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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    I'd take it in for diagnosis. Someone with a Pro of your generation had similar symptoms and I think it was a failing speed sensor (I think). Transmission mechanicals were OK.
  • hboydhboyd Posts: 98
    Anybody have problems with their '01 Protege's A/C? Mine doesn't blow really cold air at low RPMs. Is this normal? It works okay on the freeway... but really doesn't blow cold, cold air. Should I have it checked... still under warranty by a few days?

  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    It sounds like it's low on refrigerant. May as well have it fixed under warranty.
  • P0171 - Fuel Trim System Lean Bank 1;
    P0455 - Evaporative Emission Control System Leak Detected (gross leak/no flow).

    I was told today that my 1999 ES most likely has a bad intake gasket. Do I have to get it replaced soon? They asked for $311 plus diagnosis for $90. Is this a fair quote?
  • Most places don't charge a diagnostic fee if you get the work done. I'd check into that.
  • thats a fair price from a dealer- but a lot to pay any other facility.
  • I have the OEM 16 inch alloy wheels and P195/50R16 all season radial tires with 25,000 mi. This winter in Cleveland, OH I am very humbled and thankful after a number of losing it experiences to not have wrecked the car. The road conditions were especially tricky and I do not fault the equipment. That having been said I am open to recommendation for rims and tires for snow/ice driving. What will fit on the car in terms of a smaller diameter rim and higher sidewall tire? addition to recomended tire for this application....thanks.
  • for snow, narrower is better. go to Check the tread width and diameter for your wheel/tire combo. Look for one that hsa about the same diameter, but a narrower tread width. 185/60-15 might be close, as would 195/55-15. Of course, a real snow tire would help. Michelon's arctic alpin has good performance characteristics for a snow tire.
  • blizzaks have never failed me here in new england
  • ram22ram22 Posts: 15
    Hi !
    Took my Protege to the dealer for an oil change and also asked him to check a vibration sound I was getting when the car goes on rough roads or potholes(the sound also comes while accelerating at 2,500 rpm)

    Dealer said :
    The radiator is leaking coolant and must be replaced ($500)
    He said that if I don't do this, the motor may sieze. Is this true ?

    The vibration sound in the front is because of the front sway links and they need to be replaced.
    Luckily my car is under warranty for the next few weeks and that will cover everything.
    I plan to get it done next week.

    Any idea what is the "front sway links" ?

  • ram22ram22 Posts: 15
    The mechanic said that the red warning light does not come on if the radiator coolant is leaking. Is tis true ? I thought that if ANY fluid goes below the acceptable level, we geta warning light on the dashboard.
  • chicagoprochicagopro Posts: 1,009
    I can't speak for your 01, but my 2000 ES does not warn me of low coolant. Furthermore when this happened to me, the temperature gauge read normal as well even though I was dangerously low. I had no indication that I was losing coolant until I opened the hood one day and happened to notice that the level was down.

    Yes, it can be serious, and no, you shouldn't wait to repair it. In my case, they decided that the radiator was leaking, and replaced it under warranty.

    Good luck!
  • fayfay Posts: 7
    on my 94 protege DX:

    Ignition breaking down as engine heats up. suggest the following parts in this order:
    1. coil
    2. distributor assembly
    3. computer
    The onboard computer will not communicate with the diagnostic scanners.

    Is it still repairable?
    Thank you.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    I find Firestone finds more issues than actually exist, at least the ones I've been to. Yours may differ.
  • rotarykidrotarykid Posts: 191
    the front sway bar links are commonly replaced due to wear/breakdown that causes rattles over bumps.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    As the owner of a 2000 ES with 70,000 miles on it and the past owner of two '92 LXs ...


    I will nearly guarantee that is your problem. The plug wires on Protege engines go down inside the head about four or five inches to where they connect to the spark plug caps. The "tunnel" they're in gets very hot during engine operation and the wires break down over time. My first '92 didn't last 30,000 miles since I totaled it, but on my second '92, one day at about 35,000 miles, I started the car to find it missing terribly and puttering like crazy -- it was even hard to drive. I limped to the dealership with ominous dollar signs floating through my head, and the service writer put a new set of wires on it while I stood there and watched. Problem solved. With my current Protege, a 2000 ES, I started noticing a drop in gas mileage at about 30,000 miles, so I replaced the wires. It came right back up again. I recommend replacing the wires every 30,000 miles. They're only about $70 for a set from Mazda, or about $50 from NAPA. You can do it yourself in about five minutes -- just unplug and remove the old ones, and plug in and route the new ones, making sure you do each new one as each old one is removed -- there's an order to it and you have to connect coil 1 to plug 1 and so forth. The wires are also different lengths.

    My 2000 has 70,000 miles on it right now, and I'm taking the car in (late) for its 60,000-mile service on Friday. I am having them install a new set of plug wires while it's there.

    For those of you who have Proteges with more than 30,000 miles on them and you're still on your first set of plug wires, replace them. I guarantee you'll notice a big difference. The car will run like new again.

  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    73000 kms /45000 miles on it and only the plugs were replaced at 40000 kms. Still running as good as new. I'll get around to it in the summer. Should I go with the Mazda wires or an aftermarket brand?

  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I've used both. I've been told that the ones NAPA sells (the premium ones, which are still cheaper than the Mazda ones) are as good as or better than Mazda's. (NAPA was actually the recommendation of my service writer at my dealership!)

    I'm just going with Mazda's now because they're convenient to my schedule this Friday. Hmmm, I'd better ask them how much they're gonna charge me for installation. If they're gonna tack on $30 for this little plug-'n-play, I'll tell them to leave the wires on my back seat and I'll plug the danged things in Saturday.

  • kaiserheadkaiserhead Posts: 166
    I'm at 102500kms on the original wires, the engine has been a little "off" especially during damp weather, I guess the wires could be to blame.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    ... at the difference new wires make.

    And if you want proof that the old ones are ready for replacement, unplug them from the plugs and look at the last two or three inches of wire before the plug connector. The ones on my '92 had actually shorted through the insulation and had been arcing to the wall of the tunnel they're in in the aluminum head. Little burned holes were plainly visible in the insulation.

    Not the best performance when half your spark is shorting to ground! And yes, wet weather seemed to compound this little problem. In fact, I've noticed in the last few months while driving in cold, rainy weather on the interstate, my Protege will sometimes miss -- just once -- so hard that it feels like I've been tapped on the rear by another vehicle. Yep, definitely time for new wires -- and plugs too!

    I think I've changed my mind about letting my dealer have anything to do with the plug wires. NAPA has a set of Belden premium plug wires for my 1.8-liter Protege for $40.99. I am very familiar with Belden as they make high-end cable for radio communications (my hobby), so I trust that name highly. By comparison, I just got off the phone with my dealership's parts department (while writing this paragraph, in fact), and Mazda's wires for my 1.8-liter engine are $75.65 -- nearly TWICE the price!

    Looks like I'll be zoom-zooming over to my NAPA store this weekend!

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