Reasons Why a car dies when put in gear- Top 10 issues

The most effective thing you can do when your car dies when put in gear is to take it to a qualified mechanic who is able to identify the issue.

A car that is stalling after being set in gear could happen to manual or the automatic. This occurred to an automobile belonging to my father’s vehicles with an automatic transmission.

The other thing I suggest doing is getting out of your car prior to the root cause totally destroy the resale value as my father did.

There are a variety of reasons the engine may stop when changing gears in the transmission.

Let’s examine some of them to help you determine which is the best option.

1. A Problem with the MAP Sensor

If you’re car is stalling when you put it into gear, this could be due to a an inoperative the MAP sensor.

Manifold Absolute Pressure Sensor Manifold Absolute Pressure sensor is the one that the computer in your car makes use of to calculate the best air-fuel ratio, by constantly monitoring intake manifold pressure data.

The reason could be it could be that MAP sensor is sensing load. If that is the case it generates signals proportional to the amount vacuum it detects within the manifold that is in intake.

The computer then utilizes the information to reverse the timing of ignition to avoid spark knock, which can harm the engine and cause a decrease in performance. The computer also increases the amount of fuel according to the power the car requires.

However, since that engine has to work more, intake vacuum drops when the throttle is opened wide, and the engine takes into more air. It also requires more gasoline to maintain the mix of fuel and air in balance.

Thus, the engine ceases to function when you place the car into gear.

2. Then there is the Torque Converter Issues Associated to the Solenoid

There are torque converters found in automatic transmissions. It is an clutch in the manual transmission.

An electronic torque converter the device that transmits the engine’s torque through the drive line to drive a car in either direction.

It’s also accountable to ensure that the engine is in operation in the event that the vehicle comes an abrupt stop.

A torque converter consists of an impeller turbine, stator, an impeller, a clutch and a fluid.

If you’re car stops when you put it into gear, it could be a problem with the solenoid of the torque converter locking up.

3. Problems are with the Idle Circuit

If you have an car equipped with a carbureted motor and you have a problem with it, the reason your car is unable to move after you place it into gear could be due to the fact that the idle circuit doesn’t supply the necessary fuel in order to maintain the engine running even when your car isn’t in motion.

The fuel enters the idle circuit via the main jet that provides the engine with enough fuel to continue running even when the vehicle is idle.

If the vehicle speeds at or above 15 MPH the idle circuit ceases working in order to let fuel be pumped through the low-speed circuit, which is the main metering circuit.

However, if the system isn’t functioning correctly and you don’t have it working properly, your car will stop when you put it into the drive gear.

4. Leakage of Hydraulic

A leakage in the hydraulics inside the seals of the transmission can result in pressure being applied to both gears at once, which can cause the transmission to stop working.

Another option is the throttle sensor for position or the an idle valve.

5. A Bad Alternator

Why a Car Stalls When Put in Gear

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One reason that the alternator might cause your car to stop due to a weak battery.

A poor battery could ruin an excellent alternator.

Auto parts stores such as AutoZoneoffer the opportunity to get a no-cost battery test. If the problem isn’t related to your battery but with the batteries, then you could also ask them to conduct an alternator test.

I encountered this issue with the 2007 Hyundai Elantra. I changed the battery. However, even after replacing the alternator I was experiencing the same problems.

One of my friends who is a mechanic discovered that I had been sold an alternator that was defective. I was able to get it replaced and the issue was resolved.

I’m sharing this post to inform you that you may be offered a faulty item.

6.Faulty fuel pump cause car dies when put in gear

Fuel pumps are made to transfer gasoline from a vehicle’s fuel tank to an engine. It is a mechanical device that can be operated by the engine, or electronically.

One way to figure whether stalling while shifting gears could be caused by a defective fuel pump is to observe a decrease in performance in your vehicle’s capacity to maintain the speed.

It could also be accompanied with a reduction in fuel economy or overheating of the engine.

7. Clogged Air Filter

Internal combustion engines need fresh air in order to function properly.

A blocked air filter can choke the engine, which could cause your car to stop as you change gears.

The air filter inside the car is typically found in the air box, which is connected to the intake part of the engine.

Between these two components is an MAF sensor, which measures how much air is flowing to the engine.

In the event that an MAF sensor fails to detect enough air, it transmits this information to the ECU that compensates by adding fuel to combustion, causing the engine to be running high, which may cause your car to stop when you shift into gear.

8. Low Transmission Fluid

Typically, a low level of transmission fluid doesn’t cause the engine to shut down.

If your car is stalled, you’ll feel it when you reach a complete stop at an intersection with a stop signal. I’ve experienced this with the car I own equipped with the automatic transmission.

The stalling might be caused by transmission lines leak and require to be replaced.

While it’s not a cheap fix, it’s much more affordable than purchasing a brand new vehicle that I’ve had to do numerous times.

9. Pumping Loss

Each car regardless of the kind of transmission comes with an RPM limit. This is the minimum engine speed needed to compensate for pumping loss.

Pumping loss occurs when there isn’t enough energy to sustain the injectors pumping fuel into combustion chamber.

A clutch is the connection between the engine as well as transmission and drivetrain, such as the torque converter found in the case of a car that has an auto transmission.

In the case of a car that has a manual transmission, once you let off the clutch pedal, the RPMs drop to a certain extent till the gear is caught and you’re off.

However, if it dips above the limit of the RPM The car can stop, which is exactly what happened to me in the car of my father’s car.

If a part of the transmission, engine or drivetrain is damaged, this may result in your car to stop.

10. Car Dies When Put In Gear Due To Clutch Malfunctions

The problems with the clutch in the manual transmission aren’t solely due to driver error. Sometimes, the clutch may be having issues due to:

  • Broken pressure plate
  • Warped flywheel
  • Leakage
  • Missing alignment

A mechanic will be able to pinpoint on the reason why the clutch is failing and perform the proper repair or replacement.


In conclusion, understanding why a car may stall when put in gear is essential for both car owners and auto mechanics. By comprehending the intricate workings of the transmission system, you can diagnose and resolve stalling issues effectively. Whether it’s a worn-out clutch or faulty synchronizers, identifying the root cause is the first step towards a smooth and reliable driving experience.

We hope this article has shed light on the mechanisms behind stalling while shifting gears. Remember, if you encounter persistent stalling issues, it’s always best to consult a qualified mechanic for a thorough inspection. Stay informed, stay safe, and enjoy the journey on the road ahead!

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