Intermittent start problem


I drive a 1991 Mazda 626 with 195plus thousand miles on the odometer. I am very fond of it, and it has given me no grief – until two months ago when it balked at starting. I turned the key and nothing happened. Not even a faint click. The dash lights didn’t dim, nothing. I was able to roll-start the car and drove it home, parking it on the street, on a slope. On a lark, I tried the starter, and it worked! The battery tested OK. I changed out a terminal clamp and the car started reliably, until two days ago, when it balked at starting in the very same way in the very same stall in the very same parking lot as before, two months to the day later. Any ideas?


Starter wire (not the main +12, but the small wire from your dash)?


The starter is engaged by the wire which goes to the: 1. ignition switch, 2. neutral safety switch, 3. maybe, security/theft, 4. starter solenoid. Which one is bad? Take your pick, or check the circuit with a test light or volt meter.


More specifically, place the gear shift in NEUTRAL and try to crank it. If that doesn’t help, you can follow the starting circuit at this Web site (Diagram 33): To check the ignition switch, put your test light on the black/yellow wire at the lower part of the steering column as you hold the key to START. If you get a test light there, jump to the starter solenoid. Place your test light on the black/light blue wire as somebody holds the ignition key to START. If no test light there, It’s time to check the items between the starter solenoid and the ignition switch.