By November 20, 2007 0 Comments Read More →

Engine Dies When Put in Gear


I have a Nissan Rabbit with about 70,000 miles on it. For about a year now, my car has been starting just fine but would die every once in a while when I put it into gear. I would just start it again, and press on the gas, and it would continue on normally.

But now, it’s started doing it every single time and I have to restart it four or five times before I can actually drive (because it keeps stalling as soon as I put it into gear).

Just in case it’s of any useful information, I also just had the starter replaced last week (I imagine it wore out due to all that constant starting and restarting). I brought it back to the garage, but of course it didn’t do it when they tried it, so they just thought I was crazy.

Do you have any suggestions of things we could check out? I’ve been doing a bit of research online, but the responses are so varied – some say check the TCC solenoid, some say it’s the crank sensor, others the fuel filter or fuel pump, etc – the list just goes on and on! Help!

Thank you,



Hi Samantha,

I am not familiar with this vehicle….but I am assuming it is a gasoline engine and not a diesel engine…correct? If this is a gasoline engine I would first want to inspect and clean your “throttle body” and idle speed control motor of any carbon or dirt that has built up there. This is easy to do and probably costs less than $125 for your mechanic to do for you.

The other thing I would look for would be a vacuum leak under the hood somewhere. Have your mechanic inspect the fresh air inlet hose that attaches to your air cleaner to the engine.

I have seen these hard rubber hoses break and crack causing a vacuum leak….which kills the engine. The main cause of this rubber hose cracking is a broken motor or transmission mount. So if you do have a crack in that rubber inlet hose, chances are you have a bad motor mount and the new hose will crack if you do not replace the broken mount.

A friendly mechanic should inspect both of these items for you free of charge….or maybe a very small inspection fee. Cleaning the throttle body is part of normal maintenance so it might be a good idea to have that done anyway if it is dirty and has not been cleaned.

You could have a TCC issue inside the transmission, but I would expect there to be a check engine light on the dash when the engine is running….and with only 70K miles, I would really not expect there to be an internal transmission issue……so rule out the two things I mentioned above before you spend any money on the transmission or take the transmission out of the vehicle.



Austin Davis

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."