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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair

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  • I noticed that the ABS and brake lights stay on when I drive my 2002 Mazda Protege ES. It's something I haven't noticed before and so I plan on having it checked at my local Mazda dealership. Why would these lights be showing up on my panel?
  • Hi Im new to this forum and I have a 92 mazda protege lx that was given to me about a month ago. I was told by my friend who gave it to me that it was in great running shape. This morning I went to go to work (I live in alaska yes its cold!) and I couldnt get the car out of part. Its an automatic. It is now afternoon and it still sits in the driveway because it still wont go into drive. This has never happened since I got the car. I read what the book told me to do but in order to check the tranny fluid it says to start the car put the hand brake up and put the shifter into neutral but it will not go out of park. Any ideas??? I cant afford to fix this at a shop it would require towing it. Can this be done at home? :confuse:
  • I had the trans. fluid changed on my '01 Protege at 30K. I think the dealer did a flush too. Now at 60K, I was talking to my mechanic who has been working on my other cars for 25 years. He says you should not change the trans. fluid on a Protege or Ford because that is guaranteed to cause it to fail. Come to think of it, I gave up on Fords after trans. failures on a Sable and a Taurus, fairly early. I don't think the manual specifies a change is needed (didn't see it). Advice? Thanks.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    my mechanic who has been working on my other cars for 25 years. He says you should not change the trans. fluid on a Protege or Ford because that is guaranteed to cause it to fail.

    Bizarre. What I have heard is that for a very old car that has never had a transmission flush, you may run into a problem; the flush in effect causes a bigger problem than it solves because it "stirs" up the gunk that has accumulated in the tranny. But if you have maintained your transmission, you should not be running into that type of problem.

    I would try calling a few transmission shops to see what they say. A transmission flush is inexpensive.

    p.s Although Ford is the parent company it does not make all the components for its partners, Mazda, Volvo, Jaguar, etc. The four cylinder engine in a Protege is not a Ford product as far as I know. The 6 cylinder is another story but that is used in the 626 and Mazda6 and not the Protege or the Mazda3.
  • I have somewhat of a problem, wonder if anyone knows the answer to this..I am trying to replace a catalytic converter assembly on my 1997 Mazda Protege LX. I do not have an owner's manual for the car.

    Apparently there are two (2) different catalytic converters, depending on whether your MAZDA has a 1.5 L engine or a 1.8 L engine. I cannot find this info anywhere on the engine, in the engine compartment or anywhere else on the vehicle. Sometimes the VIN identifies these things, but I do not know how to interpret the number...
    The VIN on my vehicle starts with JM and ends in 7 digits. If anyone can tell me how to get this info I would appreciate it.

    Thank you.

    Doug
  • newbie here, i need advice. i have a '94 Protege 4 dr auto, near new condition,not many miles. bought used, no trouble for several years then auto trans went out. too bad to repair. put wrecking yard trans in it, did good for about 1yr then after using passing gear one day it starting leaking trans fluid very bad,just pours thru,no hole in case. it sat for about 2yrs, now needs fuel pump and tank,bad rust. going to cost $500. to have fixed to run so the trans shop can fix or look at trans. what to do.... great car, great mpg, great engine but has what is termed " the ford fragile transmission". ?? thought about changing over to manual trans. money is a problem,limited. got 22yr old daughter moved back home,starting over. needs transportation. got suggestions????
    thanks
  • I just replaced my engine and the new one wont start. I'm getting fire to all plugs,
    and fuel to the injectors or at least i think fuel is getting to the injectors. I puled the
    fuel pressure regulator off and fuel is in the line leading to the injectors. I put the
    timing at TDC on the compression stroke and the rotor was at #1. I'm stumped.
    Any suggestions or tips.
  • You can call the Mazda dealership with the VIN number and they can tell you the
    type engine you have. Hope this helps.
  • 1redtag,

    I'll probably upset the protege fans, but I get the impression you need transportation rather than a car hobby. my advice is to unload the protege and find something else. you're looking at spending a grand or more on a 13 year old car that's sat for a couple years - sitting is bad. personally I wouldn't touch a car that old with an automatic.

    imo the cheapest transportation deal right now is a used Taurus. stay away from pre-96 because of tranny problems though.

    an alternative, if you're able to do some work, is to find another BG protege ('90-94) with a manual tranny and solid mechanicals. use your existing car as a parts car. swapping wheels/tires, even interiors, is much easier for a diy'r than a transmission swap.
  • ...I would try calling a few transmission shops to see what they say. A transmission flush is inexpensive...
    My Mazda dealer charged me over a $100 for the trans flush and service at 30K. My mechanic must have been thinking about manual trans. He is also from the 'old school' so I tend to discount some of his advice. However I looked in the manual and there is NO mention of a transmission service being required. The flush or don't flush is controversial I know.
  • 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.
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