Question about 2006 Mazda Tribute

1 Answer

Mazda Tribute Intermittent Starting problem

Intermittent problem on starting cold or warm. battery 1yr old and holding charge. 2weeks ago replaced plugs at dealer with Bosch Plats. Starting problem occurred in last 48 hours sometimes when occurs, cranking is slow and truck struggling to turn over, and wont catch. Or when problem occurs dash board flashes, needles/guages flicker then go to zero, no cranking happening, seems like dead battery (but battery tested and no problem). Suspect somewhere between solenoid or starter and ground... need some help to diagnose. Can it be as simple as a fuse? clutch pedal switch? faulty ignition coil?

The intermittent nature is the challenge. example: 8hours after cold, starts no problem, or doesnt. 2 min after warm and 3 successful starts, then nothing. Wait for 5 min, then restart and it will turn over. If it doesnt turn over, all electrical flashes, odometer will reset, dash flash, etc. Sometimes attempt to turn over, then click-click-clicking as dash flashes and have heard a single hard stall/clank from the engine (like its not aligned or starter cant get it to go). 5 min later, turn ignotion key for 30 seconds, then it will start with some hesitation and drag but will start and turn over...


Posted by on

  • 4 more comments 
  • dwilton876 May 09, 2009

    Also, forgot to mention. The above, a jump start / boost will get the truck going without issue. Have had to do that 2 times in last 2 days.

  • dwilton876 May 09, 2009

    Tks for the reply - I just spent 30 min with the truck and looked over the cables, fuses, etc.. Started fine 5 times. The 5th it started pulling more on the crank hesitating to turn over, but it did. I also checked all the cables and they all seem fine (cannot locate the solenoid though on a visual? think its under the air filter on the right but not 100% positive and dont want to pull that out).

    If it is a short in the solenoid how do I test that? need to pull it out and take to a shop?

  • dwilton876 May 10, 2009

    how would a boost then override this? example - this morning had to get a boost twice 1:30min apart from different folks to get it going. considering to replace the battery with higher cranking Amps as the problem we are encountering was same and the reason we replaced the battery a year ago.... also, took your advice, cleaned all the terminals and no issues there from what I can see.

  • dwilton876 May 10, 2009

    more info... removed the battery, inspected all cables, cleaned off and tied up some with electrical. reinstalled battery, car starts no problem. here is the interesting part - on third attempt, after turns over and is running idol, the dashboard guages jerking up and down for a few seconds before normalizing where they should. we saw this before, but this happened usually when it wasnt able to turn over and everything choked. this time the turnover happened, idol occured, guages flickering up and down, then normalize. Some sort of bigger electrical problem?

  • dwilton876 May 11, 2009

    Thanks in advance - you are great. And here are some more details that might help -- we ran some volt and ohm tests on the battery and cables. Most interesting is registering the battery at just over 12V sitting idol, nothing engaged. Then when the key is in the ignition (just before attempting to turn over the vehicle) you can see the charge drop no lower than 11.6v as we move past the accessory click, and on to the fuelpump (where you can hear and see it on the panel being engaged). Then you attempt to turn over the vehicle and if it actually succeeds, the battery volts will drop to as little as 4volts then recover. If successful, the battery shows just over 14V on charge so I assume the altnator is working as it should.

    In seeing this drop I assume its post battery so I then pulled out the battery and replaced it with a 12V which was from a new Subaru and registering 13V sitting without connection. When I attempted to turn the Tribute over again using the new battery, we dropped the voltage on the new one to as little as 6volts on a crank but then with a successful start so it had more amps for a pull.

