How to fix a car engine shutting off when idle?

This blog post will answer the question, ‘How to fix a car engine shutting off when idle?’, and cover topics like reasons behind a car engine turning off while idling, and how to solve the problem of a car engine turning off while idling.

How to fix a car engine shutting off when idle?

These are the following ways to fix a car engine shutting off while idling:

  • Tightening all cables
  • Replacement of the fuel pump
  • Replacement of the alternator
  • Inspection of the ECU
  • Fuel related fixes

Reasons behind a car engine turning off while idling

These are the following reasons behind a car engine turning off while idling.

Insufficient fuel

The most common or obvious cause behind a car engine turning off while idling is insufficient fuel. This can happen if the driver does not notice the fuel gauge or is too casual about the fuel gauge limit.

This problem can also occur due to a faulty fuel gauge, where the gauge does not display any signs of the fuel tank getting empty as it is either stuck or broken.

A faulty or dead car battery

Another crucial factor that can cause a car engine to turn off while idling is the presence of a faulty or a dead car battery. A battery that is unable to charge can lead to stopping a car while idling.

This can also take place due to short circuits that can happen while idling. The car generally uses the battery when the alternator is dead or faulty. It should be noted that the car battery will eventually collapse in case the alternator is broken or faulty.

Faulty alternator

An alternator is a crucial part of every car as it helps run all the components in a smooth manner. It is responsible for charging the battery and providing power to all the car components.

In case of a faulty alternator, it must be replaced immediately as the car cannot move for long with only the battery providing the power.

Defective fuel pump

The fuel pump of a car ensures the car receives a steady supply of oil to both participate in combustion and lubricate the various engine components. 

A defective fuel pump will not be able to send any fuel to the engine for combustion to take place and will result in the car engine shutting off while idling.

Faulty electrical cables

Electric cables are vital for generating optimum power. In case of a faulty alternator or defective spark plugs, the electrical connections must also be checked as they can either be defective or loose.

If the electrical cables are either loose or defective, they will generate inadequate power and can lead to the car engine turning off all of a sudden while idling.

Issues with the ignition system

Ignition system problems cause difficulties in starting the car up and might also result in poor combustion rates during idling, causing the car engine to turn off.

The issues related to the ignition system mainly pertain to a defective ignition relay or an old and rusty ignition switch.

A faulty engine control unit(ECU)

The engine control unit or the ECU governs the working of a number of internal engine components and makes sure all of them run optimally. In case of a problem with any of these components, it makes sure to inform the driver via the check engine light. 

In the case of a faulty engine control unit, the car will automatically lose power as none of the functions will work optimally. This is mainly caused due to an inadequate supply of power or a reduced fuel efficiency.

How to solve the problem of a car engine turning off while idling?

These are the following methods to fix a car engine turning off while idling.

Tightening all cables

Loose or defective cables can result in the generation of inadequate power and cause the car engine to shut off all of a sudden while idling. The cables protruding out of the fuse box and the battery are the ones that need to be tightened or repaired.

Fuel pump replacement

A faulty fuel pump can result in little to no supply of fuel to the engine for taking part in the combustion process and can cause the engine to shut off all of a sudden. In these cases, a fuel pump replacement is an ideal solution to the problem.

Alternator replacement

The alternator is an essential component for the entire vehicle as it helps to charge the battery and in turn, make sure the other components inside the car are running smoothly. 

The alternator if faulty, can bring the car to a sudden stop as it ceases to provide power to the battery and the battery cannot generate enough power for the entire vehicle thus bringing it to a sudden stop.

Inspection of the ECU

The engine control unit or the ECU governs the working of many internal engine components and receives signals from different sensors to ensure all the components are working optimally.

In the case of the ECU becoming faulty, the car can suddenly come to a stop. The ECU should only be repaired by a trained professional and is usually diagnosed by using an OBD scanner.

Fuel related fixes

The car can be taken in for a refueling session and the fuel gauge can also be checked to look for a defective or stuck gauge. These processes need to be carried out immediately as they are crucial for a vehicle to stay in motion.

Research has shown the ways to diagnose a car engine that turns off while idling.

Other articles about Mercedes Benz you may be interested in

What causes a car engine to misfire?

How to avoid a blown car engine?

What temperature should a car engine run at?

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question, ‘How to fix a car engine shutting off when idle?’

We understood the various reasons behind a car engine turning off while idling and also understood the ways to solve the problem of a car engine turning off while idling. Please feel free to comment on the content or ask any questions in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to fix a car engine shutting off when idle?

Can my car just shut off while idling?

The car has every chance of shutting off while idling, and this can be caused by a defective engine control unit(ECU). This usually happens when there is a clogged air filter, inadequate fuel supply, or defective spark plugs.

Why would a car shut off while idling?

The reasons behind a car engine shutting off while idling can be due to the supply of inadequate fuel or air.

How do I know if I have a bad alternator?

The various ways to identify a defective alternator are as follows:

  • Fluctuating lights
  • Faulty or dead battery
  • Whining noises from the engine
  • Warning light for battery
  • Difficulty starting the car

References

https://www.electronicshub.org/car-shuts-off-while-idling/
https://carfromjapan.com/article/car-maintenance/car-shut-off-while-idling/

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