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Check engine light on for year and a half

I have a 2003.5 mazdaspeed protege with an engine light that’s been on for 1 1/2 years. Various maintenance done (manifold, O2 sensor, timing belt, clutch…) light always comes back on. 2 weeks ago car starting hesitating with light blinking now (had fuel filter, plugs, plug wires replaced). Light went off for a week then back on last week with same problem, this time lost power and stalled so I parked it for the night. It started the next morning and drove fine but the light was still on and fixed. Help! No one can figure out what’s wrong.

One more thing… The mechanic just told me that it’s “probably the crank sensor”, though he said he couldn’t check to see if that was actually the problem he could just replace it and see if that works. Would my car still run if it was the crank sensor?

If the check engine light is on it means that there are diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) stored in the computer. Many auto parts stores will read these codes for free. Have them read, write down the exact code (format: P1234) and post them.

Then get a new mechanic.

Diagnostics have been read more than once. About a month ago I was told “running lean”. Today he says - “it’s saying ‘skip’” and mentioned a code of ‘300’ as opposed to ‘302’ which he told me it said a couple of weeks ago. Does any of this sound accurate?

Take your car to an auto parts store, and ask them if they can pull the codes from the computer. When you have those, come back here, and let us know.

Why you decided that driving a car with the CEL on for a year and a half was a good idea, I don’t know. That’s like having a bird land on your shoulder, and start pecking you in the neck, and just leaving it there for the next year and a half, pecking away. Eventually, there’s going to be damage done. Either the bird will peck into your jugular, and you bleed to death, or a cat will jump up to attack the bird, and tears your face to shreds.


A year and a half is a lot and all sorts of things go on.

P0300 is random/multiple cylinder misfire.
P0302 would be a cylinder 2 misfire.

The “running lean” is probably P0171.

But whatever, what codes are in there right now? The full and specific code complete with a P in front of it. Words are imprecise - codes are precise.

As I said in my original message, I’ve had various types of maintenance done (which I was told would solve the problem) but the “light always comes back on”…hence the next round of maintenance. So you can get your bird off my neck.

Now, different mechanic from same place just called me. He was a little more accomodating and agreed with me that the crank sensor is likely not the problem. Now he’s looking at the EGR valve which he found was causing problems on other proteges.