If you are a car owner or driver, you should already know how annoying it feels when a car doesn’t turn on, and the worst is when your car dies on a busy street or a highway.
This can happen to anyone anytime and occurs for many reasons ranging from simple to complex. This article will tell you what to do when your car stops running while driving and won't start, possible causes, and solution.
You will also be able to identify the problems before going to a professional.
What Would Cause a Car to Stop Running And Not Start
These are significant reasons for a car to die while running and not start.
Running Out of Fuel
Running out of fuel is not that uncommon, and you might think of this as something funny or naïve, but it happens to many people. Failing or forgetting to refuel your vehicle will cause your car to stop suddenly on the road.
This can happen due to negligence or a faulty fuel gauge which shows false readings such as the meter shows you have a half tank, but in reality, it's empty.
Bad Fuel Pump
The fuel pump not working correctly will also stall your car. An engine needs fuel for combustion to provide energy to run the vehicle, and it's the job of the fuel pump to propel the fuel from tank to engine at a uniform rate. If the flow rate is unstable, the car will stop running.
Another thing to look for is the fuel filter (it filters the fuel before it moves to the engine), as sometimes the filter might be blocked with some impurities stopping the flow of fuel.
Faulty Ignition Switch
The ignition switch is the starting key that allows the current from the battery to reach the starter. If the ignition switch has some problem, your car won't start because internal contacts are worn. This happens mostly in old cars.
Low Charge Alternator/ Faulty Battery
When the dashboard battery signal lightens up while driving, it indicates that your car will stop in a few minutes, it happens because there is no electricity for the engine either due to a faulty alternator or battery.
What to Do If Your Vehicle Dies While Driving
- The first thing to consider is safety (yours and others). Move the vehicle to the very right side of the road and turn the hazard signals on. Steering will be challenging, and make use of handbrake but stay calm.
- If the dashboard warning light is on, the problem will be with the alternator or battery. Check the terminals, connector, and driving belt if everything is fine.
- Check the fuel filter or fuel pump if the car stops when driving but starts again.
- If the car stops and starts when it cools down, the problem might be with EMS (engine management system). Check the position sensors like the crank position sensor. If it’s faulty, it will give the wrong position for the crankshaft, thus stopping the car.