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Mazda Ed
Mazda Ed, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 2223
Experience:  ASE Master Technician, Mazda Master Technician, GM and Ford factory trained. 15 years experience!
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My 2004 Suzuki Forenza has been an exceptional vehicle since

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My 2004 Suzuki Forenza has been an exceptional vehicle since it was new. I have just recently had the Timing belt, Water Pump, Tensioner, Cam shaft position sensor and radiator replaced. Coming home from work Wednesday I heard a noise that sounded like I had hit a latge bolt or nut on the road and it had been thrown up under the car and bounced along underneath to the rear. I was decelerating to a stop at the tome and a couple of seconds later the engine just died. It never just dies. When I tried to restart it it sounds strange and pops as if the starter is not completely engaging. The engine turns but too slowly to actually start and I am not sure if it would if it turned faster. Earlier this morning I checked fluids etc. to be sure I had not been stupid and let it go too long without checking and they are ll fine. When I tried it this morning it sounded like they did in the old days when the bendix was out on a starter and not engaging. Later it went back to the popping. Ideas?

Did you do the timing belt and the rest of the work yourself or did you have it done someplace?

Did you see anything come out from under the car when you were driving?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It was done by at Executive Automotive in New Caney Texas. Bubba there has been my mechanic for at least 10 years No I didn 't see anything come out from under the car.

Ok, I would do a good visual inspection of the starter first. Make sure it is tight to the engine and doesn't look like it has any broken pieces. It has 2 bolts holding it in place, one from the engine side and one from the transmission side. Also make sure the wires are securely attached.

If everything looks good there then turn on the headlights and try to start the car. Have a helper look at the lights and see if the dim dramatically when you try to start the car.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Where is the starter on this thing?

It is mounted where the engine and transmission are bolted together. It is behind a bracket that is attached to the intake. There is a wiring harness that runs right over the top of the starter.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So I nneed to get under the car to do the inspection or can I get to it from the top?

You should be able to get your hand on the starter from the top of the engine. But I don't think you can see the cables on the end of the starter without being under the car. You should still be able to see the ground cable on the lower starter bolt.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK this will take a while but I will check it out.

Ok, I will be on and off throughout the day. Just respond back when you have it checked out and I will respond to you when I come online. Be sure to check the headlights dimming like I mentioned above.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I can't get to the wiring but I could get to the ground which is solid and the starter is firm and both bolts seem tight.

When the lights are on and the starter is engaged the head lights go completely out until the starter is disengaged and then they come back on.


Sorry I am a large man and pretty old now and my jack doesn't get the car high enough for me to be able to really get under there and move around much.

That's ok! It sounds like the battery is almost dead. Can you charge the battery or hook jumper cables to another car? Also check to make sure the belt is tight on the alternator.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

One more thing is that the popping sound seems to come from the front of the engine.

Is the belt tight on the alternator? I'm hoping something just came loose there and is the cause of all your problems. That belt would have been removed to do the timing belt, so that could explain a few things.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK I will check that belt it was changed in Septembere when all the other stuff was done. I put a jumper box on the car and it spun over faster but didn't start. We then tried jumper cables but I think they are worn out.

My neighbor has a battery that he says is fully charged and nothing with taht either. Since the jumper box it only clicks.


The battery is on a charger now. I am attaching a video so you can see and hear wht is going on. But I am not getting the popping like I was before.

I will go out as it is raining and the battery will take a while to charge and chek back later.


Oh well this thing will no allow me to attach the file for you. That surely needs to be fixed.


The belt is fine not loose and like I said it is new.

Ok, remove and throughly clean both battery cables at the battery. Then recharge your battery and try again. It sure sounds like an electrical problem. If your battery is deeply discharged it will be harder to start even with the jumper box.

This could just be a corroded or loose battery cable.

If you have a multimeter we can test a few things.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok I'm back home now and The battery was showing charged. I put it back in and tried it again. I could hear the starter engage the flywheel ( or what ever they call it these days) solidly but the engine would not turn over. I am thinking that the engine is seized up. I am afraid that the new timing belt or something else in there broke. It just doesn't look good.

The popping noise you described could have been the belt slipping on the gears inside. You could try turning the engine with a socket and breaker bar on the main crank pulley center bolt.

If you can't turn it over with the breaker bar then something is wrong inside. I have located a few used engines that could be shipped to your repair garage for around $1000.00
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I will call my Mechanic tomorrow. Since I just had all of that replaced I am hoping that there is a warrantee on that that will cover the results of a failure.


Thank you for your help I appreciate it.

No problem. If I can be of further assistance on this problem or any future problems feel free to request me.
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