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Doctor Tim
Doctor Tim, Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 147
Experience:  20 years in the auto repair industry
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1998 Mazda 626: cylinder..automatic transmission..restart

Customer Question


I have a 1998 Mazda 626, 4 cylinder, automatic transmission. When it's cold it starts great. After running it around for a while and turning it off, sometimes it will not restart. This used to happen about 3 times a year. Now it is happening about every couple of days. After waiting for 30 minutes it will usually start right up and run great again. It's fuel injected and I know it's getting gas because I can smell it when cranking the engine. I just replaced the crank position sensor, but this did not solve the problem. I've had mechanics look at it twice but each time the car started right up and they weren't able to diagnose the problem.

Thanks in advance,
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  orlan34 replied 7 years ago.
I would bet money on the coolant temperature sensor. Do not confuse with coolant temperature switch/sender that works with the fan and/or the gauge or light in the dashboard. If you can smell gas more than likely you have a rich mixture, which means the car "thinks" it is still cold.

Try giving it "gas" - opening the throttle - when it doesn't want to start, you might be able to get it running that way.

A lot less likely is an ignition problem (ignition coil, ignition module). These parts sometimes stop operating properly when hot, but since your problem is on startup only I don't think it's the issue.

Make sure you check electrical connections to the temperature sensor, and even if you can get it running by "giving it gas" you should fix as it is probably hurting your mpg.

Hope this helps. Thanks for using!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thanks for your answer.


I replaced the coolant temperature sensor and it didn't solve the problem. Fortunately it wasn't a very expensive part and it was easy to change.



Expert:  Doctor Tim replied 7 years ago.
Hi,and good morning. has the service engine light come on?