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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Posts: 1,007
    Hey Curt,
    amazing how many miles your car has on it.

    My 95 turned 60K in mid-2000 and I got the 60K things done in Oct 2000, at around 62K

    I don't know if prices will be very different - but most people - including he mazda dealer, quoted 225 to 275 for the timing belt replacement. The parts cost barely 40-70 but its the labour that makes up the bulk of that cost!

    I don't remember the remaining details 9costs, quotes, actual prices etc.) so go ahead and get a few quotes before you decide where you get it done. I got everything done at the local Mazda dealership for around $600, and a 10% discount on top of that - they were running a special! And they gave me a car to use over the weekend to boot, while they did the 60K service. Of course, this was way back when i was in Utah (the people seemed nicer ;-)

    I can hunt up the list of things that need to be done, if you don't already have those, but since i just moved east, my documents are deep inside boxes and files!
  • curt3curt3 Posts: 101
    Hello Ashutoshsm, Thanks for the input. I do drive quite a bit. I bought the Protege new in December of 1999 and have enjoyed owning the car except for an obnoxious pinging (knocking) that has been in the car since 30,000 miles. I took it to the dealer numerous times to get it fixed under warranty but they seemed to think it was in my head.

    I did not want to go through the hell of calling Mazda headquarters and the related nonsense since the Mazda dealer's sister lot that sells Nissans sold me a 1996 Nissan Truck that they had to buy back due to an emmission system problem that they thought was also in my head. Fortunately, at least with the Nissan, I had a technical service bulletin with the cure, only it was months after the dealership bought it back.

    I like my Mazda way too much to get rid of it but I can only burn 87 octane with an octane booster or 93 octane which is actually quite expensive with the 30,000 miles I drive per year. With high octane fuel it runs like a gem. It runs fairly well with untreated 89 octane fuel when it is below 50 degrees outside--also a rare passing here in south Alabama.

  • I'm facing an air con problem where after running the air con for approximately 10 minutes, the floorboard (of front passenger seat) gets wet. This wetness is apparent as it soaks up the black rubber mat which I use.

    Do any of you know of this problem ? I'm new to this forum and would appreciate any info on the cause of this as well as how to remedy it. Thanks !

    BTW: I own a 1999 1.6 manual model with 25K miles
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    Sounds like there is a clog in the drain hole. Your dealer can easily clear it, and should be covered under the warranty (if it's still covered, coverage will expire the end of this month).

    Sometimes debris gets into the drain hole. This causes condensation (which normally drips out under your car)_to back up and drip into the footwell.

    If you have a set of car ramps and chocks, you can lift your car and try to clear it out yourself. A pipecleaner (or something similar) should be all you need.
  • My '93 Protege' developed a hesitation problem whenever leaving from a stop sign or red light. Took it to a local mechanic and after telling him the symptoms he knew what it was. The hose between the air cleaner and the intake manifold had a small split in the expansion joint. This split allowed air into the engine that was bypassing the mass air flow sensor, thus poor performance. He took off the hose, taped up the split and reinstalled the hose. No more problem, runs great now. Only charged me $5.00. There still are honest repairmen around.
  • ee73ee73 Posts: 4
    I have not been following all the messages here real close for a while. Has anyone else had any problems with discs getting stuck in their CD Players? I had to take my 2001 Protege ES in for this when it was about 6 months old. The dealer said they couldn't do anything but replace the whole unit. Before they can do this, they have to pull the whole radio out and write down the serial number to order a replacement. This is service visit #1. Then when the replacement comes in a couple weeks later, you have to go by again to have the units swapped out. Plus, you have to wait for the old unit to be shipped out and taken apart by the supplier before the stuck CD can be rescued and sent back. Big pain.

    Last weekend, the same thing happened to me again. I stopped by a different dealer, and he told me the same thing. So, I waited an hour for the dealer to get my radio out for the serial numbers. This time, you could hear the stuck CD was continually spinning inside the player. It didn't even stop when the car was turned off and the keys removed. The dealer told me the only way to stop it would be to pull the fuse - he said there was only one power plug for the whole unit. So, when I got home, I pulled the radio fuse - the CD kept spinning! Then, I randomly started pulling the other fuses and replacing them one at a time. Finally, when I pulled the Interior Lights fuse, the CD quit spinning. But, even better yet, when I re-inserted it, the unit powered back up and spit the stuck CD right out! So, if this ever happens to anyone, this would be an easy fix to try before taking it in.

