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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • thcinncthcinnc Posts: 1
    :cry: I've got the exact same problem with my 96 Protege DX. I've been told replacing the EGR Booster will fix it but it didn't. I've been trying since April. If you've found out anything, let me know.
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    Heavy smoke at start-up could be caused by leaking valve stem seals. This would allow oil to leak into the combustion chamber at start-up. I'm guessing this would make the car fail an emissions test if it was done on a cold engine. Did your mechanic discuss this possibility?
  • the lower passenger compartment got flooded and now the car won't start. the automatic seat belts won't activate and there is no power to the starter. all the other electronics seem to work. i've discovered a circut board underneath the drivers seat with a wire bundle into it that appears to have fried. what is this board? it has a part number on the case but i can't seem to locate what it is, or what it's function is.BR70 67 780. Is there an aftermarket source for this? Is it likely to be my electrical problem. Thanks for your help.
  • '99 LX 1.6L w/ 119,000 miles. I've had some major mis-firing issues and noticeable loss of power lately. I took it to a shop and they recommended that I get the plugs, wires and coil replaced, which should take care of the problem. I'm always trying to save a buck or two and I was going to start by replacing the plugs and wires myself. After looking at the engine, I can't find the darn plugs! I'm no mechanic, but I've replaced those before on other cars and they're nowhere to be found. I had a repair manual already covering models thru 2000 and the pics don't match what my engine looks like.
    Anybody know where I should look and how easy is it to replace them? Maybe recommend a website with pics that could help me? Thanks in advance!
  • joachijoachi Posts: 2
    Does it have manual or automatic transmission? If it has automatic you may want to flush/fill your transmission fluid to remove hesitation.
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    Plugs are in recessed holes between the two overhead cams. I believe they are covered by the coil packs on your model, so you may not easily see them.

    The '95-98 models have a distributor with wires that go to the plugs. Yours may be distributorless, I don't know.

    You might want to vacuum out the spark plug wells with a small tip nozzle before removing the plugs so that no junk falls into the cylinders. Also, make sure to give the plug wires a good push onto the plugs. It should make a popping sound if they are on good and tight. Finally, use a light coat of anti-seize compound on the new plug threads. This will make it easier to remove them next time.

    Bosch plug wire are around $50 and come with a lifetime warranty. Make sure the plug wires (when installed) don't touch either the valve cover (hot) or any hard edged component. Use the seperator clips provided and/or electrical tape. Slight wear on a wire's protective insulation over time will cause a plug wire to fail.

    Make sure to put the plug wires back in the same location you removed them so as not to mess up the firing order. Have fun!
  • I have a 2001.5 Protege ES, 2.0L with 113,000+ miles. The other day as I was driving home, the temp gauge suddenly pegged. I stopped, looked under the hood and saw a puddle of coolant. After being towed home I did some checking. No blown hoses, no leak in the radiator, just alot of coolant around the overflow tank. I did some further checking and found that the cooling fan relay had gone bad. Two days and $24 dollars later, I had the relay.
    I installed the relay last night and after a short test drive, declared the problem solved.
    This morning, I headed of to work and for the first 20 minutes everything was back to normal. The engine was operating smoothly, temp was at it's normal operating level.
    And then, the needle pegged. Not gradually either. I opened the hood and saw that the coolant in the overflow tank is boiling and overflowing.
    So now I'm wondering what else it might be? I've ruled out a bad water pump (the engine temp would have continued to climb), I don't think it's a blown head gasket either, so I'm thinking maybe a plugged radiator?
    Anyone else have any suggestions?
  • bluem6ibluem6i Posts: 77
    might be a stuck thermostat... they're pretty cheap to replace
  • harbihoharbiho Posts: 8
    I'd start with the thermostat. They're cheap.....something like $6 or so. Also check your radiator cap.

    I had a similar problem, but I never saw that reservoir overflow. If those 2 cheap fixes don't work, I would still check compression. The radiatior should be okay considering that it still is only a 5 year old car.

    Have you flushed the coolant on a regular basis?
  • janicebjaniceb Posts: 1
    After it rains I always have a pool of water. I have a moon roof. I had a friend finally do a water test and figured that the water is leaking in through the drivers window. The strange part is that is pools under the seat. The side under the door remains dry. He took the plastic trim off and we still can't figure out how the water is getting under the seat. Has anyone experienced this. I know my car is old but I would like for it to last another year. I have a temporary fix but would like to know if getting that seal replaced will do it. I have heard that getting seals replaced doesn't always fix the problem.
  • Thanks a bunch for the info Joe, I found them! I had never seen a setup like that before. I just replaced the spark plugs and the two wires, but didn't replace the coils and the car is already running so much better! That saved me a little over $300. I'm all for that! Thanks again.
  • I have removed the steering wheel and the combo switch(I think that is what its called.I do not know how to remove the ignition lock cylinder (where you put the key in I think)I need to know how to remove it.Please Help
  • Update to the overheating issue: Turned out to be a split seam in the radiator. So while that's being replaced, I'm also replacing the upper and lower hoses, and thermostat. And while they've got it torn apart, I'm having the water pump replaced along with the timing belt, alternator belt and serpentine belt.
    I figure I've pressed my luck as far as I want to with the water pump and timing belt.
  • jdybberjdybber Posts: 3
    I have a 1994 Protege DX (SOHC)5 Speed that idles very rough at a stop as well as bucking as gears are changed. This happens most noticeably when AC is on. Turn AC off at a light, and rough idle stops immediately. The car when first started in the morning and AC on, will not buck or rough idle until engine warms up. I can also duplicate the rough idle with AC off and steering wheel turned all the way R or L. So it appears heavy loads are doing something. The voltage at the battery remains steady under load. There are no codes showing.
    Here is what I have done so far:
    New plugs
    Wires are fairly new and look good
    New distributor cap and rotor.
    Cleaned throttle body
    New air filter
    New fuel filter
    Checked for restrictions and or cracks in air hose.
    Checked vacuum lines for cracks ect.
    Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you
  • hunt261hunt261 Posts: 1
    Recently my wife's 99 protege has been making a vibrating/buzzing sound that happens most notably whenever the car accelerates and hits 2500 RPM's. In the time since we first heard the noise, it has gotten progressivly worse, happening more often and louder each time we drive. Now, we hear the buzzing at 3000 RPM's as well, and its starting to buzz when idling and during 1st gear.

    I've tried to research this a lot, and naturally found a helluva lot of things that it could be. I was wondering though if a clogged/dirty Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve/system could cause this buzzing, as this has given the car fits before. Something else that's weird, all this time the A/C has been on, but this morning when my wife drove to work, she turned the A/C off and the sound was dramatically quieter. Thoughts???

    Im scheduled to take the car in later this week, but I was hoping that someone out there could at least give me a heads up as to what this could be, and if there would be anything I, quite inexperienced with cars, might be able to check out beforehand. Thanks a bunch in advance!!!
  • rpcvmattrpcvmatt Posts: 4
    Greetings everybody, wow-what a great forum! Looking for a little help here.

    My problem(s) approximate messages 2881 & 2642 (ROUGH IDLE ISSUES): Out of nowhere my car started stalling in drive when I pulled up to a stop sign or light (in DC traffic this is a killer). Also, I noticed that the RPM would move from 500-800-1000 and back on down (I assume this is meant when folks say rolling). Then the check engine light went on. I took it into a place that I trust (I am new in Silver Spring, MD but had to do a Maryland State inspection and was charged nothing). They replaced the plugs, cables, and cleaned the fuel injector (plus the hook-up fee) in response to the P0300 multiple misfire issue.

