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?

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

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!

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: Going through a lot of brake pads on Mazda CX-5

Hello, noisy brake are probably the number one complaint that exists. Mazda has issued two Technical Service Bulletins for brake noise, TSB 04-004/14 for brake noise and TSB 04-003/14 for rear brake noise with uneven pad wear. If you have...

Q: Changed out the alternator and battery. Car will not start without a jump.

This may be a sign of a failing voltage regulator. This is a unit that regulates the charging of the battery by the alternator. Often times this will result in the alternator allowing too much power to be delivered to...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
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...
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.