    This also let me believe that when a jump is done on the car, the added voltage and amps from the jump is engaging the starter without issue. So the logic holds (unless I am missing something) So following that start with the other battery, I then put the Tribute battery back in and it wouldnt start up. I again was getting the click but no crank/turnover. 3rd attempt in 5min, the engine sounded like the starter realigned or moved a little just a turnover and click sound and following that attempt, the engine pulled, then turned over and started. However, same issue with the gauges all flikering when it was first running then things normalized. And as an aside I cannot locate the starter for the life of me. I followe the positive terminal and see it drops somewhere on the right of the engine, under the air filter ducts and to the left of the battery... not easy access to give a couple taps. Any ideas? Just a starter with a bad ground?

  • dwilton876 May 11, 2009

    I'll be taking it into the shop today. I suspect there is a faulty ground off the starter or solenoid. Since the Subaru battery did the exact same thing (e.g. dropped rather low in voltage upon crank, and lower on the second crank) I suspect something is happening there with excess draw, putting quite the load on the battery. Since my battery recovers when I let it sit, but even when being measured at 12.4volts strong before attempts to start, the car wont engage and turn over. Just the intermittent click problem where after a few attempts, couple pulls, and a little luck it might start. Perhaps a bad worn solenoid or even a poorly ground/shorter/jammed starter. At the shop I am certain they will test the battery which is getting beaten up with all these attempts, then move to the starter+solenoid combo and look for a short or wear pattern - which would be odd because the truck only has 35K miles on it. I'll post what they discover and what I end up paying for! And more important, if it fixes this problem which seems to be one that many Tribute and Escape owners have from time to time.



1 Answer

  • Level 2:

    An expert who has achieved level 2 by getting 100 points


    An expert that got 10 achievements.


    An expert that got 5 achievements.

    Vice President:

    An expert whose answer got voted for 100 times.

  • Expert
  • 232 Answers

I can think of 2 possibles,it could be a bad battery cable or an intermitent short in the starter solenoid, check or have the battery cables and there connections on both ends first not only are they a cheaper fix but the problem you describe sounds like a current flow issue.Test them with or have them tested with an ohmmeter they should show o ohms resistance,and while not attributed to the problem I do not reccomend using Bosch spark plugs of any variety,the best plugs for any Japanese vehicle are NGK's,this comes from my personal experience with them and other techs that I have worked with.

Posted on May 09, 2009

  • 1 more comment 
  • George DeMore
    George DeMore May 09, 2009

    The solenoid will be on the starter itself,and it being an intermitent problem the only way to really check is to pull it off the starter di assemble and inspect it,you can check it with an ohmmeter,disconnect the negative battery cable and place one lead to the case of the solenoid and one lead to the large post where the positive battery cable connects should yeild an infinite resistance,anything less even a megaohm of resistance will allow current to flow ,but since your battery has been keeping its charge I would say that's not the problem.Did you do just a visual check on the cables?What can happen is the insulationon the cable will get a tear and the cable will corrode inside the insulation and it won't be visisble until it gets extremely corroded and then it will bulge the insulation on the cable,the only way to really check for this is with an ohmmeter it may be as simple as pulling the negative cable off the engine block and cleaning off any corrosion where the cable mounts.The starter motor itself has a near zero resistance,maybe a .05 of an ohm when the windings charge and this allows a current flow of 280 amps,if the battery cable either positive or negative gains 1 ohm of resistance the current flow will drop to 14 amps which is nowhere near enough to crank a starter,the odd thing is sometimes a internally corroded cable will allow enough current to flow,and then will suddenly not allow it to flow.I see this problem,alot I live on the Washington coast and salt air and electrcity make for corrosion nightmares.

  • George DeMore
    George DeMore May 10, 2009

    I couldn't really say why the cluster is doing this,I checked the wiring schematics for the vehicle and couldn't see anything that would tie the two circuits together,the only thing I can tell is that all the relays that power nearly every circuit are tied to the vehicle's computer system and I don't want to give a possible solution that would put the computer at risk,if circuits that are computer controlled are tested the wrong way it can cause irreperable damage to the system,I would not want be responsible for this,I can tell you that the spark plugs may possibly be tied to the problem,the resistance of the plugs can affect the computers operation but this would be something you would need to discuss with Mazda tech regarding,I'm sorry I can't be of more assitance.

