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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair

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  • croft77,

    You can identify your vehicle at mazdausa.com. Join as an owner, enter your VIN, and the site will identify your vehicle.
  • Hey all.
    Well, after my post of December 2, things got worse. When slowing down, the car would surge between 36 & 39 MPH as well as around 15 to 20 MPH. , I made the dealership give me a free loaner car.(the service guy wanted me to pay $30.00 a day for the loaner.) Enough of this sitting around wasting my Saturday as if I have nothing else to do! I brought the car in on December 11th, got it back on December 15th. What was it? It turned out to be the EGR valve after all. (or so they thought - see below) At first they eliminated it, then looked at it and realized how full of junk it was. So, it was replaced to the tune of about $500.

    Well, I have been driving the car ever since. Do you think it is ok? NO! Christmas Eve day I am driving home. I feel the car hesitate then the "orange light of death" comes on (The check engine light). I dropped off the car on Wednesday after work.

    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.
    Anyone have any clues on this? I need this car to be worth something for trade in!
    Thanks.
    Happy Holidays!!
    Dave
  • syd968syd968 Posts: 27
    For the '01 Protege ES the owners manual says to inspect the engine timing belt at 60,000 miles and replace it every 105,000 miles. A non-Mazda mechanic I talked to says to change it at 60,000 miles. Should I wait a bit to change the timing belt (say 70 - 80k miles)? There's no easy way to inspect the belt, you would spend almost the same amount to inspect it as you would to replace it. Thanks for any advice.
  • I decided to do some of my own investigating into the check engine light problem I'm having with my 2003 Protege' 5 and happened to stumble upon this website .... EUREKA I think I've come to the right place. My Protege has 130,000 miles on it and about six weeks or so ago I began having an intermittent problem with the check engine light coming on - typically it would flash for maybe 5-10 seconds and occasionally it would act as if it was going die during this 5-10 seconds, then it would go to a steady on position - sometimes it would stay on for a day or two, one time for almost a week but then it would just turn off. The code read a P0300 Random Misfire but the tech @ the dealership couldn't get the car to repeat the action. Anyway, this has continued to be a hit and miss problem until yesterday when the check engine light came on & wouldn't quit blinking. Towed it to the dealer who tells me that my cat converter is toast but they can't figure out why - I'm still getting the random misfire code however, in their words, my car was running great & purring like a kitten. Come to find out that in addition to mine, they had TWO other 2003 Protege's in yesterday with the SAME exact symptoms (only their cats aren't toast yet) and they aren't able to diagnose those either. Because it's pretty unusual to have THREE cars w/ the same problem come in on the same day, they'll be calling their technical advisor today to get more information - I'm PRAYING that this is a known issue & that I'm going to get some help fixing it! I appreciate any information you can give me regarding any recalls, etc on this issue. Thanking you in advance - Debbi
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    For the '01 Protege ES the owners manual says to inspect the engine timing belt at 60,000 miles and replace it every 105,000 miles. A non-Mazda mechanic I talked to says to change it at 60,000 miles.

    You may be both right.

    My manual has several schedules and some footnotes.
    In one footnote, for example the manual says: If vehicle is operated in cold districts {below -18 °C (0 °F)}, replace the timing belt at 96,000 km (60,000 miles).

    Also, you may want to consider changing the belt if you're driving with "unique driving conditions". According to the manual, "Unique driving conditions consist of : Repeated short-distance driving. Driving in dusty conditions. Driving with extended use of brakes. Driving in areas where salt or other corrosive materials are used. Driving on rough or muddy roads. Extended periods of idling or low-speed operation. Driving for long periods in cold temperatures or extremely humid climates."
  • syd968syd968 Posts: 27
    Thanks for the post autonomous. I go off the Schedule 2 maintenance schedule which has those unique conditions. Was wondering at what mileage others have changed their timing belts at?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    wondering at what mileage others have changed their timing belts at?
    I changed mine at about 60K miles ... which is when my water pump failed.

    Which reminds me that it's not only the timing belt that needs replacing. You should also ask about any other components (especially belts) that can fail in the area of the timing belt. Try calling a few independent garages and ask them what they recommend. You may find that they will recommend several services be done at the same time as the timing belt change. My understanding is that the real cost in a timing belt change is the "time" :blush: it takes to get to it by removing / unhooking other components. In other words, while you're there changing one belt you might as well do the related services to avoid the hours it will take in the future to handle the other belts.
  • Hey all.
    We think the Check Engine Light issue is finally resolved.
    What the dealership did was take the coils from another Mazda and place them into my wife's car. So far, no check engine light, no hesitation and no issues.

