97 Protege High Idle Problem

Tiny
JAFO104
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 MAZDA PROTEGE
I just bout a 1997 Protege, 1.5 L DOHC with 113,000 miles, automatic trans. Two things, The car Idles between 1500 and 2000 RPM's. I can't adjust it down any further. It drives fine plenty of power no major issues. Any suggestions? Also, when you start it the starter sounds real dry. There is a real dry sound from the starter area, but the car starts fine. Thanks for the help.
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Tuesday, September 4th, 2007 AT 8:02 PM

22 Replies

Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
First check for any obvious vacuum leaks, inspect the boot between the airbox and the engine for cracks. If all ok, then the Idle Air Control Valve would be my next guess. Has th etiming belt been done recently? The other thing is that if the t-belt was done, but is advanced a tooth can make it idle too high. Can you tell if it is the original starter? Might have a dry bushing or something to that effect in the starter
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Wednesday, September 5th, 2007 AT 7:39 AM
Tiny
JAFO104
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I just bought the car and I don't believe the timing belt has been done yet. I should get it done, correct? Will that fix the high idle, from what you saying the belt may have slipped a tooth? Also, if it's not the belt, can the IAC be cleaned in lieu of buying a new one?

Thanks for the help
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Wednesday, September 5th, 2007 AT 7:53 AM
Tiny
JACK42
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Timing belts should be done at manufacturers reccomended intervels.I was asking because I thought it being advanced a tooth might be the problem, not that it jumped. You can try cleaning the IAC motor and see if it helps, might be stuck is why the idle is so high
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Wednesday, September 5th, 2007 AT 4:22 PM
Tiny
JAFO104
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I checked for vacume leaks, some weather checking on the air intake boot but no cracks. All other hoses and connections look good. I'm scrtching my head at this point. What about the Throttle positioning sensor? If I take the IAC off, do I clean it with carburator cleaner? I'm taking the car in next week to have the timing belt and water pump done. Thanks.
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Thursday, September 6th, 2007 AT 9:39 AM
Tiny
JACK42
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Yes, carb spray will do the trick
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Thursday, September 6th, 2007 AT 4:50 PM
Tiny
JAFO104
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Do I just spray it down inside and blow it out? Thanks
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Saturday, September 8th, 2007 AT 3:05 PM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Dont need to blow it out, just blast the carbon out of the inside with carb spray and let it dry for a few minutes
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Sunday, September 9th, 2007 AT 8:10 AM
Tiny
JAFO104
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Well, Good News / Bad News. The High idle problem is fixed. Them mechanic said the timing was advanced and someone had adjusted the idle screw above the throttle body. He also changed out the timing belt and water pump for me. I just changed out the radiator, thermostat, upper and lower radiator hoses and a new radiator cap and plugs, at his suggestion. Took the car out for a test drive and it ran great.

Bad news after sitting 2 hours I just tried to start it and all it does is crank. I brought it back in the garage and started checking the spark. The two middle cyclinders shot antifreeze out of them ! The two end cylinders were clear. The vehicle has never overheated. Since I've had it ( 2 weeks). It had been sitting for 4-6 months. Just checked the oil, no antifreeze in it. Under the filler cap is clean oil, no foamy stuff. I did notice when I filled the new radiator, there was a little milky fluid, but it went away. Headgasket? Any suggestions. Thanks. Jeff
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Thursday, September 13th, 2007 AT 7:22 PM
Tiny
JACK42
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Sorry to hear that, sounds like the head gasket is blown between cylinders.
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Friday, September 14th, 2007 AT 7:54 AM
Tiny
JAFO104
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Do you have to pull the cams and valve guides to remove the cylinder head? Or can you pull evrything out together, the haynes manual is not clear.
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Friday, September 14th, 2007 AT 9:18 AM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Pulling the cams depends on whether or not you can access the head bolts with them in the head. The valve guides are pressed into the head, they do not need to be removed to remove the head. The cams will have to eventually be removed so the machine shop can surface and pressure test the head (highly reccomended)
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Friday, September 14th, 2007 AT 10:36 AM
Tiny
JAFO104
  • MEMBER
The machine shop asked for the whole thing to be together. Valves, cam, etc.

I'll look and see if I can see the bolts. Thanks.I'll keep you posted.
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Friday, September 14th, 2007 AT 11:02 AM
Tiny
JAFO104
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Well, Just got the car back from the mechanic and the head gasket was replace, head was resurfaced. Now the high idle is back. The car runs and drives great, but when the A/C is turned on the the engine slowly idles down then gradualy dies. Or it will slowly idle down and die when you put it in gear. Without the A/C on, it runs good just idles about 1500 and sometimes 1000. The mechanic said it needs to go to Mazda to have the timing and idel set together. He said it takes a special instrument to plug in and dial in the timing and idle together. He showed me a picture of a device that had a square box with a dial at the bottom and two leads coming from each end. Is this correct? What I don't understand is before the car's head gasket went (or when it was seaping) it ran fine with the A/C on I just noticed a little idle fluctuation. This same mechanic set the timing before and that fixed the idle. Now he's saying it take a special to to set both.
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Saturday, September 22nd, 2007 AT 11:23 AM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Ask him how he was able to do it before and why it is like it is now? If it didnt have the high idle when you took it in, shouldnt have it now.
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Sunday, September 23rd, 2007 AT 7:40 AM
Tiny
JAFO104
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He said because they adjusted the ditributor and the set the timing the idle came down. Now he says since everything is redone from the cylinder up, it takes the special tool (see previous question) to set both. I don't want to take it to a dealer unless I have too. THis same mechanic did the water pump and timing belt as well and it was fine afterwards. I don't know what to do. If you get a chance can you comment on the current sysmptoms (see previous response) The car idles fine without the A/C on. It only dies when the car is at normal operating temp, A/c is on, both auxillary fans are on and you put it in gear. I pulled the IAC, there was a little carbon on the chamber. The two coolant tubes had some build-up in them, but after re-installing. Same thing. Thanks.
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Sunday, September 23rd, 2007 AT 8:25 AM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
According to my software, they want a NGS scanner plugged into the service port, but they also say to install a jumper wire between terminals TEN and GND in the data link connector in the engine compartment. The jumper wire should take the PCM out of the loop to set base timing. Sounds like it needs to be more advanced if it wont hold idle with the a/c on
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Monday, September 24th, 2007 AT 7:24 AM
Tiny
JAFO104
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Is this something the dealer needs to do?
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Monday, September 24th, 2007 AT 7:44 AM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Id try the jumper wire first and see if it works without a scanner
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Monday, September 24th, 2007 AT 2:27 PM
Tiny
JAFO104
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I finaly got so frustrated I took it to the local Mazda dealer and they are conducting a complete diagnostic check. What I'm concerned about so far is they said all 4 cyclinder have low compression. Varies from 135 to the lowest 105. Could this be because of the Head job that was done? And maybe the cams not put in right?
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Thursday, September 27th, 2007 AT 6:47 PM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Sure could, first guess was that they missed th ecam timing. Cyl's could vary like that until the cams are timed correctly.
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Friday, September 28th, 2007 AT 7:24 AM

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