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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair

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  • Well first of all, driving home like this was not a good idea. Next time, call for a tow.

    But hopefully you had good luck and no engine damage and so you need to look for the source of your overheating problem.

    Overheating is caused by a complex range of possible issues and has to be approached methodically, going from the simple to the complicated, and from the most likely to the least likely.

    The reason you have no heat is that you have low or no coolant in the system.

    But to the diagnosis:

    1. A leak somewhere -- this can be tested doing a 'pressure test' on the cooling system with a pump

    2. Stuck thermostat -- remove, test and inspect

    3. inoperative electric cooling fans -- test and observe

    4. clogged radiator -- this can be "flow-tested" by a radiator shop

    5. air in cooling system -- when new coolant was added, system was not properly purged of air with bleed screws or using approved filling methods

    6. bad head gasket or cracked cylinder head -- tested with pressure testing pump, and look for coolant on spark plugs or air bubbles in radiator.

    good luck with it! Hope it's one of the simple ones.

    Visiting Host
  • Thanks for the information. The odd thing is, the car runs just fine. When it was at hot, still performed great. The temp gauge would surge up to H, then down a bit. Kept doing that over and over. The coolant container was boiling hot. Now no heat comes from the heater inside. I'll be taking it into the garage tonight. Thanks.
  • Engines like to run hot actually but once you start to lose the coolant, it's a whole different ball game and one where the engine strikes out every time.
  • The other odd thing was the coolant never dropped below the full line. Thanks again.
  • Well if it's overheating the coolant expands rapidly and it may show full in the overflow tank but you'd need to check it when cold, too.

    From what you say I'm thinking the cooling fans cut out perhaps. If you had a chronic overheat you'd never have made it home. When at freeway speed, you don't need the fans as much, if at all, to cool the car down.

    So the general rule (with exceptions) is:

    low speed overheat/traffic---cooling fans or other air circulation issue

    high speed overheat-- coolant circulation issue

    very fast overheat within 5-10 minutes of driving --- head gasket/blocked or stuck thermostat
  • Thanks again. I did hear the fans kick on when at a stop periodically. But I didn't check the fluid level when the car was completly cold. Will do that. With this problem, I still managed to drive it 40 miles home. Speed ranged from 35-70. I went back roads so I didn't have to stop as often.
  • I have a 2000 Mazda Protege. When I tried to start it yesterday morning, the engine was turning over, but it just wouldn't start. Any ideas?

    Thanks
  • I have a 2000 protege and is i was driving the car started overheating. now i stopped and waited for the engine to cool down the i added some water to the small tank because it was empty. i started driving and the car eventually cooled down to normal. the next morning i added some more water but i found what appears to be oil in the tank. can anyone tell me what this means? will i still be able to drive my car? what do i have to do to fix the car and is it costly?
  • I copied this from another post. I have the exact same symptoms. I would greatly appreciate any help. Have a '95 Protege ... just wouldn't start one day. Fuel pump runs when you jump the diagnostic port, EFI and circuit opening/fuel pump relays work and Ohm out correctly. Started hoping it was the timing belt but looks good and turns the camshaft fine. Have compression and spark (although suspiciously weak looking spark ... have new wires, coil, cap and rotor and plugs). Only thing I found which puzzles me is that at the connector port under the seat to the pump, I only get about 6.5 volts with the key on. It should be full battery voltage. I'm not getting any initial prime pulse or fuel pump noise while cranking .. only during the diagnostic jump. I'm about ready to try to start it while jumped just to see if it will start at all. Could this be the PCM module? I'm about to do a fuel pressure test but this has me questioning the fuel pump operation.
  • Just want to post a solution to a common Protege Problem.
    Car: 98 Protege ES, 1.8L, Manual Trans
    Symptoms:
    Rough idle - when disconnect clutch, the engine goes below normal idle.
    Check Engine light is on. OBD-II code P0240. Light may turn off for some time.

    Problem:
    Main air intake is leaking between air filter and intake manifold.

    Solution:
    Replace the plastic pipe OR
    Use medical gauze to wrap the pipe in between ribs to close air leaks. And on top of that wrap tightly with flexible duct tape.
    The light should go off after 3 full cycles (car fully cools off - warms up)

    How it works:
    The code P0240 Suggests that it is one of these:
    1. your catalyst is not working (O2 sensors before and after the cat read the same).
    2. Main vacuum leak
    3. Something terrible in the engine with the valves.

    I had new OEM O2 sensor up front installed earlies same year for fuel economy issue (BTW-it worked!) so I didn't think that was an issue.
    I drove alot and didn't see catalyst overheat.
    I checked all vacuum hoses for leaks and found cracks in the intake. I decided to fix that and magically it fixed rough idling and check engine. Enjoy!
  • i am replacing my muffler
    everything up to my catalylic converter has been removed
    i have done minor repairs on my car but i am hard up for money so i am going to be doing this myself
    i have the new muffler and i am going to get the piping for it
    what i am looking for is information on how to put it all together
    it is a sohc
    and it is split piping
    sorry if i am not using the correct mechanics language i am new to this
    i just dont want to do it myself without any advice and have it fall off or not work correctly
    but i am open to any suggestions
    im trying to get this done as soon as possible because i am moving to california and i have to have it in tip top shape to not only pass emissions but to also be able to hold my own against the never ending traffic in la
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    You might want to check out your local public library or a store like Autozone for a copy of the Haynes repair manual for the Mazda 323 / Protege.
  • I put a new batterry in it a few months ago. Starter is new and charging system is fine. As the oudoor temp drops the engine noticealby cranks slower. At about 0 deg F or colder I have to use a booster pack to start it. Even then sometimes it floods because it cranks so slow.

