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Ask Chris (aka- Moose) Your Own Question
Chris (aka- Moose)
Chris (aka- Moose), Technician
Category: Mazda
Satisfied Customers: 47601
Experience:  16 years of experience
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2001 Mazda tribute: v6 automatic trans..surging..Idle speed

Customer Question

I am working on an 2001 Mazda tribute with a v6 automatic trans mission. the problem is rough running surging when cold. Idle speed is also low when cold. The rest of the time it runs fine. No codes. I did noitce that the idle speed will drop slightly when put into gear. IAC motor maybe?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mazda
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 5 years ago.

Hello, I'm Chris.
I will do my best to answer your question fast and accurate using the info you have provided. Thanks for visiting Just Answer.


Based on all your symptoms I am pointing my finger at the idle air control valve with a weak solenoid not able to correctly move the IAC valve. I recommend replacing it as well as a overall system cleanup just like shown below.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The woman who owns the mazda has got back to me. The idle air speed motor was replaced and does not seem to have fixed it. The motor surges when it is cold like it is running rich. O2 sensor reads around .015 short term fuel about 6 long term almost 0. when it is warm it runs fine . No codes although she states the check engine light has come on. the problem is also intermittent. HALP!

Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 5 years ago.
There has to be codes, codes do not erase on there own. I suggest now you check for a incorrect reading MAF sensor or a surging fuel pressure.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Good morning. I was able to get more information on the symtom. The discription sounds like it drops a cylinder when it is cold in the morning. the rest of the time it runs fine. Again no codes injection cleaner has been added and the plugs visualy dont look bad. No problems noted with fuel pressure.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 5 years ago.
I suggest you have a power balance test ran when this is occurring to see if you have a ignition coil thats weak and causing one cylinder to drop out when the engine is cold.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Good morning. Pay dirt. I finaly got it to act up and it through a code. No. 4 missfire. I dont know the firing order on this sled. If you can give me a firing order diagram that would be great.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 5 years ago.
On this engine #4 is going to be on the bank closest to the radiator and closest to the passenger fender is #4.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I verifyed ingition and compression on this hole. No air leaks found. Any recomended way to verify the injector? I can take it to work and use the infared but I would rather not. The check engine light now flashes. I would also like to pay something on this question but leave the account open.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 5 years ago.

You can pay by pressing accept and you and I both can still reply on this post.

To check the operation of the injector, you can verify it has power with the key on and verify it has a ground pulse while running, and listen to it with a stethoscope to hear it clicking while running.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Good morning `moose. On the Mazda. I have compresson spark and fuel just had the injectors serviced I still have no no.4 cylender . I also just got a miss fire code for no. 6. Any ideas?

Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 5 years ago.

When you say fuel, do you have fuel pressure or have verified the injector is being commanded to spray?


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hello moose im back. Details on the mazda. Verifyed spark again verifyed fuel with 4 gas analizer and i can hear the injectors click . Did a compression test on what is now two dead holes 4 and 6. Also performed running compression that was in spec. Fuel pressure is 70 psi. I had to drop the cat to keep it running it is plugged. The valve cover was removed to visualy inspect the vale train. Nothing found. Any ideas?

Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 5 years ago.
If the valves are moving and you have good spark and the fuel injectors are spraying and the compression is good, it makes no sense that those cylinders are not firing. The only other things I can think of are blocked intake or exhaust ports and no air/fuel can get in or out.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Bad no. 4 coil. I tossed when at it out of frustration and it fixed it . You can watch it light a plug on the side of the block but it did not have enough to light it in the cylinder. Thanks for hanging in there while this got sorted out. For what ever its worth loking at the befor and after chart on the injectors they did need to be serviced. Remmember points/
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 5 years ago.
Glad its resolved
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Good morning. The problem with the Trbute is back. When the car is stone cold it will start fine then get rich. Rich to the point to were it surges hard and has burned up one of the Cats. Any ideas or is it dealer time? Again only when it is dead cold . It has had a new ECT put in.

Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 5 years ago.

It is looking like its time for the shop so a sophisticated scan tool can be used to see why its running rich.

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