Image: you are driving on the highway, music blasting & enjoying life, when suddenly… your car engine shuts off and nothing works. You can’t roll down your windows, you can’t get your A/C or heat to work, you can barely even get your car into park! Ahh!!!! What do you do?
First things first; REMAIN CALM and try to pull over as quickly (& safely) as possible.
Car Engine Dies While Driving?
Here’s What You Do.
In one of my past articles, I explained how your car engine actually works (if you need a refresher click here). There are a lot of components that work together to make your car engine go, and usually, as long as your car is well maintained, there are minor hiccups. Therefore, it is not common for your car engine to just die while driving but it happens!
Why? There are numerous reasons why your car engine could just kill over. For example:
- Fuel Pump & Connecting Hoses are worn or have disconnected. You obviously need your fuel pump to work so if it is not connected to the hoses or if it is old and broken, your car will not run.
- Low, Low, Low Motor Oil. If you are a fan of ChicMoto, I sure hope this is not the case! You need to check your motor oil frequently and get it changed when due.
- Out Of Gas is probably the most common. When your red light goes on indicating you are low, you only have about 30 miles left depending on how big your gas tank is.
- Failed Electronics is another common one with newer cars. There are so many wires connecting to each other, don’t be surprised if one has shorted!
- Battery Connection / Alternator Issues. Make sure your battery terminals are well connected and your battery isn’t 100 years old 😉 You could also have a bad alternator. If that is the case, you won’t be able to jump your car.
So what do you do if your car engine just quits while driving? First things first. Take a deep breath and remain calm. Try to pull over as quickly and safely as possible. Your car will start to slow down naturally, but you might not be able to move your gearshift into neutral or even park. When your car engine dies, everything in your car dies! You will not have air or radio. Your windows will not work, your lights will not work. Meaning your car hazard lights might not work. It can be very scary!
Which is why you should always be prepared for the worse and carry a car emergency kit with you. Once you are safely pulled over, keep your seatbelt on and call your roadside assistant or the police. Don’t try to start your car, unless it’s a dead battery in which case you can try jumping it. If you can get someone to pick you up, make sure your car is locked and hang a scarf, tiny blanket, or some other loose item on the driver side window.
You could be driving a newer car or a very old car and your car engine could die on you at any time. Like I said, it is not common but possible. You should definitely keep at least a flashlight, jumper cables, and a multi-tool in your car at all times. Imagine this happening in the middle of the night and you have no car lights that work! Be safe and be prepared. The key to Motoring With Confidence 🙂