This is why the car stalls in reverse

Have you ever tried to pull out in reverse only for your car to make that stalling sound? Were you worried, did you care to understand why your car drives smoothly but stalls in reverse?

Well, for a smooth ride, all your car’s components must work together. In reverse, areas like the gear and engine must work hand in hand. If either fails, the other will bear the load and issues like stalling will pop up.

Stalling in reverse can be attributed to many different causes. It depends on the type of car you drive and how well it is serviced.

In automatic cars, for example, stalling in reverse is most of the time caused by failed oxygen sensors. In manual cars, we look at the gear shift and clutch for clues.

For others like jeeps, it can be quite hard to pinpoint the issue’s source because of their complex builds.

8 Reasons Why Cars Stall In Reverse

Below, we’ll delve deeper into the stalling issues and reveal the causes and a few remedies. Read on.

1. Blocked Fuel Injectors

This plagues automatic cars. Their fuel system is heavily reliant on the fuel injectors and a slight failure will result in stalling.

Fuel injectors block because of the introduction of foreign material into the fuel system. The dirt halts the fuel filter and strainer making it difficult to operate.

A blockage in the fuel injectors affects the entire fuel system resulting in weaker fuel delivery to the pistons.

This causes an imbalance in the fuel and air ratio in the combustion process thus the sudden stalling during reverse.

2. Driving In The Wrong Gear Direction

An automatic car will immediately die if you attempt to drive it in the wrong gear direction. This will mostly occur if you try to drive down a steep driveway with your reverse gear engaged.

Driving in the wrong gear direction can also damage some other crucial expensive components.

4. Failed Fuel Filter

All fuel running in your engine must pass through the fuel filter. If the filter is compromised, the entire combustion process will be affected.

Debris in the fuel filter causes fuel delivery and pressure issues which are evident in the car’s stalling behavior.

5. Bad Ignition System

During the combustion process, aside from the housing and delivery systems, there are other less talked about but very crucial components like the spark ignition system. It is tasked with creating the sparks that light up the fuel for combustion.

A failed ignition system will cause issues like misfires and stalling when driving in reverse. If your engine stalls, misfires, and hesitates, you might want to check the ignition system.

6. Faulty oxygen sensor

Your car’s ECM manages the engine through reports from components like the oxygen sensor. The sensor detects the oxygen levels in the exhaust fumes and relays the data to the ECM.

The ECM reads the engine’s operating levels from the oxygen present in the exhaust gasses.

If it fails, the O2 sensor relays misleading data to the ECM-the car responds by stalling or dying in reverse.

7. Failed fuel pump

As you service other car parts, think about the fuel pump. Without it, the fuel will not reach the combustion chamber and the engine might not even run let alone stall.

Fuel pumps mostly fail due to issues like clogged fuel filters-if the filter is clogged and can’t pass as much fuel as the pump is pushing then the bounce back will fall on the pump.

Poor fuel pumping causes weak fuel delivery to the combustion chamber-this is what results in stalling when you reverse.

8. Failed TPS Sensor

The Throttle Position Sensor reads the pressure falling on the throttle from the driver. With information on how far down the gas pedal is, the ECM can effectively determine the ratio of fuel and gas to let into the combustion process.

This way, the driver controls how fast or slow the car drives by simply pressing the pedal harder or lighter.

If the TPS sensor malfunctions, the ECM will receive false data regarding the throttle input. With this happening, the idle air control valve will not activate since the ECM is unsure about the throttle input. This will cause stalling when you attempt to reverse.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Car That Stalls In Reverse?

There is no off-the-bat answer to this question but by approaching the problem from the cause, you can easily determine the cost of repair.

For minor issues like clogged fuel injectors, you can always clean them and be on your way but if the problem stems from a damaged component, you might need to replace it.

The cost of the various components causing your car to stall in reverse is subjective-we will mention each part’s replacement costs.

Car PartReplacement Cost
Fuel pump$200 to $900
Throttle position sensor$100 to $180
Oxygen sensor$80 to $250
Fuel filter$60 to $180
Ignition system$200 to $400
Fuel injectors$400 to $800

The prices mentioned above should cover the part’s purchase cost and the labor.

We have mentioned the prices in ranges because car repair costs vary depending on the area you are in and the garage you drive into.

Bottom Line

Stalling in reverse can affect any car from sedans to jeeps-automatic and manual. It is clear by now that the issue is common and very easy to work around–if no costs are incurred.

From the causes mentioned above, you can effectively prevent stalling in reverse by servicing the mentioned parts more and maybe minding what gets into your fuel tank.

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