• Welcome to Mazdas247. Membership is free and offers many benefits, please Click Here to learn more, thanks!
  • Mazdas247 is an Amazon Associate and earns from qualifying purchases.

MP3 Problems

2001 Mazda MP3
Hello again everyone,

The old MP3 quit on me today. I was driving down the highway at about 55mph and I first noticed the alternator light come on. Didn't think too much of it, but shortly after that I lost acceleration. The engine would rev, but no power to the wheels. The transmissions would shift, and the gears did cause resistance (engine braking), but with no acceleration I came to a stop in someone's driveway and shut her off.

I opened the hood and saw the coolant was boiling over. After a period of cooling down and letting the coolant get back down to normal levels, it would still not start. Got a tow back to my house.

After a little more inspection I noticed the alternator belt is gone. That clearly explains the alternator light, and potentially the coolant boiling over from no circulation if the water pump is on that belt as well. I'm a little perplexed on the transmission though.

I had noticed some early symptoms of my clutch wearing out; a couple shutters at some starts from still. It didn't seem to be extremely urgent yet though. It just seems like incredible odds for the clutch to go out and the belt to snap or fall off simultaneously.

BTW, none of the pulleys were seized after I got it back to the house. I'm also still not ruling out a blown head gasket either. Is there some relationship to these symptoms that I'm not aware of?

I'm debating about just pulling the engine out and rebuilding it, or at least pulling the head; unless this were just really simple. Advice?


Yellow Jacket
Mazda MP3
compression and/or leak down test to see if you have a blown head gasket or warped head is what I would do before pulling a motor. also, the water pump is driven off that alternator belt. had mine snap on me once, luckily my motor survived without any damage.