You’re driving through a busy highway, and suddenly your car stops but the check engine light is not triggered. We know it’s hard for you to even think about the scenario, let alone face it. But have you ever wondered why this happens?
In most cases, the crankshaft position sensor in your car becomes faulty. Additionally, faulty fuel delivery systems, bad alternators, and bad spark plugs can play a core role in causing the issue.
Now, what should you do? First, you should know the cause of the issue precisely and then take the troubleshooting steps. And here, we will help you out!
What Causes Car Shuts Off While Driving No Check Engine Light?
In regular cases, when your car shuts off while driving, the check engine light is supposed to come on.
But the check engine light might not be triggered if something wrong happens quickly with your car. But in which cases?
Bad Crankshaft Position Sensor
A crankshaft position sensor measures the rotation of the crankshaft. And once it measures the rotation of the crankshaft, it then sends this signal to the ECM of your car.
The ECM then uses this signal to turn on and off the ignition coil. If the crankshaft position sensor in your car goes bad, the ECM then won’t be able to know the rotation signal of the crankshaft, and due to this, the ignition coil won’t spark.
For this, your car’s engine will stop, but the ECL on your car will not illuminate.
Clogged Fuel Filter
When there is something wrong with the fuel delivery system, your car is supposed to shut off while driving.
And you may not be aware of the fact as the check engine will not illuminate in such a case.
A clogged fuel filter is one of the culprits behind the faulty fuel delivery system. It is supposed to be clogged due to dirt and dust.
Bad Fuel Pump
Similar to the clogged faulty filter, the bad fuel pump can also cause the issue of faulty fuel delivery systems.
Due to several reasons, the fuel pump on your car might go bad, and this ultimately causes you to shut off.
If the fuel pump becomes faulty, it can’t transfer the fuel or the gas from the fuel tank to the engine. And, as you know, the engine won’t run without fuel.
Faulty Spark Plugs
When the spark plugs in your car become bad or faulty, they can’t ignite the air-fuel mixture.
And your car’s engine won’t find enough power to run, which leads to the car suddenly shutting off while driving.
The alternator is the component that produces electrical power to your car’s battery. But, if the alternator goes bad, it won’t produce power to the battery.
And due to this, when the battery runs out of charge, it can’t get electrical power from the alternator to operate your car’s engine.
In most cases, the alternator in your car might be bad due to wear and tear, engine overheating, etc.
How Severe is the Problem of Car Sudden Shuts Off While Driving?
It is always fighting that you’re driving your car, and after running for a while, it shuts off. The scenario becomes more extreme when you drive your car along the busy highway.
Additionally, as the crankshaft position sensor in your car is a possible core reason behind the issue, your car might stop at any speed. And you might have already guessed what can happen if that happens.
Moreover, this issue can create trouble for you and the other vehicles on the road. As a conscious car owner, you should never want this to happen any day.
How to Fix Car Sudden Shuts off While Driving but No Check Engine Light?
As you’ve already identified the causes of the issue, you will find it easy to fix the problem.
However, if you feel confused about performing any fixing methods, it’s always good to go with the mechanic.
Check and Replace the Bad Crankshaft Position Sensor
You’ll find the crankshaft position sensor on your car engine’s front (underside) near the crankshaft. Depending on the car you own, the location can vary.
Once you locate the crankshaft position sensor, you must pull it out and carefully inspect it.
Sometimes, the wiring of the crankshaft position sensor becomes loose or damaged. Chances are the crankshaft position sensor resistance is out of range.
Here’s a video covering how you can check and replace the crankshaft position in your car.
Checking and replacing your car’s crankshaft position sensor might seem difficult. We highly recommend you hire a technician in this case.
Check, and Clean/Replace the Clogged Fuel Filter
The fuel filter is located in your car’s fuel tank. Due to additional dirt and dust, the fuel filter might become clogged or dirty, creating trouble in the fuel delivery system.
So, here, you need to access the fuel filter in your car and attempt to clean it. But if the cleaning doesn’t work due to extreme dirt and debris, you should replace the fuel filter.
Watch this video about replacing the clogged fuel filter.
Check and Replace the Bad Fuel Pump
Replacing the fuel pump in your car is tricky. So, if you don’t have any prior knowledge regarding the components of your area, do hire a mechanic. But if you want to do it independently, follow the step-by-step guide.
First, you need to check the fuel pump carefully. In other words, you need to test the fuel pump. If the fuel pump is bad, you should replace it as soon as possible.
Check and Replace the Faulty Spark Plugs
You will find spark plugs on the cylinder head in your car. Here, the first thing you should do is check whether the spark plugs work properly. It is unwise to replace the spark work without checking them.
Checking the spark plug in your car might not seem easy, so we recommend hiring a technician. Sometimes, the spark plugs are seriously corroded due to extreme rust.
Besides, chances are the gap between the spark plugs is not appropriate. So they need careful inspection. If the spark plugs are faulty or bad, you should replace them.
Check and Replace the Bad Alternator
You should check the wiring harness of the alternator. Sometimes, the wires connected to the alternator might be damaged or broken. It might also happen that there is a loose connection. So, resolve these issues.
Next, if resolving the issues with the wiring harness won’t work, you should check the alternator carefully. If the alternator is bad, you need to replace it. In this case, it is better to take assistance from a professional mechanic.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix the problem?
The cost to fix the issue of the car shutting off while driving, even if the check engine light is not on, depends on what component malfunctions. Here we show you the estimated expenses you might need to bear to fix the issue.
|Components||Part costs||Labor costs|
|Bad Crankshaft Position Sensor||$80-$120||$90-120|
|Clogged Fuel Filter||$70-$150||$80-$100|
|Bad Fuel Pump||$450-$800||$150-$200|
|Bad Spark Plugs||$30-$40||$50-$80|
|Damaged Wiring Harness||$30-$40||$50-$80|
Note: The price of the components depends on the type of car you have, the repair shop, and other additional factors.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Now it’s time to know what other car owners often ask about the issue. Let’s check them out.
How Many Spark Plugs Are There In My Car?
The number of spark plugs can vary depending on the type of car you own. However, usually, every cylinder has a single Spark plug. Now, if you own a 6-cylinder engine car, it is supposed to have six spark plugs.
Can You Drive Your Car With A Bad Alternator?
You can somehow drive your car with a bad alternator, but it is not recommended. A bad alternator could cause your car to stop suddenly while you’re driving or cause other problems while you’re driving.
Do You Hire A Mechanic To Clean The Clogged Air Filter In Your Car?
Cleaning the clogged filter in your car is a simple task. What you need to do is to follow the right process to do it.
How Long Does The Alternator Last In Your Car?
The alternator in your car is supposed to last around 5-7 years. In another word, the alternator can last about 50,000-1,50,000 miles.
If you are careful regarding your car’s maintenance, you can avoid many unwanted issues. You must always ensure that there is always enough fuel in the fuel tank.
Your car might shut off while driving due to lack of fuel, even if the check engine light is not triggered; additionally, be careful about cleaning your car’s fuel filter regularly.
Whenever you experience an issue, you should keep your car in a safe place and try to find out what goes wrong. And lastly, don’t take too much time to call a mechanic in an extreme case.