View Full Version : Car trouble mystery(help, please)

12-25-2005, 05:03 PM
Mazda, 2.2 litre inline four, gas. 180 K miles.

Two months ago I did a tune up and replaced the plugs and the cap. It ran fine, but occasionally missed, badly. So...I put in new wires. The connections on a couple at the distributor were badly eroded from electrics. Seemed to fix it. Then yesterday it bucked and lost power, badly again. So...I put in a new rotor. Seemed to fix it.

Today, it's missing again. But not all the time. I just drove to town and it began to miss when it warmed up. Then, on the way back, all was smooth again. All the ignition parts short of the coil are new. What's going on?

P.S. The new wires are too long.

[ 12-25-2005, 05:06 PM: Message edited by: ishmael ]

Peter Malcolm Jardine
12-25-2005, 05:07 PM
Coil wire is new? How about the connections to the coil. Start cleaning various electrical ignition contacts... but.... it may be your coil. It may be a loose plug.... check them for tightness. Is it damp and wet where you are?

12-25-2005, 05:09 PM
Cracked cap will cause this.

12-25-2005, 05:33 PM
Is it damp and wet where you are? Yes. My next step, short of a mechanic, is going to be to spray liberally with WD-40.

A coil, hm. I've been contempating a newer vehicle. It may be time to jump. The radiator is leaking, too. Front brakes making noise. Gas tank has a leak when filling it. Lot's of little stuff.

Been looking. Maybe that's why the old gal is acting up. ;)

Charlie Santi
12-25-2005, 05:38 PM
how old is this mazda is it carb or injected, sounds like a moisture in fuel system

12-25-2005, 05:41 PM
:rolleyes: Distributor cap! BTDT!

[ 12-25-2005, 05:41 PM: Message edited by: Meerkat ]

12-25-2005, 05:51 PM

I gave a good look at the cap, which is new, when I put in the new wires.


'89, with a carb. It could be fuel pressure; the electrics a red herring. If it gets to a mechanic I'll have him put a gauge on it.

Thanks guys. A lousy time for car trouble.

12-25-2005, 05:54 PM
You answered your own question. Replace the coil.


12-25-2005, 06:03 PM
the cap I had to replace was new too. Manufacturing and/or installation defect.

12-25-2005, 06:34 PM
This is old enough to have a condenser/ capacitor in the distributor. If you have one (does it have points) replace it.

12-25-2005, 06:51 PM
Points, condenser! What do you imagine, a Fred Flinstone buggy? :D

No, no condenser, or points.

I hate intermitent things. How do you grasp something that is so ephemeral? Fuel supply, hm. Though it bucks like electrics are wonky.

I think her feelings are hurt. I've been perusing the online catalogues, and she's caught wind of it. How would you like it if you had to make it just through this winter, and in the spring you were to be replaced?

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
12-25-2005, 08:35 PM
If it was your dog you'd take her to the vet, right?
Get thee to an auto tech.
They're worth every penny. :D

My friend Bill has a truck that looks worse than this. He calls it "Bulldog". :D


[ 12-25-2005, 08:48 PM: Message edited by: Mr. Know It All ]

12-25-2005, 08:42 PM
Change the fuel filter. ---Bukuboy

Steve McMahon
12-25-2005, 09:03 PM
I would suggest that a possibility is carb ice. Typically can happen well above freezing. As the air moves through the venturie (sp?) of the carb it speeds up and the pressure drops : cools down. Moisture in the air ices it up. Rough running and possible stalling. When you shut down the heat in the engine melts it and everything works fine for a while. Check the heat riser off the manifold that supplies warm air to the air filter, and the associates hoses etc. Good luck and Merry Christmas.

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
12-25-2005, 09:15 PM
Could be a vaccume hose leak problem or PCV (positive crankcase ventalation) valve. PCV valves are cheap and a good place to start.
Also clean and tighten your battery connections.

[ 12-25-2005, 09:16 PM: Message edited by: Mr. Know It All ]

12-25-2005, 10:17 PM
Points, condenser! What do you imagine, a Fred Flinstone buggy Actually, yes. You seem firmly locked in other decades.

I would suggest that a possibility is carb ice. Typically can happen well above freezing I'd agree with this diagnosis. The weather is perfect for this. The probably is a carb on the Fred Flintstone mobile.

Go and buy an element

12-25-2005, 10:36 PM
Those old mazda b2200's were the best truck ever made for the money. I had two of 'em. Too bad they stopped making them over ten years ago.

12-26-2005, 12:43 AM
Any chance that little “gas leak” could be letting water in when it rains/melts???
The symptoms sound a little like water in the fuel.

12-26-2005, 04:41 AM
Water getting into the tank could be it, though it's driven just fine with that leak for two years. I've got some "drygas" sitting in the passenger footwell. I'll dump that in when I spray the WD-40.


I'd love to have a new-ish Honda Element. But the cost every year is holding me back. The property tax alone to register it each year with the state is probably three big ones. This old buggy is 70 some smackers, every year to the town and the state, for that new sticker.

Ah, Maine, where all the women are strong, and when you make a right turn the tax man will find you. tongue.gif ;)

Ron Williamson
12-26-2005, 08:17 AM
Is the floor/fender well rusted at the passenger side between the door and the firewall?
On a'92,the engine computer is behind the plastic kick panel and will short out with moisture and salt.
I had the symptoms you describe,a coupla times,then got left at the side of the road.

12-26-2005, 09:22 AM
Ishmael,if it starts to act badly when the engine warms up,it could be a bad coil.That was Conventional Wisdom in the "old days". Good luck.

Dan McCosh
12-27-2005, 09:58 AM
As I recall, those Mazdas had an electonic component to the distributor that had tendency to fail, creating those symptoms. It's fairly expensive--close to $1,000 OE. Major reason for scrappage.

The Gentleman Sawyer
12-27-2005, 04:18 PM
Check your EGR valve.
The Gentleman Sawyer

12-27-2005, 05:27 PM
Leaking Over heating coil.Or maybe a loggy carb float....or a Mfr cap defect as Meerkat said...run engine at night to see external sparking.

[ 12-27-2005, 05:31 PM: Message edited by: Norske3 ]

12-27-2005, 05:48 PM
Could be a lose wingnut behind the steering wheel. ;)