Q: When car starts, it shudders before shutting off

asked by on August 22, 2016

I am seeking assistance regarding fuel problems in my car. My car is having trouble “staying” on after starting. Occasionally I have difficulty getting it to start. When it does turn over, it shudders and then dies; the gas pedal is inoperative; and it acts like it is out of gas. These problems grow worse when the tank is less than ½ full and adding gas to it does help the problem. The gas gauge reads “less” than the amount that is truly in the gas tank. It will stall at intersections, but never stalls while I’m driving. Also, there is air in the fuel line. It also idles rough and this problem also improves when on a full tank of gas. A mechanic cleaned the fuel injectors and then told me it was fine; however, the same problems still exists and the cleaning did nothing of benefit, it seems. What can I do to correct these problems in my car?

A clogged fuel filter can cause stalling issues on a vehicle. The clogged fuel filter makes the fuel pump work harder to deliver fuel to the engine and can overheat the fuel pump. The fuel level sending unit is in the fuel tank and must be removed to be inspected. It can be tested on the vehicle, but the fuel must be drawn from the tank. If you would like to have this taken care of, a certified mechanic from YourMechanic can come to you location to diagnose the stalling issue.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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

Engine cranks when cold but not warm

A scope (oscilloscope) exam during those few minutes after it starts, and while the engine idles roughly, will reveal the cause. It is either ignition or fuel system related. To schedule a rough running engine diagnostic(https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/car-idle-is-rough-inspection) please feel free to...

No fuel getting to the engine. Replaced fuel pump recently.

Other possible causes of your lack of fuel issue could be the fuel injectors or an electrical problem. If the fuel injector fuse(s) are blown due to a wiring issue, this may cause your problem. A clicking noise can be...

Starting problems, 1994 BMW 318is

Hello there. No start faults are common issues on older vehicles such as your 1994 BMW 318is. There are a variety of causes for a no start condition. The most likely are the starter, battery, ignition switch, fuel pump, fuel...

Related articles

How Long Does a Fuel Pump Usually Last?
Fuel pumps are a simple and rugged part of the fuel system. They are usually found inside of the fuel tank and are...
How Can I Keep My Fuel System Clean?
Proper Proper maintenance of the fuel system is crucial for consistent long-term performance of a vehicle. The most easily clogged parts of the fuel system are the fuel injectors themselves. There are a number of ways this can happen: ...
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Fuel Injector
Common signs include an odor of fuel in the car, engine performance issues, and the Check Engine Light coming on.