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Mazda MPV Starting/Stalling Problems

While driving through the neighborhood. My mpv just died. It was though someone reached down and turned the key off. No warning, weird noise or anything. Checked the fuel system. Seems to be OK. I'm getting gas through the fuel filter when the ignition is turned on. I am getting no spark off of the plugs. I traced it back to the distributor and I am not getting any spark out of the distributor coils either. I am getting voltages into the distributor 12Vdc (battery voltage) and 5Vdc (maybe a control of some sort) but no voltage out of the distributor. Has anyone had any similar problems like this. It would be nice to know exactly what to check to determine if it is in fact the distributor, before I drop $300.00 (non-refundable) on it. It definitly isn't working, but I'm not sure if it is the distributor or something that isn't telling it to fire. Please help.


  • do you have spark from the ignition coil? You should be able to check if the coil is ok or not. If it is good, then it is something inside the distributor.

    My guess is that the coil went out. I am not familiar with specifics on your engine as I have the 2002 with the Ford engine.

  • no spark from ignition coil. Look more and more like the distributor. Everything is enclosed inside the dist. (ignition coil,ICM,etc.)
  • just keep testing the components, I guess. One or more is bad. Good luck,

  • My MPV started running rough. They changed the plugs several times now because each time they do they find carbon tracking. The last few times we've paid attention to the details, it seems like it's always cyl#2 and sometimes others. So then it runs for a month or two, and then the same thing happens.

    When they investigate they find the same thing - carbon tracking.

    Their explanation is they think the spark plugs must have invisible cracks in the porcelain and maybe there's a whole bad batch. I don't get why it would always be centered around #2 though.

    I found one post in an older (now READ ONLY) forum that says both the plugs and the wires need to be replaced at the same time, but my dealer doesn't get why one would affect the other.

    The other thing is that the dealer admits he's not sure why this happening and seems to be happy with replacing the plugs and giving me the car back.

    Any suggestions on what might be happening here?
  • I Just had he same problems with my 1996. did you ever find the answer? Help Thanks D Anderson
  • Timing Belt!! To check, take off the distributer cap and note which position the rotor cap is in. Turn engine over, see if rotor cap is in the same position. If it is, you have a broken timing belt. Best way is to have someone turn the key while you observe the distributer cap to see if it turns while the engine is cranking.
  • I just cam across this forum after doing a search re: our MPV. Mine is also a 1996 and we have had continuing issues with starting/stalling problems. I'm going to re-look into the spark-plug/distributor cap (know a few basics but don't do any work myself.) Is this a common problem with mid-90's MPV's? It's been an absolute headache. We frequently use gas-line antifreeze (helped in the past), had the timing belt replaced last year (I'll have to check the paperwork to see what other work was done at the time) and also use the EFI cleaner periodically. Our idle was slightly readjusted at one point - didn't seem to help much. We've probably had about five or so different mechanics/garages look at the problem over the past couple of years, had it in for servicing at points, and no one can seem to locate the problem. It will be OK for a while and then back to running terribly. Any ideas?
  • I have a 1996 Mazda MPV minivan I just had a water pump changed on it, now it won't start. It is getting fire and fuel is flowing but the car won't turn over.
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    would guess your timing belt slipped a notch, maybe the tensioner is bad. Tyipcally you replace the tensioner and water pump when you replace the timing belt, since the labor is already there.

  • ableftyablefty Posts: 2
    Have a 1992 Mazda Mpv, 300,000 Km, 3.0 L 6-cyl.. 2-wheel drive. Was running fine but suddenly won't start. It turns over fine but am getting no spark at the plugs. The spark from the coil is yellow, not blue. Not sure if this is of any signifigance or not. I suspect the distributor but am wondering if there is a secret quirk with this model, and/or is there any way to check the distributor once it is out. Also, what is easiest way to find TDC in the #1 plug on the ignition cycle?
  • tilde05tilde05 Posts: 3
    Help, our 2005 MPV ES has 43K on it and now barely runs. It acts as if it is flooded. It will crank fine but will not start unless you press the gas pedal to the floor. It will then "idle" at whatever RPM the car actually started running on its own (anywhere from 1500 to 3200 RPM). Once it runs and you floor the gas pedal, it will not rev much above 3200 RPM and then the revs will just remain at that speed. When you move from park to drive it stalls again and you repeat the process. To get the car home, I tried left foot braking while I floored the gas pedal and switched to drive. It worked and I was able to get the car home although the idle was still around 2000 RPM, which made for interesting shifting from the transmission. The TCS light also came on while you cranked the engine and stayed on regardless of whether you pressed the TCS button. The car also in burning rich (black smoke and rich exhaust smell).

    Has anyone had this happen to them? Is it the O2 sensor, the Cat? or gulp,... the ECU?
  • tilde05tilde05 Posts: 3
    I forgot to mention. The CEL has not come on.
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Aren't you still under warranty? Take it in if so.

  • dkuphaldkuphal Posts: 1
    A few weeks ago the van starting making a rattling/knocking noise once in a while on start up and go away after 10-30 seconds. The noise is like a diesel engine. Also, occasionally (in conjunction with the diesel sound), the fine ticking of lifters is heard. The Mazda service tech determined the noise was due to a leak around the front manifold, and we will be getting this repaired. It was also discovered that a bolt on the rear manifold happened to be broke too. To me, however, I think that the engine is misfiring occasionally on start up, and I could here this phenomenon because of the leak in the exhaust system. Or, can a leak in the manifold seal cause misfiring on startup? I'm also wondering if maybe a leak in the head gasket can be letting just enough coolant to leak somewhere causing a misfire, thereby being a problem completely separate from the manifold leak. Why wouldn't an engine light indicate a misfire....does it only do so once the engine is at running temp?
  • My husband works on Mazdas and thinks you should check the throttle position sensor.
  • tilde05tilde05 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the info. Actually it was the temperature sensor.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    My 2002 MPV has developed a shudder at idle. It seems to run fine under throttle. I can see the engine shaking when stopped (and hood up of course). I had the rear coils replaced maybe a year ago, but then there was noticeable stumbling under power. Any ideas what that might be? I have to take the van in for an oil change next week anyway, but it would be good to have an idea of the problem source and know that it's safe to drive for a few days. No check engine light.
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    sounds like a PCV hose, it has been becoming common again to have these replaced

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Thanks! Sounds a lot cheaper than coils.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Definitely seems to be a PCV hose. At idle (high vacuum) the symptoms appear, while under throttle (low vacuum) they disappear.

    There was a recall for some 2002-2003 MPV's for the PCV hose. If the original owner of your MPV did not have this done you could get it done for free under recall. The recall hose was upgraded not to break down as quickly as the old one. So make sure you get the hose with the AJ511389YB part number...not AJ11389YA.

    Actually if done by the dealer could be just as expensive as a coil. You can still go to Autozone and have them check kyour codes. Sometimes the computer will store a faulty code but the CEL will not come on. If you are sure it is the hose you can tell the dealership to go ahead and replace it and save yourself $95 diagnostics. If a hose is ruptured bad enough you will hear a hissing noise from the very back of the engine. A few parts you have to take off to be able to take a good look at it.

    The hose is a bit tricky to get to, but you could do it yourself. The hose cost about$70 and labor around another $70... if you have to throw in diagnostics that's a pretty big chunk of coin. Good luck.
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