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Mazda Protege5



  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    I'm Eric... and it's not just Mazda dealerships that I've had bad experiences at... I'd include Subaru and Nissan too. Warranty and non-warranty work.

    Look, I've had bad experiences at independents too. There are good techs and service advisors at dealerships, and bad too. Unfortunately, most of my experiences at dealerships have been frustrating. I'm pretty knowledgeable about cars. I don't pretend to be a mechanic, but I am pretty good about maintaining them. Look, I know what needs doing and I get ticked when the service folks push unnessary items. I've also had problems getting things fixed right at the dealer... simple stuff. Now, I've had independents do the same thing... push unnessary service and screw up. The key is finding someone you trust.

    If you have a good dealer you trust... GREAT. If you have a good independent you trust... GREAT too. I think the reality though... You're going to find more independents who charge a reasonable price, don't push unnessary service and don't screw up. My advise, ask around with friends who have the same make car. Maybe there is a good dealer, or maybe the best choice is an independent.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    FYI, the Mazda dealer in Concord, NH (the closest to me) REFUSED to do cover the sticky, overworn rear brakes even when presented with evidence that this was a known issue. They wanted $400 to fix it and this was IN warranty. :mad:

    I did it myself and make a pint to lube the pivot points up when I change the wheels twice a year.

    That is the one and only time my car has been to a dealer. I have a trusted local mechanic for work I can't do myself.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    Kings Mazda/Suzuki has treated me well. Jake Sweeney has improved to the point where I'd use them. They were good when I first moved here, then they tanked for several years. I hear good stuff about Jeff Wyler, but I won't drive that far for service.

    I've had questionable or bad service done by some independents, and some OK work too. They may have to learn a bit, depending on whether they've worked on Proteges before (one ordered the wrong coil springs for my '89 323LX when I had the struts and springs changed - couple years later, one of the techs got himself a '00 Protege, so he probably knew how to work on them, but I never went back). One independent that a good friend recommended did a hack job on my brakes. They totally beat-up the rear drum covers.

    I do stuff like change oil, air filter, battery, light bulbs, wheel rotations, spark plugs & wires etc. For stuff that takes more time, or I can't responsibly dispose of fluids (like timing belt, brakes, coolant), I have the dealership service department do. Just a personal preference.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Just wanted to chime in and agree that we should question services provided by either dealers or independents. Since dealers have technicians that work on the same line of cars for years you would think they would have the most expertise to handle yours. On the other hand, independents are noted for providing services at less cost and without being beholden to protecting the manufacturer's reputation. The problems I've noticed is that if the management of either the dealership or the independent does not make customer loyalty its top priority, they end up treating us as a transaction that should be maximized by suggesting additional services whether they be necessary or not. The truly unscrupulous perform services at a substandard level or overcharge or charge for services not rendered. So does that mean all dealers and independents are part of demonic cabals out to rip your credit card out of your wallet? In an annual test using hidden cameras and bait vehicles, an auto consumer group (Automobile Protection Association) and a TV network has found that neither dealers nor independents are immune to these practices; the good news is they found trustworthy firms also. In sum, the only guarantee of good customer service is based on due diligence, some neighbourly advice and rewarding those with the right attitude to their customers. As we all know the lowest price is not always the best value.
  • Some great points are being made here, and I'm glad to see that Mazda owners are a level headed bunch! :)

    There are crooks in all kinds of industries, and our job as consumers is to take due diligence to avoid being ripped off. As has already been mentioned, this would include asking friends, family, and neighbours, checking Internet forums, questioning mechanics and inspecting work that has been done. Now, what must be said though is that those of us that partcipate in these discussions are probably less likely to be ripped off. We are mostly careful about shopping around, and we come in here to share our experiences. The average car owner on the other hand doesn't take the time to chack dozens of Internet sites and do lots of research before having a repair job done in order to check for a reputable shop to go to or find out whether an item should be covered under warranty. They will often rely on the shop where they bought the car, and thus set themselves up to be the victim of ruthless business practices. I'm not saying this happens all the time, as I'm sure there are lots of good dealers out there. But without prior knowledge it is easy to get sucked in by a dealer's warnings that taking your car elsewhere might not get your car repaired properly and might void your warranty.

    In my experience a dealer will always be more expensive when performing service and doing repairs. At the same time, I have never really seen anything that justifies the higher price. The quality of work is a gamble as it is no matter where you take the car, and all the extras they claim to perform (20-point inspections etc.) you can easily do yourself for free.

    Based on my own reasoning and experience I have come to the conclusion that dealerships will never be allowed to service my cars. However, I completely understand that other people might feel differently, and I'm sure there are lots of excellent dealerships out there. It's a matter of personal preference and comfort level, but just make sure you do your homework before deciding who gets to tinker with your baby! :)
  • Sorry about the Eric confusion earlier. I guess I responded to the wrong post!
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Very well spoken, well written. I agree, although I will use a dealer for some services where they are price competitive (like oil changes with coupons), and refuse the extras they push. Dealers can be more convienent than independents, such as drop-in oil changes.

    To be fair to dealers, the franchise 20-minute oil change places can be even worse when it comes to pushing unneeded parts and service. At least the service tech at the dealer has changed the oil on that make of car, and usually knows what they are doing.
  • ...and walked out with a $500 bill for the following:

    - 'lifetime' F/R pads
    - resurfacing of F/R rotors
    - brake system flush

    $500 is a pretty atrocious bill for a complete brake job, but the fact that the dealer offered a lifetime warranty (for the life of the vehicle) on the pads kind of sealed the deal for me...since from other experience with other vehicles (BMW, Mitsubishi, and Nissan), OEM pads don't last this long (original pads on the P5 lasted for almost 65K miles).

    most specifically, my wife's 2000 Nissan Maxima has had brake problems since day one and the dealers that we've taken the car to never seem to solve the problem and only offer a limited warranty for their parts and labor.

