Q: my car cuts off while i am in traffic

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One day the car dashboard lights were going crazy with the speed panel going up and down randomly and the car felt like it was going to cut off. The ABS light came on first then went off and then the check engine light came on and went off. I made it home without the car cutting off. Another day, the car cut off in the middle of traffic. Another day the car cut off while I pulled into a parking space. I took the car to Autozone to look at the check engine sensor. They stated they could not find anything wrong. I then took the car to a mechanic who stated that they could not do anything until one of the sensor lights remained on permanently on the dashboard.

It seems risky to drive the car until one of the sensor lights remains permanently on.

A couple of points worth mentioning is that car immediately restarted each time it cut off and ran for a couple of hundreds of miles before cutting off again. Also, the car has been exposed to heavy rain falls (I live in Florida).

My car has 56000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Heavy rain will not do much unless the car is driven on flooded streets. If that occurred, you might have sustained water damage to electrical components and such can cause intermittent faults like the ones you are describing. Typically, if the check engine light comes on, even if it subsequently turns off, the codes that caused the light to set will be stored. It is possible the mechanic did not look for, and thence evaluate, the stored codes. If there are no stored codes, a real time scanner can be applied to the engine to see if any operating parameters are out of range. Fuel and electrical causes are typical of random shut downs. If the fault is electrical, you could have an intermittent failure within a sensor that momentarily stops responding such as a cam or crankshaft position sensor. There may be stored diagnostic data and so I would recommend requesting a check engine light diagnostic. During that diagnostic, once a mechanic observes real time engine operating data, it’s possible that anomalies will be apparent and give clues. As you can imagine, intermittent failures can be hard to pin down and so the best thing that could happen is for the car to completely fail to re-start as that represents the easiest circumstance to pinpoint an electrical fault. In some cases, data loggers might be necessary to capture operating conditions during the failure so that the cause can be pinpointed. I would start with the basic check engine light diagnostic and the mechanic will advise you from there, based on his or her findings. 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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