Weird electrical problem - won't start - Mazda Forum

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Old 01-05-2009, 06:27 PM
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Help me out guys! i was driving my wife's 97 millenia s today and it just shut off on me while i'm driving down the road. unbelievably it did it just in time for me to coast just about to an auto zone. i pulled over and put it in park and tried to start the car but nothing happens. i still have power to the radio and everything appears to work right, but no cranking at all. so i go poking around under the hood looking for loose battery cables, or obvious grounds and i don't see any. i checked all the fuses and everything seems to be in line so i didn't know what to do next. i put my wife behind the wheel and push the car into the auto zone parking lot and go get someone to come test the obd II. i forgot to mention that after i checked the fuses and stuff i disconnected the battery for five or ten minutes. when the guy checks the codes nothing comes up(i know thats not accurate because i have a bad rear o2 sensor) and he asks me whats wrong. i tell him the car died and won't start, and to prove it i turn the key while the scanner is still plugged into the port under the dash and it cranks over! so i tell him thats weird and thanks, he goes inside i jump in the car and turn the key.... nothing. again. not even an attempt to crank over.

my question is: has anyone on here had a similar experience? Does anyone know what sensor or short i'm looking at or am i really hosed and its the computer? last, if it is the computer, can a comp from a 2.5 base model run my S model? i've always gotten great help here guys so thanks in advance. also, today is my daughters birthday(yes, really) and we had to cut the chuck-e-cheese trip=( **** of a day i guess. thanks.
-Chris
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:46 PM
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Very strange. You might try...

http://members.cox.net/sciberpunkt/tech/sy...engine/no-crank

...and let us know what you find.
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:00 AM
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No a computer from a 2.5 will not run a 2.3 S dont even try it.
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:06 AM
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i took a look at that link but so far have not been able to fix this. i went back to auto zone earlier today and had them hook the scanner back up to the car. before i did though i turned the key and nothing, no cranking or attempt at all, but when we plugged the scanner in the car started right up and ran normally. i left it on for a minute, and as soon as i pulled the scanner out of the obd II port under the dash, the car immediately dies. so, from this little experiment i now know that my engine isn't seized, the computer is goo, the starter is good, the battery is good, the fuses are good, the ignition switch is good. i'm not sure where this leaves me? i want to lean towards something along the lines of theft deterent, but don't really think so. what i'm thinking is that when the scanner is plugged in the computer is 'jumping' terminals and by-passing whatever is causing my problem, therefore.... a bad sensor? what the heck could be causing this? i know on my firebird people will sometimes use a paper clip to 'jump terminals' on the plug under the dash and it bypasses the computer signal to the fuel pump and will automatically power the fuel pump from 12v battery power. it seems like that is more or less happening in this case. if thats the case, is there a way i can actually bypass this with a paper clip in order to drive the car home? does this clue help narrow down my faulty sensor/circuit? another thing i thought i would mention is that the scanner is pulling NO codes and when they had earlier hooked up the scanner, and also when i went back and verified the car would start with the scanner on, the a/c kicked on like it does when the computer is re-set. problem is i hadn't disconnected the battery since it had initally stalled and i wanted to try and re-set the computer to hopefully start it. obviously i have some sort of electrical gremlin, but any help i can get would be appreciated because i don't know where to start. anyone have a diagram of the obd II 'pigtail' connector under the dash?
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:08 AM
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i won't try the 2.5 computer, was just asking in case my computer had been fried. i've been down to the local pull-a-part looking for a cup holder and the only milly they have is a base.
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Old 01-06-2009, 03:33 AM
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Could this have something to do with the park/neutral switch? i'm looking everywhere for a diagram that shows what pins are in this obd II scanner, anybody have one? i have got to find out what is causing this car to run only when the obd II scanner is plugged in! not only will she not run, but not even try to turn over until the the scanner is plugged in. any ideas?
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Old 01-06-2009, 04:29 PM
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Thats sounds odd, most scanners only have 4 active pins. 1 communication port, 2 grounds, and 1 power(+). If it doesnt start in P try it in N. If it still doesnt start that isnt your problem.
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Old 01-06-2009, 10:57 PM
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yeah, i tried it in park and neutral and jiggled the shifter around and all kinds of craziness. nothing. won't even crank. only when the scanner is plugged in does it seem to have all systems running normally. does anyone have a diagram of what is going to the different pins on the scanner? if there is only 4 active pins on the scanner than whatever its plugging into would have to be my problem, right? well, i mean, if the scanner is providing the 'proper signal' to the computer when its plugged in then when i disconnect it the signal can be traced back to a faulty circuit/switch/sensor, correct? thats what i've been after, but i can't find a diagram anywhere. the reason i asked about the neutral safety switch is that i wasn't sure if the computer is looking for a signal from it for diagnostics. plus, it seems like such an easy troubleshoot and fix... lol. oh well. any ideas then?
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:20 AM
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I am thinking somewhere along the lines of a small short circuit that may have messed up your ECU while driving and now it needs the sanner to complete a needed circuit in the ECU. Very rare, but it does happen but I could be wrong so dont replace the ECU just yet.

If I am not wrong pin 2 is the communication 4 and 5 are grounds and pin 16 is power.

What your saying about the firebird is through the diagnostic port which is different than the OBDII port, you have a diagnostic port under your hood near the firewall. I would not try to jump anything on the OBDII port since the ECU is very sensitive to excess current running through it.

Hmm let me find some info out at school and I will post here tommorow.
-Steven

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Old 01-07-2009, 02:31 AM
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well, now things got even more interesting tonight. i decided to swing by on the way home (car still sitting in auto-zone parking lot) and just see if the car would turn over. stranger things have happened when it comes to electrical gremlins, right? well, stranger things did happen and the car started right up and i drove it home. not sure what the story is.=/ might be permanent, or it could leave me stranded tomorrow morning, but at least i got to drive it home tonight. problem is the one constant i had, the code scanner, is no longer an issue. not sure where this leaves me. any ideas? i guess i have to re-think this as just a no-start condition? hard to accept that though when all this started because the car shut off on me while i was driving.
any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated, and i'll be sure to update tomorrow to see if she's still running. oh, the cel came back on when i started her up(i have a bad o2 sensor and possibly cat near the firewall). i'll see what pops up for codes and post that too. thanks.
-Chris
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