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Recently, the keys in my car were left in the ignition in the 'on' position and my battery was drained.

I posted a question about replacing v. recharging (24930). I removed the battery from the car and and took it to an auto shop. They recharged it (took about 1/2 hour), after the charge it was in "good condition with a 554 CCA rating 13.09 V".

Now however the car has now completely died on me twice while driving it. It does not sputter or anything it just stops running and everything shuts off. So far both times I have been able to just start it up again. And the battery seems to be fine ... it has enough power.

I'm guessing that it is related in some way to the battery being drained, removed and recharge.

Is it possible that is just a bad connection? I ensured that the connections were solid.

Anything else it could be?

[2006 Mazda 3, 2.3L]

  • You don't happen to have a faulty ignition switch do you? – JPhi1618 Jan 20 '16 at 17:29
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    The fact that you can start the car again means that the battery itself as claimed should indeed be "good". How is the engine temperature? Also what car year/make/model? – Max Goodridge Jan 20 '16 at 17:37
  • I would lean toward it not being a bad connection. When the vehicle is running, it is getting power from the alternator. Any issues with a bad connection would stand out most while starting the vehicle as starting the vehicle puts the largest load on the battery. – rpmerf Jan 20 '16 at 17:58
  • Added make\model to text. – dark fader Jan 20 '16 at 19:04
  • It sounds exactly like a bad connection. The dead battery a month ago is probably unrelated. – Zach Mierzejewski Jan 27 '16 at 19:02
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I took the care to the a mechanic and they said it was or could be two things:

  1. When the battery dies sometimes the internal computer\memory needs to be reset.
  2. The car's throttle body needed cleaning.

So far it has not stalled after having both of these done (5 days now).

Not sure which of the above actually of the above fixed the issue ... maybe both.

df

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Your Problem

There are a few reasons that you might have your engine cut out.

If you have any error codes (found by plugging in a scan tool to the OBDII port on your car), they would help dramatically in being able to narrow down the array of possible answers to your problem. If you do have a faulty connection, which I don't think you do, then a code should show up to correspond with that.

If it is the case that there is no check engine light on your dashboard when the engine cuts out, nor are there any error codes on the scan tool, the most likely cause of your problem is a bad fuel pump. This is something that (depending on your car) most automotive computer systems are not able to pick up on. This is because most cars do not have a fuel pressure sensor to be able tell the car what the actual fuel pressure is, hence it thinks that there is nothing wrong. If you also start to notice that you experience a lack of power from your car when you are driving it just before it cuts out then this is almost certainly your problem. If this is your problem, you might also tend to find that the car will cut out more at higher speeds.

If you want to determine whether it definitely is the fuel pump or not, you can check out this video on the subject.

If not, the problem becomes much harder to find because there are no codes and it just cuts out randomly on occasion. At this point it might be a good idea to take it to a mechanic unless you do happen to have a VAG-COM or other sort of data logger system on hand to enable you to do further diagnostics in to what might be the root cause of your issue.

Background Engine Theory

A small lack of fuel being injected in to the internal combustion engine will result in a lack of power being generated in the explosion inside the cylinder. When there is little to no fuel being injected, this reduces the energy generated inside the cylinder even further to the point where there is not enough of a force being generated to be able to turn the crankshaft any longer.

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