If you've ever wondered why did my car shut off while driving and won't start, here are all the potential reasons:
- Bad fuel pump
- Dead battery
- Bad battery cables
- Faulty wiring harness
- A bad camshaft position sensor
- Faulty alternator
- Empty fuel tank
Car problems are not very simple, and it can be challenging for many inexperienced drivers to deal with these problems. Things get extremely complicated when the problems happen while driving or in the middle of the highway.
One of the common questions we received on our blog is, why did my car shut off while driving and won't start? This situation is extremely stressful and could lead to further negative consequences if the driver doesn't know what to do immediately.
The most important thing to understand is what caused the problem at the beginning, and this way, you can resolve it so it doesn't happen again. It is also important for every driver to understand the best course of action in this situation and what needs to be done, so you get out of it safely without any problems.
This article provides you with all you need to know about the potential causes behind vehicles shutting off while driving and not starting. Read on for more details!
Why did my car shut off while driving and won't start?
Car starting and shutting off problems can be complicated to determine exactly what is happening. However, understanding when this problem happens is extremely helpful to your mechanic to detect the issue.
That's why if you deal with your vehicle shutting off while driving and not starting again, then you'll most likely dealing with one of the following issues,
1. Bad fuel pump
A bad fuel pump is a typical reason behind a car shutting off while driving and won't start. As the name suggests, the fuel pump is responsible for pumping the required fuel to the cylinders, so your engine generates the required energy.
When the fuel pump doesn't work properly, it's not surprising to deal with your car shutting off while driving and not starting again. Your engine is not receiving any fuel, and your vehicle is acting like it doesn't have any gas. When your car doesn't have any gas, what happens? Does it run? Of course not!
That's why you need to have your mechanic perform a thorough inspection to confirm the real culprit. If it's the fuel pump, then, unfortunately, the only option is to replace it because there is no workaround to get your vehicle going again.
2. Dead battery
Sometimes a simple problem like I did battery could cause your vehicle to shut off suddenly and not start again. But, on the other hand, it could be something else that caused your car to shut off thoughts as you try to start it again, the battery did not work properly, and that's why you couldn't get your vehicle going.
The battery is expected to last between three and five years. As you're getting close to this timeline, it's not surprising to deal with starting problems; when these happen, we do not pick a time, and they're most likely to happen in inconvenient situations.
Therefore, you must follow up with your vehicle's owner’s manual and understand exactly what to check on your battery and how often you should replace it. The good thing is that replacing the battery is not super complicated and doesn't cost much unless you decide to go to a dealership where labor costs are the dominant component of getting the final bill.
3. Bad battery cables
Sometimes it's not the battery causing the issue; it could be the battery cables. This is because the battery cables and terminals need to be connected securely. They don't have anything to block the electric crank from running between the battery and the different electrical components.
Over time, the battery cables and the terminals might get corroded, which is why the electric current will not run freely from the battery to the other components. So you might wonder why my car shuts off while driving and won't start?!
Therefore, we highly encourage you to follow your vehicle's owner’s manual recommendations and determine how often you should check on the battery terminals and cables. Keep in mind that while you can clean up the corrosion around the battery terminals, you will not recommend doing so unless you confirm that the cables are in good condition. Broken cables could result in risky situations that expose you to electric shocks.
If you can find that the cables are not in good condition, the next step is to place them. However, you need first to try securing the cables and confirming that the battery is connected properly to the cables. After that, if you still have the same problem, then you might need to move forward with replacing the cables but do not spend too much money on something that's not necessary unless you confirm.
4. Faulty wiring harness
The whole starting process in your vehicle has to do with the electric system. There are tons of cables around the vehicle, and if there is any minor problem with one of them, you can easily deal with situations where you wonder, why did my car shut off while driving and won't start?
