Question about 1997 Mazda Protege

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97 mazda protoge will not start when cold!

I just bought my daughter her first car and two days after buying it it wont start unless you crank it for several minutes. It pumps so much gas into the motor that it leaks out of the catalitic converter under the car if you hold the pedel down it will act like it wants to start and finaly after 5 to 10 minutes of solid cranking off and on the gas peddel it will start and run like it is brand new? It will start fine then all day unless it sets for more than 6 hours then you have to go through it all again. I have it in the garage scan tool says the maf senser was bad changed it and ran all the test on the wiring still same problem.Did all of the tune up stuff plugs wires cap rotor pcv valve i am at a loss and have no clue.
Is it possible that the PCM is bad needs replaced or re flashed? I just find it strange that once started it run and starts like it should. It has spark and fuel when you try to start it for the first time.
Please Help I Have A Very Sad Teenager On My Hands!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous Dec 06, 2008

    I have the same problem.

  • ecousin Dec 07, 2008

    Oh boy I have this same problem, I have changed fuel filter, fuel pump, also standard plugs rotor wires distributer cap. What is it.

  • Anonymous Dec 07, 2008

    I have e=same problem but mine won't start for any reson?

  • icriver22 Dec 23, 2008

    I am having the same problem. Since it is trying to start, not grinding, and so on, it is not the starter. I am inclined to believe it is a sensor problem, perhaps the coolant temperature sensor, but I am still troubleshooting.

  • Mazdaprot Jan 11, 2009

    same problem... I have a a purple wire with white stripe hanging loose near diagnosis box. I am so frustrated!!

  • daveajax Jan 16, 2009

    same, what's up HELP

  • Anonymous Mar 24, 2009

    I am having the same problem. I was told that it is a possibility my air temp sensor is bad. The air / fuel mixture is incorrect. WAAAAY too much fuel. I have to do the same thing when starting.(Gas pedal to floor, solid cranking for 2 - 5 minutes)

  • dj357 Apr 07, 2009

    I have same problem. I have been told that compression is low on 3 cylinders and this is inherent with the 97 model. Mazda apparently had a valve manufacturing problem with this year. When trying to start it cold the valves leak and cause the low compression. After trying to start it for 10 minutes it heats up, everything expands and it will start. The only cure I am being told is a valve job or replace the head.

  • Cornelia Schell
    Cornelia Schell Oct 26, 2016

    Well good to see I ain't the only one with a tail chasing headache. I feel for us all. Not the converter, not the IAC sensor, not MAF Sensor. Throttle body also been cleaned. Can anyone add all us together & see what could be left? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HELP.



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I had this same problem with my 97 protege. If the compression is low the shims for the valves can be changed without doing a complete valve job. If the compression is OK you might need to replace the distributor. Sometimes the seal behind it leaks and can cause the same problem

Posted on Nov 27, 2009

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You might need a new started.

Posted on Nov 26, 2008


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