Why Your Car Stalls When Clutch Is Released in Neutral!

When we drive our car, we want it to be smooth. Because any disruptions during the ride could cause irritations. And car stalling is one of them. It’s much more irritating if it stalls when the clutch is released in neutral.

So, why does your car stalls when the clutch is released in neutral?

The main factor behind car stalling when clutch is released in neutral might be a worn-out transmission synchro. An overheated engine can also cause this problem as well. Moreover, a faulty battery could be another reason behind it. However, you could resolve the issues yourself easily!

I’ve prepared a thorough guide with which you can easily fix these issues. All you need to do is to find out the particular issue that’s causing this problem and follow the solution provided.

So, get started now!

Quick Solution You Can Opt for When the Car Stalls!

When you see your car stalling, you must turn it off right away. Because trying to drive your car forcefully in this situation would not be good. Remember that a stalling car can affect its internal parts.

And most crucially, it can affect the engine significantly. So, you must not try to drive your stalling car in any way. 

Once you turn off the ignition, let your car engine rest for like an hour. And if you want then you may start your car again after it.

However, ascertain that it does not get stalling again. And if it does, you must take professional help immediately. 

Even if it does not stall, you need to take your car to a mechanic. Because you can not overlook any symptoms of your car stalling.

Why Does My Car Stall When My Clutch Gets Neutral?

This problem is not something that is rare. A lot of drivers have been coming across this issue actually. However, very less have ideas about the reasons behind it.

So, why does the car stall when its clutch is in neutral? Well, we have got the important leading factors for this discussed here. So, take a look.

Reason 1: An Overheated Engine

Sometimes, you may notice that your car engine gets extremely hot. And this can actually be alarming for many things.

You can not spare the cost of a constantly overheated engine in any way. And an overheated engine could be a reason for your car to stall once the clutch is released in neutral.

Overheated Engine
Source: tirereviewsandmore.com

Yes, you read that right! An overheated can let your car stall if you let its clutch in neutral. 

This happens mainly because the engine can not continue running while releasing the clutch. And that is why the car stalls when you release the clutch.

Now, you may wonder, why does the car engine get overheated? Well, this mainly happens for insufficient water in the coolant. If you fail to maintain the water level properly, you may come through this. 

Also if you didn’t change your car coolant for a long time this can happen too. So a common question may arise, how often should you change your car coolant?

The easiest way to avoid overheating issues is to flush the coolant every two years. You can also figure out when you need to flush by counting the mileage as well. Flushing once it reaches 30,000 miles is a good rule.

Remember this problem may also arise due to a lack of oil in the tank. So, make sure you have no issue while tightening the oil drain plug as well.


For this issue, you must ensure the engine is not overheated. To make sure, you just need to check the coolant or engine water regularly.

Remember that an overheated engine could be really dangerous. So, you can not overlook checking the coolant regularly.

And if you anyway avoid it on purpose or not, you’d push your car in danger. If you think, the level has decreased then you need to fill it up.

Remember one thing: Do not use any random cheap coolant for your engine. Now, if you are wondering to get one, I have got a list of the most recommended coolants.

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However, it’s better to use the one you’ve been using before flushing. Otherwise, the system might need some time to adjust to the whole change.

One thing you need to remember. That is checking the engine coolant level properly is very important. 

If you can not do it properly, you would let your car engine deteriorate the condition. So, be careful about it!

Reason 2: A Faulty Battery

Another reason for your car stalling could be due to a faulty battery. This does not come as a typical one. However, it still happens. So, you can not overlook this anyway.

If you think you are not certain, you may assess it. As a symptom of a faulty battery, you could face difficulty starting your car.

Faulty Battery
Source: tyrepower.com.au

You would come up with sudden stalls often. And eventually, your car might also stop running. Thus, a faulty battery could be responsible for your car stalling.


To fix the issue of a faulty battery, you would need to get a new one. There is no feasibility in trying to fix the battery. 

Firstly, you may not be able to assess it. And secondly, even if you call an expert, the probability of fixing would be really less. So, you better not go for that because the money you’ll be giving to your mechanic will be wasted.

Rather, you can just go straight to replace the battery of your car. Once you replace it, you are good to go! However, before replacing the battery you should check your car’s battery.

That is what also the experts always suggest.

You can use any of these multimeters to figure out if your battery is faulty or not.

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A short tip that you must remember. That is, when you get a new battery, do not forget the guarantee documents. 

Because that is very important to make sure the battery is a good one. And if there are any issues shortly, you could get it replaced or fixed!

So, these are the 3 main reasons for your car stalling. If you can make sure you are out of these issues, it would be fine.

Reason 3: A Worn Out Transmission Synchros

The major factor behind this issue is the worn-out transmission synchros. So, whenever you face this problem, you need to get to it first.

But before that, you need to know, what is a worn-out transmission synchro? 
Well, the transmission of your car has synch rings around it. And these are the ones that assist in transmission work when shifting the different gears.

Transmission Synchros
Source: pearltrees.com

So, these rings might sometimes be worn out with time. As a result, you would notice the gear shifting becomes a bit stiff. Not only that but you might experience some noise too. 

You would hear grinding noises when you try to shift the gear. And that is when your car would stall when you keep your clutch in neutral.

And this is one of the major culprits for the problem that you are concerned about. So, it’s better to be sure you are aware of this before you experience so.

Remember this factor may also cause your car to jerk when driving. So, a worn-out transmission can be really crucial for your car.


Unfortunately, there is not much that you can do in this case. That means you can not actually fix the issue yourself. But that does not conclude it.

You might need to replace the rings or the whole transmission. For that, you need to take professional help. So, talk to the mechanic you take your car to when there’s something wrong with it. 

He might be able to fix it. However, that would let you make a budget for it. Because usually, these types of issues are not that simple and cheap to fix.

But make sure you start fixing procedures as soon as possible. Because delaying this would leave up even more critical problems that you do not expect. Such as transmission failure, power failure or engine will halt out of nowhere.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it normal for my car to stall in neutral?

No, it is not that normal for your car to stall in neutral. However, it is neither that alarming actually. This mainly happens if you change the gear in a rough way when slowing down. And remember that it is better to keep the clutch depressed in the slow drive.

How to understand if my neutral switch is faulty?

There is a certain way to identify a faulty neutral safety switch. And that is to check if your car stalls by keeping the clutch in neutral. So, if you identify that there is a problem with that, you can replace it. For this, get to an expert. They can get it fixed or replaced.

Why does the engine stop when shifting the clutch at times?

Well, this mainly happens when you release the clutch too fast and suddenly. As a result, the RPM of your car falls significantly. And that is why your engine might start stalling right away. So, make sure you do not drop the clutch too fast or quickly.

The Final Words

That’s what you do if the car stalls when the clutch is released in neutral! And you know all the reasons behind this issue now too.

But we have got one more tip! Never try to overlook any alarming symptoms of your car. Because fixing these at an early time would be great and less problematic.

All the best!

Robert Lozano

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