Mazda Protege


Has anyone had experience with this problem? My daughter has a 2000 Mazda Protege with automatic transmission. At about 80,000 miles she had to replace the transmission. That was about 2 years ago. Last summer it started refusing to start after she drove somewhere and got back into the car. It has to sit there for 30 mintues or so and then it will usually start. It will sound like it wants to start but just can’t do it. The kicker is that it only does this in hot weather! She took it in last summer and paid a lot of money to be told he couldn’t find anything that would cause that kind of problem. It didn’t do it at all after the weather got cool. Now that it has been very warm it has started doing it again! She drives somewhere and when she tries to start again it won’t do it. Sits there 30 mintues to an hour and it will start. Acts like it my die again but usually keeps going. Any advice would be appreciated!


Not saying any of these suggestions will find a cure but, nothing ventured nothing gained, right?

Dirty air filter
Poor engine ground connection
Fuel not reaching the injectors
Loose ignition system connection
faulty emissions system


Where did she take it last summer? It sounds like she should take it somewhere again, but not to the same place. It’s not that things like that can’t get hard to figure out, but do you know what the place actually did - what kinds of things did they test?

As noted above there are a lot of general maintenance things that may cause a problem. There are also a number of other kinds of parts. The car needs a good once over of its electrical, fuel and air systems. But you need to ask around for someone who is good - don’t just pull into a chain. And you can suggest that they start by checking the “main relay.”


And you can suggest that they start by checking the “main relay.”

Yup! I know that the car in question is a Mazda, rather than a Honda, but the symptoms that the OP describes are identical to a known situation with Hondas made in the '90s. It is certainly worth a try for the mechanic to zero in on the main relay, just in case that is the problem part in this case.


She took it to a local privately owned shop that was highly recommended. He said he hooked it up to the computer and it didn’t show a thing wrong. Replaced spark plugs, air filter, water pump (because he felt that it should be changed as old as the car was and he was sure she would have trouble) He drove it quite a bit but it never did it with him. AND it only seems to do this in hot weather!


The hot weather is the key to the problem–at least on Hondas. And, a bad main relay will not show up on the diagnosic computer at the garage when it is functioning properly. Ask the mechanic where the main relay (or the fuel pump relay) is located on your car.

If it is located inside the cabin, then the source of your problem could be identical to the one that plagues drivers of some older Hondas.


The mechanic told us her relay should be located in a box by the battery under the hood. He said if she could find it to swap it with one of the other relays and drive it to see if that works. He also suggested that it could be the fuel pump “overheating” and kicking out the relay. I’ve never heard of that. My experience with fuel pumps is they just die and your just stranded. It won’t start again period. Thank you all for your suggestions! It really helps!


Has the starter for this been replaced? I bought a 1999 Mazda Protege ES brand new. IIRC they had to swap out the starter 2 or 3 times early on because they had a bad design. Just throwing that out there in case the 2000 had a similar problem. Doubt it since it’s got a lot, lot, lot more miles for that sort of thing.

Anyway, check to see if there is spark when it won’t start.