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: how did you fix power steerting fluid leaking problem, how much it will cost.?

Leaks occur in these systems either in the low (return) or high pressure hoses, the power steering pump seal and/or the rack and pinion assembly. The actual source of the leaks is identified during a leak diagnostic at the conclusion...

Q: fan wiring is wrong

There are aftermarket electric fan controllers that enable the fan to be turned on by a temperature sensor or by a switch inside the cabin. This is a much safer alternative than to tap into the vehicles ignition wiring. The...

Q: replaced master cylinder miles later pedal to floor loss of brakes

Hi there. In most cases this is caused by air bubbles trapped in the master cylinder or brake lines, that can be very difficult to bleed out. It is also possible that a brake line was not tightened correctly and...

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...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...