Question about 2001 Mazda Tribute

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Car starts fine but doesn't idle when warmed up.

This is a 4 cylinder 01 Tribute with 130K miles. Normal maintenance over the years. It starts in the morning just fine. Drove it a couple hours then parked in the sun for an hour on a warm afternoon. After that, starts up but doesn't idle. As I take my foot off the gas, it just goes to 0 RPM. Starts fine with throttle open and I have to keep gassing it to get home. Happened twice now. Replaced fuel filter, inspected for loose electrical connections in electrical compartments. Help????

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Sound like idle speed control problems.its idling too low.

Posted on May 17, 2009


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I'm getting ready tp buy a 1989 VW Cabriolet with almost 130K miles on it. I was told that I will need to put oil in it every month. Is this an indication of a serious problem...or is it normal for cars...

I will give you the same advice I gave my customers at my repair shop. Buying a car is an emotional experience for most of us. We fall in love with the looks or the performance of a certain car and turn a blind eye to it's faults. To protect yourself from the aggravation of a money pit you have to ask a lot of questions and if possible have the car checked out by a trusted mechanic. An owner with nothing to hide will or should let you do this. How much oil do you have to add each month? Checking oil at regular intervals is good maintenance but adding a few quarts of oil each month could be an indication of a serious oil leak. Ask the owner if he has records of maintenance especially ask about the timing belt. Was it changed at the proper time? Is there any blue smoke coming from the exhaust? Tapping noises from the engine? A car with 130K miles isn't necessarily a worn out car if the reccomended maintenance has been done. My car is pushing 170K miles and is doing just fine, but it is maintained. The best car to buy is a one owner low milage car with records. They are hard to find and usually cost more but they are worth it in the long run. Good luck!

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I am trying to find a maintenance schedule for my 2003 has almost 130K miles on it, but everywhere I look the maintenance schedules stop at 100K. Any help is greatly appreciated!!

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What type of maintenance my car would need after 90,000 miles

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Mar 09, 2009 | 2001 Honda Civic

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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...

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.

Jan 11, 2009 | 2001 Mazda Tribute

2 Answers


My wifes car had this same problem at about 100000 miles and after many trips to the shop it turned out to be carbor build up in the intake manifold. A fuel injector cleaner was hooked up and it helped the problem, but did not completely solve it. In oreder to get it totally clean the intake had to be removed and clean it out manually.

Jan 01, 2009 | 2001 Mazda Tribute

1 Answer

High idle in cold weather

this is normal for a car of this age
carburetor type motors have a automatic choke
this is activating when you start your car as it is so cold
i would not worries about it
it is designed to make it easier to start your car when it is cold my car dose the same thing
hope this helps

Dec 27, 2008 | 1984 Nissan Pickup

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