2003 Mazda Tribute backfires, won't start

Tiny
5W73
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 MAZDA TRIBUTE
  • 3.0L
  • V6
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 206,000 MILES
Radiator burst, due to broken water pump belt. Replaced wit new, started and ran but would barely pull own weight. Got worse and worse until now it stammers, won't start and backfires through intake. It never overheated, but doused everything with coolant. I did a compression check, all cylinders are 170-180. Oddly enough, while first doing the compression check, I left 5 plugs hooked up, removed one and had the plenum and throttle body off. When I turned the motor over it started fine, but died in about 5-10 seconds. The idle was about normal. I would have thought with the plenum off and no air control it would idled very fast. I wish I could pay, but I am not working due to shoulder surgery, this car is for my single mom daughter. Not a sob story, just life.
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Thursday, June 12th, 2014 AT 10:47 AM

5 Replies

Tiny
TY ANDERSON
  • EXPERT
Make sure all the electrical connections are connected and that the gasket on the intake (and vaccum hoses are all connected) are installed correctly and not folded over creating a large vacuum leak.
Disconnect both battery clamps and touch the clamps together for 5 mins or more to reset everything.
Servicing the cooling system shouldn't cause a no start condition unless something was left disconnected.

Are you able to get the engine to run long enough to check the transmission fluid level? In automatic transmission they have oil cooler hoses running to a cooler or into the radiator to cool the transmission fluid is why I'm asking about the trans fluid level.
Let me know what you find and thanks for the question
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Thursday, June 12th, 2014 AT 11:10 AM
Tiny
5W73
  • MEMBER
Just curious, I know disconnecting the battery can clear things, but how does touching clamps together do anything? Also would low transmission fluid keep it from starting? Also, is there anything in particular that dousing when the radiator burst, could be causing this, a particular electrical connection perhaps? As stated earlier, it started initially, but had no power, and got progressively worse.
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Friday, June 13th, 2014 AT 5:06 AM
Tiny
5W73
  • MEMBER
Is it still possible there could be a blown head gasket or warped head with 170-180 poi in every cylinder. If so how would I find out, it won't start. Also could either the camshaft sensor or crankshaft sensor getting wet cause this?
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Friday, June 13th, 2014 AT 9:41 AM
Tiny
TY ANDERSON
  • EXPERT
I know that touching the cables together sounds strange. What happens when you disconnect the battery the energy is removed from the vehicle's electrical systems. When you touch the cables together you depleting the stored energy inside all the computers. The vehicle's computers have a type of battery (not an actually battery), capacitors to be exact and touching the cable completes the circuit draining the stored energy. These capacitors are used to retain saved parameters and memory learned by the on-board computer and thus resetting all adaptations.

Transmission fluid would not prevent the vehicle from starting. You mentioned it would not move under its own power. I brought it up as a basic check or assessment of your vehicle. Coolant can cause electrical issues it just depends on where it got because some circuits are low voltage and low amperage that coolant could disturb the signal on that particular circuit.
Is there any coolant in any of the spark plug tubes? This will cause the spark from the coils to short to ground rather than going through the spark plug. These tube must be free of oil and/or coolant/water.

The engine will should down after it recognized the sensors and components are disconnected when you did your compression test without the intake/plenum & throttle body. So that is why it ran & then shut down.

If I didn't overheat and the compression is good on all cylinders. There is something else causing the engine to run poorly. Did any wiring get damaged from the broken serpentine belt or ground strap?
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Friday, June 13th, 2014 AT 9:41 AM
Tiny
5W73
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No, not that I could tell. Just to make sure, how can I make sure timing is correct, possibly? Jumped time when I shut it down on the return trip when the radiator burst?
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Friday, June 13th, 2014 AT 11:44 AM

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