2005 Mazda V6, Check Engine Light on 'sometimes'

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  #1  
Old 07-24-18, 01:10 AM
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Question 2005 Mazda V6, Check Engine Light on 'sometimes'

A week ago, I purchased a 2005 Mazda V6 hatchback with low kilometers. The Check Engine Light seems to come on, with no rhyme nor reason. The previous owner said it never happened to him. And I have to say it never happened to me when I took the vehicle out for a test drive.

I went out in the car four separate times today.

Twice the light came on as soon as I started the car and stayed on.
Once the light didn't come on at all.
Once the light came on part way through the drive and stayed on.

Is there anything I can check on my own? I know very little about cars but i'm hoping for ideas that I could maybe try on my own. I phoned the dealership and they said for them to hook it up to one of those code scanners, it'd cost anywhere between $40 and $120. No idea why such a big variation in the cost.

Any ideas? (I can't afford to take it to a mechanic right now.)
 
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  #2  
Old 07-24-18, 01:29 AM
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If it's an ODB II port, you can get a scan tool for $10 ~ $20 at Amazon, and read the codes on a smart phone (with an app, of course).

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...+II+Scan+Tools
 
  #3  
Old 07-24-18, 03:04 AM
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Also AutoZone and other parts stores will read the codes for free.
 
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Old 07-24-18, 05:01 AM
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I vote with Mark. Not only is it free, but they can give you a basic interpretation. Keep in mind that knowing what code is involved and what it means can be a bit tricky (also keep in mind they hope to sell you some parts). For instance, you might get a code for, say, MAF sensor, but that could mean the sensor is bad, the connection to the sensor is bad, a wire could be broken, etc, etc. Still, step one is knowing what code it setting off the light.

Steve also makes a good point; the scanner tools nowadays are generally so low priced that in the long run it's not a bad idea to have that capability.

Post back when you get the codes so we know how you managed.

cost anywhere between $40 and $120. No idea why such a big variation in the cost.
Basically comes down to "whatever the traffic will bear", i.e. as much as they think they can charge and still get people to pay it. As noted by mark, since most of the parts stores will do it for free, surprising dealerships charge so much. You get the customer on the property, you courtesy-read his codes, and you're likely to get a repair order written up on the spot. But then, I'm just a dumb old wrecker driver, so what do I know.
 
  #5  
Old 07-24-18, 08:09 AM
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Items

Just to rule out the blazingly obvious, make sure the gas cap is on tight, and fill up your fuel tank full. Sometimes low fuel and or a loose gas cap triggers a what the computer thinks is an emissions issue. Check to make sure your oil and coolant levels are correct. Make sure the spark plug wires are firmly on the spark plugs. Same with the connector to the mass airflow sensor (maf), that is near the air filter box (remove the connector and then put it back on, checking for any corrosion in the connector). Also look around the engine bay for vacuum lines (rubber hoses) that look cracked from age, or if anything has popped off where it should be connected.

Take the car for a good drive on the highway, to get the engine nice and hot to its proper operating temperature and burn off any exhaust deposits caused from short drives. See if you still have the light go on after all that.

May still be a problem, but inspection is the first step in diagnosis, and costs nothing if you do it yourself.

Beyond that, a dirty MAF sensor is a typical culprit. Oxygen sensors in the exhaust system would be the next suspect (short trips typical on low miles cars can carbonise rich fuel deposits in the exhaust stream and dirty up the O2 sensor, or in the extreme clog up a cat converter).

Could also be ignition related - coils, plugs or wires. Some emissions related devices can also cause the check engine lights.

In general, poor ignition or the wrong signals from the maf or o2 sensors cause misfuelling, emissions to increase, and the computer is detecting that something in the fuel mix is out of spec, and triggers the check engine light. So check engine really means check fueling related sensors and components.

With an intermittent check engine light, or solid on, as long as the car is otherwise starting and running fine, and your oil and coolant are to level, I would not be worried, wait til you can afford a check in due course, unless the car starts running poorly, stumbles. surges, rough idles, hard to start, that sort of thing. Even these problems will just mean you are going to get a bit less fuel economy, not going to do serious harm to the engine unless left to run poorly for quite a long time (which too much fuel can cause problems with your cat converter, too little can burn a hole in a piston...but your car will not be running well to get these types of serious outcomes, you would know something is wrong, not just a check engine light). I think but am not sure that if the check engine light is flashing continuously, then that means do not drive as something will be damaged.

So, just get the codes checked out in due course. A check engine light going on will cause a code to be stored in the computer.

