Why Does My Car Stall While I’m Driving?

Wasting Gas in an Idle Car


6 Reasons Your Car Stalls

A car that stalls while you’re driving is a dangerous situation no matter where it happens. If you’re in traffic; even slow traffic, and your car stalls you might get rear-ended. If it stalls on the highway, you could be involved in a very serious accident. If your car stalls, check out the 6 most common reasons why, how to diagnose the problem and resolve it before you cause an accident.

Number 1 – Bad Battery

A bad battery is one of the most common reasons that cars stall. Most people think that if a battery is dead, the car won’t start. Truth is, if your battery is going bad,your car will run but you’re at risk of stalling out. When your battery is not putting out enough power, the alternator has to work harder to keep the engine running. When the alternator overworks, it stresses the car’s engine. It is the stress on your car’s engine that actually causes your car to stall out; so it’s a domino effect.

Car Batteries

Or, could also be that the terminals are corroded and need to be cleaned or replaced. The battery is what powers your car’s electrical system, so if it’s bad then the system won’t get enough voltage, or the battery may even short out and cause intermittent problems

Check the charge on your battery. It is easy with a digital voltmeter.

First, turn the car engine and headlights off. Next, pop the hood and connect the voltmeter to the terminals on the battery.

Connect the positive clamp on the voltmeter to the positive terminal on the battery. Then, connect the negative clamp to the negative terminal.

Car batteries hold 12.66 volts. Therefore, a reading of 12.66 volts on the voltmeter means that your battery if fully charged. If the voltmeter gives a reading lower than 12.45 volts, your battery needs to be recharged.

Problems with Car Alternator

Number 2 – Fuel Pump

Unfortunately, there is usually no warning when your fuel pump is dulling.  The first time you will notice any problem is after the car stalls.  When it stalls out due to a bad fuel pump, you will not be able to restart the car.

The fuel pump makes a slight buzzing noise when it is running. If you don’t hear any noise coming from the fuel tank when you try to start your car, it is likely that you have a bad fuel pump. Since you can’t start your car, your only option will be to have it towed to an auto repair shop.

Number 3 Gas With Too Much Moisture

When there is too much moisture in the gas, it doesn’t burn properly disrupting engine performance.  If your car was running fine until the last time you filled up your gas tank, the problem is most likely caused by too much moisture in the gas.

There are two ways two fix this issue. The first is to drain the gas tank. After the gas tank is drained, fill it back up with fresh gas.

filling gas tank

The second method is to take your chances with the bad gas. Drive your car until it has used up all the bad gas.

Then, fill your tank back up at a different gas station.

Number 4 – Electrical Wiring

If you’ve ruled out the reasons above, bad wiring could be to blame.

To find out if its bad wiring, check the idle speed control system. You want to ensure that the wires are connected properly. You also want to make sure that they are not starting to corrode. If you notice corrosion, it’s time to replace the wires.

Number 5 – Fuel Pressure Problems

If your car only stalls out while going up or down hills, low fuel pressure is the reason. Without enough fuel pressure, your car will not run reliably.

Synthetic OIl Change

Even if you have low fuel pressure, your car can run normally on level ground, but as soon as you head uphill, your car will probably stall without enough pressure.  Luckily, this  is one of the easiest problems to fix.

Try adding some fuel injector cleaner to your gas tank.

Number 6 – Distributor Cap Problems

The distributor cap plays a vital role in the health of your engine. A cap is used in an to cover a car’s distributor, and its internal rotor. The distributor cap delivers voltage to the spark plugs. If the wiring is bad or the rotors become clogged, it can throw the timing off.  The spark plug will misfire if the timing is wrong.

These misfires cause cars to stall. Take a look at your distributor cap.  Make sure that it is clean and showing no signs of corrosion.

Don’t worry if you’re uncertain about where the distributor cap is.  Our team is happy to check this, and all other auto parts for you as part of our inspection service so you can walk away with some peace of mind that your car isn’t going to stall again while driving.   To schedule an inspection, call 702-255-4090 or click the button to schedule conveniently online!


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