Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car shuts off unexpectedly

asked by on

When I start the car, it would shut off at random. This occurs completely unexpectedly both when I'm driving or when I'm stopped in traffic. Then, I have to put it in park so as to restart it. What might be the problem?

A: Engine stalling while driving is typically ...

Engine stalling while driving is typically caused by a problem with the ignition system. Plus, the fact that you can restart the vehicle after cycling the ignition leads me to believe the problem is electrical. The first thing I would check is the crankshaft position sensor. The powertrain control module (PCM) uses the crankshaft position sensor signal as a reference for controlling the ignition system. My guess is that the Check Engine Light is on. Retrieving the stored diagnostic trouble codes will help pinpoint the problem. I suggest you contact a professional for firsthand diagnosis of your stalling issue. The team at YourMechanic is an excellent option since we make house calls.

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

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: Several batteries died out

The most likely causes are either a parasitic drain on the battery or a faulty alternator. The battery is basically just a storage device which must be constantly charged by the alternator. A battery that is partially discharged often will...

Q: Scraping noise shifting gears

Hello there, thank you for asking about your 2013 BMW 135i. The symptoms you are describing can be caused by both transmission and clutch pedal issues. If the synchronizer rings inside of the transmission wear out, it can cause the...

Q: Ac compressor stop working and now there's a loud noise

Hi. The compressor has clutches inside the pulley the belt goes on to turn the compressor. These clutches tend to lock up when the compressor goes bad and cause a burning smell make the belt burn up and break. It...

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 to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.