The unfortunate ones who had their car break down in the middle of the road can tell how your car stalling can be not just dangerous, but embarrassing as well. Find out how and why your car can break down and what you can do to fix it.
Today, we have this huge number of cars in the market coming from all sorts of brands. With each brand comes each unique design and consequently a new thing to worry about. There are many reasons to a car stalling. The best solution to prevent this from happening would be to service your vehicle regularly. It would also be a wise move to carry a good tool kit and a jack with you in the car. After that, it’s just a matter of knowing what to do when your car stalls and how to fix the problem. A good thing to remember is that if you’re trying to fix a car that stalled on the road, the car will be hot, which means you should wear gloves when you try to check the underside of the car.
Reasons and Fixes for a Car Stalling
Here are some minor as well as uncommon problems that might happen when you start your car or when you’re driving. You can also refer to ‘diagnosing car trouble’ to find out what’s wrong with your car.
No Gas in the Engine
The most common reason for your car to stall in the middle of the road is because there is no gas in the engine. This happens due to a lot of reasons, including the following.
➦ A clogged exhaust: This happens over time or if some larger foreign object gets stuck in the exhaust pipe.
➦ Fuel injector failure: Unburned fuel additives may harden up inside the fuel line over time or foreign particles may clog the fuel line.
➦ A leak in the fuel line: Overheating of the fuel pipe or corrosion over time can cause cracks in the pipe, leaking out fuel or air.
➦ Old or bad gas: If your car has been sitting unused for quite some time, the fuel in it has gone bad. This includes the fuel in the fuel pipe as well as the carburetor. The problem with this is the unwanted residue that may get left behind when the bad fuel is used.
No Electricity to Ignite Gas
Another common reason for your car stalling is because there simply isn’t enough electric charge to burn fuel in the engine.
➦ Broken electrical connectors: This happens if the connectors shook loose during use. The other reason is bad installation or handling.
➦ Corroded electrical connectors: This causes a weak firing or no firing of the injector, stalling the car.
Driving on Slopes
If driving up and down a hill or steep slope is a part of your daily commute, chances are your fuel filter may get clogged. It’s a simple matter of changing the filter at a mechanic that only takes about 15 minutes.
Idling at Zero Speed
There could be problems with the idle air control valve. You need to show this to a mechanic immediately as this could also harm your car. You will probably have to replace this part, which is usually priced under $80.
Another reason could be the throttle body getting dirty inside. When the car is cold, take the clamps off the rubber hose connected to the throttle, spray it with some carburetor cleaner and scrub it off with a toothbrush. The problem could also be with the fuel injector. Just add some fuel injector cleaner or carburetor cleaner to the engine. That should clean the dirt off.
Starting With the AC On
If the car stalls immediately when you start with the AC on, your battery is probably weak and needs charging. If the car stalls on low speed with your AC on, there is a problem with your idling control. This happens if the idle air controller has gone bad. If your car doesn’t start after it stalls like this, you will need a jump from someone else.
When Driving a Stick Shift
In case you’re driving stick (manual gear control), the car can stall if you’re not changing your gears right. The car will stall if the engine output does not match the required output, which happens if you put the car in the wrong gear.
The “Check Engine” Sign
All new cars have this now. For whatever reason this light starts blinking on the dashboard, you need to get your vehicle checked.
Bad Places for Your Car to Stall
There are places where a stalling car is just bad luck. Here’s what you do when your car gets stalled in either of these places. No matter what the solution, it will require you to stay calm at all times.
If your car stalls in the middle of a busy highway, switch to neutral for better control. Immediately turn on your flashers to warn the drivers behind you that there’s something wrong with your car. Apply the brakes as slowly as you can, while you start to turn to the side of the road. Approach the sidewalk at an acute angle and as you are close to it, turn your tires towards the sidewalk so that they don’t slip when you try to climb the sidewalk. When you are successfully on the sidewalk, assess the damage and get help if necessary.
In High Waters
If your car stalls in high waters, chances are there is water on the ignition components, preventing them from creating a spark. If you think this is a problem, don’t keep on turning the ignition, you might blow the spark plug. If that happens, the only way out is to replace the spark plug once the water level recedes. If you happen to possess an older car that has stalled in the water, it might be because some water has entered the engine. You will have to get the car towed to a mechanic to remove the water and get the fuel replaced.
On the Train Tracks
This is probably the worst place for your car to stall, but this can happen because you always need to stop or slow down at the crossing. If you have plenty of time before the train reaches the crossing, you can either call 911 and ask them to contact the train station. There will also be a silver box at the crossing with a 1-800 toll-free number. Call that number and have the train dispatcher alert the train to stop.
If you can see the train coming towards you, you have no choice but to abandon your car. Your life is worth a lot more than the car, just evacuate it immediately. There is no train that can stop fast enough to avoid the accident. Also, when you get out of the car, always run towards the train at an angle. Very scary, but this ensures you don’t get hit by the debris that will fly from the car when the train hits it.
No matter when or how your car stalls, the best way to prevent the problem is to get your car serviced as regularly as possible. There will, of course be other unforeseen problems that might happen at any time or at any place. Stay prepared for it and it will be just fine.