What To Do If Your Car Shuts Off While Driving?

Top 10 Things To Do If Your Car Shuts Off While Driving

Experiencing a sudden car shut down while driving can be a disconcerting and potentially dangerous issue. In such a scenario, it is crucial to understand the importance of knowing how to respond calmly and effectively to normalize the situation. In this blog, we will explore the possible reasons behind a car shuts off while driving and provide essential guidance on troubleshooting and safety measures to ensure your well-being and that of others on the road.

  1. Stay Calm and Focus

As alarming as it may be, the first step when your car shuts off unexpectedly is to stay calm and composed. Maintain a firm grip on the steering wheel, refrain from making sudden movements, and try to navigate the vehicle to the side of the road or a safe location. Keep your hazard lights on to alert other drivers of your situation.

  1. Check for Warning Lights

Glance at your dashboard to see if any warning lights are illuminated before the shutdown. Certain warning lights, such as the check engine light or low fuel warning, might indicate the cause of the issue. However, keep in mind that some problems might not trigger warning lights, so additional checks are necessary.

  1. Attempt Restarting the Engine

After safely bringing the car to a stop, try restarting the engine. Turn the key or press the start button to see if the car comes back to life. If the engine fails to start, do not repeatedly attempt to crank it, as this may worsen the issue.

  1. Inspect the Fuel Level

A common reason for a car shutting off unexpectedly is running out of fuel. Check your fuel gauge to ensure you have an adequate amount of fuel. If your tank is empty, call for roadside assistance or walk to the nearest gas station to refill your tank.

  1. Battery and Electrical System

A malfunctioning or drained battery can lead to a sudden engine shutdown. Check the headlights, interior lights, or any other electrical components of your vehicle. If the battery is the issue, a jump start from another vehicle might get you going temporarily, but it’s essential to address the battery problem to prevent future occurrences.

  1. Overheating Engine

An overheating engine can trigger an automatic shutdown to prevent severe damage. If you notice the temperature gauge indicating higher-than-normal readings, pull over immediately and turn off the engine. Allow the car to cool down before investigating the cause or seeking professional assistance.

  1. Examine Fluid Levels

Low or contaminated fluids, such as engine oil or coolant, can lead to engine problems and sudden shutdowns. Check the fluid levels and look for any leaks under the vehicle. If the levels are low, top them up with the appropriate fluids or seek help from a mechanic.

  1. Serpentine Belt Inspection

The serpentine belt is responsible for powering various engine components, including the alternator and water pump. If the belt breaks or slips off, the engine can stall. Inspect the serpentine belt for any signs of wear, cracks, or misalignment.

  1. Fuel System and Filters

Clogged fuel filters or a malfunctioning fuel pump can disrupt the fuel supply to the engine, causing a shutdown. Have a mechanic inspect the fuel system to identify any issues that may require repair or replacement.

  1. Call for Professional Assistance

If you are unable to identify the cause of the shutdown or if the problem persists after attempting basic troubleshooting, it’s best to call for professional assistance. A qualified mechanic can diagnose the issue accurately and provide the necessary repairs to restore your car’s functionality.


Experiencing a car shut down while driving can be unnerving, but following these troubleshooting steps and safety measures will help you handle the situation while identifying and mitigating the potential risks. Remember to prioritize safety by pulling over to a safe location and alerting other drivers of your situation. If you are unable to diagnose or fix the issue on your own, seek help from a professional mechanic to ensure your car is in optimal condition and ready to hit the road safely once again.

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