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

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: Car starts & drives well, but quits after one mile

Hello there, thank you for asking about your 1987 Oldsmobile Toronado. There was actually a recall on your vehicle for stalling; it's number 87T816E. Stalling was such a severe issue with this vehicle that GM decides to extend the warranty...

Q: My car is not getting fuel to injectors I replaced filter and fuel pump

Hello, from what you describe it appears that you may be having an issue with the engine management system. The fuel pump provides the fuel and pressure for the fuel injectors, however it does not control their on and off...

Q: Are My Car’s Switches Waterproof?

If the switch is on the exterior of your vehicle, yes. You have a number of switches located all over your vehicle. Those switches control the circuits for the power windows, power door locks, sunroof, seat warmers, stereo, and many...

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...
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...