    I am hoping this is the end of that crisis.

    Thanks.
    Dave
  • Woohoo - that's great news Dave! Am getting my bad coil replaced today & finally picking up my car - sounds like it's going to be the cure for my issues as well.... keep your fingers crossed! Debbi
  • What causes and uneven idle speed from 400 to 1500 or 2000, then back to 400-500.
    99 Mazda Protege 1.6 L engine, manual shift.
  • Uneven idle can have many causes. Protege's are known to have two specific issues that will cause uneven idle:

    - Stuck EGR valve
    - Air or Vacum Leak

    Protege EGR valves tend to get clogged with carbon. If they get stuck open, it will result in very poor idle, and reduced fuel economy. If you're mechanically inclined, you can remove it, and either clean it or replace. Do a google search on "HowTo Protege EGR Cleaning".

    Vacum leaks will screw up idle. Check all your vacum lines.

    The air boot (corrugated hose between the air filter and the intake) tends to crack, allowing air in. This will screw up idle. Remove this boot and check for cracks/tears.

    That's a start anyway.
  • My 1995 protege, has suddenly decided it doesn't want to idle, if I pull up to a stop sign or put the brakes on it dies, It is a 5 sp. I am at my wits end, I'm thinking throttle sensor, bad gas, bad fuel pump, help, I'm totally embarrassed to drive it anywhere because of the way it acts. It is bad enough that even when I take off, it surges in 1st gear and I almost have to take off in 2nd. Can anyone give me any kind of help. Also is there anyway besides taking car to dealer to get codes read.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Can anyone give me any kind of help. Also is there anyway besides taking car to dealer to get codes read.
    Sure, there are lots of independent garages that can handle a Mazda protege; you don't need to go to the dealership. You can even try some auto shops which advertize free code reading.
  • i own a well maintained 2000 mazda protege dx 1.6L manual transmission, recently the check engine light has come on, its not always on but eventually does come on every time i drive it. when the check engine light comes on the car fails to accelerate smoothly, it seems to either decelerate or be accelerating at full throttle there is no middle ground. this problem often subsides only to return a few minutes later. This is the only vehicle i own, so can someone please help me?
  • If you're thinking of a DIY repair the first thing you need to know is the code that's causing the CEL. Many auto parts places will extract the code for free 'cause they figure you will buy parts. Get the code and report back here (or one of many online Mazda forums).

    Also give a recent history of the car - any changes, have you mainteined it, etc.
  • Ok, I've volunteered to work on my friends '02 protege. Here is, in the same way I was told what happend, what's going on, and what's been done so far.
    1) hooked up battery charger to boost - accidentally reversed the cables
    2) multiple "explosive" sparks and small flames coming from battery terminals and vents
    3) car will not start or turn over
    4) headlights will come on
    5) no electrical components inside car will operate
    6) all fuses have been checked (supposedly)
    7) tester says battery polarity is not reversed

    Any ideas? I was thinking either a fusible link to the starter, or the ECU took a deadly shot of voltage.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 46,003
    First I'd check the battery itself for shorted plates internally. It might have enough juice to dimly light the headlights but not turn over the starter, which requires mucho amperage. If the battery passes a load test, then I'd trace the cable down to the starter motor, and also any other hot lead off the battery to a fusible link. I'd also PULL the fuses and check them all with an ohm meter, and unscrew the fuse box and look behind it for burned wiring. I'm not seeing the connection between a damaged ECM and all these other problems. I'm thinking more about wiring and fuses. It would be great to have a wiring diagram of this car.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • It was the main power fuse (100 amp). Was kind of hard to see in the spot where it was located and the fuse panel cover says it was supposed to be somewhere else. Thanks anyways folks. Four bucks later and the car's running.
  • I have a '02 Mazda Protege and for the past couple of weeks, every once in a while, while driving, the transmission wont engage into Overdrive as it should. When it is supposed to shift, the car acts as if it is in neutral and will not accelerate until I let off the gas and press the O/D button off. After doing this, the O/D light starts flashing continuously and it will never shift into Overdrive, until I turn the car off and then on again. After re-starting the car, the car returns to functioning normally, the O/D light stops flashing and the car shifts as intended. The problem seems to occur once every 3 or 4 days. Do you know what the problem likely is and what it takes to repair it?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    car acts as if it is in neutral and will not accelerate until I let off the gas and press the O/D button ... O/D light starts flashing continuously

    Any other symptoms? Shudder? Hesitation? Clunking Noise? Does the Check Engine Light (CEL) come on? I'm assuming that we are talking about an automatic transmission.

