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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Good summary of the likely suspects!

    Checking for leaks can be done easily; the others (MAF, Idle Air Control valve, EGR valve) might involve some skill.
  • I have an 03 Protege LX and for the past year I have smelled antifreeze when I walk in the front of the car. I never see any on the ground, and my water pump was replaced recently, but the faint smell persists. Car never overheats or has any problems. Does anyone else have this problem?
  • Very small leak seems like a good possibility. A close visual inspection with a bright light of all hoses, gaskets, and coolant lines might turn up some evidence of a leak. It's pretty tight in the engine compartment, so you'll only be able to see a percentage of possible locations.

    How's the level in the overflow tank?

    I'd wait for the car to be dead cold, like overnight, then check the level in the radiator. A pinhole leak will eventually lower coolant level - and usually will grow.

    If the coolant isn't going down, you could either wait to see if the leak grows, or take it to a shop to have them try to find it.
  • MIght be coming from the weep hole on the water pump. BUT its under the timing cover so you will have to remove it to see. The timing cover might be collecting the antifreeze in the bottom. When full enuff it will then drip out. Remove upper and middle timing cover plates and inspect. Also thin old hoses can emit an oder by sweating. Not uncommon either.
  • The alternator froze when driving shredding the belt. Working on it at home any time I reconnect ed the wires it would run for a short time and freeze up. Took the alt to a shop tested it on the bench ran fine. Took it to another shop in the car, they came back saying it was a bad alt, even thought it ran fine during the time they had it didn't freeze. Computer issue???
  • The overflow tank is still full, it could be the weeping from the hoses. I know it can't be the water pump area because when it was replaced they were under there doing all sorts of work. I'll try checking the radiator itself when the car sits. Just find it hard to believe anything would be wrong, CR gave this thing a bulletproof reliability rating!
  • cam sensor is the problem. Mine did exactly the same thing and the check engine light came on but the shop said that the reading was not about the cam sensor. But my friend replaced the cam sensor and I had no problems starting the car again. Before that we replaced the O2 sensors (2) and it did not make a difference.
  • My little yellow lights work and so do my high beams. The high beam bulbs are also the low beam bulbs. I checked the fuses and they are good. I took out the relay from under the hood in the fuse box and the high beams and low beams didn't work. It was a wet and rainy day so maybe I hit a puddle and got something wet?

    2001 Mazda Protege
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    The high beam bulbs are also the low beam bulbs
    Interesting. I guess Mazda changed this in 2002 because my Protege has separate bulbs for high & low beam.
  • cav4cav4 Posts: 3
    Died when driving. engine light went on then died. wont start. doesnt crank. low pitched sound when trying to start. has 220,000 miles and bad seals. Is it solonoid(s), starter, alternator etc?
  • Hmnmm Try tapping the starter while someone is turning the key. How was the oil level? Sounds like a crank sensor was knocked off. Its located atop the bottum main pully. A credit card distance away from the teeth used to read the crank timing. Ummm Shut down huh???... Um Altinator No Starter No.... Maybe you broke the timing belt! Open the upper plastic inspection cover for the timing belt. You may have a busted belt! Sounds like the engine cranks but the upper half is not turning so it will just make a humming noise..
  • Fuel pump pressure check at the fuel pump
  • I have a 2000 Mazda Protege 1.6 liter and when I turn on the AC the belt slips for a few seconds (a really loud screech). However this usually happens when the engine is cold. The belt feels tight to the touch but it must not be. It usually does not slip when the engine is warm.

    I would like to replace the belt as a starting place. If anyone could give me detailed instructions as to how to replace this belt, I would greatly appreciate it.


  • It's time for a clutch replacement.
    Anyone have any experience w/ P5 clutch replacement:
    OEM vs. aftermarket?
    helpful hints?

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    All I can tell you is to buy the best clutch kit money can buy, (OEM or name-brand) because you don't want to be doing this twice.

    As for procedure, I'd recommend that you get a Chilton's Import Repair Manual or a subscription to, so that you'll know how to do the job step by step.

    It's important to be thorough, for a successful clutch job. So you want to do pressure plate, clutch disk, throwout bearing and pilot bearing, and a close inspection of the flywheel face for cracking, burning, grooves, etc. If the flywheel doesn't look so good, mark its position and remove it for machining or replacment. Also consider flushing your clutch hydraulic system.

    Be sure to work safely.


  • lekyleky Posts: 1
    Could you let me know when it's time for me to change the timing belt and how much would that most likely cost me? Thanks.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Every 60000 miles for the 1.8 DOHC engine. Cost will vary, but book says about 3 hours labor and $60 bucks for the part. Of course, if they replace tensioner, water pump etc (one of those "while we're in there" type of repairs) then the cost can go up accordingly. I think a private repair shop could run this up to $600, and a dealer would be higher or course. But it looks like basic belt + parts @ $100/hr is about $400 bucks out the door. So be sure to check on what you get for the price quoted, and think about what you want to replace "while you're in there".


  • Mr Shuft,

    Thanks for the info. I'll probably go w/ Mazda, but it looks like I should do the entire kit. Not sure yet if I'll have Dealer or Trans shop do it.

    As per flushing, Is the clutch hydraulic system part of the brake system, a seperate bleed line, or entire seperate system?

    Thanks. O15
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    looks to be all separate, yes.


  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    the entire kit
    I believe the alternator is another item that you may want to have checked while "they" are there. If it's in good shape, then no worry. If not, it may be worth considering for replacement before it fails (and knocks out a battery or two).
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