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Ron
Ron, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mazda
Satisfied Customers: 33469
Experience:  35 years as a automotive tech
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2006 Mazda 3 with 2.0 130.000 miles. Parked car, several

Customer Question

2006 Mazda 3 with 2.0 130.000 miles. Parked car, several hours later went to start. Car cranks but no start. over the past 2 weeks or so ive been getting an intermittent p0138 code (hi voltage o2 sensor). used inline spark plug tester to test all 4 coil packs. All are good. disconnected fuel line from rail and cranked. am getting fuel. air filter clean. no other codes.
JA: Sometimes things that you think will be really complicated end up being easy to fix with Mazda. The Mazda Mechanic I'm going to connect you with knows all the tricks and shortcuts. Are you hoping to fix this yourself?
Customer: yes
JA: Great! What have you tried so far?
Customer: used inline spark plug tester to test all 4 coil packs. All are good. disconnected fuel line from rail and cranked. am getting fuel. air filter clean. no other codes.
JA: Is there anything else the Mazda Mechanic should be aware of about your Mazda?
Customer: intermittent p0138 code
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Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Mazda
Expert:  Ron replied 6 months ago.

Hello and thank you for your question,

When you cranked the engine over did you have a nice blue spark to the spark plugs?

Did you actually check the fuel pressure?

Did you check and see if you have injector pulse?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I did not pull the plugs. I used an inline spark plug tester.
I did not have a fuel pressure gauge, but i removed the fuel line at the fuel rail inlet and cranked the engine to make sure that fuel did flow from the line.
No i do not know how to check injector pulse
Expert:  Ron replied 6 months ago.

Checking fuel flow is not really an accurate test to check for proper fuel pressure so you really need to install a fuel pressure gauge and read the actual pressure. You can check injector pulse by taking a standard 12 volt test light and place the test end on the power side of connector on any one of the injector and the ground end on the other side at the connector and then crank the engine over. If you have injector pulse, the light will flash.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
OK will go pick up a fuel pressure gauge and check. what should the pressure be?
Also I do have a p0138 code registered.
lastly, while i am picking up the gauge is there anyhting else i should get?
Expert:  Ron replied 6 months ago.

The code P0138 indicated you have a failing Heated Oxygen Sensor (Bank 1 Sensor 2) but this should not cause a not start condition. Lets get the fuel pressure checked as well as injector pulse and we can work from there. Normal fuel pressure should be right at 50 to 59 PSI. Let me know what you come up with.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** autozone now. will be back to you in a few
Expert:  Ron replied 6 months ago.

Sure thing, Im here all day.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Ron,
Just got back from autozone. while i was there i bought new plugs. pulled the old ones to look and check for spark. found 2&3 covered in oil when i pulled them. oh jeeze
Expert:  Ron replied 6 months ago.

That sure not a good sign, you may want to go ahead and remove them all and run a complete compression test.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Ron,
Saw some info that indicates this condition could be caused by bad valve cover gasket
look at a video on how to change sure looks like the gasket for the middle two cylinders failing could cause this issue
Expert:  Ron replied 6 months ago.

Usually if the valve cover gasket is leaking the oil will be on the out side of the spark plug in the spark plug well. Is that where you seeing it?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
entire plug top and bottom. i looked with a light to the bottom of all four cylinders. 2 nd 3 had a shine at the bottom. I took a stab and change the plugs. i tried to start it had to hold the pedal about 80% for it to start. I wonder if it was flooded. Still think the valve cover gasket needs to be changed. but i am wondering if it was either flooded or i flooded it trying to start it so many times yesterday
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
It is running smooth and no smoke. not even on start
Expert:  Ron replied 6 months ago.

If holding the pedal to the floor allowed it to start then yes it was very likely fuel fouled and you cleared it by holding the pedal to the floor. I would also consider replacing the valve cover if you saw the oil on the out side of the cylinder. That will very likely solve the oil on the spark plugs.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
what could cause flooding ? maf? tps?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
it was my kid who couldnt star the car on tuesday. i got to it yesterday
Expert:  Ron replied 6 months ago.

Flooding is usually simply caused by excessive cranking. If you are able you should scan the computer system and see if there are any fault codes setting before you replace anything else. Its not likely a failed TP or a bad MAF.

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