It just stopped!

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  #1  
Old 03-13-04, 11:55 AM
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Unhappy It just stopped!

{Sigh}

So, my 98 Mazda Protege has been running fine since October, when I had to replace the Mass Air Flow sensor, and the rotor.

Then, all of a sudden, last night on the way home from picking up a pizza, it kind of shuddered, just a bit, and the engine stopped.
I tried starting it, and it sounded like the starter was out. If it had done that in the morning, I would have assumed that was the problem, but it had been running fine and just stopped.
The headlights never dimmed.

I walked the mile home and called a towtruck this morning, had it towed to the local import cart specialist, who isn't open until Monday, so I get to fret until then wondering what it could be.

Any ideas???

Thx,

Joe
 
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  #2  
Old 03-13-04, 01:55 PM
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Many possibilities...Timing belt, fuel pump ........etc

The bad news is that if it was a timing belt, Mazda's usually do major engine damage when the belt lets go.
 
  #3  
Old 03-13-04, 05:31 PM
Negoshe8n
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How many miles are on it?
 
  #4  
Old 03-13-04, 05:58 PM
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It topped 100k a couple of months ago, so probably around 110k by now.

Had the timing belt replaced almost exactly a year ago, so I hope it isn't that.

Fuel pump sounds good. It's still original, I believe. (I bought it used. I know *I* didn't replace it.)

Thanks guys,

Joe
 
  #5  
Old 03-13-04, 08:21 PM
Auto Doc
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Re: It just stopped!

Originally posted by jdfrietze
{Sigh}

So, my 98 Mazda Protege has been running fine since October, when I had to replace the Mass Air Flow sensor, and the rotor.

Then, all of a sudden, last night on the way home from picking up a pizza, it kind of shuddered, just a bit, and the engine stopped.
I tried starting it, and it sounded like the starter was out. If it had done that in the morning, I would have assumed that was the problem, but it had been running fine and just stopped.
The headlights never dimmed.

I walked the mile home and called a towtruck this morning, had it towed to the local import cart specialist, who isn't open until Monday, so I get to fret until then wondering what it could be.

Any ideas???

Thx,

Joe

Three questions:

1. What exactly is the starter doing? Is it engaging the flywheel, clicking, making a strange noise or doing anything at all?

2. If the starter is clicking, is the engine seized?

3. Did you hear any strange noise(s) prior to this occurence?

Also, just a note... the 1.5l engine in the Protege is a non-interference engine, so if the timing belt broke you shouldn't have any valvetrain damage.
 
  #6  
Old 03-14-04, 09:18 AM
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Re: Re: It just stopped!

Originally posted by Auto Doc



Three questions:

1. What exactly is the starter doing? Is it engaging the flywheel, clicking, making a strange noise or doing anything at all?

No strange noises. It just sounds like it's trying to start. You know how it sound when you try to start a car with a low battery? It turns a few times but never catches. Then the battery runs down. Well, that's what this sounds like w/o the battery running down part. Just turning and turning, but never catching. Fuel injected engine, obviously, but if it was an older one, my first instinct would be to pump the gas. Which makes me think fuel pump after it was mentioned.

2. If the starter is clicking, is the engine seized?

No clicking. How would I tell if the engine was seized?

3. Did you hear any strange noise(s) prior to this occurence?

No. But my wife had the radio on. Not really loud. But I didn't hear anything. Like I said, it was running fine. I think I felt kind of a shudder, but I think I may be remembering faslely, as it was a county road and could have just been the road surface.

Also, just a note... the 1.5l engine in the Protege is a non-interference engine, so if the timing belt broke you shouldn't have any valvetrain damage.
That's good to know. It's definitely the 1.5. Base model.

Thanks,

Joe
 
  #7  
Old 03-14-04, 11:38 AM
Auto Doc
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Well, if it's turning over, it is not seized. Just a thought, alot of the times when a car breaks a timing belt the starter does tend to sound funny because of the lack of compression. Perform these steps after you check for fuel pressure and spark: Remove your oil cap, can you see the camshaft or a valve spring? If not, remove the valve cover or the upper timing belt cover(some even have an inspection hole in the timing cover plugged by a rubber grommet). The point is, you need to see if the camshaft is rotating while the engine is being cranked.... if it isn't, problem found... replace the timing belt. If you have rotation, you need to align the cam and crank gear timing marks to make sure it didn't jump time. Did you ever check the fuel pressure and spark?
 
  #8  
Old 03-14-04, 11:42 AM
Auto Doc
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Sorry to double post...

I just read your original post again, I had forgotten that you had the vehicle towed to a repair facility. To me it sounds like a possible broken timing belt, but let us know what they find.
 
  #9  
Old 03-15-04, 09:07 AM
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Originally posted by Auto Doc
Sorry to double post...

I just read your original post again, I had forgotten that you had the vehicle towed to a repair facility. To me it sounds like a possible broken timing belt, but let us know what they find.
Thanks Doc. Like I said, I hope it's not the timing belt. replaced it last year, along with a tensioner, and it cost ~$600 by the time it was all said and done. (There was also a tune-up involved, but the labor on getting to the timing belt was horrible.)

Nope, I'm pretty much a neophyte w/ engines. I know how to do preventive maintenance and make sure I get things changed when they should be (oil change, trans flush, tune-up, brakes and tires) *before* they go bad, usually, once it comes to actually taking things apart, especially in fuel-injected engines, I leave it to the experts.

I'll let you guys know what I hear. Hopefully soon.

Can you guys check you labor guides (or whatever you call them) and see what an estimate would be for labor time on a) replacing a timing belt and b) replacing a fuel pump for a 98 Protege DX 1.5?

I'd appreciate it.

Joe
 
  #10  
Old 03-16-04, 10:41 AM
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Talking

Good News (so far)!
The garage called yesterday afternoon.
My fan was overloading the main circuit and shutting down several things, including the fuel pump.
They wanted $150 for the fan assembly nearby, but the mechanic searched and found one in Texas for $95. They're overnighting it and he hopes to have it fixed this afternoon for under $200 total.

He got it running yesterday with the fan disconnected, so everything else is working fine.

Thanks for the advice everyone. I'll let you know when I get it back.

Joe
 
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