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Mazda 323



  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Mid 80s-early 90s Mazdas are well known for having bad relays and circuit boards. The solder on the circuit board is weak and tends to crack with age and big temp changes or the grease inside the relay leaks out. The most common problem area for Mazdas are the wiper controls, headlight switch, and the ventilation control (if electronically controlled like in the RX7). Your heater fan problem is probably a bad heater fan switch or a relay if one is used. Your wiper problem is probably a bad wiper combination switch (which normally has an internal relay that is the source of the problem or a cracked solder). This combination switch is either in the steering column or on the instrument cluster depending on where the wiper controls are located. Be prepared because new combination switches are rather expensive.

    I recently went through wiper problems on my 1990 RX7 convertible. The wipers would only work on low speed. The high, intermittent, mist, and washer wipe functions didn't work. A rebuilt wiper combination switch fixed the problem. The internal relay was what failed and I discovered via the internet that this is a very common problem on many Mazdas. Good luck on the repairs!
  • sgt36sgt36 Posts: 1
    This is a message from experience.
    The modules MUST be from Mazda. Our 323's Module died on us and we could not start the Mazda it was replaced by an after market module. The car ran for about 6 weeks and stopped. This happened with three different after market modules until I asked the mechanic if he used a Mazda module, I was told it was after market. I requested a Mazda module and the car has run without problems ever since. CAUTION do not use after market Modules as the program in the module is different in the Mazda product. It gets expensive to purchase them, when the investment of a few dollars more for a Mazda module is well worth it.
  • baz666baz666 Posts: 3
    I have a 91 323 hatchback with 5pd transmission and 1.6 liter engine. It's got 375,000 kms on it (225,000 miles) and still running strong. Only problem is a few small areas of surface rust. The key to its longevity has been the constant use of high quality "orange" anti-freeze/coolant. It will keep your water pump running forever. And check your electric cooling fan regularly. If it goes out, the rad isn't enough to cool that hardworking little engine. Also, I use fully synthetic motoroil. Makes a huge difference in the life of the engine. Plus, don't forget change the thermostat regularly, like every year. It's only a couple of dollars and will ensure stable temperature. One thing that will require changing at about 200,000kms (120,000 miles) are the Constant Velocity Shafts. You can get these for about $80. each rebuilt. They are not difficult to install. If the old CV shaft won't come out, it means the circlip at the transmission end of the shaft has expanded and is jammed in there. You can try to use a long thin shaft through the other CV shaft opening and pop the offending circlip out with a deft blow of a hammer. But that's a longshot. More realistically, you'll need to dismantle the transmission end of the stuck shaft, do the same with your rebuilt shaft and attach the new part of the shaft. It's the CV shaft end at the wheel where the bearings start to grind and chatter. Hope this helps.
  • I hope I can get some professional help on this....I have a fuel tank in my 1988 mazda 323...seems to not be working...the fuel gauge shows quarter tank....but starts to stall once it gets there....i need some opinions on where i can find the "fuel floater" or even where i can get into the tank from the back seat to open up the tank.....i believe the hose that sucks out of the fuel tank maybe corroded or something...any help is appreciated!
  • pskirkpskirk Posts: 2

    UK 1992 323 1500 Carburetor, 5 speed manual

    I have an internittent problem which usually appears after driving a short distance, say 2 miles or 5-10 minutes then stopping the engine. When I turn ignition on again the "Rear" warning light (which is supposed to indicate failed stop light) is on. Engine will not start and there is no spark and no fuel (dry plugs). Car needs to be left for 20 mins to 1 hour when it will then start OK.

    Car is UK spec. Engine is a 1500 Carburetor (so no injectors), no cat either.

    Disconnecting battery for 5 minutes or so makes no difference, fault is still there. No fuses are blown. Nothing electrical in engine bay seems overheated.

    Does anyone have any ideas where the fault might be, which component may be failing?


  • pskirkpskirk Posts: 2
    Sorry, I made a mistake in the specifications.

    323 SE Exectutive Registered 1 August 1990 1598cc 16valve SOHC Carburetor

    "Rear" warning light is now on at evry switch on of ignition, goes out when engine starts. All rear lights including fogs are working.

  • Hello - I've had the car three years.

    I've replaced the entire exhaust system, and the brakes twice, and two tires. She's got a little rust, around the doors and apparently under the driver's seat. I had to have the driver-side window and the windshield replaced. I've been rear-ended twice - she's working on rear bumper number three now - and smacked into someone right good and needed the passenger side headlamp and flashers redone a year ago. My rear window wiring has been cut and crimped until we can isolate the short that was killing my brakes and horn (which work now).

