Car starts and then dies

My car starts for a second and then dies. It only starts if I put gas in the carburetor.
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
Hello. If I am not mistaken, that vehicle does not use a carburetor for the fuel system, that does not really matter though. If your vehicle is only starting when you add some sort of fuel, and not on it’s own, then that means there is probably something wrong with the fuel system. The problems may range from a fuse being blown, to the need for a replacement fuel pump. I would suggest having a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, diagnose the vehicle to ensure the correct repair is made.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

There are three major causes for a stalled engine: A lack of fuel, a lack of air flow and improper ignition. Running out of fuel is one of the most common causes of engine stalling, but dirty fuel injectors or a plugged fuel filter can also be the culprit. Your engine needs air to run properly as well.
Faulty Battery

A classic reason why your car starts for a second then dies is battery depletion. The car needs electricity from the battery to start. However, if your car starts then dies immediately, then the fault could be a lack of charging or damaged battery.

This symptom often points to an issue with either your exhaust system, fuel or dirty or worn out parts. In internal combustion running vehicles, and incomplete combustion will cause a sputter. And while a sputtering engine might not seem like a serious issue, it often results in an expensive repair when ignored.
Some of the most common sensors that lead to engine stalling include the mass airflow sensor (MAF), engine coolant temperature sensor (ECT) and manifold absolute pressure sesnsor (MAP). The idle air control valve (IAC) and exhaust gas recirculation valve (EGR) are also well known for causing engine stalling.
Malfunctioning spark plugs can make an engine stop for a while and resume its normal functioning. It can happen when you are driving. The engine can also sound rough when idle. The misfires affect the proper functioning of your car`s engine due to failing spark plugs that have no power to ignite the fuel-air mixture.
Ray: The driveability problem could be caused by something such as a bad coolant temperature sensor, a bad air-mass meter, or even partially plugged-up fuel injectors. Any of those things could cause sputtering when the engine is cold.
Another symptom commonly associated with a problematic crankshaft position sensor is intermittent stalling. If the crankshaft position sensor or its wiring have any issues, it can cause the crankshaft signal to be cut off while the engine is running, which can cause the engine to stall.
Will a bad O2 sensor cause rough idle and loss of engine power? You bet. Moreover, you may also notice poor acceleration, engine misfires, and even stalling. Bad oxygen sensors disrupt all kinds of essential engine functions, including engine timing, combustion intervals, and air-fuel ratio.
Can a failing ignition switch cause my car to stall while driving? Yes, it`s possible. Going over bumpy roads can cause a worn ignition switch to lose a connection momentarily, potentially causing your car to stall.
If the engine stalls while idling or driving, the engine may be running out of fuel or not receiving enough fuel pressure to keep it running. The most likely cause of this kind of stalling would be a fuel pump that is not spinning fast enough or is intermittently cutting out.
With the fuel pressure gauge attached, start the engine and let it idle. Disconnect the vacuum hose from the pressure regulator; the pressure should drop approximately 8 to 10 PSI. If it does not, suspect a problem with the regulator or its` vacuum supply.
A bad fuel pump may overheat and inadequately deliver gas to the engine, causing it to run hot and turn off while on the road. In this scenario, your vehicle may start back up after overheating and shutting down, only to do the same thing a half-hour later. This scenario is a common sign of a bad fuel pump.
The most common reason a pump fails is wear on the pump from improper lubrication or over-use. The best way to explain a failed fuel pump due to wear and tear is to explain what other reasons may have lead to a failed pump: Most fuel pumps are lubricated by the fuel in the tank itself.
If the vehicle randomly shuts off while driving or stationary, there is usually an issue with the engine. Typical patterns here are issues with the ignition system, mixture preparation or fuel. A known error here is that the vehicle was refueled with the wrong type of fuel.
Faulty spark plugs can cause the car to exhibit starting troubles. Worn out plugs does not produce sufficient sparks, which is needed for starting the engine. This results in the engine to stall and fail to start quickly.
Crank the Ignition and Inspect for Spark Have someone turn the ignition so that you can inspect the plug. Make sure the spark is strong and blue in color. If the spark is weak and dull orange, it`s likely that it`s not strong enough to ignite the engine`s air and fuel mixture.
Many factors can cause a spark plug to fail; from incorrect heat ranges to improper gapping, to chemical contamination. Yet 90% of spark plug damage claims are due to improper torque. Many factors can cause a spark plug to fail; from incorrect heat ranges to improper gapping, to chemical contamination.
The most common cause of engine sputtering are issues with the fuel system. These can range from bad fuel filters, fuel pump issues, or fuel injector issues. The other possible source of the problem would be due to poor ignition – think spark plugs or ignition coil problems.
If the fuel amount is too much or too little, the engine may begin to sputter. Your mass airflow sensor tells you how much air is in the engine. Just like the oxygen sensor, the engine will sputter if there is too much or too little air. Spark plugs are an integral part of your engine.
Sensor Issues

The most common sensor which can lead to your car stalling is the manifold absolute pressure sensor (MAP) or the mass air flow sensor (MAF). Most cars typically have one or the other.

Crank sensors can fail due to excessive heat, faulty wiring harnesses, and sensor movement.
Bad Sensors

One common culprit for this problem is the crankshaft position sensor, which measures the position and speed of the crankshaft. The computer uses the information from this sensor to know when to fire the spark plugs. If the sensor isn`t working, the spark plugs won`t fire, keeping the engine from starting.