    Well, I got it back after $400 (oil included because it was time anyway). The mechanic stated that the O2 sensor (he said there were two and this was the second one) was going and on its way out—but I could change that later. I drove it out of the shop and around a bit. It did not stall. BUT it still had the rolling idle slightly…and RPM sank to 500 with a small rattle. I brought it back and stated my car had not been “tuned” to the point I want it to be. They told me to drive it around a bit. Well, the next day the engine light came on and I took it back. The service area was closed but I made the worker call the owner so that I have it documented that the light came back on.

    Summary: Fixed plugs, cables and cleaned injectors in response to a P0300 error.
    Car does not stall but shimmies at a stop (while in drive) and engine light is now on).

    Like I have stated, I have read, with great enthusiasm, the posts on this topic thus far and am looking for advice as to how to best proceed with this repair (meaning what I should insist the mechanic look at –and not-). I don’t think I could find the IAC valve solenoid on my own (one post here sugggested and I clean it) and I am further inclined to believe that this is a good thing. We love the car and want to keep it forever. Any advice would be great.
    Thanks. Matt
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    My posting last month in the Protege5 Problems and Solutions forum may be useful to you:

    I recently had my 02 P5 in the shop for similar symptoms. When I described the situation to the service rep (check engine light appears; rough while idling at a stop) he said: "It's probably your EGR valve, we replace lots of them as they get fouled by dirty gasoline." The technician ran a diagnostic and reported a P300 code (random cylinder misfire detected); a new EGR was installed (curiously the EGR malfunction codes are in the P400 range). Since then the P5 has been working properly. I have also heard that it is wise to get a throttle body cleaning every couple of years to clean out the gunk.

    Best of luck and keep us updated.
  • rpcvmattrpcvmatt Posts: 4
    Thanks for the response---UPDATE:

    Got the car back today. Mechanic said he cleaned the AGR valve and it was a little rusty--but OK. He said it was working.
    My wife drove it for 15 minutes and it still shimmered. he did not charge us anything for it. He asked for 1 more day.

    The first time I took it in he said 1 of my O2 sensors had strange readings. We'll see. I wish I know a trustworthy garage in this new town (Silver Spring, MD) that we just moved to. I am steps away from taking it to the dealor.

    Thanks again for your comment.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    By the time this independent shop gets through taking whacks at your problem, and you wind up going to the dealer anyway, you probably will have paid twice to fix your problem.

    I think dealerships get unfairly berated sometimes (and no, I don't work for one). Who would know more about a Protege -- some shop that sees one a year, each with a different problem, or a dealer's shop that sees several a day? And if you check labor rates, the dealerships and shops are all about the same these days. Plus a dealer is more likely to know -- or have better access to -- TSBs related to your car, and they'll probably have a better warranty on new parts -- plus you'll get real Mazda parts, not NAPA equivalents.

    Nowadays there are other reasons too. My 2005 Mazda3 always goes to the dealership, even for oil changes, because the dealership gave me free oil changes for the first 36,000 miles. Even after that, it's still a good deal to take it to the dealer -- an oil change is only $24.95, and they provide a free loaner car if I don't want to wait around. Also I got free tires for life, as long as I do my maintenance at the dealership. I'm coming up on 25K miles and my first set of tires that I don't have to pay $700 for!

  • rpcvmattrpcvmatt Posts: 4

    my cousin who used to be part of a Mazda Miata in a Detroit club who stated just about the same thing. I think you are absolutely right and I am going to take it to the dealer if it is not OK after tonight.

    The shop is going to install a new EGR valve at the cost of the part ( I saw the receipt and what they paid for it) w/no labor charge since I had already paid for a tune-up. If it still does not work, after a replacement EGR valve, plugs, cables, fuel injector cleaning, I was also told by a Mazda mechanic to disconnect the battery cables (not a simply reset from the dash) because there may be electronic demons in the computer. I will loose my radio presets but should otherwise be fine (this was the FIRST thing I should have done). Note: I have not done this yet so people reading should NOT take this as a solution.

    Thanks again for your advice. This site is great. Thanks to the moderators.
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