Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Washboard roads turn off my car!

I have a 1996 dodge intrepid–generally very reliable until recently. We live in the country and our neighborhood’s dirt roads are horrible. Occasionally when I go over an extremely bumpy spot, the engine just shuts off. It’s not a battery disconnect b/c the radio, lights, etc. keep going. It usually works just to stop, take out the keys, and restart the car. Sometimes it takes a few tries. What could be causing this??

First guess would be a loose ignition wire.

There’s clearly a loose connection somewhere in the ignition circuitry. My first guess would be somewhere in the steering column, perhaps in the key cylinder or the slideing connections that allow circuit continuity while turning the steering wheel. These are commonly called “clockspring mechanisms”, but I always disliked that term so I’ll avoid it.

In truth, I’m guess as to where the connection problem might be. But that’d be my first guess.