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Q: Car keeps turning off?! Help please!!! on 1997 Ford Contour

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Hi,my name is Erica and I have a 1997 Ford Contour SE (56,000 miles)
And for some reason,recently,the car keeps turning off at random times,sometimes after 15 min. of driving,then it wont turn back on,SOMETIMES it will turn back on but only randomly....Any ideas what could be the reason? Mechanics have told me it could either be because of old cables,or the crank sensor,or chem sensor...

if you could also tell me the cost to replace whichever you think it is would be a BIG help!

(and the check engine light but it says its because of a vaccum leak)

Additional Details
also, the check engine light has been on since i first got the car,and ive never had the problem with the car turning off before
No car image 94a1663db56199c5353592009e34aaa51078a2469bed068bb8d6f0ba43accf97
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Hi Erica,
Even though the check engine light has been on for awhile, the codes that are stored in the engine control module will be important pieces of info to help figure this out. Can you provide us with those codes?
Can you also explain what you mean by "it wont turn on"?
When you turn the key can you hear any noise from the starter or the engine?
Is the engine cranking but not starting?
to bretb:

i actually dont know the codes,im sorry...and yes i can hear the engine as in i can crank it,but it doesnt start,i can hear the crank but just wont start.
listening to your mechanics as with computer s in the vehicles there are alot of sensors that would cause that. the light is a early indication that there is a problem the problem has progressed and causing problems. as a mechanic there are alot of possibilities and i've replaced alot of different stuff that causes that. unless you can get the shop to get the car in and see the problem on the computer your just wasting time
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