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mikelud
#1 Posted : 27 January 2019 23:07:28(UTC)
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Hi All,

I have a 2006 MK3 2.0i option pack with a serious electrical problem. I bought it as a non runner, put a brand new battery in, flicked the key round and nothing. I can hear the fuel pump priming, the electric windows and mirrors work but the engine does not even try to turn over. There is a CEL light on, plus an ABS light. The central locking doesn't work, not doe the interior light work, and the stereo doesn't come on. I searched the forum and found a guy with exactly the same issue relating to the room fuse that powers the circuit;

https://mx5oc.co.uk/forum/yaf_postst106180_Help-needed-with-strange-electrical-problems.aspx

His room fuse was blown, mine is not. I replaced it for good measure but this did not change anything. Annoyingly the obd2 port has no power so I cannot use my bluetooth code reader to scan for codes.  

I have read that moisture in the passenger foot well is symptomatic of a broken down seal in the panel below the windscreen, and this will leak water down in to the inner fuse box within the car, causing various electrical problems. What I have not read is what specific electrical problems it caused, and if once the leak was stopped and the components dried out, things started working again, or if replacement parts were needed. I was thinking of doing a continuity test next to check the condition of the wiring in and around both fuse boxes. The car is now in my garage so slowly drying out.

If you cannot use an OBD2 port on a modern car, where would you guys start with your multimeters? Any ideas greatly appreciated! 

 

Raymond Harper
#2 Posted : 28 January 2019 07:51:47(UTC)
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Have you tried using the other key ? Maybe the battery in the key is dead. Found this on the Miata site

"This is the thread that I referred to. His wife was driving and the car just died. Not start, no OBD II connection. This is what he had to say......

"They found a short in the throttle body wiring harness which overheated some additional wiring and the connector in the engine bay fuse box. The service Manager said they can't just replace that one harness as it is all laced into the main engine bay harness. They had bypassed the circuit which was showing a short, but were still not getting a crank signal or buss. He told me they needed to replace the harness before they could figure out why there was no crank signal. Once they replaced the harness, everything came back up."

Edited by user 28 January 2019 07:52:59(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Keat63
#3 Posted : 28 January 2019 08:53:03(UTC)
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Personally I'd initially concentrate on the fuse box in the passenger footwell.

Might not be a bad idea to pull every fuse, clean them and pop the back in again.

In and around Wakefield.
Drumtochty
#4 Posted : 28 January 2019 10:18:53(UTC)
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How good are you with car electrics?

Sorry but you seem to be less than 100% on this score and I have had to repair damage caused by people who did not understand what they were doing here.

If you are experienced and disciplined and do one check at a time and understand the readings that is good, go ahead!

It is not a failure to bring someone else in if you are struggling here.

Only go ahead yourself if you are competent, no one on the forum knows your skill level.

Good luck with your investigation.
Eddie Cairns

99 Mk2 1.8IS
08 Mk3 2.0 Sport RC sold
18 Mk4 2.0 GT+
Drumtochty Glen, Auchenblae, Laurencekirk,
Aberdeenshire
mikelud
#5 Posted : 28 January 2019 10:42:05(UTC)
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Hi all, thanks for the responses so far. I only have one key but I will change the battery on the key I have as a matter of course. The V5 is now here so I can get a new key from the dealer if this one proves no good. My dad has a pristine MK3 and despite only 20,000 miles, both of his original keys play up. I think mazda could have spent a bit more on producing a better key!

The car is a second car and bought as a spring project to hopefully have up and running for the summer, so I can take my time and enjoy figuring this out.

My skill level is basic, I have done quite a few mechanical jobs on cars but not car electrics. I will start with the passenger fuse box as I have a wet carpet, and remove the interior trim panels to see what water ingress has done to the connections. I will not however do anything that cannot be reversed as I also sign up to the philosophy of if you cannot figure it out after the basics, pay the professionals!

If it is a water ingress issue the damage should be plain to see. I will photograph my progress over the next few weeks and ensure this thread is completed once I figure it out, to hopefully help someone else who may have a similar problem.

If you think of any other suggestions let me know and I will investigate them all. Thanks
jingars
#6 Posted : 28 January 2019 11:02:38(UTC)
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Suggest that as a first step you attend to the windscreen scuttle grommets that cause the water ingress. This is a common issue on Mk 3s. Details are available on here and elsewhere, but you need to be an OC member to access this site's Downloads section.

The battery in the key fob is for remote locking facility only; the key has a transponder chip which is the security to start the engine when you turn the key in the ignition.

