Car Shuts Off When Stopped or Slowing Down

Imagine you are driving your car and enjoying an adventurous journey but eventually, your car stops. How would you feel? Obviously, you feel disgusted in such situations. You can never want to ruin your amazing road trip just because your car shuts off while slowing down. It’s not only annoying but dangerous as well.

You have to slow down your car while turning. However, you can never stop your vehicle on a busy road. It may result in an accident. Therefore, you need to get this problem fixed as soon as possible. Wait a minute! How would you solve the problem without knowing the reasons behind it? Don’t worry! We got you. We are going to tell you why your car’s engine shuts off while idling or slowing and how you can fix this issue. Let’s move ahead.

Why Car Shuts Off While Driving – All Possible Reasons:

The following are the key reasons why your car stops while driving, especially when you lower its speed.

Damaged Fuel Pump

A fuel pump is present in the car and is responsible for transporting gasoline or any other fuel to the engine. It ensures a steady supply of gasoline to the engine so your vehicle runs smoothly. However, when it gets damaged, it may not be able to deliver enough gasoline to the engine. As a result, your car’s engine dies off. However, the supply doesn’t stop completely. Therefore, the car turns off while driving but turns back on when gasoline is delivered to the engine.

When the fuel pump becomes damaged, it can lead to insufficient delivery of gasoline to the engine. Consequently, this can cause your car's engine to stall or shut off

Clogged Fuel Filter

Fuel has to pass through the filter before reaching the engine and combustion chamber. The purpose of the filter is to remove all the impurities which are usually dust particles from the petrol. However, when it gets clogged, it results in decreased supply of fuel to the engine because clogging hinders the flow of fuel. As a result, the engine dies while driving.

A clogged fuel filter restricts the flow of fuel to the engine, leading to a reduced fuel supply. This restriction occurs due to impediments in the filter that hinder the smooth flow of fuel. Consequently, while driving, the engine may experience a shutdown or stall.

Faulty Alternator

The alternator is responsible for the electric parts of the car. Its function is to charge batteries, produce sparks, give ignition stimulus, etc. When it gets defective, your vehicle can stop as it cannot get the ignition stimulus or spark.

vehicle alternator
Photo: Andy Arthur

Low Fuel

We all know cars need fuel to work properly. From its engine to other parts, everything functions on fuel or batteries. Sometimes you may observe your car stop and then start again. This may happen repeatedly as well. It is mainly due to the low fuel level in the tank. Without fuel, the engine will not get any power and your vehicle will remain dead. It is not a critical issue as refilling can solve the problem.

Incomplete Ignition

An ignition switch is present in the combustion chamber of cars’ engines. The role of this switch is to start the ignition process and make your car run. It is a key step in powering the engine of the vehicle. However, when it gets damaged, you may not be able to start your car. Sometimes, when you slow your car, it requires reignition. However, a damaged ignition switch cannot do so. As a result, the car dies while idling when the ignition switch manages to start fuel combustion in the engine.

The role of this switch is to start the ignition process and make your car run.

Faulty Ignition Switch

The ignition switch is used to give the current stimulus that is required to initiate the ignition process in the combustion chamber and make your car run. However, when it gets faulty, your car can get stalled when slowing down. The main issue the ignition switch has to face is wear and tear. It ends the connections that are present inside and makes it difficult for the current to flow through it and start combustion. Similarly, if a lot of dust is stuck in the switch, it can also cause your car to stall. Your car may not even start again if it stops due to a bad ignition switch.

Engine Control Unit Issues

The engine control unit is the central system of a car’s engine. It has to play an important role in conducting and intercepting data from all the sensors of the car. A car has separate sensors for different works such as fuel pressure sensors, MAF sensors, etc. You can say it is the electrical control center of your vehicle.

However, slight damage to it can cause a lot of trouble. It may not be able to conduct and intercept different sensors. It may cause the car engine to stop functioning.

Malfunctioning of Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF)

The MAF sensor plays a very important role in the combustion system of the vehicle. We all know the combustion process needs air. This air is transported from the outside to carry on the combustion process in the engine. The amount of this air is sensed by the MAF sensor and then it gives its report to the control unit of the engine.

If the sensor is not working properly, it may send the wrong information. For example, the MAF sensor can send the information to the control unit that the air supply is not enough. As a result, the control unit will shut down the engine, and your car will stall.

Nasty Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are probably the most important part of any vehicle’s engine. These spark plugs are responsible for the start of the ignition process in the engine. So, you cannot drive your car when spark plugs are not working properly. These plugs get nasty due to wear and tear or a lot of dust accumulation. Apart from that, other deposits on spark plugs can also disturb their functioning. Foul spark plugs don’t let you start your car or make it stop when you are driving.

How to Remove Stuck Spark Plugs with Simple Steps

How to Solve the Car Shuts-Off Problem?

You cannot keep your vehicle running and shutting down anytime it wants. It can cause some serious accidents when stopping on a busy road. Therefore, you need to fix your car as soon as possible to avoid any mishap. Following are some of the top listed solutions that you can opt for to fix the shutting-off problem of your vehicle.

Replacing Coolant

Sometimes your car can stop while driving because it gets too hot. You need to replace the coolant of your car to keep it cool even after miles of driving. Check the auto tips present in your car’s manual to find which coolant is the best fit for your car. Otherwise, you may end up using low-grade coolant again.

car overheating coolant

Checking and Replacing Fuel Filters

Usually, it is suggested to replace fuel filters after every 20000 to 50000 miles of driving. However, sometimes you refill your fuel tank from a low-grade station. It may cause clogging of the fuel filters. And you know how a clogged filter can make your car stop while driving. Therefore, check it and get it replaced immediately if needed.

Check For Ignition Switches and Spark Plugs

Ignition switches and spark plugs play the main role when it comes to starting the ignition process in the car’s engine and enabling it for driving. Therefore, you must check both these things to find if any damage to them is leading your car to stop when slowing down.

Sometimes only cleaning them properly can do the trick. You just have to remove the dust deposited on them to make them functional. If you observe a part of the ignition switches or spark plugs is broken, then you have to opt for the replacement.

Overall Maintenance

Regular maintenance is essential to keep the car in good working condition and ensure it runs smoothly. Opt for car services from a good mechanic to avoid any problems. Overall maintenance keeps every part of your car’s engine clean, never letting it die when you are driving the vehicle.

Take it to a Mechanic

If you cannot understand what happened with your car, it’s best to take your vehicle to a mechanic. The mechanic can open and close your car’s engine, replace the defective part, and make your car run smoothly again.


Why Does My Vehicle Turn Off When I Stop?

The most common reason behind this is the defective alternator. It fails to keep the engine running when you stop the car.

What Causes a Car To Stall While Driving?

Low-grade coolant, faulty fuel filters, and low fuel level in the tank are the key reasons why your car stalls during driving.

How To Fix a Car That Randomly Dies While Driving?

There are different ways to fix it. However, the best way is to visit mechanics because they know everything about the vehicle engine and how to fix troubles related to this.

Final Words

You can never ignore it if your car’s engine dies off during driving. Try to figure out the reason behind it and fix your vehicle. In case you don’t get a clue about why your car stopped while driving then take it to a mechanic, who knows how to settle this issue.

Last Updated on May 16, 2023 by admin

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