Strange Mazda Starting Problem



I have a 1997 Mazda Protege. From last winter it started giving occasional starting trouble, especially on the not-so-cold days. My mechanic tried to diagnose the problem, and ruled out the fuel injector and battery (3 month old at that time), and suggested I gently depress the gas pedal while starting. Here is the details of the problem:

When I turn the ignition, say early in the morning, it cranks and sounds like spark is delivered, but does not turn over. If a little gas is applied briefly the car will turn over and idle like it should , but this happens only rarely. More often, I have to hold down the gas pedal for a while (sometimes ~ 2 minutes or so) before it can idle on its own. This kind of behavior happens almost exclusively on not so cold days (e.g. a mild winter day in Boston or a rainy day). This usually happens in combination with the car not being driven for a long time (overnight or at the end of the work day). If the car has been resting for less than a couple of hours its normally even on a mildly cold day. On warmer / dry weather days it starts normally even the first time in the morning.

Please help me with this problem, as my local mechanic seems to be clueless, and I’d hate to go to a delear - service facility. Thanks a lot


Could be your fuel pump…also, change the fuel filter too!


Could be a bad engine coolant temp sensor.

This link refers to G.M & Ford, but your Mazda works the same way.


thanks for the post. I got the fuels injection system checked out. Fuel pump was OK, cleaned injectors. the ride has improved but still wont start. now the problem happens even on a warm day. its just getting worse !


Forgot to mention: when it does not start the first time and I try again, the spark seems to be delivered much quicker than the first time. wonder if that would give a clue