Question about 2001 Mazda Protege

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Engine chugs and loses power, light comes on, now broke alt belt

For the last year, the check engine light keeps going on and off - the car starts to chug a little and lose power, but if I give it gas it will smooth out. Sometimes it stalls when at a light or stop sign. I've taken it to 4 mechanics (including a Mazda dealer) - they pull the engine code which is "random engine misfire" (not helpful) and none of them have been able to figure out the problem. Have replaced the battery and the spark plugs.
Yesterday, there was a sudden pop and then the battery light came on. The car started to overheat and smoke started billowing out of the front. Got it home (and yes, I know, I should have immediately pulled over, but got lucky). The alternator belt is broken, and needs to be replaced.
Could these two problems be related?? Anyone else having problems like these?

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  1. Check the ignition switch condition and operation. The electrical contacts in the run position may be worn or damaged. Try restarting the engine with all electrical accessories in the off position. Sometimes turning the key on an off will help in emergency situations, however once the switch has shown signs of failure, it should be replaced as soon as possible.
  2. Check for loose, corroded, damaged or shorted wires for the ignition system and repair or replace.
  3. Check for manifold vacuum leaks or vacuum hose leakage and repair or replace parts as necessary.
  4. Measure the fuel pump delivery volume and pressure. Low fuel pump pressure can also be noticed as a lack of power when accelerating. Make sure the fuel pump lines are not restricted. The fuel pump output is not adjustable and requires fuel pump replacement to repair.
  5. Check the engine fuel and ignition management system. Inspect the sensor wiring and electrical connectors. A dirty, loose or damaged sensor or control module wire can simulate a failed component.
  6. Check the exhaust system for internal restrictions.

Posted on Jun 07, 2011

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Your fuel injectors need a steady supply of electricity, so when your alternator belt broke, they weren't getting enough juice to run properly, therefore your engine died.
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