Q: My 2003 Acura TL will start right up but when I put it in gear it cuts off. It will crank back up but I get the same reaction when

asked by on March 31, 2017

My car will start no problem but when I put into gear it cuts off every time

My car has 198000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Several possibilities could account for this. The torque converter could be locked up. To get an "indication" of that possibility, you could try raising engine speed to around 1,800 RPM and then, with a clear path ahead, put the gear selector in drive. Be careful, of course. If the engine stays running as the car lurches forward but then does go on to stall again once you brake and return to idle, that is a possible indication of a locked up converter. Putting it in gear at 1,800 is hard on the car’s drive train so don’t do this repeatedly. Another possibility is internal transmission seals are leaking pressure to reverse and forward clutches at the same time and the locked up transmission then stalls the engine. Defective engine sensors can cause this issue. The Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensor detects engine load and generates a signal that is proportional to the amount of vacuum in the intake manifold. The ECU uses this information to adjust ignition timing and fuel enrichment relative to the amount of power needed. When the engine is working hard, intake vacuum drops as the throttle opens wide and the engine takes in more air, which requires more fuel to keep the air/fuel ratio optimized. When the computer reads a heavy load signal from the MAP sensor, it adjusts the fuel mixture to slightly more rich than normal so the engine can produce more power. The computer will then retard (back off) ignition timing slightly to prevent detonation (spark knock) that can damage the engine and decrease performance. This may explain why the engine dies as you put the vehicle into gear as a load is put on the engine.


There are other possibilities as well. If you want the above steps performed by a certified Mechanic, dispatched by YourMechanic right to your location, please request an engine stall diagnostic - suspected transmission lock up and the responding certified mechanic will get this taken care of for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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