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Mazda Tribute Coil and Spark Problems

vic777vic777 Posts: 2
Hi everyone,

Please help. I have the 05 Tribute V6 with 59000 mi. on it. It has been running fine and smooth until last week. It refused to start. We towed it to the dealer. After a day, the dealer informed us the PCM was bad and they would replace it under warranty. We were so happy but not for long. The next day, they called us and said all 6 spark-plugs-coils misfired. And that's what killed the PCM. We have to replace them all before they give us the new PCM. The cost is $987 plus tax.

Do you guys think the dealer is correct in their diagnostic? Can spark-plug-coil-misfire kill the PCM? We have the car for 3 and half years. I have never experienced any misfire. The car has alway run very smooth averaging 21mi./gal in mix driving (70% highway, 30% city). Although, I've always thought this Tribute was harder to start than average. I have to turn and hold the key for 2 or 3 seconds to start it. My other cars take 1 second.

Thank you in advance for your opinions.

Vic

Comments

  • tveilleuxtveilleux Posts: 15
    I think your dealer is being very naive about the cause/effect relationship here. The misfire errors are common with older vehicles (the plugs should last for at least 75,000 miles) and usually point to plug/wire replacement of the cylinder that is indicated in the error message. For all 6 to be failing is really pointing to an ignition component that is common to all 6 cylinders.

    Were the misfires in the computer error memory before of after the PCM was replaced? If before, then whatever caused that set of messages to be logged in could have caused a PCM failure. However, if the error messages were logged in after the PCM was replaced then the problem could be the new PCM.

    Is the dealer certain that the original PCM is faulty, especially in light of the misfire error?

    The vehicle computer modules are robust devices and do no break that often.
  • vic777vic777 Posts: 2
    Thanks for your reply. I don't think the misfire kill the PCM either. But Mazda will not pay for the new PCM unless we change all 6 coils. So, we paid and the car was fixed. They told us the old PCM was dead. They could not read anything out of it. After the new one was put in, they started the car and hooked it up to their diagnostic system. The system showed misfire on all 6 of the coils randomly, intermittently. But the worst and the most consistent is from #2 and #4. They changed out the 6 coils, test drove and hooked it back up to their system. The misfires were gone.

    When we get the Tribute back, it starts immediately (1 second) instead of 2 or 3 seconds as always before. And it feel a little stronger and smoother than before.

    I think the old PCM has always had a small defect from the start from the factory. It just finally died after 3.5 years. And the misfires were just a common problem with this model. But that is hard to prove.

    Again, thank you for your reply.
  • bhutbhut Posts: 1
    My wife and I just picked up her 05 V6 Tribute from the dealer tonight for this exact problem, but luckily it was repaired under warranty (43K miles). We were told a TSB exists on the spark plugs which can cause the coil packs to malfunction, ultimately this led to the PCM dying. At least that's the theory. Our Tribute has always been slower to start in my opinion, pretty much matching your experience prior to the repair. Our truck has never performed well in the mileage department, so I am hoping this improves that end of it.
    I've been working on vehicles as a shade tree mechanic (for fun no less) for the better part of 20 years, and had never heard of spark plugs causing PCM failure. On the other hand, I spent 8 years working in electronics and saw how sensitive some components can be, particularly to operation outside of their intended range. In my opinion, either the plant got a really bad batch of plugs in 2005, or the coil packs are too sensitive to impedance/load variations.
    Whatever the case, you may be able to petition Mazda about the coil costs, since a TSB apparently exists for the spark plugs and their potential for damage to the coils.
  • Hi guys i am new here, ok my friend read the code from my 2002 mazda tribute and the number 2 cylinder is misfiring ihad the same problem before diferent coil, this guy told me which coil was the problem and i just changed it. now i need to know the location of the number 2 coil is it at the front or the back and middle or side.

    thanks
  • normkolnormkol Posts: 134
    #2 cylinder is the middle rear. Have fun, you have to remove the intake manifold to change it.

    I just had the exact same code, on the same car, 02 Tribute ES V6. I had all the parts (coils, plugs, gaskets, pcv) ready to do the change in the spring. But it had to be done now, so I had a mechanic do it with my parts. It's just too cold to work outside now.
  • thanks very much normkol. can you believe that a service guy at a ford dealership told me it was on the passenger side at the back of engine, so i mentioned this to my friend and he said that the service guy was wrong, so i went on line and specially to this site and another one and was told that it was in the middle. so i don't understand how this guy told me the wrong information. good thing i investigated before i went on and change it.

    thanks again,
  • hi it's me again, well i fix my problem thanks guys, and by the way i found out that the coils were number, i guess i didn't notice the first time i did it
  • beargielbeargiel Posts: 1
    My 2002 Tribute will spit and sputter, not accelerate like it should and check engine light comes on ONLY when it is wet outside. Once it sits in a dry location/weather for a day, it runs fine. Do you know?
  • Can you help please? I have a 2 litre 2004 Tribute. 50,000 miles run on LPG. Going fine till last service then came back sluggish when cold. Put it down to winter. Now throwing up codes. O2 sensor changed last week. Now new code misfire in No.3 cylinder. Coil pack changed light back on within few miles. Any ideas?
  • I just found out that I need to replace the #1 and #6 ignition coils on my 2002 LX Tribute. The idle and misfiring problem I have feels very similar to when I replaced the IAC valve, which was easy and painless. The check engine light never came on either time, which surprised me.

    The Mazda dealer suggested that I have them replace those 2 ignition coils (I assume there is one for each cylinder?) plus all of the spark plugs and wires. I have 85k+ miles and bought it used at a little over 60k, so it's possible the plugs/wires are original.

    I was quoted $575, which they reduced to $520 for parts and labor with this job. That seems pretty high. Does anyone think I should attempt it myself? I am not sure about the disassembly required for 3 of the the plugs, and I have limited tools.

