Q: Engine, power steering, and brakes shut off

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The engine in my car shut off while I was driving approx. 25 mph. The power steering and the power brakes also stopped working. I thought it was probably the battery, so I replaced it; that didn’t help. Next, I considered that the alternator might be the problem and I ordered a new exterior fan alternator. I also thought it might be the distributor cap, so I checked it and sure enough it had some corrosion. Cleaned that, but the problems still persisted. I have also found that it is fortunately not the timing chain/belt. I do get gas, so it is not the fuel pump. Tomorrow I will have the alternator tested. If it turns out that the problem is not the alternator, can you advise me on what to check next?

A: Given you had a "sudden" failure,...

Given you had a "sudden" failure, you might check the crank position sensor first. This component instructs the ignition module when to fire the spark plugs. If the crank position sensor is OK, work your way up the electrical path. Is there spark at the plugs? If not, check the rotor, coil, or coil-to-distributor wire - components that affect all the cylinders. A YourMechanic professional can diagnose your stalling issue and replace failed parts.

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