While driving on the highway my van stalled. Once on the side of the road, I tried to restart and no joy. All indicators and lights came on but when I turned the key nothing happened. I jiggled he key and checked the transmission was in park. Once the vehicle was towed and arrived at the shop it started fine. No codes or indications of anything wrong. Since then it has done it twice more, but started right away. Please help.

  • 1
    Could you add some more about the first event and the later ones? After rereading your question it sounds like the first time this happened the starter wouldn't work until the car was at the shop – then nothing appeared to be wrong. The other times it just restarted with no problems at all (just like at the shop)?
    – dlu
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 19:02
  • The second two times. Separated by a couple of weeks. I was driving and the van just died. Once I came through a stop it started normal. Every time it has happened it has been running fine and the weather has been dry(no rain)
    – j Pomponio
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 19:09
  • Any out of the ordinary bumps or vibration when it happens? Or anything that would make your keys move (like hitting them with your knee)?
    – dlu
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 19:10
  • I thought that might have also been the problem so I did a little troubleshooting. While driving slow on a back road I started messing with the keys. Hitting and shaking them and I could duplicate the problem. The only thing on the key chain is the key fob and the key.
    – j Pomponio
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 20:15
  • Hmm, take a look at the question linked below, there may be some ideas there. Also, try to think of what is different about the times when the car stops. Even if you take this to a mechanic it will help the more you can tell them about the circumstances, intermittent problems are a bear to troubleshoot – I would hope that the ECU would set a code any time that it shut the engine down, so look for something that could cause a shutdown without a code – for example if the auto-shutdown relay is normally open (shutdown) then a loose connection could cause it to drop out and shutdown the engine.
    – dlu
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 20:23

2 Answers 2


That sounds to me like an ignition switch that is failing. Do you have a lot of keys that share the same keyring as the key for the ignition? You might start by removing as much weight as you can from the keyring.

If you have a heavy key ring, and that doesn't reliably fix it, then look into the cost of a new ignition switch. Intermittent problems like this can be very hard to diagnose and a car that randomly stalls can be quite dangerous.

Take a look at the answers to this question – inspired by your question – to see if any of them might fit your situation.


Once upon a time, I had a car that did this. Over and over.

The connector for the wiring harness that ran the fuel pump worked loose. The car stopped. The bouncing involved in towing the car to the shop jostled it back into place. The car worked. We eventually diagnosed it by driving it over a street with potholes.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .