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Mazda 323, Hatchback
#16 of 455 Mazda 323 stalling problem--please help!
Feb 17, 2001 (10:18 pm)
Hi, I really need some help. I've got a 1992 MAZDA 323 that has a recurring stalling problem
that no one has been able to solve. If you have advice about how to solve it, or if you know
where I can get good advice (via another web-posting or some other source), I'd really appreciate
hearing from you.
The pattern of stall-outs is seemingly indecipherable. It will stall on the highway or just going
around the block. It usually gives a hesitation or two, and the accelerator becomes useless for
10-60 seconds before it stalls completely. It's a standard transmission, and if necessary while
driving I can turn the car turn the car off as the stall threatens and then turn it back on–and it then runs fine again. Likewise, if it stalls out completely, I can turn off the car and then start it
immediately with no problem. The interval between stall-outs is usually at least a day and
sometimes weeks. Go figure.
This problem first occurred in about 1993. No one could solve it, but it disappeared. Then it
returned a few years after that. And now it's back again, off and on since the fall of 2000.
Here's a record of what my latest mechanic has tried:
–Tried to duplicate problem but couldn't.
–Completed tuneup: sparkplugs, cap, rotor, air filter, fuel filter, oil change.
–Checked for computer fault codes. Found code 17. This code refers to the oxygen sensor, the fuel pressure regulator, fuel pump, and the computer itself.
–Fuel-pressure test showed fuel pressure to be just a touch above normal (if it was lower than
normal it would have been a good chance that it was source of the stalling problem). This test
was done with the car hooked to a gas analyzer which registers the fuel/air ratio.
–Replaced oxygen sensor and fuel pressure regulator, and checked these new parts with the car hooked to the gas analyzer. The car was run for quite a while and monitored throughout the day but never stalled, nor did the fuel/air ratio change at anytime. Car stalled out several days later, and a few more times after that.
–With no facts to condemn the fuel pump or computer (which are the only items left that the fault code refers to), the mechanic feels there is not much else to do except replace the fuel pump and/or computer. But these items are not cheap and there is no guarantee that they will fix the problem.
Please help. Thanks!
#17 of 455 try replace vacuum hose?
Feb 19, 2001 (11:53 am)
I had a similar problem with a used 81 buick skylark. turn out to be something as simple as the vacuum hose being old and craked. Replace the old hoses and no more problem.
#18 of 455 I'll double-check the hoses
Feb 19, 2001 (12:02 pm)
Leo, thanks for your suggestion. I'll have my mechanic check out the hoses. Because the car had the stalling probably not just late in life but also early, I wouldn't think a recently-cracked hose would be responsible, but perhaps there's a bizarre crack that's been there years and only acts up occasionally. I'll let you know. --ny10
Mar 03, 2001 (8:46 pm)
We had the excaact same problem with our 323. It seemed to happen more when it was hot out I found. Anyways, I used to get so good at predicting when it would happend that I would just turn the ignition off while driving down the highway and then starting the car again. That usually resets what ever is causing the problem and you are good to go.
Anyways, we took our car to a mechanic and he changed or cleaned something...which seemed to work for about a week but then it started up again. I decided I should change the PCV valve becuase it blocks up and supposedly can cuause that problem...and it seems to have worked. It's only like 5 or 10 bucks so I'd try it. You can get it at any auto parts store. It's a little black thing on the top of the engine with a 90 degree turn to it...one side is in the engine, the other side has a small hose attached to it. Actually you can take it off and try to clean it, you should be able to feel something moving around innside.
Hope it helps, not sure if you already tried it. I agree, this is one of the best little cars you can buy. Way better than a honda civic of the same year...more power and quite nimble this car.
#20 of 455 Just bought a 323
Mar 04, 2001 (8:22 pm)
I just bought a 1994 Mazda 323 hatchback for CA$3800. The car has 147000km, which is about 91000 miles. I've heard that this is the most reliable car that Mazda ever built and that it is very easy on gas. Was this a good buy?
#21 of 455 bissu
Mar 05, 2001 (6:28 pm)
whether you deal was a good one really depends on the condition of the car. Is yours an automatic or stick shift ?
#22 of 455 It's automatic
Mar 05, 2001 (7:41 pm)
It's good condition. No rust, there's a small dent on the side but I bought it from a dealer so they'll fix the dent and clean up the car before I get it. They'll also service the car and get it certified. It's automatic.
#23 of 455 The price is fair
Mar 06, 2001 (5:58 pm)
for an automatic in good condition. Try to flush and refill the radiator every year. The cooling systems of 323s tend to rust after 6 or 7 years of age. And I would change the thermostat every other year too. They have a history of failing if left unchanged.
Other than these little things it is a solid small car.
#24 of 455 hatchback leak
May 17, 2001 (1:49 pm)
Got an absolutely mint 94 323 hatchback, not a mark on it. Only problem, hatch seems to be leaking in to trunk. Is the hatch fit adjustable? Can I tighten it against the seal? Is this in fact a seal leak. Also, right rear tailight seems to have water in it. Any ideas??????
#25 of 455 Leak
May 17, 2001 (2:12 pm)
Not sure about the trunk leak but the moisture-in-tailight is a common problem for this car. If I were you I will just ignore it...
Regarding the trunk leak you can find it with the help of a garden hose. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out where the leak is.