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  • No spark, intermittent spark

    1991 Festiva: Have changed everything ignition, new distributor, rotor, coil, cap, wires plugs, ignitor, ignition switch, cleaned grounds to engine block, cleaned all plug-in connections under battery, cleaned the 3 fusible links, changed cam position sensor with used one. Car starts sometimes and then wont start. Have yet to change brain box undet drivers seat. Yhanks, Jay, New Mexico

  • #2
    Looks liike you tried everything. On the fuel injected cars the inlet to the air cleaner has a door that's wired to the computer. When the door gets dirty and won't work the engine won't start or has other problems. I drive the carburetted model so don't know much about it but it gets mentioned on here every so often. Try a search under "MAF" and see if that might be your problem. Good luck.

    PS What technique are you using to measure spark?
    Last edited by WmWatt; 04-24-2021, 07:28 AM.
    Original owner of silver grey carburetted 1989 Festiva. 105k km as of June 2006.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jay1 View Post
      1991 Festiva: Have changed everything ignition, new distributor, rotor, coil, cap, wires plugs, ignitor, ignition switch, cleaned grounds to engine block, cleaned all plug-in connections under battery, cleaned the 3 fusible links, changed cam position sensor with used one. Car starts sometimes and then wont start. Have yet to change brain box undet drivers seat. Yhanks, Jay, New Mexico
      The box under the drivers seat is just to control the automatic shoulder belts. The brain box is way up on the fire wall above the clutch.

      DId you change the ignition control module?
      https://www.ebay.com/itm/16477128117...75.c101224.m-1

      But don't pay $97 for one... I have a couple of extra and if you haven't I will ship you one for $15 postage paid.

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      • #4
        Yes, changed ICM (I called it an ognitor), took one off my other 91, was not that.

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        • #5
          Just look at spark with plug out attached to wire, held against metal, no spark. Wont start

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          • #6
            Maybe pull the ignition wire from the coil at the distributor end and test for spark there to possibly eliminate the distributor and everythign after that. When I did it I pulled the boot back and spraying with WD-40 helps the boot slide on the insulation, or maybe you have a piece of rod or heavy wire to stick inside the boot.

            There are fuses inside the cabin on the driver's side under dash. Don't know what they're all for but wouldn't hurt to check.
            Last edited by WmWatt; 04-25-2021, 08:51 AM.
            Original owner of silver grey carburetted 1989 Festiva. 105k km as of June 2006.

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            • #7
              Will try coil wire check, already checked, cleaned fusible links and checked all fuses in fuse box. Starts sometimes, not starting at all now.

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              • #8
                As 1990new wrote the symptoms do point to the ignitor. They are heat sensitive and when they start to go the car heats up and the engine cuts out. Wait for 10 min for the engine to cool and the car starts up again. Finally the ignitor goes and the engine won't start. That's how mine went and other people reported the same on this site. The ignitor is under the distrubutor cap bedded in dielectric heat transfer paste to insulate it from electricity and heat. For a time they mounted the Festiva ignitor outside the distributor on the fender or firewall. Some parts suppliers used to test them for free. The ignitor is also called "transistorized points" and the guy at the parts store where I got mine declared dead said people use to bring in a lot of them off GM cars but at the time hardly anyone brought them in to be tested any more. My car was laready old by then.
                Original owner of silver grey carburetted 1989 Festiva. 105k km as of June 2006.

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                • #9
                  I'd look real hard at the electrical portion of the ignition switch. Put a 12v test light on the positive post of the coil, turn the ignition switch to run position look for a light. Wiggle the key does the light blink on and off. Remove the lead from the starter solenoid turn the key. To start and wiggle it a little while watching your light.
                  30 + Vehicle projects right now.7 Festiva/Mazda 10 GM IDK how many others,hope that helps explain all the stupid questions/shortcuts/interchanges etc. trying to liquidate so I concentrate on the good ones. Goal finish 1 amonth using as much stuff as I already have accumulated.

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                  • #10
                    Ok, I will look at ignition switch again, did try different switch and still no spark.

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                    • #11
                      Ok, I will look at ignition switch again, did try different switch and still no spark.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jay1 View Post
                        Ok, I will look at ignition switch again, did try different switch and still no spark.
                        Here is a link to some good information about how the ICM works in general.
                        https://repairpal.com/ignition-control-module

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                        • #13
                          If you think the ignition switch may be the problem, sometimes spraying WD-40 or contact cleaner or introducing pemetrating oil into the key hole and working it in with the key will fix the problem.
                          Original owner of silver grey carburetted 1989 Festiva. 105k km as of June 2006.

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                          • #14
                            Got car to start and run, replaced fusible links with in-line fuse links, still starting so far. Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jay1 View Post
                              Got car to start and run, replaced fusible links with in-line fuse links, still starting so far. Thanks everyone for your suggestions.
                              Thats good to hear.. hope it continues to run.

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