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Mazda Protege5 Maintenance and Repair



  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    I THINK I know where it is, but I'm not sure, as my CEL has not recurred since the Autozone tech cleared it from the computer, so I didn't bother to clean it out. Since I had just had it cleaned out (only $75 from my dealer, you might want to get a quote from someone else) just a couple months ago, I figured it probably wasn't clogged again (I have read references where the CEL can log a false clogged EGR valve when the fuel tank is low when it's also cold and damp outdoors, and you drive short trips, which were the conditions when my CEL lit a second time).

    In my '99LX, I think it's behind the top of the engine, on the driver's side.

    I looked in the Chilton's and Motor manuals at my local library, but the descriptions and images weren't clear. Plus, they are 1 edition too old. Though they claim to cover '99 Proteges, I think they refer to gen-2 Proteges when they mention the '99 model year, as most of the specifications and images look like gen-2 Proteges. Wish I could point you to a site with pictures and directions, but I don't know any.

    Anyway, once you find the EGR valve, disconnect the hoses to it, wipe out any dirt/grease/carbon you find and blow it out with some canned air.
  • skoobzskoobz Posts: 4
    Hey there,

    My 2002 MP5 (64,000km) makes a weird creaking sound whenever I'm applying the brakes and about to come to a stop. It doesn't do it when I begin to brake at high speed...only as I'm coming to a stop does it make this noise. Also, the car only makes this noise after driving for a while..say about 25 minutes of city at stop signs and red lights. It's not a squeeling sound but a creaking sound. It almost feels like the disks are uneven because I can feel the brake pedal rhythmically come up and down slightly as I'm applying the brakes. Could that be the cause? I live in Toronto, Canada. Could it be the cold and snow? We just bought the car used from a mazda dealership in September and just took it in to the dealer for it's two year servicing in the fall. They were supposed to inspect and lube the brakes among other things. Any help with this matter would be very much appreciated. Thanks.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    "They were supposed to inspect and lube the brakes among other things."

    That would be recorded on the work order; so you may want to check it. I had mine done as preventative maintenance and it cost approximately C$100 for the four discs. I have not had any problems with my brakes but brake wear is a very individual item.
  • skoobzskoobz Posts: 4
    I checked the worker order and it says they performed the maintenance on the brakes. Although I've heard enough scam stories that I have very little trust when it comes to dealer service and repairs. Also, the creaking sound only started happening (albeit a couple of months) after we had it serviced. I'm just worried that if I take it in they're gonna want to charge me exorbinant amounts to fix what could be a simple problem or what they should have fixed during the 2 year servicing which cost me C$275. Perhaps the car's previous owner was hard on the brakes. In any event I guess I have no choice but to take it in and see what they say.
  • i have a 2002 mazda protege 5 with 91000km. just had the tranny rebuilt due to shifter fork malfunctioning(covered under warrenty) and since have experienced a rotten egg smell, alone with when sitting in idle the engine idles starting at 700rpm(proper) but than drops to approx 500rpm and comes close to stall. any ideas?
  • creaking brakes on a protege can be caused by a thin layer of rust caused by moisture in the air. i live in bc, very rainy and have the same problem. its because the protege has the rotors exposed to the weather, my parents also experience this problem with there venture van.
  • skoobzskoobz Posts: 4
    Hey there,

    Thanks for the replies about the creaking brakes. So I took it into our Mazda dealer today. They took the front wheels off and said that the rotors were warped. They let me take a look as I was a little skeptical. Upon inspection it did seems like they weren't turning properly. The right rotor seemed to get stuck at a certain point when passing the calipers. I asked them if they could be sanded down or straightened somehow but the mechanic said they were too warped for that and that I would have to replace both of the front rotors and brake pads. So $418 CAD later the creaking problem seems to be fixed (although the car still creaks when we go over speed bumps but that may be a cold weather thing). I was just wondering how the rotors could have warped so much to require replacing. Is this something common for 2002 MP5's? We are the car's second owners so I have no idea if the previous owner ran over any large objects but we haven't hit any large pot holes or run over any curbs. I live in Toronto and we've had some pretty cold temps and a lot of snow and ice this winter...could that have something to do with it? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    " ... just wondering how the rotors could have warped so much to require replacing. Is this something common for 2002 MP5's? We are the car's second owners so I have no idea if the previous owner ran over any large objects ... "

    Hmmm, you may have answered your own question. Did you have your car inspected prior to purchase?

    p.s. My dealer and an independent garage advised me to clean and lube my 2002 MP5's brake calipers to avoid getting the sliders rusty and stuck causing premature wear. You may want to consider this every once in a while; I'm thinking of having this done every second year at a cost of C$99.
  • skoobzskoobz Posts: 4
    Hey autonomous,

    We didn't get the car inspected before purchasing it. We bought it at a Mazda dealership in Toronto and they assured us that the car was inspected by their mechanics and that they would never sell a car that had problems. Hmmm....I guess next time we'll be a little more careful. I didn't even know we could get the car independently inspected when buying from a dealership. As for cleaning and lubing the brake calipers....I've read that elsewhere and well definatly be taking that advice. Thanks.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    After rereading your postings, Skoobz, I agree with you that something sounds fishy. You say you bought your 2002 Protege5 used from a Mazda dealer last September and "that the car was inspected by their mechanics and that they would never sell a car that had problems" and yet 6 months later you have had to pay over C$400 for warped rotors. If the dealer assured you that there were no problems 6 months ago and you are certain that you had not created the problem, how did this happen? The rotors on my 2002 Protege5 with 50,000KM are in great shape; roads here in Ottawa are not as bad as in pot-hole-hell Montreal but my zoomster has had some hits this wicked winter.

