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Troubleshooting Guide: Car Starts but Won't Stay Running

The car starts but won't stay running. initially, the car will start, afterward, the car will stall.

Car troubleshooting

If the car starts but won't stay on, during starting the car initially starts but will not continue running, after a while, it suddenly stops, there are a lot of possible reasons. Let’s find out by doing a simple test.

(1) Start the engine, from a neutral position depressed the acceleration pedal.
(2) While your foot is on the accelerator pedal, observe if the car engine will continuously running. If the car engine stays running while you depressed the acceleration pedal then the problem is the choke. By keeping the pressure on the accelerator, you keep the choke in a position that keeps the engine running thus the engine will not stop.

If the engine will not continuously run even when the accelerator pedal is depressed means the problem is not the choke then continue the car problem diagnosis.

(3) If the car problems occur only when the weather is cold then the problem is that the choke is stuck in open position. As you may not aware, if the engine is cold the choke should be in the closed position so that the air/fuel mixture will become rich as a requirement to start a cold engine. In this case, the engine is cold but the air/fuel mixture is too lean, meaning too much air and not enough fuel, this is because the choke is open thus your car engine will not stay running.

(4) If the car problems occur even when the engine is not cold then the problem is a clogged fuel filter or a bad fuel pump. A bad fuel pump will not be able to provide a steady amount of fuel to the carburetor which causes the car engine not to stay running. Also, a clogged fuel filter will prevent the flow of gas to the carburetor.

Possible cause why car runs then dies

(1) Choke problem.
(2) Choke is stuck in the open position.
(3) Bad Fuel Pump.
(4) Clogged Fuel Filter.

How to fix a car that starts but will not continue running

In either case, you’ll need to bring your car to a reputable auto repair shop for proper replacement of the necessary parts, or you could do it your self.

For a car with fuel injection stalling during idling is either caused by a bad idle air bypass valve, bad cold start valve, bad fuel pressure regulator.

For Choke problem, ask your mechanic a mechanic to replace the choke if possible. Usually, the choke is not often sold apart from the carburetor so you’ll need to replace the entire carburetor.

For the Choke that is stuck in open position, you’ll need to spray a choke cleaner on the choke linkage to free it up. Any auto parts store has an available choke cleaner.

For the Bad fuel pump and clogged fuel filter, the first thing to do is to replace the fuel filter. If that does not fix the problem you’ll need to replace the fuel. Take note to shop around for the best price when going to the auto repair shop.

Car Starts but Won't Stay Running
The car starts but won't stay running the reasons are a bad electric sensor, injection system problem, or a faulty electric fuel pump. Know which one. Learn more… Car Starts But Won't Stay Running

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