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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Why leave it off? All leaving it off does is prevent the transmission from entering its highest gear (which happens to be O/D). Perhaps if e feels the price of gas is too cheap, this is a good idea.
  • Don't know about the "buzzing noise" but I just yesterday finished replacing the center switch on my p5 that only wrkd on step 1 and 4. Switch ( new one ordered thru dealer approx $32) was burned in center and close to starting fire. Last week I thought I'd smelled something burning. Anyway it was fairly easy to replace if yu know what to do and had the right tools. I did not! Gently pry the large plastic outline off at top, sides and bottom. Next gently pop the three center direction knobs from their sockets. Two of mine were stuck but did work out with very thin screwdriver. Unclip the 4 way flasher connection at the top to give you more room. Then there are 4 phillips screws at bottom of the frame, one on each side in back and two on the bottom. Here's where you need very short screwdriver since you can't get a standard one behind. One of those small "L'" shaped screwdrivers with phillips on one end and standard on the other works perfect. The ac/heater module will then come loose so you can get inside to unscrew the red plastic cover and get to the plastic nut on the back of the switch. I didn't have the right tools so it took me about 4 hours in 96 degree heat with sweaty glasses to get it all back but now it works great and I did save the 82 dollar per hour labor cost. Hope this helps.
  • I have an 02 Mazda Protege ES with the sport mode auto transmission with 106K miles on it. For the most part, the car has been running great. But recently the car would sometimes shudder for a second when I'm pulling away from a traffic light or stop sign then runs smoothly while cruising. I'm suspecting that it might be a minor transmission problem because I'm overdue for a transmission service(the fluid is brown). I'm going to take it to the dealership to get a transmission flush to hopefully cure the problem. Has anyone had simillar problems with shuddering on take off with their Mazda Protege? Please let me know.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    Overdrive is not efficient at too low a speed---if anything, driving in OD at 25 mph puts a lot of strain on the engine and the transmission. It's no accident that many new cars have temperature sensors that don't even LET you into overdrive until the engine and transmission are warmed up.

    What you get with driving at low speeds in OD is "lugging" of the engine, which is the most stressful of all conditions for an engine.

    Aside from all that, if you stomp on the gas while in OD at 25-35 mph, you just fall flat until the car downshifts.

    I don't think you are saving any gas by driving in OD at very low speeds. You might actually be wasting it because you need more throttle to get anywhere.
  • jmaciasjmacias Posts: 1
    I replaced the water pump on the protege and I took out the timing belt. I marked it before removing it and now I am putting back all the parts back in and it seems that my timing belt if off mark. I followed the Haynes Manual and followed the directions but its not working. Does anyone know what the correct marks are to set the timing. Please help.
  • retro_gretro_g Posts: 1
    It's a 2001 Mazda Protege LX 2.0

    OK! I've had the car almost 3 years now... My engine crapped out 3 or so months ago. The car sat for a month until I purchased a used engine from a reputable local company. One weekend a friend and I made time to swap the engines. Taking our time we used one day to remove the broken down original engine and the next putting in the purchased used one. All went fine, no problems to mention... I turned the key and it started up and ran like nothing had ever happened... At that point I was very pleased and took her out of his garage for a test spin around the block...

    The very 1st thing I noticed was a noise like iron wire dragging under the car on the ground. It had at that point sat outside on the street for a good month so surface rust building up on the inside of the rear drums or front rotors is very likely. It was that kind of noise... In addition to that the brakes where nonexistent. I had to bury my foot into to the pedal to stop. I've inspected most if not all brake hardware, changed all pads/shoes and bleed the brake system. The pedal seems very stiff, not spongy & definitely off the floor. It still doesn't stop well at all... I'm down to replacing the master brake cylinder. Does anyone think different?? What about the booster? Could the booster be the route of my brake problem??

    OK now on to my next issue two weeks into running the car with the new used engine... I would describe it as a smooth bucking or surging when accelerating from a dead stop. Its worse when the car/engine is cold. It will do it 3-4 up to 7-8 times before smoothing out. Sometimes when warm it won't do it at all, but most the time it will. Other than that it behaves the way it should to me even giving better gas mileage over the old engine before it died. There are no warning lights of any kind... Out of gear it idles fine.. In gear, car stopped it idles fine... I've changed the transmission fluid, about to change the plugs, and maybe the fuel injector rail with injectors from my old engine I had saved “just in case”. Someone suggested to me it could be the transmission filter... Does anyone have any thoughts??