    You may want to call the service department again and ask to meet the manager for an explanation. I would more than hint that your continued patronage is at stake; in other words if the manager does not provide a satisfactory answer (and action) your future business will go elsewhere (to another Mazda dealership or an independant). You may want to also contact Kirk Robinson of Robinson Automotive ( in Toronto; he is a reputable independant who hosts a car show broadcast on Rogers in Toronto and beyond.

    Is the car still under warranty? In the document of sale did they make any statement as to the condition of the car?

    Good luck and let us know how things shape up!
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    All too common on later-model cars, not just the Protege.

    Used to be you had to do something silly like hosing down your car right after using the brakes hard. Of course, all rotors warp, but usually not enough to be a problem (as you mentioned, you can machine the outer faces flat, if there's enough material).

    Troll the other boards, and you'll find lots of warped rotor complaints. I think the causes are 1) they use less steel (less to act as a heat sink and to conduct away heat) and 2) the steel isn't properly annealed (which they will do once you start using your brakes). All (well, most, since less steel means lighter rotors) in the name of cost-cutting.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    "All too common on later-model cars, not just the Protege."

    Are you saying that many two or three year old cars have warped rotors? I find that surprising! If you drive reasonably and maintain your car properly shouldn't the rotors on cars like the Protege last longer than that? My lowly 1991 Corolla had its rotors resurfaced once in 10 years before I sold the car. Maybe I should have kept that buggy!
  • meinradmeinrad Posts: 820
    My 2002 P5 warped it's rotors after about 15k miles. They machined them under warranty. Have been fine since and I'm up to 43k.
  • cdnp5cdnp5 Posts: 163
    I guess the problem here is you can't tell how the previous owner drove this car. Maybe the rotors where slightly warped when you bought the car but now they are just worse. I would talk to the place you bought the car and ask if they can do anything for you. They might say no but its worth your time to ask.
    I believe most rotors on cars today are not what they were 10 years ago. You can thank cost savings if you want.
    My P5 has almost 150,000kms on my original pads/rotors and no problems yet.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    The rotors on my '89 323LX were fine for the 142k miles I put on it.

    The rotors on my '99 ProLX are fine at 60k miles.

    However, I've been hearing about warped rotors with more frequency now than before. Part of it may be the increase in use of the internet, making it easier to communicate. However, even on sites that have been tracking consumer complaints (like NHTSA's) seem to report more complaints about warped rotors.

    I think rotors on older cars were thicker than they had to be. With newer cars, parts are made lighter for many reasons, and I think that some rotors have much less safety margin than they did before (the less steel, the hotter the rotor will get since there's less total heat capacity, everything else being held constant). Not to say they'll all fail, just that more of them as a percentage of total units in the field will fail.

    And steels have a "grain" to them, which will affect the geometry of parts made from them. This is epecially true if the block you made the part from wasn't annealed before you started cutting on it. Both annealing and heat-hardening use heat to change the hardness and grain structure of steels, just at different temperatures and rate of change of temperature. We've had to junk some tool inserts because they changed too much when we had them hardened. Of course, those were made of different steels (H-13, S-7, P-20 or equivalent) than the type usually used in brake rotors (usually low-carbon steel), but the steel used in rotors will react in a similar fashion.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Wow, some of the numbers you all have been quoting are tremendous. But the winner has to be Chow-Chi (mazdafun)!

    Chow-Chi (mazdafun) said:
    "The rotors on my '89 323LX were fine for the 142k miles I put on it. The rotors on my '99 ProLX are fine at 60k miles."

    Derek (cdnp5) said:
    "My P5 has almost 150,000 kms (90,000 miles) on my original pads/rotors and no problems yet."

    Raymond (meinrad) said:
    "My 2002 P5 warped it's rotors after about 15k miles. They machined them under warranty. Have been fine since and I'm up to 43k."

    I'm hoping my 2002 P5 gets to join this club.
  • corybcoryb Posts: 1
    I am the original owner of my 2002 p5 and just had to have the rotors & pads replaced. Unfortunately at 31000 miles I was over warranty. They said the rotors were grooved. I couldn't believe it. I am usually a not hard braker and have always owned the car.

    One thing I have noticed though since I got it back last night is that it doesn't really brake very well (feels just like new - so it never did). During rush hour, on occassion, you do have to brake a little harder - when that happens you can actually feel the brakes "dig in". So I'm going to wait two months and take the car back to ask them to check it. I think something is fishy here.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    A fresh set of either will initially feel weaker as the pads and rotors haven't conformed to each other. However, after several hard stops (or several more moderate stops), the braking force offered by them should increase.

    If not, you should have them inspect them for any problems in the system (too little boost, air in the lines, stuck piston or caliper).

    I think the brakes in my Pro LX are good, and the ones in my wife's P5 are a bit on the strong side (I have a little more difficulty modulating them, but they sure feel like they stop the car a lot faster), like those in the 6 and 3.
  • fp75fp75 Posts: 4
    I have an automatic 2002 Protege 5 and drove it for less than 30000 miles. Friday I was driving on the highway and suddenly my transmission started to shift erraticaly. It would appear to go to neutral for a second, than back in O/D, than OK for a while, than the same problem again. It's not doing it a low speed. Only above 50 mph. I left it with a dealer and was told that I probably had to replace the transmission! Of course, my warranty expired 4 weeks ago... Is there anyone out there that had similar problems? I don't think it's normal for a 3 years old car to have that kind of problem. I will call the dealer back today and see what they are proposing. I am in CA but have a Canadian car so they don't have it in their database.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    You're right that this problem is not normal for a three-year old car. I own a 2002 P5 also and it has been trouble-free.

    "I am in CA but have a Canadian car so they don't have it in their database."
    Are you the original owner?
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