Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: My car is briefly shutting off when driving and stalling out when stopped.

asked by on

My car briefly shut off then came back on again while I was driving at about 50 mph a couple times and completely stalled out when I stopped for a red light. When it stalled, radio and lights were still functioning. Took a little to get it started again. Later I went out to see if it would start, started just fine, but too afraid to test drive it with the way it shuts of briefly while driving and stalling when stopped.

My car has 185000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello. Stalling issues can arise from a var...

Hello. Stalling issues can arise from a variety of faults. Have any warning lights come on? You may want to have the vehicle scanned for codes anyway. Typically you turn to the fuel and spark first to make sure they are working correctly first. You can hook up an inline fuel gauge to make sure you are getting the proper amount of fuel to the engine. This needs to be placed after the fuel filter to test that as well. You can test the spark plug wires to make sure the plugs are receiving a strong enough signal. You may also want to pull the plugs and make sure they are not fouled and are gapped correctly. Several sensors may also be failing, but those should show up on a diagnostic scan. With an issue like this, start with the easiest components to test and work your way through the possibilities until you find the fault.

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: Starting issue

Hi There, What you are describing generally is caused by a weak battery or a faulty starter solenoid. If the re is a rapid click, this is likely a dead battery. Depending on whether you changed the starter or the...

Q: My car tries to crank but won't start. It sounds like it is not getting gas - 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Hi there. It sounds like it has a bad electronic ignition switch. I have seen a lot of these fail on this vehicle. I usually do a voltage test of the switch, but most of the time it is the...

Q: Car sputters and sounds like it wants to stall in Park

Hello. If the engine has a hard time starting and idles roughly, then it may need a tune up. If the spark plugs or other parts of the ignition system are worn, then this will occur. Another common cause of...

Related articles

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...
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 Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.