Why Won’t My Mazda3 Start?

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Introduced in 2003, the Mazda3, also known as the Mazda Axela, saw only three generations in Japan.

It continues to this day, providing high-quality compact cars to the people, coming in various sedan and hatchback designs. It was also one of the fastest-selling cars back in 2019.

It is clear that the Mazda3 boasts impressive stats when it comes to selling figures and its specifications are nothing to scoff at either.

The only problem is that it is a car at the end of the day, and depending on your usage, things will go wrong.

In the case of the Mazda3, these issues will make you go, “Why won’t my Mazda3 start”. The problems lie mostly due to failing components and mismanagement.

Here are some of the biggest issues you will face in the Mazda3:

  1. Dead Battery
  2. Failing Alternator
  3. Faulty Fuel Pump
  4. Spark Plug Issues
  5. Starter Motor Problems

These issues range from frustrating to downright expensive to fix. If you have no idea how to approach these issues, then have no fear.

This article will explain everything you need to know about these issues, which is why it is in your best interest to read it till the end.

What Would Cause A Mazda3 To Not Start?

Wondering what would cause your Mazda3 to suddenly not start? Rad my blog to learn

Component failure is one of the biggest reasons why cars simply stop working.

This is usually caused by mismanagement or the sheer lack of it.

While figuring out what is wrong may be difficult, you can usually pinpoint it down to critical systems.

I will discuss the most common issues found in the critical system of the Mazda3. These will be the same problems mentioned above.

1: Dead Battery

As critical as the battery is for the functioning of the Mazda3, it is also its biggest downfall. This is not necessarily the fault of the Mazda3 or the car battery.

There are a lot of factors that have to be controlled to take care of the average car battery. If you cannot do so, the battery loses its charge.

A car battery needs its charge to provide optimal engine power and other components. If the battery loses its charge, you will see more and more components start to shut down.

Eventually, your car itself will not work even to turn on. The likely cause of this could be the weather and the frequency of how much the car is used.

It could also just be the age of the battery taking its toll.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Start by carrying out a voltage test. Check to see if the battery outputs more than 12 volts or not. If it cannot do so, your battery lacks the correct charge.
  • Determine how old your battery is. This should not be exact but accurate to the nearest year.
  • If your battery is four years old, you should consider getting an entirely new one.
  • On the other hand, if your battery is less than four years, you can get it fully charged by a simple jumpstart. For this, you will need another car with a working battery.

2: Failing Alternator

Your car’s battery does not magically retain its charge. Instead, you have the alternator constantly supplying it with electrical energy.

This energy is generated by the engine’s mechanical energy and converted accordingly. As useful as this sound, the alternator is prone to breaking and causing faults in many other cars.

If the battery takes the first spot as the number 1 problem causer, the alternator will have to take second place.

Bad jumpstarts, overheating, and fluid leaks are common causes of bad alternators.

Alternator issues take a long time to diagnose, as you must monitor how long your battery lasts between jumps.

It is also very common for the issue to be projected towards the battery, resulting in people changing the battery, not the alternator.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Monitor how long your Mazda3 lasts between jumpstarts. If you notice that your car is not lasting more than a day, then you have a case of a bad alternator.
  • Check for any visible damage or fluid leaks which may have caused the alternator to go bad.
  • Visit a mechanic to get the alternator checked out. You can opt to get the alternator fixed or replaced.
  • I recommend replacing the alternator as it will be more cost-effective and limit further issues down the line. Unless the damage to the alternator is minor, it is always better to get a new one.

3: Faulty Fuel Pumps

The engine of the Mazda3 has fuel injected into it at a certain rate. This only causes a certain amount of fuel to reach the engine, not the whole tank.

While it is certainly good to have a full tank of gas, it does not do much for the car since the engine is not using all of it at once.

The fuel travels from the tank to the injectors via the fuel pumps. It is their job to ensure that a good amount of fuel reaches the injectors and the engine.

You have faulty fuel pumps if you hear any humming noise or see that your car would hesitate to start before eventually not starting. Here is how you can go about fixing them.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Firstly, check to see if the fuel reaches the engine as intended. There could be blocks in the system or leaks that prevent the fuel from getting to the engine.
  • Also, check if you even have it in the first place. It is not uncommon to forget to refuel your Mazda3.
  • Once you have determined that your fuel pumps are faulty, you can use a fuel pressure gauge directly to the engine to start it.
  • Once your car has started, you should get it to a mechanic and have the issue resolved.
  • Once again, replacing the component is a much better tactic than having it fixed.

4: Spark Plug Issues

The spark plugs are essential to your ignition system as they are responsible for igniting the fuel.

