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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • chicagoprochicagopro Posts: 1,009
    Yep, I live in the city, a few blocks away from Wrigley Field.

    The only skyway bridge I know of in the area is the one that leads to that what you're referring to?

    Let us know what happens when you swap out the plugs and wires!

  • oskwioskwi Posts: 88

    Yup, that's the bridge I'm referring to! I travelled from Buffalo to Oshkosh about seven times in as many months...I'm originally from Buffalo and went to Oshkosh for only one semester of graduate school before moving back to Western New York.

    Plug and wire change is this coming Wednesday. I'm looking forward to improved performance! :)

  • Yep,

    Was gonna post this and just now am getting to it. I took it to a Mazda dealer here in Minneapolis after having my dad's mechanic thinking it was a transmission issue. Mazda checked it out and said they'd call with what they found out.

    Get a call the next day and they tell me "your car is done", and it ended up being a Mass Airflow Sensor that had gone out. Apparently it regulates the amount of air that gets into the engine in order for it to fire.

    Luckily, even though I do not have the factory warranty on the car as I bought it used, Mazda stepped up and covered the replacement and labor at no charge because the part is under warranty for 70,000 miles. I did have them flush and replace my transmission fluid as that was probably original from when the car came off the line which is a bit scarry, but no harm done now.

    I can't wait to take the car in to get my oil changed this week and see if Jiffy Lube tries to tell me my tranny-fluid is dirty. They IMHO are slime-balls and are barely worth their $20 early bird oil changes.

    Oh well, back in business and the car is running great!

    Thanks for all the ideas. Have a great day.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    There was a recall on the MAF sensor on DX and LX models in 1999. That's why Mazda "stepped up" and fixed it for no charge.

    Glad to see you're zooming happily along now!

  • kagedudekagedude Posts: 407
    Hi. I got my old 1994 Mazda Protege DX 5spd back from my aunt and it has 71K miles. The engine is still in mint condition. The manual states I should change the timing belt on the SOHC engine at 60K miles but unfortunately, my aunt didn't do it.

    Any Protege owners that changed it past the 60K mark? If so, what was the mileage? Also, if in the event it does snap on you while driving, is it minimal damage to the engine? Thanks.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    That's like asking the proverbial question, "Mr. Owl, how many licks DOES it take to get to the bottom of a Tootsie Pop?"

    The world may never know.

    However, as the former owner of two '92s and now an '00 and an '02, and a veteran Edmunds member, I can offer the following enlightenment from a post made on this same discussion four years ago (which you could have found yourself, FYI, by using the "Search This Discussion" window on this page):

    "According to the canonical list compiled by the Gates Rubber Company, the '94 Protegé does have a belt, and Mazda recommends that you change it out every 60,000 miles. And if Gates is correct, this engine is free-running (as opposed to an interference fit), which means that if the belt breaks, the engine will stop, but actual damage is unlikely. The procedure, as I understand it, doesn't require any special tools, but it is a bit on the complicated side."

    That said, I changed the belt on my 1992 LX -- same engine as in your 1994 -- but it took an entire day and resulted in an expanded vocabulary and several ounces of blood-letting.

    It's gonna cost you a pretty penny -- several thousand of them in fact. Probably in the neighborhood of $300. (The belt itself is less than $50.) But if your car hasn't had a major service (like the 60,000-mile one that your aunt probably didn't do either), it's time to stop expecting everything and maintaining nothing! Get the car in for a major service and have the timing belt changed.

    $300 is pitiful little insurance for another 60K miles for a "mint condition" engine, as you call it. (You can recoup some of the labor in this labor-intensive job by having them replace the other belts while they've got the engine torn down -- use this as an opportunity to put a little pre-emptive maintenance back into this car that has served your family so well for a decade.)

    Unless you're planning on selling it in the next couple of months -- then you can unload it on some poor unsuspecting sucker. But the fact that it has a new timing belt just might cinch the deal then, too ...

  • kagedudekagedude Posts: 407
    Thanks for the quick response. I really didn't want to spend any maintenance money on the car since my aunt pretty much just gave it away and I have 2 other cars to maintain (TSX and Maxima). The car is definitely serving our family well. It is still very peppy and the a/c is still very very cold a few seconds after startup. I had so much fun driving it the first time again. I just called the dealer this morning and they wanted $599 for the timing belt which is why I'm hesitating. Yikes!
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Well, you're not under warranty anymore ... why not price it at Joe's Engine Repair over on Elm Street?


    (As timing belts go, it's pretty straightforward -- any mechanic should be able to do it.)

    Let's put it this way. Your profile says you live in New York. So your Protege has been through 10 winters and 10 summers. Timing belts are made of rubber (and a few other things, but mostly rubber). Rubber stiffens, cracks and wears out over time and temperature changes.

