Auto Loan Guide Vehicle Car Stalls When Put in Drive

Car Stalls When Put in Drive


Car Stalls When Put in Drive: Causes and Solutions


One of the most frustrating and potentially dangerous problems that car owners can encounter is when their vehicle stalls immediately after being put into drive. This issue can occur in both automatic and manual transmission cars, and it can happen for a variety of reasons. In this article, we will explore the common causes of a car stalling when put in drive and provide possible solutions to this problem.


1. Idle Control Valve: The idle control valve is responsible for maintaining the engine’s idle speed. If this valve becomes clogged or malfunctions, it may not allow enough air to pass through, leading to a stall when the car is put in drive.

2. Fuel Delivery Problems: Insufficient fuel flow to the engine can cause a stall. This may be due to a clogged fuel filter, a faulty fuel pump, or a problem with the fuel injectors.

3. Air Intake Issues: A problem with the air intake system, such as a dirty air filter or a malfunctioning mass airflow sensor, can disrupt the air-to-fuel ratio, leading to stalling.

4. Ignition System Problems: Faulty spark plugs, a malfunctioning ignition coil, or a failing ignition switch can cause intermittent or complete loss of power, resulting in a stall.

5. Transmission Troubles: For automatic transmission cars, a faulty torque converter or a problem with the transmission fluid pressure can cause stalling when shifting into drive.


1. Regular Maintenance: Keeping up with regular maintenance, such as changing the air filter, fuel filter, and spark plugs, can prevent many stalling issues. It is also essential to ensure that the vehicle’s fluids are regularly checked and changed as needed.

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2. Clean or Replace Idle Control Valve: If the idle control valve is dirty or malfunctioning, it may need to be cleaned or replaced. Consult your vehicle’s manual or seek professional help for specific instructions.

3. Check Fuel Delivery System: Inspect the fuel filter and fuel pump for clogs or malfunctions. If necessary, replace these components. Consider having the fuel injectors cleaned or replaced if they are causing fuel delivery problems.

4. Address Air Intake Issues: Regularly check and clean the air filter. If the mass airflow sensor is faulty, it may need to be replaced. Consult a mechanic for proper diagnosis and repair.

5. Address Ignition System Problems: Replace spark plugs as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. If the ignition coil or ignition switch is faulty, have them inspected and replaced if necessary.

6. Transmission Maintenance: Ensure that the transmission fluid is at the correct level and is clean. Have the torque converter and transmission fluid pressure checked by a professional if you suspect these components are causing the stalling issue.


Q: Can stalling be dangerous?
A: Yes, stalling can be dangerous, especially if it happens while driving at high speeds or in traffic. It can lead to loss of control, accidents, or even engine damage.

Q: Why does my car only stall when put into drive?
A: Stalling when put in drive is often caused by specific components or systems that are affected by the load put on the engine when shifting into drive. These issues may not be as noticeable when the vehicle is in neutral or park.

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Q: Should I attempt to fix the stalling issue myself?
A: While some maintenance tasks can be handled by car owners, diagnosing and repairing complex issues may require the expertise of a professional mechanic. It is recommended to consult a professional if you are unsure or lack the necessary skills.

Q: Can stalling be prevented?
A: Regular maintenance, such as changing filters, spark plugs, and fluids, can help prevent stalling. Additionally, paying attention to any warning signs and addressing them promptly can prevent more severe issues from occurring.


Experiencing a car stall when put in drive can be frustrating and concerning. By understanding the common causes and potential solutions for this problem, car owners can take the necessary steps to address and prevent stalling issues. Remember to consult a professional if you are unsure or if the problem persists, as they can provide expert advice and assistance.

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