  • George DeMore
    George DeMore May 11, 2009

    Okay wich would make some sense now.The battery has gone bad,definitley have it checked at a parts store they will gladly do a load test for free, the battery you used out of the Suburua is right on the money as far as voltage,a 12V battery not under load can measure as high as 14V,the voltage drop you saw when you cranked the battery is not unusual because voltage and current are relative,so if you have a high current draw the voltage will drop at the source(battery)and likewise in reverse if the voltage is raised at the source, current draw will drop,this is why so much industrial equipment runs on high voltages 480 and 600v(my professional trade is in industrial maintenance and repair)The lack of the battery recovering to its normal voltage after cranking the starter would possibly explain the flickering of the gauges as they are turned of and on by an elctro mechanical relay and they do not operate well at voltages lower than what they are rated,the gauges.Now the reason the battery has gone bad after only one year of service could be caused by a short in the windings of the starter or a defective battery off the shelf ,to test the starter will mean having to remove the starter and disassembling it,but this could explain the possible "flat" spot that you describe in the starter.



1 Suggested Answer

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

A 6ya expert can help you resolve that issue over the phone in a minute or two.
Best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repairmen in the US.
The service is completely free and covers almost anything you can think of (from cars to computers, handyman, and even drones).
click here to download the app (for users in the US for now) and get all the help you need.
Good luck!

Posted on Jan 02, 2017


Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

When engine warm, turns over awhile before starts. Fine when cold. Chevy garage unable to find problem. 100,000+ miles. They replaced fuel pump 2 months ago. Still happens.

It sounds like a mass air flow sensor or coolant temp sensor or maybe a crankshaft position sensor problem ! Need to have hooked up to a oscilloscope check for a glitch in the electrical wave form ! Or do a fuel injector balance test ! Bosch CIS Fuel Injected Engine Cold and Hot Start Problems How to Troubleshoot Warm Starting Problems

Apr 01, 2015 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

New battery , wires and plugs and still have trouble starting in the mornings, get a jump and starts. After running vehicle for awhile I turn it off and try starting it it will start.

check alternator output with engine should have 13.5 - 14.5 volts if not alternator not charging.check alternator wiring to battery feed to alternator.check alternator voltage regulator wiring check alternator fuse make drive belt not slipping.and you have the correct cold cranking amp battery.bad old worn out battery cables will cause charging problems.because old battery cables put high resistance on the charging circuit.if battery cables old as vechicle replace them.

Apr 15, 2011 | 1994 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer

1 Answer

My ford dealer replaced the alternator 18 months ago. I put on 60,000 miles. I see the red light flicker on the dash board. Is it time to replace the alternator?

since the alternator was just replaced 1 1/2 years ago I would say that it might not be the alternator but it could be your battery. I would take your car down to a battery shop and have them do a load test on the battery to see if the battery is starting to go bad and not holding the charge from the alternator.
if the battery test shows that the battery is good then the alternator is bad,, check your paper work from the dealer to see if it is under warranty.


Jan 19, 2011 | Ford Explorer Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

2004 F350 6.0L starts rough and runs rough until warmed up. When it was newer I could start in cold weather and run smooth with full power right away. Now it has no power at all until warm and is hard to...