    If you plan to keep this car for any more than a few more months, you're going to have to wind up putting a timing belt on it anyway ... either when you choose to, or when the car decides enough is enough and leaves you stranded out on a dark highway in the middle of the night. (Then you can add towing charges to the cost of that belt.)

    You've already cheated fate by 11,000 miles and managed to stretch -- probably literally -- 118 percent of the life out of the original belt. Congratulations.

    Now change the belt.

  • kagedudekagedude Posts: 407
    Okay... you've convinced me. =) Gotta find a reputable mechanic now. Thanks!
  • kagedudekagedude Posts: 407
    Hi. Anyone replaced the fuel filter on a 94 Mazda Protege DX? I'm having difficulty removing the fuel filter. I'm unable to loosen the bracket screw and can't seem to find a tool that will work. The area is tight and really hard to get any play doing it from under the hood. I've used a plier, an open and socket wrench. Any pointers? Thanks in advance.
  • Nevermind. I went to my dad's mechanic and it took them half an hour to remove it. They used a snake socket to remove the bracket screw, a crowbar to hold in place the bracket when removing and reinstalling the fuel filter, and the car lift to remove and replace the bottom hose.
  • - Thanks for the info - doesn't sound like anything I want to try on my own!
  • My 1999 Protege ES has been screeching on startup for several months now. I took it to a tuneup place and replaced the belts, however they said the problem was that the a/c compressor bearings were bad, so it wouldn't turn initially, thus the belt screeching. They quoted about $800 for the repair, including the a/c recharge. Does this make sense?
  • 70,000 miles, no recent problems with my 2000 Protege. I'm not really driving it much any more, it'll probably get parked in the garage for the winter months.
  • ...that the Mazda3 "problems" forums has half as many messages already as the equivalent Protege forum? You may want to keep those Proteges just a little while longer......... :P
  • This is my daughters car. 2000 LX w/1.6 and automatic. First trans. went out at 30k & was replaced by dealer under warranty. Two weeks ago, at abt 72k the car fails to shift out of 2nd gear. Dealer diagnoses problem to be failed transmission & $2700 to repair. Contacted selling dealer, who contacted Mazda & was informed that Mazda had already replaced one transmission & since the car was out of warranty, Mazda would not help. I personally called Mazda & was informed that once the Mazda area rep makes a decision, that the case is closed as far as any help from Mazda is concerned. So, the 2nd tranny failed w/i 42k miles. Personally, I find this as totally unacceptable. I purchased this car due to it proported reliability and low maintenance. Two transmissions going out in less than 72,000 miles is not my idea of reliability. So, buyers beware!
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Not that this helps, but it may help reassure others ... my MANUAL (5-speed) 2000 ES is at 82,300 miles and its transmission is doing just fine. I did replace the clutch, flywheel and throwout bearing under a TSB, but it was more of a "want" than a "need" thing since the dealership gave me a good deal. They said my old clutch looked fine when they replaced it. I plan to make my next car, a 2005 Mazda3 wagon, a 5-speed as well, in keeping with my KISS and KIFD (Keep It Fun to Drive) philosophy ...

  • I have a 2000 Protege ES 5 speed with about 33,000 miles. I bought the car as a demo with less than 3,000 miles on it just about 4 years ago and have been thrilled. It is been extremely reliable, the only maintenance needed has been regular oil changes. A couple of months ago, the Check Engine light started coming on occasionally. It seems to happen when I am in a hurry and start the car up and take off immediately. The car runs fine, aside from the light being on. We have found a temporary fix, disconnect the battery cable and reconnect and the problem goes away - for a while. Reading the messages, I see the MAF sensor mentioned - with a free fix? Does anyone have more details on that? My car has not been back to the dealer since the warranty expired and I am afraid they will see the current mileage and slap me with a major bill just to get all the scheduled maintenance done.
  • Have the dealer do no work you do not authorize, or find a good independent repair shop. I have never taken an out-of-warranty car to a dealer.
  • I have since had the transmission repaired. I have a written statement from the transmission shop that states: "Upon inspection, it was found that the Protege's transmission had too much endplay, resulting from a MISPLACED roller thrust (bearing). The 2-4 band was broken due to excessive endplay, resulting in the transmission failure." And on to say, "the transmission was doomed from the beginning because of the incorrect placing of the roller thrust (bearing) inside of the transmission."
     So, I'm taking this information back to the selling dealer (who replaced the first failed transmission at 29.8K with another defective unit that failed at 41K) and will see what response I get from Mazda. I bought this car in good faith based upon favorable reviews pertaining to safety and reliability. Two failed transmissions in 71K does not meet either criteria.
     I realize that in any mass production product, failures will occur. And if I was unlucky enough to get a defective replacement transmission also, I can get over that event if Mazda will accept their responsibility. More to come.........
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