The transponder chip in the key needs to be paired to the car, so you need the car operational on the current key before you can get a second sorted.

As you write, get the interior trim stripped and see what is occurring around the fuse box.

Edited by user 28 January 2019 11:03:49(UTC)  | Reason: Spelling

Keat63
#7 Posted : 28 January 2019 14:34:50(UTC)
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In my experience in cars gone past, the transponder chip in the fob won't stop the car from turning over.

It just stops the ignition from firing.

 

If the engine doesn't turn over, I'd rule out the chip at this stage.

Maybe someone can confirm that this is the case with the NC.

In and around Wakefield.
jingars
#8 Posted : 28 January 2019 15:38:12(UTC)
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Currently I am seeking to get a second key working on my 59 plate Mk3, having broken the existing one by being a ham-fisted idiot. I now have a key with a blank transponder and am struggling with the Forscan package and an OBDII reader.

In my experience (i.e. I have just been outside to try it) using a key with a transponder which has not been paired with the car will result in the flashing "padlock" symbol on the dash and no firing of the engine - which is what you want with a security feature.

My post was to suggest to the OP that at this point he ignore the key as a cause, sort the source of the water ingress and then move on to any diagnostics to sort the electrics.

OBDII port should be permanently powered. My reader lights up as soon as it is plugged in, even with no key inserted.

Additionally, I use the OBDII port to connect an Optimate battery conditioner, which again works without any key.

mikelud
#9 Posted : 31 January 2019 15:16:52(UTC)
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Hi all, quick update on the issue. I have been through and checked all the fuses in both the engine bay and passenger foot well. All the fuses are good.

I have also got hold of the Haynes manual wiring diagrams, and the interactive NC2 wiring diagrams that were posted up online. According to the diagrams the OBD2 port is one of the simplest circuits fed by the room fuse. It has a permanent live feed from the room fuse via a blue and red cable. The room fuse is fed from the main fuse and seemingly this is either through the fuse block or via a cable (not sure until I pull this apart).

My next test will be a continuity test to figure out if power is getting from the main fuse to the room fuse, then if it is, is power getting from the room fuse to the obd live feed port via the blue and red cable. With power the OBD bluetooth reader should power up, even if it cannot read anything due to potential other faults on the other connections.

All the issues seem to stem from the room fuse circuit, and I predict the blue and red cable to the OBD port will be fine. I think the issue is somewhere between the main fuse and the room fuse. As the fuel pump, electric windows and other circuits are all operational. I do not think the main 120amp fuse has blown or I would have no electrics at all. I am not ruling out the passenger foot well fusebox as part of the cause but the ODB2 circuit is so basic I am starting there.

Updates to follow...
PR-Yorkshire
#10 Posted : 31 January 2019 18:07:28(UTC)
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In these situations after checking the fuses I always follow the voltage into and out of the fusebox and then into the next component in the circuit.

Also suggest checking the earth points at the battery and on the engine and body.
2007 2.0l Mk3 Copper Red
Gerryn
#11 Posted : 31 January 2019 21:37:18(UTC)
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I don't usually say anything critical, but in this instance, quite frankly - you've bought a pig in a poke. Did you do any research before looking for a Mk3 2 litre car? If so, you would have learned that the 2 litre engine is thirsty on oil, and oil levels are critical. If not carefully monitored seized engines are not uncommon - that's for starters. No-one in their right mind would contemplate buying a 'non-runner', without some closer examination first - you have no idea what you are getting into unless you do some basic checks.

Many car buyers today have no idea of what car maintenance really means, presumably you just bought one that illustrates that point. - I'll give you one personal example, My son. Now in his forties, but this is only his second car, and maintenance is a word he doesn't recognise. He bought a 2 litre Mazda CX5 last year (same engine as the Mk3, except this is a better version.) I warned him just after he bought it to keep a close eye on the oil level, and he just shrugged. Mentioned it at least twice since, and he muttered "The car is sill under warranty". - That means nothing, if you don't look after it. Same with tyre pressure, coolant levels etc. - they all need checking periodically. A 'Good price' can often be misleading - it often means "I really want to get rid of this wreck"

However, having got this off my chest, let's see how we can help you. It appears as far as electrics are concerned, you apparently are a beginner, pardon me if I'm wrong - no desire to insult you, as Eddie said above, we have no idea of what you can and cannot do.