    FYI: Car has 94,000 miles on it & the engine has 85,000. :)
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    The car will not shift into OD at 25-35mph (regardless of OD switch position) unless the load drops down around zero. Protege transmissions have been electronically controlled since the early 90s.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Make sure you reconnected the large vacuum line to the brake booster or that there are no cracks/leaks. It sounds like to could be the source of both issues.
  • I've got one shop telling me that I need this, quote from the estimate :

    "Replace clutch disk: Includes R&I Transaxle
    To R&R Flywheel, Add Clutch disk
    To R&R Pilot Bearing, Add Clutch Disk
    Clutch Disk
    Clutch Slave Cylinder"

    this total is $783... I'm in Northern VA.. pretty high labor costs

    Another place's estimate adds up to $700 but they say I need a master cylinder not a slave, they also say I need a front seal.

    A third shop says I need a new clutch assembly, drive train (includes replacing pressure plate, Di Pilot and Throw Out Bearing). Also a new flywheel. And they say I don't necessarily need a new slave or master cylinder, but have given me estimates on those as well, for a grand total of a whopping $1330.

    I can't tell from this what I really need, and I can't tell which shop I shold work with, all I know is that there's no way I can afford the third if I do all the work. Any advice or suggestions about what I should do????
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    I'm a big fan of replacing all the clutch parts, such as:

    clutch disk
    pressure plate
    throw out bearing
    pilot bearing
    clutch slave (depending on mileage, or signs of leaking, filthy fluid, etc)
    clutch master (as above)

    And yes, the transmission/transaxle has to come out.

    HOWEVER, replacing the flylwheel is rather dubious because they haven't inspected it yet. Unless it is badly, and I mean BADLY cracked from heat, it can be resurfaced (a good idea) if ...IF....there is any roughness to it. If you don't resurface a flywheel that is scored or rough, the clutch will chatter, which is most annoying.

    $700 sounds fair enough to me if they do everything I mentioned.

    A clutch job is not something you want to do again in 20,000 miles. So replace EVERYTHING that requires the transmission to be removed. A clutch slave or clutch master is no biggie, that can be done when it is needed.

    And again, I think replacing the flywheel as a preventative measure is extreme and should not be done unless it is really messed up.

    Visiting Host
  • aboyer82aboyer82 Posts: 1
    i cant figure out how to get my speedometer and odometer to work. how do i get them working again?
  • pokiepokie Posts: 1
    I had a similar problem. Just all of a sudden, the speedometer would not work and the CEL flashed. I put it in the garage for 5 years. With the rise in gas prices, I brought it out of mothballs and decided to address the issue. It was the speedometer cable that runs from the transmission thru the firewall to the dash (not hard). It is a booger to get at from both ends. Buy a new cable from the dealer. You will have to disassemble the front dash. This is tricky. Be careful of the connections behind the instuments (i.e., lights, displays and all). Easy from the tranny to the dash. Pull the instrument panels slightly forward (not much give at all) and be careful not to disconnect them. Unscrew the current cable and insert the other end of the new cable in the speedometer. Using your fingers (as your eyes) ensure that everything is reconnected (did I mention very snug here). Reinsert the instrument panel and reinstall everything. Not difficult, but a BOOGER to get to. Works like a champ. Good luck!
  • Hey All,

    Just bought my first Mazda -- '02 Protege LX (2.0), AT and such. However, I noticed as I was driving it back down to Los Angeles today that once I get to about 55-60 mph, I start to hear a very noticeable rattling sound from what sounds like the bottom right of the front passenger area, almost behind and a little below the glove compartment. I'm assuming it's probably the strut mounts or the stabilizer links, but is there anything obvious a new zoom-zoomer like me might be missing?

