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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • I'm pretty sure it's coming from the area to the left just behind the left air vent.
  • Somebody discovered the source of their rattle was the hood. Needed adjustment so it would close tight. Just a thought.
  • That's what I was thinking, but the problem is not too serious. I will have it looked at when the oil is changed at the dealer.

    Mpshute: I don't know if this will work, but try grabbing the corner of the hood where the sound is coming from and try to see if it is loose. Then, go to the dealer and tell them you have an idea of where the noise is coming from, and they should look at and fix it if that's where it's coming from. (That is, if you have a good service department)
  • "As an ex future mazda owner, I wonder how mazda can get away with treating someone as they did in the story above? Isn't it illegal? Im now strictly looking at Toyota."

    I don't quite understand what you are trying to pull here, but you have to understand that most of the Protege owners that post here were not born yesterday.

    Thanks for posting that link though. It was very helpful in that I didn't have to search for evidence for the point I am about to make. Here is a link to the Toyota complaints on that same link.

    There was even more complaints on the Toyota link than the Mazda link...including people complaining about getting cheated out of their deposit and being treated rudely.

    I suggest you take your game and move it over to the Saturn forum. Oh yeah, Saturn has a link on that web site too.
  • brajabraja Posts: 25

    I had posted a note a while ago stating that
    the radio in my 2000 ES gets interference
    (in FM) from the engine. The weaker the
    station, the stronger the interference, like
    a sputtering noise whose frequency increases with
    engine RPM.

    The dealer recently replaced the radio, but
    the new one does the same! The dealer called
    Mazda and the solution suggested was to
    incrementally replace all engine electrical
    components that could cause interference. I.e,
    the dealer would replace parts one by one
    until the interference stops! I'm highly
    skeptical of this approach, and I don't
    want to screw up factory-installed engine

    The dealer also claims that he sees the
    same problem with another brand-new 2000

    My questions are:

    1. Is there anyone else out there (2000
    protege owner) who has
    this problem?

    2. ANy idea on how to fix this??

  • For this sort of noise, start with plug wires. I assume there's no distributor, so consider the coil after that. Another possible cause might be a bad ground for the radio.
    There are also filters that can also be installed between the antenna and the radio; a good car stereo shop would be familiar with this problem. Does this also affect AM radio?
  • Usually, poorly shielded spark plug wires (or otehr ignition related component) will cause the crackling noise in the stereo. A whine is alternator induced and caused by a ground loop (fixed by grounding the stereo elsewhere or you can sometimes use a transformer in the 12v switched lead. Floating grounds are often a problem in noises. Most cars have a frame-mounted antenna and if you were to disconnect the ground lead on a stereo, it will still work because it is "grounding" through the antenna. This is a "floating" ground. It has the entire frame of the vehicle to travel through,before it goes through the small frame to ground lead to the ground on the battery. This is why aftermarket stereo components (or even shanging spark plug wires) can cause these problems. It sounds ignition-induced. A stereo shop could fix this, but that's what warranties are for, right?
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I'm an amateur radio operator and I have a two-way VHF radio installed in my 2000 ES, just like I did on my '92 Protege LX. I had a similar problem in my '92 that caused the same kind of interference you describe on both the mobile radio and my AM/FM stereo.

    The plug wires in our cars go down into the valve cover before contacting the head of the spark plugs. They pass through that rubber grommet you see on top of the valve cover and go another few inches before meeting the plug, in other words. What happened on my '92? Moisture had caused one of the wires to arc through its insulation and short to the metal "tunnel" above the plug. Replacing the wires (about $40) did two things -- it made the car run better, and the interference disappeared.

    You can check this yourself -- unplug your wires and look for burn-through marks (black sooty spots) on them between the rubber grommet and the top of each plug. Even if this ain't the problem, it's a cheap ($0) way of ruling out the wires as the culprit!

    Good luck,

  • I still have a hesitation when I accelerate, its been happening for 3 years now. I think there are 2 things that may be causing this and a remedy may be almost impossible to achieve.
    1.The throttle plate and assembly needs to be cleaned regularly. This may smooth things out. ( upper engine cleaning systems are expensive and you may get some results with Tektron) 2. The automatic transmission is electronic and shifting is rough, this may add to that hesitation when accelerating. My car downshifts from 4th to 1st and redlines when I try to accelerate after braking and cornering. I have my car at the dealer today, with 6 weeks left on my warranty. These are ongoing issues with the Mazda Protege. I really like the car and want to keep mine.
  • deki80deki80 Posts: 3
  • But I could go through a dozen of those two-dollar shirts sequentially, and have six bucks left over, and you're still wearing that same old shirt. Unless you drive a Morgan, you'll have to do better than that for a comparison.
  • speedyptspeedypt Posts: 200
    What are you doing posting in here? Go back to your overpriced VW. Expensive? On my third Protege and have not had a major problem with a single one. Went to Scottsdale Porche with a client three months ago. They charged him nearly $80 for a frickin' oil change!!!! Even if they used full-synthetic oil, that's nearly three times what it should cost. Mazda did my last oil and filter change for $12.95. Sounds like you are calling yourself a chump!

    Stick to topics you know something about. The Protege is an extremely reliable car and has been recognized for it's overall value by both Car & Driver and Consumer Reports.

