Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car idles for a while and then shuts off

asked by on

I've been having issues with the car shutting off 20 minutes after I start it up. It starts idling for up to 20 minutes. During that time, the engine begins sputtering and eventually shuts off. After it fails to stay running, I'm not able to start it back again after a while. I've had the following parts replaced: fuel filter, fuel pump, fuel sending unit. I also used parts from other cars, which include the ignition control module, fuel pump relay, starter and the coil. I'm not sure what else I could do to fix the problem. Do you have any suggestions?

Hello. You will need to monitor the fuel pressure and spark plug spark at the plugs when the engine dies. I suspect you may have a defective ignition stator in the distributor. When you lose power, you should see the fuel pressure stay steady if fuel pressure is not a problem. The distributor stator inside the distributor is the least common but the only part you have not changed yet. If you would like to have this checked, a certified professional from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to diagnose the stalling problem and have this issue addressed.

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!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car idles for a while and then shuts off

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: Car running rough and trying to stall

Hi. The idle air control valve needs replacing because it sounds like the idling is rough on your vehicle. Also, if you have a pulley starting to seize up, which include the idler pulley and the tensioner pulley, they may...

Q: Needs to pass smog check..

If the check engine light is only coming on when your on the freeway it might be a problem that the computer is only recognizing at cruising speeds. Your best bet would be to have a certified mechanic read the...

Q: My 1989 Cadillac has a weird smell after running for a while not sure if it's a fuel smell or coolant need to know what to do help

It is very likely that you have a fluid leak that is burning on the hot exhaust. I would recommend having an oil/fluid leak inspection performed to determine the exact cause of this issue. Consider Your Mechanic as this can...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...