What Do I Do If I Have An Ignition Interlock Device And My Vehicle Stalls?

As a pioneer in the ignition interlock device (IID) industry, we here at ALCOLOCK have gotten just about every question. The latest question is “What do I do if I have an ignition interlock device and my vehicle stalls?” It’s a more common question than you might think, which is why we are addressing it on our FAQs page.

Like it or not, car engines stall. Maybe you’re sitting in bumper to bumper traffic, or maybe you’re cruising along and the engine stalls. A little frustrating for anyone, but what happens when you have an ignition interlock device in your vehicle? Do you have to immediately blow into the device while people honk at you to get out of the way?

Stall Protection is a Feature of Your Ignition Interlock Device

The good news is no. If you had given a clean breath sample as required shortly before your car stalled, and you turn the key within three minutes of a stall to restart the car, you’re allowed to do that without giving another breath sample, The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has model specifications for breath alcohol ignition interlock devices that address just this situation. All IID manufacturers must ensure that their devices meet or exceed the specifications, with stall protection being one of many.

So, just like any driver whose car stalls on them, just turn the key again to restart the vehicle. But you may want to have a mechanic check out your car if this happens more than once. You may also be able to troubleshoot the issue yourself, depending on how handy you are.

Why Your Car Stalls

There are six main reasons your car stalls, and all of them require your attention. If your car stalls, you could be rear-ended, even in slow-moving traffic. Reasons your car stalls include:

  1. A bad or failing battery
  2. Failing fuel pump
  3. Moisture/water in the gas
  4. A problem with the electrical wiring
  5. Fuel pressure issues
  6. Distributor cap problems

To learn more about each of these issues, you can Google them, or Google “why does my car stall”, and read through the results. If your check engine light came on, you can get a mechanic or some auto supply stores to run the diagnostics for you.

Auto Repairs When You Have an Ignition Interlock Device

If the reason your car is stalling isn’t something simple you can resolve yourself, you may need to take your vehicle to a mechanic. Before you have any auto repairs done, there are a few things you need to do.

Tell the Mechanic

When you make your auto repair appointment, let the mechanic know you have an ignition interlock device installed. Most mechanics have worked on vehicles with IIDs installed. They know that in order to start the vehicle and take it for a test drive, they will need to blow into the device, just as you would. When you drop your car off for service, you should take an extra mouthpiece for them to use. You should also bring your owner’s manual for the device.


The other thing you should do is notify ALCOLOCK. You can do this easily through your online account. Report the date and time of service, and report again when the service is completed. That way, any power interruptions, apparent tampering, or missed tests happen during this time period, we will know that it is due to the mechanic performing work on your car. ALCOLOCK  can also tell you if there is anyone else you need to notify.

Schedule Ignition Interlock Device Installation

If you need to get an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle, help is just a phone call away. Call one of our service locations directly, or call ALCOLOCK at (866) 700-9300 to schedule your ignition interlock installation appointment. Once we have confirmation that you are eligible for your state’s restricted driving program, we can generally get you an appointment within two business days.

Plan on having someone drive you to that first appointment. During your appointment, the technician will install the device, as well as train you on how to use the device. If someone else will be using your vehicle while the IID is installed, they should come in for training as well. We offer fast and affordable ignition interlock device installation and maintenance at locations around the country.

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