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Author Topic: stalling at stops  (Read 1073 times)

greggers

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stalling at stops
« on: February 24, 2011, 07:06:16 PM »
I have a new California bike, and sometimes when I'm at a stop waiting, the engine sputters and stalls out. I've spoken to the dealer, he says there is some system that is supposed to lower the idle while waiting to conserve fuel, and that is what the sputtering is, but that it should never stall out. Unfortunately it does sometimes, and he's kind of at a loss and says needs to check with the RE guys to find out what possible problems could be. Just wondering if you knowledgable folks can offer up any ideas as well, while I wait to hear back.

Just about every time I'm at a stop, whatever system (he told me and I forget now) kicks in and lowers the idle, and I can hear it kind of sputtering, but then it's like some switch catches it before it stalls, and raises the RPM up a bit again. Maybe 1 in 5 times though, it doesn't get caught and the bike stalls. I've learned to just give it a tiny bit of throttle when I hear it sputtering and that seems to correct the problem, but seems like I shouldn't need to be doing that.

Ducati Scotty

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Re: stalling at stops
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2011, 08:43:01 PM »
My bike does about the same thing when it's only been running a little while but doesn't quite stall.

I think what's happening is the normal cycling of the fuel injection system.  The O2 sensor is constantly reading the exhaust gases whenever you're at a set throttle opening, idle or any other RPM.  If it's too rich it leans it out, too lean it richens it.  It keeps going back and forth like this.  On my bike it's fine when the engine is dead cold or warmed up but when it's only been running about 5 minutes, it gets like this and will almost stall.  Once it warms up it's fine.  This is probably all a side effect of the fuel maounts fed at different temps: lots when it's cold, less as it warms up.  There's a spot in the map where it's probably just a little leaner than it needs to be for a partly warm engine temp.

Does your bike do this all the time or just when not quite warmed up?

Also, get the bike fully warmed up (20-30 minute ride) and check the idle speed to make sure it's in spec, maybe at the higher end.  Make sure it's really warm, not just 5 or 10 minutes, really up to temp.  I think the idle spec is listed inside the air cleaner.  If you're on the low side of idle speed it could stall when this is happening.

Hope this helps,
Scott
« Last Edit: February 24, 2011, 08:49:00 PM by Ducati Scotty »

whoguy

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Re: stalling at stops
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2011, 10:54:09 PM »
Hi Greggers,

My bike sometimes stalls if it is not warmed up properly, say alteast ridden for a good 20 mins. When it is cold I have to keep an eye on it and catch it before it stalls... blip of the throttle usually does it.

But when warmed up, it never stalls. I'd say to check you spark plug and make sure it's clean. I found my spark plug to be particularly dirty when my bike was new as the engine was still bedding in and the rings are still building up a good seal.

I also switch to an iridium plug which stalled less, but now switched back to the normal plug due to the iridium being too hot for our weather in Australia.... was done buy mechanic. I'll probably switch to a cooler rated iridium in future as the standard spark plug definitely does stall more and has a lower idle.... all things being equal.

Definately give the iridium plug a go, but make sure you check the plug to make sure its heat rating is correct for your bike.

Just want to say to all you chaps... You guys are the coolest mob!!!
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greggers

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Re: stalling at stops
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2011, 11:10:30 PM »
Sounds like you guys might have pegged it, I'll keep an eye on when exactly it is stalling. I would say off hand its never when it's cold, as my usual pre ride routine is to take the bike out of the garage, start it up and let it idle while I close up the garage and gear up, generally giving it a couple minutes to warm a bit. It never stalls during that time, but usually after I've been riding for a while. I feel like it has stalled in the same way after riding for around an hour, but I could be wrong.

Is cleaning the plug something I can do myself? I'm fairly limited in my mechanical experience (though I eagerly want to learn more), but getting to the dealer is about an hour each way.

And how do I check the idle speed? Feel free to just tell me to search the forums if there are posts about it already  :D

Ice

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Re: stalling at stops
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2011, 11:27:12 PM »
If after every thing else checks out o.k. then you might consider the gasoline.

 Fuel quality and ingredients have an effect on how well engines run ( most notably air cooled and carburetted engines.)

 E15 has been mandated but has not legally arrived at the pump yet.
O.E.M.'s need time to adapt their products to accommodate the coming change.

 My local small engine shop routinely tests samples of gasoline from area retailers.
The regular gas from the AM PM up the road recently tested out at 14% ethanol. :o

 Here's and example of just one D.I.Y. test kit, there are more out there.
http://www.fuel-testers.com/order.html
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ScooterBob

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Re: stalling at stops
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2011, 12:06:12 AM »
I have a new California bike, and sometimes when I'm at a stop waiting, the engine sputters and stalls out. I've spoken to the dealer, he says there is some system that is supposed to lower the idle while waiting to conserve fuel, and that is what the sputtering is, but that it should never stall out. Unfortunately it does sometimes, and he's kind of at a loss and says needs to check with the RE guys to find out what possible problems could be. Just wondering if you knowledgable folks can offer up any ideas as well, while I wait to hear back.

