Hope I've found the right place to post this. I've been browsing this forum for a while but only just now needed to ask for help and hope someone has experience similar issues.
Basically car broke down twice last week and had to be recovered and twice since coming back from being at the garage for a week. Every time it dies it starts juddering - feels like its rocking back and forth - and then dies when I clutch down at a junction, roundabout, etc. Its a struggle then to restart it, at first I didn't manage it because it just died again straight away although I did pick up the tactic of revving the engine up as soon as it started and this seems to keep it going.
The first time it broke down I was travelling at around 34mph in 4th, second, third and fourth times about 50mph in 5th. I drove it for a couple of hours two and from work today at 30mph in 3rd most of the way and it was happy with no sign of the problems. I'm not convinced it is alright though because, as I say, it broke down last night after coming back from the garage.
The first mechanic suggested the EGR valve which he cleaned. However, the engine ran fine by the time he got there so he couldn't find anything. The second sprayed carb cleaner in the air filter and couldn't get anything off the diagnostics at all. Third suggested the idle valve. The garage thought the head gasket was a possibility - we have had a slight and slow loss of oil and coolant. They've had it for a week and serviced it and the only thing they could find was a perished vacuum hose which they have replaced, seemingly to no effect.
I'm now tearing my hair out because the garage were out of ideas and the EGR valve, idle valve and head gasket appear to be fine. Anyone else had a similar problem? It seems pretty insidious and hard to pin down and trawling google results hasn't brought up anything that seems to fit.