    The car has 185k on it. I thought it was overdue for a transmission fluid change. That's when it all started to go wrong.

    My mechanic, god bless him, did exactly what I asked him to do. What the Haynes, the Edmunds maintenance schedule, and the guys at Mr. Lube all agreed she was brutally overdue for. A simple automatic transmission fluid flush and filter change. The car drove for a day and a half, and then stopped dead in the middle of traffic. No, the engine didn't die, the car just stopped moving.

    Thankfully, my mechanic is a resourceful coot and found me a replacement transmission box reasonably cheap (<100 Cdn). We figure the tranny fluid cleaned the engine out and dumped thirteen years worth of oil and carbon and metal filings right into my all-electrical digitally controlled transmission. The engine runs, she throttles beautifully, I can change gears... but the wheels don't turn.

    Is there anything I should know before we try to perform major surgery on my poor car? I seem to remember tripping over information somewhere that implied that you have to change the radiator at the same time you change the transmission, but now I can't find it. Anyone know anything about that?

    I'm hoping we can resurrect her. I'm kind of attached to her, and don't *really* have 3k to drop on a replacement right now, much less trying to find anon-domestic 15 miles a gallon replacement. [grr]

  • joey7joey7 Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 96 model Mazda 323 astina hatch and am more than happy with my little baby.My girlfriend made the mistake of leaving her bracelet on the top of my dash while driving,which inevitably has fallen into the windscreen air vent & down the ventillation system on the passenger side of the car.I have tried a few times to try to retrive it,pulling parts of the dash off here and there but all ive done so far is leave the odd scratch or crack on my pristine dash.I pulled the fan out from under the dash on the passenger side but no luck.Is it possible to find the bracelet without having to pull the whole dashboard right out off the car to get to the ventillation system?....yes it would be easier to buy her a new one i tried that,but its not about the money its the sentimental value.I would be very thankfull for any help..
  • giac23giac23 Posts: 2

    I have a Mazda Protege with 185K miles. Recently, when I try to turn on the A/C, it doesn't blow cool air. What could be the possible cause for this? I was thinking a leak, but where?

    Also, Does anyone know where I could get a diagram that details where all the fluids chambers are located in my car? I know where the washer fluid and power steering fluid goes, but I really need to locate where the coolant, brake fluid, and transmission fluid go. Also where do I find the chamber that houses the Freon?

    If there is no diagram available, can someone instruct me where all these fluid chambers are located.

    Thank you,
  • wordartistwordartist Posts: 6
    >If there is no diagram available, can someone instruct me where
    >all these fluid chambers are located.

    Personally, I found the Hayes manual available for the 323 to be quite detailed. It has photos of the engine from the top and bottom with arrows and numbers to help you find stuff.

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi gia, welcome.

    I believe you have either a 323 or a Protege. I see you've posted in the Protege Problems & Solutions discussion - that's a good resource for you.

    You might want to clarify exactly which model you have, though. I don't know if that will make a difference in the answers to your questions, but it certainly could.
  • Again, I haven't read through everything, but I thought i may as well post and see how we go.

    I have gone to so many mechanics here in Australia over this, and no one has fixed it yet. I've got a 4 speed auto right, and it stalls. Now everyone keeps telling me that it's not reving correctly at low speeds so thats why it's cutting out. However no one has succeeded in fixing this for me. It happens alot when I am reversing, in traffic like accelrating then braking constentaly, even at round abouts. Now i dont know too much about the technical side of cars, but the only thing one of the mechanics did for me was raise some idelling thingy in my engine, but another one who looked at it brought it down cos he said it was going to blow my gear box if i kept driving with it being so high.

    Is there a way to fix this without spending a fortune on some other guy who doesn't know what they are even fixing???!!!! :confuse:
  • lurnjaclurnjac Posts: 1
    My 1988 Mazda 323 died on the highway-no wasrning-just stopped running. Can anyone help me with what might be wrong? My son cannot find the problem.

    To the person whose whells would not turn-that is probably your CVC joints on front axle need to be replaced. Just had mine done.

    Any help is appreciated
  • deltafoxdeltafox Posts: 1
    to punkishbarbie: Try replacing sparkplugs and wires if you haven't already. I had sputtering and stall problems until I did that. I also found it easy to change the idle myself as it was a big, obvious looking screw on the top of the engine. If you have a tachometer, probably best not to go above 1000 rpms.

    to lurnjac: The only things I can think of are fuel pump failure, alternator (or wiring) failure and broken timing belt. Checked those?