You can test the O2 sensor on a vehicle by first identifying the signal wire on the sensor. Secondly, by using a voltmeter with the scale set to 1 volt, the voltage will fluctuate between 200 and 800 millivolts or . 2 to . 8 volts on your meter.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

My car will not start Intermittently. I purchased a new battery 2 weeks ago and yesterday the car wouldn’t start. Got a jump and
ANSWER : The issue you are having is probably due to an intermittent fault in the starter motor itself or a deficiency in the starter electrical circuit, for example a large voltage drop due to a poor ground or a high resistance connection. These issues can be readily diagnosed and resolved on a mobile basis if you request a hard starting diagnostic. If you request that diagnostic, the responding certified mechanic will get this resolved for you promptly. Based on Toyota’s Factory Service Manual, the battery should not be disconnected if the vehicle engine is running. The battery acts as a large resistive voltage sink and consequently taking the battery out of the circuit, while the alternator is still running, can create a voltage spike on the car’s electrical system which is not good for voltage sensitive components such as the engine computer. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

Read Full Q/A … : Car starts and then dies

My truck died while driving. Now will start, but dies when I push brake. If I start in neutral, I can put in drive and go but dies – 2003 Ford F250
ANSWER : Hello – your symptoms suggest that once your cold start features are no longer needed – engine warming up – there is an air "leak" that ruins low speed running. Causes could be a leaking exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve, or leak in the air intake. A failing fuel pump relay (burned contacts) could cause similar behavior, contacts become hot, then won’t pass enough current to run the pump. Failing pump can also act this way – gets hot and fails. I recommend a starts, then dies inspection performed by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will come to your location, diagnose this problem, and give you an accurate assessment of damage and cost estimate for repairs.

Read Full Q/A … : Car starts and then dies

Car started shaking. Cleaned carb and air filter. Now it starts, runs, dies, or starts and dies.
ANSWER : Hello. The stalling issues you are having may by caused by a variety of issues. Typically these symptoms can be blamed on fuel, spark, or air. Fuel and spark being the most common systems to fail. Starting with the air filter and cleaning the carburetor were good steps to start. You need to take a better look at the spark system. The spark wires can be tested to make sure the plugs are receiving the voltage that they need to be. You can also test the fuel system by spraying some starter fluid into the air intake. If this helps the engine start and run better than before, then you know you have a fuel delivery issue. This may include the fuel pump, fuel filter, injectors, or a clogged fuel line. The shaking is due to the improper combustion happening in the engine. This will be corrected when the engine is running properly. More testing is the only way to know definitively what the issue is.

Read Full Q/A … : Car starts and then dies

Cranks over start than dies
ANSWER : Hi There,
The idle air control valve is a small valve on the engine’s intake system that reads the air intake as it comes into the motor. This is controlled by the car’s ECM which uses this information to make adjustments to the air/fuel ratio depending on various inputs such as outside air temperature, intake air temperature, load and various other things. As you accelerate, your car’s engine is receiving a much higher dose of fuel than when at idle and conversely, when you let off the gas pedal, there is a sudden change in this fuel supply as a result of your foot letting off the pedal. When this happens, the job of the idle air control valve is to bring this deceleration down to a slow and smooth idle rather than suddenly cutting off the fuel supply causing the motor to die. When the idle air control valve is not working properly, this cause a disruption in this process resulting in the engine not being able to idle properly. I would recommend having a professional come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.

Read Full Q/A … : Car starts and then dies

Map sensor car won’t start up good ?
ANSWER : Your MAP sensor is an important input for your computer. It helps determine the load on the engine to calculate the correct amount of fuel to inject. It sometimes takes a few seconds for the vehicle to realize that the sensor is not producing a good signal.

At that point, it will use other methods to determine the fuel rate, such as pre-programmed fuel maps, throttle position, etc. I would suggest replacing the MAP sensor and retesting. If you would like to have it checked first, a certified technician from YourMechanic will be able to scan your vehicle and test components to determine the root cause of your starting issue before making a repair.

Read Full Q/A … : Car starts and then dies

car hesitates when trying to start the car ,but when started then i shut car off and start again it will start right up
ANSWER : Hi there:

Sometimes when you have problems starting an engine initially it is caused by a restriction in fuel flow; caused either by clogged fuel injectors or the throttle body that needs to be cleaned. Once the fuel starts to flow and engine warms up, it’s much easier to start. However, it could also be an air filter, EGR valve or other components that causes this issue as well, which is why it’s best to have a professional mobile mechanic complete a car is hard to start inspection so they can pinpoint the source of this issue.

Read Full Q/A … : Car starts and then dies

My car stutter starts, but only after driving it for a few minutes.
ANSWER : Hey there. This may also be caused by what is called the fuel pressure regulator. This is a unit that helps to maintain the fuel pressure at the proper level. When this is not working properly, the fuel pump may be pumping properly, but the fuel may not arrive at the fuel injectors at the proper psi. When this happens, this can cause a lean fuel condition which may cause the car to hesitate, misfire, or stall. If you would like to have an expert pinpoint the issue, a certified professional from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to inspect the hard start problem and confirm which repairs are needed.

Read Full Q/A … : Car starts and then dies

My car will be starting perfect and when the gas tank gets lower it will start having problems .
ANSWER : Based on the information you gave, it sounds like a possible fuel starvation issue, caused by a partially blocked, in-tank fuel filter or a crack in the fuel pump housing. The remedy would be to replace the fuel pump assembly and filter. The overheating may be caused by several things, including a stuck thermostat, faulty water pump, or even a cracked head gasket. I suggest having a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, inspect the relevant systems to pinpoint the cause of your vehicle’s hard starting issue and overheating problem.

Read Full Q/A … : Car starts and then dies