What to Check When Your Car is Stalling

If you find your car stalling while you're driving on the road, you need to act quickly. A stalled car is not only a frustrating thing that can slow down your trip, but it is also dangerous as well. Stalled cars may come as a surprise to other drivers on the road, and can oftentimes lead to accidents. If your car stalls, check on the following potential problems.

Air Filter

The air filter is one of the most common causes of a car stalling frequently. When too much debris gets caught in the filter, it cannot process air in the same way that it normally would, and it begins to stall. Check to see if the air filter needs to be cleaned or if you should replace it with a new filter by looking for the black plastic casing at the top of the engine and visibly inspecting it for debris.

Fuel Filter

The fuel filter, like the air filter, can become clogged and damaged. In the case of the fuel filter, however, it's typically clogged up with debris from the fuel that passes through it. Debris and other items get caught by the fuel filter, so that they cannot pass into the engine where they might cause severe problems. Change the fuel filter if it's clogged. The fuel filter is located adjacent to the air filter.

Vacuum Hoses

In some cases, if a hose or a set of vacuum lines is detached from where it should be connected, the car will routinely stall. The vacuum hoses help to pump clean air into the engine and are attached to the engine block itself. Open up the hood and look at the vacuum hoses that connect the engine system to the other parts of the vehicle, and be prepared to replace them or reattach them as necessary.

Fuel Line

If the fuel line is frozen or filled with rust, debris, soot or other potential non fuel items, it may have a difficult time delivering sufficient fuel to the engine. When the car is safely parked away from moving vehicles, look underneath the car at the fuel line, located between the fuel tank and the engine block. Visually inspect the line for signs of debris build up inside of it and clean it if you detect any.

Fuel Injector or Carburetor

If you have an older car, look to the carburetor. If you have a newer one, check the fuel injection system. These components can also become clogged or misaligned, and when this happens, they will generally not be able to deliver fuel to the engine in the same way that they would have before.

Spark Plugs

One other problem that can potentially develop, and which may prevent your vehicle from adequately being able to continue running, has to do with the spark plugs in your engine. Spark plugs routinely become shot and must be replaced. If you have a faulty spark plug, it will not be able to ignite the engine process which powers the vehicle. A faulty spark plug will look burned or otherwise darkened, and you can also purchase a spark plug tester as well.