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Curious about what I am seeing under the hood

Hey guys I am leaving here 3 images and a few questions.

I recently had some work done on my car and noticed the plastic thingies that holds the cables in place on top of the engine were torn off. These are circled in Green in image A.

The first variant is white and I believe it rotates around its center. The second variant is black and looks like a “zip tie”. I am wondering where I can get these since I don’t like the way the cable I circled in red is hanging around in “Image A”.

Also this cable looks terrible, and I am wondering if it is possible for me to restore the “outer casing” that wraps around the plastic cover, that protects the cables inside, to its original state? Initially I thought it was some sort of tape wrapped around the plastic cover but it wasn’t apparently.

The last question is in regards to image B. I want to know what’s the purpose of the cable circled in red.


Make/model/year would be helpful.

The dealership should have plastic cable ties that fit those holes, provided that was part of the original equipment. Auto parts stores may carry them too, if they are generic. You are right to want that cable held firmly in place.

The black cable looks ok to me, from what I see over the internet at least. There’s a bundle of wires inside, and one pops out and connects to something every once in a while along the way. That’s a common way they make cabling harnesses for cars. If you’d like to dress it up a little, you could over-wrap it with some black insulating tape. Suggest to use Scotch Super-33+ electrical tape. It will hold up to the under-hood temperatures. Don’t attempt to use cheap 50 cents per roll electrical tape for this, it will only create a mess.

I’m not sure what that gadget is in photo B. It looks like some kind of sensor. What is that part it is attached to? Part of the AC system? If so, that sensor might be involved with the AC compressor clutch system. Once you post the make/model/year, one of the expert here will probably know for sure.

Clearly a Mazda 16 valve 4-banger. Looks like a version of the one the use in the Protégé.

Since it’s using a coil pack, can I assume it has some years under its belt? What year is it, anyway?
Did you buy it new or used?

The threaded holes in the valvecover were probably for lifting rings in manufacturing. And I don;t believe this engine came with a plastic engine cover. But without more information about the year and model it’s tough to get specific.

The wires on what I believe is the air conditioning compressor look normal to me. The connector is probably to the AC clutch solenoid. Again, with more information about the vehicle it’d be easier to nail it down for certain.

Everything else looks normal to my eyes. The harness appears secured in a normal manner.

Commendations for the detail, however. I wish more posters would follow your lead. :smile: Your post being so detailed, I can only assume that the year and model oversights were unintentional. I miss a detail or three now & again too.

Who did the work? a dealer? Irregardless, my first step would be to go back and ask them these same questions.

Thanks for the replies guys. I am sorry I missed the make and model of the car. It’s a 2000 Mazda Protege ES. =)

Here’s an image of your engine and on how that wiring harness should be routed and secured.

But, these are plastic components. And over time being exposed to engine heat, this components become brittle and break.

I wouldn’t worry if the wiring harness wasn’t secured like it came from the factory.


This looks normal for an old car, those plastic harness clips get brittle and break. The last picture is of the power steering pressure switch. When there is a great load on the power steering pump like turning at slow speeds, the PCM will adjust to maintain the idle speed.

I’d drop by the Mazda dealer and see if they have some replacements. Not a big deal.

Nice find, tester. It might behoove the OP, however, to realize that his ignition system and his induction system are both different that those in your photo. Expecting the entire engine to be the same could cause undue anxiety. :smiley:

I had about the same wiring problems on a 1998 Sonoma. Black flexible plastic hose split down the side and zip ties solved the problems. Hood closed no one could see it.

You refer to engine work and from the LKQ sticker on the valve cover I assume this means the engine was replaced.
It’s quite common for aged plastic pieces to crumble after years of exposure to heat.

It’s also possible theses pieces were missing on the replacement engine and by the time they got around to installing the engine the old engine may have already been gone as a core charge or scrap metal.

As Tester also correctly mentions, I don’t see anything there that will be a problem anyway.