Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car starts, but dies.

asked by on

Driving to work and vehicle dies in the middle of the road. Try to start the vehicle but nothing.. Then got the car started to where i can move it to a safe spot.. Have tow truck come get the vehicle. Take it to mazda and they though it was the mass air flow sensor. But they were wrong, took them a day of tinkering with the car to figure that out. Then they call me saying that it could be the ECU the put the part in today and get the car set to where they want it and still starts and then dies. The vehicle isn't taking the new ECU. So, they are having a hard time figuring out whats going on with the vehicle.

My car has 41000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: I think you probably have a bad alternator....

I think you probably have a bad alternator. If you car starts, it’s not the ECU. It could be the mass air flow sensor(MAF) but that has already been eliminated. You could have a clogged fuel filter which means it’s starving for fuel. The way to check this is opening the fuel line before you get to the fuel rail and see if it comes out. BE SAFE! Don’t have the line pointing toward your face. You may also want to check the throttle body to ensure that the butterfly valve is opening and closing. I’m sorry that I can’t narrow it down more for you but I hope these suggestions help. If you need help, YourMechanic offers a repair and diagnosis service preformed by a certified mechanic that will commute to your location to inspect your starting issue.

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: Fuel is leaking and Check Engine Light is on - 2008 Mazda 3

The fuel pump is contained within the tank and so cannot leak. You are probably seeing fuel leaking from a fuel line and/or from the fuel tank itself. There could be a loose fuel line fitting, impact damage (debris from...

Q: Crankshaft pulley bolt is tight and won't come loose even with impact 2015 Dodge Dart

Hello - the crankshaft damper pulley bolt on many engines is installed with more than 400 ft lbs of torque. This is tough for us mere mortals to deal with. The first task is to install the correct crankshaft locking...

Q: Misfires while idling

Hello there, thank you for asking about your 1986 BMW 635CSi. It sounds like you've checked all of the low hanging fruit. The previous owner may be right - some vehicles (only German ones come to mind) can develop a...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
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 P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
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...