Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car stalls out of nowhere

asked by on

For the last few of months my vehicle has died on me while driving, no stuttering or anything like that. The engine will just turn off with no warning and the car will coast to a stop. Once stopped the vehicle will not turn over again, as if the battery is dead, however the battery is good as it has been checked. The only way to get the car running again is by jumping it with another vehicle. After that, the vehicle will run fine again until the next occurrence. It seems to be happening around the same time every month, so I believe it may die at a certain number of miles but I'm not certain as I have not taken down mileage at each occurrence as of yet. Air filter has been replaced and diagnostics at a local Auto Zone gave "ECM malfunction" code. I've read that these symptoms could be due to the Crankshaft Position Sensor needing replacement, instead of having to replace the ECM to save money and hassle as there are no Saab Dealers near me that I'm aware of for reprogramming. Thanks

My car has 150000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. It may be possible that a faulty crank position sensor or wiring are the cause of your stalling. However, in most cases, a vehicle with a crank position sensor fault will not need to be jump started in order to start again.

A few things I would check are the crank position sensor and the associated wiring, as well as the battery cables and battery. Keep in mind that the ECM malfunction code is a great indicator that the ECM probably needs to be replaced, or at least reflashed. If you need help with a diagnosis, a certified professional from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to inspect the stalling problem and follow through with repairs.

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: clutch pedal sticks and engages too soon, difficult to change gears with engine running. with engine off, clutch seems to shift ok

It sounds as though you're having trouble with your clutch hydraulic system. You first need to check to see that there is fluid in the clutch system. It may be the same reservoir as the brake master, or it may...

Q: How would I go about fixing my turbo that is smoking on my 2003 Saab 9-3

Hello. If you have oil leaking on the turbo then the leak needs to be located. Most of the time on this vehicle the issue is the turbo itself. When the turbo has an internal seal that fails you will...

Q: Had p0715 code replaced input speed sensor cut engine light off but in 2 mile it still threw code p0715 again

Hi. There could be a problem internally were the speed sensor is reading making it still throw the code. There also could be a problem with the wiring harness or connector going to the speed sensors. The wiring could have...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
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...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...