    On a side note, I have an '87 323 with 203,000 miles. Running strong with no major engine work ever, good gas mileage and easy to maintain IMO. Why can't they make engines like this in American cars?
  • jimlajimla Posts: 1
    To lurnjac and other sleuths:

    Did you discover your problem? If so, was it repairable?

    I also have an '88 Mazda 323 (std transmission) with about 128,000 miles. It has run very well and only needed routine maintenance to date. But now I have the same problem--it suddenly died while driving it. I have replaced all tune-up parts (plugs, wires, coil, distributor cap & rotor, and fuel filter). I also checked the resistances that I could check with a simple voltmeter per my Chilton manual. All that seems o.k. I don't think it's an alternator problem because the battery still had a good charge and would the engine for a good while. With the distributor cap off, I could see that the rotor still spins while ing. I am guessing that means that the timing belt is still in one piece; besides, I just replaced it about 20,000 miles ago. Removing enough hardware to see the entire timing belt is quite a job and I don't want to do that if there's a simple test to see if it's o.k. My Chilton manual does not contain anymore helpful advice to diagnose the problem. From previous posted messages, I gather that the vehicle has some sort of computer brain ("module") somewhere. Could someone enlighten me as to where it is and how to replace it? Also, is this an excessive expense to keep this car running?
    When replacing the fuel filter, there was some gasoline leakage. I am guessing that means that the fuel pump is still pumping. Is there a simple test for the fuel pump, particularly one that doesn't get you covered with gasoline?

    Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks,
  • Baz:

    The problem may not be in the FRONT of your car at all.

    If you have a rear defroster or rear wiper system, open the hatch and cut the rubber hose off of the wire bundle that runs into the roof of the car on the door. That bundle is really badly arranged and not very well insulated, and when things started going to heck on mine, that was the culprit - the wires had fused. (First the rear wiper, then the defroster, then the horn and brake lights, then the solenoid for getting it out of park...) We practically dismantled the whole car before we figured it out, so maybe I can save you some time.

    In the short run, if the wire bundle is fused, you can cut and crimp them all, but you'll have to rewire the bundle eventually. Have a care, the wires are flipping short and the plastic rim on the window is quite difficult to get off - you'll have to add more wire when you splice them.

  • :sick: I have a 1990 Mazda Protege SE- it has 176,000 miles on it- ;)
    We have put new brakes on it- and they worked fine for about a year- then one day i was driving and the brake pressure was completely gone i pumped them and still nothing. We were told it could be the master cylinder- we replaced it and bled the lines as we were supposed to. Still didn't solve the problem. When i start my car, i will pump the brake pedal before i start it to get pressure- then i'll start the car, and all the pressure is gone. Or i'll pump them, then step on them again, and it's gone. Some people are telling me it could be my vacuum/power booster.

    I'm about to go crazy as I really need my car!!!!! Can anyone help me? :confuse:

    Jennessa from Valparaiso IN
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    If you post your question in the Stop here! Let's talk about brakes
    discussion you will get more help than you ever imagined. Soon, you will be the brake expert and the envy of your friends... ;)
  • flynrnflynrn Posts: 1
    267,000 miles on my Mazda 323 1991 5sp w/AC. Yes. I love it/her. However the driver's seat by now does need replacing and I have to recharge the AC every year or so. Her name is TinaRina and I just spent a bunch of internet time looking on how to get white hubcaps with a red center button for her.
  • natspatsnatspats Posts: 1
    Hi all; I have been having a problem with my 1990 5 speed mazda 323. It seems to stall when I turn right. It began to do it only when the gas tank was below half. Now it seems to do it more and more often with a fuller tank and on only slight turns to the right (it never stalls on a left turn!!!). Is this a fuel pump issue, gas tank issue, are mazdas known for having fuel system problems?
  • mysi92mysi92 Posts: 1
    Hey this is probably a stupid question, but how do I pull the DTC's from my 88 323???? I've had a big issue with an engine miss, a stall driving up hill at a stop sign, and yes it's a five speed. Well I replaced the plugs which were shot, already had new NGK wires, and also replaced rotor and distributor cap, and it ran fine, for about 6 hrs of driving and I do drive alot, well then it stalled around a right hand turn and had some trouble starting. Now some times it misses at idle speed and I can't figure it out... I've got an extra car but I don't just want to keep replacing parts, so if someone could just tell me how to pull the dang codes from this thing it would be greatly appreciated...... :P
  • abtobcabtobc Posts: 1
    Hello, everybody. just bought myself a "93 Mazda 323, and I'm wondering what the normal operating temp of it should be. it's relatively warm around here right now about 20-25 celcius (68-77 F). the temp gauge sits steady at touch below 2/3 when warmed up. the radiator looks fine, it's running green coolant and no leaks. it's tuned up, fresh oil, new plugs, cables, dist cap, etc. the only thing is that the cooling fan comes on as soon as the engine has warmed up and i'm at a red light or otherwise stopped. is this normal? other cars that i've had, the cooling fan would only come on on really hot days. i'm usually a worry wart when it come to cars, so maybe this is nothing...
  • lexie44lexie44 Posts: 1