    Heritage Mazda in Tustin, CA may have cost me $500 for a complete brake job, but the peace of mind in knowing that the local MOCC (Mazda Owners' Club of California) recommended the dealer for service AND the lifetime warranty on the pads made the $500 worth it.

    I've performed all routine maintenance on the Protege5 myself but took it to two different independent service shops for the 30K and 60K service. I didn't have a bad experience with either of the independents, and surprisingly, I didn't have a bad experience with Heritage Mazda. They even gave me a rental car for free since they were out of loaner cars.

    Anyway, that's my two cents. Ask around and get opinions from local patrons before you dismiss the Mazda dealer for service. if I could only say the same for Nissan dealers for service...
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Same as Midas or many of the other big chains... lifetime warranty on the parts, but you pay the labor. My independent will resurface the rotors for free. I'll let you all know the total for my next brake job, which will include new rotors. It won't be what the dealers in this area charge.
  • New to this board. Very happy new owner of a 2003 MP5, 44K, manual, black. Being a novice however, I didn't realize that the car came with low profile tires/wheels (bought from dealer). I believe what I have on their are 205/35/18 Dunlop Sport tires on Enkei wheels. I think both the wheels & tires are very expenseive but very much not appropriate for my driving needs so I need to replace them with more standard tires/wheels. Based on board discussions, I have some good options to choose from - but it's going to cost me! Anyone know the best forumn to sell these tires/rims I currently have. The tires appear new, the wheels/rims a little bit scuffed but very nice looking. Who would be the market for these? (young racers living in AZ or CA?) Any idea what a decent asking price is? Thanks for any advice.
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Try craigslist in your area. There are also other Mazda related forums. Google Protege Forums. I like the OEM wheels the best. Maybe you could get someone to trade for their stock wheels/tires.
  • woddywoddy Posts: 12
    Hi Dan or anybody who might have an insight:
    I came across these postings while looking for information on suspension issues. I have a suspension question, if you'd be willing to share your thoughts.

    I'm hearing a slight clunking sound coming from what seems like the front left suspension in my Pro5. It occurs when I'm going over uneven pavement. Just a slight clunk clunk corresponding to the bumps in the road. With my limited car knowledge, I suspect it is a strut. Does that sound right to you? If so, are struts for a Pro5 expensive?
  • struts are somewhat common on these cars but more likely is the front swaybar link(s). take the car in to any dealer to have an oil change and mention if they could check the sway barlink or struts. All mazda dealers are supposed to do an inspection of every vehicle that enters the shop. They should not charge you extra. If you decide to do the work at the dealer-great- if not at least you will know what it needs..,....
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I believe what I have ... are 205/35/18 Dunlop Sport tires on Enkei wheels.

    Wow! I would not think they would fit on the P5. They also sound very pricey. If you switch, you'll need both new tires and new wheels. The OEM specifications are 195/50 Dunlop tires on 16 inch alloy rims.

    Here's an idea. Pretend you have OEM equipment, call a local tire specialist or auto customizer, and ask what it would cost to upgrade to the ones your car has. Once you know the price of the new tires+rims, I would then consider how much of a discount to offer; personally, I would not pay more than 50% of the original cost for used tires and rims.
  • PFFlyer@EdmundsPFFlyer@Edmunds Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,807
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  • woddywoddy Posts: 12
    Since my last posting I took the car to two mechanics. Niether of them said they could hear anything (it is as clear as day to me). One of the mechanics said that although he couldn't hear anything, he put it up on the rack and said that my left front strut is in quite bad shape, but didn't say anything about sway bars. Does that sound right to you?
  • front struts are very common (just replaced BOTH on my 02 p5). Should take care of your problem. Sometimes front /rear struts are replaced in pairs, see if they will give you a deal on replacing both. Also tell them to be careful disconnecting the sway bar link from the strut.
  • scfranscfran Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Protege 5 and whenever it gets close to a quarter of a tank of gas, the engine starts mis-firing and when it gets really bad, the yellow engine-check light comes on. As soon as I fill the tank, the problem goes away! :confuse:
  • jabba1900jabba1900 Posts: 20
    I'm not the most knowledgable poster in these forums, but I would recommend taking your car to the dealer as soon as possible. If the check engine light has been on, an error code should be recorded in the onboard computer. The dealership has the equipment to read the code and diagnose the problem.

    I know I've said in the past that I'm not a big fan of taking my car back to the dealership for any kind of servicing (except warranty repairs of course), but if I ever had a check engine light come on, I would go back there, since I believe they are best qualified (and have the best equipment) for diagnosing.

    Still, others might have experienced similar problems as you (although this is the first I've heard of it in these forums), so hopefully they can provide some advice.
  • zimmerdjzimmerdj Posts: 1
    My name is Derek, new to the forum and very impressed with the knowledge and support that everyone seems to lend on this site. I am currently having a problem with the clutch on my '02 Protege5 wagon. The clutch is chirping when it is NOT engaged. Once engaged the chirping goes away. I have no problems with the transmission itself, it seems to be shifting fine. Every once in a while the clutch with slip a bit upon release, but it doesnt seem to be a huge problem.... however I am not extremely familiar with manual transmissions and am not aware if this is going to be a severe problem in the future. My father mentioned to me that the chirping could be the slave cylinder. Can anyone pass some information on to me about what my problem might be and how much parts and labor could possibly be? Thanks a lot.
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