Question about 2002 Mazda Tribute

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Seems to be electrical problem

Car will jump start easily and run until put into gear. Once in gear it runs erractically and eventually stalls draining all electrical power.

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What initiated the need for jump starting? Is the alternator charging? Has the battery been checked?

To check the alternator, once the engine has been jumped and is running, remove one of the battery post connections. If the engine dies, the alternator is not charging the battery, and the symptoms you describe are the on-board computer going through low voltage spasms until sufficient electrical power to operate the engine / tranny is drained and the car dies.

If the car continues to run with no battery attached, the alternator is charging - - - and I would recommend removing the battery and having it checked and (if good) recharged to full capacity. I would also recommend having it charged even if the alternator is the problem just to delay the onset of the low voltage problems. The car should operate normally for a few miles before the battery drains too low after a full recharge, enabling you to get it to a shop for alternator service / replacement.

If you attempt replacing the alternator yourself, make sure the battery is disconnected prior to starting the job. Saves blowing up good stuff by accidental short.

Hope this helps and good luck!

-WB.

Posted on Jun 13, 2008

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