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Old 01-24-2011, 09:35 AM   #1
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v6 shivering in neutral

I noticed lately and at this time I am thinking it has something to do with the heater being on or the a/c compressor when I have the front defroster on. When I take it out of gear the rpm's come down to about 1,000, then after a few seconds still out of gear, the rpm's drop real low and pop back up, almost like its about to stall and then it catches itself. Like say im cruising 35 in 3rd or 4th gear and am going down a long hill and take it out of gear and freewheel, the rpms come down to where they should and then they drop too low, then it shudders. Happens sometimes when I get to a red light too. I turned the heater off and tried to duplicate it a couple times last night, and it didn't do it. I'm not sure yet, will take it out and try today. Oh, and i sit in my car at lunch sometimes and leave it running, and it acts perfectly normal, with heat on.
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:30 AM   #2
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When you turn your heater on is the little "snowflake" (on the right side heater knob in the "west" position) lit up? If so, your air conditioner is on and that's what's causing your engine to lug down like that. Press it once so the snowflake light goes off and you should be fine.
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Old 01-24-2011, 01:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
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When you turn your heater on is the little "snowflake" (on the right side heater knob in the "west" position) lit up? If so, your air conditioner is on and that's what's causing your engine to lug down like that. Press it once so the snowflake light goes off and you should be fine.
The snowflake isn't lit up, but it is my understanding that in most american cars, when you activate the front windshield defroster that the a/c unit comes on automatically to act as a dehumidifier. In my older corolla you had to manually activate the a/c unit with the defroster to get the moisture off the windshield. But, besides that, even with the a/c on, I dont think it should shutter and sound and feel like its gonna stall. I had a passenger the other day and got the comment, "why does it do that?" I really hated it.
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Old 01-24-2011, 01:35 PM   #4
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There's a couple of things at play here.

In neutral, at a stop light, you should be able to feel/hear the a/c compressor engage and disengage if you are using any HVAC setting where A/C is engaged. This will cause a slight fluctuation in RPM as the car's electronic throttle module compensates for the extra power needed. You may be able to feel it engage/disengage while driving, but that really depends on the car. I've never driven a manual V6. In some cars it's barely noticeable, and other cars, like in a Ford Focus, it feels like someone hitched up a trailer to the rear and you've lost 20hp.

If you're driving, and you clutch-in and let the RPM's fall, the RPM's should come back down to roughly idle speed. I too have observed in other vehicles, that the engine feels like it wants to die at the bottom of the RPM range. My only guess is that, in neutral, and 100% off the gas, while the vehile is at speed, the throttle cuts out. As the RPM's fall back to idle, the ECM wakes up and realizes the car is not in gear, and power has been cut, so it kicks on a little bit of power to keep the car idling. It's all momentary, so there's just a slight timeframe when the engine speed drops below idle, and then comes back up.

That's my best guess. I've had it happen in tons of other cars as well, so I don't think it's a problem, just how they're designed.
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:03 PM   #5
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just for kicks what octane gas are you running in it?
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:17 PM   #6
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just for kicks what octane gas are you running in it?
Wow thats a funny question, as per some of the octane threads. This is gonna trash the whole purpose of this thread, but here ya go, I have been using 87, then got down close to 1/8 tank of gas so on a whim, I stopped and put $15 worth of 93. Now the tank is close to empty again, I think I'm going to do a blend next time
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:47 PM   #7
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Your in Cincinnati no wonder your V6 is shivering it's cold.
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:09 PM   #8
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I know, I'm a girl, I ask funny questions and I'm not a mechanic. I hear the sensors will adjust themselves to the higher octane, and there is debate as to whether higher octane helps or not. My point is, did your car run better for you with the higher octane? If not, then indeed it was a silly question. If it does run better, then hmmm meybe the girl was on to something.
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:13 PM   #9
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put a blanket on her, she is cold......don't you shiver in the cold when you are just standing there? J/K bro...lol
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:39 PM   #10
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OP, just a safety thing, keep it in gear going downhill or coming to a stop. I have an M6 V6 and have not experienced this, but I don't knock it out of gear and coast in neutral.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:19 AM   #11
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I only did the freewheeling for an experiment. It also happens if I sit at a long redlight; long enough for the car to idle down completely, then it will drop to almost zero rpm's; just about to stall, then revs up to like 1200 rpms, then idles down to where it should be. It doesn't happen all the time tho.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:20 AM   #12
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I know, I'm a girl, I ask funny questions and I'm not a mechanic. I hear the sensors will adjust themselves to the higher octane, and there is debate as to whether higher octane helps or not. My point is, did your car run better for you with the higher octane? If not, then indeed it was a silly question. If it does run better, then hmmm meybe the girl was on to something.
I didn't really notice it till I put the higher octane in her, so I would say she ran bettter on 87 .
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:07 AM   #13
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Shouldnt be doing that...its been 4 degrees here and if i pop it into neutral while moving it will stay at 1000 and drop to idle once stopped. it never starts to bog at all, id get that checked out.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:12 AM   #14
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yeah it should not be doing that, I would take it to a good dealer if you can find one
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