Your first post asked if anyone could help you as the OBD port wasn't working. Since then, you've now acquired an OBD reader - does that now work? We need to know if the reader works - or not. Next step is to buy a multi-meter, you can't check all the electrics without one. No need to buy an expensive one, Both Halfords and Amazon sell reasonable meters for around £15 to £20. You need one with a 12/24 volt (DC) scale, plus the ability to read Ohms (resistance) and preferably with a buzzer that you can use for fuse and wire checks, - for continuity. All Mazda's are positive battery fed, with the battery negative lead connected via straps and some wiring to Earth - (The body of the car), also used as a main earth for local wiring. Any multi-meters will also read other voltages, either lower and higher DC volts, current flow - to a maximum or usually 10/12 Amps and other readings. Ignore the others for now, read the instructions that come with the meter, and you will understand (hopefully) how to use it. In that price range, you can either have an analogue (meter with scale and a moving pointer) or a digital - often recommended these days. Unless the meter works well, that's the useful point. -- All meters require batteries, the secret is to avoid 9 volt ones (more expensive).

Next - go here: http://www.mellens.net/mazda/ This is an American website where you can download both mechanical and electrical diagrams for most MX5 cars, just pick the year closest to your model. Now, Mellens electrical diagrams are good, if you are a mechanic, not a lot if use if you are a dedicated auto electrician, as they appear to be colour coded, but these colours do not apply to any Mazda cars. Basically, it's a guide for mechanics, with some electrical knowledge. So Red indicates a 'live' (positive wire) and Black a negative. Other colours are for guidance only - they don't relate to actual wiring colour is any car.
I would strongly suggest you print the electric diagrams, But avoid the blank pages in between, one for every page showing a circuit. A laptop does have it's advantages, but working on the car is not the ideal place for a laptop, printing is easier, better and safer.

At this point, we go back to school (if your school ever taught basic electricity) Take any battery, and with an equivalent voltage bulb and a switch, you connect the positive side from the battery to an open contact (pole) of the switch, connect another wire to the other switch contact which then goes to the lamp, and from the other side of the lamp you connect back to the negative side of the battery. Voila - throw the switch (not literally) and you have a working electrical circuit. Most cars built today follow this basic principal, except that where the actual load (multiple circuits or lights as an example) need more current draw than the actual lamp does at the end of the wire, so they use a 'relay ' instead. Relays are simple devices which are used to pass heavier loads than a normal switch does, even though a switch after the relay is not uncommon. Best part of a relay is it's easy to replace, though not always cheap as chips.
A relay is in effect, an electromechanical device that uses a coil as a magnet, which closes a contact to which live (positive) is connected and then allows the distribution of the live to other circuits. You'll find a lot of these in any car. The coil is often energised by a switch on the dash, but can also be fed from other relays or devices in the car - like the ECU for instance. This is why modern cars are so electrically complicated.

O/K so far? Right, lets investigate your problem, best we can anyway. From what I said at the beginning, first step is check the oil level in the sump. I understand most Mk3 owners have trouble reading the original oil level stick, but AFAIK it will show some oil level - it should be full. If it isn't then we start worrying. Next step is electrics - check ALL the fuses for any having blown, replace any that are so affected. This may not fix anything, but better safe than sorry. You can either do a visual check, but better to use either the buzzer or the Ohms scale to check they are O/K, visual checks can be misleading. Reading on the Ohms scale should be zero. (low resistance) - Buzzer is easier. One lead from meter to one fuse blade, the other to the other blade. (make sure you plugged into the meter Ohms socket!) When checking for voltage, hopefully you bought a meter with two separate leads, one with plugs for the meter, and the other end is with a needle point probe. The other set will have meter plugs and crocodile clips for the detecting end. If you only have the latter, use the red (positive lead) for voltage and clip it to a thin bladed screwdriver blade, so you have a circuit. Take the black croc clip and make sure it clamps onto something directly connected to the car body (Negative side) - like a screw, small bolt, or anything that fits into the car body. - Don't forget to check the meter selection and the leads are plugged into a DC voltage socket!

According to Hoyle (who only ever wrote rules for card players, so is now a figure of speech) The live (positive) side of any fuse board should be the top terminal,but car makers make their own rules, so check with the red probe or the thin screwdriver that all top sockets in the fuse board are actually 'live', if they aren't check the other side. Once determined, remember it (if you can) it may not help immediately, but may do in the immediate or future sense. - Depends on how far you get. Logic says, if there is positive at one socket, then if the fuse is good, there will be positive at the other end, leading out from the fuse board.