    Wanna talk depreciation? Okay....

    1996 Porche 911 Turbo in Sunday's Arizona Republic with 48k, stated original title, no salvage title or damage. New it cost over $105,000.00, selling for $38,500 OBO FROM A DEALER!!! 63% depreciation in 4.5 years.

    1996 Protege ES cost 17,000 new with 68k miles, again no damage, "like new" for 9500.00 OBO from a dealer. 44% depreciation over the same period.

    Tell me again how buying a more expensive car is better?

  • mq76mq76 Posts: 1
    I have a 98LX 5 speed. my idle fluctuates often. when I'm idling at a light or whatever, it often will go up to 1000-1300 RPM and the shoot down to 700ish. I've taken it to the dealer twice and had it adjusted while I was there. It used to be worse, it would almost die on me...i just want to try to get this resolved before my warranty runs out. anyone else have this problem and fix it? Also when I'm accelerating and the RPM gets above 3000RPM I can hear a rattling. sounds like plastic really... what could it be. I don't know much but i do understand the rattling=friction and friction=wear.

    In response to post #49 - my protective plate on my driver's side wore out and made my lock inoperable. the dealership replaced it. my passenger door is wearing out but sill works i have about 8000 miles to get that replaced.

    In response to post #30 - my brakepads wore out just before 30,000m and i'm not a super freak stopper...i drive like my dad as of late. it seemed unusual. but i replaced them and got my tune-up. hopefully these will last longer.

    sorry about my long windedness.

    by the way i love my protege although i am jealous of my little brother's '99 it seems to have more room inside.


  • I have a 2000 Mazda Protege with 4800 miles on it.
    After driving long enough for the engine to be fully warmed up, say 20-25 minutes on the freeway,
    and am idling for 1 minute or longer, I notice a burning oil smell. It only occurs with the heater on, and only at idle. It is not overpowering, but noticeable. I had the oil changed and thought that might have been the cause(spilled oil on the engine), but cannot find any oil anywhere on the engine. I am not losing oil either. I have tracked
    the smell to a location right next to the timing belt cover, but cannot find a drop of oil leaking anywhere. Anybody else run into this smell/problem?
  • fritz1224fritz1224 Posts: 398
    Has this particular topic board been gone for awhile? I thought maybe they just dropped it because it wasn't very active. Possbily proof of the quality of the Protege. Anyway, glad to see it back. I have had my 2k ES 5sp for 3400 miles now and still get a thrill when driving it. Gotten plenty of compliments on its looks as well.
  • I'm interested in a 2001 Protege for my daughter. Who is the best and most reliable dealership in Phoenix/Scottsdale area? If you know a specific salesperson, please include. Thx
  • curt3curt3 Posts: 101

    I am the proud owner of a 2000 Protege LX that I bought in December of 1999. I will be turning 30,000 miles within the next two weeks and I have had absolutely no problems except for pinging with cheap gasoline. I am happy to say that this Mazda replaced its evil twin Kia Sephia that I traded in on the transaction.
  • gweedogweedo Posts: 4
    I don't know if anyone else is having this problem, but the tires that came factory on my 2G Protege suck in snow, ice, rain and anything other than road. I cant remember the brand name (Yoko something) Is anyone finding a better tire that performs a ton better, on stock rims? I live In Omaha Neb. So...Snow and ice is a 6-7 month season.
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    I have a '95 Protege LX 5-spd with the 1.5. Bought the car new and to date have 120k on the odometer. Only problems have been relatively minor:

    1. Rear defrost switch, replaced under warranty

    2. Dome light bulb, replaced under warranty.

    3. Small crack in exhaust manifold at 100k. Bought used part and replaced myself.

    4. Check engine light at 100k. Replaced both Oxygen sensors myself(relatively easy to do with ramps and a few tools) and this fixed the problem.

    5. Some ideling irregularities when stopped in neutral similar to Mq76 post above. Problem has gone away and car never stalled, so I ignored it. This may be related to bad gasoline.

    6. Some CV joint clicking starting at 70K and noticable on left turns when car is first run(cold). This goes away when warm and since both boots are fine I will ignore this until it gets really bad.

    Overall this is the highest quality car I have ever owned. Engine is still tight and powerful. Does not burn or leak any oil and I change it every 7,500 miles with full synthetic. Clutch is still strong and the original brakes went 115K(mostly highway miles). Finally, since I tow a trailer/ATV quite a bit and have tested the top speed (115 mph) on several ocassions, I consider myself a tough user. To top it off I get 30-40 mpg.

    To save money on parts consider used from nationwide used Mazda parts dealers listed on the internet. I got a used exhaust manifold for $80 and a used secondary O2 sensor for $120. I also bought a new main O2 sensor from for $60 with a coupon. Mazda dealer prices are much higher.

    Now I just wish someone could make a minivan as reliable as my Protege for $18K.
  • speedyptspeedypt Posts: 200
    I bought from Bell Road Mazda (9th Ave and Bell Rd) and I've been very happy with them. They cut me a HELL of a deal too. If you are going there to buy, email me at and I'll split the referral fee with you! (Bell Rd Mazda pays a $175.00 referral fee to buyers who send them other customers who buy cars from them.)


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