Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Honda Civic stalls when I b reak hard

Hi, I’ve just purchased a 2001 Honda Civic automatic from an apparently unreliable lot. We’ve already had to replace the break pads. If I break hard, the car stalls and the battery light comes on. If I slow to a stop the car is fine. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. I don’t know anything about cars and don’t have a mechanic yet I can trust. Thanks in advance

If your engine stalls when you brake hard, the first thing that I would suggest you look at is the Idle Air Control (IAC). With any luck, that is the source of your problem.

Hopefully you didn’t break anything when you hit the brake.


Another thing that can cause this is a leaking brake vacuum booster.

If there’s a leak in the brake booster diaphram, it can allow air to leak into the engine causing the engine to lean out and stall. If you slowly step on brake pedal this leak doesn’t open up far enough to allow air into the engine to stall it out. But if you hit the brakes hard the booster diaphram is stretched further, this leak can open up where enough air enters the engine to lean it out and stall.


Tester makes an excellent point, as usual.

This reminds me of the old joke “it only hurts when I point.” Then don’t point!

Seriously, I would start with the battery. I would look for a loose connection and make sure the bracket has the battery secured properly.

On a related note, I know it isn’t the answer to your problem, but if you are braking hard on a routine basis, it might be a good idea to alter your driving style. Even after you get this issue fixed, I hope you won’t be braking hard on a routine basis. Your car will last longer if you drive it gently.