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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair

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  • gogojoe54gogojoe54 Posts: 1
    I had a bad shimmy problem for a while (bad tires) and the car got shook up pretty good with a lot of vibration. Something shook loose in the steering column area affecting the instruments. when the lights are turned on the tailights will come on sporadically. If you wiggle the light switch, sometimes the tailights come on--sometimes they go off. How do I go about fixing this? I can hear a switch going on and off when I jiggle the lights arm.
  • oldman15oldman15 Posts: 43
    After replacing plugs, my 03 P5 is now idling at 800+ RPM vs 500.
    Is it possible to manually adjust the idle speed?
    Thanks
    O15
  • downtubedowntube Posts: 43
    You don't want to do that.

    Idle is controlled by the ECU (computer), not by a screw like in the old days. If the idle is too high, then something is wrong and needs to be fixed. A good possibility is that a vacuum line got knocked loose when the plugs were changed. Any air leak downstream of the MAF sensor on the intake will screw up idle. That means any vacuum line or anything between the intake manifold upstream to the MAF.
  • Hello all,

    I searched the forum for other instances of people having carburetors going bad on Protege's, but I must be the exception.

    My wife's '02 Protege5 began having pretty severe issues while driving over 50 mpg with the engine running at 50% and the engine light blinking - but the issues were occasional and we delayed getting them looked at for a couple of weeks. Big mistake!

    Turns out the engine coils had gone bad (2 of the 4). So I got them replaced, seemed to be fine in running when I drove away from the shop. The next day the engine light was back on with a code that the carburetor had gone bad.

    Long story short - in delaying the fix of the engine issues the gas/air mix was thrown off, ruining the carburetor. I had quotes for around $1100 to fix it but found a shop here in Columbus to it for $300 - which was very good in my mind.

    So this all went down six months ago but I was shocked when I searched and found seemingly no one else having engine coil pack and/or carburetor problems.

    We're now at 105k miles and no issues for the past few months but that was a frustrating setback. Overall I like the car still just thought I should share my experience.
  • downtubedowntube Posts: 43
    The Protege5 is a fuel injected car, so there is no carburetor. Not sure what you had fixed.

    Coils do go bad, but for two to go bad on a 7 year old car seems odd.

    In the future, if the check engine light (CEL) blinks, stop driving immediately. If it's on but not blinking, you can drive without expecting any damage to occur. But a blinking CEL means to stop driving immediately or serious engine damage can occur.
  • I'm an idiot!

    I meant to type Catalytic Converter - not carburetor, probably makes more sense now.

    Yes - we know now that blinking light is bad. My wife didn't accurately describe how bad the issue was, plus we were having 10F weather and I thought it could be related to the cold.
  • oldman15oldman15 Posts: 43
    I guessed no simple adjustment.
    I'll check lines,
    If nothing, then off to the dealer.
    Thanks downtube.
    O15
  • Hopefully someone can help me out. As my screen name implies, I'm new to car repair but anxious to learn. The problem I am currently having is that the battery light in my 2000 Protege 1.8L has come on. Initially it was only intermittently after sitting at a light for a minute or more but has gotten progressively worse over the last 3-4 days. I have already replaced the battery but the problem continues. I have taken the car out several times for long highway drives with only the running lights on to ensure that the battery I installed did not simply need to be charged itself.
    Though the car starts without issue, it is now to the point that any time the rpm's drop below 2400 the battery light comes on. I am now figuring that the alternator needs replacing and am considering attempting to do this myself but don't want to go to all the trouble and expense if it turns out this isn't the problem. The only other thing I can think of is a short somewhere though it seems that since the problem is getting worse this is not likely the case. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance. :)

    Edit: I also checked the belt which seems to be in good condition (it was replaced several months ago). If it appears to be the alternator, any advice re: OEM/new/rebuilt? Dealership wants 384, can get a rebuilt one for 145 or aftermarket for 200
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    the battery light in my 2000 Protege 1.8L has come on ... any time the rpm's drop below 2400 the battery light comes on. I am now figuring that the alternator needs replacing and am considering attempting to do this myself but don't want to go to all the trouble and expense if it turns out this isn't the problem
    You may be right, as your car is almost 10 years old. How many miles on the vehicle? Assuming you had the timing belt changed, did you not have the belt for the alternator changed at the same time? My understanding is that the parts (i.e. the alternator and belt) are only half the battle, getting to them is where the real expense is; that's the major reason why changing a timing belt is so costly.
    I recommend a diagnostic is done before doing any repair work to avoid replacing parts that are not a problem.
  • downtubedowntube Posts: 43
    If you're thinking about doing repairs yourself, spend $25 to buy a Haynes manual for the car.

    I'd say the #1 thing to check is the alternator belt tension. Technique should be in the manual. New belts do stretch and settle in after installation, so that could be it.

