Question about 2001 Mazda Tribute

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Hello, my 2001 mazda tribute has been not staying started on the first 1 0r 2 trys for about a month. I throught it was the cold weather. as of the last 2 days, i have to give it gas to keep it started long enough or me to take off. Now the engine light is on. It seems light it is not geting enough gas to stay started. After I drive it for a while, it starts fine except the idle goes down low then come back up to normal. After it sets without being started for 4-5 hours, it is hard to keep it started. Can you tell me what may be the problem. i have been puttin BP gas in my vehicle for months. Not always the same BP location, but BP gas.

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It's probably your idle air control valve. I have a 2001 Tribute and it has had this problem since about 1 year after buying it new. My mother in law also has one and it has the exact same problem. You can crank the car cold (sometime even warm) and it will die unless you keep the gas peddle pressed in. I suspect that this is a widespread problem with the Tribute. Forget about the Mazda dealer helping. There is a very simple and cheap solution:

1. Locate the idle air control valve...looking at your engine from the front of the car, the valve is located on top of the air intake towards the far right corner of the engine (next to the plastic cover on top of the engine). The valve is metal, looks like a small metal cylinder is attached to it, and is bolted on with two bolts. It also has wires plugged into it. You can go to google images and type "Mazda tribute idle air control valve" to see what it looks like.

2. With engine off, unplug the wires from the valve.

3. Remove the two bolts and take valve off of air intake.

4. Inside the metal part you removed, you will see two chambers with a shaft going through them that can extend back and forth. The shaft has a spring on it, and a plug that can open or plug a hole between the two cavities. This is the idle control valve.

5. Take a flat head screw driver and pry the shaft back and forth a few times to free it up. There will probably be some dirt/grime on the shaft.

6. Take carburetor cleaner and spray it in the valve cavities. Allow it to soak for a minute and drain it out. Repeat if needed to clean it out.

7. Blow in it to dry it out.

8. Take WD40 and spray it in the cavities. Drain excess out
9. Take the screwdriver and work the shaft back and forth a few more times. The shaft should move freely.

10. Bolt the valve back onto the engine air intake and plug the wires back up to it.

Start the engine. If this was the problem, and the engine was stalling just before doing this procedure, then it should start right up and idle fine. If it was stalling sporadically when started, it should not any more. I have to do this procedure with my car every 6 - 12 months. When this problem first occurred with my car it took it to the dealer several times. Of course it would not do it at the dealer, and they claimed ignorance as to the cause. I suspect this is a cash cow for Mazda.

For the check engine light, I also have this has been on for about 5 years now due to a delta pressure code, or something to that effect...anyway, it is BS. I suggest you take the car to a local auto shop (not Mazda) and get them to scan the code for the light. The shop that I take my car to does not charge anything to check a code, but it could cost $10-20 bucks depending on where you take it ($50-75 at Mazda). If the code has anything to do with a delta pressure switch, ignore it.

Posted on Apr 25, 2010


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