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03 Ford Escort suddenly died

On Monday, my husband and I were driving our car to campus when the car suddenly died at a light. After I pushed the car out of the road and we waited a few minutes it restarted again. (Yes the gas tank was full- just filled it up on Saturday)We let the car sit in the parking garage for a couple of hours while we were in class and then came out to check on it. My husband started the car and let it run for 3 minutes and it didn’t die on us and then he shut it off and restarted it again 10 seconds later and it worked just fine. We put some fuel injector in the tank and it seems to be ok. We are wondering what might have caused this and if we should have it checked out since we are planning on taking a trip tomorrow and don’t want to brake down. It has been very hot here (temps in the 90’s) and cools down at night. The car had it’s last maintenance check at the end of July and everything was fine. Thanks for the help!

Well, for something that happened only once its going to be really hard for anyone to say what happened. Is your check engine light on?

One thing that will make a car stall at idle is a problem with the idle air control valve (IAC). You could be looking at the beginning of a problem with it. The problem could be in the wiring to the valve, the valve’s motor or electronics; the valve being gummed up with carbon, or its passages in the intake getting clogged up. Its not a hard thing to check, clean, and inspect so you could always give a shop the description of what happened, see what they think and if nothing else have them check & clean the valve.

Any check engine light on now when it’s running?

The check engine light has been on for over a year- the mechanic said it was because the car was leaking emissions and nothing could be done about that. I did notice that right before this happend our right turn blinker light is now permanently on and blinks really fast when we go to signal.

The check engine light means that there are stored trouble codes. Take the car to a big box chain auto parts store. Most of them will hook up a code reader and pull error codes from your computer for free. Write down exactly what the code is (P####) and post it here.

And get a new “mechanic.” To say that nothing can be done to repair a problem with the car is insane. This person is probably not competent - or is at least fairly careless.

This doesn’t mean that any codes will come out that will tell you why the car stalled. But you really have to sort out the check engine light problem either way.