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Mazda Protegé



  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    I hate to say it I wasn't paying attention to the whole ac-defroster argument that was going on. Was it ever decided if it does come on when on "defrost" even when the ac button isn't pushed?

    The funny thing is that the dimming that I'm noticing is the headlights on the road more than inside the car. I don't notice if the dashlights are dimming. Of course it's hard to tell with my oh-so-sporty red dash. (GRIN)
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    The AC compressor comes on in all modes automatically except face and face/feet. But that shouldn't cause your lights to noticeably dim. Way back when I had my 1999 DX (almost a year ago now), the headlights went real dim one time on me and the car surged, but never again. I never had the car checked again, because it never did it again.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    The dealership where I traded in my 2001 Protege has it on the lot STILL after 5 weeks. They are trying to sell it for $13,900 with almost 20K on it and a huge scratch on the front end. Never happen! Like I said, it's still there after 5 weeks.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    I see that too. It is the AC compressor cycling on and off.

    The AC Compressor is on when in Defrost, Defrost & Feet, and Full Feet. There is no way around this apparently.
  • dsm6dsm6 Posts: 813
    I should clarify my statement. Let's suppose Shrique's light dimming, rpm dropping, phenomenon (let's not call it a problem just yet) is in fact caused by the ac compressor cycling on. This may, or may not, be normal. I've owned cars for which this is normal. I also owned a car for which this meant the alternator was failing. If I owned a protege, I'd go check mine to see if it exhibits this phenomenon, but sadly, I don't yet own a protege.

    A quick poll here of protege owners might help. We have one vote from Sporin that this is normal operation. Any others? Or perhaps someone (Sporin?) has more mechanical knowledge of the protege, with respect to this phenomenon, than I?
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    I've seen my headlamps and interior lights dim if I turn on my AC or rear defroster while my car's still warming up (idling in P). I assume the same would happen with any large electrical loads at this point in time.

    When driving around, I notice loss in acceleration when the AC compressor kicks on for a fraction of a second, but I don't notice any dimming of my headlamps (probably because the engine is turning at higher than idle speed). I'll keep an eye out for this phenomenom.
  • nematodenematode Posts: 448
    I dont think that Mazda would have any trouble getting the current 2.0L tweaked to 225hp from the factory and still maintain reliability in a cost effective manner. I predict a car in that range would cost about $25,000 or pretty much in line with the old Eclipse GSX and the current WRX. Most of the cost increase reflects the cost of making the engine capable of sustaining the punishment of force feeding probably close to 15psi. Things like forged cranks, pistons, headers, fuel pump, intake and exhaust mods, new ECU and other stuff like that adds up faster than one would expect. The turbo itself is only about 1/4 of the cost of the increase to 225hp with good reliability.

    In my turbo comment I was only refering to the aftermarket turbo. The aftermarket is a whole different ball game. I still contend there is no way to reliability make even 180hp with the current 2.0L engine without significant mods. I think that the current can make 180-225hp easily if you dont care about reliability. If money is not a big issue and the parts exist I bet I could get it to a reliable 225hp for around $10,000. Then again you could just go out a buy a WRX stock and get that + AWD. Power costs money but thats pretty easy. Reliability costs more money and that proves to be far more difficult.
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    I should really clarify what I said about dimming. on first impression it acts almost like the lights cut out for about a 1/3 of a second. As the lights are dimming from the loss of power they pop back on and ramp up. I mean this is a very short time that this happens. It's almost unticeable and if I didn't have the lights on I might not notice it at all.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    That is an awful low dip, if the headlamps appear to cut off. I can only get that to happen if I turn on the headlamps and then attempt to start the engine.

    It's unusual for an AC compressor or defroster grid to pull enough current for the voltage dip to be that noticeable. One possible cause is a worn battery. It "backfills" until the alternator can catch up to increased current demand. You might want to have that checked. Of course, replacing the battery only costs about $35-$65 (depending on brand and model, and if you do it yourself).
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    I think I'll have the dealer look at my not even a month old protege5 and let him deal with it. Heck I don't even have the plates yet. (stupid state)
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    When my 99 Protege DX dimmed once, it wasn't like the lights almost cut off. They did dim noticeably, and it was really cold out that day with snow on the ground too (like 20 degrees or so). But the lights didn't get that dim. I didn't even get it checked out, because like I said it never did it again. And my 2001 never did it at all when I had it.

    But I did have a no-start issue with my 2001 once. The radio's sound stopped working one time because I played the radio too loud and messed it up. I turned the car off when I parked it, but left the radio on (I never turn it off, ever). When I went to restart the car about 20 hours later, it was dead as a doornail. I got a jumpstart and took it to the dealer and left it. Everything from the battery to the alternator to the starter to the electrical system checked out fine and the car never did it again. Weird.
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    I think I know what shrique is talking about, sometimes when I start up the car going home after work, during the first minute or so of warmup/idling, the dash lighting (e.g. gauge, radio, etc) would 'flicker' a little bit, for a very short time. After a minute or so of warmup, it would go away. I've had the car for over a year now and it happens quite regularly, but so far car has ZERO electrical problems (knock on wood).
    And seeing several other people also observed this dimming/flickering phenomenon and no one has reported serious problems that are related to it, I would think that it's just a 'characteristic' of the Protege.
    It's like what we software engineers say, 'it's not a bug, it's a feature!' :o
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    Meade, I believe that a rotten egg smell can be cause by the engine running in a rich condition. It might be that your plugs aren't completely igniting the fuel. It could be a number of other things though also.

