Car Stalling When Idling? 3 Things That Could Be Causing It

Does your car stall or want to stall when it's sitting at an idle? If so, there are a few things that could be causing the problem. Here, you'll find a few things to check to try to get your car running as it should.

Automatic Transmission Fluid

Believe it or not, if the transmission fluid in your car is old or too low, the car will stall when you come to a stop. To check your transmission fluid, you'll need to park the car on a completely level surface. Pull the dipstick and wipe it clean. Reinsert it and remove it once more – check the level, as well as the appearance of the fluid. If the fluid looks brown, it's old and the transmission will need to have to be flushed and new fluid put in. If the fluid isn't brown, but it's low, add some more fluid to it until it is full. Take the car for a test ride – did that fix the issue? If so – great. If not, continue to check for the next possibility.

Water in the Fuel

Water in the fuel or the fuel system can cause the car to stop running altogether if it's bad enough, but just a small amount of moisture can cause the car to stall when it's idling. Head to your local auto supply store and pick up a bottle of fuel additive. You add this bottle of solution into your gas tank when you add fuel. As you run the car, the additive works through the fuel system and removes the moisture that's causing the problems.

Look for a product that not only removes the water from the fuel system but also cleans the injectors and fuel lines. This will help the car to run a little better after being exposed to water.

Bad O2 Sensor

Another common problem that causes a car to stall when it's idling is the O2 sensor. Typically, if the O2 sensor is going bad, you'll get a check engine light on your dashboard. If your car seems to run OK when it's cold, but then, starts wanting to stall after it's warmed up, there's a good chance that the O2 sensor needs to be replaced.

This can be a warning that there's something more going on with your car – if you fail to check the transmission fluid, the transmission could fail and you'll find yourself with a hefty repair bill that could have been avoided with nothing more than a bottle of transmission fluid. Don't put it off – this could be an easy fix!