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: 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...

Q: Won't start say running

Code 42 is indicative of an auto shutdown relay problem. This can be caused by a wiring issue to the fuel pump - most likely a short or broken wire. Sounds like it's time for an electrical diagnosis. A professional...

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

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 P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.