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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Remove the belts then spin the alternator and all accessory pulleys by hand to check for any bind or excessive resistance to rotation. Almost sounds like an alternator bearing is starting to give up the ghost.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,401
    my wife has an '00 Protege ES with 70K miles. while the engine is still "cold," the car makes a grinding noise whenever you push the gas down at low speeds. It even does it when the car is in park if I rev the engine a bit. What could this be?

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

    Last night the car wouldn't even crank over, this morning she fired right up. Then after shutting it down a few minutes later, wouldn't fire up at all.
    Looked at the battery and it was - to put it nicely - pretty old. Swapped the new battery in, car fired up no problem. Belt squeeling stopped, drove it around and the car was perfectly fine.
    Untill, on the way to work, noticed it started to overheat - only on the highway (@ constant speed, low rpms). When driving locally (off the exit), car cooled down(??). Going out on lunch, car drove fine - didn't overheat or nothing - odd. Leaving to go home, started the car and let it run for about 20min before leaving - fine, fired right up, didn't overheat, no belt squeels, no odd noises (could hardly tell it was on).
    Got on the highway going back home, started to overheat again (this time hitting the 3/4 mark and a lil higher), lights began to dim - but the car didn't do the christmas tree thing it did last night. Got home, car started to cool down off the exit (the heat it put out didn't change at all vs. when it didn't overheat), drove it home - car ran fine. Parked it, shut it off then tried to fire it up - again - battery seemed drained.
    Possible alternator AND waterpump faliure??? Seems odd, the belts are still on and are as tight as they should be, alternator pulley and waterpump pulleys were turning when I checked it this morning (after the battery swap). If the alternator seized up wouldn't it burn or rip the belt after running for a few minutes? Atleast I would've smelled something odd. I know when the car is running with almost no charge, dead battery - wierd electrical problems occur (flashing dash lights, tach + speedo die out) - would it be possible that the temp signal gets messed with (or am I being too optomistic?). I dunno, this car has some wierd problems.

    -Replaced battery this morning, car drove 100% pefect.
    -Car operated normal when driving on local roads.
    -Upon entering the highway, car oveheats(??) and alternator seems to fail to charge the battery(??).
    -Exiting the highway and driving locally (low speed + stop+go traffic) - car cools down(??) and runs normally.
    -Getting back home, the car wouldn't fire up (battery drained) - this after putting in a new battery the same day.

    I'm going to try and fire the car up tommorow, and disconnect the + terminal on the battery and see if it dies out, if it does - then I'll check the alternator. As far as the overheating issue on the highway, then cooling off when I slow down (which doesn't make sense to me). Thats another issue I would like to look at (since the wp is ran off the same belt).
  • Ok, tested with the voltmeter this morning:
    Jumped to start, checked voltage @ normal idle.
    -Battery Connected: low 13v, sometimes 13.5
    -Battery + Disconnected (alternator): 13.5v varies up to 13.8v
    -Battery Only: 12.5v @ the battery

    Running ONLY off the alterenator, car idles + runs. Upon putting any electrical load, the car stalls out. Hitting the brakes was enough to almost stall it. Headlights on, forget it - car stalled instantly. This is all by running off the alternator (battery disconnected). I'm going to look into another alterenator (more $$$ spent on this thing :lemon: ) unless there's an external voltage regulator (which I doubt :cry: ).
  • Hello! I would like to replace the wimpy horn on my 2002 Protege. I know it's behind the front grill but couldn't discover how to remove the grill without almost breaking it. Do someone have a step-by-step procedure for replacing the horn?? Thank You.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    step-by-step procedure for replacing the horn?
    Check the instructions online at
  • Thanks autonomous!! That's exactly what I was looking for!
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    The rears on my Protege are noticeably cambered in. I suppose it's to make fast turns more stable, but it can lead to more wear on the insides of the treads.

    However, I rotate my tires every time I do an oil change (at 5,000 miles), so it's not been a problem for me. I did notice faster wear when I had the tires at 34psi. Dropping that back to 32psi took care of that.

    You can adjust the camber to be more neutral, at the expense of some handling prowess. But if longer tire wear is your goal, then that will help. So will staying close the 32psi inflation pressure.
  • My '02 with 76k is doing the exact same thing. Did it turn out to be the EGR Valve? Did you fix it yourself, and if you did, how difficult was it?
  • have you got an answer? I am having the same problem
  • not hard to remove the egr at all...the most important thing you could do during the repair is to clean the vacuum port that goes straight down into the mani above the valve.
  • mazcarmazcar Posts: 7
    Hi all,
    I have a 96' protege, 1.5L, auto with 112,000 miles on it. Recently the car started missing so i went ahead and had a complete tune up done.The problem was solved but after driving for 1000 miles, its back on. I have checked it, even distributer cap is good not to mention the plugs and wires. I have shown the car to 3 mechanics, none of them could point out anything concrete. So guys your help is needed. Please advice what should I do next.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    had a complete tune up done ... even distributer cap is good not to mention the plugs and wires.

    What did the tuneup include? For example, did you get a diagnostic report, were services like cleaning the throttle body included and were parts replaced?
  • Hello,

    I have a 2002 Mazda Protege, and over the past two months the rear right tire there has been a noise coming from it. At first it started as a rubbing sound. Now it is a loud clicking/ticking sound which increases as I increase in speed.

    The hubcap has been removed, tires properly inflated, there are not objects stuck in the tread, and I have alternated the tires, yet the noise persists. My next step is to replace the brake drum.

    Is this the next step I should take? Do you have any ideas as to what this clicking might be?

    Thank you.

    Mitch - Rowed2damascus
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Remove the drum, there should be a double lip at it's outer diameter which fits a lip on the backing plate to reduce water intrusion. Make sure there isn't rust buildup in the groove between the lips on the drum. It can contact the backing plate and cause the noise you describe. A giveaway is a shiny spot anywhere aroud the backing plate lip where the drum's rust buildup is contacting.
  • I have a '96 protege, 1.8L DOHC 5sp. The water temperature gauge does not move from cold, and I have found a wire disconnected in the engine compartment. If I ground this wire the gauge goes to full hot.

    Where is the water temperature sender located, so I can connect it to the gauge?

  • mazcarmazcar Posts: 7
    the tune up was just basic, replaced plugs, wires and air filter. Also had oil and oil filter changed.

  • Hi stychentyme,

    I just bought a '99 with the same rear door problem. I am wondering how you may have solved it. Did you have it fixed at the dealer? If so, which one? (I am in Vancouver BC, read your profile; same area?) Was the $600 accurate? Any other info I should know?

  • My "99 has the same problem. I'd ignore it. The panels straighten out in dryer weather. It is, indeed, a design flaw. I suppose one could design and rig an attachment from the center-top of the panel to the door frame. I would do that before spending six bills.
  • jeff48jeff48 Posts: 2
    I'm so glad all you folks posted this info. I thought I was seeing things... all of a sudden the door panel warped and popped up the other day on my '03 Protege. I thought I had done something to damage it. Now I figure it's due to weeks of foggy, cold weather. I'll wait and see what it does in the dry 100 degree weather.
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