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Engine stalls when changing from 1st gear to 2nd?

yzyz Dec 8, 2012

  1. yzyz

    yzyz New Member


    This is my first post here, and I'd first like to say hello to everyone.

    We recently bought an approved used A3 sportback 1.6Tdi (61reg) from an Audi dealer. It's the first time we have spent quite a sum on a car, so both my wife and I are expecting a lot from it. Everything seems perfect so far, except that in the past two days I've "stalled" the car over 5/6 times. From what I can remember, all happened when I was changing from 1st to 2nd after moving off. Most cases there was a message on the Instrument Cluster saying 'Stop/Start deactivated, please start the engine manually', which I did. (I later learnt maybe this is because I switched off the 'stop/start' system).

    Our previous car was an 2001 Polo with petrol engine. I've never had any problems with changing to 2nd gear very shortly after the car has set off. I won't say my clutch skills are perfect, so I won't be surprised if I happen to stall a new car a couple of times. My concern with this A3 is that, I seem to stall too often when I accelerate, and it can really become dangerous if the car behind me is not expecting me to stop suddenly during acceleration. Furthermore even though the 'stop/start' system allows me to restart the engine just by pressing the clutch, there may still be a second or two I am not in control of the car, which can also be dangerous.

    My feeling about this car, is the gears don't seem to tolerate low speeds very much. When queuing in the morning traffic, I found myself really struggling to drive smoothly at ~5mph with 1st gear.

    My question really is, is this a common problem when drivers switch from petrol to diesel (so that I will have to improve/adjust my gear changing habits)? or it indicates a likely fault with the clutch or gear box (so that I must contact the dealer for an examination)?

    Thanks very much indeed for any advice.

  2. Jameze

    Jameze James

    Welcome :)

    I would guess that you just need to get used to the switch from petrol to diesel. I stalled mine a couple of times when I first got my car (from petrol to diesel too). The engine cut out but then automatically jumped back to life thanks to the stop / start engine if the clutch was immediately pressed in upon stalling.

    I'd suggest that perhaps you're changing to second gear too early and so the revs are falling a bit too low, causing the engine to struggle and stall. I'd suggest accelerating a bit longer in first before switching - maybe even try follow the little gear change suggestions that pop up at the bottom of your instrument cluster until you get used to how it drives? These will look like 1 > 2 (suggesting you change from first to second) or 2 > 3 and so on.

    I've found that in my car, 5mph seems to be the perfect speed for first gear with no throttle. Anything below that requires a lot of clutch dipping, and anything over that requires a lot of awkward accelerating / decelerating until the traffic is moving at such a pace that you can slip it comfortably into second (I can't remember what speed that would be - 10-12mph maybe?).

    I therefore wouldn't suggest it is a fault, certainly not on a 61 plate in my opinion.
  3. southylad

    southylad Active Member

    Usually it's changing from diesel to petrol when you stall a lot due to lack of torque ? I do it when I borrow my stepdads 16 petrol
    Paul76R likes this.
  4. danA3T

    danA3T Member

    Yeah, feels like my change from petrol to derv, needs more revs to change up mate. Then my girl thinks I'm caning her little petrol polo when I'm driving her car. :)
  5. yzyz

    yzyz New Member

    Hi James and others, thank you so much for your replies, which indeed mean a great relief for me. I guess I just need to get used to it then.

    And James, I did notice the instruction for gear change in the instrument cluster, and it did help if I tried to follow it. Thanks again for your advice.

  6. Paul76R

    Paul76R Member

    I agree, Diesels (especially modern ones) are generally much easier to drive due to the low down torque. Its almost impossible to stall a diesel once you've got rolling, it may chug a bit if the revs are too low, but not stall!

    On the odd occasion i get to drive a petrol i find that i stall them easily because i'm not reving them enough due to the fact you don't need to rev a diesel to get moving.

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