By November 3, 2006 1 Comments Read More →

Engine Dies While Driving

I have a Saturn SC2 and at about 100,000 miles it started to do something strange. While it runs well for most of the time, it periodically will shut off. It usually gives me the warning of running “rough”, kind of chugging a bit and then stopping.

Usually it won’t stop, though, until I hit the brake, but last week my foot was on the accelerator and it died in the middle of the street. The car will usually start up afterward and act like nothing just happened, but it’s becoming scary to drive a car like that. Oh, and when it was hot during the summer (100 degrees or more) and I parked my car outside all day at work, the problem happened more frequently. Could this be the alternator? My battery charge is good–I’ve checked it with my mechanic. What are your thoughts on this?

Thank you.


Hi Victoria,

I think I would ask your mechanic to check the throttle body and idle speed motor and clean them if it is needed. This should be easy and inexpensive for him to do, and would be my starting point if you were at my shop. The throttle body should be cleaned periodically as maintenance anyway, so it won t hurt to have them do it regardless if it fixes your problem or not.

Your battery and alternator should be fine, since you did not mention that you had to jump start or charge the battery t restart the engine once it dies.

Austin Davis

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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."
  • anthony iezzi

    most common problem is the cooling temperature sensor cracks causing the wrong temp to be sent to the pcm. if the temp that is sent changes drastically either way it can cause the car to stall via too rich or lean a fuel mixture.