric for my Porsches and VAG-Com for vw/Audi on the same machine. I do have a Windows PC that I can use as well if needed. The issue is not the machine, it is getting the software off the mini dvd and onto a computer. The only dvd drive I have is a front loading drive, so the tiny dvds don't work. If I could download it off the internet it'd be a non issue. Anyone know where I can find the download?
 
Joined
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It’s sounding more like fuel delivery. Maybe bad gas clogged a filter or there’s a fuel pump/relay issue, who knows. Plz let us know what they find and for your sake I hope it’s an easy fix.
Any plausible explanation for the consistent 1:15 runtime to failure?

Like is that when the ECU shifts from closed loop to open loop mode?
 

indycole

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San Jose, CA
I’d check all fuses and replace the key fob batteries just to rule those items out while continuing to chase down fuel issues and a way to get codes.
 

99Cruiser

 
 
Joined
Nov 24, 2003
Messages
239
Location
Austin, TX
Did you get the windshield replaced and was the LC in the rain recently? Any vermin chew wires in the engine compartment? My boat had a grounding issue and it would cut off. Maybe check the ground wiring. Some ECU's are very sensitive to low voltage or fluctuations in voltage.
 
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Joined
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Location
Durango, Co & Texas
yep sounds like clogged fuel filter or whatever you have in the line. Had this happen many times.........and like others have said it could easily be something electronic. Stick an OBDll on it or just go to a mechanic. Sounds like something simple that could drive you crazy. :))
 
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Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
1,075
Did you get the windshield replaced and was the LC in the rain recently? Any vermin chew wires in the engine compartment? My boat had a grounding issue and it would cut off. Maybe check the ground wiring. Some ECU's are very sensitive to low voltage or fluctuations in voltage.
No windshield replacement. Not especially wet here lately. No vermin that I've noticed, but I'll do a survey for damage.
 
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