Reader Question: I have a 1998 Mazda MPV with 174,000 miles on it. Does this car have a metal or nylon timing belt? We have changed the fuel filter and now it will not start, before the change it started but ran badly.
Do you have any ideas?
Hey there Marvin,
First off, looks like you DO have a rubber-timing belt. It is an “interference engine” meaning if the belt breaks it can do serious damage. Here is the parts list from Gates.com
Usually when the timing belt break the engine sounds funny because there is no belt turning inside there is no resistance so the engine spins over faster than normal. You can sometimes look inside the oil filler hole (remove the cap) and have someone start the engine…if you see the valves moving up and down your timing belt is still in tact. If you do not see anything moving…then your timing belt probably did break.
I would first start with checking the fuel pressure with a manual fuel pressure gauge. You have to be missing one key ingredient, fuel, spark, spark timing, and engine compression.
Start with the basics, do you have spark to the spark plugs, spark from the ignition coil, fuel pressure from the pump to the engine, etc. etc.