    If I decide not to try this myself, is it something any decent non-dealer mechanic worth their weight in salt could do so I don't sink a half grand into it? I live in the Detroit area, so I figure there are plenty of gearheads to be found in a rough economy.
  • I have been experiencing a rough idle for several months on my on my 2002 LX Tribute. The last time this happened (last year) I cleaned, then finally replaced the IAC valve, which worked great. Now it seems to also be more of a driveability issue- the vehicle stalls/misfires in park, neutral, and in gear with foot on brake and during low gear acceleration.

    After taking it to the Mazda Dealer,they said that I need to replace the #1 and #6 ignition coils . The idle and misfiring problem I have feels very similar to when I replaced the IAC valve, which was easy and painless. The check engine light never came on either time, which surprised me. When these symptoms occur, is there a good way to rule out the IAC vs the Manifold gaskets vs Electronic Sensors vs ignition coils/spark plugs/wires? It seems like these tend to be the likely culprits.

    The Mazda dealer suggested that I let them replace those 2 ignition coils (I assume there is one IC for each cylinder?) plus all 6 of the spark plugs and wires. I have 85k+ miles and bought it used at a little over 60k, so it's quite possible the plugs/wires are original.

    I was quoted $575, which they reduced to $520 for parts and labor with this job. That seems pretty high to me... or am I being unrealistic? Does anyone think I should attempt it myself? I am a novice but fairly technical. I am not sure about the disassembly required for 3 of the the plugs, and I have limited tools... so I am leaning against that option.

    If I decide not to try this myself, is it something any decent non-dealership mechanic worth their weight in salt could do to prevent me from sinking a half grand into it (and maybe still have the problem)? I live in the Detroit area, so I figure there are plenty of gear heads to be found in a tough economy that would be happy for the work at a better price.
  • hi brijamgel, sorry i didn't answer you earlier. changing the ignition coils is really easy job it just takes a bit of time especially since you have to change the #1 coil which is at the back and you have to remove the intake manifold to get to it. sounds harder than it is, you just have to undo some hoses and electrical plugs. i paid $95 for a coil so it would only cost you say $200 if you do it yourself.
  • oh by the way i forgot to mention the position of the coils:

    at front 4,5,6 from passenger to driver looking from front of the car and
    at back 1,2,3 from passenger to driver looking from front of the car

    and it shuld also be written there. close to the coil wires.
  • I have had similar issues with my tribute I have changed the plugs and coils and within a few blocks it threw codes again so I am changing the wires that go to the coils in the a.m. I will let you know how it goes
  • Ok so I have had the same problems with my 01 tribute I actually changed the plugs and coils myself which was easy once you got to them not too bad of an ordeal compared to the price of labor at Mazda. But the problem in my vehicle was not the coils I did have to replace the plugs though due to them being misfired on. The problem lied in the connectors which clip into the coil. They were only $30 each compared to the $180 for the coil
  • I hope you fare better than me. Seems with mine it was the LPG running hotter than petrol she has burnt out the valves which were not hard enough to withstand the heat. Have a huge bill for repair about as much as car is worth! Running back to normal now so hope to keep her for another year or two. She is comfortable and on LPG not too bad to run. Good Luck with yours.

    Jeanette
  • jschukraftjschukraft Posts: 1
    Whiskeygurl - thanks for the info. Having similar problems with my 01 Tribute. Have replaced the spark plugs with no improvement and am wondering if I should try those connectors that you mentioned that clip into the coil before going to the expense of replacing the coils. Can you give me some more details, please? Are the clip connectors between the coil and plug? Where did you by the parts? Do you by any chance have a part number? Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
  • I'm the sole owner of a 2005 Mazda Tribute. Exactly two years ago, my vehicle shut down completely while I was driving and I learned that the ignition coils had burned out. They paid for most of the repairs- and now the service dept is telling me I'm getting ready to have the same problem. I had a tune up two months ago and I went back yesterday for an oil change and I wanted to get my car idled down and that's when they told me about the problem again with the ignition coils. My car only has 103,000 miles. Are there any other Tribute owners with this same problem?
  • 8 mil socket can get that mostly all the way apart. It's a pain in the butt, but not too long to do. Took me a couple hours.
  • I have a 2002 Mazda Tribute V6 4.0 liter. It has roughly a 150K miles. For the last 6 weeks, everytime I start it, then put it in gear (reverse or drive) it drops below 1k RPM and then dies. Then when I try and start it again, it will turn over good but never starts. I thought it was a fuel pump issue, so I replaced it, along with fuel filter. Also has a new battery. My dad is a mechanic and has run the computer on it and it says everything is fine. He also replaced the EVAC canister and removed the cadilic converter. Any other suggestions on what could be the problem?
  • Hey Blondesooner,
    I just sold my 2005 Mazda tribute to Carmax and bought a Toyota Camry. But before, I sold it, the svc dept at the Mazda dealership said that I either needed a new catalytic converter or I had an exhaust leak. I had been having problems accelerating, etc
  • Take advantage of free inspections Mazda Dealers provides. I had that done and it was the Idle Air Control Valve, costs $100-$150 to fix or get part very easy to replace yourself.

    Take to auto parts store and get free scan done, to make sure you have no misfires.

    Going through same stuff for over a month now.
  • ericl4ericl4 Posts: 1
    I have the exact same issue and had to replace various coils in the past few years. What did you do to correct this problem?

    I have been using aftermarket coils because the price is too high ($114 each) for factory. The factory part number for the 2005 Mazda Tribute Coil for V6 3.0L is 1L8E-12A366-AB.

    Does anyone know the resistance settings as I have an extra one I want to test? I need the OHM range so I can test with my Multimeter.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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