By January 22, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Engine Dies when I Put It in Drive

Reader Question

When I reversed out of the parking lot and when I put it into drive the car just turned off. I tried starting it and it shifted into drive but wouldn’t go forward and it just died again. I tried to put it in reverse and it drove fine.  Do you think the transmission blew?



Hello there,
If the engine is dying when you select the drive position you might want to have your mechanic check and clean the throttle body, which is what helps the engine idle speed stay constant.

How to clean a dirty throttle body

a dirty throttle body can cause dying at slow speeds, rough engine idle problems.

You could have a vacuum leak somewhere under the hood (with engine on and hood up, listen for a hissing noise). If there is a vacuum leak the engine can die.  I have seen broken motor mounts cause the engine to move when you select a drive gear just enough to cause a vacuum hose to pull off the engine and cause it to die.  Usually the hard plastic hose from the air cleaner to the engine will separate and cause the vacuum leak.  You might want to make sure that hard plastic hose is snug and no gaps or cuts are in it.

If the engine does not die when you select the drive position but wont go forward, you might have an internal transmission problem due to excessive wear that will need to be overhauled or you could just be low on transmission fluid and need to top off with fluid.

Austin Davis


Posted in: Transmissions

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."