    This morning I did the booster pack thing and got the car started. When I walked to the front of the car one of the belts was squeeling. This is when I noticed my power steering pulley barely turning. It was like the ps pump was frozen. My question is how can a ps pump freeze??? Ps fluid does not freeze!! I don't care how cold it is.
    I can see how the pulley not turning would cause my hard starting especially in the cold but what would cause it to do that.

    I had this problem last winter too but didn't realize it was the ps pump slowing everything down. I have never had any problems with my power steering whatsoever. It doesn't leak, there's no water in the resevoir, and it steers fine.

    Has anyone else heard of this kind of problem and what the solution might be?
  • Slavuta I have something similar to what you're desribing but I have a Auto Trans with 100k. My check engine light has been on for a few months and the computer says it's the timing censor. Just a few days ago my car has began having a weird idle where it drops below normal and sometimes jumps and eventually turns off if the car isn't put into drive. If I stop at a traffic light it cuts off but cranks back. Is this the timing censor ?
  • My temperature gauge moves up to slowly when i start driving. It will only go up quarter of the way, where as normally it stays between the cold and hot. I am guessing it is my thermostat. If it is could i replace it myself. I have a 2001 mazda protege 1.6 litre manual transmission. Also before replacing it where can i find it?
  • Yeah, you could have a "lazy" thermostat combined with colder weather setting in.

    If your engine temperature drops too low, the thermostat should close again to raise the temperature to operating level.

    Here's a description of how it works;

    Thermostat Function

    Your thermostat is in a housing at the end of the LOWER radiator hose, where it enters the cylinder head.

    When installing, the "jiggle pin" on the thermostat points toward the top, and the sealing ring on the gasket faces the cylinder head.

    The part is about $18 and the book says it takes a mechanic about 1 hour. You'll have to drain your coolant beforehand and probably take off some parts of the air cleaner for access.

    Good luck!
  • spetzspetz Posts: 3
    I just joined up, and am very interested in all the interesting posts. Just got my second Protege, a 2000 auto with 68k on it. Seems to run well, but on a trip over the weekend, my passengers feet began to freeze. When we traded places, I found that there was a lot of cold air coming into the passengers side from under the dash, and very little warm air. This is not good in a Wisconsin winter. Does anyone know what might be going on? Didi gremlins remove a piece of my dash? I also noticed the glove box is equally cold, Any ideas would be much appreciated.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    lot of cold air coming into the passengers side from under the dash, and very little warm air.
    Have you tried setting the controls to "feet only" and maximum heat? If no or low heat is coming through on the passenger side and the driver's side is fine there could be some blockage or a closed flap on the passenger side.
  • spetzspetz Posts: 3
    Thanks for the ideas. I did try the heat only on the feet and the cold wind continued. It seemed as if there was a direct wind from the engine compartment into the passenger's side. Where might I find those "flaps" and what would I do if I found them? Do you have an idea how many there are and where they are? Thanks a lot!
  • I need some advice in regards to an issue I'm having with my 2003 Protege 5.

    It started a month ago when my car started having problems accelerating. I would hit the gas but the car would just crawl. If I pumped the pedal, it would eventually accelerate. Once the car was moving, I had no more problems. The check engine light came on and I took it to a mechanic. The reading from the computer was a random misfire, and further inspection of the vehicle revealed that my coil pack boots deteriorated and allowed excessive moisture in which shorted the spark plug wires. My engine would not accelerate because the plugs were misfiring. They put new plugs, plug wires, and boots in. Engine light off, car ran fine

    This past week I started having this problem again. And today it got much worse. The car hangs on accelerating...in both forward and reverse. The engine, in both drive, idle and even more so when breaking, starts rumbling and I hear the sound of something slipping very faintly. The transmission (which was what I thought it originally was) shifts gears just fine. Again, once the car is moving it stays in motion. No stalling, no rumbling. But it is getting harder and harder to accelerate. And when I try my engine sputters and sounds like its going to stall. The engine light came on and when I pressed the gas to try and get it moving, the engine light flashed about 5 times and went solid again. I popped the hood once I made it home to see if I could find anything making a weird noise and found nothing (I have had this car for over 5 years and know what it sounds and feels like). When I killed the engine I heard a whooshing sound (similar to wind through a cracked window) coming from the air filter and vaccum hoses. I restarted the car, and killed it several more times and heard this noise every time. Now, I have never noticed this noise before so I don't know if this is normal or not, but I know it can be the sign of a cracked hose or something with the air in take. But I'm no mechanic. The car starts just fine and seems to run in idle ok, but once I try to drive it the problems start.

    Sorry this is so long but just to summarize:

    little to no acceleration unless I really work the pedal

    Car runs perfectly fine once it gets going

    rumbling in the engine ad very rough vibrations once I slow down and go back to idle or just have my foot on the brake while in any gear

    whooshing sound when I kill the engine for several seconds

    transmission shifts just fine. No grinding or clanking noises when shifting.

    new spark plugs, wires, and coil pack booots installed a month ago

    car has 97,500 miles (approx)

    If anyone could give me some ideas of what might be wrong it would be appreciated. Im "cartarded" and am really trying to learn more about cars, maintenance, and how to diagnose problems. Thanks!
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