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Mazda Protege5 Maintenance and Repair

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  • Current Status: They know it is misfiring again - they just are not sure why. On the way to the dealership, I felt the car shudder, not hesitate, like I lost 2 cylinders.

    OMG - I am having the SAME exact problem! AND I wasn't the only one - they had looked at two other proteges with the same problems yesterday. They have been able to tell me one thing though - my cat converter is toast! Because this seems to be such a huge issue, you would think that Mazda would/should be doing something about this! I had my code read 6 weeks ago - I can't help but wonder if the techs had been given the information they needed to remedy this issue if the failure of my converter could have been prevented - I'm looking at a HUGE repair bill. I wish you the best of luck in getting your dreaded orange light issue resolved....
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    For those of you with failed EGR's, what octane fuel have you been running?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    what octane fuel have you been running

    Regular (i.e. 87)
  • Debbi - here is the latest. What they ended up doing was replacing the coils from one Protege and putting it into my wife's car. So far, so good. We only have had the car back a few days, so we are not sure if this is going to work or not. The dealership was not 100% sure either seeing how they can only put so many miles on a car.

    I will keep everyone posted.
    Thanks.
    Dave
  • We run regular gas in our car. Do not see the point of putting premium into a car that is not a performance car.
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    I had been wondering if people were using higher than 87 octane because running to high of an octane in a car that was designed for low octane fuel can definetely lead to excess carbon build up in the cylinder heads, valves and exhaust components (EGR). But both you and Dave aren't running premium so I guess that rules out that theory.

    Another reason for carbon build up is lots of short trips where the engine doesn't fully heat up and burn off the carbon deposits.

    I commute roughly 90 miles round trip every day to work during the winter. In the summer I'm mostly on motorcycles so the car sits until the weekends when I need to get groceries which is not a long trip. I do get her out every other weekend for a longer drive though, so that probably helps.

    Maybe I've just been lucky so far with 116,000 miles (186,000 km). I better start crossing my fingers. ;)
  • Dave ~
    Thanks SO much for the update! Were they finally able to get a specific code that prompted them to replace the coils? Or are they just trying this because they've run out of other options? I guess I'm still a bit confused as to how the whole "code" thing works - doesn't it make sense that the computer should have told them that to begin with? Funny thing is, when I first started having this problem I had my son's friend, who is a mechanic at a toyota dealership, take a look at it and he was pretty sure it was one of the coils but because he couldn't get it to repeat the behavior he couldn't be sure & didn't want to have me have to spend the money to replace both if that wasn't the problem! Because my car broke down at work & I work two hours away from home I had to take it to a dealership that I've never dealt with in the past & so far I don't have a lot of faith in them. As of yesterday afternoon they still couldn't tell me anything except that they are continuing to run tests, etc. Long story short, I'm picking the car up today & taking it to my own dealer who I know & trust AND who will be willing to listen to what I've learned from you! I appreciate your keeping us updated & will keep you posted. Thanks Again - Debbi
  • I dn't know if I have a failed EGR or not, but I've only ever put "regular" gas in my car...

    Debbi
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    wondering if people were using higher than 87 octane ... can definetely lead to excess carbon build up in the cylinder heads, valves and exhaust components (EGR). But both you and Dave aren't running premium so I guess that rules out that theory.