Now - Engine start problem. Known variety of causes, each a question of trial and error. However, at least you can check all the wiring is good, and any relays also are in working order. Best way IMHO - is disconnect the battery negative lead, and using th buzzer or the Ohms scale, check each wire for a good reading (Buzz or low resistance) Relay coils generally are high resistance, as they pass little current for the coil, but check each coil to see if you can read resistance or not. Might be a short or open circuit. If in doubt - replace but check you are reading across the coil, and not one of the contacts,. Coil pins are generally easy to identify, they are two separate pins at one end if the relay base. If you are checking the main starter leads, be careful, make sure you don't accidently connect the positive lead (heavy duty) to earth (car body) you'll get an almighty flash and a bang. - But not if the battery negative has been disconnected first. Bear that in mind while checking voltage anywhere! Also - remember that if you disconnect the battery negative, you cannot check voltage anywhere as there's no negative circuit.

Rule of thumb, dis (disconnect) battery negative if conducting resistance or continuity checks, but connect if you wish to read voltage - at which point, be careful. Continuity checks on one thin wire to other end, even covering the whole car, should be low-ohms for resistance, and sound the buzzer if good, depending how you select the meter reading. Major task I'm afraid, but my immediate suspicions in order would be 1) seized engine 2) starter motor failure 3) fuse failure or 4) Other major problems.

If you can't find the problem, try and get hold of a good mechanic or auto electrician, experienced on Mazda cars for sure. The car may even have to be trailered away. (Not to the scrapyard I hope)
PM me for further explanation of any of the above.

Good luck.
'Five is Alive' Formerly 2002 Mk2.5 Sport- now sold.
RichardFX
#12 Posted : 01 February 2019 10:24:57(UTC)
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Hmm, are you certain that the OBDII reader is fully plugged in? I thought mine was faulty until I applied a lot more force and it then clicked in. Just as tough to remove!

 

2008 Niseko NC 2.0
2016 Mazda3 SE-L Nav 2.0
mikelud
#13 Posted : 10 February 2019 16:43:37(UTC)
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Hi All,

Quick update on the saga so far, I bought a power probe 3, which is a clever electrical tester. It can read voltages and positive / ground sides of things. I went back over the fuses in the engine bay, and all fuses were still good but the room fuse had no 12v power supply. The supply from the battery to the fuse box was there, but the room fuse and some other circuits were dead. The fuel pump was kicking in, but after checking the wiring diagram this is fed directly from the battery through its own independent fuse.

The issue was therefore between the main fuse and the room fuse. The main fuse is on the side of the fuse panel, so I disconnected the battery and unclipped the fuse carrier and the main 120amp fuse was blown.

As far as I am aware a main fuse blowing but not affecting the other fuses, would suggest a short somewhere between the battery and the fuse box. Or it could be a combination of circuits running over voltage caused by something else such as water ingress.


In answer to some of the questions, OBD2 port is definitely dead and the reader was seated correctly. The engine is not seized and its oil level is fine. I bought the car as a project, and a bit of a gamble. It was cheap as a non runner so I thought what the heck. If I can save it then great.

I believe the fuse will have blown due to some larger issue, somewhere else in the circuit. The power probe should help me track it down, so once the new fuse is fitted I will continue the search and keep you posted on my progress.

Any other ideas or experience of the main fuse blowing I would be interested to hear about. Thanks
Ian_G
#14 Posted : 10 February 2019 17:07:14(UTC)
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If you want to save yourself buying and replacing a lot of fuses, put a 12 volt bulb in place of the fuse. When fuse would be blowing the bulb will be illuminated. If you find the short the bulb will go out.

Ian
Gerryn
#15 Posted : 10 February 2019 19:19:58(UTC)
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Main fuse blown? - Not necessarily a fault, it could be down to using a booster battery, and connecting it the wrong way round (Neg to Pos and vice versa) Same thing happened to my car, when I asked a friend to run mine while I was recovering from an operation. This blew both main and room fuse, which I had to replace.
He is unfortunately, a good mechanic but a lousy electrician!

Only clue I had was afterwards, when he returned the booster battery, saying (sheepishly) "Er - which is positive on your car battery?" Followed by "The cars as dead as a dodo now, nothing works,- - - - I think you need to check the fuses."

Might be why the car was sold? - But, in the other hand, you said the fuses were 'live' when you first checked voltage with the probe, ("Fuel pump running") but you did disconnect and remove the room fuse holder - a case of you did it, and not the previous owner? A flash and a bang would be an indication that you caused a short circuit when pulling the fuse holder (we all make mistakes, so an honest reply will not disgrace you) Main question here would be "Did you disconnect the Negative Battery lead first?" You claim so.

