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K. Wiggins
K. Wiggins, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mazda
Satisfied Customers: 3000
Experience:  ASE Certified Technician, Associates Degree in Automotive Technology, 15+ years in the trade
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I have a 1990 Mazda 323 Protege, 4 cylinder, with a weak

Customer Question

I have a 1990 Mazda 323 Protege, 4 cylinder, with a weak spark. I changed all the usual (spark plugs, wires, distributor, coil, capacitor), and it still has a weak, yellow spark.Every electrical connector in the car rusted out long ago. I cleaned and greased everything I could find (so I thought). I am wondering if maybe the primary coil is getting 12 V or not? how can I test? How can I troubleshoot this problem? The car is weak, slow up hill, and stalls every so often.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I keep well maintained otherwise, recently replaced O2 sensors, keep injectors clean, car was running good until last november. The battery is weak, the but the alternator supplies 14VDC
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Mazda Mechanics generally expect a deposit of about $18 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mazda
Expert:  K. Wiggins replied 1 year ago.

Hello, does your 323 have the distributor or distributorless ignition system?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
For the THIRD time:It has a distributor.1990 Mazda, 200K miles, manual, 4 cylinder
all electrical connections were corroded when I bought it (2008), so I have cleaned and greased all that I can find ( I may have missed some).started losing power, stalling (every now and then, not often) last November.
replaced: plugs, wires, distributor, coil, condenser, fuel filter, ran fuel injector cleaner 2 tanks.
Spark is yellow. Spark tester indicates weak.Dan
Expert:  K. Wiggins replied 1 year ago.

Thanks, I'm going to post the info below for checking voltage to the coil and checking the coil istelf. LEt me know what you find and we can work further if needed.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for that info. Yes, the spark is yellow, not blue, which started the whole mess of replacing wires, distributor, coil (one at a time) and even the plugs and condenser.This is my son's car, and he lives out of town. He was here for a three day weekend, and now he's left. I didn't realize this process would take so long. I thought it would be like a chat room. I no longer have access to the vehicle, and likely won't for a couple weeks.However, we were a step ahead of you. we measured the voltage at the primary coil connection, and with the ignition on, the voltage was zero. When he cranked it, it jumped all over the place (of course). I just called him and asked him if he had the key turned all the way (just before the starter kicked in), and he said "yes". I believe him, but cannot verify. I guess next time he's here, we'll try that again.What I could REALLY use is an electrical schematic of the ignition system for this car. You wouldn't happen to have that would you? The primary coil wire feeds from a large bundle of wires that comes from God knows where. I need to follow that back upstream and find the weak link.Thanks,
Expert:  K. Wiggins replied 1 year ago.

Sorry for the delay, I stepped out for lunch. I do have the wiring diagram for the ignition system and will post it below. You might want to print it out and tape it together for ease of reading. Let me know if I can help with anymore diagrams etc.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  K. Wiggins replied 1 year ago.

You're welcome, you can bookmark this page and reply back anytime.