Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: The car starts then shuts off

asked by on

My car starts then it begins to shake and then it shuts off what can I do? Because I can't move anywhere.

My car has 115642 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi There, It sounds like you may have a dirty or failing idle air control valve causing your engine idle to fluctuate and eventually stall. The idle air control valve is a small valve on the engine’s intake system that reads the air intake as it comes into the motor. This is controlled by the car’s ECM which uses this information to make adjustments to the air/fuel ratio depending on various inputs such as outside air temperature, intake air temperature, load and various other things. As you accelerate, your car’s engine is receiving a much higher dose of fuel than when at idle and conversely, when you let off the gas pedal, there is a sudden change in this fuel supply as a result of your foot letting off the pedal. When this happens, the job of the idle air control valve is to bring this deceleration down to a slow and smooth idle rather than suddenly cutting off the fuel supply causing the motor to die. When the idle air control valve is not working properly, this cause a disruption in this process resulting in the engine not being able to idle properly. I would recommend having a professional come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.

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!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. The car starts then shuts off

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: Windows not working.

If none of the windows are working from any of the switches, there must be a common circuit problem. The first thing I would do is check the fuse. Fuse information can be found in your owner's manual. If the...

Q: Reduced power in car

The reduced power warning generally indicates the failure of an electrical component vital to engine operation. These warnings can trigger fault codes that can be scanned and read by trained technicians. Typically, a throttle position sensor or engine component sensor...

Q: Battery keeps dying out

Hello. Typically when these symptoms occur with the security light on, it is always the ignition switch that is causing this. It can also be a short in the electrical system, but most of the time, it is caused by...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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...