Mazda 3 2.3 rough starts, low idle, stalling, low rpm while in gear. - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum


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Old 05-19-2011, 06:35 PM   #1
metal.drummer
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Default Mazda 3 2.3 rough starts, low idle, stalling, low rpm while in gear.

Hey forum members...

I've read a lot about problems regarding the symptoms listed in the subject line...

Last year I had a point where my car would start real rough, turn the key and it would rev and then almost die for a few seconds and then eventually it would smooth out... One time it totally stalled on me after driving regularly and then pulling into a Wal*Mart plaza going real slow, the idle dropped and the car was out... Shut it off and restarted and it was running ok again... I bought some super concentrate Pennzoil fuel system cleaner and that helped for many months...

Fast forward to the past few weeks... Again those symptoms have come back, however I also notice while in gear and driving I feel a resistance while coasting... like the engine or something is holding the car back from coasting regularly and I can feel like fluctuations in power while driving like it going from being normal to holding back a bit... Sometimes when coming to a complete stop at lights or stop signs the car feels like it's going to stall and one of the worst it does is when hitting the gas from a stop, the car doesn't go but almost stalls, so I mash the gas harder and it decides to go with a bit of a surge. Throttle response seems to be delayed and the car has less power over-all... The starting issues is totally random and is happening more and more often. I know most people who had the Purge Solenoid valve go bad only stated starting issues right after fuel up; mine is randomly on cold starts. Oh yeah, and it does not throw a CEL. I think the only time it ever CEL was when this first happened in the Wal*Mart plaza where it stalled entirely, which was probably in the fall of 2010.

Last spring I installed an Injen CAI and to be honest the car ran the best after I installed that and ran good from that for a good amount of months, I noticed this problem as noted in the first paragraph, went away after using fuel system cleaner, and now resurfaced many months later but the more symptoms described. I really do not think this is linked to the CAI cause the car ran great with it for so long.

The MAF is clean... Maybe it's the purge solenoid valve, or some other valve? ...or maybe fuel system related since the high concentrate cleaner bottle helped last time? I plan to buy another bottle soon, but I'd like to take care of the problem more permanently.

Any ideas would be appreciated, thanks! Oh and the car is an '07 2.3 GT with 39k on it.
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Old 05-20-2011, 03:24 PM   #2
daustin
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Default Re: Mazda 3 2.3 rough starts, low idle, stalling, low rpm while in gear.

Try cleaning the throttle body. I have heard a few people having strange idle issues due to a buildup problem around the butterfly valve in the throttle body chamber.

However, do not just spray TB cleaner into it. You are supposed to remove the TB from the intake manifold to clean it and use a clean lint-free rag and some TB cleaner to wipe out any deposits.
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Old 05-20-2011, 03:41 PM   #3
metal.drummer
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Default Re: Mazda 3 2.3 rough starts, low idle, stalling, low rpm while in gear.

[quote author=daustin link=topic=190893.msg4029037#msg4029037 date=1305915878]
Try cleaning the throttle body. I have heard a few people having strange idle issues due to a buildup problem around the butterfly valve in the throttle body chamber.

However, do not just spray TB cleaner into it. You are supposed to remove the TB from the intake manifold to clean it and use a clean lint-free rag and some TB cleaner to wipe out any deposits.
[/quote]

Yeah, I actually decided to do a few things last night... I took apart my CAI, cleaned the MAF sensor for good measure, cleaned out the throttle body, loosened it with PB Blaster, and wiped it out, repeated a few times, however I did not take it off the manifold, I just did intake side... Got a decent amount of black stuff from around the edge of the flap... Next time I will try removing totally and cleaning the manifold side of it; didn't have enough time for all that... I also cleaned out a few vacuum connectors and put in the bottle of concentrated fuel system cleaner that I used last time... Test drove last night, seemed ok... True test was cold start...

Just got to work little while ago, from cold started right up and I didn't experience any strange behavior. Accelerator no longer lagged when stopped and didn't cause a drop before surging like yesterday... I don't know which of the things I did last night had any effect, but something did... Though it could have just been that bottle of stuff in the tank as last time that seemed to clear things up. I will continue to monitor and see how things go.
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Old 05-20-2011, 03:45 PM   #4
daustin
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Default Re: Mazda 3 2.3 rough starts, low idle, stalling, low rpm while in gear.

