What to do when your car stalls?
November 22nd, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
Imagine you are cruising on the highway or driving down a neighborhood road when, out of the blue, your car stalls or completely shuts down. If this hasn’t already happened to you, it very well could.
A car stalling is a potentially stressful scenario. If you’re not prepared for it, it could result in a car crash. What’s one of the first things that usually occurs as a direct result of your car stalling? You will most likely experience a loss of power steering, making it hard to steer the car. Next you could lose your power brakes, increasing your vehicle’s stopping distance.
Here are some tips on what to do if your car stalls while driving, so you can manage the situation and navigate your way to safety.
What to do if your car stalls while driving
If it happens to you, follow these six steps:
Step #1: Keep calm
It’s normal to feel some anxiety, especially if this is the first time your car has stalled, but take a deep breath and don’t panic.
Step #2: Turn on your hazard lights
Turning on your hazard lights indicates to other drivers that you’re having car trouble. Find the button – designated by a red triangle – on your dashboard.
Step #3: Steer your car to safety
Obviously you don’t want to be stuck in the middle of traffic. If you’re able to, put your car into neutral and cautiously navigate your car to the side of the road, out of harm’s way.
Step #4: Try restarting the engine
If you have a manual transmission, shift into neutral first; if you have an automatic, shift into park. Turn the key to start the engine. It may require a few tries before it starts. Once it does, let the engine run for a while before you take off. If the car won’t start, call 911 if you’re in a vulnerable situation or a tow truck if you’re not.
Step #5: Shift into first gear and drive away.
Step #6: Diagnose the cause and have the problem fixed.
What’s the cause of a stalled car?
There are several possible explanations. Here are a few possibilities:
1. Bad battery
If you have a bad battery, your alternator will work overtime to pull electrical currents through the system. This puts stress on your engine and could cause it to stall. If a bad battery is the culprit, it doesn’t mean you necessarily have to replace it; first, try cleaning the battery terminal.
2. Low fuel pressure
If your car stalls when you’re driving up or down a hill but not on a flat road, then it could be a low fuel pressure problem.
3. Bad fuel pump
If you have a damaged fuel pump, it means fuel will have trouble getting to your engine, which could cause it to stall.
4. Bad distributor cap
The distributor cap transports voltage to the spark plugs. If your distributor cap is damaged, it could cause your cylinders to misfire, which in turn could cause your engine to stall.
What to do when you stall? To repeat: if your vehicle stalls or unexpectedly dies while you are driving, it could put you and any passengers at risk. The first order of business is to exercise utmost caution in steering your vehicle to safety to avoid a potential collision. But if your vehicle is damaged, don’t worry – it can be fixed. Bring it into your local Fix Auto USA location for collision repair you can trust. We are open for business and ready to serve you.
This blog post was contributed by Fix Auto San Mateo, a leading industry expert and collision repair shop serving San Mateo, Belmont, San Carlos, Burlingame, Millbrae, and surrounding communities.
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