Occasionally Fails to Start When Parked Uphill - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-09-2017, 04:17 AM Thread Starter
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Occasionally Fails to Start When Parked Uphill

Over the past few months, I have noticed that my 2011 Mazda 3 (52,xxx miles) sometimes fails to start on the first attempt. It primarily happens when I'm parked on a hill, such that the front end of the car is higher than the back. I can't recall a specific instance of this happening when parked on level ground, although it's possible it could have. I drive the car frequently (almost daily), but this issue does not happen on the first attempt after sitting for a couple days, because my parking space at home is level. It's only when running an errand and I park uphill for an hour or so.

When it "fails to start" I hear the engine turning over, but it doesn't catch after several seconds. I then stop attempting to start it, wait 5-10 seconds, and try again. The car always fires right up on the second attempt, as if I'm parked on level ground. I have not yet tried holding the key for longer than a few seconds when this occurs, but I will give that a shot next time.

My initial thought was that it's fuel related. Perhaps the fuel isn't being pumped uphill quick enough, but by the second attempt the fuel has made it? This issue happened to me today when parked uphill with less than a quarter tank of fuel. I cannot speak for the fuel level of previous instances of this issue, but I will keep a closer eye.

It was suggested to me that this is a fuel pressure issue, and that my fuel pump is on its way out. I looked up some symptoms of a failing fuel pump (jerking/surging when traveling at constant speed, loss of power while accelerating, decreased gas mileage, failure to start) and I don't seem to be experiencing any of them besides the occasional failure to start when parked uphill.

If anyone could share their thoughts on what the issue may be, or suggest any additional details I should pay attention to, it would be greatly appreciated!

-Mitch
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-09-2017, 06:51 PM
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I've seen similar behavior when I start the car just to move it a very short distance (e.g.: 10 feet) and turn off the engine. The subsequent start is difficult and sometimes I need to tap the gas pedal before the engine will catch. This typically happens in parking garages when valets shuffle cars around. My 2010 Mazda3 has 65k miles on it, but I noticed this behavior around 20k.

I'm not especially concerned. As you describe it, it doesn't seem to be a fuel pump problem. I imagine the fuel is not being fully delivered. In my case, a short start and stop might cause the fuel to drain back and out of the fuel lines. Try gently tapping your pedal just to give a little gas when your engine has trouble cranking.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-14-2017, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MZ3Driver View Post
I've seen similar behavior when I start the car just to move it a very short distance (e.g.: 10 feet) and turn off the engine. The subsequent start is difficult and sometimes I need to tap the gas pedal before the engine will catch. This typically happens in parking garages when valets shuffle cars around. My 2010 Mazda3 has 65k miles on it, but I noticed this behavior around 20k.

I'm not especially concerned. As you describe it, it doesn't seem to be a fuel pump problem. I imagine the fuel is not being fully delivered. In my case, a short start and stop might cause the fuel to drain back and out of the fuel lines. Try gently tapping your pedal just to give a little gas when your engine has trouble cranking.
Just gave this a try, it seems like I'm having the same issue. I drove for about a half a mile and parked on level ground, and experienced the issue when attempting to start 15 minutes later. So it seems this is totally unrelated to being parked uphill. I tried tapping the gas pedal while the engine had trouble cranking, and that worked beautifully.

-Mitch
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 12:57 PM
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Were you able to find a solution?

I have a 2011 mazda3 with the 2.5. 135k KM.

It sounds like I'm having the same issue. At first, battery was replaced as it was borderline to being bad. I did the idle relearn after.

I always turn the key, give the pump a moment, then start the car.

But like you, most of the time, turn the key (pause), start the car and it starts no problem. Other times, turn the key, rur rur rur rur rur won't start but sounds like its trying and no strange sounds. Turn the key off then on (pause), start and the car starts fine or.... stumbles a bit then runs normal. Any subsiquent off / start seems fine. Later at random (hot or cold) I have this start issue.

Were you able to find a solution?
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