Stalling Mercury Villager

I have a 96 Mercury Villager which is essentially a Nissan Quest. We have owned it since new and maintain it meticulously. It has 180,000 miles and is our spare utility car. Twice in the past week it has stalled out while we were driving at speed. The first time happened traveling at 55 on an interstate. Fortunately we were in the slow lane and were able to pull to the shoulder, put it in neutral and restart. The second time a few days later was when I was climbing a hill at about 30 mph. Same thing. All of the dash lights go on as when I turn the key in the ignition to start the car. The motor shuts off. Again, it easily restarted by shifting to neutral and turning the key. My mechanic, who has been maintaining the car for the past 8 years and is very knowledgeable, has spent several hours diagnosing and going over everything. His suspicions are the fuel pump and the air flow meter, but both are functioning o.k. for him. He said that the only thing he can find wrong with the vehicle are two burned out lightbulbs. His suggestion is to take it to a dealer. That could be several more hours of a mechanic not turning up anything. Does anyone have any experience with Villager or Quest having this problem?

There is a Technical Service Bulletin #BC2373970501, and a NHTSA Campaign ID #52817 issued on 5/1/97 that addresses problems with the ignition module on your vehicle.

The ignition module is what controls the spark to the sparkplugs. And when they fail, it will display the same exact symtoms you’re describing.

Contact your local dealer, give them your VIN, and ask if this NHTSA campaign requires that the dealer replace the ignition module at no charge to you. If not, then replace it yourself. because that sounds like what’s wrong.