Question about 2004 Mazda Tribute

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My neighbors 04 Mazda Tribute intermittantly needs a jump to start. I can jump it from my car with small battery cables and my engine off. I have measured the voltage after it starts and it is over 14v. It has been towed repeatedly into the dealer and they can't find anything wrong. The battery has been tested and it is fine. Is the charge light part of the charging circuit? Any ideas?

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  • stephenvb Mar 13, 2009

    Knowing it may be a short may not be much help and it may not be a short. It is either an intermittent load when the ignition is off or a charging problem (I had a car with an intermittant ignition switch. The charging system was wired through the ignition switch so sometimes it wouldn't charge or light the warning light.). An intermittent may not cooperate and fail when you check it. It could be either a component or wiring. All components seem to work when the car is on. It is also unlikely to be a short unless the component is not fused. Does anyone know what unfused components are on when the ignition is off or what could cause intermittant charging?

  • stephenvb Mar 13, 2009

    Knowing it may be a short may not be much help and it may not be a short. It is either an intermittent load when the ignition is off or a charging problem (I had a car with an intermittant ignition switch. The charging system was wired through the ignition switch so sometimes it wouldn't charge or light the warning light.). An intermittent may not cooperate and fail when you check it. It could be either a component or wiring. All components seem to work when the car is on. It is also unlikely to be a short unless the component is not fused. Does anyone know what unfused components are on when the ignition is off or what could cause intermittant charging?

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There is certainly a short somewhere. Most dealers will not take the time to find a short, they are in the business of selling parts. I would find a local mechanic that has a electrical specialist on staff to find the problem for you.

Posted on Mar 12, 2009

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