2004 Mazda 3 Sputtering

Tiny
BKORYRUSSELL
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 MAZDA 3
  • 2.3L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 230,000 MILES
My car started sputtering and lunging months ago on my way to work. I drive about 100 miles to work mostly on the interstate. It was faint on the interstate, then much worse on the side roads. I assumed it might be the spark plugs or the fuel injector, so I replaced the spark plugs before heading back home and it fixed the issue. About a month later the same problem returned. Autozone only had the cheapest spark plugs the first time and said it was probably just an issue of quality, so I changed them again for the NGK iridium's. The problem was fixed. Well it started again, about a month ago, but not as bad as before.

Well, before I could get it looked at by a mechanic, it fixed itself- even the check engine light went off. It's been fine since then, until yesterday morning. Started sputtering again after I got off the interstate, but when I drove back home this morning, it was fine. The check engine light came on yesterday morning, then when the problem stopped, it went off.

Any ideas as to why or how it is so messed up and then fixes itself?

Thanks for any help,

Kory
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Thursday, November 13th, 2014 AT 2:38 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Some electronic sensors die slow and be very intermittent when they fail then work correctly. Have you had it scanned for codes when the problem is happening and the check engine light is on? Or even now having it scanned for codes? Then letting me know the exact code numbers not code descriptions? A cheap do it yourself scan tool like the auto parts store might not be able to get the codes without the light being on. But I would still try the free code scan they offer.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, November 13th, 2014 AT 2:49 PM
Tiny
BKORYRUSSELL
  • MEMBER
Thanks man. I did try the free code scanner at Autozone, and they said it was something to do with the spark plugs. I have a friend that has a pretty advanced code scanner for his diesel engines he works on. I may try to run over there and get a specific code number.

Thanks again.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, November 13th, 2014 AT 3:24 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Alright keep me posted on the exact code numbers.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, November 13th, 2014 AT 3:47 PM
Tiny
BKORYRUSSELL
  • MEMBER
So we looked at it yesterday, ran his code scanner, and it just said Random Misfiring. It wouldn't specify a specific cylinder, or any specific part. He put some sort of grease that helps with electrical connection on the caps that go over the spark plugs, looked at the wires, and couldn't find anything.

Any more ideas? I'm going to change the spark plug wires, and maybe pull off and check the EGR valve. After that I am out of ideas.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, November 21st, 2014 AT 8:40 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
When its acting up have you had a back pressure test done on the exhaust?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, November 21st, 2014 AT 6:53 PM
Tiny
BKORYRUSSELL
  • MEMBER
So, we pulled the spark plugs out. It was a misfire on cylinder 4, and the spark plug's ground electrode was missing completely. Also, even though the plug was only 2 months old, it looked like it had been in there for years. We changed the spark plug and it ran ok, until I was taking my 100 mile trip to work. About 70 miles on the interstate it starting jumping a little again.

I'm going to take it out again when I get home and see if I can see what's happening before it breaks off entirely again.

I've looked on line and there seems to be this problem a fair amount with cylinder number 4 (the same cylinder as mine is having problems) on Mazdas, but there are no answers as to what it could be.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, November 30th, 2014 AT 12:15 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Can you post a pic of the plug?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, November 30th, 2014 AT 1:28 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides