Jump to content

Car dies when coming to a stop


Recommended Posts



I'm trying to figure out what is wrong with my 2000 Honda Civic EX (4 door). When coming to a stop, at a light, stop sign, etc., the battery light will flicker and the car will die, then I have to put the car in park and start the car back up again and then it will go. I was advised to add more coolant beacuase it was really low and it works, but the car goes through coolant really quick. I was told it could be a bad head gasket. The car leaks a little under the hood region, could be the coolant? Any advice as to why my car keeps dying when I come to a stop and why the coolant doesn't seem to last very long in my car?


Thank you in advance for any suggestions!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might have more than one issue going on. As actual coolant level should have nothing to do with your car stalling out when you stop. Until it would overheat a car will run just fine with 0 coolant in it. Now depending on where the coolant is leaking that could be causing it to stall out. You need to find out where it is going. Telling me it leaks under the hood region is a little vague since the entire engine and cooling system is under the hood region.


Park the car on pavement or put cardboard under it and isolate where the liquid is coming from and what color it is.

Check your oil for a milky appearance. This is a sign of a leaking head gasket.

Pay attention to the color and quantity of smoke coming out of your exhaust pipe. Abnormal quantities of white smoke and a sweetish smell, like burning sugar, are signs of a leaking head gasket.


When you slow down and come to a stop next time try putting the car into neutral and rev the engine up a little bit. Normally when you come to a stop the engine drops to idle, 500-700 rps or so. If you keep it revved up to 1000-1500 rpms does it still stall? If you car doesn't have a tach just wing it. You don't need to floor it, just press the pedal a little bit to maintain higher rpms and see if it still stalls on you. When it is time for you to go shift back to drive or put it in gear and go. It's not the greatest thing for your transmission but doing it for testing isn't going to hurt anything. If the car doesn't stall when you do this you may just need to clean your Idle Air Control Valve, or IACV for short.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Survey the level of coolant fluid in the plastic coolant reserve tank. If your vehicle is not maintaining sufficient levels of coolant fluid, the car cannot be properly cooled and will not function. There could be a leak in the reserve tank, water pump or one of the hoses. Refill the reserve tank entirely with coolant and see if fluid loss continues. Leaks in the rubber hoses and radiator or internal engine problems can cause your vehicle to lose coolant. Check the coolant reservoir and open the radiator cap to make sure coolant is visible in the radiator.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Xeryon and Jeff for your help. What brand of head gasket do you guys use/recommend?


If facing the car, the leak is near the lower left of the car. When I put coolant in the car, the car doesn't die when I come to a stop anymore, although the battery light will just flicker on occasion and not die. I was recently recommended to rent a tool that tests the pressure of the coolant system.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you check the oil for properly color/consistency?


If it is on the lower left that is still pretty vague. The reservoir is on that side as well as the upper heater hose and thermostat. Obviously, if the leak is higher up it will trickle or spray down to the lower side of the motor. The leak could be stemming from the head gasket on that side as well. The HG would be oriented approximately at the 1/2 point of the overall height of the motor from the bottom of the oilpan to the top of the valve cover.


If the HG leaking doesn't seem like it's low enough down to be the source of the leak other possibilities are a crack in the block as well as blown freeze plug, Of which there is one in the block behind the transmission and would look a little like your transmission was leaking coolant.


As for head gasket there really isn't any issues with any of them if it is just your basic transportation and doesn't see extreme use.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Guidelines
We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.