Car doesn't turn off

I have a 2004 Mitsubishi Outlander that only in the last 2 weeks does not turn off when the ignition is turned off. It will run for about 15-20 seconds. What could be causing this?

Well… carbon can build up on your piston heads and smolder after the ignition is turned off, causing detention to continue.

However, given that the car is only 4 years old. This scenario is unlikely.

Anyone know if this vehicle has some sort of remote start or similar feature that would allow the engine to run with the key off?

Is the engine running normally when this happens?

Sparkplugs, usually, cause this, if they remain too hot.
Did anyone change your plugs, two weeks ago?
If so, they used the wrong type, or didn’t tighten them down, correctly.

Is your engine getting too hot, due to lack of water or oil?
If so, many women may have this problem, by not knowing how to check things.

This is a fuel injected car, so the normal reasons for run-on don’t really matter. It doesn’t matter what ignition sources might be present, the fuel flow should be completely shutoff. Does the engine run at normal idle speed for these 15 seconds? Does the AC blower continue to run for the 15 seconds? It seems like this might be some sort of ignition switch problem, or maybe an engine computer issue.

The first suspect is the ignition switch. Does everything else that the ignition switch has to be ON for still run (have electrical power) for those 15 seconds that the engine is still running; and, then, cut off when the engine cuts off? If yes, then it’s a faulty ignition switch.

Yes, the engine runs at normal speed for these 15 seconds…everything else cuts off…my mechanic seems to think it’s a thermostat issue and no big deal but that seems odd to me since it has never happened before.

No, the cause isn’t the thermostat. Electric power is still getting to everyting that controls the engine. The electric power that goes from the ignition switch to fuses #1, #2, #3, #8 goes to the engine controls (engine computer), AND to many other things in the car. I can’t see how you can have power to the engine and NOT to everything else.
Have an electrically savvy mechanic check fuses #1, #2, #3, #8 for power (12 volts) with the ignition switch ON (or, RUN). While the voltmeter is connected to one of these fuses, turn the ignitin switch off. Voltage should instantly go to zoro on these fuses. If not, the ignition switch ISN’T switching off.

Someone asked me if it was the engine running or the fan and to be honest I’m not sure. I’m having a mechanic look at it tomorrow. If it just the fan and not the engine what might that mean?

Open the hood when this happens. If the belts are moving and the belt driven accessories are spinning around, your engine is running. If there’s just a whirring sound coming from in front of the engine, that’s the fan and it is normal for it to run for a little bit after the engine quits. Another way to check it would be to gently tap the gas when it happens-- if the engine revs up, it’s running but if nothing happens it probably is the fan.