What are the Top Things to Check When the Vehicle Stalls?

  • Published On: 31 March 2021
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Read to find out what are the top things that you need to check when your car stalls in the middle of nowhere.

Vehicle Stalls
  • Vehicle Stalls


  • Use an injector cleaner if the vehicle stalls on inclines.
  • Replace the air filter if it appears to be dirty or clogged.
  • Dim lights & battery not being charged properly are the main causes of alternator failure.

When the engine of the vehicle suddenly breaks down, it can lead to a vehicle stalling in the middle of nowhere. There could be a number of issues related to air, fuel, or machines that can lead to such a scenario. In fact, stalling also happens when the driver forgets to depress the clutch or change it to neutral mode while coming to a stop. When a vehicle stalls while applying brakes, this generally means there could be a vacuum hose blockage in the brake booster or a leak in the ABS system. In case it stalls while driving, it could be due to a dead alternator, lack of fuel, or a bad coolant sensor. Sometimes without professional help, it becomes difficult to figure out the correct reason for the vehicle stalling out. If you are in such an unfortunate situation where your vehicle stalls on a highway, road, or for that matter in the midst of thick traffic, then you can simply follow the steps listed below: 


Bad Fuel Pump & Alternator

When the fuel pump is not working properly then it might fail to provide fuel to the engine for its smooth functioning. Also, you will not be able to restart your car. The alternator, on the other hand, is responsible for charging the battery of the car along with running multiple essential functions in the engine. In case if the alternator is not working properly, the vehicle will stop. These discrepancies will lead to vehicle stalling. Also, one will get several warning signs like the dimmed lights and the battery not being charged properly before the alternator failure. 

Empty Fuel Tank or Low Fuel Pressure

One of the most common causes of vehicle stalling is an empty fuel tank. In this context, you will see the low fuel warning light on. In case your vehicle stalls only on the incline then it could be due to the low fuel pressure. This generally happens as a result of clogged injectors. In order to avoid this, just purchase a fuel injector cleaner and add it to your fuel tank. 

Dirty Air Filter

The air filter of the vehicle contributes to the vehicle’s fuel efficiency. If the air filter is dirty then it will restrict the airflow to the engine thereby lowering the amount of oxygen in the mixture. You can easily recognize the dirty air filter through its appearance. Mostly, a brand new air filter is white in color. Try examining the filter under adequate light. If it appears contaminated with dirt, it could be time to clean it out. A dirty air filter could lead to strange engine noises, decreased performance, low fuel economy, and black smoke or flames in the exhaust thereby further causing the vehicle to stall. 

Clutch Release Problem

This situation is common with manual transmission vehicles. The clutch transmits engine power to the gearbox. It is essential for the safe operations of the vehicle. The clutch in the vehicle engages through friction. If the friction is less, the clutch will fail to work properly. If the clutch is slipping as you release the pedal and accelerate, the vehicle will move slowly and the engine will rev higher. Such a scenario can cause grinding and prevent the car from going into the gear. Furthermore, a malfunctioning clutch can damage other transmission parts as well. 

Dead Battery

A car will not start if the battery is dead. However, if the battery is not working properly then there are chances that the vehicle will stall due to the alternator being overworked. Besides these, if you notice signs like headlights & radio not being turned on, nothing happens when you turn the ignition key, or you are able to hear the starter motor but the engine is not starting, this means your battery has died and needs to be replaced. Before getting to a conclusion and replacing the battery, make sure to find out whether the alternator is not in a bad condition. In order to deal with a dead battery, you can simply jump-start the car. However, make sure that the battery is not cracked or leaking.

Read Also: Top 5 Most Affordable CNG Cars in India 

Author: Samreen Pall

A Computer Science graduate but a writer at heart, Samreen has one motto that she swears by: 'Everything is dull and useless if it has no drama in it.' This motto comes to life through her writing and storytelling style. She is the Senior Lead - Content Writer at Droom Technology currently and has a total experience of 5 years. In the past, she has worked with renowned brands while creating and curating amazing content for these brands. She is an avid traveller and loves a quiet sunset on a mountain top. more

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