My Car Stalls When Turning Steering Wheel – What Could Be The Reason?

If your car stalls when turning steering wheel, you have a reasons to be concerned. The problem could be either with your power steering fluid, or your MAP sensor. Read on to know why this is happening.

You are driving your vehicle, and suddenly, it starts to stall. You will probably try to figure out the reason for this problem, and soon you realize that the problem lies in the steering wheel. The problem happens only when you try to turn the car.

Now you might be wondering what to do. Well, we have the solution to this problem. The steering wheel probably is working as an on and off switch for your car, which is why it is coming to a halt when turning the steering wheels.

However, diagnosing the problem and getting to a solution might not be this simple. Hence we have created this content for you.

In this article, we will discuss every possible reason behind your car getting stalled while turning the steering wheel, and we will also talk about the solutions to this problem. 

Car Stalls When Turning Steering Wheel

Know About Steering Technology

Before you solve the problem in your vehicle, you need to know about the basics of steering technology. In the early 20th century, the wheel of the car was attached to a hydraulic system to lessen the physical burden of the driver. 

Before discovering the steering-wheel technology, it was challenging to turn a vehicle, and the larger the car, the more difficult it became to turn the vehicle. Nowadays, this complex system has become necessary in every car and truck. 

A steering system’s essential components include a pump that maintains the pressure of the hydraulic system involved in the car. Fluid is present inside the pump, which regulates the pump by valves and pistons. 

This pump, in turn, helps the wheel to move, and the driver needs to make a little effort to drive the car. The hydraulic system does the bulk amount of the job for you, and all you need to do is turn the steering wheel which controls the actual gears and all other parts involved in the internal mechanisms of the vehicle you drive. 


You might like to read: Popping Noise When Backing Up And Turning Wheel – What Does it Mean?


What is Power Steering, and What Happens When It Malfunctions in a Vehicle?

First things first, let us tell you what power steering is. Power steering is a mechanism that reduces the amount of effort that a driver needs to turn the steering wheel of a vehicle. 

Without the help of power steering, it will be a difficult task for drivers to move the car, especially at a low speed. Primarily there are three types of power steering, and they are-

Hydraulic Power Steering

As you can guess by the name, this type of power steering uses hydraulic fluid, which is kept in a highly pressurized condition by using a pump driven by the vehicle’s engine power. 

This type of power steering system is not useful because of the disadvantages it possesses. Any leak in the hydraulic pump can damage the power steering system, and also there is a need to change the fluid inside of the hydraulic pump. 

Car Stalls When Turning Steering Wheel

Electric Power Steering

Most of the cars you will see on the roads have an Electric Power Steering (EPS) system. Instead of a hydraulic motor, an electric motor is ideal in this power steering system. You can find the electric motor close to the steering wheel. 

It will be present on the steering rack, or the manufacturers can also mount it on the steering column. Your steering will feel a lot easier to move, and by using this, you can adjust the gear automatically depending on the condition of the road. 

The EPS system can also perform on its own, as it is seen in cars having the facility of auto pilot. 

Electrohydraulic Steering

This one is a hybrid. Electrohydraulic steering can not be seen in the case of cars, and usually, heavy-duty trucks are equipped with this system. In the case of this steering system, hydraulic pressure is useful, but that pressure is generated by using an electric motor. 

The power steering can malfunction under certain circumstances. The most known reason behind this failure is an empty fluid tank. 

A fluid tank can get emptied when there is a leak, and the power steering can also falter when the fluid is not changed for a prolonged period. These two problems become more common when the vehicle gets older, and the power steering system parts wear down.

Truck Dies When Turning Steering Wheel

Now let’s get back to the main question at hand.

Steering Fluid/Sensor Issues

Irrespective of the car you own model, if it has power steering, then under certain circumstances, your car can stall when you try to take a turn by moving the steering wheel in the desired direction. The reasons behind this problem in your car are mentioned below.

  • When the fluid used in the motor used in the power steering is not clean or not present in an adequate amount. 
  • The power steering system sensor is not working correctly.

Other than that, problems in the fuel pump, crankcase hoses, and tensioner present in the serpentine belt can also make your car stall all of a sudden. 


You might like to read: 6 Things To Do When You Hear A Noise When Turning Steering Wheel At Low Speed


MAP Sensor Issues

Another reason behind this malfunction may be that the MAP sensor is not working correctly. 

When you try to push the motor too hard two things can happen.There is a high chance that you might use the gears of the vehicle or simply use the power steering switch to move it. But at this time, due to the wide-open throttle, the engine can malfunction. 

The vacuum pressure will drop suddenly. All this will lead to trucks getting stopped all of a sudden. Whenever you are turning the wheel of your truck, the drive belts use the engine’s power to propel itself. 

As time goes on, the vehicle’s engine will start taking an extra load. The stress is put over the engine because the pump begins to wear out with time. That is another reason your truck can lose power as soon as you start. 

Your truck can die when you move your steering wheel while turning. This happens when the fuel you are using in your truck contains less oxygen. This type of fuel can lead to malfunctioning and inefficiency in the engine, and your vehicle’s engine will stop suddenly. You will also face difficulties while turning it on. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my car shut off when I turn left?

It could be because of a vacuum leak, or any other mechanical issue.

In case of a vacuum leak or if there is an underlying error in the sensor attached to the car engine, the speed generated by the car engine will become extremely low. 

Any other mechanical issue may also cause this to happen in your vehicle. Whenever you are trying to turn your vehicle, you need to slow down, whether it is on the left or right. This slowing down will accumulate with the already slow speed caused by the faulty engine, and your car will shut off. 

Car Stalls When Turning Steering Wheel

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

Yes, it can.


The answer to your question is yes. A worn-out power steering pump can make your car stop in the middle of the road. When the power steering pump fails, irrespective of the type of the power steering, there will be a shortage in the required fuel supply. This imbalance will make your engine stall.

What causes the car to lose its power while accelerating?

It could be due to faulty air duct or fuel pump malfunction.


When you put your foot on the accelerator of your vehicle, then you might notice a strange thing that instead of increasing power, the car starts to lose power. 

This mostly happens when there is a faulty air duct or the fuel pump in the car or the truck begins to malfunction. This issue can also arise when your vehicle’s exhaust system does not do its job correctly, and the exhausted fluid begins to accumulate in the system itself. Other than that, several other reasons can cause this issue in your vehicle. 

Why does my car cut off when I turn a corner?

The power steering present in your car can withstand up to a certain amount of stress. When excess pressure is put on the car engine, and especially on the power steering, it can fail to function. 

If this happens, then check on the power steering fluid level, and if it is below the required amount, you need to put an adequate amount of fuel in it to maintain the pressure necessary for the power steering to function correctly. 

Car Stalls When Turning Steering Wheel

Final Words

We hope that you have gotten the answer to the question: “Why is my car or truck getting stalled while turning the steering wheel?”  If you have any other questions related to this topic, please drop us a word in the comments section. Thank you for reading!

Another article that you might like to read is What Does Service Variable Effort Steering Mean – Detailed Guide

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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