Car stalled while driving

Good afternoon,

Trying to educate myself in hopes of not getting screwed again by another mechanic.

2016 Nissan Versa, 126K miles. No issues until this morning.

Car died while driving. Thankfully I was only in a parking lot and not on the highway. Car immediately started back up. Drove for 15 minutes with no issues so decided to get on the highway to head to work.

Prior to getting on the highway I got gas. When I fill my tank it will show I have 400-410 miles before empty. Today when I filled it, despite showing it was “full”, the miles before empty were only 319. So 100 miles off from the usual.

The drive to work is 25 miles and I had the AC cranked. My car blows through gas when I have the AC on, so by the time I drove the 25 miles to work, it should have been down 40-50 miles. But when I pulled into the parking lot, it had actually increased from 319 miles to 324.

I clicked over to see the MPG – it was fluctuating back and forth all over the place, large gaps, 22 miles, 94 miles, 32 miles, 78 miles, etc. I’ve never clicked to this function and watched it, but I don’t think this is normal?

Thinking perhaps faulty fuel pump or sensor?

I’m thinking the stall re-set the average MPG and that’s what you are seeing on the display. Let the system add a little data and it will even itself out.

Might be useful to find out why it stalled. Is the check engine light on?

Have you had the battery cables checked to see if they are loose?


You really need to read your manual about the read out feature . That fluctuation of numbers on the instant MPG is normal . And the miles to empty will not be the same every time . Is this your first vehicle with the read outs ? Also you need to learn how to check your miles per gallon the old fashioned way, with pen and paper to see just how close your average MPG is by the dash indication.

Engine quits. Fuel level indicator is erratic. One common element is the fuel pump/sender unit which is all-in-one on many cars. I’d look for an intermittent connection (including bad ground) in the wiring to and from the fuel pump. Good luck and please let us know.

Fuel level is not erratic. Kris is not familiar with the instantaneous miles per gallon feature on his vehicle.

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Miles to empty, which the OP referred to, and which is tied to fuel level, is definitely erratic. That’s not something I’m used to seeing, fluctuating mpg is. I think @Mustangman got it right.

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Thank you for your replies.

Having the MPG reset because of the engine stalling makes sense. I didn’t think of that.

The check engine light is not on, it never came on. Otherwise I would have had the code read.

I guess I was hoping it’s just the fuel pump and the MPG thing was a symptom/related. Seems this is a low cost repair. But since they’re probably not related I’m hoping it’s not the transmission. I’ve been reading about transmission issues with these cars, even a lawsuit.

I’m dropping it off tomorrow morning. Praying it’s not an expensive fix :frowning:

The Fuel level is not erratic, Op doesn’t say the gauge is bouncing around.
OP said miles to empty went up after a short drive, which is just the system re-calibrating itself.

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Don’t be surprised or upset if they don’t find anything wrong. Intermittent issues can be a real bear to find.

Nor did I say it was. I said miles to empty was. Miles to empty is based on fuel level and average mpg. As that average is continually recalibrated, miles to empty changes. From the OP’s perspective, it’s being erratic.

Good afternoon,

Spent 6.5 hours at the mechanic today. Unable to determine the true cause. Recommendations are below.

Am I wrong in thinking the labor to replace the crankshaft oil seal is more than twice what it should be? He said it’s a 7.5 hour job, belt
cost is $10, labor is $1,022. I’m definitely getting a second quote.

General Comments: car stalled low speed in parking lot , fuel miles to empty off from normal may be unrelated

Customer Declined: $63.24 x 1 9690163 PEPGUARD LIMITED EXTENDED LABOR WARRANTY

Customer Declined: $256.33 x 1 9690163 PEPGUARD LIMITED EXTENDED LABOR WARRANTY Customer

Declined: $170.40 x 1 8583707 Remove & Replace Throttle Chamber

Customer Declined: $271.04 x 1 0441502 TUNE UP PACKAGE

Customer Declined: $71.00 x 1 9169294 Relearn Idle Air Volume & Fuel Trims

Customer Declined: $113.40 x 1 8582061 Remove & Replace Alternator Drive Belt
NEED A TOW? CALL 1-800-PEP-BOYS or 1-800-737-2697


Declined: $54.40 x 1 0099989 Serpentine Belt - PO


Declined: $1022.40 x 1 9327458 Remove & Replace Crankshaft Oil Seal

Declined: $9.49 x 1 0099989 National Front Crankshaft Seal

Code Descriptions
Service Information
Tire Tread Depth (32nds) LF:: 8
Tire Tread Depth (32nds) RR:: 8 State Inspection Expiration Date:: –

This is just a shot in the dark, but if the references to “PEPGUARD LIMITED EXTENDED LABOR WARRANTY” are the result of having the car diagnosed at Pep Boys, all I can say is…
Take it to a real mechanic, rather than a chain-run operation that employs rookies who may not know what they are doing.

If this doesn’t indicate that you took your car to Pep Boys, I apologize for that assumption.

Really good idea as VDC says find an independent shop and stay away from Pep Boys and similar chain stores.
And find out why it stalled before replacing seals . Has it had any problems since that stall you wrote about.

There are folks who–for some bizarre reason or other–tend to patronize only chain-run operations for their car maintenance and repair. I have to wonder if those folks also go to McDonald’s or Burger King when they want a gourmet chef to prepare their dinner.

Why so judgy? I needed a baseline and they’re the only show that’s open on a weekend.

Because you have a difficult problem that may be interment and Pep boys is most likely unable to do anything but throw parts at your vehicle . And by the work sheet you posted that appears to be just what they are doing. It may even be that you will need a Nissan Dealer with their much better equipment to solve this.
Asking again , did the stalling happen again ?

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No, no stalling again or any other symptoms.

Pep Blys was unable to replicate a stall.
I called my regular mechanic and he asked if it was a hot day and did I have the ac on. Yes. He then asked if I was turning and had the wheel cut all the way. Yes. So he feels that because I was turning, on a hill, and the extra drain of the ac made it stall. Idk. He also thinks he oil leak business is bs. There definelty isn’t any oil in the ground where I park everyday.

Pep boys also asked when I ran out of gas, whatever thing they ran said I had run out of gas recently. I’ve never run out of gas. When the car stalled I was low, but not near empty.

Sounds like your mechanic asked the right questions, and PB asked the wrong ones. I think your mechanic is correct.


So it’s been a few weeks without any issues. This morning I was waiting in the drive-through line to get a coffee, car sputtered a couple times, the battery light came on, then the car stalled and died. It immediately started back up again. Alternator?

We can’t tell from here. Take it to the mechanic you trust and get the stalling issue checked.

The problem with places like Pep Boys is that the pay is poor and young mechanics are more likely to work for poor wages. Their inexperience means that they are less likely to find your problem than a mechanic with lots of experience. You can get good work at a place like that, it’s just less likely than a shop with experienced mechanics.