My 98 stalls when I put it in 'reverse' first...


Asked by Apr 13, 2009 at 08:49 AM about the 1998 Mazda Protege

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Ok, so this is a weird one. I've asked dozens of people and no one has had an answer yet, I'm just really curious... FYI I have a '98 Protege.

Here goes... If my car is parked somewhere for awhile, like while I'm at home or at work, when I go to back out of the spot, it often stalls within a couple seconds, even if I have it running for a little while I find a radio station or something. It only does it maybe 1 time out of 10 and more often when it's cold, though it's happened when it's in the 60s and 70s too. What's really confusing me is that it NEVER stalls when I'm in drive, and it never stalls if I'm driving THEN go into reverse, such as for parallel parking. ONLY if I go into reverse first.

It's not a huge deal I guess, I can just put it in park, turn it off, and it turns right back on with no problem, but it's just kind of weird... Any ideas?

PS: I love my car and all, but I'm not the most 'engine savvy' driver, so plain English please, lol! :-)

8 Answers


HI, its not as bizarre as it looks lol but its hard to tell without seeing the it an auto or manual car ? Have you check spark plugs, spark plugs wires lately ? Air filter and MAF assembly ?Any MIL( check engine ) ?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

It's an automatic. Haven't had spark plugs checked since the inspection in November, but they recommended it for next time I bring the car in. They also recommended getting having something done with the timing belt, could that be contributing to the stalling? Air filter was also replaced in November. No Check Engine light, or any other light, are on...

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

JUST happened to my car - 2001 ES 2.0, automatic. When I would be at a traffic light, parked, or in reverse, the RPM's would drop to about 200 and flutter/jump until they would sink too low and stall. You couldn't tell there was a problem when driving, but when stopped I would have to put the car into neutral and keep the revs up manually in order to avoid a stall-out. After some extensive reading on many of the forums, I figured it had to be something to do with the air intake (box, hoses, manifold...) and after taking it to a mechanic - I was told it had to do with the intake manifold gasket. This was traced back to an accident I was in to the front-end of my car, after which the intake components were not properly installed. This does not mean your car has the same exact problem, but after reading of other's problems, I would narrow it down to the air-intake system. Checking tubing/hoses to make sure there aren't any leaks. P.S. - before the final fix to this problem, I had spark plugs replaced. It runs great now.


Haha! I actually had that exact same problem too!! It would stall while I stopped at a red light or stop sign (especially on a hill) and the RPM needle was jumping all over the place. It was the air intake thing for me too. They replaced some air intake valve and it's been running great ever since... well, except for the whole stalling in reverse thing... It never stalls when driving or stopping now, only when I go into reverse after the car has been off for awhile... hmmmm....

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Try cleaning the Idle air control valve.. if youre not sure what that is buy the haynes manual for your car.. they sell em at pep boys, autozone and advance.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Check your PCV valve. Inexpensive and easy to replace.

This may be far pitch answer but I used to have a Chrysler Intrepid and for a long time had the problem when the car won't start when it's cold. I used to worked midnight shift. And every 2 hrs I had to start the engine to warm it up until I'm done my shift at 8a.m. I've towed it to mechanic 3 times when it won't start and the first time cost me $800. To replace engine computer according to a mechanic. The 2nd was replacing timing built for $400. The 3rd time I have a friend replaced the key starter for $20. And only the later worked beautifully ever since. Now, I am driving a 1999 Mazda protoge. Last night I have an engine lights come on the dashboard as I was driving home and 3 minutes away from home it stalled on me. Before it stalled I was listening to the radio and all of a sudden it shut off and I noticed the light of the car became dim. I was still driving/moving. Eventually the car lost power and stalled. For about an hour or so, as I was reading some comments here and there some suggestion to tighten the gas cap in which I did and few minutes later I started the engine and it worked. So now, 12 hrs later I am heading to a mechanic to get the car check...the car stalled and again here I am waiting for tow truck to tow me to a garage 10 blocks away.

this is crazy, my 1999 1.8 is doing the same, after change a bunch of parts ,still wit the same problem,intake,ICA,intake manifold,a bunch of cleaning and nothing,PLEASE let me know if you find d the solution for this problem. i love to use my car again,but is not change the gueas wit out cut off.

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