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Thread: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

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    Default Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    to start, no it's not the throttle body, yes I've taken it off the car and cleaned both sides, yes I've disconnected the battery and gone through the relearn drive cycle, no there isn't a vacuum leak, I have checked, no I don't have a stock intake or intake manifold the former is an Short ram the latter is the weapon r intake, no the fuel trims aren't out of whack, actually they are almost perfect, no the maf isn't dirty, or malfunctioning, yes the map is working just fine too, no the a/f ratio sensor isn't faulty, it's brand new, (better work, dammit cost me 170 damn dollars, screw you California emissions)

    Now that we've gotten that out of the way, here the issue. Whenever there is an electrical load above a certain amperage(I think, not sure) such as turning the steering wheel while not moving, the brights on, the a/c on, or, at the same time, the blower motor on, the blinkers on, and normal headlights on, the engine will hunt up and down, about plus or minus 250 rpm from 650 rpm(its a five speed, thus the lower idle speed). Occasionally it will also just outright stall. Battery has tested good, so has the alternaTor. All the grounds look allright, none of the wiring looks frayed. Now the reason I know it is a load issue is it will happily idle all day long at 650 rpm, not budging an inch, at all. Believe me I left it idling for about four hours one day while I puttered about the shop, monitoring the idle on a wireless obd2 reader. Didn't surge once. As soon as I turned the steering wheel to move the car, four hours in, it surged, fell surged fell and stalled. Restarted it, back to happily idling at 650 for another hour, turned the brights on, surge central. Turned the brights off, back to 650. Turned the a/c on, hunting all over the place, turned it off, one big surge up to 1200 or so, stall. Repaetable at anytime, imstant, Everytime it works. I am totally confused as to why this is happening. If anyone has suggestions I'm all ears.

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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    Just to clarify, I know there isn't a leak because I smoke tested the entire intake side. Just throwing that out. Also, I'm thinking more and more it might be voltage regulator. I have beefed up the grounds with more wires, effectively doubling the guage. (Yes that's a thing, you don't actually need to replace you can just add) and while this improved the voltage steadiness, it did not improve the hunting.

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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    @McGuyver_3 may be needed here.

    I'd suspect the regulator also, but you said you tested the alternator.


    _3

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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    If the voltage regulator doesn't fix anything, then you could start looking into the EVAP system and EGR for cleaning. Good call on the ground wires, they're not beefy enough IMO.

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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Flagrum_3 View Post
    @McGuyver_3 may be needed here.

    I'd suspect the regulator also, but you said you tested the alternator.


    _3
    Right. It will push 80 amps (using a snap on alternator cart to test load) but voltage is all over the place, and as soon as I turn the knob to apply load it starts to hunt.

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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by morganc View Post
    If the voltage regulator doesn't fix anything, then you could start looking into the EVAP system and EGR for cleaning. Good call on the ground wires, they're not beefy enough IMO.
    I cleaned the purge valve, it was throwing a code because it was sticking. Testing it it now opens and closes no problem. And no code. I have not checked the egr. I will look into that. I have a used alt coming from lkq we will see if that does anything.

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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    Ok, I'm not so much worried about the amperage coming out of the alternator. Check basic voltage of what the output is. Voltage SHOULD stay steady at around 14V. I've had a car that would spike to 19V causing all kinds of issues with the dsc but was unable to be duplicate it in my time with the car. Luckily the cars I work on are slightly more sophisticated and logged the spikes. Considering how easy it is to duplicate the issue, watch what the voltage does when you put load on it.
    Since it starts surging with any kind of load the voltage could be dropping causing issues to keep the motor running.
    Last edited by McGuyver_3; 10-07-2017 at 12:00 PM.
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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by morganc View Post
    If the voltage regulator doesn't fix anything, then you could start looking into the EVAP system and EGR for cleaning. Good call on the ground wires, they're not beefy enough IMO.
    Yes. Check the EGR valves. Replace or clean.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by McGuyver_3 View Post
    Ok, I'm not so much worried about the amperage coming out of the alternator. Check basic voltage of what the output is. Voltage SHOULD stay steady at around 14V. I've had a car that would spike to 19V causing all kinds of issues with the dsc but was unable to be duplicate it in my time with the car. Luckily the cars I work on are slightly more sophisticated and logged the spikes. Considering how easy it is to duplicate the issue, watch what the voltage does when you put load on it.
    Since it starts surging with any kind of load the voltage could be dropping causing issues to keep the motor running.
    At first the voltage dropped to a low of 9.8 and a high of 14.5. adding the extra grounds limited the drop to a low of 12.3, and the high stayed the same, right around 14.5. I found a leak on the map sensor(because the weapon r is the way it is the starter interferes with the wires, so it is turned 180 degrees to point up, not down, so a fabbed a bracket out of hardened steel, standard zigzag shape, to press straight down on the top of the sensor, and used a type of rtv on the top to seal it up. The maf was leaking also, so also rtv the top of that too. Top only, not the the little o rings. Nowhere near the sensor elements themselves) figured that may have been the issue, air leak and all, but it wasn't. Smoking confirmed all leaks were sealed. I happen to have a volt meter wired to my sound system s cap. Confirmed with voltmeter on battery posts. I also decided to try and isolate, and disconnected the amps and steroe completely but that did nothing so rules out the sound system.

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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    However, with everything off, or only minimal load, such as running lights, or heater, and SOMETIMES low beam headlights, voltage is rock steady at 14.17 volts. Dips to 13.8 usually and goes back up, and never moves.

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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    If you are dropping to 9.8 and with the upgraded grounds to 12.3 then to me that sounds like an alternator/regulator issue. The regulator is built in to the alternator. The steering on this car is also electric assisted which will bring the voltage down while driving. Because the issue only happens with load to me it points out that the alternator/regulator is no good. Now you mentioned a stereo system. A friend of mine with a 3 went through 3 or 4 alternators before breaking down and getting a custom one made. His system was just killing them. In my opinion I would start with this. Do your headlights flicker at all?

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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    Just replace your alternator dude. Everything points to a defective regulator. You might consider a high quality one also if you have a sound system.


    _3

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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by McGuyver_3 View Post
    If you are dropping to 9.8 and with the upgraded grounds to 12.3 then to me that sounds like an alternator/regulator issue. The regulator is built in to the alternator. The steering on this car is also electric assisted which will bring the voltage down while driving. Because the issue only happens with load to me it points out that the alternator/regulator is no good. Now you mentioned a stereo system. A friend of mine with a 3 went through 3 or 4 alternators before breaking down and getting a custom one made. His system was just killing them. In my opinion I would start with this. Do your headlights flicker at all?
    right. ive already ordered one, itll be here on the 16th. my sound system pulls max 2000, but usually about 1200 watts. if im listening at hearing damage volumes yes it will dim the headlights, usually no though. however, i reiterate again, voltage drop ONLY happens at idle, driving it stays at about 13.8 with everything on, no loss of power, happy as a clam. and i already knew the steering was eletric, thats how i finally figured out it was an eletrical problem in the very beginning. but again we will see if the new alt fixes things. will update when that happens.

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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    already have one on the way. i figured id continue the troubleshoot while i waited i dont like throwing parts at problems.

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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Flagrum_3 View Post
    Just replace your alternator dude. Everything points to a defective regulator. You might consider a high quality one also if you have a sound system.


    _3
    im leaning towards this. however having issues finding an ho that isnt craptastic ebay mitsubishi with mazda mounts. all the suggestions on older posts on this and other forums are either out of business or dont make one for this particular car. so if you know a rebuilder or whatever please let me know, every single one ive contacted have basically said that the housing is too small to put anything else into it

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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Smogsucks View Post
    right. ive already ordered one, itll be here on the 16th. my sound system pulls max 2000, but usually about 1200 watts. if im listening at hearing damage volumes yes it will dim the headlights, usually no though. however, i reiterate again, voltage drop ONLY happens at idle, driving it stays at about 13.8 with everything on, no loss of power, happy as a clam. and i already knew the steering was eletric, thats how i finally figured out it was an eletrical problem in the very beginning. but again we will see if the new alt fixes things. will update when that happens.

    At speeds, it is normal for the alternator to stabilize. We were messing with a friends race car and his alternator was causing all kinds of hunting issues at idle. How we found out, With my car hooked up as a jump start car it ran completely normal. Took the jumper cables off and it was messed up again. When revved to about 2k rpm it would run just fine. It has something to do with the field coil inside the alternator. Not to sure how it works but it is normal

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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    This happens because the other car (with a good voltage regulator) would be propping up the car with the bad VR. The bad car no longer has to bounce around because another electrical system is doing the work for it. The voltage regulator is constantly monitoring system voltage and decreases/increases the field voltage accordingly (decreases when system voltage is high, increases when system voltage dips). The field voltage controls the rotating electromagnet inside the alternator. Changing that voltage will change the magnetic flux from field->stator windings and thus controls the alternator output. No system on earth can truly act in real-time (there's always a time lag in any system), but as a regulator becomes faulty, it will really begin to lag causing the seeking you'd experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by McGuyver_3 View Post
    At speeds, it is normal for the alternator to stabilize. We were messing with a friends race car and his alternator was causing all kinds of hunting issues at idle. How we found out, With my car hooked up as a jump start car it ran completely normal. Took the jumper cables off and it was messed up again. When revved to about 2k rpm it would run just fine. It has something to do with the field coil inside the alternator. Not to sure how it works but it is normal

