Only runs while the starter is engaged, but shuts off immediately after

Asked by Jun 10, 2018 at 04:51 AM about the 1991 Mercury Topaz

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My moms 91' Topaz fires up when you start it and sounds like it's going to
run fine, but as soon as you release the ignition from the start position, it
immediately shuts off as if the fuel cuts out. If you hold the ignition key in the
start position, it continues to run and sounds fine. I thought the engine was
just cold when it I moved it a couple weeks ago because it eventually stayed
running after a few tries, but now it won't stay running no matter how many
times you try.

5 Answers


Sounds like a bad ignition switch, these are known to just come apart.

Are you saying that the ignition switch is shutting the car off when it's in the "on" position? And when you say "come apart", do you mean they break and the switch has to be replaced, or that the pieces come loose and can be tightened and fixed?


You can't fix them, they have to be repalced, unless the mounting bolts have worked loose.


Once you get the column covers off check the ingition switch connector, look for burnt contacts, hopefully they will be good and you can just get by with replacing and adjusting the switch. These us shear away bolts so they are the pits to replace, a small chisel and hammer to get them loose then a good pair of pliers will,help in getting out the old mounting bolts. The replacement switch should come with new mounting bolts.

1 people found this helpful.

Sounds good. Thank you!

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