Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car abruptly stops in traffic, but engine still on - 2016 Subaru WRX

asked by on

While driving at night (around 11pm) at about 30 mph, I was in 3rd gear and driving in a straight pattern when my car came to a grinding and sudden halt. I had not applied the brakes and since I had been moving forward in 3rd gear, my foot was not on the clutch pedal. The engine was still running when the car abruptly stopped and the engine sounded fine. I was in the center lane and facing the proper direction. I was ¼ - ½ a block away from where it had stopped itself. I am not aware if the brake lights had come on, to warn other traffic. I pulled off the road, turned my car off completely, restarted it, and drove home. Less then a day later it happened again. This time I was in 2nd gear at about 12-13 mph and in traffic. It completed stopped, like before, without any change in speed and no pedal movements. Again, I was in the center lane and the engine was still on, sounding fine as if nothing had happened at all. I pulled off and restarted the car. What is your professional advice on what I can do to get this fixed?

Hello. There may be a problem in your drivetrain causing such a hard stop. If your brakes were serviced recently, check to see if a fastener may have come loose and is causing the caliper to press against the wheel causing it to lock up and come to a grinding halt. Have an experienced technician inspect the driveline for any binding components and diagnose the stalling issue.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  • Home
  • Questions
  • Car abruptly stops in traffic, but engine still on - 2016 Subaru WRX

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: How do I use the engine coolant temperature gauge?

The engine coolant temperature gauge is on your instrument control panel. It tells you the temperature of your engine. The gauge has an H for hot, and a C for cool. Where the needle rests between the H and the...

Q: How do I disable /remove onstar system from my truck

Hi there: You should contact your GMC dealership to ask about this, as their ONSTAR program and accessories are often tied into the ECU and could impact the overall operation of some security features on your Yukon. Cutting wires without...

Q: My 2003 Ford Mondeo won't move when I put it in gear

Generally with a manual transmission, if you are able to select all gears but the vehicle does not move when releasing the clutch pedal, in all likelihood the clutch is worn to the point of requiring replacement. Sometimes you will...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...