Car Dies While Idling but Restarts Later: What Are the Reasons?

Like every other mechanical structure, an automobile is also supposed to have troubles due to issues with one or multiple components. One such particular problem is car dies while idling but restarts later. There could be numerous reasons for the engine to fail to maintain power at low speeds. You may need to seek professional help because it sometimes needs special expertise to troubleshoot this particular complication.

Car Dies While Idling but Restarts Later: The Reasons

It is quite irritating when your car shuts off while idling, especially when you are at the traffic signal. It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reason without the help of an expert mechanic. However, you can still look into some specific areas to spot the source of the trouble.

Fault in the Transmission

This particular problem is unique to automatic transmission vehicles. The manual transmissions have a manual clutch for transmitting power. An auto gearbox has a torque converter instead to do this task. If it is cracked or damaged, or the fluid level in the transmission becomes low, the vehicle will die at the time of idling. A broken torque converter solenoid can also be the culprit.

car shuts off while idling
Defective auto transmission can cause this problem.

Clogged Fuel Filter

If the car dies while idling but restarts later, drive the car up and down a steep road to see if the problem persists. If the car still stalls, it is certain that the source of the problem is a blocked fuel filter. You can easily replace it though and it is pretty cheap too.

Fuel Pump and Fuel Injectors

A broken fuel pump cannot properly transfer fuel from the oil tank to the engine, causing the fuel pressure to reduce. The inconsistent oil streaming to the engine does not cause any issue at high speeds but cannot keep it running at low speeds or while idling.

On the other hand, dirty fuel injectors either do erratic spray or no spray of oil at all, causing the stalling of vehicles while idling.

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Defective Mass Air Flow Sensor

The sensor provides the engine with the quality and quantity of the air that goes into the motor. Based on that information, the Engine Control Unit (ECU) decides the amount of oil to be sent to the engine. The air flow sensor will give incorrect readings if it is defective or dirty, causing the car shutting off problem when idling.

Malfunctioning Idle Air Control Actuator

car dies while idling but restarts
Issue with the actuator will result in car stalling at idling.

This component controls the RPMs when the engine is idling. The electronic control unit sends information to the actuator so that it can keep the engine functioning by maintaining the right RPM. If it’s faulty, it does not send any information to the engine, causing it to stall at idling.

Issues with the Wiring Harness

A car dies while idling but restarts later due to misfiring ignition too. If the wires in the wiring harness are corroded or loose, the car will lose voltage because of the unstable connection to the ignition circuit. As a result, the engine won’t have adequate power to stay functioning when the speed slows down.