If you are wondering why your car dies when you put it in gear, or why your car dies when you put it in reverse, I might have some information for you.
There are quite some problems that can cause your car to shut off while driving and then not start. Here are some:
- Key Takeaway
- Why Did My Car Shut Off While Driving And Won’t Start?
- How To Fix a Car That Randomly Dies While Driving?
- How To Prevent Car From Shutting Off While Driving
- Q: What should I do if my car shuts off while I’m driving?
- Q: Can a faulty alternator cause a car to die while driving?
- Q: What are some other common reasons why a car might shut off while driving?
- Q: My car won’t start after it shut off while driving. What could be the problem?
- Q: What should I do if my car won’t start after it shut off while driving?
- Q: How can I fix a car that shuts off while driving?
- Q: Are there any warning signs before a car shuts off while driving?
- Q: How can I prevent my car from shutting off while driving?
- Q: What are the possible causes if my car starts but then dies immediately?
- In Conclusion
- There are several potential reasons why a car shuts off while driving and won’t start, including a faulty fuel pump, alternator failure, a bad battery, or issues with sensors such as the crankshaft position sensor.
- To fix a car that randomly dies while driving, it’s crucial to diagnose and address potential issues with key components such as the ECU, spark plugs, fuel pump, alternator, crankshaft position sensor, and any clogs in the diesel particulate filter or problems with fuel preparation.
Why Did My Car Shut Off While Driving And Won’t Start?
- Failed fuel pump
- Failed alternator
- Bad main relay
- Failed crankshaft and camshaft sensor
- Oil in spark plug tube
- Broken timing belt
- Broken timing chain
Your car could be completely fine and the next moment it could shut off while driving and won’t start again. Some car parts show signs before they fail, and some don’t.
So, if your car shut off while driving and won’t start again, here are 7 possible causes:
1. Failed fuel pump
A failed fuel pump will not deliver any fuel to the engine and your car won’t be able to start. A great way to see if the fuel pump is the problem is by checking the pressure at the fuel rail. You will need a fuel pressure test gauge (check prices on amazon.com).
The ideal fuel pressure should be between 30 and 50 PSI depending on your vehicle specification.
In addition, a properly working fuel pump should make a buzzing noise when you start your engine, or in this case when you crank it.
So, remove the gas cap and have someone standing by and listening for a buzzing noise as you turn the ignition key to the on position. If there is a buzzing noise, the fuel pump is working and the reason why your car shut off while driving and won’t start now is because of something else.
2. Failed alternator
A faulty or failed alternator will result in your vehicle completely shutting off while driving and you won’t be able to start it. A failing alternator usually shows signs before completely failing. A decrease in power is noticeable, followed by vehicle electronic failures such as headlights starting to dim and the radio starting to fade.
Once the vehicle voltage drops under a certain level, a battery light will be illuminated on the dashboard. Sometimes a failing alternator makes a whining or growling noise which you can notice if you open the hood and listen carefully.
You should check the alternator with a voltmeter (check price on amazon.com). A good working alternator should produce at least 13.5 volts. Also, while you are at it, check the serpentine belt. If the serpentine belt is broken, it won’t spin the alternator and your car won’t have any power.
3. Bad main relay
The main relay controls power to the fuel and other electronic systems. If the main relay fails, many electronic components of the vehicle won’t work. One of those is the fuel pump. Without the fuel pump, there won’t be any fuel going from the fuel tank into the engine and your car will shut off while driving and you won’t be able to start it again.
4. Failed crankshaft and camshaft sensor
A failed crankshaft sensor will cause the vehicle to immediately turn off due to no timing signal. The crankshaft sensor determines the position and the rotation speed of the crank and sends the signal and timing position to the computer.
5. Oil in spark plug tube
If the spark plug tube seal wears off, it can get contaminated with oil and that particular spark plug won’t be able to receive power and your vehicle will shut off while driving and you won’t be able to start it.
If this is the case, you should replace the valve cover gasket and tube seal. A new spark plug might be needed as well.
6. Broken timing belt
The timing belt can slip off, jump teeth on the camshaft sprocket, or break. If this happens, your vehicle will shut off immediately and you won’t be able to start it. The timing belt has a function to synchronize the rotation of the crankshaft and the camshaft.
Without a proper working timing belt, the engine valves won’t open and close at the correct time and the engine will shut off.
If this is the case, a new timing belt should be installed. While you are at it, check the timing belt tensioners as they can also get loose over time.
7. Broken timing chain
A broken timing chain will result in a car shutting off while driving. A timing chain can stretch and jump teeth on the camshaft sprocket. The timing guide can break off causing clocking noise.
How To Fix a Car That Randomly Dies While Driving?
Here are some potential solutions on how to fix a car that randomly dies while driving:
- Check the fuel system: Ensure there is enough fuel in the tank and inspect the fuel pump, fuel filter, and fuel injectors for any issues.
- Examine the ignition system: Look for problems with the ignition coil, spark plugs, and ignition control module.
