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Mazda 6 took many revolutions to start, otherwise normal

guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 802
edited February 2016 in Mazda
This might be moot at this point but I am not sure yet so I thought I would get some feedback.

A 2004 Mazda 6, sorry I am not sure of the mileage but it is not a lot, and I will guess 30,000 miles. Recently it began taking many revolutions to start. Rather than 2-3 it would take, I guess 10 or 12, by the sound, enough where I begin to be concerned about the heating of the starter. We took it to the mechanic, timed right for a tuneup anyway, and he could not duplicate the issue. It was doing it each time my wife got in the car! While it is winter here, it did it for us while cold or when it warmed to 50°F. But not for the mechanic even after he left it overnight.

So, the mechanic proceeded to do the yearly tune up. I am not sure of everything but I know he changed the oil, plugs, and cleaned the throttle body.

Of course the car starts immediately when we got it back.

My mechanic does a massive volume of cars. Throw any car or problem at him and he can spout what is most likely wrong. He has not seen this particular problem with the Mazda 6.

I wondered if the plugs had some issue and required some compression to clean them off? Maybe the new ones solved the issue, we will see.

When I charged my car battery (I am a motorcyclist and have a tender), I measured the battery voltage in the 6. I forget the measurement but it was after the car had sat for a day, and the voltage was in the upper range, maybe 12.7V. My wife's trips, unlike my current 1 mile commute, tend to be significant, and keep the battery charged. Despite the test, I now wonder if the battery has a certain condition that caused this problem?

We got the car back last night and of course we will see if the problem reproduces itself. But if you have seen this, please let me know!


  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 802
    There have been many fast starts since the tuneup but yesterday one start took more turns, not as bad as before the tune up, but more than usual. If this starts happening again, I suspect something electrical, like a contact is corroded or such. Maybe, although it is good, we should just replace the battery. Usually weird behavior from batteries happens on ultra-computer cars like Cadillacs, but who knows?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    How old is the battery?
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 802
    Hi Mr. S!

    The battery is two years old.

    All of the starts have been good since my last post.

    When picking up the car, the mechanic asked my wife about her fuel source and she replied "Sunoco." He was satisfied that this was good gas. She also has not filled up with fresh gas since the maintenance so nothing has changed there.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    It is possible that you and wifey start the car differently? Do you have more trouble than she, or vice-versa? Have you noticed any difference in frequency?

    Might be a good idea to perform a voltage drop test on both battery cables, and especially the one going to the starter.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 802
    I never drive the car, just ride shotgun so it is not a people issue. Wife does not pump the gas or do anything weird, she has owned it since new, is detail oriented, and is pretty in tune with the car.

    Frequency: Well the problem existed, we had it serviced, although the mechanic never reproduced the issue before touching the car, and since then there was just one start which was longer than normal.

    If the problem starts up I will add the voltage drop test to the list, if the mechanic hasn't done it. The long turnovers did not *sound* slow, if that means anything.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 802
    edited May 2016
    Update: Time for an oil change so we took the car in. While the problem is quite common, the mechanic, as is always the case, had a difficult time reproducing it. He kept it several days, as he connected monitoring equipment but was rarely able to reproduce the condition. After talking to him I was sure he was going to replace the fuel pump, as he had gotten a low pressure reading at some point. Ugh that is about a $700 job! However, he ended up replacing the crank position sensor. He is not positive but is pretty sure this was the issue. The total bill with oil change and miscellaneous maintenance items, $280. YAY is all I can say. Wife says it starts differently, even compared to when the problem did not exist. It seems to start just that much quicker.
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