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Flashing Check Engine Light


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#1
David Elliott

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Our 2001 Mazda 626 has about 158,000 miles... last night my wife was driving it and about 3 miles from home, the check engine light started flashing and the car was running rough.

I changed oil (which was about due) and the oil level looked really low before I changed it. I also changed the plugs, but there is no change in the engine. The engine is shaking a bit as well.

I'm not sure what to check next. I'm afraid to get it over to Pep Boys to run a diagnostic... any input is appreciated!

#2
alucard

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welcome to the forums, sorry to hear about your problem. as a start point are there any other symptoms? smoke? does it idle fine? any funny smells/noises? and any fluids dripping out of the bottom of it?

i'm afraid an engine running rough could be caused by so many things we might be stabbing in the dark for a while... i'll get back to you with a way to pull your own codes from the engine...

#3
David Elliott

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Thanks,

I do know the check engine light comes on (steady) for a few days and shuts off for a few days. Other than the engine running rough, nothing else is amiss! The engine vibrates and shakes... and no fluid leaks

I may be brave and bring it to Pep Boys...

#4
dan atkins

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since you changed the plugs and just did an oil change look to see if you bumped a Vacuum line off just in case it is that simple of a fix..

Welcome to the boards .


Dan

#5
alucard

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http://www.mazda626....ng-or-scanning/
check here for your code pulling tricks, the two pins you want are:
E = GND = ground
and
C = TEN = diagnostic-mode input (engine control computer)

#6
djdevon3

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Alucard, since you have an 2002 do you know if it's possible to jumper pins with an OBD-II car. Do you have the same diagnostic box near the fuse box that the 93-95's have where you can jumper it and use the check engine light?

Vibration is associated with rough running. Two go hand in hand. What's different is really bad almost violent shaking of the engine or interior dash. Had that happen to me. Can you get some video or audio so we can see/hear the vibration. The longer the video or audio the better.

#7
David Elliott

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Dan, I will check the hoses, but the rough running was the reason I changed the oil (overdue, actually) and the plugs. I will have to get a video as soon as I can...

#8
dan atkins

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another item item to look for is the FPR (Fuel Pressure Regulator) mine was running funny this time last year and it was the FPR leaking thou the Vacuum hose..

Dan

#9
djdevon3

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That caused vibration? I would have thought it would stall. If it's borderline stalling yeah that will certainly cause a heavy vibration but it should have an erratic idle, it shouldn't run that rough all the time. Weird. I'll have to remember that one.

David, something else you could try is taking out the spark wires one at a time and see if the engine runs worse each time (which it should). Are you sure it's just running rough and not misfiring? If it doesn't then you've found a bad ignition wire. Don't overlook rough running issues because of bad spark. Visually inspect each wire for rubbing, fraying, or arcing to the block. It's possible spark is lost through the boot itself so inspect the inside of the boots the best you can for carbon tracks.



#10
dan atkins

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once in a wile yes.. but it took me a month to finally figure it out..and I was surprised to find it was the FPR as I have never had to change a Mazda one before.. not only that this is my Daily Driver and working 7 days a week does not give me a whole lot of time to play\fix the cars..

Dan

#11
applesauce

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David, do you have a 2.0 I4 or the 2.5 v6? The blinking CEL means that it is detecting an ongoing problem, in your case likely a misfire detected. My next guess would be the spark plug wires.
Many of the local parts stores can loan you a code reader and that may help to narrow the chase.
btw I had a v6 that often had trouble with a random misfire, but it certainly wasn't a cheap fix. I'll have to check exactly what that was.

#12
David Elliott

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It is a 4 cyl... I changed the plug wires within the last year, so I doubt it's those, although anythings possible.

I will check all hoses... I do know there is a large one from the air filter that takes in fresh air (it appears) that was all cracked up... as a quick fix I wrapped it pretty good with electrical tape. However, if that one was as bad as that, there may be others that are needing to be replaced, too...

#13
djdevon3

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Go to AutoZone, get a free code scan.

#14
David Elliott

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All right... here is a video I just took. The vacuum lines all seem ok... I put a new PCV valve in about 8 month ago. My wife thinks it is a motor mount, but I don't think it's that (so I need input). There is an ozone smell coming from the exhaust, too... so I'm not knowing if a catalytic converter problem would do something like this.

djdevon... we have an AutoZone nearby but I have tried to get a free code scan from them in the past and was turned away... maybe that's changed.

VIDEO

#15
David Elliott

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I wanted to check the distributor, but it is a distributorless system. My Haynes book says to replace if the module is cracked, but the cracks I see are by two of the mounting holes (on the edges) and not in the module itself.

There are two weird looking hoses in the back of the engine... they are woven and very lightweight. One looks like it is unweaving apart, but I don't know what these hoses are for and I don't want to mess with them, as they are hard to get to...




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