Engine shuts down at random when driving at 40/45 mph; hard to restart.


Asked by Jun 28, 2013 at 09:06 PM about the 1996 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

After engine shuts down at 40/45 mph, it is hard to restart but will restart in ~15/20 mins if left alone.  Check engine light comes on but will clear in 3 or 4 cycles, then the problem resurfaces in 4 or 5 days. A new crank angle sensor was installed, because computer fault code indicated a bad sensor, but problem persists...??

15 Answers

yes...take 'er to an autoparts store....get a printout of your diagnostic messages....post them here for us to examine...thank you~

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

there are a lot of different sensors under the hood, if it were a crank sensor ECM would put it into "limp" mode and the CEL would come on and probably start flashing for a critical condition...TPS throttle position sensor can confuse the ECM too...one you are interacting with every time you get behind the wheel....those trouble codes please....posted one source under fifteen bucks +shipping for a fresh take on what the ECM thinks the problem is here~

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Best Answer

I will get printout of diagnostic codes asap...Thanks

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Diagnostic code says "Crank Angle sensor" but this was replaced 3 weeks ago. Could it be the bracket that holds the sensor?....problem also shows up when the air temp is above 90*....once temps cool down car runs fine. ???

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

My bad..."crank angle sensor" should read "crank position sensor".

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of course you replaced it, now the car is perfect~


No, far from it, problem persists...especially when temp is high!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I'd suspect a temp sensor...the one the ECU uses...don't ask me why your vehicle shuts down...is it too rich preventing good combustion?

Michael Kane

You may have gotten a defective crank angle sensor, you might want to return it for another.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

the system ground....connection from the battery to the frame needs to be able to pull 300 cold cranking amps...use a wirebrush~

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

the EGR is supposed to introduce inert exhaust gas if conditions get to HOT..is a safety measure to stop the engine from self-destructing...but should not SHUT down the car...but make it funky instead~


1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

My 2001 Mazda Miata MX-5 just died while driving. First the radio went off and on and finally shut down. After driving trying to get home had no power to go. I pressed the gas peddle and will not go fast until finally died. This is my third battery in 2 years or so maybe 3years. I do not know if it is the battery? I replaced the alternator last year. It was running fine for a year and now the car died while driving. Does anyone know what it can be? I am currently recharging my battery, but i feel it is something else besides my alternator and battery.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Katherine Marie

My 2003 MX5 is doing the exact same thing as you described nfp158: did you ever find the solution to this problem?

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