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Why did my car suddenly stop on the highway?

Why did my car suddenly stop on the highway
Why did my car suddenly stop on the highway

Why did your car suddenly stop on the highway? Why car engine suddenly stops while running? Read on to know how to fix your car quickly for safer rides

Trust us! We know how irritating it can be for one to face a stalling car on a highway! Right when you are getting into the groove of the speed and can’t wait to think this is why you bought this car so that you could soar down the national highway, the engine splutters down and gives you perhaps the most uncontrollable bout of annoyance in a very long time. But it’s always better to find out why this happens than to let your anger out and achieve nothing as it may help you avoid this situation later.

Unfortunately, car engines often stall when driving for a number of reasons. In the latest modern cars that are released, the present faulty sensors may give computer onboard the wrong information causing it to automatically set incorrect parameters which will in turn cause an engine stall. But in most cars, this wrong relay will result in the car’s “check engine” light glowing on.

It is observed that anything that interferes with your engine’s supply of air or fuel can also cause a stall. This may be an obstruction in the system or a malfunctioning fuel pump or even a clogged filter in your vehicle.

Furthermore, if the engine of your car is fuel-injected, it may stall when it is warm due to it not being able to receive power from the electric fuel pumps. If the fuel pump does not get enough power, it cannot succeed in moving the fuel through the system. This can occur in either the automatic shutdown relay or the fuel pump relay, so all drivers should check both these parts.

Engine coils that are overheating and cutting out can also cause a car to stall when it gets warm. You can test this easily. The driver should check to see if there is a spark in the engine by simply cranking it. If it is seen to be working, a split second spark and sound will occur. If the car succeeds in passing this test, the stalling might be caused by an overheating ignition switch. If it is noticed that the key or the ignition lock are quite hot after attempting to start your car, this is likely the cause.

Even though we have given some pretty reasons, we bring to you, for your convenience, a basic list of the most common reasons for your car to suddenly stop midway a happy ride:



[1] Your O2 Sensors may be down

This particular problem is caused because of the ‘idling’ factor. It may be the case if the idle of your cold engine startup is fine but if there a warm engine idle, it will cause the engine to surge and then stall.

Most cars today will activate your ‘check engine’ light if this proves to be the case. It is advisable to let a mechanic check the codes for this, as there are lots of reasons why the light might be on. Any code that indicates a thin mixture is a significant sign of O2 Sensor failure.

O2 sensors usually last for about seventy-five thousand miles. They aren’t very expensive and you could find them cheap and they are easy to replace too.

[2] A Low fuel level on your transmission

Your transmission is another culprit that could cause problems. Take a look at the dipstick on your automatic transmission. The correct method for doing this will be given in the Owner’s manual. Preferably do this with a warm engine startup.

[3] Overheating

The most crucial thing your car uses is heat. All the chemical energy from the fuel gets converted into thermal energy as fuel burns resulting in mechanical energy that finally powers your engine.

So the hotter the engine, the better it runs! The actually worry is if it gets too hot it starts melting your piston heads and that’s bad news!

This will definitely stop your engine. Your cooling system could be malfunctioning, there could be poor airflow throughout the radiator, your fan clutch must be slipping and you may even have a collapsed radiator hose, a damaged water pump impeller or even a broken radiator cap, for all you know. But whatever it is, it must be rectified immediately and till then we recommend you not to drive until you have done so.

[4] Catalytic Converter Issues

The converter is a most important component of the exhaust mechanism and needs to be kept clean to let the exhaust out. If it isn’t cleared adequately, the engine would have to work harder to idle and accelerate due to the exhaust backing up in the pipe.

This, in turn, will cause the engine to lose power and ultimate die after causing unnecessary rattling and vibration.

[5] Ignition or Computer-related issues

Where signals are getting crossed, this proves to be a case of computer related issues ending in the engine shutting down. When this occurs, the ‘engine warning lights’ flicker on just as the car is stalling.

This could be really dangerous because you could be driving into an intersection and without warning, your engine will shut off and you will lose your power over your steering and brakes. Below we present a guide for a quick check of your car you could yourself do before going to a mechanic to see the problem:


If you have a breakdown, it might be a problem in either in the rotation of your serpentine belt, your fluids or your water pump. The first thing is to start your car and leave the hood open. Now observe the key factors like the belt and try to watch all the pulleys and whether it is connected to properly and whether they are spinning smoothly or not. After having seen all you can and if there are no strange noises you don’t recognise and if everything seems in check, you could take your car to a mechanics shop for a check. Majorly, get your alternator and battery check.

So with this write-up, we hope you try out what we suggest and fix your car quickly for better and safer rides on highways! We are glad to be of help always! Happy Riding!