Car stops suddenly

I have a 2001 Mazda 626. It has stopped unexpectedly while moving 2 times in the past 3 1/2 months. When it stooped (both times) it was mid-day, the a/c was on and I was moving at a low speed (between 5-15 mpg). When this happens, the gear shift locks up and the car won’t move. Then after about 15-20 minutes it starts right up!

The car has been checked by my regular mechanic both times, who is terrific, and although he ran a diagnostic both times, found no electrical problem. He’s convinced it’s some kind of simple mechanical issue but hasn’t be en able to diagnose what and isn’t inclined to just start replacing any/all possible parts without a definitive reason.

The second time the car did this the Mazda dealership also did a full diagnostic and only reported “repairing” a couple of the battery wires, did not replace anything.

No one knows what’s wrong but if the problem isn’t resolved soon I will have to get another vehicle because I no longer feel safe in the car.

Has anyone out there had this experience and figured out a solution?

One possibility is the crank angle sensor. Another is the battery / battery cables. A friend had a Neon that would die when driving. Turned out to be a loose battery cable that disconnected once in a while. Once that was fixed the problem went away. I am glad your mechanic does not want to throw parts at the problem, but he/she should be able to track this down.

When you say the gearshift locks up do you mean it is a manual transmission and you can not move the shifter?

Is it an automatic? When it does not shift, do you mean it does not shift out of Park? Do you have a bunch of things on your key chain? Crank sensor would be suspect when it’s warm. I’m just wondering if your ignition switch maybe a problem too.