I have a 1998 Honda Civic with > 200k miles. It drives very well normally. Its problem is that it stalls randomly while driving. There is no 'sputtering' or 'chugging'. The engine just stops running suddenly and the check engine light comes on.
I turn the ignition off, and try to restart. If the check engine light stays on when I turn the key, then it will not start. If it the check engine light goes off then it restarts fine.
Additionally, there is a sound that is associated to my knowing if it will start again. If the check engine light goes OFF, there is a sound like a pump that cycles. If the check engine light stays on, then there is no sound.
Once the check engine light goes off and I can start it, I've taken it to a shop and had them check for error codes, which there are none. I've let the shop drive the car around and they have not had the issue occur while driving.
This issue seems to occur most often when it is above freezing, and usually after I've been driving in 5th gear. Though that comment about the gear is not always repeatable or consistent. It has stalled in ANY gear, just seems to stall the most when I'm in 5th or shortly after.
We've replaced the battery, checked the alternator, replaced the ignition electronics, and had them check for error codes which hasn't resulted in one yet.
The Honda dealer was the worst, saying there was a blown head gasket and engine damage, so I needed to replace all that for $3900.
It has been frustrating, as you probably imagine. :-) The occurrences of this is 0-2 times per trip in the car. Often times where aren't places to pull to the side of a road. I'm also in $400 deep now with zero solutions between taking it to Honda's shop and another local shop.
Any suggestions welcome, and I can clarify any information if needed. Thanks all!