Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car sputters/stops at red lights and won't restart

asked by on

While in traffic or stopped at a red light/stop sign, my car sputters and then stops completely. When I put it back in 'park' it starts up. However, now it will not restart unless I wait a couple of hours; then it will start. I surely would appreciate your expert suggestions as to what this is.

A: Hello. This can be caused by a few things. ...

Hello. This can be caused by a few things. Most of the time it is a failure in the crankshaft position sensor. The sensor fails and causes the computer to lose engine speed signal which turns it off. I have also seen the fuel pump overheat and cause the pressure to drop or the relay for the fuel pump to fail and cause this. Both are common issues. I usually monitor the crank signal when this occurs to see if it is lost before it stalls. If it is, then I replace the sensor. If not then I check the fuel pressure. If you need to have this done, consider YourMechanic, as a certified mechanic can come to your home or office to diagnose your sputtering issue and replace the crankshaft position sensor if necessary.

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: Transmission won't go into gear - 1997 Pontiac Grand Am

Hi there. Unfortunately, performing a transmission flush can create more problems for the transmission than it helps, especially with higher mileage. The debris gets stirred up and travels throughout the transmission. A transmission service should involve dropping the transmission pan,...

Q: 2001 cavalier sputtering while driving.

Hi there. Try pumping out all of the fuel from the fuel tank and filling the tank up with fresh fuel. If the water remover was put in the tank and the vehicle started to run a little better, then...

Q: Truck turns over but doesn't start

It is quite possible that the fuel filter is what is causing your no start issue. If the fuel filter becomes clogged with debris, the fuel pressure at the fuel rail will decrease due to the restriction. If the fuel...

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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...