    Have you changed the transmission fluid?
  • Yes, auto transmission, no other symptoms/noises. The check engine light does not come on. Do you think the car will still log a fault in the computer if the CEL does not turn on? The car manual says if the OD light flashes, I have an electrical problem and to consult the Mazda dealer.
    I had a friend tell me that there are two parts to the transaxle (xmission). And the problem is likely with the over/drive electrical sensor part (the cheaper part to fix) and not the actual transmission.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Do you think the car will still log a fault in the computer if the CEL does not turn on?
    Yes, considering the O/D light flashes continuously.

    I had a friend tell me that ... the problem is likely with the over/drive electrical sensor part (the cheaper part to fix)
    We're hoping your friend is right.
  • Indeed, said friend should be correct. A co-worker of mine had the same problem with his auto-trans in his 2002 Protege. The sensor was the problem and a simple replacement was the fix.
  • branfobranfo Posts: 1
    I drive an automatic 00 mazda protege lx. I have 2 questions. The first is it okay to drive the car with the overdrive always on or at lower speeds in town should i turn it off? The second question deals with the plastic wheel liner. It has fallen off from both front tires and under the front engine part. Does anybody know about how much it costs to replace it and does the liner help reduce road noise?
  • I have a 2001 Protege ES with Auto Trans. it has 91k miles. When cold, while going slow, it surges if I take my foot off the gas, most noticably when going around 20 mph. the Tach will go from 1000 to 2000 or a little more and then come right back down.

    Any ideas? Thanks
    Dave
  • Dave - I had something similar happen to my car. I was having issues with the "Check Engine Light". (check those post beginning around December 1st.) Problem with my car is it was happening at all engine temperatures and at speeds between 36 & 39 MPH when slowing down.

    Take it in and let them "rip it apart".
    Never told me why it was doing it - but eventually was fixed.

    Sorry I can't be more of a help.
    Dave
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I have a 2001 Protege ES with Auto Trans. it has 91k miles. When cold, while going slow, it surges if I take my foot off the gas, most noticably when going around 20 mph. the Tach will go from 1000 to 2000 or a little more and then come right back down.

    Is this the first time that this started happening?
    Does the surging happen in the summer?
    Apart from the surging tachometer are there any other signs (e.g. engine much louder than normal, engine shakes, etc.)?
    Once the car warms up does the surging stop?
    How long does it take to warm up (a few minutes, about 5 minutes, 6+ minutes)?
  • I posted last month about my protege and the way it is running, after reading several posts here I have narrowed it down to 3 possible problems, one being the timing belt, it has 176, 000 miles on it as far as I know it has never been changed, a stuck egr valve or air leak, When I first start it and try to drive off you can hear it backfire through the exhaust, is this typical of a bad timing belt, and does anyone have any idea the time and difficulty of changing the belt so that I can get an idea if it is a do it yourself or a garage job. :cry: :sick: :confuse:
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    timing belt, it has 176, 000 miles on it as far as I know it has never been changed

    Highly unlikely that it's the original timing belt - unless you were born under a very lucky star. MOst timeing belts need to be changed at 100K miles. In the case of Mazda the risk of a broken timing belt is disasterous. It sounds like you are due to have yours replaced soon. Unless you are mechanically adept, I'd suggest getting it done by a pro. If you mess up, the timing belt could cook your engine. Then that $500 job is looking like several thousand dollars.

    While you're at the garage have them check out the other problem. The EGR problem is fairly easy to diagnose.
  • Timing belt can be a DIY project if you have the tools, time, instructions, and patience. Small hands help too, since it's very tight.

    If you can afford it, pay a professional. If you DIY, seek online help from one of the dedicated mazda forums.

    Either way, while you're in there, replace the water pump and all belts. Otherwise you'll be paying the labor all over again.
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