Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car is stalling

asked by on

Backed out from parking space, once I put the car in drive, the engine sputtered and died. I tried starting it again, but each time i put it in drive, the same thing happened. Even in reverse the car sputtered but kept going. It would not stay cranked in drive.

My car has 46644 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

You may have a dirty or failing idle air control valve. The idle air control valve reads the air intake as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into the engine at low speeds and at idle. Since this valve is controlled by the vehicle’s computer, it will adjust idle speed based upon other measurements such as engine temperature, intake air temperature and electrical system load or voltage. The idle air control valve also helps to transition the load on the engine when shifting in and out of gear. When you accelerate, the engine RPM increases, and as you let off the gas, the RPM slowly returns to the normal idling speed with the help of the idle air control valve. When the engine RPM drops below the normal range of about ~800 RPM, this often times will cause the engine to stall indicating a dirty or faulty idle air control valve. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and repair your idle air control valve.

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: My 05 nissan altima wont start

Hi. This problem does sound like a faulty fuel pump could be the problem. If the fuel pump is weak or completely faulty it will cause the problems you have described. There may also be a problem with the car...

Q: I hear a clicking noise when engine starts

From the information provided on your Nissan Frontier, has lead me to believe that it may be experiencing an undercharged battery or even possibly a bad starter. To be 100% certain however, it may be time to enlist the assistance...

Q: I'm buying the above mentioned vehicle that's a FWD, 4 cylinder engine

As you know, with any car the life expectancy of it depends largely on the maintenance schedule the owner has maintained, the driving conditions it is subjected to, the driving habits of the owner and many other factors. As with...

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...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
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...