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2000 Mazda B3000 cabplus trouble starting in cold
01-05-2014, 12:04 PM
Post: #1
2000 Mazda B3000 cabplus trouble starting in cold
I have a 2000 mazda b3000 and this is the first winter where every time it is around 20 degrees or below outside my truck has trouble starting. If let it sit in the sun or jump it will start up so I doubt it is the starter. The battery probably is 6 or 7 years old so that could easily be the problem, but when I checked the battery and alternator with this battery/alternator meter I have both appear to be okay. It seems like something is freezing up and needs time to get warm. This morning it is around 30-35 degrees out and the truck started right up, but after I shut it off I lifted my hood and my radiator fluid was over flowing. Obviously, something is frozen in the radiator, but I never put water in it. I always have put in the premixed antifreeze. Not sure if this has anything to do with the starting problem. Does anyone have an idea what is going on with my truck.
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01-05-2014, 08:18 PM
Post: #2
RE: 2000 Mazda B3000 cabplus trouble starting in cold
Your IP address shows you are in PA so with the temps we've had lately let's hope you didn't freeze something and crack a head or block.

That said, with the age of the battery it will likely fail a load test so prove that out first. Using your meter should show 12.5 volts or more with engine off and no load. Try to crank it and take another reading. If voltage drops like a rock (say under 9 volts and sluggish cranking) then install a known good battery to continue. You can't do a proper diagnosis with a weak battery. Once started the voltage should go between 13.5 - 14.5 then level off. Anything outside that range within a few minutes points to a problem with the alternator / regulator system.

On the cooling system: From here I can't say if the problem is from a leaking head gasket or worse but the clues might be along the lines of...
1) long term coolant loss with no obvious leaks
2) steam and a sweet smell from the exhaust
3) loss of heater output (due to air in the system)
4) hard cranking or "dead spots" while cranking that go away after a few tries.

There's no way to be sure how extensive the damage is if it froze so that's why I will suggest you borrow a known good battery till you decide if it's worth throwing money into a 13 year old truck. The only way to find out how bad things are will be to take it apart.

Let us know what you find and we can chat more about what to do.
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