2004 to 2020 Mazda 3 Forum and Mazdaspeed 3 Forums banner

1 - 2 of 2 Posts

1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So there I was, Halloween, decided to go to taco bell (roughly a 16 minute drive). Car has ran fine and great up until this point but upon getting to the actual drive through from a stop and letting go of the brake slightly turning to the left, everything went wrong... Very wrong. My power steering went in and out making a clanking sound, the radio went on and off, and a bunch of dash lights lit up as if the car was on the verge of losing all power (but it did not stall, I wasn't able to see which lights exactly were on but I do not think they were of importance I think it was just the normal lights from accessory mode as if the car was just started). Once I stopped moving, everything went back to normal... Then I let go of the brake again still turning slightly left, same thing happened again... At this point panic was setting in.

Now here is the odd part, I had now hit the part of the drive through that was straight... Nothing happened, was fine. I was able to move forward like nothing was wrong... Until I turned left out of the drive through, and again power steering went in and out, radio went in and out, dummy lights can on, felt like the car was going to die (but never did). Came to a stop, all was fine, made a right turn and a left turn and it did it again on both turns, but returned to normal after I either straightened the car out, or came to a stop. On the way home I made roughly 5-6 more turns as well as some curvy roads that required me to turn the wheel quite at a bit at higher speeds and only on 2 turns did it lose power again, and was fine at higher speeds on curvy roads.

It never happened going straight, only when I would turn left or right, and most of the time it was at lower speeds or turning from stop lights. Upon getting home, I sat in the driveway cranking the steering wheel back and forth at various speeds and nothing would go wrong, I would go in reverse, and forward (probably looking like an absolute lunatic to my neighbors) also cranking the steering wheel in every which way trying to get it to do it again so I could pay more attention to the lights and exactly what was happening, and of course... Could not replicate the problem.

I have done a bunch of reading of people with similar problems and a lot of people pointed to the battery and alternator as maybe having an issue so I whipped out the old Multimeter and went to work, here were my results...

With the engine off = 11.8v (a little lower than normal but what I would deem perfectly fine for normal operation, the car never has an issue starting right up even in the cold)
With the engine on = 14.4v (alternator is doing its job fine)
With the engine / all accessories / lights on I could do + turning the wheel = 13.5v (alternator is doing a fine job)
After engine shut off = 12.2 (so the battery is charging)
This morning engine off = 11.8v (so battery holding a charge)

I checked the MAF sensor / harness and everything looks good (I cleaned the throttle body and MAF sensor when I recharged the K&Nair filter about 4-5 months ago), I checked wires going to the battery (the negative had a little corrosion on it but didn't look terrible, I cleaned them off and wire brushed the posts anyways for funs sake), I just replaced the passenger motor mount a month or so ago so I went through and checked all the wires / harnesses in that area and nothing looks off.

I have not driven the car since getting home from said Taco Bell trip.

For history the car is a completely stock 2006 2.3L automatic Hatchback other than an additional Aux harness on the radio that has been there for 3 years (plugged right into the back of the radio, no weird installation or splicing). Has roughly 126k on it and has been maintained well.

Anyone have any feedback on what to try to tackle next or what may have caused this to begin with? On a scale from 1-10 I would say i'm a strong 5 at being mechanically inclined. However, when it comes to electrical systems and wiring... Yikes, help.

Appreciation for you guys reading this and any / all attempts to help or give input would be very well received.
1 - 2 of 2 Posts