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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Your $0.02 is worth a buck. Too many people try to upgrade performance of their vehicles with high performance air filters and plugs. Rarely is there any increase in performance yet drivability suffers. There is a reason that thousands of engineers are employed by auto makers and suppliers. they have to build a product that works well and stays that way. When you buy platinum plugs the increased cost of the item is nearly all marketing.

    Stick with what works unless you know your stuff. Most of us, myself included, are not qualified to re-engineer our cars and if you think Bosch has really taken the time to do it, think again.

    that's my $0.04
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    since I am an engineer and have worked with the design aspects of building up a machine.


    as mentioned, Spark plugs and air filters are the most common examples.

    my $1.00
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Dang, from $.04 all the way to $1 in about 4 hours. Don't we all wish the stock market could do that these days? :)
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    I tried them in my '89 323 and it knocked like crazy. I took them out immediately and put regular cheap-o Champions (listed as OEM-spec) in their place. Runs fine now.

    I'm not bothering with fancy spark plugs. Pretty much anything beyond the basic is all fluff.

    Now, you can get sub-par air filters though. One I got didn't even fit (gasket barely compressed). Tossed it out. Oh well.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I tried to write my "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" post as diplomatically as possible, still expecting all sorts of negative replies. Now that I see everybody's on my side, I'll say what I really meant:


    There. I feel much better now.

    (Oh, and the missing word up there is "FOUL." What were YOU thinking?)

  • I was ready to put them in my '96 Contour but the service manager talked me out of it. I came to trust this guy's auto savvy implicitly. Why I was tempted is because they're basically configured like an aircraft spark plug so obviously they must be better. (In my mechanically challenged mind)
  • We've used Bosch Plat +4 in all of our cars needing spark plug replacement and they have seemed to improve engine performance. They did make an improvement in my 99 Accord w/ 30k just as they did in a 93 Civic w/ 130k. SO when my Protege gets ready for new plugs, Bosch +4's it will be.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    You expressed interest in MAPP II several weeks ago, and I've been awaiting your e-mail. Are you still interested? If so, e-mail me at:

    It's two weeks from tomorrow -- Saturday, October 6 -- in a northern Va. park. Hope you can make it!

  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    if you really think that the bosch +4 will make a difference, change them when your oem spark plugs are still going good. That way you will find out whether they REALLY make a difference.
  • nikecarnikecar Posts: 460
    I'm using NGK Platinums in the Alty.... very nice..
  • In my Protege5, autoumatic, 2.0l at 1,000 miles I am getting just over 30mpg on roadtrips and just over 25mpg in town. About where the sticker said. But I rarely punch it... Wanted to wait a bit. Today, I did some punching around traffic and in curves. I love the engine. Likes it revving high. Has a cool sound to it too.
  • I am running them right now in my '99 ES sedan with the 1.8L engine (which is basically the same as the 2.0L, but much more rev-happy). They seem to improve upper-end response (5,000+ rpm) which my engine visits quite frequently. Other than that, I don't notice any difference and if you don't drive in those rpm ranges, I would just recommend the NGK plugs which are much cheaper.

    I remember when I had my RX-7 and the Bosch Platinum +4's just came out. The parts guy at Pep Boys kept trying to sell me them because "their four-electrode design will be much better than the 20 year-old design on the NGK plugs I wanted." Of course, what he didn't realize was that the rotary engines have always used four-electrode spark plug designs. But, then again, he kept talking about how much better the plugs would be for clearing carbon deposits out of the cylinders and piston heads. Rotary engines don't have cylinders or pistons...
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    You made my point. I used to work at a parts store some years ago, when they were just Bosh Platinums. We were about 80% wholesale, but we'd get an occasional person off the street looking for plugs that double their HP. After going through the whole thing with them and suggesting that they stick with the OEM make, they'd ask for the Platinum or Splitfire. I tend to tell a convincing story, but the marketing machines of these companies have talked the masses into believing that the emperor has some fine threads on.
  • Even when I lay on the gas 2 times a day (to redline in 2 gears after full warm-up) the MPG figures do not change much. Driving 85mph knocks it into the mid-20s. My MPG varies between 26-29 and my best is 33mpg. I drive 65-75mph (with traffic) and dont really beat on the car. I'm at around 6k miles. To get that 33mpg I was driving on back roads through Missouri and around 45-55 the entire time.
  • I agree that platinum plugs (and other "super" plugs) won't really help proteges. I've heard about people having problems in their pros due to these "upgraded" plugs. However, not all parts are this way. Changing OEM parts can yield a superior driving experience (depending on your personal taste) weither it be appearance, audio, performance, handeling, or breaking. My reccomendation is RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    I agree with you to an extent. I did a lot of mods on watercooled VWs back in the day. I learned a lot doing so, but I ended up with this opinion: It's very hard to make things better. What is possible is to give up one aspect for another. HP usually comes at the expense of drivability or emissions. Better handling is traded for ride quality. Of course, many feel it worth it to make these changes, just be informed.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    There is a new, less restrictive exhaust system out for the P5, which should fit the Protege 2.0 engine. I was thinking about adding it, but will it void the warranty. Also, I heard it only takes two bolts to remove the exhaust pipe and muffler and replace it with the new one. Is that true? Thanks. Malt, help me out! :)
  • What kind of benefits/detriment will a new exhaust have on the Pro? Less power? More power? More noise? Etc.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Any true Mazda accessory will not void the warranty of the vehicle. The exhaust system available from the dealer is from the MP3 (P/N 0000-8M-C08).

    You are correct about removal/installation: two bolts, replace the gasket ring, pop on the hanger and you are in business.

  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    I vote for noise.

    waiting for eeterp to beat me up on this
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