Does the car turn off while driving? [How to fix the problem!] (2023)

Are you facing this annoying problem when your car turns off out of nowhere while driving? Don't worry, we'll help you!

If you own a car, it is your responsibility to take care of it. Many car owners seem to believe that a car runs on magic dust. Oil, gas, coolant, etc. must be checked constantly. so that your car stays in shape for a long time.

There are many sensors and functions in modern vehicles that ensure that your car runs smoothly. Basic knowledge of your vehicle can help you counteract a mechanical problem, such as: B. if your car stops while driving. But what can cause a car to shut down while driving?

The most common reasons for a car to stall while driving are a bad crankshaft position sensor or fuel supply problems. It can also happen due to a bad alternator, ignition switch or empty fuel tank. Because of the many possible causes, it is important to diagnose them correctly.

While this list gives an idea of ​​the most common signs, it is far from complete. Here is a more detailed list of the six most common reasons why your car stalls while driving:

Index Show

Causes of the car turning off while driving

1. Faulty crankshaft position sensor

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The most common reason why a car stalls while driving is a faulty crankshaft position sensor. The crankshaft position sensor is required for most car models to keep your car's engine running.

On some car models you also have a camshaft sensor that the car uses when the camshaft sensor is faulty. Adefective crankshaft sensorhowever, it must not bring the vehicle to a complete standstill.

However, if your car is equipped with a crankshaft sensor but not a camshaft sensor and you get an error code, you will need to replace it.

2. Faulty fuel pump or fuel supply system

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A fuel pump supplies the engine with the right amount of fuel to the injectors. If the fuel pump isn't delivering the correct fuel to the engine, the engine will shut down and you'll be stuck.

The bad news is that there is no bypass for a failed fuel pump; You need to fix it or buy a new one. Another reason can be that the fuel filter is clogged, preventing the fuel pump from pumping fuel through it.

A fuel filter is a small component whose only job is to clean the fuel entering the engine. If theFuel filter is clogged, the fuel entering the system is not enough and the engine stops. Fortunately, replacing a fuel filter is easy.

Most fuel pumps are installed in the fuel tank. A mechanic's little secret is to put your foot or something in the fuel tank when the car is shutting down. If the car starts, there is likely a problem with the fuel pump.

Be careful not to hit anything sharp though, because the fuel tanks are plastic and you could poke a hole in them - and that's the last thing you want to do!

If your car stalls while driving but starts right up again, it can often be due to a faulty fuel pump.

3. Empty the fuel tank

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Most car owners probably know that you should check your fuel level every once in a while while driving.

If you have enough fuel to drive, that's perfect, but if your fuel gauge or fuel level sensor is faulty and not showing the actual fuel level in your car, you could be in big trouble.

An easy way to see if there's a problem with yoursFuel gauge or fuel level sensoris to add 1 gallon (4 liters) of fuel to see if it starts.

4. Alternator problems

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An alternator regulates the power supply in your vehicle. If your car suddenly stops working, the alternator may have failed. A faulty alternator will cut power to important car components and you will find that the lights on your dashboard or engine suddenly go outlose power.

When your alternator is bad, one of the main symptoms is redbattery light onYour dashboard pops up from time to time.

If your car still has power and thestart the motorworks after turning it off while driving, there is another problem. In this case, the alternator is not defective.


5. Defective ignition switch

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Sometimes onedefective ignition lockcan cause your car to switch off while driving. The ignition switch is located behind the ignition switch and is turned when you turn the key to start the car.

In this switch, small metal chips can accumulate corrosion and rust. If this happens and one of these boards loses connection, the entire ignition will shut down.

This also shuts down the entire engine immediately. Fortunately, this is easy to check. When the car shuts down, check if there are still lights/ignition lights on your dashboard. If the dashboard instrument is dead, then there is a high possibility of a faulty ignition switch.

6. Defective sensors

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Modern cars have many sensors to optimize the air-fuel mixture to optimize fuel economy. If a sensor fails and turns off, your car's engine could die entirely. If you notice that your car shuts off while driving but later starts up again, or shuts off when idling or decelerating, it may be caused by a faulty engine sensor, which can cause improper air-fuel mixture or idle revs.

Fortunately, most of these sensors cannot completely shut down the engine. sensors like thatSensor MAF, The coolant temperature sensor and the oxygen sensor can mess up the air-fuel mixture so much that the engine stalls.

How to fix a car that turns off while driving

If your car shuts down while driving, the first thing you should do is check the engine control unit for error codes and all sensor data. You also want to make sure there is fuel in the tank and the alternator is charging.

Here is some more detailed information on how to fix the car turning off issue while driving:

1. Check the error codes

With older car models you had to diagnose the car with aMultimeteror just common sense to find a problem. Luckily, modern cars have onboard diagnostic software that will detect a problem with one of the engine's sensors and store an error code, resulting in a problem.Check the engine light.

