Car Engine Doesn't Turn Off When Removing Key or Pressing STOP

It is a strange problem to have a car that won't turn off when you remove the key from the ignition or press the Engine Stop button. 

Your engine will continue to run even when you remove the key from the ignition because the fuel pump is not shutting off. This problem is typically caused by a faulty fuel pump relay or a defective ignition switch. 

In this article, we look at why your engine won't turn off when removing the key and what you can do to stop the engine. 

Symptoms

  • The car won't turn off when removing the key.
  • The key out of the ignition car still runs.
  • The car keeps running after the ignition is turned off.
  • The engine will not stop when you press the Engine Stop button.

How to turn off a car that is still running

  • Do not try to disconnect the battery.
  • It is not recommended to start removing random fuses.
  • Your car may not restart once you get it turned off. Park vehicle in a safe location where it ok park. 
  1. Drive your car to a safe location. Keep in mind that your car may not start again after you get it to turn off. So drive it home or to a place that would be ok to leave the car parked.
  2. Locate the fuse boxes in your car. If you are not sure, look it up on your owner's manual. Typically there is a fuse box in the engine bay and one on the side of the dashboard. Some models have a fuse box in the trunk as well.
  3. Determine the fuse and relay for the fuel pump.
  4. Remove the fuse for the fuel pump or the relay.
  5. Your car engine dies within 10 seconds.

What to do if the car won't start

car won't turn off key out of the ignition car still runsIn our case, a Mercedes R-Class would not restart after removing the relay.

We had to disconnect the battery and reconnect it to get the car to start again to fix this problem. So far, the problem has not reoccured.

As long as the engine is not running, you can proceed with disconnecting the battery. This will often reset the module that is not working properly. 

Why won't an engine won't shut down when I remove the key or press STOP? 

Here are the most common problems that cause the engine to keep running even after removing the key from the ignition or press the STOP button. 

Ignition Module / Keyless Start

car wont stop when I remove key due to a bad ignition module keyless start

The ignition module may fail, or if your car is equipped with an Engine Push to the Start button, the Keyless module could be the culprit. Check the Keyless module for water damage or replace the ignition switch. 

Fuel Pump Relay

The fuel pump relay may bind and get stuck in the ON position. It sends power to the fuel pump even when the engine is turned off. Replace the fuel pump reply. Even though the relay may still appear as it is working, it may bind and keep the fuel pump running.

Start Stop Button

pressing stop won't turn off vehicle engine

On vehicles equipped with the Start/Stop convenience feature, the engine may not stop when you press the STOP button. A defective Push Start button can cause this problem. If the button stops working, it may need to be replaced. Depending on the vehicle, the button may be integrated into the ignition module and may need to be replaced with the module. It is possible to open the ignition module and repair the switch without replacing the module. You will have to find an independent repair shop for this procedure because it is doubtful for your dealer to repair an old ignition module. If the module has to be replaced, it will require programming and coding, which in most cases, will cost over $1000 for parts and labor. 

Do you have this problem? Use the comment section to tell us about it and share how you got your car turned off.