Misfires under load (acceleration) can be caused by leaky spark plug boots. When a spark plug boot leaks, it allows the spark to arc, or jump, to the cylinder head. New spark plug wires will be needed.
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Newest reported Mazda 323 problems
An electrically shorted air flow sensor can cause a crank-no start condition. Diagnosis may show that ignition spark is normal, and there are no trouble codes stored.
If the automatic transmission shifts in and out of overdrive while cruising, it may be due to the thermostat that is stuck open. The 323 transmission is especially effected by the engine running too cool. If possible, check to see the engine is running at full operating temperature while cruising. The temperature gauge in the 323 may also read normal when the engine is not reaching normal operating temperature.
If the engine will not start after distributor rotor replacement, a common mistake is to install the distributor rotor in the wrong position. The rotor may seat in three positions and one should note the direction before removal.