Dear Car talk guys,
Everytime I’m on a trip with my girlfriend, my car dies. That’s kind of annoying on a Valentine’s day. It’s a Mazda Protege 1999, manual, 116,000 miles. Basically, after the car has been running for awhile, in stop and go traffic, it starts to cough and then dies. The engine won’t restart right away. After waiting for 10-15 minutes, with the hood open, it will start again, no problem. Apparently, cooling off the engine helps. This happens in the dead of Florida summers and winters. I can drive on the highway with no troubles but when I stop for gas, chances are I get stuck for a little while. I have brought the car to a mechanic but they have trouble reproducing the problem. The only one time they could reproduce it, they did not see any spark. But then they couldn’t diagnose any further because the car apparently cooled off and the problem was gone. One of the mechanics thinks its a cam shaft and/or crank shaft sensor. But, they can’t reproduce the problem long enough to test that. They changed the computer, drivability improved but the problem is not fixed. At this stage, I think I will heat the different sensors with a hairdryer to see which one might be faulty. But before doing that, I thought I would pick your brains. I’ve looked online and there is one person with a 2000 protege with the same problem, but no solution. Any ideas? My girlfriend would love to know. Sincerely, C?dric
Dear Car talk guys,
Have You Tried Dating Another Woman?
"Everytime I’m on a trip with my girlfriend, my car dies."
I’m not saying that you should end your relationship, but rather just do this one time to see if that’s it.
"I’ve looked online and there is one person with a 2000 protege with the same problem, but no solution. Any ideas?"
I would put my bets on you needing a new ignition coil - it is fading away and when it gets really hot completely breaks down.
I don’t think that it’s a girl issue. The car also dies when I am on my own.
Anyway, any feedback that would help me to find out where the problem comes from would be very appreciated because summer is coming back and this problem will occur more and more often.
The ignition wires were changed because they were fading away. I don’t think the ignition coils did get changed. How would you test the ignition coils? There are two ignition coil packs on this 1.6L engine, connected to a camshaft position sensor. No distributor.