  • Just bought a 2000 Protege ES 1.8L with 5 speed manual, 84K miles. The car runs well but the idle speed seems low (maybe 500 rpm), and the car idles roughly and seems to want to cut out, but never has so far. Previous owner said his mechanic told him it needs idle adjustment. The car was had been in a minor front end accident about a year prior and has a new radiator. There is an intake assembly running from the air filter housing out to the actual air intake on top of the radiator. This was apparently never put back right after the accident, and the tubing doesn't connect well to the filter housing, so that the actual air intake is probably taking place at the base of the housing. I could fix this easily enough, but there also seems to be an opening on the bottom of the tubing, so that either way I'm not really going to be taking in air from the assembly over the radiator. My questions: 1) Should I adjust the idle, or should I try to fix the intake first? 2) What should the intake setup look like? Is there really supposed to be a hole at the bottom of the tubing right as it connects to the air filter housing, or is there supposed to be another hose or something there? If anyone has a car like this and can take a photo of what the intake is supposed to look like, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Sounds like it's missing the resonance chamber which I doubt would cause the idle to run low.

    I highly recommend not messing with the throttle body adjustments. If it is dirty or clogged, clean it. If all the hoses and tubes are in good shape, check the IAC valve under the throttle body.
  • I misspoke. Actually, it idles around 700 rpm, but roughly. It runs beautifully when not at idle. What is involved in cleaning a throttle body or an IAC valve? If I have someone do it, how much will it cost?

  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Maybe $200 but it really depends on how the tech is feeling on the day you take it in.
  • kaymtkaymt Posts: 1
    96 Mazda Protege LX 1.5L with 104,000 miles, (past) due for timing belt replacement. :sick: Initially told parts needed were:

    timing belt
    cam seals
    crank seal
    valve cover gasket
    timing idlers
    water pump

    Estimate totaled $370 for parts (from Advance, not Mazda parts), $200 labor - this all by a friend, independent unemployed mechanic working on his own. I was then advised that if anything "went wrong", etc., this could create a bad situation (for me) as there would be no liability/responsibility for anything that might happen. :(

    After contemplation, I decided best way to go would be where I could get a warranty on work (parts and labor), so got a shop estimate of $630 with same parts. Mazda dealer quoted $900, but after hearing previous estimates, convinced me to bring car in for them to check and they would work with me, convincing me they could get cost down to at least mid-$700s or probably even lower. Another shop quoted $260 labor plus cost of genuine Mazda parts which should make total around $700 +/-. ;)

    Took car into dealer, they tell me I don't need tensioner (would save about $65 for Mazda part per online research), added additional belts bringing total for parts/labor to $770 and intake "boot" (can't find this online - is it same as valve?) for 85.78/no additional labor, now back up to original $900 quote (actually $932.78 with taxes). :cry:

    I do feel warranty is important as I cannot afford to put out more money for re-repair and have no other means of transportation. Do you know if Mazda parts carry their same warranty if service not done by a Mazda dealer/mechanic? I have owned Mazdas for several years now, but this is highest mileage and most major work at one time that I have ever had done on one, so I guess that is what is causing me the most stress, but would really appreciate your opinion. :)

    I can't get a definitive answer on what they are charging for labor (as they tell me it varies from $95/hour, but less than that for this type work), but it seems that is the major cost difference, appearing to be (from quote of $260 of other shop) to what appears to be closer to $500 with Mazda, and they tell me they have worked to get the price down and are basically "cutting me a deal"?? Am I getting a good or reasonable deal for the work listed? :confuse:

    Two more things they found that will need replacing soon are a thermostat gasket (quoted $225) and distributor cap which is leaking minimal oil now (quoted $150). I was also told by them that my car is in extremely good condition for age/miles. :D Do these prices sound reasonable too? Thank you so very much for your opinion/advice!!! :blush:
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    Well I think you made the right choice in not having a moonlighting mechanic work on it (since he would not guarantee his work) but it might have been fine to have the independent shop do the work if they are of good reputation and have a long familiarity with Mazdas. If it's just a local gas station type of shop, I don't know about that.

    I think genuine Mazda parts would have a warranty no matter who installed them but you'd have to demonstrate defects is materials and workmanship, and of course the LABOR is not warrantied by Mazda if an outsider installs the part.

    I know some very good indie shops so I'd be inclined to save the $300 and go there rather than the dealer, but if you don't have strong confidence in the indie shop or any idea of their reputation, then the dealer is really your only logical choice.
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