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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife tells me that last night she got in our old 440GL at work to come home and it started up and drove off and suddenly all the display went red and it wouldn't answer to the steering wheel or the brakes!

A moment later it came good and they stopped and proceeded and she's used it four times without a problem since then.

Frightens me. No steering? No brakes? It sounds like a total electrical failure which would knock out power steering I suppose but surely the brakes should respond?

Surely the steering should respond if only heavier?

Anyone got any ideas on this?

regards,

ab :)
 

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A stalled engine would cause red lights on the dash, no power steering and brakes.....

Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmmm. A good thought, too. A lot less worrying that random total electrical failures.

The car could still have been moving, too, yes? Still in Drive it would have kept going. She says they pulled up a couple of feet short of a tree.
 

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I would practice hitting neutral and e braking safely at speed in a lot etc, better to find out about stopping the easy way, I have a 250 Super duty 4 dr 4wd V10 7.000 lbs + truck and tried panic stops ,I have 285-75-16 tires, 265 is stoxk small difference, but with ABS it seems as if they might not be working when its becay=use they wont lock up I was tryimng to doit i=on y 250 at speed and it would not lock even with both legs pressed hard, i squat 480 lbs too so thats not it!! It took forecer to stop it seemed, better have her peractice, i ran 80-90 mph driving like a car and never coulda stopped at anytime!! scary!!
 

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Tire size will NOT affect ABS - unless you've got a mix of sizes on the vehicle. Domestic cars have much lower quality ABS when compared to Volvo, BMW etc.. It's like comparing a 386 computer to a dual core 2G, processing speed. My Jeep's ABS is hopeless when compared to the BMW325IS the it replaced. My old 745T was also great and confidence inspiring.

Yes, a car can stall when driving at speed. I learned how to deal with this as a kid with crap cars. Most cars still use hydraulic pressure, provided by the motor, to run the power steering (some Hondas have electric power steering). The power assist for the brakes comes from vacuum supplied by the engine too. If the motor dies, you immediately have no power assist to the steering (you'll need powerful arms to turn the wheel now) and you ususally have enough vacuum reserve for two assisted pushes on the brake pedal (after that you'll need ALL your leg muscle strength) so you should still be able to pull off the road and stop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry! Should Be In the '200 series' Forum.

Sorry guys, I don't know how it happened but I've posted this thread in the wrong forum.

We have a 244GL, not a 440Gl.

Bit of a difference, eh?

But I guess the answers (minus stuff about ABS) remain the same: it probably was a stalled engine.

I find it a bit frightening the thought of a dead engine knocking out your brakes and steering. I'll take the advice and try it out in a safe place.

I've told the wife to drive carefully and don't forget the grab the handbrake if it happens again. But I feel pretty sure it won't. She had just started up and it is not at all unknown for it to cut out right then if you don't let it clear its throat a bit.

She must have been on a downgrade, I guess and it was night-time and she'd have been exhausted by working all night and distracted by the friend she gives a lift to every night.... so she forgot the handbrake.

But what happens if you're at speed? The motor can cut out at speed? And then you'll lose brakes and steering? Frightening. I'll check it out.

:)

Perhaps the moderator can move this thread to the 200 series forum. My apologies.
 

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Stalling can happen at any speed. Best to look into the cause. Maybe just a tune up. Plugs, wires, filters, etc.

Stalling can be dangerous but if it won't re-start, so would being stranded.
 
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