A lot of drivers experience this common problem, especially those who use old cars. It is very important to get rid of this problem as soon as possible before it results in accidents or severe damage to you and your car.
Before we look for a solution it is very important to know the reasons for this common problem so that it will be easy to provide a common solution. If you are one of those drivers that want to know the major reasons why your car is dead while driving, then you need to read this informative article to the last word.
Why Do Cars Die While Driving?
There are several reasons why your car can die or lose power while driving.
The issue often gets worse if after the car died you tried to start up the engine and it cranks but won’t start or turn over.
I’ve heard from several studies that most of the solutions to dying cars can be fixed on the side of the road, but some problems are severe and you need to call a recovery truck or mechanic.
Reason Why A Car Can Die While Driving
1. Timing Belt Broken Or Slipped
One of the common reasons for a car to die while driving is a broken timing belt. In some cases, your car will be showing symptoms of a bad timing belt.
If the timing belt is faulty or failing, then you should expect the engine to not start, or if it does start it will run badly. Timing belts become badly worn and can stretch slightly and which affects the timing of the engine. Likewise, it can even cause the timing belt to slip.
A bad timing belt will result in low power output under heavy loads. It may lead to bad fuel economy and regular engine misfires which are the major causes of dead engines while driving.
If the timing belt breaks completely, then your car engine will stop running automatically and it will not restart.
2. Car Battery Failed Or Is Not Accepting Charge
Most of the latest vehicles are manufactured with electronic systems and gadgets that drain the power of your car battery. So during your car battery lifetime, it will charge and discharge a lot of times before it begins to fail.
One of the common early signs of a weak or failed car battery is when the car battery light comes on. You may see this on the dashboard for some weeks or months before it causes severe problems.
An average car battery functionality has a voltage of around 12.6V when charged, and 14 volts when the engine is running. If your car battery voltage is lower than 10 volts it may harm your car engine management system. This may cause several issues especially engine performance and the engine may cut out, especially when idling or at low speeds.
3. Fuel Is Not Getting To The Engine
Your fuel delivery system must be keeping up with the demand of your car engine under acceleration.
- Bad fuel injectors
- Fuel injectors need a constant supply of fuel to operate properly
There are some of the reasons why the fuel won’t be able to reach the engine.
One of the common reasons is that you have run out of fuel, over the years, it is the major reason why cars break down and is the easiest to fix.
If your fuel tank has enough fuel in it but it’s not reaching the engine, then it may be a blocked fuel filter, a blocked fuel line, or a faulty fuel pump.
Lack of engine power, engine misfires, and engine stalling are some of the symptoms of clogged fuel filters or fuel lines.
4. Failed Alternator And Is No Longer Charging The Battery
The alternator is designed to provide most of the electrical power needed by your vehicle immediately when you start the engine and begin driving, charging the battery. The first symptom of a failed alternator, before the engine starts working off, the ECU detects a problem with the amount of power coming from the alternator because the car battery lights illuminate on the dashboard.
The alternator provides 13 to 14.8 volts to the battery. Vehicle not starting, headlights dimming, engine dying, a charging system warning light on the dashboard and more are the symptoms of a faulty alternator.
As soon as you start your car engine it will deplete the charge in the battery by 3%. This leaves a lot of power to restart an engine if necessary or to supply extra power when needed.
5. Bad Engine Sensor
One of the major causes of the car dying while driving is a bad engine sensor because your car engine relies on several sensors that provide the engine management unit with information.
A bad engine sensor can cause a car to die when it is driving because sensors are more important when it comes to engine performance than others.
Several sensors like the mass air flow meter (MAF), the crankshaft and camshaft sensors, the manifold pressure sensor, and the fuel pressure sensor are very important to start and keep your car running.
You will begin to experience engine order performance whenever any of these sensors fail, the performance of the engine will be affected and may cause it to cut out or die.
6. Overheated Engine
Engine overheating is also one of the common reasons why your car can suddenly die in motion. Overheating usually occurs due to several reasons, but the major causes are a lack of engine coolant or a problem with the coolant being pumped around the engine.
Whenever your car engine is overheated then it is more likely to die while driving because of the lack of coolant flow which is usually caused by a broken water pump, a snapped timing belt, or low pressure in the coolant system.
You need to check out the major symptoms of a bad water pump which are engine overheating, coolant leakage, and steam coming from the engine bay. Once you discover any of these symptoms you need to consult your mechanic as soon as possible so that you will be able to avoid engine malfunction, especially in motion.
Coolant leaks can cause numerous problems with engine temperatures. It occurs from the radiator, coolant hoses, a cracked coolant reservoir, or even from the radiator cap. Bad radiator caps may cause problems even without symptoms.
Once your car dies while driving and refuses to start again, it is advisable to put any of the above 6 causes into consideration and seek to fix it. However, you can call the attention of a mechanic for a more professional service.