Common reason a vehicle stops while driving

By Product Expert | Posted in Tips and Tricks on Thursday, December 28th, 2017 at 11:36 pm
man pushing his vehicle off the road

Cars are complex compilations of moving parts, which means that there are many ways for them to fail. One of the scariest things that can happen is for your car to simply stop running while you are on the road. Whether you are going 25 mph around a roundabout or flying at 85 mph down the highway, suddenly losing power in your vehicle can be terrifying. Here are a few reasons why your car could stop running while driving.

Read More: What can make your car shake? High- and low-speed suggestions here!

Reasons why your car could stop running while driving

Fuel Issues

Your car won’t run without fuel. While that’s easy to say, having no gas make it to the engine can literally cause your engine to stop. Sometimes this can happen because of a stuck fuel gauge (which doesn’t warn you that the car is running out of gas) or a broken fuel pump. In very cold weather, a frozen fuel line could also cause an issue.


Your battery starts your car, but is also helps run your vehicle’s electronics (windows, doors, spark plugs) when the engine is idling. The alternator generates power from the engine to run the electric parts of a car. If your alternator dies while driving, you may just stop and be stranded, but a bad battery can also give you problems at low speeds.

Spark Plugs

The spark plugs in a gasoline vehicle light your gas on fire to create the combustion that drives the engine. Anything that interferes with the spark plugs doing their job can bring your vehicle to a stop. This can result from problems with the plugs, a camshaft sensor, plug wire, caps, rotors, ECU, crankshaft or distributor.

Timing Belt Breakage

Another common reason your vehicle may stop while driving is an issue with your timing belt or timing chain. This can make is so your engine cylinders don’t have the right timing to run.

If you vehicle has suffered from one of these issues, you will likely need to bring it into the shop for repairs. If you are in the market for a new-to-you used vehicle with accessible financing in the Austin TX area, consider Third Coast Auto Group’s selection of used cars, trucks, and SUVs.

11 Responses to “Common reason a vehicle stops while driving”

  1. Raj Sharma says:

    Very nice tips.Its so dangerous and a big problem if the car stops in the middle of the road.Yes you are correct there could be many reasons for the cars to broken down in the middle of the road like as u said fuel,electricity etc. Thanks for sharing this valuable article.

  2. Janet Chua says:

    Thanks for sharing such an useful and nice article. There are many reasons why our car stops running while driving. Battery helps to keep the vehicle moving. The bad battery may also gives rise to problem at low speeds. The alternator generates power from the engine to run the electric parts of a car. If the alternator dies while driving, the vehicle may just stop. Another reason for which the vehicle stops while driving is breakage of timing belt or timing chain. If any of these problems arises in the vehicle, we must take it to a certified auto repair shop for repair. If you are looking for such a repair shop, you may contact:

  3. Ruben says:

    I replace. Battery starter and alternater.and stop doing it week later I jus dies

  4. Lisa R Ponder says:

    My 89 camaro started perfectly. Went about 1/2 miles and suddenly it cut off. Thought it was out of gas so put 10.00 gas in and still wouldn’t start. It would turn over like it wanted to start and almost did but cut right back off.I can hear the fuel pump start so don’t think that’s what it is. I’m afraid it could possibly be the timing chain…any input would be appreciated..thx Lisa

  5. tonny says:

    ma car accelerates higher than 2 what might be the cause

  6. Marquet says:

    I have a bran new battery and alternator and my fuel pump kicks on and my car won’t start after it shut down on me while driving. What could be the problem?

  7. Mina says:

    This is VERY strange to me. my 2016 Versa…just stopped while driving. I tried to turn it back on many times and it would not stay on. We were able to PULL IT home. what could be wrong on this almost 3 year old car?

  8. Sandra says:

    I have a car that recently died on me while my son was driving. It appears to have been a idle sensor which got it back started, now it will start up fine but it will not stay on for a long time. It still cut cuts off after a little while. I was told that it could be my cam sensor or crank sensor. Oh and the speed drops before it cut off. Any word on what the problem could be?

  9. Semiu says:

    When driving my toyota Camry car, the engine shut off ,at times its takes time to start and sometimes it start immediately. I have replaced fuel pump, clean the injection with injection cleaner, by mixing it with fuel, the defect not still solved

  10. Connie Hicks says:

    Car dies while driving- is a condition that happens to best of us. However, the reason behind the death will vary. It happens when the fuel tank becomes empty. When there is something wrong with the alternator, it can cause your vehicle to die. The presence of a defective ignition switch can also cause the same. Sometimes, a malfunctioning sensor sends incorrect information and makes the riding uncomfortable. As there are various factors that could cause your speed machine to die while driving, that’s why it is extremely important to be aware of your vehicle’s maintenance health. Regardless of the cause, your vehicle needs to get checked at a quality car repair shop in order to stay in a matchless order.

  11. Jenna Hunter says:

    My brother is having a lot of trouble with his car and how it won’t start while he is in the neighborhood. It would be really helpful for him to get a professional to look at his car to make sure that it works properly. I’ll be sure to tell him that he should check the spark plugs because they are what start the fire in the engine.