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Mazda Protegé

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  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    Love the song! THANK YOU! And a Jolly Merry Christmas to you!

    fowler3
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    The gifts are wrapped and the food is prepped, time to enjoy the Holiday! I think, I need to fill the gas tank up in my PRO-ES and maybe a quick wash and vac. Then I'm gonna take a short road trip thru the back roads of Lancaster? Life is GOOD, lol!

    -Larry
  • Greetings and Happy Holidays! Can someone recommend the best tire pressure (front/rear) for spirited Protege driving? TIA!
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    Depends on your set-up and where you'll be driving.

    Never go over the max tire pressure rating on the tire itself.

    After that, experiment. I find 38 psi works great on the Dunlops I have (max 44), on a smooth track. Ouchy on regular roads though, so I tune them back to 32psi.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    Around here, that's usually a parking lot going unused during a weekend.

    Those are the only places that are available around here for racing and driving. Kind of lame. Oh well. We can't all live around race tracks (although I wouldn't mind taking a vacation to visit one).
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    For some reason I thought you were talking about a manual transmission. The fact that your 4 cyl 626 is an automatic explains why you replaced the transmission 4 times. That transmission is a Ford design. How such a cruddy transmission got the OK from Mazda engineers is a good question. I think you should have to call the Ford call center, but it doesn't work that way. In any case, it has nothing to do with Proteges, so why did you post on this board about it? Happy Holidays anyway!
  • Does anyone know if the stock stereo (CD in ES) has line outs? I want to hook up 2 2-channel amplifiers and some difference speakers.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays for everyone, your families, friends and your PROs!

    Bernadal: I use 32 PSI on the 195/55 R15 R92 Potenzas and it offers a firm ride (best for superior cornering and handling ability, not great if you want comfort above everything).

    Dinu
  • reaglereagle Posts: 15
    Hi everyone. Has anyone noticed their CD player skipping when going over things like expansion joints on a highway? On some roads it gets so bad I am forced to listen to the same track all over again multiple times.. I would kinda expect a car CD player to have skip protection..
    On a different note, when accelerating, I get this slight noise from the engine that sounds a bit like a jet engine spinning up. Almost feels like I am getting ready for take-off. I know it's not the turbo (lol), but is it normal?

    Just wondering if that's something I need to bring up with the dealer. thanks.
    Igor, 2002 Pro ES
  • chicagoprochicagopro Posts: 1,009
    Thanks!
    Happy Holidays!
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    ...the regulars at this discussion. I would like to extend my warmest wishes for a blessed and joyous Christmas. May the spirit of this holy season fill and brighten your New Year! Above all, be safe, spend quality time with your loved ones and enjoy the holidays in moderation.

    God Bless,
    Larry
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    Happy Holidays to everybody here! Take care this season folks.

    BTW, my CD player doesn't skip when going over bumps.

    Pro_fan
  • chicagoprochicagopro Posts: 1,009
    Anybody else having problems with their windows freezing shut? For a couple of days in a row now, the windows won't go down when I first start the car...after I drive a little while and warm up (like 30 min), then they decide to cooperate.

    Didn't have this problem last winter.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    Dale, have them repaired under warranty. I have owned many cars with auto power windows and this is a first to me. Something is wrong. I know it's a PITA to set up a service visit, nonetheless; what are your alternatives?

    -Larry
  • chicagoprochicagopro Posts: 1,009
    Thanks for your prompt reply.

    Could it possibly be because we had some pretty damp weather, followed by a cold snap? Moisture in the doors, now freezing?

    Sigh...you're probably right, though...I should add a visit to the dealership to my list of things to do on my 'vacation.'

    Hope your holiday was happy!

    --Dale
  • chicagoprochicagopro Posts: 1,009
    You know I park outside at night, right?
  • The RE92's are not the best performance tires available, but they are decent tires. They should be good for 20k-30k miles depending on your driving style and handling expectations. They are noisy on rough pavement. Hanling and response are decent but not top shelf. Hydroplane resistance is good until they are half worn. I think Mazda wanted an all-weather tire, and there are few available in 195/55-15.