Partly my fault, I must admit, without checking the Mellens circuit for you car, I am aware that not all fuses will read 'live' when checking, so are brought into circuit when RUN is selected on the ignition switch, and some in the lighting circuits are also affected - the car has be in either ACCS for that position, (car radio as an example) or in RUN for engine and other selections. The Mellens diagrams should show this? - that's why I say Mellebns is for guidance, a red line may not indicate power (positive is there) but merely a flow path when those items are selected by the ignition switch position - or some lighting selections too. This can be misleading. You need to read the diagrams carefully, and look for any breaks in the circuit between Main Battery and component. A break can be a switch, or a relay contact, both should be clear, but without checking myself, I can't say if they are or not.
'Five is Alive' Formerly 2002 Mk2.5 Sport- now sold.
Keat63
#16 Posted : 11 February 2019 09:15:28(UTC)
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Gerryn has a good point here.

 

My friend has an early MR2, where he recently fitted the battery the wrong way around.

This took out a fused link.

Not a fuse, as such, but a short length of wire which acts like a fuse.

This was hidden inside the wiring harness, and took him a few days to locate.

 

 I guess it's unlikely, but does the MX5 have anything similar ???

Edited by user 11 February 2019 09:18:01(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

In and around Wakefield.
Gerryn
#17 Posted : 11 February 2019 17:57:44(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Keat63 Go to Quoted Post

Gerryn has a good point here.

 

My friend has an early MR2, where he recently fitted the battery the wrong way around.

This took out a fused link.

Not a fuse, as such, but a short length of wire which acts like a fuse.

This was hidden inside the wiring harness, and took him a few days to locate.

 

 I guess it's unlikely, but does the MX5 have anything similar ???

 

 

NO (thank god) The main fuse protects the car from reverse battery connection. I'm amazed that an MR2 has this feature, or where it's located. - Also a risk if damage to the loom, or worse case, a fire?

 

'Five is Alive' Formerly 2002 Mk2.5 Sport- now sold.
mikelud
#18 Posted : 12 February 2019 20:34:58(UTC)
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Well everyone, ordered the fuse from Mazda yesterday and it arrived this morning. I went back to the car, fitted the fuse (which is quite tricky as it has two nuts that fall out when undone and fall down into the fuse box lower section - small magnet is useful here) and tested with the probe with the ignition in the on position. The room fuse now had a 12v live supply.

Next before starting the engine I plugged in the OBD reader into the now energized socket and read for fault codes. No codes detected - a great start. Interior lights, radio and OBD all back on.

Now when the key is entered and the ignition set to the the on position the speedo and rev counter no longer do a full sweep. I turned the key not expecting much as the MOT history shows the car was last on the road in 2015 and I had put no fresh petrol in. Flicked the key round and with 2 turns max it fired into life and sounded fantastic.

The DSC off warning light is flashing but all other lights went out. I put the car in gear and it drove forward and back without issue. The only downside is the brakes were seized on so I had to remove the front seized calipers in order to get the car to roll when I first put it in the garage. This meant I could not do a longer test, so I ran it for just a minute or two. The temperature gauge was at the mid point with the needle just fluctuating up and down a bit even in that short time. I did not check the coolant level or the system for leaks so I will do this before I run it again, hopefully nothing serious there.

Very happy that it started. Time will tell if the fuse will blow again (i bought a spare just in case), or if it was caused by another problem elsewhere. The car was bought through COPART as a non runner, so they may have tried to jump it in their yard as the original battery in the car was dead. Although I am doubtful you would get the polarity wrong as the positive terminal has a red rubber boot on the connection. I do not know why it was disposed of through the auctions but I have the original V5 so I will write to the previous keeper and see if they remember anything.

Updates to follow when I have daylight and new calipers fitted.

RichK
#19 Posted : 12 February 2019 20:59:06(UTC)
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Thats good news, take it you know the proceedure to stop the DSC flashing ?

ZSport Mk3 2007
Keat63
#20 Posted : 13 February 2019 10:54:36(UTC)
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Result Sealed

 

To extinguish the DSC light...... with the engine running, turn the steering from lock to lock.

Also. be aware that the ECU will need to relearn, so tickover may be erratic.

 

This can usually be cured by taking the car for a decent run, or let it idle for about 10 minutes.

In and around Wakefield.
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