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Jared D
Jared D, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mazda
Satisfied Customers: 1693
Experience:  Shop Supervisor at County Fleet
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I have a 2002 Mazda tribute and have had the same

Customer Question

I have a 2002 Mazda tribute and have had the same intermittent problem for 2 years. Intermittently, the car will die when switching from reverse to forward. Also, it will randomly die while approaching an intersection. Even more infrequently, the rpms will jump when switching into 3rd gear, but that always goes away if i reset the PCM. Also, after resetting the PCM, the problems seem to go away for a few days. The dealer did the recall recalibration a while back, and it only seemed to help for a little while. I have replaced the idle air control valve, the neutral safety switch, and even had a non-dealer mechanic look at it, and can't find the problem.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Mazda
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
This vehicle is the same as a Ford Escape, so if there is not a Mazda technician available, it can be answered by a Ford technician.
Expert:  Jared D replied 9 months ago.

Good morning,

When it stalls out, do you get any trouble codes stored in the computer?

Expert:  Jared D replied 9 months ago.

Also, does it start right back up just fine?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No codes, and it starts back fine
Expert:  Jared D replied 9 months ago.

Strange. There are a couple of common reasons for this vehicle to stall but they usually trigger trouble codes. Do you have a scan tool? The way we would diagnose it here at the shop would be to connect a scan tool and drive it while monitoring the fuel trims on the scan tool until it stalls out. We would look for a spike or drop in fuel trim numbers that might indicate a fuel or air delivery problem they might trigger the stall.

If nothing looks out of ordinary we would look at the transmission data. We would look to see if maybe the TCC solenoid is sticking closed when it should open during the stall.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Does that generally happen for this long of a time without really getting worse and not throwing a code? Could the PCM be causing it since it seems to improve temporarily after reset?
Expert:  Jared D replied 9 months ago.

If it's an air delivery issue it wouldn't usually set a code unless the engine doesn't stall. Once the vehicle stalls the PCM stops monitoring and doesn't know to set the code.

I would be suspicious of it being a transmission problem if it improves when you reset it since the transmission has to relearn how to operate and it might keep it from triggering the exact condition that makes it stall. I suppose the same could be said for the fuel system sensors also, but they tend to relearn their parameters fairly quickly so it wouldn't improve the problem for longer than 20 miles or so.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Just read something on an unrelated post that made me think. A couple days ago, after a reverse to forward stall, I put car in park and tried to restart. It would not do anything and I could move the shifter. After a couple minutes, All was well. Could the brake pedal switch cause these issues if it intermittently failed?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
The post said that the brake pedal switch tells the TCC to disengage
Expert:  Jared D replied 9 months ago.

It could possibly make it stall if the TCC doesn't know to disengage based on the input of the brake pedal. I didn't think they TCC relied exclusively on the brake pedal input on the 2002, but it's possible; the transmission control module doesn't show that it does, but those diagrams are always so vague. If the brake lights intermittently don't work then I suppose you know that's the problem.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Is the TCC solenoid easy to change just by dropping the pan, or does a tranny shop need to do it?
Expert:  Jared D replied 9 months ago.

It looks like it's not very easy to swap out. I'm running through the diagrams from Ford. We change them all the time on some models, but in 2002 it seems like it was inside the valve body.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
If the problem lies with the TCC solenoid, would driving with overdrive disabled prevent reoccurrence?
Expert:  Jared D replied 8 months ago.

I'm sorry, your question dropped to my timed out list and I didn't see it. Do you still need help with this?

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