Reasons Why a Car Starts For a Second Then Dies Immediately
If your car engine dies a few seconds after it starts, it can be due to a number of different reasons. Anything from the electrical system to the fuel system can cause this problem. In most cases, the problem isn’t hard to fix and you can get the engine running with little effort. However, it is also important to make sure the underlying cause is identified and resolved for a permanent solution.
In this guide, we will discuss some of the common reasons why your car starts for a second then dies immediately.
Why My Car Starts Then Dies After a Second
There could be several reasons why your car starts then shuts off immediately. Some of them include:
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. It may happen when the battery has enough power to start and an alternator generates a minimum of electricity to keep the car running.
A battery change might fix the problem. Have assistance or the workshop check whether or not the battery has power and, if not, replacing it will resolve the fault. Keep a car maintenance checklist to avoid getting stuck while driving.
Lack of Fuel
The most common reason your car starts then dies immediately is because of a lack of fuel in the engine. This often happens because there is a small amount of fuel in the fuel rail, which helps to start the engine. However, there is no fuel pressure to keep the engine running.
The lack of fuel is however quite easy to locate. You can connect a fuel pressure gauge to identify the pressure. You can also use some fuel saving devices to improve fuel economy.
Faulty Spark Plugs
Spark plugs create the spark that allows the vehicle to burn fuel. Dirty or worn spark plugs are one of the most common reasons for a vehicle that is hard to start. As the electrode wears, the voltage required to create the spark and ignite the fuel increases. This may require you to crank the engine long before it starts.
If the spark plugs are faulty, the ignition will fail and the car starts then shuts off after a few seconds. This is why it is important to know the symptoms of a bad spark plug.
Anti-Theft Alarm System
Another common reason cars start then die after a few minutes can be a problem with a theft alarm system. When the anti-theft system is activated, the car doesn’t send power to the fuel pump, which creates fuel pressure in the fuel rail. This will start the car for a few seconds but not for a longer period.
The key symbol on your car dashboard warning light should turn off a few seconds after you turn on the ignition. If not, then lock your car again and unlock it to start again. If it’s still on, there may be a problem with your car key.
Faulty Fuel Injector
Fuel is injected under high pressure into the combustion chamber using fuel injectors. The job of the fuel injectors is to regulate so that the exact amount of fuel enters the combustion chamber.
If a fuel injector fails, it can cause the engine to run with fewer cylinders and also lower fuel pressure if one is stuck open.
You can try to feel the fuel injectors with your hand while cranking to see if they click. If they don’t click, one of them may be faulty. Also, keep a check on the symptoms of a bad fuel injector before it completely stops working.
Clogged Fuel Filter
A clogged fuel filter can make it very difficult to start a vehicle. The fuel filter removes unwanted elements and becomes clogged over time. This can cause the injectors to run out of fuel, making the car starts chugs then dies. For maintenance, check out the symptoms of a bad fuel filter.
Faulty Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Valve
The EGR valve controls the exhaust that needs to be recycled back into the engine. If the EGR valve is stuck open, it may be getting too much air into the intake manifold.
This can make the mixture too lean which is why the car starts then dies immediately after a few seconds.
Bad Engine Control Unit (ECU)
The ECU is a car computer system that controls various engine functions, including the fuel injection system. A car dies after starting since it needs fuel to move and any malfunction in the ECU will cause the engine to start then die.
The ECU controls engine components through a series of sensors. Over time, the sensors become faulty and transmit incorrect information to the ECU. In this case, you need to take your car to an auto repair shop.
Dirty of Bad MAF Sensor
MAF, mass air flow, sensor measures the air quantity entering a car’s engine. If the engine air filter gets clogged, it can easily disrupt the sensor. A faulty MAF sensor gives incorrect air measurements, thereby, messing up the air and fuel ratio required for combustion. This is one of the reasons why a car engine starts then dies.
A vacuum leak occurs when there is a hole in a car’s air intake system behind the MAF or mass airflow sensor.
Due to this leak, the engine receives unmetered air, one that does not flow through MAF, altering the desired air-to-fuel ratio and making the car run lean.
Now you know there are several reasons why your car starts but dies after a few seconds. However, following a car maintenance schedule can keep the vehicle well maintained and extend the lifespan of its parts. If your car is showing other major issues you can browse through these used cars for sale in the UAE.
If you find this guide useful, then stay tuned to the UAE’s leading car blog to get more informative posts.