Q: when i turn my steering wheel to the right--even slightly--my engine stops. why

asked by on May 03, 2016

my Maint req light came on about a month ago, Autozone put the handheld diagnostic tester on it and it read Oxygen sensor and another one read vacuum leak

My car has 138000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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Hi there, thanks for writing in.

I have never experienced this exact issue before. First we should address the vacuum leak, which could cause the car to stall while idling, as well as being a potential cause of the oxygen sensor fault. Usually stalling from a vacuum leak would not be affected by turning the wheel only one direction, even slightly. It also sounds like it could be a problem with the ignition switch. Perhaps there is a wiring issue to the switch, or an issue with the switch itself, and when the wheel is turned it may move a chaffed wire or loose connection in just a way that it causes the ignition to turn off. In order to properly diagnose this issue, it would need to be thoroughly inspected in person by a qualified technician, such as one available from YourMechanic.

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