    Merry Christmas to all you pro drivers!
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    I finally got to try out my new Dunlop snow tires. I don't know why I went this long without them. I can kick SUV and Subaru butt now at the stoplights.
  • dkladkla Posts: 4
    Hey everyone,

    Well, I'm back in Northern Virginia (in reading all the old posts, it seems that was a popular cross-country roadtrip destination). For those who remember, I was in L.A. debating whether to buy my Protege there and drive it back. I chose not to, and instead rented a car (actually, a V6 Ford Ranger extended cab, which completely surprised me-- I was expecting a lousy cheapo truck, and it turned out to be a real great drive; I'd definitely consider it as a second car for utility hauling). The trip cross country is another story, but it was a great time-- beautiful weather (I traveled the week of Thanksgiving, so I lucked out), great scenery (Grand Canyon, Navajo country, the Rockies from Durango to Grand Junction, through Denver to Kansas, up to Nebraska, through Iowa, stopped off in Chicago to see the family for turkey, and then off to DC). For anyone who has the time or inclination (and a friendly job paying for your move), I'd recommend taking the trip in a heartbeat, it's worth it.

    Anyways, I'm writing to inform everyone that I purchased my Protege! I apologize if all my details aren't available, I'm at work and I don't have the bill of sale in front of me, but here's what I can recall:

    2002 Mazda Protege ES, 5-spd, black, with premium package, perimeter alarm, and cargo net. I bought it with 2 (!) miles on it.
    Price: I bought it on the S-plan (thanks EAA!) for @16150, IIRC. $2000 down, I took the 60 mos at 5.9% (I coulda got the 0.0% at 36 mos, but I'm saving to buy a house next year, so every dollar counts right now, and I'll just double pay next year). Monthly payment comes to $289 and change.
    Insurance: GEICO, with a $500 deductible, part-time driver (I walk to work, the car's just for fun ;-), I pay $375 every 6 months.
    Dealer experience: I bought it from Rosenthal Arlington Mazda on a Saturday. Honestly, if I didn't know this was the car I wanted at this price, I probably woulda walked out of there. The 22 year old salesman could not have been less enthusiastic about the sale (I held back on telling him I would buy on the S-plan, just to see how'd they sell me the car; answer: not very well). After I found the model I wanted, I then got sold hard on buying the paint protection/undercoating/extended warranty. The good cop/bad cop action got so heated that it felt like I was on an episode of NYPD Blue. Anyways, I managed to avoid the (minor) temptation and walk out without buying the extra junk ("I wash my car, thank you very much!"). Basically, the only reason I chose this dealer was that it was next to the subway in case I needed to get my car fixed. At least their selection was good (although I they didn't have a red, which was my other potential choice).

    Protege review: Since I spent six months looking at cars, I was pretty well sold on the Pro well before I even test drove it. I looked at everything from a Focus ZX3 up to a VW GTI, with cars like the Civic and Cougar in between. In the end, I settled on the Protege for a few reasons:
    -- Raves from the folks here on the Edmunds board (no, seriously-- the praise-to-complaint ratio for the Pro board has to be one of the best in the Town Hall).
    -- Driving fun. It sounded more entertaining to drive than a Civic. Since I don't commute, I wanted something I could enjoy driving.
    -- Reliability. I'm sure it's a good car, but I can't help it, the Focus just scares me. Growing up, my nationalistic bent told me I'd never buy a Japanese car. Now that I'm older (and actually have to pay for things), I can't afford that luxury. Consumer Reports liked the Pro enough for my uses.
    -- Attractiveness. At first glance, I thought the car was boxy and boring, a little too close to the Corrolla for my tastes. However, the styling grew on me, especially in the ES trim (the spoiler is tasteful, I like the chrome accents, and white-face gauges make me go zoom-zoom!). Now I think the car is downright handsome.

    After owning it for a month (I've got 740 miles on it as of last night), here are my general impressions:

    -- FUN, FUN, FUN: my last car was a 98 Golf GLS, a great car to be sure, but the Pro is a lot more fun to drive. The suspension lets me go exactly where I steer it. I've taken some off-ramps at speeds I probably shouldn't be going, and the car always keeps me in the right spot. For such an inexpensive car, I've been very impressed.

