Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: my car dies randomly when driving. Why?

asked by on

When driving my car dies randomly. It idles poorly and after driving it and shutting it off it takes five minutes to start sometimes. When I pushed on the gas it died but only once.

My car has 190000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there. There are several things that need to be checked to help identify why your car is stalling. You are either losing fuel pressure, the spark from the ignition system isn’t lighting the fuel, or there is lack of signal for the computer to fire a particular cylinder. It is possible that your fuel pump may be failing as well. This can be checked by hooking up a fuel gauge and driving the vehicle. If fuel pressure drops off as the engine stops, then there is a problem with the fuel pump. When the vehicle will not start, it needs to be confirmed that the spark plugs are firing. If they are not firing, it may mean that the ignition coil for the distributor has failed. It is also possible that the crankshaft position sensor may be bad, causing the car to not have spark as well. I would recommend getting an appointment with one of the mechanics at YourMechanic to come and perform these diagnostics on your vehicle and to fix your stalling problem.

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: crankshaft pulley harmonic dampener fell off after serpentine belt replacement

It could be that the condition of the pulley caused your belt failure in the first place. Deciding that depends on where the balancer separated.The balancer itself consists of a center hub with a pulley ring around it and a...

Q: Will crank over but don't start

You may need to replace the ignition module under the coils. This would be if you have no spark to the spark plugs. This is the most common failure that these engines have. If you need some assistance with this,...

Q: Transmission "popping" out of gear

This may suggest failing transmission synchros. As you may know, when a clutch drags, it is not letting go of the disk fully which overloads the synchros and burns up the friction surfaces quickly. Synchros work by speeding up or...

Related articles

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...
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...
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.