If anything, you probably got the majority of the problem buildup from the TB by just cleaning it from the intake side. It wouldn't hurt to give it a really good once-over, though.

With my car nearing 100k miles, I am also planning to do my TB soon as well just for good measure. I'll probably also run some Seafoam through it via the vacuum line off of the intake manifold to really get in a good engine cleaning for my DIY 100k maintenance.
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Old 05-20-2011, 04:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: Mazda 3 2.3 rough starts, low idle, stalling, low rpm while in gear.

100K for you eh? Congrats. Kinda strange as I first started experiencing this problem with only like 30 something thousand or so on it... Now, I'm just a hair below 40k; although some of it may be due to the area I drive in. Constant stop and go, garbage roads, I mean c'mon it's New Jersey! haha. I try to take care of my stuff and keep the car treated good, doing all maintenance myself... This seems like such a minor problem, nothing compared to any car I've owned/used prior; but regardless, I'd like to resolve it entirely as I'm fairly confident I'll have this car for a LONG time to come. A full throttle body clean seems like it would be a good idea, hell, can't hurt. I know if I had a bunch of black crap caked onto my wind-pipe or lungs I'd probably be running pretty shoddy too! Though, as I mentioned in the someone else's thread; if this continues, I'm going to take my chances on replacing the Purge Solenoid as well, $70 at autopartswarehouse.com is worth a chance and a brand new part which is known to go bad frequently.
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: Mazda 3 2.3 rough starts, low idle, stalling, low rpm while in gear.

I have been experiencing the exact same symptoms. Definitely feeling resistence when i coast, couple of stalls, erractic idle. I cleaned the MAF, outside of the TB,... I'm thinking it might be the PSV or the ERG valve. Trying to get the ERG is a bitch, its right behind a raditor hose, NOT convenient at all....
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Old 05-21-2011, 10:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: Mazda 3 2.3 rough starts, low idle, stalling, low rpm while in gear.

hmm you have a CAI. Have you thoroughly checked the MAF wires? I had your same exact problem when I installed my CAI. I had to get it repinned and soldered.
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Old 06-11-2011, 07:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: Mazda 3 2.3 rough starts, low idle, stalling, low rpm while in gear.

i can't begin to imagine how many of us has had the same issue after installing a CAI.

Just recently had my car at Mada dealership looked at. Same issues as OP stated. And after about 1000$ in repairs. They found an large leak in the evap pump, and on the purge valve. Had to replace it twice, back to back week. Then still had the same issue. Finally had them order extension MAF wires, and had them repinned + soldered as Monchie stated. CEL has never came back. Almost 70,000 miles on my 2004 Mazda 3. And even dealer said the CEL's are such a common problem on our car.
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:04 PM   #9
ryann
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Default Re: Mazda 3 2.3 rough starts, low idle, stalling, low rpm while in gear.

I've had rough idle problems and what not before, but never a CEL while driving (just while messing with things with my car).

I got a new MAF sensor a few months back, and cleaned the TB. Most of the idle problems are gone, but there are still some. I have a feeling it's the purge valve, because I've had other purge valve symptoms, such as hard starts, but no hard starts for the longest time.

So, no severe engine problems for me so far *knocks on wood.*

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Old 06-12-2011, 05:20 PM   #10
metal.drummer
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Default Re: Mazda 3 2.3 rough starts, low idle, stalling, low rpm while in gear.

Well ever since I cleaned the MAF, throttle body, and used more fuel system cleaner the problems have been pretty much gone... I'm sure they'll resurface eventually... but unfortunately, I have bigger problems right now as on Friday evening a 17 year old kid in a Jeep Cherokee tried to make a left turn at a traffic light without looking for oncoming traffic first(me)...






My poor Mazda... Never had a scratch before this... However, Mazda3 = 1, Jeep Cherokee = 0... My car drove away fine, his needed to be towed.
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