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?

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・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Engine & turbo stutter at 60mph

If you are having an issue with the engine sputtering at highway speeds, it may be related to your fuel system. I would recommend having your fuel system checked by a qualified professional due to the fact that gasoline is...

Q: 2000 Mercury Mystique ocassionally only cranks but couldn't start

Hello. Thank you for writing in about your 2000 Mercury Mystique. There are a couple things here that I recommended having a technician check to diagnose the cause of the the no-start condition. The fuel pressure would have to be...

Q: Alt and Bat duplicate request

It is not normal for the battery and alternator to go bad in such a short time unless there is a problem in the wiring connections or harness connections. You will need to have the system checked to isolate the...

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...
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...