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Intermittent car shutting off, won't start

Hi, I was hoping I could get some help diagnosing my problem. So far the symptoms are:

The car shut off once while running in the driveway. Completely: engine, radio, everything. I took the key out and put it back in a couple of times and got nothing, no click, no turning over. Did it one more time, and it started up as if nothing was wrong.

Then again the next morning. Car won’t start. I notice all the electronics are working while the key is in the accessories position. They shut off as soon as the key is in On, and nothing when turning to start. Took the key out, waited a minute or so, then tried again and everything worked as if nothing was wrong.

I’m guessing this might be the ignition switch? Hoping to have someone confirm or offer any other guesses.


Nobody can confirm from a distance.

It might be the key cylinder. It might also be the starter assembly solenoid. Or even the fusable link (I’ve seen one get flakey after melting).

The bottom line is that someone will have to look at it. The good news is that the problem is simple to dagnose and the fix affordable to do.

Sincere best.

Am I Missing It ?
I Don’t See A Make, Model, And Model-Year.


You’re right. This is such a common problem that I never even looked.

What If It’s One Of Those Vehicles That Has An Outstanding Recall Or Campaign ? I Know Of At Least One Involving Ignition Switches (It Sounds Like A Switch).

I always prefer the easiest/cheapest diagnoses and repairs, first or at least take a look and see if a particular car has a common, but not always easy to diagnose, problem.


About the make, model, year: I thought it would have shown up since I entered it into the form.

It’s a 2002 Mazda Protege

From what you have posted, the ignition switch, completely separate from the ignition/steering lock, is suspect…But with today’s electronic marvels, it’s anyone’s guess…