2000 Oldsmobile Alero • 145,000 miles

We have recently bee having a very serious problem. The Alero will suddenly quit running. Before you could wait 5 minutes or so and it would restart. Happened about 3 times like this. The 4th and 5th time it was different. The last time on Tuesday we were on a major highway. Trunk full of 264 cans of dog food. In the back two big sheepdogs. And beside me one freaked out wife. Doing 100 kilometers per hour in the middle lane during rush hour the engine quit. I managed to coast off the side with barely enough room for the car as the snow banks too much of the space. Sat a bit and started it up again. Stayed to the right but 200 yards later it quit again. Running out of room just before an exit. Finally got moving again 200 more yards and it again quit. No room to get out without getting killed as I am the driver but have to use a wheelchair and getting out on the side of the highway is a no go as there's 6 inches to spare beside the right lane.
We have maintained this car, also on Monday replaced the ignition switch. Checked the fuel pump, which has never been replaced but mechanic says its still good. Also replaced the crank sensor.
My family has been put in danger because everything we fis is supposed to fix the problem. Any ideas would be much appreciated. Before I scrap a perfectly useable car except for this problem.
Olds Alero, two door Auto, 2.4l engine. 145,000 kilometers (110,000 miles appro.).
Thank you
February 16, 2013.

Symptoms indicates a likely electrical fault but is not going to be easy to diagnose as it restarts within a short time which makes it almost impossible to loated the cause before it restarts.

There are 2 different symptoms which might help to localise the problem but they might be too insignificant if you were not paying any attantion.

Did the engine cut off immediately or was there any notion of a slight slurge as if the the engine is starving of fuel?

Immediate cutting off would mean electrical controls whilst the other would be a fuel supply problem.

A failing fuel pump would test good but can stop intermittently and start working again.

Were you able to get any trouble codes?

I checked through the TSB and found one that might be worth a look. It states that the intank fuel strainer could be clogged and a new strainer kit is available.

Feb 16, 2013.
Thanks for the reply. There was no indication of a chocking of gas supply and the car just suddenly lost all electrical power. Giving it gas did nothing. All I could do was quickly coast out of the way. My wife just left to go pick up the car from the shop now. I will mention the strainer to the mechanic. Although if it was the strainer it shouldn't lose all power. The codes you mentioned would show an electrical fault and could they pinpoint where in the system it could be.
Thanks for your help.

Feb 16, 2013.
When the strainer gets clogged, fuel would be prevented from getting to the engine and this would result in stalling which would result in no response from the throttle.

Intermittent faults are never easy to detect and if there are trouble codes, which would show on a scan tool, it would help to localise the problem.

Feb 16, 2013.
Sorry none of these helped. Scrapped the car before it would get us killed. Other than this problem car was in great shape. Shame. Lots of new and good parts for my mechanic to make a few bucks from.

Apr 1, 2013.
A good call where safety is concerned. Would never have peace of mind whenever driving the vehicle under such situations.

Have a great day.

Apr 2, 2013.