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How to Stay Safe if Your Engine Loses Power

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Tina Robinson4 years ago

A design flaw found in multiple GM vehicles makes it easy for vehicle ignition switches move out of the “run” position, resulting in a loss of power to the vehicle’s engine.

In the event that a vehicle loses engine power, operators may not know what to do, creating a dangerous situation.

What to Do If You Lose Engine Power

According to Consumer Reports, drivers should do the following if a vehicle loses power while in operation:

  • Keep their eyes on the road, and if necessary, look for a place to pullover and stop.
  • If power loss is due to the ignition being moved into the “accessory” or “off” position, drivers should shift the vehicle into neutral and restart the engine. Drivers should then be able to shift back to drive and continue driving.
  • In the event the engine won’t restart, drivers should apply the brakes and steer to the side of the road.
  • Turn on hazard lights and seek help.

It is important to remember that if an engine loses power, features such as power steering and power brakes will be unavailable.

Steering will be more difficult, but possible, and drivers may need to apply the emergency brake to come to a stop.

GM Defect Linked to Multiple Deaths

Despite early claims by General Motors that their vehicles were safe as they were still operable after loss of engine power, GM now acknowledges that 13 deaths have been attributed to the ignition switch defect.

The company is also warning consumers that airbags may fail to deploy should loss of engine power occur before or during a collision.

Multiple federal and congressional agencies are investigating the automaker’s handling of the recall as they attempt to determine if the recall action was issued in a reasonable manner and timeframe. 


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