There is nothing more frustrating than your car stalling when you are on stop.
Have you ever wondered why your car stalls when you are idle, or if you are parked? You’re in the right place!
We are here with an easy to follow guide of why your car stalls at idle, and what to do if it does!
Why Does My Car Die While Idling in park?
If your car suddenly dies, then this is usually a sign that it has stalled. Stalling is a common occurrence with many cars, and usually happens because of one of the following reasons.
For the most part, stalling happens because the engine is not receiving either enough power, fuel or air. This can also happen if there are bad spark plugs in your vehicle, a malfunctioning transmission, or idle air control actuator issues, or even fuel delivery system problems.
There are a myriad of reasons as to why your car has stalled, or if it keeps dying at idle, and we are here to help you understand why!
Usually, if your car, truck, or any vehicle keeps stalling, even when you are idle, then it could be a sign that there is an issue or a problem with the vehicle, that will need to be fixed!
Luckily, we have listed some of the most common causes of a car stalling so that you can narrow down the list, and find out what may be wrong with yours.
Most Common Causes of a Car Stalling at Idle
Clogged EGR Valve
One of the common causes of cars stalling at idle can be a clogged EGR valve. The EGR valve is the exhaust gas recirculation, which works to recirculate small doses of exhaust back through and into the combustion chambers. This works to make the temperature inside the chambers decrease effectively,
Typically, this happens because the gas from the exhaust is mainly carbon dioxide, which does not burn like oxygen does, so it will decrease and lower the temperature inside of the combustion chambers, instead of increasing it.
That being said, if your EGR valve is clogged or damaged, then the exhaust gas will not be able to flow through the vehicle. This means that the ratio of the air and fuel inside the combustion chambers may be out of proportion, which can often then lead to a loss of power. This loss of power then causes…you guessed it…stalling!
If this is the issue with your vehicle, then it can be very expensive to replace, as a new EGR valve can cost up to $500, but luckily, you can opt to clean it out yourself to resolve the issue.
Faulty Oxygen/ Mass Air Flow Sensors
If your car seems to stall or cut out often, then it could be due to the oxygen sensor or the mass airflow sensor. Your car is made up of many various sensors, and each one works to transmit different information to the engine control module.
The engine control module will then use this information to regulate how the car and the engine works, to make sure that it runs efficiently and effectively.
There are however two sensors that will be essential to the overall running of your car, as these will stop the engine from working properly if they are not running accurately. The first is the oxygen sensor, near the exhaust manifold, and the second is the mass airflow sensor, which will be located near the left side of the engine by the intake air ducts.
The oxygen sensor works to read the exact amount of air leaving the engine, and the mass airflow sensor will work to gauge the amount of air entering the engine. The engine control module will then utilize this information to either lower or raise the amount of air that it will use in the combustion chambers.
If these sensors are not working properly, then this means that the engine control module cannot properly regulate how much air is entering and leaving the engine, which is how the engine is powered. Therefore, without the right amount of air, this will lead to lack of power, which is what causes the car to stall repeatedly.
If this seems to be the issue, then you may need to replace these sensors in your vehicle, which can be rather costly. The oxygen sensor typically costs around $200 to replace, whereas the mass airflow sensor will cost roughly $300, so it is vital that you take your vehicle in to be looked over and assessed by a professional before you make any changes.
Faulty Idle Air Control Actuator
One of the more common issues that can cause stalling at idle is if you have a faulty idle air control actuator.
This is because this component is made to keep the RPMs at the optimal range whilst your engine is idle. This is done entirely on the input found by the engine control module, which runs off the sensors.
If you have a faulty idle air control actuator, then the rotational speed of the engine could be inaccurate, and it will fall and decrease too low, which will cause the engine to stall whilst you are idle. Luckily, this can sometimes be inexpensive to fix, depending on the severity of the issue.
Needs New Spark Plugs
Your car utilizes spark plugs to ignite the air fuel combination inside the combustion chamber.
Without working spark plugs, they will not be able to do so, which will mean that you have no power for your engine. This will then cause your engine to cut out repeatedly, stall or die.
You can easily replace spark plugs, with copper, silver, iridium, single platinum and double platinum to choose from.
In the most unfortunate event, you could have an issue with your transmission.
The transmission has a torque converter in automatic cars, which works to transmit power from the engine to the rest of the car, if this does not work efficiently, then your car will stall.
Fuel System Problems
One of the main causes of an engine stalling or cutting out is because there is not enough fuel for it to run off. Your car may be stalling frequently because there is an issue with the fuel delivery system, causing your car to die as it just does not have the power.
For instance, a small component in the fuel delivery system can fail such as the fuel pump, which means that the fuel cannot travel from the gas tank to the engine properly, causing the engine to stall.
You will need to have a professional or an autoshop look over your car to see which component is the issue in the fuel system, so that you can replace the damaged part, and solve your stalling problem!
With such a large number of issues that may be causing your car to stall, it is important that you seek to rectify the problem as soon as you can, so that no more deeper issues arise.
If you feel there is a problem with any part or component of your car, then seek professional advice or help!