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It is quite common for a car to shut off when turning. The main cause of this relates to bad maintenance practices over the previous year or two.

This is good news because these issues can normally be resolved by replacing cheap parts, be they filters or fluids. Rarely will your car shut off when turning involve paying big money for expensive car parts.

Below we will highlight the most common causes of this and the fixers you can normally do to resolve the issue and stop your car from stalling when you turn the steering wheel.

The vast majority of stalling occurs at low speeds and rarely when you are driving along a busy highway. It is still infuriating, though, having to continually restart your car as you turn the corner.

Multiple parts can cause your car to turn off when turning, 

  • Clogged transmission lines
  • Dirty fuel filter
  • Clogged plugs
  • Clogged fuel injectors
  • Sensors need replacing
  • Weak or malfunctioning fuel pump
  • Poor grounding

Troubleshooting 101: Why is My Car Shutting Off When Turning

Your car needs three things to happen for it to drive smoothly. These are oxygen, fuel, and a spark. If any of these are missing, your car will stall out at low speeds and often when you are turning. 

Clogged Fuel Injectors

If your fuel injectors are clogged, you will not achieve the right air-to-fuel ratio, which can cause your car to stall at low speeds and turning.

Having your car serviced regularly by a qualified automotive mechanic will prevent problems like these.

Another option to keep your fuel injectors clean is regularly adding a fuel solution to your gas tank.

To assist cleanse the system while driving, specially prepared solutions may be added to your fuel.

Dirty Spark Plugs

Dirty spark plugs can cause your vehicle to sputter and stall at low speeds, whether turning or starting to accelerate in Drive.

The spark plugs ignite the gasoline and oxygen mixture that propels your vehicle. 

When they become blocked and unclean, they operate poorly and shut down.

Spark plugs are normally good for 50,000 miles or more before too much carbon build-up – the by-product of fuel and air combusting – makes them less able to provide the spark the engine needs to keep the car from stopping.

Clogged Transmission Lines

Transmission fluid can degrade over time, or dirt and debris might accumulate in the lines producing a blockage. This is especially typical in cars with high mileage.

Most car manufacturers claim that you don’t need to update or flush the system; however, this has proven false in many situations.

The easiest approach to fix this problem is to replace the transmission fluid and replace the lines to remove any dirt. 

Faulty Idle Control Valve

The idle control valve assists in controlling and maintaining the idle engine speed of a car.   When dirt and other contaminants accumulate in this valve, it can cause the car to stop due to a lack of sufficient airflow.

This situation is often fixed by squirting carburetor cleaner/parts cleaners into the valve to remove the clog and allow the engine to ventilate and perform properly.

Bad Sensors 

If your car is shutting off while turning, you may have one or more sensors that need to be replaced. The oxygen and throttle position sensors are the most common ones that go bad and cause this.

Airflow Sensor

It might be tricky to determine whether you have a defective sensor, so if you believe a sensor is the source of your breakdowns, have a car mechanic check your vehicle’s ECU for any error messages.

Poor Ground Connection

A loose ground wire can sometimes be the source of the problem. If you’ve tested everything and still can’t discover the problem, it’s time to look at the grounding.

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Your car contains many ground wires that allow various vehicle components to function. 

If your ground wires are not correctly connected to the car, it might disrupt the engine’s operation. It can cause the engine to operate badly and stall. Fortunately, a ground wire is a simple and inexpensive fix.

Clogged Fuel Filter 

If your vehicle cannot get the gas, it needs to keep the engine running. It will most definitely stall out when it turns, as this can disturb any gunk and disrupt the fuel flow even more.

Your fuel filter may be clogged with rust from the bottom of your gas tank. 

Fuel filters are cheap and don’t get replaced as standard on every yearly car maintenance schedule, but most manufacturers recommend replacing them every 30000 miles. 

Always check your car manufacturer’s guidelines to see when yours needs to be changed.

Weak Fuel Pump

Your car’s fuel doesn’t get there by accident. It has to be pumped by the fuel pump. It won’t quit completely but will become weaker over time. Any long turning maneuver can make the fuel pump work harder to get the fuel to the front of the car into the engine.

 If you have noticed other times when the car starts shaking when you brake or accelerate sharply, this could be caused by the fuel pump working against gravity and centrifugal forces and struggling to get the fuel needed to the right place.

Regular Maintenance Prevents Shutting Off When Turning

It is important to get your car serviced regularly. As you can see from the list above, many of these potential causes could have been prevented with replacement filters or other expensive parts. 

Many visitors read this article next: What Does A Car Tune Up Consist Of? 8 Must Have Checks

Sometimes not conducting basic maintenance makes other more expensive parts more prone to fail. It’s never a good idea to forgo routine maintenance, as it makes servicing more expensive during the lifetime of ownership of your car.

In Conclusion

If your car shuts off when turning, it is likely to show on other maneuvers. You may notice the car shakes slightly when you reverse or accelerate sharply.

The most likely causes are clogged air or fuel systems, disrupting the correct mixture needed to keep your car running smoothly.

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Did you know cars can make noises when turning in one direction and not the other? Strange but true. Have a read of this. Why Your Car Makes A Noise When Turning Right.

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