2002 Mazda Protege5 misses

In February, about 60 miles into a trip driving South on I-95 toward Boston, at about 70 mph, my car started missing. It happened once, and that was alarming. Then again and again and again more and more quickly, until I had to pull over. I checked the radiator fluid and oil. The oil was fine, as always, but the radiator reserve was dry, which it never is. I added fluid, said a prayer and went on. All was fine for a bit but it started up again, and the Check Engine light went on. Every time it happened, the engine speed dropped then went back to normal. The car never overheated. I finally got off the freeway and the car died on the exit ramp. A tow to a local mechanic and the computer scan determined that the camshaft sensor had gone bad and that there was a small leak in the radiator. After the repair, I continued my trip.

A couple of weeks later in New Hampshire, the same thing happened but only twice after about an hour of freeway driving.

A couple of weeks later after 45 minutes of country road driving, the car stalled as I parked, then started right up again.

A couple of weeks later, after about 90 miles of freeway driving, it started up again, and I had to pull over. This time the Check Engine light didn’t go on and the car never overheated. I let the car cool down and checked the radiator fluid and oil, and both were fine. I decided to nurse my car back home to my mechanic and cut down on the cost of a long tow. All was fine for about 20 miles, but it started again. I pulled over at a rest stop, let the car cool, then went on my way. That happened two times more, but then didn’t happen for the last 50 miles of the trip. I left the car at the mechanic. He’s very good, but could find nothing wrong when he drove it, and since the Check Engine light never went on, there was no recording of an issue in the computer. I have been able to make many drives to and from work, about 20 miles each way going 25 to 55 mph with no problems.

Today I tried to set up the problem while staying close enough to home so I wouldn’t need a tow. I drove 110 miles at freeway speeds and there was no problem and the Check Engine Light never went on.

Any ideas?

What was the weather like when the symptoms happened? Rainy? Snowy ?

Spray the spark plug wires and ignition coil with water, if the car bogs then you need a new set of wires. Do this test at night because you may see some arcing, confirming its the wires.

Does the car have a distributor? Inside there is signal generator AKA pickup coil. It can fail intermittently especially when hot, and eventually fail completely. The engine won’t run without a good signal from it.

I’d be interested to know what the first cam code was.

Hi, Corollaguy1.
Thanks for your response. The first time this happened, when the Check Engine light came on, it was warm and sunny. The other time, when I pulled off the road, it was dark, rainy and in the 30s.