By YOUCANIC on Apr 15, 2019

When I turn my car off, it continues to run. Engine doesn't shut off

It may sound strange but there may come a time that your car will refuse to turn off even when you remove the key. Taking out the key or pressing the Start/Stop button does not shut off the engine. 

Symptoms

  • Car won't turn off when removing key
  • Key out of ignition car still runs
  • Car keeps running after ignition turned off
  • Engine will not stop when you press Engine Stop button

Problem 

In this situation, as we turn off the ignition the engine continues to run. Pressing the stop button does nothing. Inserting the key into the ignition unlocks the steering column and turns on the ignition but it does not shut off the engine when the key is removed. Car looks like it is turned off, with all the instrument cluster lights turned off.

The problems is that the engine is still running. The vehicle may or may not respond to the gas pedal.

How to turn off a car that is still running

Note:

  • 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.

Instructions:

  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 on your car. If you are not sure look it up on your owners 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.

Car won't restart

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. To fix this problem we had to disconnect the battery and reconnect it in order to get the car to start again. So far the problem has not reoccured.

Common Causes

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 be appearing as it is working, it may be binding and keeping the fuel pump running.

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 Start button the Keyless module could be the culprit. Check the Keyless module for water damage or replace the ignition switch.  

Start Stop Button

How to Troubleshoot a Car That Won't Turn Off

On vehicles equipped with Start/Stop convenience feature the engine may not stop when you press the STOP button. This problem can be caused by a defective Push Start button. If the button stops working, it may need to be replaced.

Depending on the vehicle the button may be integrated in 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 very unlikely 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.

Comments

Heidi, 2019-04-15

Had to disconnect battery and then put it in first gear and dump the clutch to kill it.

Donald , 2019-04-18

I got same problem pt cruiser I checked relays good ignition switch good I think n hope I found the problem ignition housing

Visitor, 2019-05-16

Hello I'm rob my issue is that my car will not shut off when the key it's out I can also have the car running key out and I can still restart the car with the remote start also with the doors open, also my door chime will not sound as well I'm at witts end please help

Colleen , 2019-05-19

Hi I have an issue that started today car won’t shut off keys are out of it!! I have a Dodge 2010 journey about for five months ago I’ve been having a horn problem seems like if it rained or it was damp out my horn always go off without me touching the horn and that happen a lot yesterday and then today all of a sudden my car keeps running when I took out of the ignition I couldn’t believe it was still running what could be the problem ? It finally shut off after a little bit by itself after like 15 20 minutes!! What would be your advice? Thank you!!

Shalanda, 2019-06-21

My truck is doing the same how do I fix this?

Karen, 2019-06-23

My 2003 Jeep Cherokee still runs somewhat, instruments are off but something running inside engine. Can't stop.
Help !!

Linda, 2019-07-22

I have the same problem I have a 97 Ford Thunderbird LX Coupe 3.8L V6. When I go to turn off my engine. The keys turns to off position and Im able to remove my key from the ignition. But my engine is still running, like if the key is still in, when its not. I located my fuze box under the hood and remove the fuze that shut off my engine. And had to disconnected my battery cause the lights in my car refused to turn off.

Phumudzo , 2019-07-24

My polo vivo can't stop running engine even though I switched the key of so I don't know what must I do

Jeanette, 2019-07-31

After I turn off the key and take the key out of the ignition, the engine does not shut off. I turned it on again and drove it to a store and parked it and it stopped. Then I drove it home and it stopped. It is a 2001 Honda Accord V6 with 110,000 miles. New battery.

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