1996 Mazda B2300 is frying the starter motor

I’ve been having engine problems with my 1996 Mazda B2300. It’s been very rough starting when cold and at times the starter will stop for a moment like it’s being held up and then it will continue. I eventually fried my starter. I replaced it with a new one two weeks ago and this one has also been fried. Now I’m stranded. Again!

Once the engine has started it runs smooth. No grinding or rough running. It bucks a bit at low rpm (around 2000) but otherwise it seems Ok. I’m not sure if the problems are related.

I replaced wires, plugs, fuel filter. Checked fuel pressure which is at 32 psi at idle. There are no trouble codes.


Possibly the battery is on its way out. Low voltage causes amps to spike which can fry the starter.

A weak battery or cranking more than 15 seconds is a bad idea. A slow motor= high amperage. Current draw test a good idea. Mechanical binding likely. It should crank around 200 rpms.

The battery hasn’t seemed to weaken while making multiple attempts to start. Is that actually the source of the problem, that it holds a charge but just isn’t delivering enough to the starter?

The new starter worked Ok to begin with. Then after a while it started to click but still started the engine. Now it just whirs. If I can get jumper cables on it do you think that might be a good way to test it? Or is it fried at this point?

Sounds like solenoid pull-in windings or there is resistance in the circuit before the solenoid dropping voltage.

While someone is cranking the engine run your hand along the batter cables feeling for a hot spot. Heat will equal lost current.