One of the worst situations that can happen while you’re driving is for your car to suddenly shut off. This can be especially dangerous if it happens while you’re on the highway. There are a few different things that would cause a car to shut off while driving, so it’s important to know what they are so you can be prepared.
Here in this article, we will go over a few of the potential reasons that would cause your car to shut off while you’re driving, as well as what you can do to prevent it from happening.
7 Causes Why Car Shuts Off While Driving
Although there could be other reasons, the following are seven possible reasons why a car suddenly shuts off while driving:
1. Out of Fuel
The most obvious and first thing to check if your car shuts off while driving is whether you are out of fuel or not. It seems like a no-brainer, but it happens more often than you’d think. You can check your fuel gauge to see how much fuel is in your car or by looking for the fuel light on your dashboard. If you’re out of fuel, it will be pretty clear why your car shut off.
Also Read: How much does it Cost to Replace a Fuel Pump
To prevent this, periodically keep an eye and check if your gauge shows that you are running low on fuel, make sure to stop at the next gas station to fill up. Don’t wait until the last minute and find yourself in the middle of nowhere with a car that won’t start.
2. Faulty Crankshaft Position Sensor
A bit more complicated than being out of fuel, a faulty crankshaft position sensor can also cause your car to shut off while driving. This sensor is responsible for sending information about the engine’s ignition timing and crank position to the vehicle’s computer system.
It works by reading the position and rotational speed of the crankshaft and relaying that information to the computer so it can control ignition timing and fuel injection. If this sensor is not working properly, it can cause your car to shut off while driving.
3. Faulty Ignition Switch
The ignition switch is a component in your car that is responsible for turning on the engine. It sends an electric current through the ignition coil, which then creates a spark to ignite the fuel in the cylinders. If this switch is faulty, it can cause your car to shut off while driving.
A malfunctioning ignition switch can be caused by a number of things, such as water intrusion, corrosion, or mechanical failure. If you think your ignition switch might be the problem, have it checked out by a mechanic.
4. Faulty Fuel Pump or Fuel System
There are multiple components that make up the fuel system in your car, and if any of them are not working properly, it can stop fuel from the tank from reaching the engine
The fuel pump is a key part of the system and is responsible for pumping gasoline from the fuel tank to the engine. If the fuel pump is not working or is not getting enough power, it can cause your car to shut off while driving.
Other problems that can occur in the fuel system include a clogged fuel filter, a faulty fuel pump relay, or a leak in the fuel line. If you are experiencing any problems with your car’s fuel system, have it checked out by a mechanic.
5. Alternator Issues
One of the more reasons responsible for such issues is the alternator. Its job is to be responsible for charging the battery and powering the electrical system while the engine is running.
If the alternator fails, it can cause the battery to run out of power, which will eventually lead to the car shutting off due to a dead battery. Alternator problems can be caused by a number of things, such as a faulty diode, bad bearings, or a loose drive belt.
6. Malfunctioning Sensors
Many modern cars have a variety of sensors that monitor different aspects of the engine’s performance. If a certain number or type of these sensors are not working properly, it can cause the car to shut off while driving.
Some common sensors that can malfunction include the oxygen sensor, the throttle position sensor, and the coolant temperature sensor. They will need to be scanned with a diagnostic tool to see if they are the cause of the problem.
7. Faulty Spark Plugs
Spark plugs that have gone bad can also be a reason for your car to shut off while driving. A spark plug that is not working properly will not be able to generate a spark for the fuel to ignite. This can cause the engine to misfire or stall, and eventually shut off.
Spark plugs can go bad for a number of reasons, such as deposits on the tip of the plug, age, or overheating. The wires or coil packs that deliver the spark to the plugs can also fail. To resolve this problem, the spark plugs and wires will need to be replaced.
What Should You Do If the Car Shuts Off While Driving?
Don’t worry, we’re not going to leave you hanging! If your car does happen to shut off while driving, there are a few things you can do to try and get it started again.
1. Pull Your Car Over to the Side of the Road.
First and foremost, you’ll want to get your car off the road as soon as possible. This will ensure both your safety and the safety of other drivers. Once you’re safely off to the side, turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers that you’re there.
2. Try To Restart Your Car.
Then, you’ll want to try restarting your car. Identify the problem and try to fix it. Start by checking popping the hood and checking the battery, then work your way down the list until you find the problem.
3. Call for Help.
If you can’t identify or fix the problem, or if it’s something that needs to be fixed by a professional, don’t hesitate to call for help. There’s no shame in admitting that you don’t know how to fix your car, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
How to Diagnose a Car That Shuts Off While Driving?
If you find yourself in a situation where your car has suddenly shut off while driving, you’ll need to diagnose the problem. There are a few things you can do to try and identify the issue.
1. Check the Dashboard for Any Warning Lights.
The first thing you should do is check the dashboard for any warning lights. This could be an indication of a problem with one of the systems in your car.
2. Check the Fuel Level.
You should also check the fuel level to see if it’s low. If it is, you may just need to fill up your tank.
3. Check the Engine Oil Level.
You should also check the engine oil level, as this could be a sign of problems with the engine. Low oil levels can cause the engine to overheat and eventually shut off.
4. Check the Fluid Levels.
You should also check the fluid levels in your car, as low levels can cause problems as well. For example, low brake fluid levels can cause the brakes to fail.
5. Scan for Errors Codes.
Finally, you can scan your car for error codes. This will help you to identify any problems that your car may be having.
Provided you have the tools and knowledge, you can try to fix the problem yourself. If not, take your car to a mechanic and have them take a look.
Can Bad Spark Plugs Cause a Car To Shut Off While Driving?
Yes, bad spark plugs can cause a car to shut off while driving. This is because they won’t be able to generate a spark for the fuel to ignite, which can cause the engine to misfire or stall.
Spark plugs can go bad for a number of reasons, such as deposits on the tip of the plug, age, or overheating. The only solution is to replace the spark plugs and/or wires.
Can a Bad Battery Cause a Car To Shut Off While Driving?
A bad battery can cause a car to shut off while driving. This is because the battery is responsible for providing power to the car’s electrical systems. If the battery is weak or dying, it may not be able to provide enough power to keep the car running.
There can be a number of causes for a bad battery, such as age, corrosion, or leaving the lights on. The best way to test if the battery is bad is to take it to a mechanic and have them test it or just simply replace it if you’re sure a bad battery is the only cause of its failure.
Can Low Oil Cause a Car To Shut Off?
Yes, low oil can cause a car to shut off. This is because the oil lubricates the engine’s moving parts. If there’s not enough oil, the engine will overheat and eventually seize up. This can be particularly dangerous if the car is in motion when it happens and a very costly repair as your engine will need to be replaced.
Low oil can be caused by a number of things, such as leaks, burning oil, or simply not changing the oil often enough.
Hopefully, this gives you a better understanding of some of the things that can cause your car to shut off while driving. Keep in mind that these are just some of the possibilities, so if your car does shut off while driving, be sure to diagnose the problem before trying to fix it.
If you’re not sure how to do this, or if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, take your car to a mechanic and have them take a look. There’s no shame in admitting that you don’t know how to fix your car – after all, that’s what they’re there for!
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