Just about every time I'm at a stop, whatever system (he told me and I forget now) kicks in and lowers the idle, and I can hear it kind of sputtering, but then it's like some switch catches it before it stalls, and raises the RPM up a bit again. Maybe 1 in 5 times though, it doesn't get caught and the bike stalls. I've learned to just give it a tiny bit of throttle when I hear it sputtering and that seems to correct the problem, but seems like I shouldn't need to be doing that.

Greggers - Scotty is right here - and it sounds like the base idle is just a tad too low. I'd go ahead and plop a new plug in it just to make sure. The "usual" modus operandii of the bike is to run great dead cold, "hunt" for a bit until the O2 sensor and the engine temps sensor agree with each other - then run OK when blazing hot. If the bike "hunts" too low whilst the sensors are getting "tuned in" the auto decompressor will flop back in and make it stall. This is usually accompanied by a little "click-click" on the right side down low. Have your dealer adjust the idle air correction screw to raise the idle 50 rpm's or so when it's blazing hot and I think you'll be OK. Let us know, too, will you?
Spare the pig iron - spoil the part!

Ducati Scotty

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Re: stalling at stops
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2011, 12:06:43 AM »
Is cleaning the plug something I can do myself? I'm fairly limited in my mechanical experience (though I eagerly want to learn more), but getting to the dealer is about an hour each way.

Probably.  Just take it out and use a spinning wire wheel on a drill or roto tool to gently clean off the electrode.  They even make little machines just for this but I think that's overkill.  (Oops!  See below.)  You can also just change it for a new one, properly gapped of course.

And how do I check the idle speed? Feel free to just tell me to search the forums if there are posts about it already  :D

You need a tachometer for this one.  Any moto shop should be able to do this for you.

Scott
« Last Edit: February 25, 2011, 06:49:25 AM by Ducati Scotty »

Ducati Scotty

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Re: stalling at stops
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2011, 12:08:36 AM »
The "usual" modus operandii of the bike is to run great dead cold, "hunt" for a bit until the O2 sensor and the engine temps sensor agree with each other - then run OK when blazing hot.

If you listen really carefully you can hear it subtly cycling up and down even at hot idle.  Same goes for steady cruise speed on level ground.

Scott
« Last Edit: February 25, 2011, 12:14:57 AM by Ducati Scotty »

Chris-G5

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Re: stalling at stops
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2011, 01:02:06 AM »
My G5 used to occasionally stall while idling especially when cold. I raised the idle a little and now it is fine. There is an idle air screw on top of the throttle body to raise or lower the idle.

Here is a video showing it, thanks to RE brother Singhg5

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w51XKoubABI

r80rt

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Re: stalling at stops
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2011, 01:08:47 AM »
Good going Chris. I was just looking for that! :D
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ScooterBob

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Re: stalling at stops
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2011, 01:11:04 AM »
Probably.  Just take it out and use a spinning wire wheel on a drill or roto tool to gently clean off the electrode.  They even make little machines just for this but I think that's overkill.  You can also just change it for a new one, properly gapped of course.

Scott

I've posted this before - do NOT clean a spark plug with a wire wheel! The ceramic will strip metal from the wire wheel and make a PERFECT path to ground, so instead of the spark jumping the gap to start the combustion process, it just follows the metallic debris down the insulator to ground. If you MUST clean a $4 spark plug, do so by gently heating it with a propane torch until all the carbon has burned away, leaving an ashy gray residue. That is as close as you'll get without an abrasive blaster.
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prof_stack

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Re: stalling at stops
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2011, 03:19:41 AM »
My G5 used to occasionally stall while idling especially when cold. I raised the idle a little and now it is fine. There is an idle air screw on top of the throttle body to raise or lower the idle.

Here is a video showing it, thanks to RE brother Singhg5
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w51XKoubABI
At 800 miles I lowered the idle since break-in caused a freer running piston, I guess, and things were idling too fast. 

Nowadays I burp the throttle a little at a stop sign when the idle starts to peter out.  Kind of reminds me of my early motorcycling days in the late 60's. 
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Ducati Scotty

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Re: stalling at stops
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2011, 06:50:41 AM »
Thanks Bob.  I crossed out the bad info above.

Scott

ScooterBob

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Re: stalling at stops
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2011, 07:29:18 AM »
Thanks Bob.  I crossed out the bad info above.

Scott

No worries! This is a common thing to do.As I found out over and over - and them finally from an engineer who SHOWED me the metallic crap that gets on the ceramic - it's not the best thing to do. If I can save one fellow from "cleaning" the plug, having the bike run WORSE - and then chasing his tail forever because the plug is "clean" - then I 'm happy. Been there, done that, bought the new plug .......  ::)
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gashousegorilla

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Re: stalling at stops
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2011, 03:46:56 PM »
No worries! This is a common thing to do.As I found out over and over - and them finally from an engineer who SHOWED me the metallic crap that gets on the ceramic - it's not the best thing to do. If I can save one fellow from "cleaning" the plug, having the bike run WORSE - and then chasing his tail forever because the plug is "clean" - then I 'm happy. Been there, done that, bought the new plug .......  ::)
Wow, I do that all the time! Thanks for the heads up......makes sense. Even if you don't loose the spark completely, you would be loosing some of it to ground, as it dances down the insulator. And I would think, you would never see it, unless it was really bad....... pretty cool.
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