Car Shut Off While Driving and Won’t Start [How to Diagnose & Fix]

Have you ever been driving along and suddenly your car just shuts off while driving and won’t start? It’s a pretty scary experience, especially if you’re not sure why it happened or how to fix it. You might feel clueless about why did the car die suddenly?

In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at the reasons your car randomly shuts off, as well as the effects it can have on your driving and what you can do to prevent it. Stay safe out there!

11 Reasons for Car Shuts Off While Driving

Have you ever faced a situation when you get in your car, turn the key, and nothing happens? Or have you experienced your car just suddenly turning off while driving but soon turning back on? You might be wondering what’s wrong with your car, but it could be something simple. Here are a few reasons why your car dies while driving but probably still has power:

1. Malfucntioning Crankshaft Position Sensor

This sensor relays information about the position of the crankshaft to the engine control module. If it doesn’t work properly, the engine may misfire or shut off entirely.

A defective crankshaft position sensor may also cause the check engine light to come on. If your car shuts off while driving and the battery light comes on, have it checked out by a mechanic to determine if the crankshaft position sensor is the problem.

2. Damaged Fuel Pump or Defective Fuel System

 If the pump isn’t working properly, it can’t deliver enough gasoline to the engine, causing the car to stall. Similarly, if there’s a problem with the fuel system, such as a clogged filter, it can also prevent the engine from getting the gas it needs to run.

Either way, it’s definitely not something you want to ignore. If your car has started shutting off unexpectedly, take it to a mechanic for checking out the fuel system. It’s usually a relatively easy and inexpensive fix that could save you a lot of headaches down the road.

3. Defective Ignition Coil

Defective Ignition Coil - Car won't Start

A car’s ignition coil is responsible for providing power to the spark plugs. When this coil goes bad, it can cause the spark plugs to misfire, which can lead to the car shutting off suddenly. There are a few signs that a coil may be going bad, including a loss of power while driving, engine misfires, and a decrease in fuel economy.

If you see any of these symptoms, without making further delay have the coil checked by a mechanic as soon as possible. Ignoring the problem can lead to even more serious issues, such as engine damage.

4. The Spark Plugs Are Out of Order

If the spark plugs aren’t firing correctly, the engine will eventually stall out. So, if you’re having this problem, it’s a good idea to get your spark plugs checked. Hopefully, it’s just a simple fix that will have you back on the road in no time.

5. Battery Is Dead

Dead Battery - Reason of Car Shut Off While Driving

If your car suddenly shuts off, it could be because of a dead battery. When the battery dies, it can no longer provide power to the car’s engine, causing the car to stall. If this happens, you’ll need to get the battery replaced as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can try jumpstarting the car to get it running again.

6. Issue with Alternator

Car shut off due to bad Alternator

The alternator is responsible for charging the battery and powering the electrical system while the engine is running, so if it fails, the electrical system will start to fail as well. This can cause all sorts of problems, from the dashboard lights going out to the car actually shutting off.

If your car has been shutting off when stopped or slowing down and you’re not sure what’s causing it, have it checked out by a mechanic. Alternator problems can be tricky to diagnose, but it’s important to get them fixed before they cause your car to shut down completely.

READ ALSO: How to Test an Alternator

7. Clogged Fuel Filter

Every car has a fuel filter and injector, and its job is to keep impurities from getting into the engine. Over time, the filter and injectors can become clogged with dirt and debris, and when that happens, it doesn’t do its job as well. As a result, the engine can start to run rough because it’s not getting the clean fuel it needs.

In the worst scenario, the engine will shut off completely. If your car has suddenly started shutting off, it could be due to a clogged fuel filter. The problem is relatively easy to fix – just replace the filter and your car will be back on the road in no time.

8. A Completely Empty Fuel Tank 

A fuel tank is an essential component of a car. Not only does it hold the gasoline that powers the engine, but it also helps keep the weight of the car balanced. However, an empty fuel tank can cause a number of problems. For one thing, it can make the car harder to start.

