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Lost All Power

2002 Mazda Pro 5 while traveling at night lost all power, engine went off, no noise in trying to restart. Sat for 10 minutes and was able to restart. Check engine light has been on for a couple of days. Battery is okay. Oil was low 2 quarts. And now the temperature gauge seems to be regersiting at about halfway instead of in the lower third.

I’ll Bet Your Question Would Be “What’s Causing This?”

Maintenance sounds a little weak, Benny (low oil, engine light).

Take it to Autozone, Advance Auto Parts, etcetera, and have them retrieve the codes that were stored when the engine light illuminated.

Carefully write them down, like PO123, PO455, and so on. Post them here [POST YOUR REPLY] where the experts are standing by. Then have a seat and some ideas will come your way.

May the force be with you.


Driving for a couple of days with the Check Engine Light (CEL) illuminated, and not finding out whether the problem was serious?

Oil that was 2 qts low?

I really think that you need to start taking a more active role in maintaining this car.

But, to return to the topic of your question, the first step is to have the stored trouble codes read (free-of-charge) at an auto parts retailer such as Auto Zone, Advance Auto, O’Reilly, etc. Then, come back to this same thread to post the codes for guidance on how to proceed.

As to the loss of power, my best guess from afar is that you have a loose electrical connection (possibly in the ignition switch), but that is just a guess. Since this would be unlikely to trigger the CEL, more than likely the CEL is reacting to an unrelated engine problem, such as the need to replace spark plugs. When was the last time that the plugs were replaced?

How did you conclude that the battery is okay? Unless you have had a load test done on the battery, you really don’t know for sure. If the battery is the original one, it needs to be replaced before you wind up killing your alternator by making it work overtime to keep a failing battery charged.

Thank you for your info. I don’t understand the oil low situation except that after the last oil change maybe I got stiffed.

I will go for diagnostics on the CEL and will post the codes for more help.

Thank you.

I have been neglectful and I am ashamed. I’ll do better. And thank you for your help.

A friend thought that it was significant that my headlights went out with everything else when the car powered down. Is this a helpful clue in isolating problem in your experience.

Plugs were changed 8 weeks ago. Positive battery cable was spliced after cutting highly corroded section. Could the corrosion have continued?

I am going to get the battery tested and CEL codes and will post the results.

“I don’t understand the oil low situation except that after the last oil change maybe I got stiffed.”

This point needs clarification.
When was the last oil change, in terms of both odometer mileage and elapsed time?

I ask because if the oil change was very recent, then you would have reason to be concerned about a 2 qt drop in the oil level. On the other hand, if the oil change was not recent, and if you don’t check the dipstick on a regular basis, then you have only yourself to blame for the oil falling 2 qts below the full mark on the dipstick.

Consuming 1 qt of oil every 1,000 miles is considered to be “normal”, even for a new car. So, if the last oil change was more than 2,000 miles ago, and if you never previously bothered to check the dipstick, then this is–unfortunately–further evidence that you need to become much more involved in the maintenance of your car.

How long ago was the last oil change?

About 3000 miles ago.

If you typically go 3,000 miles (or more) without lifting the hood and checking the oil, you are lucky that your 7-8 year old engine is still functioning.

There is undoubtedly a statement in your Owner’s Manual about checking the oil every time that you fill the gas tank. While that is a bit of overkill (unless the engine is already burning or leaking oil at a rapid rate), a car owner who wants to keep his/her car running well will check the oil at least every few weeks.

While you may not like hearing this, you are truly negligent about the maintenance of your car.

I understand that I have failed to meet minimal CAR TALK car care-giving standards and will never neglect my baby again. I am looking for CARCAREANONYMOUS and will work hard to turn my life around. I just hope my little Pro5 can forgive me.

Replace that spliced cable, make sure all battery and ground connections are clean and tight. Bend the cables on both the hot and ground side, if they feel brittle or make a crackling noise , replace them. When your engine quits and won’t restart and your lights don’t work it is almost always a bad connection.

The positive battery cable was “spliced”? Are you referring to the cable or the wire that goes to the relay box (which is actually the fusible link)?

Splicing either is a bad idea. Changing either is the correct repair. Yes, thet repair you did could easily be the source of your recent power loss. Change the spliced cable before proceeding with further diagnosis. And of my fear is correct and it’s the thin wire, you need to get the correct fusible link for your vehicle…do not replace it with a regular wire. It looks like a wire, but it is in fact a fuse.

And yes, you should be administering self flaggilation for neglecting your oil.

I suspect you have more going on as well. Have you checked your coolant level lately?

Coolant is to spec.

The splice was to the cable to the positive battery terminal. I am going to replace the whole thing because of your recommendation as well as check the block to battery cable and replace the negative cable.

I got diagnostic codes from CEL of: P1569 AND PO753. Do these mean anything to you?

Thank you very much.

CEL codes came back as follows: P1569 and PO753…duh, what do they mean?

P1569 VTCS Circuit Low Input
P0753 Shift Solenoid A Electrical

See this link for info on the VTCS system.

The Shift Solenoid Electrical is related to the tranny controls.

I’m going to leave anything more in-depth to those more versed in these systems. But this should be a start. I sort of suspect these codes are consequences of the power loss and not causes.

thank you for your reply.