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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all, I am the owner of a 2000 Mazda 626, 4cyl.

I've been having an intermittent starting problem off and on for several years now. When the problem first appeared, it would happen maybe once every six months. The problem has progressed, and now it is happening maybe once per week.

The problem is I try to start the car, and I can hear the starter cranking just fine, but there is no spark and the engine will not start. When this problem happens, if I sit and wait anywhere from 3 to 15 minutes, eventually the car will start and run with no problems.

The strange part of this problem is when the car is not starting, there are no dashboard lights (airbag, seatbelt, low oil, and other warnings) and the digital odometer will not display when I turn the key. Normally, these lights momentarily light up when I turn the key to start...kind of a "lights check", but not when the problem is happening. Everything else electric in the car works fine during the problem - windows, radio, AC/heater, etc.

This problem happens if the car is hot, cold, and in all kinds of weather.

I would appreciate any suggestions as to troubleshooting steps or ideas as to what this could be. It happens so intermittently that I am never at or near an auto shop when it is happening, so I have never been able to get a mechanic to take a look at it. Plus, when it does happen, it only lasts for a max of 15 minutes, so my chances of getting a professional to look at it are relatively slim.

Thanks,

Carl
 

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Check the condition of the "Meter" and "Engine" fuses, and give them a clean if needed..

However, if I had to guess, I would say the ignition switch is faulty..

If when you have the problem, the turn signals, sunroof and power windows don't work either, then that would confirm the switch for me... and especially if the headlights and door locks still do..


John
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, I checked those two things when it happened again yesterday. The turn signals do not work, but the electric windows do. Funny thing is the turn signals won't come on, but when I hit the hazard lights, they'll work. I don't have a copy of the wiring schematic, but if the windows are separate from the dash, I might be willing to agree with you that it's the ignition switch.
 

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I only have the diagrams for the older models.. so they could have changed a few things..

Turn signal requires ignition to be on.... hazard lights don't..

There are 2 outputs from the ignition switch, whilst turned to ignition on...
1. powers the windows and wipers.. at the same time, the acc position is on, so the radio will work.
2. powers the engine, meter, turn and sunroof..
Both of these are live with ignition on.. it is probably split like that to take the amount of current drawn... and my guess is the second part is shot..

You don't need the full barrel or lock.. the switch is just held on the end by one small screw... and one or two connector blocks.. very quick job to change it..

Just added this for your reference... be aware this is for older, UK models.




John
 

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Hello Carl,

I have the same exact car with the same exact problem. This has been happening for a couple of weeks. Now it happens every couple of days, and for more than 1/2 hour. I had it towed to a service station last week becuase it would not start for several hours. They read a code out that said something about theft prevention, car immobilized or something, but couldn't find the exact cause. I just had it towed AGAIN....

Did you figure out anything about your car yet?

THANKS!
Rady
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Fixed, I believe

Since I posted this in October on a couple of boards, I've taken a few steps and have it finally fixed, I believe. Until the final fix, I would have it happen at least once a day if not more. Since the fix, I haven't had it happen at all.

1. First, based on knowledgable advice, I cleaned the ground points next to the battery and under the dash. This did not fix the problem, but it was overdue anyway.

2. Most people had guessed it would be connected to the ignition switch. I replaced the ignition switch, but it did not help. The logic in swapping out the switch was solid, but it just wasn't that point where the problem was happening.

3. Finally, I took it to the local Mazda dealer. Realize, my car is a US model 626, but I live in the Netherlands and my mechanic speaks English well, but not perfectly. He agreed with me that I did not have an immobilizer system on my car. There was no chip or anything else embedded in my car's key. However, in between when I scheduled my appointment and the actual appointment, I began timing how long it would take my car to start after the initial failure. I found out that it was consistently 7 or 8 minutes in between a failed start and starting fine. After I told that to my mechanic, he surmised it was something he called a "start block". His solution was to bypass this "start block" wiring, taking it out of the equation. Since he performed this change (around half an hour of labor, minimal parts), my car has started fine each and every time. This was the first I had heard of a "start block" and perhaps his English skills are coming into play, but it has been 5 days now and not a hint of the old starting problem.
 

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Hi Carl..

Glad to hear you have it starting better..

It would be helpful to know a little more about what the mechanic did to your car.. it could help other members..

This is not something I have heard of, so it could be a US model thing..

John
 

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Guys... I had a similar problem with my '92 Telstar with the FE3 engine.

The start problem was intermittent just like porlbear. In the beginning it happened once in a blue and it eventually got worse to the point of having to go through it daily.

My mechanic diagnosed it as a starter problem - he summarised by saying that there is not enough voltage or power going through to the starter or something like that.

His solution immediately resolved by starting problems...

He just added an additional relay for the starter which cost about me less than 25 USD for labour and part.

Till now...the car which i eventually sold to a friend stilll cranks fine without any problems...
 
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