Or, as noted you can buy this cell phone enabled code reader very cheap on Amazon and read the codes yourself.

https://www.amazon.com/Mougerk-Bluet...er+for+mazda+6

This is where the ODB port is located in your car...
https://www.outilsobdfacile.com/loca...-obd/Mazda-6-1

Here is a good place to see what the codes are...
https://www.engine-light-help.com/ma...ine-light.html

My hopeful bet would be the MAF sensor. Without reading the codes, It would be a gamble, but you could just replace the sensor, it is accessible and just has a connector and two screws to remove, and the part costs about $25. Even cheaper, you could get a can of maf sensor cleaner, take the item out and spray it clean, they get dirty and that might solve for things.

https://www.amazon.com/Mass-Meter-Se.../dp/B0741LW8XN

I can't find a good picture of the engine in your car to help you locate the item, it is just outside of the air filter box. I don't want to send you down the wrong path, but I get that sometimes to be economical you need to take some calculated bets.

The Mazda with the V6 is a great car, quite powerful and smooth, the engine is common and shared with Ford so easy and low cost parts availability. That said, the engine bay is tight, and eg . coils, spark plugs take some labour to change as they are not easily accessed . For greater certainty, you have a Mazda 6, with the 3.0 liter V6 engine, and how many miles?
 
  #6  
Old 07-26-18, 10:55 AM
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Thank you soooooo much for the replies. Just reading them now and will post back later today. I've been super busy (mom in hospital with pneumonia) but will be back later.
 
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Old 07-27-18, 08:16 PM
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Oh boy........I'm so stressed out about it now. What seems to be happening the last couple days is sometimes it wants to stay in 3rd gear. It's an automatic, but in the dash, it still shows what gear the tranny is going in. i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 5, 4, 3, 3, 3, 3. So oftentimes (but not always! ) I can pull up to a red light, and rather than then displaying "1", it stays on "3", if that makes sense. And it's a big problem when I drive on a highway because I can't have it continue to stay in 3rd, because when I want to get the speed up to 110k an hour, if it's still in 3rd, then the rpm's get way too high. ..... And stupid me, it's prob the first time in my life that I've bought a vehicle that I didn't get completely checked over. So yes - I will have to get the code read for sure and see what comes up.
 
  #8  
Old 07-27-18, 08:30 PM
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Get the code reader. It could be something as simple as a vacuum leak (fingers crossed).
 
  #9  
Old 07-27-18, 08:40 PM
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Trust me --- fingers crossed, toes crossed, anything crossable will be crossed.
 
  #10  
Old 07-28-18, 06:42 AM
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Morning, Marie.
Sorry to hear about your trouble. I was watching this thread as we had not sure what year Mazdaspeed hatch...
To read transmission codes you will need capable scanner. Don't waste time and effort to use regular OBD2 scanner. Brake and transmission codes require special equipment, unfortunately. Also, dealing with electronically controlled transmissions - which you have one of them - is sensitive process and hoping for easy something is possible - or not.
I'd recommend Mazda shop. Not dealer. Mazda shop. Around here, we have Jerry's Little Mazda that our was in several times, in short period of ownership. Look around. Have it properly diagnosed, or you may end tossing $$$ up the wind guess replacing parts.
As I wish you well.
 
  #11  
Old 07-28-18, 11:51 AM
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Don't worry too much (yet!), the car staying in third gear means the computer has gone into "limp" mode. Typically means a problem with the electrical system, knock sensors and such. Might well be related to the initial check engine light problem. All this could still just be a dirty throttle body, or the MAF sensor. If the battery warning light is on, then it could be the alternator, but you do not mention any other warning lights going on, is the check engine light still on when the limp mode kicked in?

Rarely is this as transmission problem, especially on low mileage vehicle.

It does appear you will be best served by going to a shop for the code readings.

In the interest of this being a diy board, you could disconnect the negative battery terminal, leave it off for 15 minutes, pump the brakes three times to remove residual charge in the system, and reconnect. This will reset the cars main computer to run on its original default values. Your car will likely run a bit rough for for a few miles, then ok for a little while, and if the problems remain the car will again throw new warning lights and related codes to be read. But in some instances, the reset can solve a problem. Might be worth a last no cost attempt to see if you get lucky.
 
  #12  
Old 07-29-18, 12:17 AM
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I might have somebody that can stop over on Sunday or Monday with a code reader. Fingers crossed, and of course, I will let you know as soon as they can check the codes.

And re mileage, I'm in Canada (Vancouver Island, B.C.) so it's kilometers.

132,000 kilometers which is the equivalent of 82,000 miles.

and yes, it's a 2005 Mazda V6 hatchback, automatic transmission, the motor is a 3.01.

And this is what the man I purchased the car from said, to quote: "The car runs well, having just replaced all 6 ignition coils and spark plugs to rectify a misfire issue. The serpentine belt was also recently replaced as it was due. The car has a timing chain as opposed to belt so no issues there."
 
