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Mazda Protege Rust Problems



  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I bought my Mazda Protege5 in July 2003 ... 2 local car repairs ... said it was damaged sometime before ... the panel inside the door wasn't affixed properly and the leaking caused the rusting. (the strip alongside the length of the car is also falling off at the rear) The damage, they said, was most likely caused at the dealer ...

    Hmm, although this may be true, it would be difficult to prove six years after the fact. You may want to consider other options rather than taking on MazdaUSA as the rust will not stop in the meantime. For example, you may want to negotiate with the dealer a reduction in the cost of the repair. In my case, I had the rust on my 2002 P5 removed two years ago; the rear wheelwells and panels were repainted for about C$250 as part of a goodwill agreement with my dealership. Prior to this, I had received independent evaluations of the work required and therefore knew the costs would easily be twice those proposed by the dealership, so I went along with the agreement. Not ideal but this may be better than fighting windmills (with apologies to Cervantes).

    p.s. my repairs have held back the rust for the most part, but it's just a matter of time before it re-emerges; I am counting on another 2 to 3 years before moving onto my next vehicle.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Unless you have perforation of the panel, it is not covered under Mazda warranty. This is the norm, not the exception for rust warranty for majority of auto manufacturers.

    So, anyone have an actual hole thru a panel?
  • Thank you moparbad, very valuable comment for this discussion.
    The dealers should be more articulate at presenting this case.
    Perferation and industry norm was not mentioned in three meetings with the dealer and/or factory rep.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Have surface rust on lower rocker at seam on both sides of car and also in the rear wheel wells on inner surface. Will find out this week the cost to repair the problem areas.
    Only 62K on my 03 and the finish is in great condition except for the areas mentioned above. Car has been garaged since new.
    Well, not much I can do living in the "rust belt" with so much salt used in the winter.
  • I saw an 03 this weekend @ local superstore. Had the same kind of rust you describe. Good luck. It was silver. I also saw a newer 626 w rust on the passenger side rear wheel well. I had not noticed this problem on the 626. The car, however, did not look as if it had been well maintained. Dents, dirty glass, very dirty & the driver, w/o resorting to any type of stereotypes, did not look as if he/she was really into maintaining cars. Sorry, I hate stereotypes, too, but Click & Clack would have called her "Dawna". Still love my Protege 5, just put new Generals on all 4(s), but wish they would/could do something about the rust issue. Balance of car is great. I would settle for a 50/50 or even 60/40 repair compromise.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    I simply can't believe the number of severely rusted Mazdas I have seen in the last 3 years. A friend's cancer broke out only after 4 years of ownership of her 02 or 03 Protege 5, but I see it on all Proteges.

    So my question is: (assuming Mazda has surely addressed this issue by now??)

    What year was this finally addressed? Did they do it with a thicker coat of hot galvanizing? Or maybe they foolishly weren't using hot galvanizing?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited August 2010
    You are right rust is an issue for the 2002 and 2003 Proteges. Mine started appearing after the third year. I took some preventative maintenance (annual rust proofing) and repair (had rust removed from wheelwells in 2005). Now, over eight years old, my P5 looks very good and should last another couple of years (fingers crossed).

    Since the Mazda3 replaced the Proteges starting in 2004 the problem may be occurring there. I see you posted the question on the Mazda3 forum which is a good idea.

    By "hot galvanizing" I suppose you are referring to hot-dip galvanizing. I would imagine they do use the process but frankly, I've never found a reference to it in the Mazda manual or brochures, so it would be interesting to hear one way or the other.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    I think I have seen a newer than 04 rusted P3. Trying to figure out the year they got on top of this.
    Looks like this thread is not too active though it seems, so I guess Mazda owners are a complacent bunch? lol

    Thanks for your reply.
  • It is not that we are not active, it is Mazda will not do anything to relieve our loss. I will not buy another Mazda and I will keep driving the one I have, so people can see the rust on the car. Also, if they ever ask me, I will do my best to let them know that Mazda does not back up their cars, once they are bought.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    I feel badly for you all. But I agree with your strategy. I did the same with Ford many years ago. I am a huge advocate of boycott by the little guy. Enough little guy boycotts with long-lasting conviction, I have to believe forces a mfgr to pay heed and eventually do the right thing.

    With my situation with Ford it was not complicated. It was a cut and dried scene in which they called my bluff of a lifetime boycott and they were totally out of line. It wasn't even a grey area call, so I lost permanent lifetime respect for them as a brand, a name, and a family. I have been burned by Ford, GM, Honda, and VW. I personally know many who have been burned by Chrysler. I have had Subaru, Toyota and Nissan all do the right thing. I guess they were born with a conscience.

    I have found in most situations, it is not a grey area. Either the car co does the correct and proper thing or they stonewall and cause you to become so frustrated they hope (and it is their plan all along) that you simply give up.

    I think it is extremely important that victims write a registered letter to the head of a co and inform them that their stonewalling cost them a customer for LIFE. And don't waiver from that. Furthermore, when you go to buy your next car, confirm who owns who so that you aren't still supporting their thieving butts only under a different nameplate.

