Q: Engine quits intermittently, apparent electrical problem

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High mileage but well maintained. Past few months the engine suddenly quits from time to time. No sputtering, just running along fine and then stops. Usually cuts out when parking or at a light, but once while driving along the highway with foot on the gas. Seems electrical since the car clock resets each time. Usually engine restarts with battery seeming to be strong (never seems weak). But a couple of times after quitting everything is dead. No lights. Power windows and door locks don't work either, though sometimes hitting those switches there's a slight sound as if there might be a little juice. Jump starting worked. Battery was changed several weeks back as possible solution. Later a mechanic found and fixed a bad battery cable connection. But the problem still occurs. I'm stumped. Thanks so much.

My car has 290000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there, thanks for writing in. The fact that the vehicle loses all power and the clock resets then that tells me that is it completely losing connection from the battery. Most of the time this is caused by either a bad connection at the fuse box or a bad battery cable. Most of the time this is a battery cable issue. The battery cables will usually develop a high amount of internal resistance that will cause the voltage to drop off causing this to occur. I would typically start with a voltage drop test of the battery cables before replacing them. If they actually pass the test then I would test the power going to the fuse box to see if that is intermittent. If you need to have this stalling/starting issue fixed, consider YourMechanic, as a certified mechanic can come to your home or office to diagnose and repair this.

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