If the engine cranks but does not start, it may be caused by a tripped inertia switch. Switch the key to "ON" and the fuel pump should be heard running for a second or two. Listen at the gas filler if necessary. The inertia switch is located on the firewall and can be tripped when the parking brake is set too hard and then released. The inertia switch should be reset, and will click when it is reset.
Problems for specific Mazda B2300 years:
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Most reported 1997 Mazda B2300 problems
Rough Running Idle, ABS Light Illuminated, Check Engine Light, and Automatic Transmission Shifting Problems
Water intrusion into a connector (X309) located under the cab, beneath the driver's seat, can cause a rough idle, ABS Light and Check Engine Light illumination, and automatic transmission shifting problems. If needed, connector repair parts are available from Mazda dealers, and possibly some Ford dealers.
The engine may fail to start due to an electrically shorted sensor. Some of the sensors may internally short and not blow any fuses. A technician may find no spark and no operation of the fuel injectors in the diagnosis. One way a technician may isolate the defective sensor is by disconnecting sensors one by one to see if the engine starts.