Additionally, it can cause the engine to run hotter than normal, which can lead to expensive repairs. Finally, and most importantly, an empty fuel tank can cause a car to shut off suddenly. As a result, keep an eye on the fuel gauge and make sure that there is adequate gasoline in the tank.

9. Clogged Air Filter

If your car engine suddenly shuts off while you’re driving, it could be because of a clogged air filter. Your car’s air filter keeps dirt and dust from getting into the engine, and over time it can become clogged with debris.

If the air filter becomes too clogged, it can restrict the airflow to the engine, causing the engine to shut down. You should check your car’s air filter regularly and replace it if necessary. A clogged air filter is usually an easy and inexpensive fix that can help keep your car running smoothly.

10. Ignition Switch Is Not Working Properly

The ignition switch is what powers the car’s engine, and if it’s not working properly, the engine can’t run. There’re multiple reasons behind this, but the most common is a loose connection. The other problem that can cause an ignition switch to fail is a faulty solenoid.

This is a small part that helps connect the starter to the battery, and if it fails, the engine won’t start. If you’re having trouble with your car shutting off suddenly, it’s worth taking it to a mechanic to have the ignition switch checked.

11. Damage in Sensors (MAP & MAF)

The MAP (Manifold Absolute Pressure) sensor measures the amount of air flowing into the engine. The MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor measures the amount of air entering the engine. If either of these sensors isn’t working properly, it can cause your car to shut off suddenly.

Another possibility is that your fuel system is dirty and needs to be cleaned. This is especially common in older cars. But don’t worry, simply taking your car to a mechanic for a tune-up can usually take care of the problem. So if your car suddenly shuts off, there’s no need to panic. Just take it to a mechanic and they’ll figure out what’s causing the problem.

How to Diagnose a Car that Shuts Off While Driving

If your car shuts off while you’re driving, it’s probably a result of one of three things: 

  • An electrical problem
  • A fuel problem
  • An overheating engine. 

To diagnose the issue, take the following steps:

  • Start by checking the battery connections and fuses. 
  • If they’re all in working order, then the next step is to check the fuel system. Make sure there’s gas in the tank and that the fuel pump is working properly. 
  • Finally, if the engine is overheating, it could be due to a coolant leak or a problem with the cooling system.

 By troubleshooting each of these issues one at a time, you should be able to narrow down the source of the problem and get your car back on the road.

How to Fix the Issue

How to Fix the Issue

This is a really big problem and it needs to be fixed asap. Cars shutting off while driving is really dangerous and could cause a lot of accidents. If your car has this problem, the first thing you should do is check the oil level and see if it needs to be changed.

If the oil level is low, that could be causing the problem. You should also check the air filter and make sure it’s clean. If it’s dirty, that can also cause the car to shut off. Another thing you can try is changing the spark plugs. If none of these things work, you should take the car to a mechanic and have them take a look at it.

Final takeaway

Although the exact cause of your car shutting off without warning can be difficult to determine, there are certain things you can do to try fixing the issue. If you’ve tried the above-discussed steps and your car is still shutting off unexpectedly, it may be time to consider purchasing a new vehicle. So, Have you successfully diagnosed and fixed the root cause of your car shutting off?

FAQs About Car Randomly Shuts Off

1. What would cause a car to die while driving and not start?

The possible reason can be a damaged alternator or battery. 

2. What sensors can cause a car not to start?

Among all the automotive sensors, Brake Pedal Position Sensor, Crankshaft Position Sensor, Camshaft Position Sensor, Fuel Pressure Sensor, Manifold Absolute Pressure Sensor, Mass Air Flow Sensor, Oil Pressure Sensor, and Throttle Position Sensor can cause a car not to start.

3. Is your check engine light on?

If your vehicle’s Check Engine Light is blinking or being constantly illuminated, there are some issues with the vehicle and it needs immediate attention.

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