  #13  
Old 07-29-18, 02:05 AM
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Could be as something as small as a sensor.

I suggest Autozone and see if their generic scanner works.
There's also this
https://www.fixdapp.com/
Havnt tried it myself but better than going in blind IMO.

Honestly before buying the car you should have took it to a Highly rated Mazda/import car specialist to check it out and scan for previous codes.
 

Last edited by Gunguy45; 07-29-18 at 04:05 AM. Reason: Removed rude comments.
  #14  
Old 07-29-18, 06:53 AM
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coil plug

Great that the coils and plugs were changed, they are difficult to access and the labour costs are quite high, that is probably a $600 job that was done. Also rules out the coils which can cause problems. Combined with the belt change also suggests to me the previous owner did maintain the car well enough.

I am sure you will find the problem is not that big a deal once you get the codes read. At the km's and age you have there is certainly lots of life left in the car, but it is enough that some items like sensors often can need replacing.
 
  #15  
Old 07-29-18, 07:21 AM
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Oh the fairy tale of "it has timing chain"!
Chain has tensioner that fails, and fails rather quickly....
Also, anything that is made out of metal changes its shape under stress, so chains do stretch.
 
  #16  
Old 07-29-18, 12:58 PM
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Since the mod removed my comments,
take it to a Mazda /Import car specialist .
 
  #17  
Old 07-29-18, 02:08 PM
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As a follow up to my post #15:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzcnuATyK3Y

Mazda 5 2.0
 
  #18  
Old 07-30-18, 12:07 AM
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Just a quick observation..........I just drove someone home. The car ran great. No Check Engine Light and the car went from 1 to 2 to 3 etc. with no problems. .......... I pull over for the person to get out, and the "1" is illuminated indicating it's in first gear (which it should be) with me at a standstill with the engine still running, then out of the blue, a "3" suddenly appears in the dashboard and the Check Engine Light comes on. ........ So I then drive home with the light still on, and the car stays in 3rd gear. Strange strange strange.

Thanks so much to anyone that is still reading.
 
  #19  
Old 07-30-18, 10:29 AM
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It's electronically controlled transmission. Device, controlling it - TCM, transmission control module - does that.
It needs to be scoped by transmission shop. You will not get far without it. Transmission codes require special scanner and proprietary software. Even dealers sometimes can't fully diagnose certain codes.
Again, I certainly recommend finding a local experienced Mazda indy shop and going there.
 
  #20  
Old 07-30-18, 06:52 PM
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I took it into my mechanic, and the code that came up was P0328 (Knock Sensor). He said that to fix that issue, it'd cost me around $300 to do, but that he didn't think that was causing the problem.

So he suggested I take it to a Transmission place because they have a different super-duper code scanner that is geared more towards trannys. Anyhow, it's a busy place and he said he'd look at it some time tomorrow, and that sometimes they are able to diagnosis without going into the tranny, but if it ends up being necessary to go right inside it, then it'd cost $$$ just to do the diagnosis.

Oh boy.. Cars can be such a pain.
 

Last edited by Marie12345; 07-30-18 at 06:54 PM. Reason: make clearer
  #21  
Old 07-31-18, 03:19 AM
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Oh boy.. Cars can be such a pain
But it beats walking!!! and a lot less hassle than a horse and buggy. Hopefully they'll get it figured out and it will soon just be a bad memory.
 
  #22  
Old 07-31-18, 06:10 AM
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Sensor

If you have identified the knock sensor as the failed item, you are good to go. The third gear limp mode the computer put your car in is directly related to the computer seeing ignition problems. Not a transmission issue, just how the cars fail safe systems are designed to protect the engine from what it deems are significant fueling and ignition issues.

Very remote chance that the transmission itself has any issues. Of course getting the trans
mission codes read, if there are any, would confirm for greater certainty.

By the way, the knock sensor repair price is fair, there is a bit of dismantling to gain access to the sensor to replace it, takes a few hours of labour.
 
  #23  
Old 08-09-18, 03:00 PM
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YAY!!!!!!! I took the car to a very reputable transmission shop here and the Knock Sensor code came up for them too. So they replaced the Sensor, and serviced the transmission for $ 335. The CEL is not on anymore and the car no longer sticks in third gear. Yay! Huge relief for me. (I did read somewhere that occasionally after 2 or 3 months, the problem re-emerged. However, I can't start worrying about that now, because that doesn't happen often!).

So for now, I'm a happy camper. Thanks so much to all of you for your input. It's invaluable! Much appreciated.
 
  #24  
Old 08-10-18, 02:21 AM
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Thanks for the update, glad you got it fixed!
 
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