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My 2013 Speed 3 with just over 70,000 miles went into limp mode this week, just lost power and then wouldn't go above 3000rpm. Pretty unremarkable, happened under mild driving conditions, nothing seemed to break, no horrible sound under the hood. I was able to restart, drive about a mile trying to limp home, then restart again for the second mile after losing power a second time. There was an atypical car smell coming from the car after getting it into the driveway (wasn't rubber, brakes, coolant, smelled more like skunk).

Had it towed to my mechanic, initial thought was catalytic converter blockage was the issue. He read the code and after hearing the ticking sound (which the car has always made and seems to be common) thought it would be timing chain related. When the timing belt went out on my Honda and Suburban years ago, the vehicles wouldn't run at all. The fact I could start it (a total of four times) with no backfires and drive it with no hint of misfire on only four cylinders really has me stumped.

Anyone had similar issues or have any helpful hints? For timing chain replacement I will have to travel about 45 minutes to a reputable and specialized mechanic as our local guy doesn't do timing chains, which I respect. Now that I told them the ticking sound is normal for the vehicle, they plan to check coils and plugs tomorrow. Obviously if it is the chain, we will have them replace water pump and anything else that makes sense since the labor will already be done.

Thanks in advance.
 

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2012 Mazda 3 GX MT5
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Ive come accross several same on forums... i cannot rev over a certain rpm and first recommend is checking throttle body, the fuse for it and relays for the throttle body.

As for the ticking , yup the chain , but older injectors will tick also , ...now a very loud tick or tack tack could be rod bearings ( i had those let go during a dyno)
 
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