Car shuts off while driving – In most cases, cars give us a warning signal when there is something wrong with it, such as a check engine warning light or some other sort of signal, such as a weird sound coming out of any part of your car.
Now it is your responsibility to check out what the problem is and to find its solution. If a part needs repair or replacement, get it repaired or replaced. Supposedly, your car shuts down without any signal, and you do not have any possible clue of what might be wrong with the car.
We will discuss some possible reasons why a car may stop working and how to solve the problem, at least timely so that you can take your car to a garage and get it thoroughly checked and maintained.
- Some of the common causes of your car shutting down while driving
- Possible solutions that you could try if your car stops while driving
- Some tips on making sure your car doesn’t shut down while driving:
- Final Thoughts
Some of the common causes of your car shutting down while driving
There could be several reasons why your car stopped working. Given below, we have discussed some of the most common ones.
1. Check if you have any fuel in the fuel tank or not and whether the fuel meter is working properly or not:
Now one of the most common causes of a car shutting down during a drive is the fact that it may have run out of fuel. Most of the time, we forget to check our fuel tank and the fuel in the car before going out for a drive. So, make it your habit to check the fuel in the car right before you leave your house.
Even if the fuel tank meter shows that there is fuel in the car, it could be that the meter is faulty and not giving accurate readings. In that case, you need to get your car’s meter checked by a mechanic.
For the time being, what you can do is, try to guess when you got your tank filled with fuel and how much mileage you have covered since then.
If you think you might have run out of fuel, get some and if you think that you have fuel in the tank, then cut off this option and move on to the next possible cause of your car shutting down.
2. Dead car battery or short-circuiting:
Another very common factor that mostly leads to the car turning off is a dead battery. Battery is the component of the car that gives it power. It is what charges and starts the electrical components of the car, and without a battery, it is impossible to keep it running.
One thing that you should keep in mind is that battery usually requires the most power to start the car, and once it has been started, it barely needs any more power.
So if you were able to start the car, it could be that the problem is associated with short-circuiting in the battery or in any of the wires associated with the battery, rather than in the battery itself.
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3. Fault in the fuel pump or in the fuel filter:
Another very common reason that instantly leads to the car shutting off is any sort of fault in either the fuel pump or the fuel filter.
It is the job of the fuel pump to make sure that the right amount of fuel is being sent to the engine, and it is the responsibility of the fuel filter to filter the fuel from any contaminants.
If either of the two above mentioned parts is damaged, the right amount of fuel won’t reach the engine, and so the entire engine will turn off. With the engine not powering the car anymore, the car will instantly shut off.
This is also possible if any of the tubes in the fuel pump are leaking or are clogged. This way too, the engine won’t receive the right amount of fuel, and it will shut down.
4. Fault in the ignition system:
The ignition system is what starts the car. If there is any fault or if the system is damaged, it is likely that the car will shut down while driving, as the ignition system won’t be transferring the desired amount of power to the car’s engine.
You can identify this one by trying to start the car again, once it has shut down. You will notice that the ignition is weak and not enough for the car to start.
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5. Defect in the Engine Control Unit ( ECU )
It is the job of an engine control unit to make sure that everything in your engine and your car is running smoothly. If it detects any issue in the car, especially one that may be serious and could lead to harm.
An ECU will automatically turn off the power supply to the engine, leading to the car turning off automatically, and even if everything in your vehicle is working fine, but the ECU itself is at fault, it may lead to your car shutting down.
6. Faulty alternator:
An alternator is a vital component of the car. Its job is to supply electricity to its electronic components of the vehicle. If the alternator is damaged, then it will lead to the power supply to the electronic components of the car being cut off, and this will lead to the car shutting off.
It is easy to identify a problem in the alternator lead to the dashboard warning light and the headlights flickering, or the battery of the car draining faster, etc.
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Possible solutions that you could try if your car stops while driving
Now, once you have identified the problem that maybe with your vehicle, the next step is easy. All you have to do is know what’s wrong and how to solve it.
We will discuss the solutions of each of the above problems in details, and then we will get down to how to identify and solve the issue if it’s not any of the above-mentioned ones:
1. Fuel tank empty:
Now that you know how to tell if your fuel tank is empty filling it up with fuel isn’t too hard. Just keep in mind to check your fuel before leaving the house and also to get your fuel meter checked and fixed if it does not measure properly.
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2. Dead car battery or short-circuiting:
In this case, all you have to do is either get the battery recharged or replaced. A battery needs to be recharged and replaced after a certain period of time, and you are able to tell when it’s time for replacement, so you should get it fixed before it stops working altogether, so you don’t have to face any such issue in the future.
3. Damaged ignition system:
For this, too, you will have to get the vehicle checked by a mechanic. Once the problem has been located, fixing it is easy and involves either replacement or repair.
4. Faulty fuel pump or fuel filter:
Fuel pumps and fuel filters are easy to replace. All you have to do is get your car to a mechanic and get the parts repaired or replaced or to get the tubes cleaned out.
5. Faulty ECU:
The Engine Control Unit is one of the complicated components of the vehicle, and dealing with it on your own is probably not a good choice.
To identify the exact problem, you can make use of an OBD2 scanner, but once you have run the codes and you know exactly what’s wrong, take your car to a professional mechanic.
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6. Damaged alternator:
The best thing about fixing an alternator is that it can be easily done at home by even you, especially if you have done as part of your regular car maintenance. It is easily available and inexpensive.
Some tips on making sure your car doesn’t shut down while driving:
One thing that most drivers forget to keep in mind is that all cars need regular maintenance, and without that, it is very likely that they will keep causing you problems.
Given below are some tips that you can keep in mind and adapt that will help you in the future and make sure you don’t get yourself in a situation like this ever again:
- Always fill the fuel tank before the warning goes off.
- If the check engine light is turned on or is flickering, get your vehicle scanned as soon as possible. If you don’t have time to go to a mechanic, you can scan your vehicle on your own with an OBD2 scanner.
- You can then compare the codes to find out the problem. Most of the parts are easily replaceable even at home, as for the rest you can go to a mechanic.
- Keep your car clean and regularly check all the essential oils, spark plugs, cables, etc.
These were some common causes and their solutions to a car shutting down while driving. Keeping the above points in mind, you should be able to deal with the problem.