Car Starts and then Dies Inspection & Repair

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Car Starts and then Dies Inspection & Repair

Car Starts and then Dies Inspection & Repair

Having your car start and then die immediately can be frustrating. It would seem that this kind of thing occurs at the worst possible time when you urgently need to get somewhere. Having your car start running then immediately die can also be very confusing. Because for those few seconds your car runs, it sound quite healthy. In the old days of carburated cars, you could probably keep your car running and get it to the shop by fluttering or nursing the gas pedal. On modern cars with computer controls and fuel injection, this is generally no longer possible and you will have to go through the aggravating experience of calling a tow truck. The following are some common issues that might cause your car’s start and die issues and what expect from your repair facility.


What could be causing your car to start and then die?


On gasoline powered cars and gasoline powered electric hybrids, 4 different systems can be the cause of your car starting and dying. The systems involved are the fuel system, intake air system, ignition system, and the security or immobilizer system. Diesel powered car, because they utilize as compression type ignition, do not have ignition systems.


  • Fuel System Failure: Possible causes are a failing fuel pump that isn’t generating enough system pressure. Bad or clogged fuel pickup. A bad or clogged fuel filter is a possible failure. Weak or failed fuel system pressure regulator. Leaking fuel injectors could cause the car to overload with fuel and stop running. Bad fuel pump relay or the engine computer is failing to send a power signal to the relay.
  • Intake Air System Failure: Many cars use some sort of sensor to measure the amount of air needed to be consumed by the engine for combustion and proper running. The device is commonly called a Mass Airflow Meter or MAF. Any unmeasured air that is consumed by the engine due to a broken air boot or vacuum leak can cause the car to have a start and die issue. It is possible that the MAF is also bad. Clogged air filters could cause a start and die issue. A Bad egr valve could also be a related issue.
  • Ignition System Failure: If there is no spark to ignite the fuel mixture, the car will not run. Some items such as an ignition coil, rectifiers, and ignition modules can be weak and fail to work soon after starting. Bad ignition wires can be an issue. Failing ignition pickup. The ecm or engine computer could have and internal failure and not consistently transmit and ignition signal. Camshaft Sensors and the crankshaft sensor could also be failing and prevent the engine management computer from knowing when to fire the spark plugs and injectors.
  • Car Security System or Immobilizer System: The security system of the car, which is often called an immobilizer by many auto manufacturers could have failed. In many cars such as Audi, BMW, Porsche, Mercedes, and others, if a unique code assigned to your car isn’t properly identified amongst the vehicle’s computer systems, often times they will allow you to start the car only to have it immediately die after starting. It could be anything such as a weak transmitter in the key, a week receiver in the steering column, a bad security module, or failed communication between various computers in the car.


How Important is it to Service or Repair a car that Starts and then Dies?


It is obvious that you need your car, but sometimes your car starts and dies issue is intermittent. You should have it checked out by a specialist Mechanic or auto repair shop that is a specialist for your particular type of car. If you own a European Car, Lexus, or Toyota, Sprint Motorsports in San Jose is an excellent shop to take your car. Car starting and dying problems are often complex issues that need the attention of a seasoned automotive technician that knows your particular make and model of car very well. If the problem is ignored, you could end up with far more costly issues down the road.


What do you need to expect to inspect and resolve your car’s starting and dying issue?


After reviewing some of the many possible causes of the cars starting and dying, you may have realized that it could end up being a very complicated issue that needs a thorough diagnosis or inspection to resolve. The mechanic needs to be able to successfully duplicate the situation with some regularity in order perform thorough testing. The first thing is he needs to scan all of your car’s computers for relevant codes or communication errors. From there, your mechanic can pinpoint the appropriate system or system to test in order to narrow down the exact cause of the car’s starting and dying issue.


Most problems can be resolved or diagnosed within a couple of hours. However, some problems , especially communication errors or those dealing with the immobilizer system can be quite complex and very time consuming to figure out and therefore, expensive to diagnose.

– Quality and Competence 

Sprint Motorsports has dealership level scanning equipment and tools for Audi, BMW, Porsche, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen. The equipment gives us the best window into the soul of your car. We staff mechanics with factory training and Master ASE certification.  It allows us to be the best shop possible to investigate and diagnose your a ‘start and then dies’ issue on your car. We typically  provide auto repair service to customers from the areas of Campbell, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino, San Jose, Los Altos, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale.

To schedule an appointment for a cars starts and then dies issue, please contact service@sprint-motorsports.com or 408-831-3730. We welcome you to stop by our shop at 2099 S 10th St Unit 40, San Jose, CA 95112. If you have any questions about your car’s performance or maintenance, feel free to ask our friendly staff for assistance.