Vehicle died while driving. I have checked the timing
belt and it is ok, the rotor turns. I have connected a timing light and
I get no spark at any of the sparkplug wires. I have spoken with
a Mazda service person and they suggest that it may be the igniter. Is
there any way to check this before I ourchase a replacement
Get spark tester and start testing from the spark plugs back. first hook it to aplug wire and check for spark if no spark ten hook it to the coil wire and check for spark if no spark then there is a chance that your coil or ignition module is bad if it is equipt with electronic ignition.
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I would check your battery connections. Clean them even if they look ok. I had a 93 olds that did that and it was a battery connection being dirty. Also check your fuel filter(replace it if you can) and the spark plug wires/cap and rotor can cause this. Low RPM at a stop light lets the voltage drop too much on the alternator and the battery isn't helping since its dirty so the engine dies. Then when you start it, it pulls enough amps to bypass the dirt to start.
To check timing belt or chain, remove distributer cap and turn engine over. BRING TO TOP DEAD CENTER AND SEE WHERE THE ROTOR IS POINTING, #1 cylinder? IF NOT SPEND ENGINE ONE TURN, pointing at #1? If not then you may have jumped time. Take a scoket that fits the crank and turn the engine by hand. The rotor should start turning right away, the mor you move the engine without movement of the rotor shows slack in chain or belt.
Another possiblity is that you might have a crank sensor gone bad. Check for fire at the spark plugs. Take one out and, while the plug is laid on the engine, spin the engine, it should it should spark. Either way shows that the engine is not firing. Next is to do a compression check, ther should not be more than 10% difference between the cylinder. If no compression, you have an interfearance engine and jumping timing will bend the valve. Hope this helps.
I would remove the distributor cap and crank the engine over . If the rotor does not turn , then you need to replace the timing belt. The timing belt needs to be replaced every 60 K. If the rotor turns then make sure you have spark to a spark plug. Run a compression test on each cylinder. The basics to run are compression, spark, fuel and timing.
This sounds like the timing belt is shot. Remove the distributor cap, have your helper crank the engine. Is the rotor turning?? If not, then it is the timing belt. Some engines are rather forgiving when the belt breaks, some will get bent valves. Frankster016