What would cause your 1996 Ford Contour to run for awhile with no problems then for no reason just die?

bad coil, ignition module, or pick up.... diagnose with a manual, cheapest guesses are... replace the pick up..(gets hot and shorts(dies)) then replace the coil...(gets hot and shorts(dies)) then well...the same for the ignition module... HOWEVER....it could also be a fuel PUMP...so.. when it dies does it start back up again right away or do you have to wait until it cools... when it's dead, and won't start, check for spark... follow the troublshooting guide in a manual everyone should have a manual for their vehicle, and a professional shop manual should be available at the library in the reference section for FREE...make copies of the right pages and fix your vehicle like a PRO! :) good luck Dave :)