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!
have the same problem?
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013 AT 11:31 AM