I could really use some help here and it is probably a very simple problem... when driving or even when idling, it seems as though something 'kicks' on like a fan or something, but i am not sure... and the headlights dim a little, the wipers (if they are on) slow down.... then, it seems to 'kick off' and the lights are back to normal brightness again...wipers at normal speed...i would like to get this fixed asap but i don't want some mechanic telling me that it is something that it isn't... can anyone give me a few ideas as to what you think this may be...also, after i had the thermostat changed last summer, there is a squeaking in the engine, i am assuming a belt... it stops squeaking after driving for a out 20 minutes... again, have NO idea...thank you so much for any insight you can provide!
The squeak noise is probably a belt. Most likely it has moisture underneath it that evaporates once the engine gets warm. Its a good idea to change your belts every couple of years, just make sure you use a Gates brand belt. Mazda engines are particular about their belts. May be a good idea to change the timing belt too, about every 60,000 miles.
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Change the thermostat? Probably did, since you went after the computer. Does the car really over heat? Or does the gauge just go high(bad gauge). If the engine does over heat, then it could be the water pump, or to much sediment in the engine(Something blocked). I have seen both.
Regardless of anything else, that cap needs to be replaced. It has to be moisture free to properly operate or you'll get arcing and that can cause even more damage.
A vacuum leak will cause the high idle and it is possible the IAC could be damaged. Most of them have small nylon parts in them and get damaged if you use certain cleaners (like carb cleaner) on them. You've also got that ridiculously complicated and expensive IAC (around $400 new) so I'm sure you don't just want to replace it. I've seen used ones on Ebay for around $50. I would save that for a last ditch effort.
Vacuum leaks can be difficult and frustrating to find. A smoke machine helps but they are expensive. If you are a smoker, you can always pick a vacuum port on the engine to blow smoke into. Then, you just look for anywhere smoke is escaping and you found your leak.
Since you had the IAC off, I would pay special attention to the hoses there and the seal between the IAC and the intake.
the computer probably need to relearn the idle-try driving the car for 20-30 minutes,i u can. if that doesnt work,try keeping the car in drive at idle speed if possible without touching the gas pedal-even though it might stall,see if eventually the idle will raise up on its own.hope this helps you.
The air fuel mixture sensor is probably starting to fail. You need to have a simple diagnosis done at the shop and then have it replaced - they are usually not much a reputable mechanical shops. When the motor warms up your air/fuel mixture changes hence the rough idle etc. Hope this helps.
It sounds like the auxillary fan motor is dead. It only comes on when the car heats up to a certain point and automatically when the air conditioner is turned on. Since it's making a terrible sound, you may check to see if something is lodged in the fan. Outside of that, just replace it. The fan should probably cost you around $100. (that's just my guess though) I'd probably go to junkyard and pull one off of something there. Would be much cheaper. The two fans are probably mounted in the same plastic shroud so you'll have to remove them both to replace the aux fan. You can still drive it without the a/c on, but I wouldn't be in bumper to bumper traffic for 35 minutes at a time. As long as you are driving, you don't even need the fans going, the air going across the radiator from driving will be sufficient to cool it down. Just watch your temp gauge if you are idled for too long and you can shut the motor off, leave the key on and the fan will continue to blow. Good luck.
Could be several things; MAF ( Mass air Flow) sensor, (Yes you should have one), could be fuel pump on the rail or the filter next to it, could be electronic idle controler, clogged injectors, ect ect, a Volvo dealer can do some simple checks of the actual components and tell you, but have someone else fix it!