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Help they cant figure out my car problem

I was driving my car on the highway, stopped to get gas and it started stalling but would never loose all the power. The check engine light did not go on. They have replaced spark plugs, hoses and it keeps doing the same, they told me there could be water in the fuel i pumped so i burned through the gas, drove 5 hours back home and wwhen going uphill i would give it gas the rpms would go but no speed. I took it to the ford/mazda dealership in town and said that the codes it was giving em they could not decipher, their best guess was a timing belt issue, they suggested i took it to an exclusive mazda dealership…but the closest one is 3 hrs away. They said it wasnt my transmission. Any ideas? There is no set sppeed when it stalls…it does it often maybe every 20 seconds or so…the car is a mazda protege 2000 with about 140000 miles. Thank you

You’ve said two conflicting things here. You said that the engine started stalling, which means that the RPMs were dropping. Later, you said “the rpms would go but no speed”. The second statement would point to a transmission problem but the first one wouldn’t. So, what’s actually happening here?

+1 to Lion9car’s comment.

High RPMs, coupled with decreasing speed, are almost always evidence of a transmission problem (if the car has an automatic trans), or a slipping clutch (if it has a manual trans).

However, like Lion9car, I am confused by the apparent contradiction in the OP’s description of the symptoms. Is it possible that the car is stalling at some points, and is revving high with decreasing speed at other points?

Please clarify, SH!

It stalls when driving the only time the rpms go and no speed changes is when i have to go uphill otherwise if the road is flat then it just misses and keeps going…misses and keeps going…

I was just told that i used the wrong term it doesnt stall…it misses

Need more information.

So its a 2000 Mazda Protege.

Which engine does it have, the 1.6 or the 1.8?
Is it a manual transmission, or an automatic transmission.

You said that you replace the spark plugs and hoses.
What hoses?
Did you actually mean spark plug wires?
If you don’t mean the spark plug wires, when was the last time those were changed?
How about the ignition coil(s)?

I would start with the ignition system, and probably have the compression tested on the motor before moving on to the fuel injection system.


You told us that the Check Engine Light (CEL) is not on when you feel the engine missing.
I would like you to verify that this light actually works, by seeing if it turns on (briefly) when you turn the ignition key. If it does not go on when you turn the key, then a burnt-out bulb might explain why you don’t see an illuminated CEL when the engine is missing. Normally, an engine miss will turn the CEL on, and–in fact–might cause it to flash/blink, which is an indication of a very serious issue.

The other thing that we need to know is the maintenance history of the car over–at least–the past 3 years. Most driveability problems are the result of lax maintenance, so we have to rule out this factor before moving on to other possibilities.