Turns out the Mazda MPV, unlike most of the older cars that I’ve been familiar with, has an ignition coil for each cylinder — six coils in total. Long story short, failed ignition coils seem to be a common problem in Mazda MPVs from 2001 through 2006. My first failed coil happened about a year ago, and manifested itself through hesitation and jerking while driving once the engine had warmed up, along with a check engine light. When it happened the first time, I took it to the dealership and had the coil replaced for around $250 total (roughly half parts, half labor).
About two months ago, the car started jerking and hesitating again, and it gradually got to the point where it took a good amount of gas-pedal-coaxing to get it to hold 25 mph up a steepish hill. I decided that rather than taking it in to the dealership for another $250, I’d just order a new set of coils and replace all six at once myself. This ended up being a little more work than I had anticipated, but, all in all, was a great success and not too difficult, and certainly well worth the potentially huge savings I netted by avoiding a trip to the shop.
Firstly, the subject of acquiring the coils. The coils seem to run anywhere from $65 to $100 when ordered individually or purchased from an auto parts place. Here is what you are looking for:
- Motorcraft part DG513.
- Standard part UF406.
Now, rather than paying a lot for all six and buying them individually, order a set of six from Amazon using the link here. It should run $209.99 plus shipping, which is a great price for the set of six. These will fit a 2002 through 2005 MPV, and possibly a year or two under or over.
You’ll need a ratchet with a few metric sockets (8mm, 10mm and 12mm). You’ll also need a short extension, and if you want to replace the spark plugs while you’re in there (I highly recommend you do so), you’ll need a longer (8″ or so) extension and a 5/8″ spark plug socket.
I took pictures while I did mine, but ended up losing them later. For a detailed description of how to replace the coils, visit this great post on the MPVclub.com forums.