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Start with checking the alternator voltage with a multimeter. With the car off check the voltage in the battery which should be holding 12v charged less if flat of course then start the car and test the battery again. If the alternator is good you should be getting a reading of 14 to 14.5 v if it's the alternator it'll A) not put any charge into the battery or B) be a very low voltage being anything under 13.5 v
There are many things that can contribute to this problem. It sounds like it may be ignition related. Possibly an ignition control module or ignition coil. The check engine light coming on while driving is the key to finding the problem. The light comes on when the computer finds a problem and will then store it in its memory. Have the codes checked for what the computer has found to be at fault and with a little diagnostics, should lead you to the problem
As with any no-start issue, you will need to figure out if it is a fuel or ignition problem to proceed. The brake switch problem with the shifter could be a fuse. No start could be a relay, fuse, fuel pump, coil, or a long list of other things. Did you check the computer for trouble codes ?
This engine is electronically controlled so the first thing that must be done here is to have the systems control computer tested for fault codes and then do the proper diagnostics based on those codes.
your injector or fuel pump may be going out, next time when you check the issue, check your distubutor again and making sure you getting sparks, if you do have sparks than it has to be your fuel problems.
okay try this....talk to your parts store and get a battery load tester, and find out if the battery is indeed dead. My guess is it sounds like the Altenator is dying. they are around 50-100 and can be install by a pro in minutes.
It's got all the symptoms of a leak in the fuel line. You may want to start backward at the tank and work your way all the way to the carb to find it but it would be surprising if it was something else. All the best. Greg
It sounds like you have some **** in the gas tank that is being drawn to the pickup blocking it.
Have seen this and because it seems so random, it can drive ya nuts.
You might carry a coffee can with you and pull the line from the fuel rail when this happens stick it in the can and just have someone turn the key on for a few seconds.
Beware though, it comes out with force.
Also possible is a failed fuel pressure regulator.
Those aren't expensive and . . . well, not very good either.