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Series Land Rover Petrol or Diesel Engine 'Runs On'

This month we are looking at the problem of the engine 'running on' after the ignition is switched off. It can happen to both petrol and diesel engines but some of the causes are unique to each engine type.
If the problem is present and the engine struggles on for several revolutions, then there is a need to stop the engine as soon as possible to prevent damage to bearings. The easiest way is to stall it by engaging gear and then releasing the cutch pedal with the footbrake applied - NOT the transmission brake as this can cause damage in the Land Rover's transmission.

Diesel engines:
*It could be due to worn cylinders or worn or broken piston ring(s). High crankcase pressure would then prevent oil from draining from the cylinder head and it could then enter the cylinders as fuel.
*A damaged cylinder head gasket close to the oil passage could cause a similar probem of oil entering the cylinders as fuel.

Petrol engines:
*The cylinders could need decarbonising. The easiest way to check this is to remove a spark plug and check it for black deposits, like in the photo. Also, shine a torch into the cylinder when the piston is high on its stroke and look for carbon deposits on the piston head. Decarbonising fuel additives are available from auto stores, but removing the cylinder head and cleaning it by hand is the best solution to the problem.
*It may be that the ignition timing is too far advanced. If the distributor has the manual ajustment screw on the distributor barrel then retarding the ignition with this may solve the problem. Otherwise, the standard ignition timing procedure must be followed to retard timing by say 2 degrees.
*If you have changed your spark plugs recently for a different type, then maybe they have the wrong heat specification.
*If the engine runs on and the normal idling speed is fast, then just slowing down the idling speed at the carburettor can solve the problem, at least initially.

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