Q: Engine died and will only run for a few seconds

asked by on

While turning into a turn lane (after driving around 10 miles), the engine died. After trying to restart it, the engine would only run a few seconds before quitting. The gas tank is about ½ full. Going up small hills has also been a problem lately. When doing so, the engine would sometimes almost stall and the steering would lock. As mentioned above, the engine dies very quickly after it fires up. All the electronics have been working well and the battery is only a few months old. Do you think the fuel lines should be cleaned or the fuel pump be replaced… or what else do you think the problem might be?

Hi there! To determine if the fuel lines are clogged I would suggest performing a fuel pressure test. This test will tell you the engine is receiving the proper amount of fuel. If it is not, you should first check to see if the fuel pump is engaging.

If your fuel pump is not engaging you may have a bad fuel pump or a fault in the fuel pump’s electrical circuit. If your fuel pump is engaging yet you are not receiving fuel it is quite possible that you have a clogged fuel filter or line.

A technician will be able to perform this fuel pressure test for you and inform you of the necessary repairs. Another likely cause of the issue is a faulty or dirty mass airflow sensor. If the mass airflow sensor is sending incorrect greetings a condition such as yours could occur. I recommend to test and cleaning the mass airflow sensor to see if that is the culprit.

I’d recommend getting some help from a certified technician who can diagnose your starting problems and make the necessary repairs. Since the vehicle will not run for a long you may benefit a mobile mechanic service such as YourMechanic to save you the price of a tow.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 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
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Engine died and will only run for a few seconds

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: What rear end joints /bushings should be replaced on Olds alero at 165,000 miles

There is no routine replacement recommendation for suspension bushings at any specified mileage interval. If suspension noise is suspected, the recommended way to determine what, if anything, must be replaced is to have a professional mechanic road test the car...

Q: Stalling and overheating - 1995 Honda Accord

When you say you had to keep giving it gas to keep from stalling, I'm thinking the idle air control valve there. You can clean the throttle body, the valve, and adjust the linkage, but the idle air control valve...

Q: Steering Rack/Gearbox Replacement

When replacing the steering gear or rack & pinion on a vehicle, it is necessary to raise and secure the front two tires of the vehicle off the ground. This is done with a floor jack and two safety jack...

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...
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...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...