5 Causes of a Car Engine Stop while Driving


There is nothing worse than having your car engine stop while you’re driving. If this happens, you’ll want to pull off the road as quickly as possible before the wheels stop completely. Do not confuse this situation with one where you have low power in your vehicle. This is caused by your alternator or battery failing to deliver the proper amount of power needed. An engine that stops all of a sudden will cause you to lose control of your vehicle to some degree, especially if you’re driving fast.  You also won’t hear it running anymore. This can happen with old and new cars as well.

The Top 5 Causes

There are all sorts of reasons as to why a car engine would stop suddenly while you’re driving. To figure out what your specific cause was, below are 5 possible causes which you can examine and see if they match your vehicle’s current situation.

  1. Bad Catalytic Converter – The exhaust system of the vehicle depends on the catalytic converter to clear out the exhaust. But if the fuel has too many impurities in it, the converter won’t be able to handle it and it will eventually malfunction. Then, the tailpipe will get backed up with more exhaust, which overworks the engine and eventually causes it to malfunction as well.
  2. Low Transmission Fluid – If you don’t have the right amount of transmission fluid in your transmission, then it can cause your engine to stop at any time while you’re driving. The exact level of transmission fluid that you need in your vehicle will depend on its make and model. You can get this information from the owner’s manual of your vehicle. Then, simply add fresh new transmission fluid back into your transmission so it reaches the appropriate level. You may also want to check for leaky fluid as well.
  3. Engine Overheating – The most common reason for an engine to stop is that it is overheated. As the internal combustion chamber burns air and fuel to create heat energy, it then becomes mechanical energy which causes the vehicle’s parts and components to operate. It also allows the alternator to convert this energy into electrical energy for the electrical components of the vehicle. However, if there is not enough coolant in the engine to keep the temperatures within a normal range, then the piston will begin to melt. This will result in the engine shutting down suddenly.
  4. Unsecured Engine– This is a more uncommon cause of engine failure, but it can happen if the engine has been worked on and not secured properly back in place. You see, there are bolts in the engine which hold it together properly. If these bolts were to become too loose, the engine would first vibrate profusely and then stop working if it doesn’t get fixed too soon.
  5. Electrical Problems – If the computer system or ignition system of your vehicle has electrical problems, it will fail to send the proper electrical signal to the engine. This will cause the engine to ultimately stop. You may see the check engine warning light flash on your dashboard right before this happens. If you do, you should immediately get your vehicle to the auto shop before the vehicle stops while you’re driving. You never want to take risks when it comes to an engine warning light.

Read also: 5 Causes of a Car Battery Drain and Replacement Cost

Things to Remember

If you have any one of these problems listed above, it is important that you take care of them right away or else your engine could suffer permanent damage to its vital components. The repair costs of these causes are not as much as you’d think. But if the engine gets damaged, then it will cost a lot. Just remember that.


1 comment

  1. Oscar Amaya 10 August, 2019 at 03:55 Reply

    i used to hear a tip-tip-tip noise, i took it to a mechanic and said it was a pin making that noise. i drove the truck and as i am driving i heard this (cracking or a small explosion), after that my engine won”t start at all.
    it crancks and wants to start but, it dies. I am thinking is an inside problem.

    how can i diagnose if i have an inside engine problem?

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