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Mazda Protegé



  • Hi,


    We've been looking for a used car and have used Edmunds to evaluate the pricing on two. One being an average 1999 Protege LX. I have to say I am a little confused on this one.


    Edmunds has this 1999, average condition, 108, vehicle with a private party price of like $2200. Kelly lists it only "Fair" around $3995 private party! I know there is going to be an amount of difference in these prices due to the source. But, these prices aren't even close.


    I made a first offer of $2600 which they rejected.


    I like doing research on Edmunds, apparently I just can't buy any cars with these prices as a reference.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Try asking Terry in our Real-World Trade-In Values discussion. Be sure to take a minute to read the information that you will need to provide (in red above the post box) for him to be able to help you. Good luck!
  • Well, my 2003 Protege DX is in the shop again for the squeaky driver seat (repair attempt number 6), and they've had it for over three weeks now (34 days total for all attempts). The dash rattle has had 8 repairr attempts since the day I bought the car, and still rattles like always.


    The sad part is that I really love driving the car, it is fast, handles well and is just plain fun, but the noises drive me absolutely nuts. The seat particularly, which sounds the bedframe in a downtown motel renting rooms by the hour. It is loud enough to hear over loud music (at its worst), and always attracts the attention of anyone who rides in the car.


    I finally sent Mazda a letter, along with a copy of the California lemon law, which only requires four attempts and up to 30 days downtime before the manufacturer should replace the vehicle or buy it back.


    I'm really saddened that it came to this, as I had such high hopes for the car.
  • marrmarr Posts: 6
    My 01 ES had a squeaky driver's seat from new. It was an intermittent problem so it took about 3 years before it bugged me enough to do something about it.


    Anyway, I got a can of WD-40 and got underneath and sprayed anywhere I saw metal/metal contact. Took me three tries but I got rid of the squeak.


    Car smelled pretty bad for a week or so but it was worth it !
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    WD-40 would help lawman1967's seat problem. Sqeaks and rattles can drive you nuts. I had a Porsche 914 with a sqeaky right front wheel. A mechanic took it apart, piece-by-piece four times and could never find what caused it. Each time he reassembled it and test drove it -- it still sqeaked. There were no marks indicating metal rubbing.


    Usually, when tracked down it's something you would never have thought of. It could be where the seatback joins the seat frame, plastic parts rubbing together or the seat springs. Even a screw that rubs. had that problem on an American car.


    A screw holding the center console on the drive shaft tunnel was too long. Driving over rough roads there was a hammering noise as the end of the screw was hit by the drive shaft. Switching the screw with a shorter one solved it.


    lawman1967, on that window crank problem, exchange them between doors and see if that corrects it.

    Another suggestion, stay with the car and ask if you can use the stethascope mechanics use to listen to engines as the mechanic drives the car -- maybe you can poin-point the sounds location.


  • Gee, that seems like a lot of $ for a valve adjustment, but yes, it should be done. Not only is the timing thrown off with maladjustment, but if the exhaust valves are held open at all, they will be apt to burn.
  • I would try those things if I had the car. Star Mazda has had the car for the last 3 1/2 weeks.


    I doubt it is the seatback as they have already replaced EVERYTHING. New tracks, entire new seat, EVERYTHING!


    That only leaves whatever mounts the tracks to the floor of the car, or the floor to the actual frame.


    It took a lot less than 3 years for it to bother me, especially as it did it since new. My car only has 22K miles and is a rattletrap, I want them to replace it and will fight them for that result.
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    I would take it to an independent garage that services Mazdas, it's surprising how they can fix things dealers can't. What is unfixable for a dealer an independent garage mechanic can usually find the problem in minutes. Seems to be an attitude problem more than anything. ;)

    Have them swop the front seats, they are the same except for the seat controls. See what happens, is the squeak on the right side?

    I doubt Mazda will replace a whole car for a squeak. If it was an engine problem you would have a better chance.

  • marrmarr Posts: 6

    I would agree with that. Try an independent shop. Ask around any other Mazda owners you know to see if they can recommend one.

    My power antenna (hate those things) broke on my 88 626. The dealer wanted three hours labour to put a new one in.

    A car radio repair shop did it in under one hour. The dealer does not always know best.

    Failing that, when you get the car back try the WD-40 yourself. What have you got to lose ?
  • I had the seat swapped, FOR A WHOLE NEW ONE, didn't change anything, so switching left to right won't make any difference.

    Its not replacing a car for a squeak, its replacing a car because its been out of service for 40 days now, when the law only gives them 30.

    Anyway I will take them either to arbitration or court, after 6 attempts and 40 days (and counting), I will not just let them off the hook.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Hi Andrew,

    You said: "Anyway I will take them either to arbitration or court, after 6 attempts and 40 days (and counting), I will not just let them off the hook."

    I empathize with your predicament but I wonder if your course of action will achieve your goal.

    When you say "them" to whom are you referring : Mazda, MazdaUSA, your Mazda dealer?

    Did your dealership provide the new seat or any related service to address this problem free of charge or at a reduced charge?