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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by McGuyver_3 View Post
    At speeds, it is normal for the alternator to stabilize. We were messing with a friends race car and his alternator was causing all kinds of hunting issues at idle. How we found out, With my car hooked up as a jump start car it ran completely normal. Took the jumper cables off and it was messed up again. When revved to about 2k rpm it would run just fine. It has something to do with the field coil inside the alternator. Not to sure how it works but it is normal
    Ok so alternator came early. Put it in everything seemed fine, seemed to fix the problem, at first. I could run everything on no problem at idle, it would kick the idle up no problem like it's supposed to, held 13.9 or 14. Took it for a drive, not far about 10 miles or so, including some freeway, worked fine. Turned the engine off, was off for about five minutes, turned the car back on and Jesus Christ what the hell is going on. Voltage all over the place, hunting all over the place, and it stalled. No load. Started it again drove a few feet, got better, but right back to where I started, same bs all over again. The chances of the regulator being bad on both the old and new are slim, so it must be something else right? Strange that it seemed to work at first though. This was in the evening so headlights were on if that helps. I'm at a loss here. What the hell is going on.

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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    Here's video of what it is doing, tach and voltage
    https://youtu.be/tU6sImefRmQ

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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    Alternators could come defective but unlikely since they are supposedly tested.

    Try simple things first like;

    Check the alternator output close to the source.

    Check that your ground cables are all good, not frayed, loose or corroded. Even add another cable if you have some large gauge wiring hanging around.

    Check your battery is fully charged also, the whole episode could have drained it considerably putting a huge strain on the alt, which would require quite a drive to charge it up.

    Btw, your video doesn't show what happens when you put a load on either.


    _3
    Last edited by Flagrum_3; 10-15-2017 at 10:21 AM.

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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Smogsucks View Post
    Here's video of what it is doing, tach and voltage
    https://youtu.be/tU6sImefRmQ
    I'm a little stumped at this at the moment, but you did mention that the alternator came from a wrecker. There is never a guarantee with used parts. It is possible that it could be bad. (I had this issue with an a/c compressor before) But like @Flagrum_3 mentioned check directly at the source. You state you have upgraded wiring so I don't think this would be much of an issue (I could be wrong)

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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by McGuyver_3 View Post
    I'm a little stumped at this at the moment, but you did mention that the alternator came from a wrecker. There is never a guarantee with used parts. It is possible that it could be bad. (I had this issue with an a/c compressor before) But like @Flagrum_3 mentioned check directly at the source. You state you have upgraded wiring so I don't think this would be much of an issue (I could be wrong)
    Its also possible he had more then one issue to begin with. One covering the other. I'm sure you've come across this in your experience.

    Did the OP get his alternator from a wreckers? I don't recall him saying so, or I missed it completely. If so then the probability of a faulty alternator goes way up.

    The reason I mentioned the ground cables is because of his comment much earlier about his lights dimming with his system use during high output. My system is equivalent in power numbers and I've never had dimming occur. He should probably check ALL grounds throughout to eliminate that as an issue is what I was getting at.

    _3
    Last edited by Flagrum_3; 10-15-2017 at 12:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    [QUOTE=Smogsucks;1351821. I have a used alt coming from lkq we will see if that does anything.[/QUOTE]

    Quote Originally Posted by Flagrum_3 View Post
    Its also probable he had more then one issue to begin with. One covering the other. I'm sure you've come across this in your experience.

    Did the OP get his alternator from a wreckers? I don't recall him saying so, or I missed it completely. If so then the probability of a faulty alternator goes way up.

    The reason I mentioned the ground cables is because of his comment much earlier about his lights dimming with his system use during high output. My system is equivalent in power numbers and I've never had dimming occur. He should probably check ALL grounds throughout to eliminate that as an issue is what I was getting at.

    _3

    Anything is possible. But OP also mentioned he had upgraded the wires, hence I don't think that is an issue. Again, i could be wrong.

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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Flagrum_3 View Post
    Alternators could come defective but unlikely since they are supposedly tested.

    Try simple things first like;

    Check the alternator output close to the source.

    Check that your ground cables are all good, not frayed, loose or corroded. Even add another cable if you have some large gauge wiring hanging around.

    Check your battery is fully charged also, the whole episode could have drained it considerably putting a huge strain on the alt, which would require quite a drive to charge it up.

    Btw, your video doesn't show what happens when you put a load on either.


    _3
    Have already done most of the grounds, I'm going to add some too. The alternator doesn't have a dedicated ground so it will get one. Will check votage at alt later today. Video is with load. Headlights are on. It will stop(usually) if there is no load.

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    Default Re: Weird idle hunting 06 mazda3 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Flagrum_3 View Post
    Alternators could come defective but unlikely since they are supposedly tested.

    Try simple things first like;

    Check the alternator output close to the source.

    Check that your ground cables are all good, not frayed, loose or corroded. Even add another cable if you have some large gauge wiring hanging around.

    Check your battery is fully charged also, the whole episode could have drained it considerably putting a huge strain on the alt, which would require quite a drive to charge it up.

    Btw, your video doesn't show what happens when you put a load on either.


    _3

    Lkq guarantees thier alternators as being in working condition. I could play the send me a new one game indefinitely with them if I really wanted to. I've had great luck with lkq in the past, but anything is possible.

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