    I've only had one other major problem with the car - a couple weeks ago, my Driver's side power window would get hung up after going about halfway down. The repair sheet from the dealer said they replaced a regulator.
  • I had this happen with one of my custom CDs in a 626; the player didn't much like the label I'd slapped on the disc. Solution: Insert a plastic ruler into the disc slot, near the center, push down slightly, and hit the eject button. Popped right out. If the Protegé player is similar, this might even work.
  • pjd58pjd58 Posts: 366
    thanks for the tip.

  • axjokeaxjoke Posts: 13
    I have a 2000 Automatic protege and haven't been so impressed. I've had the stuck cd/replaced unit twice also. However, i admit these were my fault as i was using cds with labels on them.

    On a more serious note though my car's tranny messed up today. During a 250 mile trip it constantly slipped out of 5th and 4th gear and revved the rpms up 6000 to 6500 rpms. This even was occuring while Cruise was turned on. Until today i've never had this problem. It seemed that if i turned off my car and started it up again that the slippage would cease for abotu 10 minutes and then start again. Any suggestions? Could it be low transmission fluid as i've never checked it "assumed dealer did during oil changes". Has anybody else had similar problems/suggestions?

    One other problem i experianced at about the 17000 mile mark was a bad Injector Coil "so the dealer said". I had went on vacation for about 2 weeks and came back to a car with a flashing check engine light. Anybody had similar problems?

    I'm curently at 23,000 and plan to trade it in before the 50,000 warrenty runs out, as i'm not such a believer in my particular car's reliability. Thanks in advance for any Tranny suggestions!..
  • I bought the 1999 Protege ES [5speed, ABS, moonroof, CDplayer] after reading the reviews and test driving the car, compared to the Civic and Golf. I still love the way the car handles [it is a bit noisy] and appreciate its roomy back seats and trunk. But, I dont think I would buy another Protege [I almost did].

    When the car first arrived, it pulled irrationally. I brought it back twice and was told there was nothing wrong with the car. I finally went to another dealer, who removed some blocks that should have been removed by the dealer upon its arrival. Black mark for Grecco Mazda, Gold marks for Wayne Mazda.

    Pretty much routine maintenance [brakes, tires], for the next 80,000 miles [save a non-functioning electronic door opener]. At 88,000 miles a ball joint went. As soon as the car came out of the shop, the catalytic converter died. That is very premature and only 8000 miles past the federal warranty expiration. Mazda refused to cover the cost of the part [I offered to pay labor]. Having replaced that item, now the 02 sensor has died as has the other ball joint. That's nearly $2000 over the past month and I am still under 100,000 miles [granted I have put 92,000 miles on in three years].

    I miss the reliability of my Honda [CRX] and Toyota [Celica], where nothing went wrong until 120,000 miles when I had to replace a clutch. My wife is looking for a new car and I don't think we will try another Protege.
  • pjd58pjd58 Posts: 366
    I have owned 3 Protege's(91,96 & 01) with a total of 220,000 miles and not one single problem. The Protege is one of the most reliable cars on the road. My 86 Corolla GTS had numerous problems....head gasket,oil leaks, electical failure, not to say all corollas are bad cars.

    My point is any car can have issues, including the Protege. Statistically, as far as reliability, the Protege is better than most of the competition.


    P.S. Depending how the car was driven over 90,000 miles, ball joints could fail on any car.
  • I have 1993 Mada Protege and I am having a problem with the trasmisson in reverse, the car seems like its in foward and reverse and goes no where. It will only go to 1500 rpms because it seems like there is some kind of a lock up. Its like putting your foot on the gas to go foward with the brake on and goes nowhere. But put it in foward and no problem
  • I have a foul smell that i get now that it's colder out. Once the temp guage gets past 1/4 of the way up, I sometimes get a foul smell. After the car has fully warmed up, I usually don't get this smell anymore. I get the smell when I have the heater on usually as well...which is most of the time since it's winter. The smell doesn't seem to be comming from the exhuast becuase I've checked that a few times.