    -- Transmission: I like it a lot more than the Honda shifters (I know, blasphemy). It feels a lot like the Golf shifter, which I really enjoyed. The throws aren't too long, aren't too short, and there's a satisfying feeling of being in gear (my friend's 2000 Altima is a great car, but I can never tell when I'm in gear). The clutch pedal lifts up at exactly the right height (although I'd like to get a larger pedal; I pretty much just use my toes on it, and that gets uncomfortable in traffic, I'd rather have a larger pedal I can use my whole foot on). The gear ratio is a little blah; I find myself driving a lot in 4th, more so than in the Golf (3rd was the most used on that one)

    HOWEVER, I'd like to corroborate some comments I read earlier on the board. The tranny definitely needs to warm up to work right. The shifter is rubbery and the clutch is jerky until the car is warm (temp gauge squarely in the middle). Since the car warms up fast, I can't complain about it. Also, I believe I also suffer from the mythical "power loss" phenomenon, and I can definitely say it has nothing to with the AC cycling on or off (I had it off, I think ;-). It's very weird, just a brief (1/2 second or so) loss of power in gear, not enough to affect my driving, just enough to notice. I haven't noticed my headlights dimming or anything like that, just a feeling that my gas flow cut out for a moment. Since I don't know what sets it off, I don't think it's really a "problem," especially since it's only happened twice (that I've noticed). I'll bring it up when I take in the car for the first service, unless it becomes an issue. Right now, I feel safe in assuming that it's S.O.P. for the car (every car has their idiosyncrasies, I'll be happy if this is the only one).

    -- Great details: The cup holder is in a good spot. The factory radio has no high-range, but it's good in the low- and mid-, and the controls are intuitive (Gotta love that big fat dial!). Lots of storage nooks (although beware of putting CD cases in the center unit-- they tend to rattle around and freak you out). The 60/40 seats and pass-through trunk have already gotten a workout at Ikea, I was able to transport an entire (small) dining room set in the car, plus a 7x10 ft rug. The car has incredible room. Seats are comfy. The parking brake is in the right spot, in the middle of the console (and not next to my leg). Love the soft plastic feel of the dash. Not a single rattle-- the build quality for the price has been excellent, no misaligned panels, all the part
  • dkladkla Posts: 4
    all the parts were there.

    -- REALLY minor nits: In a car this well detailed, you'd think Mazda would add a) variable intermittent wipers (the slow is too slow, the fast is too fast, I need a "just right"), and b) a one-touch sunroof retractor (who opens the roof halfway? Make it like the driver's side window button). I also would prefer to have the fog light button on the steering column, it's a little far to reach on the dash. Finally, I find myself turning on the brights an awful lot when I use the turn signal, but I guess most new cars have that "back on as long as you hold it, forward on until you shut it off" brights function. Wish the gauge lights were that VW blue vice the orange; when I go from seeing red taillights on the road to the red lights in the car, I tend to lose sight of things for a moment. Arm rest is too small, I can only use it when I'm in 2nd or 4th and kicking back; I miss my VW armrest! Oh well, personal preference, nothing's perfect unless I build the car myself.

    -- Biggest complaint: The stupid car alarm. I can't use it. Nearly every time I use it, I'll find that it went off when a dump truck goes by, or a plane flies overhead. It's gone off at 4 am in my backyard parking lot, much to the chagrin of my neighbors I'm sure (thankfully the key fob has enough juice to shut if off from my bedroom window; that was the ultimate lazy touch!). I find myself just pressing in the "lock all doors" button before I leave the car. Obviously, this isn't the smartest thing to do, but considering how everyone ignores car alarms anyways, I don't think I'm losing anything for security. I'll just have to buy a Club, and debate upgrading with a Lo-Jack or similar system.

    Overall, I'm really in love with the car. It drives great, it has good enough power for the city (now that I'm coming out of my break in period, I've discovered the joys of 5500 RPM, although driving like that just kills the gas mileage). It's also a handsome car that looks more expensive than it really is. Unless something pops up that proves the car a lemon, I expect to be happy with the car for a very long time!

    Cheers,
    Dave

    P.S. A few questions for the group:
    -- I guess I should change out my oil at 1000 miles and not wait until the dealer service (something like 3500, 3750 miles), right?
    -- Does the roof deflector make a big enough difference? I don't have one, and having the roof open at highway speeds (thanks to the oil companies for providing us with this globally warmed winter!), it's pretty loud, so I'm debating getting one installed.
    -- Anything I should be looking out for in the next few months? I.e., are there any problems that will typically show up in the 1K-5K miles period?
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