Thanks for your answers to this question, however the solution must remain a mystery since a friendly local very helpfully decided to solve this problem for me by stealing the car and totaling it 3 blocks over. Thanks anyway guys.

original question

I have a 2004 Mazda Demio (Mazda 2 with more letters) that's sitting above 200,000 km.

In the last month or so it's started idling quite rough, but is otherwise running ok-ish.

It's never had much go, and sometimes when you plant boot and try to move quickly into traffic from a stop sign it'll just refuse and limp out like I was pushing it... then it'll lurch off and pick up speed quite quickly once I'e already bothered everybody in my lane.

When I first bought the car (2nd hand in 2011) there was an electrical bug that caused the check engine light to come on for no reason, and the dealer has fixed it twice since for the same reason, but I now live at the other end of the country and it's past any warranty I would've had from the local dealer anyway. The light has only just popped back on, so I want to get it checked, but I'm hoping it's unrelated to the 2 stroke sounding engine I have now.

Real Question is, are there common or easily fixable reasons for the change in my cars idling that won't cost me hundreds to fix?

  • Welcome to the site. Can you provide the code(s) that triggered the check engine light?
    – Zaid
    Jan 13, 2017 at 3:33
  • Your question's answer: yes. We'll need more info as @Zaid suggested to tell you what's going on, though. Jan 13, 2017 at 11:15
  • That makes sense, I can't get my car scanned without booking in it at the closest mechanic first though so I may as well just book it in and brace for the bill. Thanks anyway guys.
    – Wompguinea
    Jan 15, 2017 at 18:53
  • Lots of auto part stores scan codes for free. But start by changing fuel filter.
    – danny117
    Apr 25, 2017 at 2:22
  • 1
    @Community given that the vehicle has been stolen... then other posts may deserve the attention...
    – Solar Mike
    Jul 20, 2018 at 7:51

2 Answers 2


It sounds like it could be worn spark plugs. They're cheap and easy to change yourself as long as you have a socket wrench. Do you have any auto parts stores near you? In the U.S., Pep Boys, Advance Auto Parts, and others will scan your code for free.


Change fuel filter. Inexpensive fix.

  • Could you explain the thinking that lead you to the filter?
    – dlu
    Apr 25, 2017 at 3:07
  • O have good luck. Fuel filter is forgotten today'
    – danny117
    Apr 25, 2017 at 3:42

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