Founded in 1920, the Mazda automobile manufacturer features a wide variety of cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles and a multitude of engine options. While each engine in these vehicles features different power settings and displacements, you can use the same troubleshooting techniques for common electrical issues in all of the automobiles. Each Mazda model features a similar electrical setup, responsible for keeping the car's interior, exterior and engine parts powered during operation. Checking a few key areas in your Mazda's engine should not take very long and the sooner you are able to identify a problem, the better.
Things You'll Need
- Wrench set
- Baking Soda
- Bucket of water
- Lint-free cloth
- Petroleum jelly
- Spark plugs (variable amount based on engine)
- Spark plug wires
- Philips-head screwdriver
- Needle-nose pliers
- Carbon pile load tester
- Safety glasses
- Your Mazda's manual
Open the hood of your Mazda vehicle and locate the engine's battery. Remove each of the terminal caps that connect the positive and negative cables to the engine battery. If your car battery has any cracks on the casing, the battery should be removed and completely replaced with a newer unit. Check the terminal connecting points and battery for any signs of rust and corrosion, as this wear and damage can cause your car to slowly start or seize. Use the toothbrush, dipped in water and baking soda, to scrub away the ports on the battery and terminal cables to scrape away any rust. Wipe the metal parts of the battery with a clean, lint-free cloth once all the parts have been thoroughly scrubbed. Apply a small portion of petroleum jelly to the terminal cables to slow down the forming of corrosive material. Replace the positive terminal cable, then replace the negative terminal. Secure these terminals with the necessary wrench.
Remove the spark plug caps of your Mazda to access each spark plug and wire combination. Check each of the spark plugs for signs of wetness, overheating, corrosion or any other physical damage. Spark plugs are cheap replacement parts, so attempting to clean and reinstall these parts is useless. Pull the damaged spark plugs out of the respective slots, making a note of the spark plug gap of each individual part. Remove any spark plug wires that seem frayed and damaged, making sure that each wire is hooked up to the proper spark plug.
Start your engine to activate the car's alternator. If your car has a slow startup, the alternator and attached electrical wiring could be faulty. To check this, attach a carbon pile load tester to the engine's battery and measure the output. Check your Mazda manual for specific alternator amperage, as the alternators vary in the different Mazda models.
Tips & Warnings
- Wear gloves and protective eyewear while checking the electrical system parts of your Mazda
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