    I have a 91 Mazda 323 and it just started acting up. The other day it just died on me and I needed a boost. I thought it was the battery so I changed the battery out and it did the same thing. I then thought it might be the Automatic start I have so I took that out and still the same thing. It just dies. When I boost it and then take the cables off the battery the alternator still works. But could it be the alternator. Are Mazda's know to go through alternators??
  • hey all,

    i am getting a 323 for 50 bucks, cant go wrong ;) .tis my cousins car and is in pretty good nick cause shes looked after it.she said something about it actually being an 85 model but released as an 86 here in australia.can anyone tell me the difference??its a 1.6 litre has ti or sommin chucked on the end.buggered if i know what that also wondering if its carbie or efi.i havent really looked in the engine or anything cause its not officially mine.another 2 months and it will be.oh yeah and does anyone know of any mazda clubs here in australia that actually have info about my model.all the sites ive been to have been like 88 or 90 not really interested in modding it out too much.maybe a little performance boost but the rest will be aesthetics.its in desperate need of a new paint job.its silver and the paint looks as if theres been a pair of skis permanently attached to the roof and the bonnet.problem is i wouldnt have a clue where to start.any tips would be great.

  • Hey
    Home handy man trying to change filter in wifes Mazda Astina 323 2000 model
    Cant find it. A bad batch of fuel has either blocked filter . Need help wife loosing faith. anyone pls ">
  • The BEST thing about this car is that it never dies, it just keeps on going no matter how much I abuse it!

    The WORST thing about this car is that it never dies, it just keeps on going no matter how much I abuse it!

    Ok, it's not a bad car, but it was my wifes car when we got married 10 years ago, since then I've gotten her 3 different newer/nicer cars, and I took the 323.

    So if thought 'ok', it's paid for, gets great MPG's, the A/C and radio work good, so I'll just live with it until it dies. I abuse the car like crazy, change the oil ever 3 - 4 years and it still starts up first time ever time. It now has over 210,000 hard miles, is still pretty zippy, will just about turn around in a parking spot, uses hardly any of the $3.29/gallon gas.

    In the last 10 years I've spent maybe $250 in parts total! That is less than half a monthly payment on many new cars!

    It needed new front brakes about 3 years ago, $25.
    A new catalectic converter 2 years ago to pass smog installed at "el'cheapo's garage". $140
    A new thermostat, after about a year of a pegged temp gauge! $6.
    A battery $45.

    So I should love the car, but I would like something new(er). If you want something cheap to own & drive, I can't say they are all good, but mine seems indestructible.
  • I have the same problem with my 90 Mazda with an automaic transmission. I'm not sure about the gas level part tho. Did you ever find the problem with it?
  • Ok...This car is about to get killed if I cant fix it.

    It seems to drive fine in cooler temps. When it hits warmer times in the afternoon.. it will run for a little then just die like it looses fire or fuel. Give it like 30 seconds to a minute...and it will start for a while. Maybe 1/2 mile down the dies again. I bought a new Ignition coil, new spark plugs and new wires. Checked the Distibutor and Rotor...they look almost new. What the heck is wrong!!!! So frustrated right now. :mad:
  • My 89 Mazda 323 stalled after decelerations. When I removed the rotor I noted it had a hole next to the center contactor were spark had been jumping through to distributor shaft. Also had an older Chev years ago would stall in turn. Distributor shaft bushing worn allowing shaft to lean and change breaker point gap. Don't know that electonic ignition is clearance sensitive that way. Another car had a piece of solder that slid around the gas tank and partially blocked the takeup screen against the line.
  • My 88 323 is nearing 300k miles, but is starting to show it's age in many ways. It is burning some oil and now the bushing in the rack and pinion steering is gone causing some clunking in the steering. Does anyone have some serious suggestions on solving the problems...rebuild or replace engine (1.6 L) and can you get a new bushing to put in the rack and pinion? It still gets me from point A to point B and back everyday (75 miles round trip) and can't think about buying a newer car right now. It was new when my wife bought it and I inherited it when the minivan was acquired to hold our 6 kids. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    These cars are not perfect, but they do go a long way with a little TLC.

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