Q: Car idles for a while and then shuts off

asked by on September 14, 2016

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?

Car is stalling Inspection $79.99 - $99.99 Get a Quote

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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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


Experienced Mechanic?

Earn up to $70/hr

What others are asking

Someone cut the ignition wires to try to take my 2006 impalla. I got wires back together but it wont start. It has a chipped key system. Is there any way to get it going without getting charged a fortune by a tech guy or locksmith?

"This morning Engine Light, Traction Control Light, and Electronic steering light is on. " I went to Honda dealership last week an

Hi Iqbal. Thanks for sending the question today. Warning lights simply indicate that a possible fault has been detected by the sensor monitoring the system. In most cases, when the light illuminates, it's due to an electrical glitch, poor connection,...

Will a faulty alternator effect the transmission?

If you have a faulty alternator and the vehicle battery gets low on voltage then the computer may not shift the transmission gears correctly and cause other drive symptoms like stalling or surges and rough shifts. Engine and transmission may...

The car idles rough when in drive with the brake applied.

Hi there. It is quite possible that during the head gasket replacement, a fuel injector or ignition system component may have been improperly installed. It is also highly probable that the mechanic installed the old spark plugs instead of new...

Is it mechanically safe to coast in neutral?

Technically, least cost operation is attained if engine idling (at stops) does not exceed 60 seconds and, indeed, some studies put the threshold as low as 10 seconds. Certainly 60 seconds is a conservative estimate. This is why "start-stop" features...

Misfire in Cylinder 3

Engine misfires can be caused by many different problems and are generally caused by either a spark or fuel issue or in some cases, a combination of both. Spark related problems generally will result from things like ignition coils, crankshaft...

Bolt underneath engine block is leaking water left side 2001 ranger

I'm not sure what "bolt" you're talking about and you don't say what engine is in your vehicle. My recommendation is to have a professional pressurize the cooling system to pinpoint the exact location of the leak. Allowing the engine...

Brake fluid was recently bled/flushed and the brakes still feel like they are grinding

Good question and thank you for the details. I want going to go through some things you may want to check and hopefully save you some money. If you come across a problem in any of the areas you will...

New battery losing power

When the charging system indicator comes on the majority of the cases are caused by a faulty alternator. I suggest having the starting and charging system tested by a technician. When the battery was installed a connection it may not...

Related articles

5 Comfortable Sports Cars Your Parents Won't Complain About Riding In
The most comfortable sports cars combine high performance with a smooth ride. Options include the Alpina B6, Audi S8 Plus, and Mercedes-AMG S65.
Top 12 Most Common Car Problems and Issues
Completing Completing routine service and maintenance is vital to keeping your car, truck, or SUV running strong. At times, however, car issues will arise, and every vehicle will display certain warning signs. To reduce the potential for breakdown, and expensive...
How to Connect a Remote Starter
Have Have you ever gone out to your car on a cold winter morning and wished that the windows were already defrosted? With a remote starter kit, you can start the engine from inside your house while you are finishing...