ENGINE DIES WHILE DRIVING

1988 MERCEDES 260E WHILE DRIVING IT FAST OR SLOW HOT OR COLD SOMETIMES THE ENGINE JUST DIES. WHEN THE CAR FINALLY STOPS, I TURN THE KEY OFF AND TRY TO RESTART. AFTER 2 OR 3 TRIES IT FINALLY STARTS AGAIN.DOESN'T HAVE
PROBLEM STARTING COLD, JUST AFTER IT DIES. THE DEALER REPAIR SHOP SAID COULD,NT PIN POINT PROBLEM SPECIFICALLY, BUT SAID THE DISTRIBUTOR CAP & ROTOR, PLUGS, ARE WORN DOWN. COULD THIS CAUSE THIS TO BE HAPENNING? COULD THE CAP AND ROTOR BE LOSING CONTACT,CAUSING THE ENGINE TO DIE FROM TIME TO TIME? $600 REPAIR BILL, DONT WANT TO PAY IF THIS DONT FIX THE PROBLEM? PAID $150 JUST TO HAVE LOOKED AT. OR COULD THIS BE THE TIMING BELT OR FUEL FILTER GOING OUT? IT DONT SEEM TO HAVE ANY PROBLEM DRINKING GAS! HAVEN'T HAD ANY ENGINE PROBLEMS EXCEPT THIS ONE. I WISH THE PROBLEM WOULD JUST HAPPEN FOR GOOD SO I CAN PINPOINT AND FIX IT, INSTEAD OF NAGGIN ME. TRYING TO HOLD OFF ONE MORE YEAR BEFORE GETTING ANOTHER VEHICLE. THANKS FOR YOUR REPLY!
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BENZO wrote:

I would check the fuel pump relay and fuel pump itself.
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...and the caps-lock key, but I doubt that's related to the car problems. :)
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Pete Stephenson
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There's a relay - a big switch - that turns the electric fuel pump ON and OFF. If the relay opens the fuel pump stops and the motor stops, period. Your car's fuel pump relay is suspect - due to these very symptoms and its age - they get tired.
That a professional repair shop would be mystified by this problem is unbelievable, we see this here weekly! They're trying to pick your pocket, IMHO, and my compliments to you for resisting saying "fix it" - regardless of cost.
The relay isn't cheap but can be bought on-line from various parts suppliers. It just plugs in.
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Check Fuel pump and gas cap. I had a gas cap that did not allow air intake into the tank and pretty soon the vacuum disallowed gas to the engine.

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