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Mazda Tribute starting woes

I have a 2002 Mazda Tribute. It has an intermittent starting problem. Once in maybe 10 times the car is hard to start. It seems to flood , then eventually run with much black smoke. Once going runs fine with no more problems. It does not set a check engine code. We took it to the dealer and had the idle air control valve replaced. 3 days later, same problem. Took it back to dealer and had the pcv hose replaced.3 Days later same issue On one occasion had to tow it to a shop that kept it 3 days and found no problem. They said the mass air flow sensor was dirty, they cleaned it. Problem persists. Took to another shop ,after 3 days they found no problem, decided to replace the mass air flow sensor. The second start up after leaving the shop it was hard to start again. No flooding, seems as it was not getting fuel. Once running was fine and idling smooth.

Has anyone ever encountered a similar problem. We have taken to several reputable shops and everyone is stumped. What else is there to replace. So far we have spent 700.00 and still have a problem.

Help, I am ready to make a boat anchor out of this vehicle.

We have no idea what these shops did in the way of diagnosis. The fuel filter, if it hasn’t been changed, could be the problem (with your truck’s mileage). Then, the fuel pressure should be checked static, at engine idle, and at 2000 rpm (in DRIVE). After the engine is shut off, the fuel pressure should stay up for more than 5 minuets.

Thank you,

I did ask all the shops about the fuel filter, they all said probably not.Seems like a cheap possibility to me. I will have that checked next, thanks

If you ever figure this out please let me know what you discover. I will do the same. I have a 2002 Tribute that is doing the same thing. Dealer couldn’t figure it out. It got worse and worse until it eventually got to where sometimes it wouldn’t crank at all. No fire or Gas. They had a feeling it was the fuel pump so I had it changed at 200 bucks. Still having the problem.


Hi Steve,

I have ben hoping that I would be able to email you back that the Mazda Tribute was fixed. It may indeed be!! We have had no starting issues in 5 weeks!!! I am thinking the mass air flow sensor replacemaent must have been the decisive fix. It might be worth looking in to for your Mazda.

Thanks, Gary

It hase to do with the veical emobiliser not seeing the key get a new key and sender we’re you put key in

Yet another 7 year old thread…

You are 7years late and post a hard to read sentence ( well sentence is a loose description ).

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