    Alternate theories:
    1) Cold climates affect the proper exhausting of gases via the EGR.
    2) Running excessive speeds overwhelms the EGR. Typically, I average 70 mpg, speed up to 75 for passing and occasionally reach 80 mph. I don't think this qualifies as excessive speed.
    3) Some people are lucky, others not.
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    I'm located in a suburb of Minneapolis so that probably counts as a cold climate. ;) I didn't know that high speed could overload an EGR. Interesting. I generally keep my speed under 65 mph 99% of the time. I guess I average around 60 on my work day commute.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I didn't know that high speed could overload an EGR.
    Just a theory as far as I know.
  • I have had all these same problem. 1st it was my cat which was totally stopped up. When that didn't totally fix my problem because of a misfire from the engine i pinpointed it to be the coils which worked. Now my problem is the idle. It fluctuates and stays pretty low around 500 rpm. Im guessing that this is because of my EGR valve being stopped up.
    Does anyone know how hard it is to replace it myself. I can see it under the throttle body but not sure if i would have to take that off after the air intake system which i know i have to off.
    Any help or advice on replacing it would be great.Thanks
  • Dave ~ Finally got my car into my own dealer & even tho they were only getting the "random misfire" code too, they were able to tell by looking @ my plugs & wires that there had definately been some arching going on in #2. Their recommendation is to replace one of the coils & all of the plugs & wires at a cost of $421.00 (incl. the diag), which I will have them do as soon as they can get the parts. As far as my cat goes, they say it's not plugged to the point that I've lost any power so it's not earth shattering that I replace it immediately and at a cost of $1100.00, I think we'll be waiting awhile and looking for someone other than the dealer to do it. How's thinks going with your wife's car since they put the other coils in? Will keep you posted with how this repair works.... thanks again for your posts, I took them with me when I dropped the car off & I like to think the information helped them out. Debbi
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Im guessing that this is because of my EGR valve being stopped up.
    Does anyone know how hard it is to replace it myself. I can see it under the throttle body but not sure if i would have to take that off after the air intake system which i know i have to off. Any help or advice on replacing it would be great


    Why not call your local Mazda dealer and ask them for a quote? That should tell you how much the part costs and how much time is involved. I had mine replaced by the dealership and it was quite pricey. I have read though that it is not difficult. On the other hand, you may decide that it's worth paying someone else to get their hands dirty.
  • Wow you over pay.

    I got a new cat with install for 400.00 and i replaced the coils, plugs and wires myself for $75.00 took 5 minutes.
  • Well i know how much the part costs and I would never get a quote from the mazda dealership because it would always be twice the price as anywhere else. What Im looking for is someone that has replaced the EGR valve on their own.And advice as to what needs to be taken off in order to do so.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    i know how much the part costs
    How much is the part?
  • Debbi - the car is running great! Not a problem. Not one hesitation, flashing light, loss of power, etc. It sounds like you are on the right path in terms of getting the car fixed.
    Are they giving you a tune up and a new coil? ...replacing plugs and wires kind of sounds like it. But if one of your plugs is arching, you better. Not sure how that can hose up your cat. converter. I know when the light was flashing one time, I was in Stop & Go traffic on the freeway going about 5 or 10 MPH. While the car was still rolling, I turned off the car and restarted it just to try and get the light to stop flashing just because I couldn't get over to a shoulder to turn off the car. Another time I pulled over to the side and jammed on the brakes and created a cloud of dust just so I could stop quickly and turn off the car!

    In terms of who should do the work, I would try and stay with the dealer only because an independent garage i have found in the past might adjust things a bit differently. Plus, it may also show loyalty to them which may come in handy if you need a loaner car. The last trip, I needed a loaner for 2 or 3 days.
    .
  • Nipzip - if you are real handy or good with cars, I have heard it is not hard to replace. If not, or not 100% sure, let the dealership replace it. We had our replaced for $500 in about an hour. We didn't want to spend the money, but we also knew from a previous "Check Engine light" experience, that it may come back and bite us.

    But we also had the dealership do it so that if the darn light kept coming back on, we had some type of recourse. I was able to get a loaner car (which they usually charge $30 / day) for free. The replacing of the coils from one Mazda into my wife's was done for free. Between the two trips, the car was in for about 6 days total. At first, the advisor was going to charge me, but I talked to the service manager that my car has been back quite a few times for the same issue and to make me pay for a loaner under these circumstances was not fair.

    My call - let the dealership do it. If something goes bad, at least you have recourse. At least you avoid getting in over your head!
  • The cost of a new EGR valve is $154.00
    Coils were $15.00 a piece off of Autozone.com/ And supper easy to replace.2 screws
    I replaced both. mainly because i didnt want the same problem again.
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