Cars are complex mechanical and electrical parts of our daily lives. Many different systems can cause the vehicle to die, usually when it is most inconvenient. The most important part of preparing is having regular maintenance performed.

This article will cover the various items to check and maintain that can cause the vehicle to die. The parts are the electrical system, oil system, cooling system, ignition system and the fuel system.

Part 1 of 5: Electrical charging system

Materials Needed

Step 1: Check the spark plugs. Spark plugs are a regular maintenance item and should be replaced at manufacturer's service intervals.

Be sure to note the coloration and wear on the spark plugs. Usually the spark plug wires if equipped are replaced at the same time.

Other vehicles are equipped with a single distributor or coil packs on each cylinder. These components all are checked to make sure the spark gap does not get too large or the resistance gets too high.

Part 5 of 5: Fueling system

Material Needed

The fuel system is controlled by the ECU and supplies fuel to the engine to be burned to keep it running. The fuel filter is a common maintenance item that must be replaced to avoid clogging in the fuel system. The fuel system consists of the fuel rail, injectors, fuel filters, gas tank and fuel pump.

Step 1: Check the fuel pressure. If the fuel system is is not operating properly, the engine may not run at all, causing the engine to die.

Intake air leaks can also cause the engine to die because the ECU leans the fuel/air ratio out, causing stalling. Use a fuel gauge to determine if your pressure is within the proper range. Consult your vehicle’s manual for specific details.

When the car cuts out and loses power it can be a scary situation, one that should be avoided at all costs. Many different systems can cause the car to cut out and lose all power. You should be sure to have a safety inspection performed and to keep your car on a regular maintenance schedule.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Prevent a Car from Dying and was authored by Spencer Clayton.


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