First of all, I am the owner of a 2000 Mazda 626, 4cyl.
I've been having an intermittent starting problem off and on for several years now. When the problem first appeared, it would happen maybe once every six months. The problem has progressed, and now it is happening maybe once per week.
The problem is I try to start the car, and I can hear the starter cranking just fine, but there is no spark and the engine will not start. When this problem happens, if I sit and wait anywhere from 3 to 15 minutes, eventually the car will start and run with no problems.
The strange part of this problem is when the car is not starting, there are no dashboard lights (airbag, seatbelt, low oil, and other warnings) and the digital odometer will not display when I turn the key. Normally, these lights momentarily light up when I turn the key to start...kind of a "lights check", but not when the problem is happening. Everything else electric in the car works fine during the problem - windows, radio, AC/heater, etc.
This problem happens if the car is hot, cold, and in all kinds of weather.
I would appreciate any suggestions as to troubleshooting steps or ideas as to what this could be. It happens so intermittently that I am never at or near an auto shop when it is happening, so I have never been able to get a mechanic to take a look at it. Plus, when it does happen, it only lasts for a max of 15 minutes, so my chances of getting a professional to look at it are relatively slim.