Full Stop: Indicators That Your Car Engine Has Died

You are driving along the road, not a care in the world. You are wearing your seat belt, and you are within the speed limit, yet, somehow, something still goes wrong. You come to a halt, in full disbelief of what is currently happening.

You do not know whether or not your car engine has died or it is something else. What do you do?

The thing is, your first guess might have been right all along, but in order to prove that your engine had indeed died on you, feel free to take note of the following red flags below.

1. You Can No Longer Hear the Engine Running.

When you are sitting in your car, this is the very first thing you will probably notice. If the engine is not running, you cannot hear it, even when you rev it up. If this is the case, you need to pull over and try to start it again. If nothing happens, you are probably not going anywhere.

2. You See Smoke or Steam Coming Out of the Hood.

You no longer hear the engine, but you have smoke rising up through the hood. This is the time to pull over to a safe spot and try to start the engine again, but if it still does not work, it is time to call for help.

3. You Hear a Loud Clank or Clunk When You Press on the Gas.

The loud clank or clunking sound is another sign that something might be wrong with your engine. This is usually a sign that something is grinding in the engine, which means that the engine is going to need repair.

4. The Automatic Transmission Does Not Work.

If you’re stuck in the middle of traffic and you are in an automatic car, you might have noticed that the engine was running normally, but you were unable to change gears. This is a very clear sign that your engine has died.

5. The Brake Levers Do Not Work.

You press on the brake levers, and nothing happens. You press them a second time, and still, nothing happens. If this is the case, then your engine has died, and it is time you look for a safe spot to pull over and try to restart the engine.

6. Your Car Lurches Forward or Backwards When You Press the Accelerator.

If you have experienced a lurching motion forward or back, then it means that your engine is not running at all. This can be a result of a flat tire, but it can also be because the engine has died and you are running on momentum. This is a prime sign that it is time to pull over.

7. The Clutch Pedal Feels Heavy to Press Down.

If the clutch pedal is hard to press down, then it means that it is physically harder to push the clutch down. If this is the case, it means that the engine has died and the vehicle is still moving. Pull over as soon as you are able if this is the case.

8. The Oil Pressure Is Too Low.

If you have noticed that the oil pressure is too low, it is a clear sign that the engine has died, and you are unable to get it started. It is important to pull over and call for help as soon as you are able.


If your engine has died on you, it is always recommended that you pull over and try to restart the engine. If, after a few tries, the engine still does not start, you should call for help and wait for roadside assistance to arrive.

Take note of the indicators above, and at the first sign of trouble, do not try to proceed with your travel. Ask for help and ensure your safety.

If you are looking for a 24-hour towing company in Atlanta, look no further than our services here at Tow Atlanta. All of our tow operators and technicians are manufacturer-trained by the major automotive makers and some are nationally certified tow operators with the Tow Recovery Association of America (TRAA). Call us today and let us tow your stalled vehicle in no time!

Tow Atlanta was voted Atlanta’s Best Towing Service for 2017, 2018, and again for 2019. We’re ranked by the American Insurance Association in the top 1% of all towing companies operating in the United States,

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