Car Shut Off While Driving – Causes & How to Fix?

There are so many things which can make a vehicle stop while driving.

A car engine is composed of so many parts and some of these parts are controlled by a computer or provide information to the computer in order to help determine the configuration of the things that govern.

Each car has a fuel system and ignition system. Sensors and the computer monitor regulate ignition and fuel systems.

If you will face your vehicle stopped while it is running, you should make sure for a particular reason first. 

It is very annoying when your car shut off while driving. There may be simple reasons, such as car battery died while driving and many others.

Here, we have summarized the causes and the solutions for this in the following section.

The following causes are most common:

1. Car Battery Dead

Car battery died while driving is one of the most common causes of your car shut off while driving.

A bad battery or died battery will definitely stop your running car. In the old days, you could remove the battery from the running vehicle, and still, your car would run but today if you will do so, you may probably damage your car.

So, jump start your car is the only option to bring your stopped car back on running.

How to Fix?

  • If you are carrying car battery charger, then you can use it to charge your battery again.
  •  Otherwise, you will have to start your car by using Jump Start.

2. Faulty Spark plugs

Your car shut off while driving possible if your car’s spark plugs have some faults, they are a common cause of the fault, because after some time they do not work properly.

If the spark plugs are defective, your car can go out while you are driving, but you often recognize the fault at the start.

How to Fix?

  • Scan your vehicle for codes.
  • Do clean surface area and surrounding area of the plug.
  • Remove it.
  • Examine threads in engine head.
  • Carry out compression test if it is required.
  • Examine ignition wires.
  • Do apply anti-seize on the threads of the plug.
  • Mount a new spark plug.
  • If it is needed, replace the gaskets which are removed

3. Defective Fuel Pump

If the fuel pump is defective, the engine is no longer supplied with fuel and then goes out. Many times, the defect of the petrol pump can only be found in a workshop.

How to Fix? 

  • Relieve the fuel system pressure.
  • Access the fuel tank.
  • Then remove the old pump and do install it with the new pump.
  • Repressurize the fuel system (Ensure this must be done before you start cranking your car).

4. Broken Starter

A broken starter not only manifests itself at a failed engine start, also for the car died while driving the starter can be responsible.

Frequently, however, start-up problems have already occurred, for example, the engine went out a few kilometers after the start of the journey.

How to Fix?

  • Disconnect negative cables from the battery.
  • Remove starter connecting bolts.
  • Remove the wires from solenoid or starter.
  • Do install the new starter with the original bolts.
  • Attach again the wires with starter solenoid.
  • Connect a negative battery cable and run test starter by turning ignition quickly and release it.

5. Failure of Electrical Powers or Cables

When the car loses electrical power while driving or even defective or loose cables can cause problems during the journey.

For example, a cable can slip out of the contacts when you drive through a shed. The problem is quickly resolved if you find the right cable and get it repaired at the earliest.

How to Fix?

  • If the cables have been loosen, locate the exact cable and tighten it.
  • If it has been broken totally then replacing it with the new one is the only solution.

6. Missing Engine Oil

Besides missing fuel, missing engine oil is one of the main reasons for lying down while driving.

Always check the oil level of your vehicle, too much oil can damage the engine. Most cars point to missing oil, but then it is often too late.

To ensure that you do not get into the situation, you should check the oil level monthly, depending on the distance traveled.

How to Fix?

  • Park your vehicle on the flat ground.
  • Find out the dipstick and clean it with clean cloth.
  • Insert it in the engine oil tank and check level.
  • Fill up the oil up to its proper level according to the guidelines given as per the manual (It is important because it varies from car model to model)


Since the operation of a vehicle is quite complex, there are certain causes that make your car shut off while driving.

In the above section, we have mentioned the most common things that can cause a vehicle to stop and also guided how to fix it.

If you can locate the exact problem and once you fix it, your car will be back on run for sure.

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