Top 5 Reasons Car Engine Stops Suddenly

It’s not like the typical movie scene, where only the old cars give up in the middle of nowhere. Relatively newer cars can also fall prey to this problem. Why? Because there are certain serious reasons why a car engine stops suddenly.

It is a known fact that the less you care for your car, the more troubles it is going to create for you. One of the major dreaded car troubles is the sudden stopping of the engine, and it can make the car stops while driving

Top 5 Reasons Car Engine Stops Suddenly

Before you head to find out the reasons why a car engine stops suddenly, you must realize that this sudden stopping of the engine can be highly dangerous. 

If your car engine cuts out abruptly, you are likely to lose control. Not only can it be dangerous but also fatal if you are driving at a very high speed.

1. Overheated Engine

This is one of the most common reasons why a car suddenly stops. As the fuel burns, the chemical energy is changed into heat energy. 

The engine further changes it into mechanical energy that moves the car parts. In cases when this heat in the engine bay goes beyond the normal range, it starts melting the piston. As it sounds, it is not a good sign.

reasons car engine stops suddenly
Overheated engines are one of the most common reasons why a car suddenly stops. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Eventually, if the temperature keeps rising, it is bound to stop the engine. There are several reasons that contribute to engine overheating.

2. Choked Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter is a vital part of the exhaust system. It plays a major role in keeping the exhaust clear. 

If there are more impurities in the fuel than the converter can handle, it gets choked and stops working, so ‘car suddenly stops‘ situation appears.

The result is that the exhaust backs up in the pipe and the engine has to work harder. Ultimately, the engine gets overworked, resulting in stalling. 

This kind of stalling is usually preceded by vibration and rattling in the engine.

3. Inadequate Transmission Fluid

An inadequate level of transmission fluid can also be one of the reasons a car engine stops suddenly. This level differs from make to make and model to model. 

So, refer to your car’s owner’s manual. Follow the maintenance notices according to the manual to keep the fluid level right.

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4. Electrical Issues in Ignition/Computer

reasons car engine stops
Know some reasons why a car engine stops suddenly to avoid being in bad situations. (Photo: Gudella)

There could also be electrical issues with the ignition or the computer. Signals could be getting crossed, causing the engine to shut down. 

In such cases, you are likely to see the “check engine” light. If you continue driving despite the light, it will create chances for car suddenly stops. 

This could be more so with the case of sophisticated modern cars and hybrid cars.

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5. Loose Engine Bolts

Though it doesn’t happen that often, it does happen sometimes. Improper maintenance of the engine can lead to many problems. 

If the bolts of the engine are loosely screwed, the engine will start vibrating and ultimately start malfunctioning. 

The wear and tear that the engine goes through while driving, can cause the loose screws to ultimately come off. The engine is sure to self-destruct and stop in that case.

What To Do When The Car Engine Stops Suddenly?

The security of other motorists and yourself should be your main priority. Here are some quick solution for things to do if your automobile dies suddenly:

  • Bring the car over to the curb. Try to remain calm. It is still possible to pull over and slow/stop the car despite the loss of power steering and brakes. 
  • Restart the car if you can. If you can restart it, that’s excellent, but the first problem is still a blatant sign that you should see a repair shop to have the issue assessed. 
  • Your emergency flashers should be on. Put your flashers on to signal other cars that you need some space if the car won’t start.
  • Invoke assistance. Request a tow for your vehicle to a repair facility. You need to resolve this issue right away.

FAQs on Car Engine Stops Suddenly

  1. Is my car’s sudden stopping due to my alternator?

Your alternator can be to blame if your car suddenly stops while you’re traveling. The car’s electrical system depends on the alternator for power. 

Therefore if it isn’t functioning correctly, the electrical system can’t either. This may result in a variety of issues, including abrupt pauses.

Check out this video from Scotty Kilmer for a more detail guide on how to fix a car that randomly stops!

  1. Why won’t my car start after a sudden stop?

There might be a problem with the starting motor, for example. The engine may be unable to start if the starter motor is malfunctioning.

The battery might also be underperforming or dead. The automobile won’t start if the battery isn’t strong enough to kickstart the engine.

The gasoline system might be having a difficulty. The engine won’t start if the fuel system isn’t supplying it with adequate fuel. It is recommended to bring it to a mechanic to have the issue identified and fixed.

  1. Can your automobile suddenly stop working because of a low battery?

No. A running automobile or engine won’t be stopped by a depleted battery. due to the fact that a running car’s alternator produces the necessary power and supplies it to the vehicle.

On the other hand, starting your automobile could be difficult if your battery is low.


The key to avoiding car engine stops suddenly problem is to be regular in service and to maintain your car as it should be. It is also important that you drive your car in a good manner!

If you feel satisfied with the kind of maintenance tips that we brought, take a deeper look at our website and follow us for more daily updated articles.