This makes diagnosis much easier and you don't have to waste time measuring every single sensor in your car's engine. You also don't have to guess and replace the wrong parts.

The best way to find out why your car shuts down while driving is to check these trouble codes in the engine control module and see if there are any stored problems. However, to read error codes you need an OBD2 scanner. You can buy one yourself or go to a repair shop that will read the codes for you.

Continue troubleshooting with the information obtained from the diagnostic scanner. For example, if you are seeing a misfire code, it could be caused by a bad spark plugs, ignition coil, or ignition system.

2. Check alternator voltage

If you don't have an OBD2 scanner or can't find any stored trouble codes, the next step is to check your alternator voltage with the engine running.

Basically, you need to apply the emergency brakes and start the engine and measure the car battery voltage with a multimeter. If you get a reading below 12.5 volts, there could be a problem with your alternator or charging system.

Here is a complete guide to testing your alternator:How to test a car alternator (5 steps)

3. Fill the fuel tank

While it may seem obvious that you need to fill up your fuel tank, you could be running out of fuel without even knowing it. Poor fuel economy can cause the engine to stall when cornering at higher speeds because the fuel pump is sucking in air instead of fuel.

There is also a risk that the fuel gauge sensor in your tank is faulty and your fuel level is low even though the fuel gauge shows it is full. So this is definitely something you'll want to check by opening the gas cap and adding some fuel.

4. Check fuel pressure

Low fuel pressure is another common problem when the car stalls while driving, so check the fuel pressure in the car. The best way to check fuel pressure is to attach a hand held pressure gauge to the fuel rail or pipe.

You can also use a diagnostic scanner to measure the pressure from the vehicle's pressure sensor if it has one, but there is always a risk that this sensor is defective. Check theFuel pressure information for your car, and if you find that the fuel pressure is low, you need to check the fuel filter, fuel pump and fuel pressure regulator.


5. Check the tachometer

The tachometer orspeedometerOn your dashboard you will get information from the crankshaft position sensor on most car models.

If you notice your tachometer not working when the car shuts off while driving, or if it doesn't move when you start the engine, it could mean there is a problem with the crankshaft position sensor or the valves camshaft position sensor.

6. Check the dashboard

The next thing you want to check are the dashboard lights when the car shuts off. If you notice that the dashboard lights go out when the car engine is off, this could indicate a problem with the ignition switch.

But it can also be caused by low battery voltage due to a bad alternator as we discussed earlier. If that's the case, be sure to check these two things.

7. Check sensor data

If you cannot find any trouble codes stored in the ECU, but still have a problem with your car, check the data of all sensors in the car's engine with aOn-Board-Diagnosetest.

To check this data you need a diagnostic tool compatible with your car's engine control unit. It can also be quite difficult to know what readings these sensors are supposed to give, so you'll need to get one manualor the specifications of your vehicle.

8.Talk to a professional

If you have tried all of the above but your car still stalls while driving, it may be wise to seek professional help. While it can cost a lot of money, it may be wise to get help from someone who has dealt with this issue many times.

It's also not certain that it will cost more to have a mechanic take a look when they can quickly and accurately pinpoint the problem rather than replacing the wrong parts.


frequently asked questions

Can a low oil level cause a car to stall?

Low engine oil levels generally do not cause the car to shut off while driving. But if it is so low that the oil pressure drops, the car may shut off the engine for safety reasons. However, this usually only occurs on newer cars.

Can a Bad Battery Cause a Car to Shut Down While Driving?

A bad car battery rarely causes the engine to shut down because the alternator provides the necessary power. In rare cases, a short circuit can occur in the car battery. This turns off the car.

Why does my car keep turning off when I stop?

If your car stalls after stopping, the engine is too sensitive when idling. This can be caused by many things, but it's usually caused by one thinglean fuel mixture, which causes the idle speed to drop sharply. A defective throttle valve can also cause this.

Why does my car turn off while driving and won't start?

If your car cuts out while driving and won't start, this is usually due to a faulty alternator or low fuel pressure caused by the fuel pump. However, this can have many causes and must be diagnosed with a diagnostic scanner.


If the car cuts out when driving on the side of the road, it can be very annoying because sometimes the problem can be difficult to identify. Luckily, modern cars have built-in diagnostic systems that can help you figure out what's wrong with your car. Therefore, you should always start reading trouble codes with adiagnostic toolsbefore further diagnosing your car.

The most common reasons why a car stalls while driving are:

  • Faulty crankshaft position sensor
  • Defective fuel pump or fuel supply system
  • Empty fuel tank
  • Problems with the alternator
  • Defective ignition switch
  • defective sensors

I hope this guide has helped you with your car problem and if you read this article carefully I am sure you will find a solution for your car.

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