Q: Engine shuts off suddenly

asked by on

On one occasion about 20 days ago, the car was parked while was out for a short while. When I was about to continue driving, I put the key into ignition and turned it but the engine was completely unresponsive. All the lights were working fine. I took the key out and there was a vibrating sound made by the starter relay. After I had taken it out and plugged it back in, the car started fine after several minutes. However, now I have the same issue. The engine just died out in the middle of driving. I wasn't doing anything, like braking or accelerating, and the car wasn't idling either. I did the same thing with the starter relay and turned it back on. I had the starter relay replaced. It is even worse now, as the van turns on and dies out after 15 seconds. All the lights still work in the vehicle. What is happening with it? What should I do?

Hello. There may be a problem with the electrical system, which includes the battery, starter, and alternator. In addition to the starter relay that you just had replaced, it is possible that the starter itself needs to be replaced. I would suggest that you have a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, complete an inspection of the electrical system in order to determine why your car is hard to start.

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 shuts off suddenly

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 won't start

Hello there, many common faults will cause your 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer to not start. Replacing the battery was a great place to start, as this is usually the cause. Other then the battery many other faults will prevent your vehicle...

Q: The car cannot be started at all

Hello. If the starter and the battery are in good shape then the battery cables need to be tested. These are common failures on this vehicle. If those are fine, then it is either an issue with the ignition switch...

Q: Check engine light is on.

First of all, a shop cannot let a vehicle leave the parking lot with the engine light on without your signature saying that you intend to leave with the light on. Second of all, the light might have been on...

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...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...