Help! Stalling problem they can't figure out (I'm desperate!)

I'd be very grateful if someone could suggest a solution to my stalling problem. The problem is chronic stalling even when driving at highway speeds. The car is a 1995 Ford Probe (Mazda hybrid). It
has had a recent full tuneup, alternator belt, gasket valve, distributor coil, battery boost, and they tell me the engine wires are not corroded. The battery is only 2 years old. Two different service stations spent lots of time on it and couldn't find the problem.
The computer codes are gibberish, I guess because the car is old. The check engine light can't be coded because it is never on while the car is idling.
SYMPTOMS:
1. The problem usually starts after 30-40 minutes of normal driving.
2. The first sign is that it starts choking up, but will still run after letting up on the gas. However, once that begins it won't be long before the car starts stalling, and the stalling will become more and more frequent until the car won't even restart.
3. It happened this morning although the weather was warm and dry.
4. On Monday it wouldn't restart at all. The shop said that no electricity was reaching the spark plugs. They tried all day and couldn't find out why the electricity was not reaching the spark plugs. The next day the electricity was back.
5. There is a delay between electricity sufficient to start the lights & radio and electricity sufficient to start the engine & blower. The engine will not start no matter how many times you turn the ignition unless the blower is ready to blow. Over the past weeks, when this problem was getting worse and worse, the gap between the two stages of electricity has gotten longer and longer -- from a few seconds to minutes, sometimes many minutes, and on Monday it took a day. Now the first thing I do, before trying the engine, is to check the blower. When the blower finally blows, I turn it off and the engine starts.
6. The battery doesn't seem to get more charged by long drives as it should. Just the opposite, it's getting drained. After driving close to 200 miles on Saturday & Sunday, by Monday the battery was very low (so they tell me). It's as if something is draining the electricity.
Any ideas? I'm desperate!!!!!
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 11:12:36 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

Take it to a real garage - with a real mechanic - who knows how to check out the electrical system. You have a bad connection on either the power or ground side somewhere. Your description, and theirs, is pretty sketchy. When it won't start, will it crank?. If not, will the headlights come on? If not it is a direct power feed problem or a ground problem and any good mechanic should be able to find it in less than half an hour.
If, when it won't start, it WILL crank, and the headlights come on, it is a power distribution problem that could take a bit longer to find. Wiring connectors on the probe and the contour/mystique are undersized and problematic - one of their biggest shortcommings.
Is the rest of the car worth spending any time and money on? Most Probes I see around here are either beat to death or rusted away.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thank you for your response. The two mechanics have thriving businesses, but you may be correct that they are out of their league with regard to electrical problems.
When it won't start, it will crank quite well -- it's just that nothing happens. The cranking will only lead to starting if the blower is capable of blowing. If the blower isn't blowing, no amount of cranking will start it. If the blower isn't blowing, there is sufficient electricity to turn on the headlights and radio, just not enough for the engine to start.
Please explain more about what you call a "power distribution problem". What sort of things should a mechanic test?
On Feb 17, 5:14 pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 15:07:42 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

On that car I would be looking very closely at the connector on the ignition switch, or the switch itself. 99% sure you will find a blackened (overheated) terminal in the switch connection.
The headlights work because they do not go through the ignition switch. The connection may be good enough to pass enough current to run the radio, yet not enough to run the blower. If the radio is on, and you turn the blower on and it does not run, does the radio shut off? My suspiscion is it does. And when you turn the blower off, it may or may not come back on.
Should be less than 2 hours to locate the problem, and if it is a burned connector, bypassing it is less than half an hour's work.
I have a Mystique, and there are numerous connections that I've either replaced or jumpered.

Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It does sound like an electrical problem. Could be the battery. Could be a bad ground or a short somewhere, and it could even be related to hot and cold, which could point to the coil or coils. Most mechanics are good at swapping parts, and many are good are reading out the problem on a computer. However, when it comes to electrics you have to find THE guy or gal in the shop. I'm not going to say that a dealer is better than a private mechanic, but at least at a Ford dealer you can turn to Ford if you don't get any satisfaction.
Good luck.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 17:50:32 -0700, "Sheldon"

Sheldon - stop and think for a minute. If the blower runs, the car starts. You have just eliminated the coils and, for all intents and purposes, short circuits. The headlights work when the blower does not. You have just eliminated the battery. The car has a bad connection in the power feed to or from the ignition switch that is temperature sensitive (and likely shock sensitive too) - most likely an overheated connection terminal in the switch plug, but it could be anywhere in the circuit from the battery to the switch (including a bad wire doen under the power distribution panel under the hood) or it could (very easily, being a FORD) be a bad switch.
I did this for a living for 20 years and was VERY good at it (until health issues persuaded me to stop wrenching for a living)
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Sounds like it. There's always one guy in the shop who's good at electrics. Were you him? :-)
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.