    I absolutely loved that you spread the word of unfair treatment. I do the same if the opportunity presents itself.
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    My P5 was rusting pretty badly for a 6 year old vehicle. Especially considering my wife's CR-V has absolutely no signs of rust in basically the same conditions.

    However, my P5 was totalled last Feb and the problem ceased to be a problem for me :(

    I bought a 2007 Mazda 5 with the payoff from the insurance co. It started to show rust too though. I had 2-3 dime sized bubbly-rusty patches on the roof, rust around the wheel wells and some pin-sized marks on the sides. And then I was rear-ended and that car was totaled a month ago.

    I bought an Accord with the cash and won't look at a Mazda until they figure out how to use water-based paints.
  • 02mazda02mazda Posts: 33
    Wow. Are you ok? Two cars totaled! I keep hoping my P5 will meet some kind of early demise, but no luck. My 02 Subie Outback has no rust on it. My friend's MPV, 02 model, also has beaucoup rust on it. Silver in color. I am also leery of Mazdas now, too. A shame as besides the body rusting issues I really do enjoy the cars. Taut ride, fun to drive, well designed. Rust, however, should not be an issue now. Most cars do not rust out so quickly. They do nothing for us, either. I got a quote to fix it: $900. The car may be worth $5k. Hardly worth it now. Good luck.
  • 02mazda02mazda Posts: 33
    Subie did right by me, too. At 51k miles I had a bad head gasket. Turns out many Subies, 02 model year, had same problem. Outback, 2.5 engine. No dealer here in town, so took it to a good garage. $1300 later all better. Subie sent me a check for the whole thang. I would have settled for 50%. I bought car off lease. I will definitely look @ another Subie, but will have reservations about another Mazda, to be sure!
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I think I have seen a newer than 04 rusted P3.
    Did you mean a Mazda3? The last model year of the P5 was 2003.
  • 02mazda02mazda Posts: 33
    At local Lowe's store I saw an 04 Mazda 3 w rust, same places that it occurs w 02 & 03 Protege 5(s). I know it was an 04, as I asked the driver when he exited said vehicle. He said he bought it used. He did not seem nearly as perplexed as I am about it. Mine is really looking terrible on drivers' side rear wheel well. I am livid about it. Mazda needs to own up to this. Otherwise car is grand. Never had a sweeter engine or tranny in car. I am contemplating doing some emergency surgery on mine myself this summer if time. Will look better than it does now. Serious misgivings about another Mazda, believe you me.
  • My P5 2002 was last production run before the 2003. I ghave 75,000 miles. Rust on both sides over rear wheels. Rust beginning below the front doors. I had some bodywork done two years ago. I'll probably get it done again. I feel the same way about the engine and tranny. I love every minute behind the wheel. Nothing comes close to the fun of driving the M3/P5. Mazda let their users down, no doubt. I talked to a factory rep about my rust at 36,000 miles. He reneged on a promise to split rust repairs 3 ways, me, dealer, and Mazda. I walked from the 50/50 deal the dealer offered because "his" body shop priced double what I could get somewhere else. Somewhere else did an excellent job that lasted two years. Some of the old rust came back, but lots of new stuff developed. I've been off car payments for four years. I figure it is worth fixing up cosmetically for such a great car. I'm in Ohio. Maybe someone in the sun belt has had better luck with their M3/P5 Mazda.
  • elyarne7elyarne7 Posts: 1
    I'm so relieved to hear all this. I have an 03 Protege that the rust started on last fall. This winter was really bad (I keep it in the garage all year long) and so the rust is now on the rear wheel wels, the botton of the front doors and starting on the rocker panels, as well as the partitions between the two panes of glass in both rear door windows. Mileage is 94,000 and I would love to keep driving it til 150,000 at least (it's alot of fun to drive) but I'm afraid it wont last that long.
    I've also had brake problems, rotors, sway bar links, calipers, etc etc replaced so it seems to be a money pit. It's a shame, but I won't ever buy another Mazda.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    had brake problems, rotors, sway bar links, calipers, etc etc replaced
    Could you provide more details about the problems? For example, did you replace the rotors? At what point (XX miles, XX years)? Do you think this is more than normal wear and tear?
  • carhunter2011carhunter2011 Posts: 3
    edited June 2011
    I've had the rotors replaced twice - I'm at 103K for a 2003 Mazda Protege5.
    I am starting to get the same rust in the rear wheel wells. If I just spray wd-40 in there, will that stop it? I also agree with one of the previous posters in that I have had the car for a long time, and I like not having a payment (going on 4 years since the 5 year financing finished up) but I will not buy a Mazda again. No way.
  • 02mazda02mazda Posts: 33
    Good luck w the WD40. If it works, let me know. I may try it, too! We only have 53k on our '02! It still runs very well & is fun to drive. It has also been paid off for a very long time. Used car prices are horribly high here. I am toying w having the rust fixed & keeping the car for a very long time. They have been t--ds on the rust issue, however. That in and of itself would probably preclude us from another Mazda. My Subie of the same year has no rust whatsoever. Best of luck.
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