What tells me, is that the thermostat is staying open after
your done using the truck
When you start it up cold, it takes longer to warm up the area
near the coolant temp sensor,which is part of the system
to put the PCM (computer) into closed loop
Closed loop is when you leave a computer fuel stratagy and
the O2 Sensors take over fuel control

Hard to start----

Need spark plugs that have not been in the motor over 60,000 miles
Spray the throttle plate with CRC Throttle Cleaner
Spray the MAF Sensor with CRC MAF Cleaner
Need all ducting in place,no vacuum leaks and a clean air filter
Make sure your O2 Sensors are tight
A fuel filter not over 3 years old
Hope the coolant temp sensors works correctly

Anything more gets too technical

Dec 02, 2010 | 2004 Ford F350

1 Answer

2005 Yukon Denalli - Blow cold air out the drivers side

the passenger side electronic controller is sensing the passenger side temperature is cooler than it really is, which causes the controller to increase the hot water flow to warm up the passenger area...any time you replace a battery or loose your charge, the HVAC module will need to be reset...Try this...
Remove your hvac fuse for 10 sec - reinstall fuse. Start engine "DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING FOR 3 MINUTES" Recalibration of module will accure when power is lost (fuse pulled, battery changed or died) If hvac reset did not work you have a trouble code - reset BCM There are two ways to reset your body control module Go to the GENERAL Remove BOTH battery cables (for the sake of CAUTION remove air bag fuse and wait 5 MINUTES) Hold both cables together for 1 minute - drains KAM (keep alive memory). Put everything back together Start the engine "DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING FOR 3 MINUTES" If you have no broken parts - system not default (normal operation)

If that works it just saved you 600 costs to repair.

Good Luck...please rate me a fixya.

Jul 25, 2009 | 2004 GMC Sierra

1 Answer

91 Accord LX 2 dr 4 cyl just put new battery with 5oo cold cranking amps-NO Start! Owner said car has had perpetual problems holding a charge and starting! About 3mo ago Owner charged the old Die hard...

If you manage to get it started, check the alternator output...I'm betting it is bad. Should be making no less than 12.5 with accessories all on, 13.5 to 14 with just engine running. Bad alt can drain battery even when off depending what failed inside it. Towing with a chain is not really a good idea. the cross pin in those differentials are not very good and can fail.

Jul 12, 2009 | 1991 Honda Accord

3 Answers

Escort not starting when cold

it might be the starter or ignition

Jan 29, 2009 | 1998 Ford Escort

1 Answer

It was about -30 outside and i tried to start my jetta, it turned over a couple of times but now it wont do anything. everything else works but the starter wont turn the engine over

These engines require a LOT of amperage from the battery. A battery's amperage output is severely decreased in the cold weather. If your battery is old, it may not have the power to turn the engine over. Your solutions are (1) warm the engine to allow for easier turn-over and (2) put a charger on the battery to keep it warm in cold weather. The first can be accomplished by having your dealer install a soft-plug block heater. As to charging the battery, be sure the charger is one that monitors the battery's charge and turns itself off when the battery is fully charged.
If this does not help, then your cold cranking may have caused your starter to begin to fail. Good Luck and stay warm!

Dec 18, 2008 | 1996 Volkswagen Jetta

5 Answers

2006 sprinter 2500 trouble starting

placed vehicle on top of mountain,, pushed it off cliff, cause no one could find a solution.....

Dec 14, 2008 | 2006 Dodge Sprinter

2 Answers

Cold cranking amps

I have a similar situation but it turns out that I am also having an unsolved problem with my 2005 Ford 500 electrical system. Although it could be due to a weak battery I have reason to believe that its root cause that something is wrong with the brake light system. Sometimes when I drive the brake lights stay on and other times they don't. Yesterday, with my foot off the brake pedal (in Park) the brake lights would stay on until I lifted the brake pedal. Today, I can not get it to repeat the symptom nor could an expert auto technican find the problem within several minutes. The battery has been tested and found to have 40% of its life(?) remaining.

Jul 25, 2008 | 2005 Ford Five Hundred

Not finding what you are looking for?
2006 Mazda Tribute Logo

2,346 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Mazda Experts


Level 3 Expert

78257 Answers

Colin Stickland
Colin Stickland

Level 3 Expert

22326 Answers

Jeffrey Turcotte
Jeffrey Turcotte

Level 3 Expert

8836 Answers

Are you a Mazda Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides