Chevy Silverado Shuts Off While Driving And Won’t Start – What Is The Reason?

The Chevy Silverado shuts off while driving and won’t start a problem that causes many drivers a headache, especially with cars running for a long time.

So what is the cause of this problem? What to do when you are stuck with the car?

Let us help you with these questions.

What Causes The Chevy Silverado Shuts Off While Driving And Won’t Start? 

chevy silverado shuts off while driving and won't start

There are many reasons why Chevy Silverado randomly shuts down while in traffic, such as failure of the engine control unit, crankshaft position sensor, spark plugs, battery, ignition system, etc.

Depending on the cause, we will have different treatments.

The Fuel Tank Is Empty

The first reason sounds ridiculous, but it accounts for a large percentage. Many vehicles are shutting down while in traffic because the fuel tank is empty.

This could be because the car owner forgot to check the fuel level regularly or because the fuel gauge is faulty and doesn’t show the fuel level in the tank properly.

If you suspect a problem with the fuel gauge or the fuel level sensor, try filling the tank with fuel to see if your car starts up again.

Driving to the point of running out of power is extremely dangerous because the gasoline and the fuel filter will be affected.

Faulty Engine Controller

The next possibility is a fault in the engine control unit (ECU) or engine control module.

A faulty ECU can cause a sudden drop in power, more fuel consumption, and spark loss, driving the vehicle to shut down abruptly.

Another common symptom of a faulty ECU is your vehicle stalling and jerking while driving.

Bad Fuel Pump

2000 Chevy Silverado starts and then dies can also indicate a faulty fuel pump.

The fuel pump is responsible for sucking gasoline from the fuel tank and injecting gasoline into the injectors with high pressure so that gasoline enters the engine cylinder combustion chamber.

When the car starts, the ECU activates the relay to supply power to the fuel pump. It sucks fuel from the fuel tank through the one-way valve, filters it, and then goes to the injectors.

The check valve helps maintain residual pressure in the system when the pump is not operating.

Fuel filter filters residual impurities and rust in gasoline to avoid clogged fuel injectors. The pressure regulator helps to maintain constant pressure for the entire system.

When the vehicle is off, the ECU will cut off the power supply to the pump, making it impossible for you to start the car again.

Faulty Ignition Switch

The fact that we need to turn the key every time we start the car is to activate the ignition switch behind the electric lock.

Inside the ignition switch are many small metal plates, so it is easy to accumulate rust over time.

This will cause one of these plates to lose connection, and the entire ignition system will stop working.

The ignition relays may fail, and the mechanism that controls the amount of electricity passing through them will also stop.

When the car is off, check to see if there are lights on the dashboard. Once the instrument on the control panel is off, the ignition switch may be faulty.

If the engine still won’t budge after trying to start it again, it’s most likely due to this fault.

Problems With The Battery 

The dead battery is one of the reasons why the 2004 Chevy Silverado starts but won’t stay running.

Car batteries act as a secondary source of electricity, operating based on storing and converting energy into electricity to supply equipment.

When the generator is not fully charged, when the vehicle has not started or is not capable of supplying electrical equipment to the car, the battery will provide electricity during that time.

The car battery suddenly runs out of power due to bad habits when using the car:

  • Parking in direct sunlight causes the temperature to exceed the standard threshold
  • Turn on the air conditioner when the engine does not start, and forget to turn off the lights when leaving the car.
  • Forgetting to close the door
  • Listening to music, watching movies for a long time in the car
  • Car is flooded
  • No routine vehicle maintenance
  • Start the car or do not charge it for a long time

Faulty Spark Plug

Small spark plugs are another important component that allows a car engine to generate power.

This part ignites the mixture of air and fuel in the engine combustion chamber to create combustion.

Since each cylinder has its spark plug, multiple faulty spark plugs will cause the engine to stall and shut down while driving.

Before your engine shuts down completely, there will be other telltale signs you should look out for, including lack of acceleration, reduced engine efficiency, engine noise, and engine burn.

Generator Faulty

The generator in the car is responsible for generating a constant current from the mechanical energy of the car.

When the alternator does not function properly, your vehicle will not receive the power it needs, resulting in a sudden shutdown.

In addition to the above errors, other parts may also be the problem you need to look for (albeit in a lower percentage):

  • Battery cable degraded
  • Defective power cord
  • Broken car cooling system
  • Engine oil problem
  • Fuel filter clogged
  • Fuel injector clogged
  • Defective pressure relief valve
  • Defective idle valve

What To Do When Silverado Shuts Off While Turning?

silverado shuts off while turning

The car suddenly stopping and not starting or having difficulty restarting is quite common.

Most vehicles that tend to stall are low-end cars or don’t have their engine system serviced regularly.

You will encounter many abnormal engine stalls that car owners have located: Turn off the engine when submerged in water, when reducing the gas, when going uphill, and when going downhill.

The best solution is to bring your car to a nearby auto repair garage or call a tow truck for a repairer to check and have an answer.

However, when you can’t move in the middle of the road, you must take some important steps to ensure your safety first.

Here are some experiences when the car suddenly stalls that you should note:

Park Your Car On The Curb

In the face of any unexpected incident, the most important thing is to stay calm, not to be afraid because this is a common occurrence.

Next, control the vehicle to pull over to the roadside gently.

Your vehicle may lose the ability to steer and brake but try to pull over to the side of the road before it comes to a complete stop to avoid hitting other vehicles or having a car hit you.

This helps keep everyone safe and doesn’t impede the flow of other vehicles. If the car slows down too hard, use the emergency brake to stop at a safe place.

Sudden stops will happen, but it’s still much safer than parking in the middle of the road.

Turn On Emergency Flashers

Hazard lights are common equipment on most cars today.

It is a kind of emergency light consisting of four lights installed in the 4 corners of the vehicle (2 front corners and 2 rear corners).

This warning light has an amber color and strobe design to match the warning function.

The purpose of hazard lights is to give dangerous warnings to oncoming vehicles and vehicles behind to avoid dangerous collisions.

It can also attract the attention and help of other drivers or passersby.

To activate the hazard lights, click the car dashboard’s red triangle icon. In some models, the hazard lights automatically activate when the vehicle has a problem.

Try Restarting The Engine

Once the vehicle has been brought to a safe location, try restarting it to see if it can reach the nearest repair center.

Determine the cause of the car’s engine shut down; you will know how to restart the


With vehicles unable to roll any longer, you need a call to the mobile rescue team or assistance service.

Call The Emergency Car Number

If the driver’s skills and tools cannot help the car start again, you need to call the mobile rescue team or assistance service to repair it promptly.

How Do You Fix Chevy Silverado Turns Off While Driving? 

2004 chevy silverado starts but wont stay running

When faced with the Silverado engine that keeps running when the ignition is turned off, the first thing to do is to identify the error code by inspecting the control module and other parts.

Check out some suggestions on how to fix it below:

Inspect The Trouble Codes

It would help if you had an OBD II reading tool because the check engine light doesn’t give us much information even though they connect to the OBD system.

You need an OBD scan tool to read and retrieve useful information. You can easily check your car periodically, and read and learn a lot of information about your vehicle’s problem.

The errors are minor, so you can fix them and save money. Otherwise, take the car to a service center for repair.

Check The Alternator Voltage

When there is no OBD2 scanner on the vehicle or trouble codes can be detected, it is best to conduct a sequential inspection of the most vulnerable parts.

We’ll start with the engine’s generator.

Open the bonnet to locate the battery; it’s usually on the left or right side of the engine compartment.

Next, use the voltmeter to measure the voltage when the car does not start and calculate the correct polarity: red rod positive, black rod negative.

If the measured voltage is greater than or equal to 12 Volt, the battery is completely normal, and if the measured voltage is less, it is damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced immediately.

Inspect Fuel Tank

Filling the fuel tank is obvious for the car to work, but sometimes we are so careless that we forget to fill it up.

The faulty fuel gauge sensor also shows the wrong fuel level, so it is necessary to check this part.

Inspect The Fuel Pressure

Low fuel pressure affects the engine performance, so you must check where it is. Connecting the fuel line to the pressure gauge is the easiest way to check.

Pressure lower than standard means the fuel pump, pressure regulator, and fuel filter are having problems.

Check The Tachometer

Next, try to check the RPM meter (tachometer). If this part is not working, there is something wrong with the camshaft or crankshaft position sensor.

The solution to this problem may also be located somewhere among other parts, such as the control panel and sensor data.

However, testing this data sensor can be difficult as it requires a tool compatible with the vehicle’s control module.


Chevy Silverado shuts off while driving and won’t start is an error many drivers encounter.

The cause can come from any part of the engine compartment, so checking and zoning the damage will help a lot in fixing this problem before taking the car to the garage.

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