Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Engine, power steering, and brakes shut off

asked by on

The engine in my car shut off while I was driving approx. 25 mph. The power steering and the power brakes also stopped working. I thought it was probably the battery, so I replaced it; that didn’t help. Next, I considered that the alternator might be the problem and I ordered a new exterior fan alternator. I also thought it might be the distributor cap, so I checked it and sure enough it had some corrosion. Cleaned that, but the problems still persisted. I have also found that it is fortunately not the timing chain/belt. I do get gas, so it is not the fuel pump. Tomorrow I will have the alternator tested. If it turns out that the problem is not the alternator, can you advise me on what to check next?

A: Given you had a "sudden" failure,...

Given you had a "sudden" failure, you might check the crank position sensor first. This component instructs the ignition module when to fire the spark plugs. If the crank position sensor is OK, work your way up the electrical path. Is there spark at the plugs? If not, check the rotor, coil, or coil-to-distributor wire - components that affect all the cylinders. A YourMechanic professional can diagnose your stalling issue and replace failed parts.

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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Clutch making screeching noise. 2013 Audi A8

Hello. It sounds like you either have a failing bearing in the transmission, or more commonly it is a failure in the clutch throw out bearing or pilot bearing. Most of the time, if it makes noise when pressing in...

Q: Car only runs when jumper the fuel pump

Check to see if you are getting power when you test the green with orange stripe wire going to the fuel pump module. If you have no power then check the the fuel inertia switch, in the left kick panel,...

Q: My car has an electrical failure due to rain leaking inside, what do I need to repair?

This could end up being a costly repair unless the pigtail replacements for the wiring harness are available. First, the water intrusion has to be repaired. The water has to have been leaking inside the vehicle for some time or...

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...
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...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.