SOLVED: Car Steering Wheel Locked Up, and Car Turned Off While Driving


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SOLUTION: My car steering wheel locked up, and my car turned off while driving

There have been some rear cases where a car steering wheel suddenly refuses to turn while driving – but it doesn’t stop there – the engine suddenly turns off too after this phenomenon and speaking for some persons this might have happened to, it can be really quite scary. 

Certain things can cause this to happen, but you should note that a power steering wheel assists depends on the engine power to function effectively.


This is a situation that can be termed as “engine stalling” and the root cause of such issues can only be determined by an engine stalling specialist. 

Just so you know, some causes of “engine stalling” can be related to the following;

Faulty crankshaft position sensors

In simple words, the crankshaft is basically the foundation of the internal combustion engine. It converts linear motion to rotational motion where necessary, and if there is an issue with the crankshaft position sensor, it can cause the signal of the crankshaft to be lost while the engine is running, thereby causing the engine to “stall” as I explained earlier.   

Worn-out spark plugs

As little as they are, spark plugs are very vital in your vehicle. They supply the spark that begins the mixture of air and fuel thereby creating the needed explosion that causes your car engine to produce power.

Your spark plugs can be worn-out as a result of being covered with carbon, or as a result of blisters caused by running in high temperatures.

This can lead to your car engine misfiring which includes stopping on its own – when this happens – the temporary solution is to clean the spark plugs with gasoline. Cleaning the spark plugs should be enough to start your engine before taking it to the mechanic for a total change. 

Defunct ignition coils

An ignition coil and a spark plug work hand in hand, in the sense, that, an ignition coil transforms the car battery’s voltage to the required volts needed to create electric sparks in the spark plugs to ignite fuel.

Being an important cog in the ignition system, any fault in the ignition coils can lead to the engine losing power and acceleration, and a reduction in the gas mileage which can lead to the engine shutting down.  

A faulty Mass Air Flow sensor

Popularly known as MAF, the Mass Air Flow Sensor of your vehicle is responsible for calculating the amount of air that enters your engine.

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A faulty Mass Air Flow Sensor means that your vehicle cannot measure the total amount of airflow correctly, which in turn causes the engine computer to misread the amount of injected fuel needed. This can easily lead to your vehicle not starting at all, stalling, or poor power and acceleration.

Other factors that can cause your vehicle to turn off in the middle of the road can include the following:

  • A faulty energy coolant temperature sensor (typical to cold starts)
  • Less fuel delivery caused by a clogged fuel filter or a faulty fuel pump
  • Driving on contaminated gasoline
  • Bad throttle position

These issues are better tackled when handled by a specialist. As soon as your engine shuts down – even if it’s in the middle of the road – do not panic. Call your car maintenance person, or use the internet to locate the one closest to your location. They should know what to do.


What would cause a steering wheel to lock up while driving?

Apart from the issues I raised above, other factors that can cause your steering wheel to lock up while driving includes the following;

  • Making frequent sharp turns
  • A power steering pump failure
  • An ignition lock

Once this occurs try as much as you can to park safely by first putting on your hazard lights to warn oncoming vehicles.

Why does my car shut off when I turn my steering wheel?

If your vehicle turns off once you turn your steering wheel, then it’s most likely that one of the following is the cause; A rough idle or a bad AC Valve.

It can also be a result of a bad power steering pressure switch which can cause your engine to stall due to the insufficient fuel being supplied by the fuel injectors to compensate for the power of the steering wheel.

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Can a bad power steering pump cause a car to stall?

A bad power steering pump can cause a car to stall especially if the wheels are turned when it occurs. This is because the car’s engine computer won’t recognize the demand placed on it for power, thereby causing it to stall.

The steering wheel locked up and the car died – Conclusion

Engine stalls can be avoided if some routine checkups are done before leaving the house in the morning. If your car delays in starting, then that’s a red flag you should look out for. Contact a car mechanic as soon as you can to avoid future disappointments.

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