Car Starts Then Dies Immediately? This is How to Fix it

There is nothing more annoying than a car which starts and then stops completely every single time it attempts to start.

If you're like me, not a lot! It is not a rare problem. There are easy solutions.

We will be discussing the top 10 reasons your car dies instantly after it starts. So let’s begin with a quick look at the most common reasons why this problem would occur.

Índice de Contenido
  1. There are 10 Reasons Why Your Car Does Not Start or Stop Immediately.
    1. 1. Insufficient fuel
    2. 2. Anti-Theft Alarm System
    3. 3. Filter for dirty fuel
    4. 4. Bad Idle Control Valve
    5. 5. Vacuum Leak
    6. 6. Futility in Spark Plugs
    7. 7. Fuel Injector
    8. 8. Ignition Switch Faulty
    9. 9. EGR Valve Failure
    10. 10. Engine Control Unit (ECU).
  2. FAQs
    1. How do you handle a car that suddenly stops working?
    2. Can you unclog a fuel filter?
    3. Stalling can be caused by faulty batteries
    4. What are the sensors that can cause stalling

There are 10 Reasons Why Your Car Does Not Start or Stop Immediately.

A lack of fuel injection into an engine is the most frequent reason why a car dies instantly. You may also experience the problem with your car's immobilizer, which might not recognize your key. Most often, the lack of fuel is caused by either a blocked fuel filter or a poor fuel pump.

But these are not the only causes. There are many others. This is a list that explains why cars start and then stop working.

1. Insufficient fuel

Fuel Injector Spray

A lack of fuel can cause your car to start but then stop working. It is common for the fuel rail to contain a little fuel, which aids in starting the engine, but not enough fuel pressure.

However, it is very easy to identify a lack of fuel. You can either connect a fuel gauge to the fuel rail, or you may lose one. Make sure you turn the engine on and check for fuel pressure. You must be careful not to set fire to anything.

You can read our article on Low fuel pressure if your vehicle has low fuel pressure.

2. Anti-Theft Alarm System

Unlock Car

Second most frequent is any issue with anti-theft alarm or immobilizer. If the anti-theft device is turned on, it will cause the vehicle to not transmit any power to its fuel pump. The fuel pump builds up fuel pressure and then the engine stops. The car will start after a short time, just like we discussed before.

You should see a symbol that indicates the origin of the anti-theft system on the dashboard. It should be turned off within a few seconds. If it is not – try to lock and unlock your car and try again. If it’s still lightened up, there might be a problem with your car key.

An aftermarket anti-theft system could have a problem or the remote might be defective.

3. Filter for dirty fuel

Fuel Filter

The problem may be fuel-related if the vehicle stops turning the ignition after it has been started. Low fuel pressure can be caused by a fuel filter.

Fuel filters should be replaced on an annual basis. This schedule will vary depending upon your car's model. If you haven’t replaced it for a long time, it might actually be clogged.

Most fuel filters can be replaced quickly and are usually not too expensive. Low fuel pressure can cause low fuel pressure. It's worth looking into replacing it.

4. Bad Idle Control Valve

Idle Control Valve

The idle control valve‘s function is to keep the idle steady of your car. Newer cars control the idle with the throttle body, but if you have an older car with a steel wire to the throttle body – you have an idle control valve.

This can cause an idle to stop working properly. To see if the idle control valve works better, you can clean it. If it doesn't, it is time to either replace or fix the wiring.

5. Vacuum Leak

Car Vacuum Hoses

The idle control valve, also known as the throttle body, regulates airflow through the intake manifold to maintain a steady idle. If you have a major vacuum leak, this can actually cause the car’s air-fuel mixture to become too lean and dies after a couple of seconds every time you try to start your car.

Vacuum leaks can often be found using an EVAP smoking machine, or simply by listening to the sound.

6. Futility in Spark Plugs

Wet Spark Plug

A combustion engine ignites an air-fuel mixture. Spark plugs are what ignite the ignition. These pistons are able to move in a clockwise direction, which causes movement of the crankshaft as well as the axles.

A faulty spark plug can cause an ignition failure, which will result in the car not moving. It can lead to the engine not starting for a few seconds but not firing with enough spark.

7. Fuel Injector

Fuel Injectors E1609793590952

With the aid of fuel injectors, the fuel is injected under pressure into the combustion chamber. The fuel injectors’ job is to regulate, so the exact needed amount of fuel will enter the combustion chamber.

A failed fuel injector can lead to the engine running on less cylinders, and it could also result in low fuel pressure if the one that is open is closed fails.

Feel the fuel injectors by pressing down on them. Then crank up and turn it to check if they click. One of the fuel injectors might not be clicking if they don't make a clicking sound.

8. Ignition Switch Faulty

Ignition Switch Wiring

You may be able to start your car normaly if the ignition switch is not damaged. However, after only a few seconds the car will stop completely. Check the contact of your ignition switch to make sure it's not damaged.

The ignition switch is located behind the car’s ignition lock. The ignition switch is usually not replaceable on modern cars. Instead, you will have to replace all of the ignition locks.

9. EGR Valve Failure

Egr Valve Engine

EGR valve regulates the flow of exhausts into the engine. It can cause excessive air infiltration into the intake manifold if the EGR valve is not closed.

It can also cause the mix to become too lean. This will cause the car not to start for a few seconds and then to die.

10. Engine Control Unit (ECU).

Engine Control Unit

ECU refers to a computer that controls engine functions including fuel injection. ECU problems can cause a vehicle's engine to stop moving.

Through a number of sensors, the ECU controls engine components. As time passes, sensors may become damaged and transmit incorrect information to ECU. You should take your vehicle to an auto repair shop in this situation.


How do you handle a car that suddenly stops working?

Your car may start but then stop working immediately. You should look for the key symbol at your dashboard. Make sure that it vanishes within a few seconds of turning the ignition. You need to test the fuel pressure. You should inspect both the fuel filter or fuel pump if the fuel pressure drops.

Can you unclog a fuel filter?

Although you can clean the fuel filter to unclog it, it’s not worth it. You can end up with a lot more problems than just replacing the fuel filter.

Stalling can be caused by faulty batteries

A bad battery could cause stalling if it’s really bad. When your battery isn’t providing enough power to keep the engine running, it can cause all sorts of problems – including stalling. If you’re having trouble starting your car or it’s been stalling more often than usual, it’s definitely worth getting your battery checked out.

What are the sensors that can cause stalling

Dependent on your car's model, there are several types of sensors that could cause car stalling. The mass airflow sensor measures how much air is entering the engine. If this sensor isn’t working properly, it can cause the engine to stall. The throttle position sensor tells your computer the distance you are pressing the accelerator pedal. If this sensor isn’t working correctly, it can also cause stalling. The engine temperature sensor, the MAP sensor and the intake air temp sensor are also possible sensors.

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