Mazda 323, model 2003, suddenly it dies on the road, then only starts after 5 minutes, then runs perfect again till next time maybe a week or 2 later
This started about 6 months ago when it died on me when I moved in the morning. After a little panic by checking everything under the hood that nothing has come off, I tried starting but only the starter would turn. About 5 minutes later it fired up perfect and I had no problem going to work. A week later the same thing happened, this time in the middle of the road at traffic junction. Same scenraio again, it fired up after about 5 minutes. Took it to a mechanic, and he said he couldn't do anything until its dead.
That time I noticed a crack in the air hoze. I patched that up with good quality tape. Then no problems for at least 6 months until now. It started acting funny the same way again. Surfing the net I got some tips. To clean the MAF sensor and replaced the air filter. Still facing same problem every other week or so. When it runs its perfect, no electrical or fuel problems. Anything else I could be looking for to rectify this trouble. Any tips would be appreciated. I am sort of half mechanic and have a mechanic friend who helps me out for repairs. The only problem with this sort of trouble is to find the culprit and diagnose to repair, and this makes it harder cause the problem is intermittent.
As far as the Mazda agent or spare parts are concerned they are quite expensive where I live in the middle east. So the only way to repair is to DIY. The agent mechanics are no better then any other outside. They start changing parts and hope it rectifies the problem and by that time they accumulate a huge bill, which is then your problem. So please if you can give all the tips to check whatever component can cause this sort of trouble and hopefully I might be able to get myself out of this dangerous situation.
Next time it refuses to start don't wait for it to make up its mind-do below immediately to determine if its fuel or spark problem
Get a helper disconnect a sparkplug wire or 2 and ground it to the engine atleast 3/16 away from ground-have helper crank engine over-do you have a snapping blue spark? If so-you have a fuel related problem, Do you hear the fuel pump come On when you turn key on? If not check fuel pump fuse and fuel pump relay if okay-check the fuel pressure to rule out the fuel filter/fuel pump/pressure regulator and listen to the injector/s are they pulsing or hook up a noid light. No snapping blue spark continue to troubleshoot the ignition system-power input to the coil/coil packs,coil's resistances,cap and rotor,distributor pick-up coil, ignition control module, cam and crank sensors and computer Note: If it doesn't apply disregard it and keep testing
April, 1, 2012 AT 5:27 PM
Im not sure in the US, but in South Africa, the Mazda 323 has a manual fuel pump. When the car becomes older, the fuel pump does not pump sufficiently anymore, especially under demand conditions. The main problem you most likely have, is that your fuel cap is not ventilating the fuel tank anymore. When this happens again, get our quickly and open the fuel cap. Should the tank suck air, then you know to replace the fuel cap. Try and start the car with the cap removed.