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Why Does My Car Keep Stalling?

A stalled vehicle is a hassle, especially if you're in traffic or far from home. When your car starts to stall on a regular basis, it's time to take action — the problem is unlikely to resolve itself. Whether your engine shuts down on startup or on the road, these are some of the most common causes.


Empty Gas Tank

When your car dies in the middle of a drive, check the gas gauge — an empty fuel tank is one of the most common reasons that vehicles stall. If you start running out of gas on a regular basis, you might have a problem with the gauge or the sender, the device that determines how much fuel is left in the tank.


Failing Alternator

The alternator in your vehicle powers the electric systems and charges the battery as you drive. When it starts to fail, it isn't able to replenish power levels in the battery. When the battery loses its charge, the car stalls. In some cases, a bad alternator can prevent electricity from reaching the spark plugs, leading to misfires and stalls.


Clogged Filters

If you're stalling regularly, check the air and fuel filters. A clogged air filter prevents the engine from receiving adequate oxygen. This throws off the air-fuel mix, affects the combustion process, and leads to sputtering or stalling. A clogged fuel filter reduces fuel pressure, producing a similar effect.


Failing Fuel Pump

The fuel pump pulls gas from the tank and pushes it into your engine. When it goes bad, the pump struggles to send adequate fuel. The engine can't run properly without adequate fuel, so it may sputter or stall. This is most common when you're accelerating or driving at high speeds, but it can happen at any time. An overheating fuel pump can also cause the engine to shut down. If your fuel pump dies, your vehicle will stall and refuse to start again.


A stalling engine is an immediate red flag — it lets you know that something is amiss. By finding the source, you can resolve the problem and avoid getting stranded. If you need vehicle repair, we invite you to bring your vehicle into East Coast Diesel today!