- Inspect the electrical system: Check the battery connections, alternator, and wiring for any loose or damaged components.
- Verify the sensors: Test the crankshaft position sensor, camshaft position sensor, and mass airflow sensor for proper functioning.
- Clean the throttle body: A dirty throttle body can cause stalling, so cleaning it may help resolve the issue.
- Address vacuum leaks: Vacuum leaks can disrupt engine performance, so check for any leaks and repair them if necessary.
- Check for engine overheating: A malfunctioning cooling system can cause the engine to overheat and stall, so inspect the radiator, thermostat, and coolant levels.
- Consult a professional: If the issue persists or you are unsure about the solution, it’s best to seek assistance from a qualified mechanic.
How To Prevent Car From Shutting Off While Driving
Here are some bullet points on how to prevent a car from shutting off while driving:
- Maintain regular vehicle maintenance, including oil changes, filter replacements, and tune-ups.
- Keep an eye on the dashboard warning lights and address any issues promptly.
- Check and maintain proper fluid levels, including engine oil, coolant, and transmission fluid.
- Inspect and replace worn-out or faulty components such as spark plugs, ignition coils, and sensors.
- Ensure the fuel system is in good condition, including a clean fuel filter and fuel injectors.
- Use high-quality fuel and avoid running the vehicle with low fuel levels.
- Keep the battery terminals clean and secure, and consider replacing an aging battery when needed.
- Check for any signs of overheating, such as coolant leaks or a malfunctioning cooling system.
- Avoid severe driving conditions that may put excessive strain on the engine.
- If any abnormal symptoms occur, such as unusual noises or loss of power, have the vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic says Way.
Q: What should I do if my car shuts off while I’m driving?
A: If your car shuts off while you’re driving, try to safely pull over to the side of the road. Once you’ve stopped, check if there are any warning lights illuminated on the dashboard. If so, consult your car’s manual to determine what the issue may be. If the problem persists, call for roadside assistance or a tow truck to transport your car to a nearby mechanic.
Q: Can a faulty alternator cause a car to die while driving?
A: Yes, a faulty alternator can cause a car to die while driving. The alternator is responsible for charging the car battery and providing electrical power to the engine and other components. If the alternator fails, the car may lose power and eventually shut off.
Q: What are some other common reasons why a car might shut off while driving?
A: Some other common reasons why a car might shut off while driving include a faulty fuel pump, a clogged fuel filter, a malfunctioning sensor (such as the crankshaft position sensor or the throttle position sensor), or a problem with the ignition system. It is always best to have a professional mechanic diagnose and repair the issue.
Q: My car won’t start after it shut off while driving. What could be the problem?
A: If your car won’t start after it shut off while driving, it could be due to a variety of reasons. Some possible causes include a dead car battery, a faulty starter or ignition switch, a problem with the fuel system, or an issue with the engine. It is recommended to have a professional mechanic inspect and diagnose the problem.
Q: What should I do if my car won’t start after it shut off while driving?
A: If your car won’t start after it shut off while driving, try the following steps: 1) Check if the battery terminals are securely connected and free from corrosion. 2) Turn the key to the “ON” position and check if the dashboard lights up. If not, the battery may be dead. 3) Attempt to jumpstart the car using jumper cables and another vehicle. If the car still won’t start, it’s best to contact a professional mechanic for assistance.
Q: How can I fix a car that shuts off while driving?
A: Fixing a car that shuts off while driving can be challenging as it depends on the underlying cause. It is recommended to have the car inspected by a professional mechanic who can diagnose the issue and perform the necessary repairs. In some cases, parts may need to be replaced, such as the alternator, fuel pump, or ignition components.
Q: Are there any warning signs before a car shuts off while driving?
A: Yes, there may be warning signs before a car shuts off while driving. These can include the engine stalling or hesitating, a sudden loss of power, unusual noises or vibrations, or the check engine light illuminating on the dashboard. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is recommended to have your car checked by a mechanic as soon as possible.
Q: How can I prevent my car from shutting off while driving?
A: To prevent your car from shutting off while driving, it is important to keep up with regular maintenance and address any potential issues proactively. Here are a few tips: 1) Regularly check the fuel level and ensure the fuel tank is not empty. 2) Maintain a healthy car battery by testing it regularly and replacing it if needed. 3) Have the alternator and starter checked periodically. 4) Keep the fuel system clean by changing the fuel filter as recommended by the manufacturer.
Q: What are the possible causes if my car starts but then dies immediately?
A: If your car starts but then dies immediately, it could be due to a few different reasons. Some possible causes include a faulty ignition switch, a clogged fuel filter, a malfunctioning sensor, a problem with the fuel system, or a failing starter motor. It is recommended to have a professional mechanic inspect your car to determine the exact cause.
One of the first steps to take in order to determine the cause is a thorough inspection and diagnostic testing.
This could include checking the fuel system, engine compression, spark plugs or wiring, battery connection, and power delivery systems.
There are many potential causes for an engine stall, but assurance can come from getting a professional opinion and having your car checked for any underlying problems.