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Randall C
Randall C, ASE Master Tech
Category: Mazda
Satisfied Customers: 12744
Experience:  ASE Master Certified, 35 yrs, Diag/Electrical Specialist
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2003 mazda tribute: violently..idling..check engine light..it dosent

Resolved Question:

my 2003 mazda tribute sputters violently when idling and a little bit when driving. the check engine light is not on but for some reason my airbag light is always on. the sputtering comes and goes. at first i thought it was water in the gas but i have filled up in other places but it still does it. also it dosent like to start up right away it takes a few times turning the key to make it start. it also has over 127000 miles on it also.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mazda
Expert:  Randall C replied 4 years ago.

tracker40 :

Hello, I am Randall, Did you do the plugs yourself? was problem there before and after and the same if so?

Customer:

did change them myself but its been about three months since i did. the slow start has been around for about a year and thats the original reason i changed spark plugs

tracker40 :

Let me gather some info and send. Back shortly

Customer:

okay thank you

Customer:

i was mainly wondering if my fuel pump was going out already changed the fule filter also

tracker40 :

cant speak of airbag light as need trouble code set but,, from what you describe on start, shaking, etc is very possible a bad coil. This is extremely common. I own the 02 Tribute and have done 3 coils to date. hard to say which one. usually you wait till light come on and it states the cylinder miss code, but this does not always happens, so,, then next step is to get a bottle of water to spray. wait till dark, run engine at idle till warm , start spraying the coils one at a time, you may see sparks jumping around a bad one. What happens is they develop very hairline carbon cracks on the top of them, if one is bad, one cylinder gets more unburned gas preventing fast startup as well as engine missing. Cant tell you how many we have done. As you know the back 3 are hard to get to but,, you can look over intake and spray each and watch for blue sparks in the dark, many customers elect to change all of them. i really cant speak of fuel pump, You dont have the exact same symptoms but a fuel pressure test is needed, i still think failing coil or 2

Customer:

thank you very much

tracker40 :

your welcome. its a thought and common. sometimes you can grab the top of each coil, engine off and twist around and make engine run different the next startup proving bad coil

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