Car Dies While Driving But Restarts

When your car dies while driving, it can quickly become dangerous. We have summarized the possible reasons for this in our article.

Reasons why the car dies while driving

There can be simple reasons for the switched off engine, such as a lack of fuel. But the causes are often more complicated and require a visit to the workshop. The following causes are the most common:

Spark plugs

If your car has spark plugs, they are a common cause of the fault because after a while they no longer work properly. If the spark plugs are defective, your car can go out while driving, but you often recognize the fault as soon as you start it. You should have the spark plugs replaced as soon as you notice the problem.

Fuel pump

If the fuel pump is defective, the engine is no longer supplied with fuel and then stops. You can only have the defect in the fuel pump diagnosed in a workshop.


A broken starter not only manifests itself in a failure to start the engine, the starter can also be responsible for switching off while driving. However, starting problems have often already occurred beforehand, for example the engine cut out a few kilometers after the start of the journey.


Defective or loose cables can also cause problems when driving. For example, a cable can slip out of the contacts if you drive through a pothole. The problem is quickly resolved if you find the correct cable and it is not defective. Have this checked at a workshop. A marten can also damage your car cables and cause problems when driving.


If the cables are OK, there may be a problem with the electronics. You have to have the error read out in a specialist workshop and then have it repaired, you cannot lend a hand here.


In addition to a lack of fuel, a lack of engine oil is one of the main reasons for breakdowns while driving. Check your vehicle's oil level regularly, too much oil can also damage the engine. Most cars indicate a lack of oil, but by then it is often too late. To avoid this situation, you should check the oil level monthly, depending on the distance driven.

Reasons why car dies but restarts

If the car has starting problems or stops while driving but restarts, the causes can be varied. It also depends on the problem whether the vehicle can be quickly restored to the operation or whether this can only be remedied with great effort or with the help of a professional. Among the common reasons are:

Ignition/electrical fault

  • Defects in the ignition lock/ignition electronics
  • Faults, defects, or moisture in the electrical system
  • Faulty car battery
  • Power supply interrupted
  • Cable break (e.g. due to marten bite)
  • Alternator
  • Ignition coils or spark plugs are defective

Such behavior can signal the following defects in the starter:

  • Problems with the starter, broken starter
  • Main contacts of the magnetic switch or magnetic switch broken

​​The first thing to be clarified is whether a lack of fuel is the reason why a vehicle dies. Although modern cars inform their drivers in good time about an insufficiently filled tank and also draw older cars' attention to this with lights, it happens again and again that some drivers overlook and ignore all signals in the stress of everyday life.