    Buy a battery terminal cleaner (wire brush thing), and clean both the terminals and the posts. A poor connection to the battery could be the cause. Check for corrosion on the battery cables near the battery, and replace if badly corroded. Of course make sure the terminals are on tight.

    Since you've changed the battery, next would be the alternator. Most auto parts stores these days will test the alternator for free, but you have to remove it first. I wouldn't go cheap on the alternator, unless you find replacing it enjoyable.
  • I would like to know if someone here could tell me how to change a speed sensor on a mazda 2001. pictures would be great thanks STEVE
  • Ok I'm really new to this but hope it works. My husband has a 1993 Mazda Protege and he ran it severly hot to the point where it shut down. The heads are not cracked but the engine now just turns over. We can not afford a new car so I am hoping someone here may be able to tell us what is wrong with it.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    My husband has a 1993 Mazda Protege and he ran it severly hot to the point where it shut down. The heads are not cracked but the engine now just turns over.

    Do you mean the motor is running but the car does not move? If it does move, I suggest you head to your local mechanic. On the other hand, it's almost 17 years old so it may be time ...
  • No it doesn't move the engine won't start. I realize it is 17 yrs old but we can not afford a new car. I am looking for a helpful answer not a take it to a mechanic answer. Thanks
  • downtubedowntube Posts: 43
    How do you know the head isn't cracked?

    The first thing I'd do is run a compression test. Blown head gasket and/or warped head is a good possibility. You can also look for sign of coolant from the tailpipe, oil in the coolant, or bubbles/churning in the radiator when the engine is cranked.

    If the engine got really hot it could have damaged sensors and/or sensor cables. I've seen the crank position sensor cable melted by an overheated engine.

    I recently replaced a blown head gasket on a mazda that overheated. Don't be fooled by thinking a head gasket is only $60. The repair cost me about $600, and I did all the labor myself. Overheating can do a lot of damage. I had to replace the radiator, the crank position sensor, top end gasket set, and head bolts. With the engine apart it made sense to replace the timing belt, water pump, both serpentine belts, and radiator hoses.

    The guys at clubprotege.com and themazdaforum.com can be helpful. You'll need to provide good information, not just say "please help". Like, how do you know the head isn't cracked? What exactly happened? Have you done any tests? Do you have the mechanical skills to troubleshoot and repair? Don't be offended, but folks will respond better to good solid information than desperate pleas.
  • You will need to have the Cylinder head worked on. I paid 375.00 for the rebuild and did it myself. Your valves cant close now so you will never get the 195 lbs of compression you need. Your head is prob not cracked tho. The shop will do a pressure check before rebuilding it. I would fix then sell.. or junk the car meaning part it out on ebay! Mine left me stranded on a -30 degree day and I vow to never own a computer controled, timing belt istead of chain, piece of crap again! Mechanical everything, even the fuel pump!
  • chump2chump2 Posts: 8
    i need some advise , our 2001 Es has 108,000miles yesterday it just died , we were able to restart it but it would staul out , after running it for a while keeping my foot on the gas slightly it would now stay running but idles low . the engine light came on and is still on . we dont want to use it because we dont want to get stuck on the road , we havent had any problems until now we purchased it new .
    any thoughts ? thanks
  • Hi,

    I have a 97 mazda protege and recently i started having issues where the idle is very high. started with 1500 rpms and now its at 3000. Just wondering if anyone else had the same issue with this car and how did it get resolved.
    Thanks
  • Take it to a local auto parts store and have them hook a scanner to it to retrieve the fault code number that's causing the engine light to come on. They will do this for free. Post the information here, or on one of the many Mazda Protege online forums. There are many enthusiasts for this car who are willing to help.
  • The idle on your car is controlled by the ECU (Computer). If it's idling too high, that means the computer is not doing what it should. One of two possible reasons:
    - The ECU is receiving a bad input, or
    - The ECU is unable to control something it needs to control

    Common problems with inputs
    - The Mass Air Flow sensor carefully measures the amount of air flowing into your engine and provides that information to the ECU. The ECU then meters the appropriate amount of fuel to the engine. Two issues can occur leading to incorrect MAF signal to the ECU
    -- Dirty MAF. A thin wire inside the sensor sometimes gets dirty. It can be cleaned by spraying brake cleaner or electrical cleaner on the wire. Don't touch the wire with anything (not even a q-tip) or you'll break it.
    -- Vacuum leak. A vacuum leak lets excess air into the intake that the ECU doesn't know about. Any vacuum leak will do it, but particularly inspect the large accordion-like pipe between the air cleaner and the engine intake. Cracks sometimes develop in the grooves, and cause air leaks.

    - Bad coolant temperature signal. If the coolant temperature signal is wrong, the ECU will incorrectly adjust for temperature. I don't have any diagnostics for this.

    On the output side
    - Sticky Idle Air Control Valve. Can be removed and cleaned.
    - Sticky EGR Valve. Can be removed and cleaned.

    There are other possible causes, but these are common.
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