Therefore, if you confirm that you don't have a problem with the battery or the fuel pump, the next step is to check on the wire around your vehicle. Again, your mechanic should have the tools to help him determine exactly where the short is happening, and that's where he can decide what needs to be replaced or what needs to be done next.
5. The bad camshaft position sensor
The camshaft position sensor is an extremely important sensor responsible for communicating with your vehicle's computer and letting it know where the camshaft is located. This information is extremely important because it allows the computer to decide when to send the fuel and air. Therefore, lots will happen if the camshaft position sensor is not working properly.
One of the first things that could happen in situations where you might ask, why did my car shut off while driving and won't start?
Therefore, you must confirm with your mechanic about the issue with the camshaft position sensor. Remember that sometimes if this sensor is completely failing, you might notice a check engine light illuminating. When you see the check engine light, you must never ignore it because it is a way for your vehicle to communicate with you and bring your attention to internal problems.
Once you see the check engine light, you can easily rely on a simple tool like an OBD scanner. The scanner is responsible for communicating with that vehicle's computer and translating the issues into error codes. These error codes are something you can search online and determine what exactly triggered this error code to resolve the issue and at least narrow down the list of potential culprits.
6. Faulty alternator
You might need to check on the alternator if you're not having an issue with the battery, the camshaft position sensor, the fuel pump, or any other mentioned components.
The alternator is an essential component in any vehicle and is responsible for charging any electric component as your engine is running. In other words, the alternator works instead of the battery whenever your engine runs. Once you shut off your engine, the battery takes responsibility, and anything that's electric-based and running relies on the battery.
If there is a significant problem with the alternator where it didn't work properly, you can expect decisions where you might ask yourself, why did my car shut off while driving and won't start?
Unfortunately, replacing the alternator is not a simple job you can do on your own, and it might require a lot of money to be fixed. Therefore, if you confirm that it's the alternator causing your issue, you got to replace it with a new one because there is no workaround to get your vehicle going again.
7. You're running out of fuel
Believe it or not, many people were not paying attention to the fuel tank and just discovered that their vehicle didn't have a single gallon of fuel! That's why before you start worrying about major components, you must look at the fuel and see if you have enough fuel in the vehicle.
Sometimes even the fuel gauge might not be reading the right information, and a quick check would be to go to the gas station and try filling your fuel tank and notice what changes on the dashboard. If you see that nothing is changing, it could be the fuel gauge is not reading properly, and that's why you thought you had enough fuel, but it's not the case.
How much do I expect to pay for repairs when my car shuts off while driving and won't start?
If you run into this problem and feel that your vehicle stops working suddenly without any clear reason and it's not starting again, repair costs depend heavily on the root problem.
For example, if all that you're dealing with is no gas in the vehicle, then simply depending on the price of gas nowadays, you would expect the expected repair costs. However, if you're running completely out of fuel, it might involve some required costs associated with roadside assistance to get you some extra gas.
On the other hand, if your problem is a faulty fuel pump, we're talking about a different story. Fuel pump replacement cost ranges from $220 to $1060. This is a good amount of money you have to be careful about because it could mean a lot, especially if your vehicle is not super expensive.
That's why we highly encourage you to step back and determine whether it's worth installing a new one if you hump in your car or sign it instead. Of course, if you would like to do this evaluation and want us to know how much your vehicle is worth, you can always reach out to cash cars at 866-924-4608!
When your vehicle shuts off while driving and one start, it could be an extremely stressful situation, and that's why it's important to be proactive at the problem and learn about what caused it in the first place before getting involved in risky situations.
This article highlighted the most common reasons cars stop working without any clear reason, and it also helps you determine what needs to be done next.
As you notice, many of the problems might require extensive money to be fixed, so we highly encourage you to evaluate the situation carefully before spending a penny.
If you get to a point where repair costs are getting too much, it might be a perfect time now so your vehicle and buy a better one. If you want someone to buy your car considering dimension problems, we're more than happy to help you as Cash Cars Buyer!
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