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Car just lost power while driving (0 RPM)

11-29-2006, 01:36 PM

I have MITS Galant 97. I was driving on a highway and suddenly car seemed
to lose all the power and pressing on gas pedal stopped having any effect with RPM meter registering 0. Battery etc lights also came up. Luckily I landed on the emergency lane. Even the parking blinkers wont come up.

After a while my brakes and power steering went dead. Had to really use all my muscles to move power steering and use emergency brakes.

Before this happened, I had sometimes seen my indicators dont blink once in a while.

1. Will battery and alternator dying can cause running car to stop?
2. Will a drained out battery have an effect on brakes and power steering.
3. If alternator is gone, what is the approx cost (price + labor) to replace it.
4. Is there any alternative to not replace the complete alternator and just fix it?

Please help.

11-29-2006, 02:29 PM
unless you are driving a diesel, an engine needs electricity to run. the power steering and power brakes are dependant on the engine running.
(unless you drive a prius, or a car with electric power steering)

a dead alternator could be your problem, but, you mention that your blinkers didnt work, which could lead me to believe that there could be a short somewhere in the electrical system.

before you run off and buy a new alternator, check to make sure that there is a wire running from the alternator to the battery.
if the wire came off, the engine would run until the battery died. the alternator would not be supplying any electricity.

if there was a short in the electrical system, it could have blown a fuse that goes to the ECU. i dont really know how all the details, but it wouldnt be hard to check for a blown fuse. the fuse box is usually on the driver side, under the dash. it will probably have some kind of cover over it. with any luck, you can just change a fuse and be done.

on the other hand, if the alternator died, then it will be easy to replace. they arent really that expensive, so it shouldnt be a big deal.

good luck.

11-29-2006, 05:34 PM
Thanks for the info man.
I will check for wiring and connections to see if something went bad.

BTW one info item. I have been driving this for a while without any such problems. But this weekend I had my friends visiting me and he was contiously charging his GPS device from the car cigarette lighter.

Could it have any significance related to the issue I am seeing here?

11-29-2006, 05:58 PM
dont think so, but i dont really know that much about electrical systems.

11-30-2006, 01:59 PM
two things happened. One, your car died while driving. This by itself, could be due to many things.

Two, you lost all electrical power at the same time.

You put the two together, and you have an electrical problem. Its doubtful that your charging system is the only issue here, because even if it wasn't charging, the car will die before you lose all voltage in the battery, and you should still have at least some lights.

But its probably battery related either way. Maybe a combination of bad battery and bad alternator, which does happen. Bad alternators sometimes take out batteries. I would also check your battery terminals for loose or corroded connections.

11-30-2006, 10:06 PM
Ok ! I took it to the mechanic and he checked alternator and battery and they were all just fine.

Then I drove it for a minute and after that it just refused to start. After truning the keys to run, the engine was crancking but looked like there wasnt
any spark and car didnt start.

He said that this looks like a Starter (distributor/motor) problem and asked me to leave the car with him so that he can diagnose everything step by step.

My question is:
Can a starter (ignition system) problem can make a running Car stop??
If yes, than it might be indeed a starter problem. He also said that it might be a bigger issue in the ignitiion system with big buck spending. (600$) ?

Do you have any opiions on this? I need to make a decision with him by tomorrow.

11-30-2006, 10:12 PM
ignition system and the starter system are two different things.

Ignition system can most definitely kill a car, since spark is necesary for a motor to run.

It will be between $1 and $3000.....depending on what the mechanic finds.

12-01-2006, 07:19 PM
My mechanic diagnosed it as a problem with the Cranshaft Sensor and since it is a single cam (?) car, the sensor is located in the distriutor and hence will have to replace the whole of Ignition Distributor. :(

Hopefully that will solve my weird Engine Stall problem.

12-01-2006, 08:40 PM
the distributor is driven by a gear on the cam... the sensor is somewhere in the distributor i think, so that makes sense.

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