    I think the engine usually has some vents on the crankcase...maybe it's this? I don't know. Either that or there is a small exhaust leak before the rear cat which might make sense. The only other thing I think it could be related to is the ignition system. The rubber on the plug wires has come off a little on the top by the valve cover. I'm going to change the plugs soon too. I have 34500 kms on the car so far so I think it's due for that. Let me know if you guys have had this problem before and what it was.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    I think you may have a stripped synchro gear in your transmission if you fully engage R and don't hear/feel anything coming from your tranny. The engine may be rpm-limited when the computer senses you've engaged (or tried to engage) reverse to avoid damaging the transmission (sounds like it's too late though).

    Better take it in. Quick way to see if there's mechanical damage is to lower the transmission pan and look for metal shavings etc. (not sure about this particular transmission, but most also contain a very strong permanent magnet to capture loose ferromagnetic bits of metal).
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    This smells quite foul. It's a quite acrid scent. Anyone who's driven through Toledo would know it. Check to make sure no hoses or wires are coming into contact with the engine block or exhaust manifold.

    Recently, I've had a brief whiffs of coolant when accelerating hard. I just recently had my dealer replace the engine coolant. Wouldn't surprise me if they spilled a little somewhere and didn't wash it off.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    If you've got a 2000 automatic and it's slipping out of fifth gear, you've got a unique transmission indeed!

  • axjokeaxjoke Posts: 13
    Yeah, its a 2000 ES. As an update it hasn't slipped since that day. Even on the return trip it worked flawlessly. However it wasn't a 1 time thing... over about a 180 mile period, 1 day, it slipped out at least 10 times going about 75mph on an interstate with cruise on and about 20 times on country roads without cruise.

    Would you suggest taking it to the dealer? It runs fine now and i assume they willl just laugh at me and my story. As i might do if the roles were reversed.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    What I meant by my message was, the automatic transmission doesn't have a fifth gear! It's a four-speed automatic. So if you've got an automatic and it's slipping out of FIFTH, you've got one interesting transmission, LOL!

    Are you nuts? I would DEFINITELY and WITHOUT HESITATION take it to the dealer. (I assume you're still under warranty.) That way, even if they can't duplicate the problem in-house, they can document it so you'll have a chance if your transmission goes south after your warranty expires. Don't give in; I had a 1994 B2300 pickup (piece of crap built by Ford for Mazda) that had numerous engine problems. Even though my warranty expired at the normal 3 years/50,000 miles, they continued to monitor and fix these ongoing problems -- at no cost to me -- until I sold the truck with 118,000 miles on it.

    Give 'em hell!

  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    Was this happening on grades? The way the AT works is 1-2-3-OD-Torque Lockup. The TL feels like a fifth gear ratio, but isn't. It just locks the engine output to the transmission input so they don't slip relative to each other and bleed power.

    On grades, the AT can couple/decouple the torque lock-up as it senses torque in the transmission approach some limit. The lock-up mechanism activates below this threshold to increase efficiency of power transfer. It decouples to avoid damaging the transmission or engine by allowing the interface to slip (as in drive ratios 1,2,3 and OD). On long moderate grades, this can happen several times as the car's computer tries to maintain speed with the cruise control.

    This happens with my AT, especially when transitioning from a flat (or downhill) to an uphill grade, or if I step sufficiently hard on the accelerator (as when coming out of a turn or curve or to pass someone).

    Sorry for droning on if that's not the issue.
  • axjokeaxjoke Posts: 13
    That sounds similar to what was happening but it still seems wierd. I live in indiana, rather flat, but i was driving through a semi hilly area with lots of curves and was accelerating decelerating a lot. This is when the problem started. I drove about another 100 miles in the hilly/curvy type roads and then proceded on a major highway which was as straight and flat as they come.. the problem wasn't as severe but it did slip there too on multiple occasions.

    The bleed power sounds like a better discription than the slipping one i used as i didn't notice a shift in gears.. but rather i noticed the rpms going up rather quickly from the low 3,000's to the mid 6000's, over about 5 to 20 seconds, while maintaning the same speed. This seems a bit extreme.. almost like the car was severly overcorrecing...

    Mddaffron... thanks for the correction.. sadly i even put some thought into it before i posted about 4th and 5th gears... guess that example conveys my lack of car knowledge better than anything.

    thanks for the help
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