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Mazda Protege starts poorly


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02-15-05, 06:22 AM   #1  
mazdaowner
Mazda Protege starts poorly

I have a 97 Protege with 86600 miles on her and for about 6 months now it does not like to start, especially when it is cold. I can hear the fuel pump turning on and off when i turn the car over. The battery is new, alternator is new, new plugs, dist. cap, wires, mass air flow sensor and system. I have had it in garage after garage, check engine light has been on and no one can figure it out.

When i go to start it is turns over kinda slow then gets worst, what I have to do is push the gas down to get fuel through it it seems, then lay off the gas and she will start after some more cranking. This should not have to happen on a fuel injected car right?

I am thinking it has something to do with the fuel system, fitler, pump, sensors...something has got to be throwing it off on start up.

Any input or ideas will be greatly appreciated thank you!!!

Brent

 
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02-17-05, 07:50 AM   #2  
Nothing in the fuel system will cause your, or any, vehicle to turn over slow. No, you should not have to touch the accelerator to get it started, The ECM controls the input of fuel, not the accelerator. The accelerator only controls the throttle plate, therefore controlling the amount of air that gets into the engine. So you really arent doing anything there.
You mentioned the CEL light has been on. What is/are the codes that have been present? This will certainly help us help you.
Hope this helps ya,
Billy

 
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02-17-05, 09:50 AM   #3  
mazdaowner
billsy66ss,
thanks for the reply. I will look into the error codes i get soon and let you know. What is ECM??

Do you have any other idea then on what is going on by my symptoms, without the error codes?

Thanks.

 
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02-17-05, 01:13 PM   #4  
ECM = Engine Control Module. This is the cars brain. There are many possibilities. With your symptoms, I would say battery, but you say it is new. Is it the correct size battery for your car? I would also look at the battery cables and see if they are causing your problem. They could be breaking down and not allowing the current to flow like it should. These are just speculations.
Hope it helps,
Billy

 
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02-17-05, 02:50 PM   #5  
mazdaowner
I really doubt it is the battery cause when this problem started that was the first thing i replaced and moved on from there.

It just acts like it doesn't get fuel at startup. I also had my timing belt checked a couple months ago and that is fine. Could anything else be throwing off the startup, compression or anything??

Thanks

 
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02-18-05, 05:41 AM   #6  
mazdaowner
I talked with a friend of mine who has the same car and he said he had similar symptoms but it turned out to be the Distributor, and a part within the distributor.

Could that cause this?

 
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02-18-05, 06:05 AM   #7  
Again, fuel delivery will not cause it to be sluggish to start. Yes the distributor may have something to do with it because this actually sounds like a timing issue if not a battery/cable problem.
Billy

 
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02-19-05, 05:01 PM   #8  
mazdaowner
i found some old paperwork of when it was in a garage last and the error codes were:

P0170 and P0100

Know what those mean??

thanks

 
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02-28-05, 06:06 AM   #9  
mazdaowner
I now have a new error code...P0302 which says there is a misfiring in Cyl. 2. And not my engine light is blinking on and off. Does this mean I need to change the plug in cly 2 and/or all of them. The wires are 3-4 months old and should be working fine. What can cause plugs to keep fouling after 4-5 months of use, O2 sensor...fuel filter!?!?


HElp please!!

 
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02-28-05, 06:52 AM   #10  
The engine light is flashing because the condition you are experiencing is catalyst damaging. What this means is that if you do not correct the problem plenty fast it can cause a meltdown of your catalytic converter. How long have the plugs been in there? The missfire doesnt exactly mean that the plug is bad. It can be several things. It can be as simple as the plugs or wires are the coil, or an injector, or engine (valve) wear/damage. It can also be wiring to the injectors causing this, but not likely. Have you had a missfire on this cylinder before?
The other codes you posted:
P0170 is a lean code. By definition it is Bank 1 fuel trim malfunction. For this code the problem is most often a vacuum leak in the intake system or an exhaust leak before the main catalytic converter. Fuel pressure can also play into this condition.
P0100 is a MAF/VAF code. This code means that there is a problem with the Mass Air Flow Sensor circuit. It can either be the mass air flow sensor or the wiring connecting it to the PCM. This codes conditions can cause the P0170 code.

If your engine is having problems getting air then that directly effects the amount of fuel that it gets. The MAF tells the PCM how much air the engine is receiving and in turns the PCM tells the injectors how much fuel to deliver based on the MAF's signal.
You should get a competent shop to check this out. If there is a problem with the MAF then you will continue to have the problems you are experiencing. This sounds like you are on the right track now. If your MAF isnt reading at cold start up then it doesnt know where to set everything else. It takes a couple of key cycles (failed starts) to get the PCM to set a default value. Therefore allowing the car to start.
Good Luck.
Hope this helps ya,
Billy

 
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02-28-05, 07:15 AM   #11  
mazdaowner
Thanks for your reply. I had my MAF changed in Late november '04. After I got it back home and looked at it I saw that the f'ing shop didn't connect two hoses. I am sure that did not help things. Could it be that they did not even really fix anything other than charging me 550 bucks for new parts and labor??

I realize this is a serious issue but I am fed up with paying hundreds of dollars at garages when no one knows what the F is wrong with it and keeps changing the wrong thing(s).

I have no had a clyn. 2 misfire before. Do you think the oxygen sensor is playing a big role in this? Also should i change my fuel filter since that has not been done in a long time??

 
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02-28-05, 06:13 PM   #12  
The oxygen sensor is not likely to be causing the problems you are experiencing. Anything you do now... O2 sensor, fuel filter etc... is merely preventative maintenance. I doubt that you were charged $550 for parts that you did not receive. I dont think there that many places that do that sorta work anymore. It takes a very long time to get past the bad reputation some mechanics of old gave the trade. Was this a dealership? I really think you should get a second opinion on your car based on what we have discussed here.
Good Luck,
Billy

 
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03-01-05, 08:04 AM   #13  
mazdaowner
i did some more research and it seems a lot of ppl say it is the intake manifold gasket that is causing this problem...does that make sense??

my car is at a dealership now...

 
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03-01-05, 08:42 AM   #14  
mazdaowner
Typical of dealerships!!!! they want to charge me $1500 buck to replace my values b/c i have low compression on cly 2...its at 140 and it needs to be at 150. They said that is causing my cly 2 misfire, fine but what about the P0170. I have had that error code far longer than the P0302!!!!?

Are they ripping me off bc I think so!!!!!!!!

 
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03-01-05, 07:45 PM   #15  
mazdaowner
dealership said i need new headers, exhaust values, gaskets to fix this problem and they are not sure this is it!!!!! and they want to charge me $1500....F that sh*t.

Any advise on what to do? Is this something I can fix on my own if I buy the parts myself? I have the 1990-2000 Haynes repair manual for my car.

HELP!!!!

 
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03-02-05, 05:36 AM   #16  
The standard compression on your engine should be 195 psi. Minimum is 146 psi. If you have 140 psi then you have an internal engine problem. It could be either burned or bent valves or bad rings. The exhaust manifold (header) could be the source of the P0170 if it is cracked or leaking somewhere. You could probably replace the manifold yourself fairly easy, but as for the valves and such the cylinder head needs to be removed, so I doubt you should try to tackle that unless you really know what you are doing. The haynes manual is good for reference, but is very lacking in true diagnostic or repair procedures.
Billy

 
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