The fuel needs to be burned to provide energy to the engine, which is why the spark plugs must work as intended.

They work by giving off a small spark, which is enough to ignite the fuel in a controlled manner.

If you have been dealing with some cold weather or have been driving your Mazda3 for too long, the spark plugs may have worn out.

Since they usually last only 2 to 4 years, you may need a replacement.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Recall any struggles you had before the engine not being able to function. These struggles may include stalling, misfires, loss of acceleration, and rough idling.
  • If you have experienced any of these, then there is a good chance that your spark plugs are down for the count.
  • Take a trip to a mechanic and have these suspicions checked out.
  • Once it has been determined that the spark plugs are causing the issue, then all that’s left is the matter of replacing them.
  • I recommend that you get high-quality spark plugs that last much longer than the stock spark plugs that come with the Mazda3.

5: Starter Motor Problems

You may be familiar with the car’s wheels, but did you also know that the engine also turns?

This motion is caused to allow pistons and other crucial parts in the engine to move and carry out their respective roles.

All of this is possible due to the movements of the crankshaft. This, in turn, is caused by the starter motor, which rotates the crankshaft.

It should be obvious that if this small and delicate motor gets any issues, you will not be able to turn the engine on.

These issues are likely caused by loose wiring, damage, corrosion, or bad relays and fuses.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Check for any corrosion, damage, or loose wiring and act accordingly. With any luck, you should be able to get the starter motor working again.
  • If you cannot find the problem, you should visit a mechanic and have him/her look at the motor.
  • If the motor works fine outside the engine, it should be perfectly capable of working inside it. You should get it fixed or replaced if it does not work as intended.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why Won’t My Mazda3 Start With New Battery?

A new battery should breathe fresh life into your Mazda3.

If your battery is not installed properly it will not work. Also, make sure to check if your new battery is charged enough before installing.

Q2. Why Won’t My Mazda3 Start Even With A Jump?

If your battery is low on charge, a simple jumpstart should help it regain its power.

If your Mazda3 still does not work without a jumpstart, then it means that the battery is completely dead.

Before doing a jumpstart, conduct a voltage test on the battery. This will help you figure out if the battery is even the cause of the issue or not.

Q3. Why Won’t My Mazda3 Start But Lights Work?

The engine requires a lot of power to start functioning. This cannot be said for the internal lights of the Mazda3, which require very little power to work.

Chances are that your battery is not fully charged. This should prevent it from starting the engine but not hold it back enough to start the car’s lights.

Q4. Why Won’t My Mazda3 Start But Cranks?

The cranking shows that the engine’s electrical systems are working fine. You should move on to other car systems and see where the problem lies.

Most likely, the issue is in the fuel system as a component could malfunction, leading to an inadequate amount of fuel entering the engine.

This could be either the fuel pumps or the injectors.

Q5. Why Won’t My Mazda3 Start Just Clicks?

If your Mazda3 is just clicking, then you should go visit a mechanic as soon as possible. This is a clear sign that your car is not working due to an electrical failure or issue.

Since the electrical system of the car is very complex, you will not be able to fully diagnose and locate the issue.

Q6. Why Won’t My Mazda3 Start In The Cold Weather?

The cold weather does a lot to the Mazda3, which prevents the engine from engaging. It starts by thickening up the oil and makes it so that the battery operates on lower performance.

Additionally, it also makes it much harder for spark plugs to carry out their job. This results in the engine getting harder to start or prevents it from starting at all.

Q7. Why Won’t My Mazda3 Start After I Get Gas?

Getting a full tank of gas is not enough to see your Mazda3 moving. You have to make sure the fuel is even reaching the engine. Start by inspecting the fuel lines and the entire system.

If you are not dealing with a faulty component, chances are there is just a blockage or a major leakage that is preventing the fuel from reaching the car.

Q8. Why Won’t My Mazda3 Start But Radio Works?

The power requirement between the engine and the radio is staggering. This is enough that a low-charged battery can power up the radio but cannot do the same for the engine.

Unless you want to buy a new battery, the best thing to do in this scenario is to jumpstart the battery. This will help get it back up to full power.

Related: What Are The Worst Years For The Mazda3?


Even with all its faults and issues, you cannot deny that the Mazda3 delivers an amazing experience unlike any other car.

It is for this reason alone that it has survived almost 20 years and is one of the major contributors to its rapid sales.

With all this said and done, Mazda needs to focus on cutting down on these starting problems or limiting them where they can.

People should not have to ask “Why won’t my Mazda3 start?”. Instead, they should be cruising down the street in their Mazda3, enjoying a smooth drive provided by a wonderful car.