    Do you think that you could prove that the problem is not the result of normal wear and tear?

    Do you know of any similar cases or do you have any written statement by Mazda of this being a general problem?

    Wouldn't the argument from the other side be something like we have made reasonable attempts to fix the problem and do not feel that we are obligated for further expenses?

    Would you be satisfied if the court judged in your favour by compensating you with a sum of money that it deemed reasonable? If so, what would that reasonable sum be? If the sum is below that amount what would you do with the car?

    What legal costs would you assume if you do not prevail?
  • Well, the problem was brought to the one dealer's attention at only 1200 miles (the car remains under warranty), and now has 22,000. Two dealers have worked on the seat, replacing the seat and the tracks under warranty with no change in the sound.

    It is not a minor annoyance, but loud enough to be heard over the stereo, definitely not normal or in any way related to wear and tear (1200 miles?).

    All it will take is a drive around the block for any arbitrator to hear how bad it is, something even the shop foreman at my dealer and the Mazda regional service manager both noted on test drives.

    It is also not the only problem. The car has been plagued with rattles since new (first attempt at dash rattle was the day I bought the car, 8 attempts later it is still there). Even Mercedes produces the occasional lemon, but I am certainly not going to just tollerate it. Whether Mazda USA thinks rattles and squeaks is not important, its what I think and what an arbitrator or judge thinks that matters. It is loud enough to fight over.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Let us all know how it goes and best of luck!
  • Well, Star Mazda called me today and said the car was ready (after 29 days in the shop). So far, its quiet, though in the past their repairs have quietted it down for a week or two and the sound has returned.

    One thing that was interesting is they said that they replaced the entire seatbelt, the clasp and its mount down near the handbrake (inside of driver's seat). The new seatbelt clast moves a lot more freely than the old one did and seems very well lubricated, so with any luck that was the problem.

    Funny thing was the service manage told me that the regional rep from Mazda said that if this didn't fix it, to have me file for a new car, meaning Mazda isn't willing to try again. Of course, given the $759 rental car bill they just paid for me, I'm not surprised.

  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Wow, that's one pricey squeak! Sounds like over $1K has gone into solving the problem. Hope this finally does it and you get to enjoy your zoomer!
  • $759 for the rental car this time, at least $200 for the rental cars the other five times, not to mention the cost of the new seat, new tracks, seatbelt and clasp assemblies, and probably highest of all, the many hours of labor it took to replace the parts and trying to figure out the problem.

    I do hope this is it, because despite all the headache, I like this car quite a bit and want to keep it, but only without the cheap motel sound.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    I'm in the market for a used, economical, super reliable sedan. I was only considering the Corolla and Civic until recently when I started reading what's on the forums about the Protege. Everyone who owns one really seems to like their Protege.

    Just so you know what I'm looking for, cars around 5-6 years old are probably going to fall into my price range.

    From what I've read about the Protege, it seems to be a very reliable car, and maybe a bit more fun to drive than a Civic or a Corolla. I'm just wondering if it's as well built and reliable. The reliability records of the Honda and Toyota speak for themselves, but the Protege is more of a car you don't hear much about. At least I don't anyway.

    Here are the pros and cons I've noticed so far. The Protege doesn't seem to hold it's value quite as well as the Civic or Corolla. This obviously is a good thing when it's time to buy and a bad thing when it's time to sell. This may be a better thing overall for me as I tend to keep a vehicle until the wheels fall off and I'm not all that concerned about resale value. There's literally a plethora of Civics and Corollas on the road, while the selection of used Proteges seems pale by comparison. There also seems to be many more Proteges with automatics than those with manuals, and I want a manual. Also, what was the first year Mazda started putting the 2.0 engine in the Protege?

    I'd appreciate any input any of you may as to how the Protege directly compares to the Civic and Corolla. Thanks.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    If anyone has suggestions for bottgers, please reply in the discussion he created at this link: Civic, Corolla, or Protege? instead of here - thanks!

    Bottgers, while you are waiting for responses you might want to browse the individual discussions on these vehicles. Check out the "Search This Discussion" feature on the page bar within a discussion - it is very helpful in tracking down posts containing whatever keywords you enter.

    And I believe there are some similar comparisons archived that could give you some useful information. You can locate all of the relevant discussions, active and archived, by using the Make/Model search on the left side of the page.

    Hope this helps!
  • marrmarr Posts: 6

    Very interesting regarding the seatbelt clasp and your squeak. As I said earlier it took me about 3 tries with WD-40 to get rid of my driver's seat squeak on my 01 ES.

    If I remember correctly I did not initially spray down in the clasp as I was concentrating more on the tracks etc. underneath the seat. After the initial spray did not quiet the squeak I just looked for anything with metal remotely attached to the seat and sprayed away.

    After I sprayed inside the clasp it also made it move much more freely.

    Hopefully your problem is now solved and you have many miles of squeak (although maybe not rattle by the sounds of it) free driving !
  • No, the rattles are still there. Those I can tollerate if Mazda buys me off with either a few Gs or some combination of money and extended warranty.

    The squeak was simply intollerable, but hopefully it stays gone.

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