Engine Starts but Will Not Continue Running

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Engine Starts but Will Not Continue Running

The engine starts but will not continue running. The reason for this problem is a bad electronic sensor, bad electric fuel pump or there is a problem with the fuel injection system.


The Possible causes why the engine will not continue running

Bad Electronic Sensor 

When the problem occurs when the engine is cold then the possible problem is a bad electronic sensor. However, this is only possible if your car has electronic fuel injection. Electronic sensor Is a sensor that determines the cold outside temperature and feedback to the car computer system, this data is used to calculate the amount of fuel getting into the engine, now if the sensor is bad it will not sense the cold temperature outside the engine will not get the amount of fuel necessary to stay running when the outside temperature is cold.

Bring the car to a reputable car shop and ask the mechanic to check the engine, the mechanic will probably hook up the engine to an engine analyzer to determine if the sensors are bad. Usually, only one sensor will go bad, if the sensor is bad to replace the sensor which the mechanic found to be faulty.

Problem with the Fuel Injection System 

If there is a problem with the fuel injection system it is more likely to cause the engine to start but will not continue running. Now to determine if the Fuel Injection System is faulty, using the car manual locate the fuel pump. Turn the ignition key to the “ON” position, this is the position just before starting the engine, usually, the fuel pump is located on the gas tank. With the ignition key on the “ON” position, remove the cap of the gas tank and position your ear on the gas tank opening then listen for any “whirring” sound. Also if the car fuel pumps are located in the engine room.

Open the hood of the car and locate the fuel pump then listen for the same “whirring” sound coming from the fuel pump. If there is a whirring sound then the electronic fuel pump is working, therefore the problem is not the fuel pump but somewhere on the fuel injection system.

Bring the car to a reputable car shop and ask the mechanic to look at the fuel injection system. If the mechanic suggests that the fuel injection system is needed to be replaced, do not agree first but instead look for a second opinion before replacing the fuel injection system because usually it not the fuel injection system has the problem but one of its sensors.

Bad Electric Fuel Pump

When the fuel pump does not produce “whirring” sound when the ignition key is turn “ON” then the fuel pump is faulty. When the pump is bad, it will not provide the engine with enough fuel to make it run continuously after starting.


Replace the fuel pump. If the pump is located under the hood, then it can easily be replaced. Consider replacing the pump yourself to lessen the cost, just refer to the car manual for removing and replacing the fuel pump.

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