2002 Mazda Protege Protege5 Intermittent Starting Problem

Tiny
CINDYHALE
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 MAZDA PROTEGE
  • 175,000 MILES
About a year ago my 2002 Mazda Protege 5 began to intermittently refuse to start. When you turn the key it sounds like it will start, but it doesn't. At some point (a few hours or a day), it will start just fine. There is no rhyme to this. It isn't ALWAYS after sitting idle a while, or ALWAYS after running for a while. It just happens when it happens. No reason. The only consistent thing I can report is that when this happens, it happens AFTER the following has occurred:

The Check Engine light is ALWAYS on. It has been on for the last 80,000 miles. BUT, before this problem each time, the Engine Light begins to FLASH. Prior to the flashing I can feel the car lose power. When this happens even if I push the accelerator to the floor, I get no more power and no more speed. The flashing will sometimes only last a short while and then stop. Sometimes, however, the flashing lasts a long time. If I have to cut the car off during the time the light is flashing THAT is when it won’t start up again. It is probably important to note that sometimes it WILL start when the flashing is going on.

I have had it in and out of the shop. They drive it all over town a couple of days and when it starts fine each time they get in it, they return it to me and say I have to wait until it is doing it again before they can help me. Since there is no way of knowing when or if it will do it again, I cannot have it there when it is "doing it". Even if it won't start, and I called them to come to me, there is nothing that says it won't start up just fine in 10 minutes.

Last week the timing belt broke and I took it to Mazda. They charged me $1000 to fix that and when I asked them about my intermittent starting problem they basically told me that it would be a trial and error thing to find the problem. I am a student and I work part time. That $1000 was all the money I have. I cannot afford for them to trial and error my car.

The shop manager did, however, tell me that the mechanics who work on the old Mazdas told him that in in the past they have seen this problem and it stops when they replace the coils and wires. My local mechanic laughed when I told him that and say, "Well, that is odd".

So, what are your thoughts on replacing the coils and wires? I need my car. Me and my child are riding around never knowing if the car will start when we get back to it, and I need some help that isn't about somebody making a buck off of me. I am buck-less right now!
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013 AT 11:31 AM

9 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
The coils and wires make no sense for the issues your having with the intermittent no starts. Could you please get me the exact code numbers not code descriptions your car has?That would really help.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013 AT 12:06 PM
Tiny
CINDYHALE
  • MEMBER
I talked to the mechanic and he said there have been a bunch of different ones and all he can remember was a 300 and he did a tune up when that one showed up.

He said all the ones that came up were indicating something minor that actually did need to be done, but there has never been one to indicate whatever is happening to me. Of course, it has never ACTUALLY BEEN HAPPENING when he has had it in the shop either. It happens to me ONLY! I'm lucky that way I guess.

Im going to go look at the Related Questions and see if any of those sound like mine. In the meanwhile, I'm in a pickle.

Cindy
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013 AT 12:36 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
His anyone ever checked the coolant temp sensor?Also it still would be nice to know all the exact code numbers it has not code descriptions? Even if your just trying to compare it to other cars on this site. If you don't live in California you can get your codes read for free at auto zone. Make sure you right them down.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013 AT 12:46 PM
Tiny
CINDYHALE
  • MEMBER
The 300 was a misfire. My mechanic is old-school. He doesn't write anything down.

No, the coolant temp sensor hasn't been looked at (to my knowledge anyway). The last time he had the car, which was last week right before the timing belt broke, he said he thought we might be looking at a sensor. There are so many of them, how would you know the right one unless you happen to be sitting in the car with the tester in your hand when it happened?

I wonder why the Mazda people told me that they replaced coils and wires on one that was doing this before if that makes no sense. Obviously it is a silly idea since both you and my mechanic thought so.

I am still checking "Related Questions" but nothing sounds like me yet.

Cindy
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013 AT 1:01 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
The P0300 is just a random miss fire code. So could you go to the auto parts store and get me the codes you have now?Also which engine do you have?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013 AT 1:17 PM
Tiny
CINDYHALE
  • MEMBER
Thank you.

My engine is a 4 cylinder 2-liter.

When the car decides to start again, I will drive it down to Auto Zone and get them to put it on the machine.

I will get back to you asap.

Cindy
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013 AT 1:49 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
When it doesn't start I also need to know if you have spark and fuel pressure.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, September 25th, 2013 AT 3:19 PM
Tiny
CINDYHALE
  • MEMBER
I know how to tell if it has spark (it always does), but I don't know how to KNOW if there is fuel pressure. Can you tell me what to look for?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, September 26th, 2013 AT 6:18 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Let's do this instead when it won't start take some carb spray and spray it in the throttle body and see if it will start?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, September 26th, 2013 AT 3:53 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides