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Mazda Protege Rust Problems



  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    My P5 was rusting pretty badly for a 6 year old vehicle. Especially considering my wife's CR-V has absolutely no signs of rust in basically the same conditions.

    However, my P5 was totalled last Feb and the problem ceased to be a problem for me :(

    I bought a 2007 Mazda 5 with the payoff from the insurance co. It started to show rust too though. I had 2-3 dime sized bubbly-rusty patches on the roof, rust around the wheel wells and some pin-sized marks on the sides. And then I was rear-ended and that car was totaled a month ago.

    I bought an Accord with the cash and won't look at a Mazda until they figure out how to use water-based paints.
  • 02mazda02mazda Posts: 34
    Wow. Are you ok? Two cars totaled! I keep hoping my P5 will meet some kind of early demise, but no luck. My 02 Subie Outback has no rust on it. My friend's MPV, 02 model, also has beaucoup rust on it. Silver in color. I am also leery of Mazdas now, too. A shame as besides the body rusting issues I really do enjoy the cars. Taut ride, fun to drive, well designed. Rust, however, should not be an issue now. Most cars do not rust out so quickly. They do nothing for us, either. I got a quote to fix it: $900. The car may be worth $5k. Hardly worth it now. Good luck.
  • 02mazda02mazda Posts: 34
    Subie did right by me, too. At 51k miles I had a bad head gasket. Turns out many Subies, 02 model year, had same problem. Outback, 2.5 engine. No dealer here in town, so took it to a good garage. $1300 later all better. Subie sent me a check for the whole thang. I would have settled for 50%. I bought car off lease. I will definitely look @ another Subie, but will have reservations about another Mazda, to be sure!
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I think I have seen a newer than 04 rusted P3.
    Did you mean a Mazda3? The last model year of the P5 was 2003.
  • 02mazda02mazda Posts: 34
    At local Lowe's store I saw an 04 Mazda 3 w rust, same places that it occurs w 02 & 03 Protege 5(s). I know it was an 04, as I asked the driver when he exited said vehicle. He said he bought it used. He did not seem nearly as perplexed as I am about it. Mine is really looking terrible on drivers' side rear wheel well. I am livid about it. Mazda needs to own up to this. Otherwise car is grand. Never had a sweeter engine or tranny in car. I am contemplating doing some emergency surgery on mine myself this summer if time. Will look better than it does now. Serious misgivings about another Mazda, believe you me.
  • My P5 2002 was last production run before the 2003. I ghave 75,000 miles. Rust on both sides over rear wheels. Rust beginning below the front doors. I had some bodywork done two years ago. I'll probably get it done again. I feel the same way about the engine and tranny. I love every minute behind the wheel. Nothing comes close to the fun of driving the M3/P5. Mazda let their users down, no doubt. I talked to a factory rep about my rust at 36,000 miles. He reneged on a promise to split rust repairs 3 ways, me, dealer, and Mazda. I walked from the 50/50 deal the dealer offered because "his" body shop priced double what I could get somewhere else. Somewhere else did an excellent job that lasted two years. Some of the old rust came back, but lots of new stuff developed. I've been off car payments for four years. I figure it is worth fixing up cosmetically for such a great car. I'm in Ohio. Maybe someone in the sun belt has had better luck with their M3/P5 Mazda.
  • elyarne7elyarne7 Posts: 1
    I'm so relieved to hear all this. I have an 03 Protege that the rust started on last fall. This winter was really bad (I keep it in the garage all year long) and so the rust is now on the rear wheel wels, the botton of the front doors and starting on the rocker panels, as well as the partitions between the two panes of glass in both rear door windows. Mileage is 94,000 and I would love to keep driving it til 150,000 at least (it's alot of fun to drive) but I'm afraid it wont last that long.
    I've also had brake problems, rotors, sway bar links, calipers, etc etc replaced so it seems to be a money pit. It's a shame, but I won't ever buy another Mazda.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    had brake problems, rotors, sway bar links, calipers, etc etc replaced
    Could you provide more details about the problems? For example, did you replace the rotors? At what point (XX miles, XX years)? Do you think this is more than normal wear and tear?
  • carhunter2011carhunter2011 Posts: 4
    edited June 2011
    I've had the rotors replaced twice - I'm at 103K for a 2003 Mazda Protege5.
    I am starting to get the same rust in the rear wheel wells. If I just spray wd-40 in there, will that stop it? I also agree with one of the previous posters in that I have had the car for a long time, and I like not having a payment (going on 4 years since the 5 year financing finished up) but I will not buy a Mazda again. No way.
  • 02mazda02mazda Posts: 34
    Good luck w the WD40. If it works, let me know. I may try it, too! We only have 53k on our '02! It still runs very well & is fun to drive. It has also been paid off for a very long time. Used car prices are horribly high here. I am toying w having the rust fixed & keeping the car for a very long time. They have been t--ds on the rust issue, however. That in and of itself would probably preclude us from another Mazda. My Subie of the same year has no rust whatsoever. Best of luck.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited June 2011
    103K for a 2003 Mazda Protege5 ... rotors replaced twice
    I'm assuming that is 103K miles (or roughly 170K kilometres). To me, that does not sound bad although I am sure there are people out there that will say they have much better durability. Brakes are maintenance items; for example, they need to be cleaned regularly to extend their life.

    starting to get the same rust in the rear wheel wells. If I just spray wd-40 in there, will that stop it?
    I feel your pain but I'd be very surprised if WD-40 works effectively to inhibit rust on automobiles. As far as I know, the best rust prevention method is to have a rust inhibitor applied as early as possible to the vehicle and then to regularly (i.e. annually) have it inspected and reapplied as necessary. In my 2002 Protege5, I held back the rust by the annual application of the Krown from its first year. The car still looks good after 10 years. Honestly, there is rust on the car but it has been held in check to the point that it has not affected its mechanics or looks. I learned this the hard way on my previous car (a Toyota) which became a rust bucket after about 6 or 7 years.
  • wedge837wedge837 Posts: 1
    Ugh... my dad's (now mine) 2002 Protege 5 started rusting around 40,000 miles which come on, is ridiculous. Wrote several letters to the head of Mazda USA who ignored the problem. Oh, and he is a Ford retiree so he was even more po'ed at how Mazda handled the situation.

    The rear fender area near the wheels was rusted through to the point of having holes, which was covered in the warranty, and they refused to fix it. I am now buying my first new car and as much as I would LOVE a new Mazda 3, I am settling for a 2012 Ford focus hatch instead. I refuse to ever buy another Mazda because of how poorly they handled the rusting that was a result of a defect, not "outside conditions" as they called it. My protege 5 is SO fun to drive, I am really going to miss it... but now the rear brakes are shot, crack in the frame, hole in the rusted gas tank. So sad.
  • 02mazda02mazda Posts: 34
    They have not taken this issue seriously @ all. I feel your pain. I love most aspects of the car. It was expensive. I expected more from a car that listed @ close to $20k. I paid less on account of a cousin who worked for the Blue Oval @ the time. I am putting Mazda @ the very bottom of my list for future car purchases. They have dropped the ball on this one. Big time. We got all the options available @ the time, except the self dimming mirror. Bought it new. Very disappointing. I hope others read these posts. I wish Mazda would, too.
  • no matter how you say it.... no car should show any signs of rust anywhere after only 40,000 on it.... the car business is the biggest scam (I work in it I know) besides the medical field (cancer etc.) very sad this world... greed! :)
  • 02mazda02mazda Posts: 34
    Have been on the lookout for more 02-03 MP5s w rust & each & everyone of them has the same rust pattern over the rear wheels and where the bumper meets the sheet metal. Otherwise good cars. Still on the road, being driven regularly. I have noticed this w all colors, too. Mazda, you should be ashamed of yourself. My wife says she will not even consider another Mazda, and we will probably be in the market soon. My 02 Subie has zero rust on it!
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited August 2011
    02-03 MP5s w rust & each & everyone of them has the same rust pattern over the rear wheels and where the bumper meets the sheet metal. Otherwise good cars.

    My 2002 Protege5 had rust in the places you note. In 2005 I had the rust removed and the affected areas repainted but not surprisingly the rust returned every subsequent year, so it was an ongoing battle. However, when I passed on the car this year to my nephew it actually did not look bad considering its age. My Corolla had a similar rust issue.

    My 02 Subie has zero rust on it!
    Kudos to Subaru!
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    I have a '95 Protege LX. I bought it new in March '96. It has 230K+ miles. I have driven it hard with frequent 4x8 utility trailer pulling (firewood, ATV) and gravel/dirt road use. It has also been outside every day for 16 years. I do all of my own maintenance, and it was washed and waxed frequently during the first 10 years but maybe once or twice a year, as of late.

    Just in the last year I have had some rust spots popping the paint up on the rear fender wells. I noticed it several years ago, but it wasn't as obvious. I will take care of it myself, and I really don't fault Mazda that much considering the age of the car. This seems to be a weak spot with Honda sedans too.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    in the last year I have had some rust spots popping the paint up ... I really don't fault Mazda that much considering the age of the car.
    For a 16 year old car that is impressive.
  • If it's not broken, fix it. New Mazda ad campaign. Hello! Once it is out of warranty and it rusts away to nothing turn your back on the customer who shelled out $19k on the thing. Very ironic. We build Mazdas: See what drives us. Obviously chasing the quick buck and not providing any customer service once the warranty is over drives you. My last Mazda. Nice ad. Just walk the walk, too, sinverguenzas!
  • You were fortunate. My Mazda started rusting at year 5. Not 16. It is garage kept, waxed 3x a year/at least. Washed in the winter. Only 55k miles on it. Now. Good on you, mate.
  • samm43samm43 Posts: 195
    I couldn't agree with you more and admire your conviction. With the rust problem, the earlier Mazda's were actually not as bad as the ones built from around 2000-2007? maybe is when they finally discovered hot galvanizing..years after the rest had. Talk about a mistaken search in penny-pinching. If victim owners though, forgive them and continue to replace their present Mazda with a new one, then they got away with it. Had they stepped up and said, yes were are very sorry and know that we had an issue with rust during that time period and fixed those cars without a fight, then I would give them another chance. Unfortunately they did not do that and to this day, are in denial about it. I couldn't care how well they zoom now, there are other brands to pick from until they too betray me.

  • I will never buy a mazda again. It is a shame as I did like their cars. I see many 2003 proteges with the same rust spots over the back wheel wells. I will continue to go to the mazda dealer where I bought it to get parts and I park right where everyone can see.
  • I negotiated a three way share on a rust fix on my Mazda Protege 5 2002.
    Factory, dealer, and me. The tab was to be $ 1000.
    When it came time to close the deal the dealer said Mazda factory rep had backed out of his commitment. So it was $ 1000 two way split. Another shop with high quality credentials did the job for $ 400. Which means the dealer only pretended to pay a portion of the bill and I really was going to foot the entire bill. This is fraud. My mileage was a few miles over 36,000 miles.
    I'm still living with the fix and come back rust for a car I love to drive but am ashamed to let my car buff buddies see. I help run a car show for 8,000 spectators and 500 cars, and a scholarship of $ 11,000 for the local Auto Tech College.
    This really has eaten at me. I love the Mazda drive. Zoom is a very real thing.
    Is there any evidence they have addressed the rust issue?

    Malibu lately just doesn't rust. An amazing achievement, but they are using technology any mfr can use.

    Toyota and Honda have always seemed to have the rust problem over the rear wheel wells.

    So Mazda is not alone.

    My P5 had rust near the license plate the day I picked it up, which indicates to me that the boat ride was uncovered vehicles on the ocean.

    Spread the word. Mazda needs to hurt badly on this issue, as does Honda and Toyota. That they will not deal with this is absurd.
  • Maybe we should replace our zoom, zoom, zoom decals, w rust, rust, rust. Maybe get some attention. Just drove a Hyundai Sonata hybrid Blue Drive. Oh, my. My opinions of Korean cars have just changed. What a very nice ride. No more Mazdas in my future. Subaru? Oh, yeah. 02 Outback, no rust @ all! 77k miles. Hyundai? It was nice. Granted, I am sure it was a pretty pricey ride. My neighbor's car. He let me try it out this evening. Mazda did drop the ball, big time, on this whole fiasco.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited November 2011
    Mazda did drop the ball, big time, on this whole fiasco.
    I agree rust was a real problem in Mazda vehicles like my 2002 Protege5.

    However, when it came to buy a new vehicle, I reviewed the field and decided that Mazda still offered the best deal and so I bought another Mazda (with some hesitation).

    My reasoning was three fold:
    1. my 10 year old Protege5 was in good condition in spite of the rust (note: the rusting had been corrected partially by actions by Mazda Canada and the dealership) ;
    2. other vehicles of that vintage also had some rust (e.g. Toyota Corrollas, Honda Civics) although I must admit I tended to notice the problem in Mazdas most;
    3. rust is inevitable when salt/brine is applied to road surfaces; the only recourse is to apply rustproofing as early as possible. Lesson learned: Rustproof your car right after purchase to protect it as soon as possible.

    p.s. Mazda3 rear wheel wells have been redesigned and some rubber added to exposed portions; these seem to be in response to the Protege rust history.
  • I just bought a new car and need to sell my 02 protege5. Looking at it, I have no idea why anyone would ever buy it. Rusting everywhere, lots of scratches, and I bought it with rims on it which forces me to have low profile tires. Great for driving in the winter as we all know.

    Is there any way to fix the rust without taking it to a body shop? There is one major spot of rust above the wheel well (seems like the same spot for everyone) right where a new body panel starts. This panel continues around the windows to the side mirrors. Is it possible to just replace that panel myself? I tried to look online for a replacement panel with no luck. Anyone have any options? Also what kind of cost are we looking at for fixing rust at a body shop?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    There is one major spot of rust above the wheel well (seems like the same spot for everyone) ... around the windows to the side mirrors
    I have normally seen the rust on the rear wheel wells; it sounds like you are describing the rust next to the front quarter panels.

    I tried to look online for a replacement panel with no luck. Anyone have any options?
    Have you tried checking salvage yards?

    what kind of cost are we looking at for fixing rust at a body shop?
    Starting price could be $200 to $300 but could easily double or triple. I'd tell the shop that the car need not be restored to new just good enough to sell.

    Personally, I'd figure out how much the car is worth as is (check cars in the classifieds for your area) and approximately how much the cost for the repair would be and then negotiate with a buyer.
  • A friend @ church had a 98 Toyota Tacoma p/up that rusted out and had a bad ball joint. Toyota bought the truck back for twice what he paid for it. Another guy @ school had a Ford Windstar that had a bad rear axle and some other issues. Ford paid him more than he paid for it used and he spent $50 of his own money for a same model year Jeep Cherokee. Mazda, apparently, has worse customer service than even Ford! Wow. New low. Do the right thing! Fix these lemons.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    98 Toyota Tacoma p/up that rusted out and had a bad ball joint. Toyota bought the truck back for twice what he paid for it
    How old was the truck when this happened? Was the truck still under warranty? Were there special circustances with this case? This seems very unusual to me.

    Auto manufacturers need to take responsibility for their products through warranties that are fairly administered.
  • jmoyer11jmoyer11 Posts: 1
    I got my '02 4 years ago, driven 40k of its 115k miles. It had some smaller rust issues when I got it, it's gotten much worse since. Several rust issues underneath the car. Sway bar, part of exhaust, multiple ball joints, brakes, FUEL TANK all needed replaced since I got the car all due to rust. I discovered another part of my exhaust that needs repaired with another broken rusty part near the manifold that needs replaced. The bottom looks awful from all the rust.. MP5: fun drive, versatile, looks great for low initial cost - but very rust prone.. My heart would love a new(er) Mazda 3, but my mind will prevent that from happening. With that said, what car has the upsides of Mazda cars without the rust downside???!!?!
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