    Protegextwo, The things that the dealer performs at 30K are very easy to do yourself. I will not pay for "inspection" of anything. You know how they check your alignment? If it drives straight, it's good. Like I have said before, I don't trust the monkeys that the dealership has doing these 30Ks. What about flushing out your coolant? You didn't list that.

    Shrique, I have noticed a slight loss of power and lights dimming too in my 01 ES, especially when cold. I attribute this to the air conditioning compressor. I hope that is what it is.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    mazdafun brings up an excellent point.

    This ONLY happens right after a cold startup, and only when idling or barely moving. My lights NEVER go out, there is just a slight "dip" to everything and you can hear the compressor kick on.

    It is similar to when my oil burner kicks on at home. Other stuff in the house gives a nearly imperceptable "dip" for a 1/2 second.

    Same thing with the car.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Never happened on my PRO. But I do notice, if it has been cool overnight and I have the radio on and the heater in position 1, the car sometimes, hesitates to start (happened less than 3 times since I've had it - 18,400 kms so far). I turn the radio off andf the heater off and it starts without hesitating right away.

    I'm not exactly worried about it. The battery has a warranty on it for another 1.5yrs... I would definitely express my concern to the dealer, especially as you said it's less than 1 mth old. Hopefully it's not one of those weird, impossible to troubleshoot electrical issues.

    Good luck, Dinu
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    I've driven other makes where the lights etc. dim or slow down when a large load kicks in. I think it happens more with lighter engines (less inertia in the moving parts) than with heavier engines (6 and 8 cylinders). Cavs, Neons, Escorts, Civics etc. all exhibit the dimming behavior (not to any extent I'd call worrisome). I hadn't really noticed this type of behavior in my father's 6cyl Taurus or any other 6cyl or 8cyl-engined car I've driven.

    This effect is more noticeable with a drained battery (such as after you get a jumpstart).
  • Wow, I would just like to say that anyone in the Santa Barbara CA area owes it to themselves to get their cars at Perry Mazda. This dealer is amazing, fixes everything I want fixed in the time they said, cleans, waxes, and vaccums the car every time I take it in. The also charged me half price for my spoiler when I recieved a Miata spoiler instead of a Pro one. The got the correct one to me the next day and put it right on. Also anyone with rattles in their doors should take your Pros in. My dealer fixed the problem in 3 hours and now my baby hums along without a buzz. I feel like I an being treated like I own a Rolls. A+!!

    It was interesting when I was at the dealer I noticed 2 VW golfs and 2 Jettas. I asked the dealer about them they said the golf people traded theirs for P5s and he didn't know about the 2 Jettas but I just found it interesting after what Vocus had said.

    ZoomZoom...That is interesting that you have a 97 RAV, my mother has one (a 97 RAV4 L) and I noticed the same thing about the engine. Is yours silver?
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    the city driving is 27.9mpg! So overall I get 27.9 city -- 36mpg highway. With Air on that would drop to about 24.9 city -- 32-33 highway. No problem.

    I'm getting like you guys, I hate to come home when out on an errond. Just want to keep driving some more.

  • elec3elec3 Posts: 160
    put on a lot of miles while just cruising around town. I always take the long way, and it's a good way to see what's happening around town. Occasionally I'll see something interesting or get myself into a stoplight grand prix. Mileage is good and I consider it entertainment, so I have no reason to stop :)

    I can't say that I've noticed any dimming with my Pro5. In fact I expected I'd have to deal with this, I have a Bazooka subwoofer that I installed myself in the hatch and it has a power lead that runs directly off the battery. I figured that when the car had just been started or was idling, I'd get a bit of a drain or dimming when my sub hit. Fortunately I haven't witnessed such a thing. I wouldn't be surprised if I got some dimming with my air on high when the compressor kicked in but I don't remember this being a problem. I can't really speak on cold starts, my Pro5 has never had to endure temps below about 25 and I've never started it when it was below freezing. It could simply be a warming up issue, but if your Pro5 is still that new, you should have the dealership check it out. Couldn't hurt.
  • Hi, everybody! This is my first post here. I purchased a Sand Mica 2001 Protege LX in mid-October, and it comes with 6-cd changer, moon roof, perimeter alarm, rear spoiler, A/T, 15 " alloy wheel, keyless entry, and AC. I am pretty satisfied with the deal (I got $220 above invoice with 6 mo deferred payment and 36 mo payment with 0% interest). So far I really enjoy the car in every aspect, and especially the handling just like my wife's 2000 MPV LX is very easy and smooth. As I mentioned in the title, I got very poor MPG (20-22) in an approximately 80% city/20% free way driving. The best one was ~24 MPG in 40%/60%. I do not know whether this is due to the gasoline (do grades matter?), the weather (I live in Seatlle,and it rains ~ 70% of the time in the past month), or simply just waiting for break-in (~1200 mile now). Any thoughts? Thanks in advance. Happy Zoom-Zoom.

    P.S. I put three Zoom-Zoom stickers on my Protege, two from the dealer (free) and one from ebay ($2.00).
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    This is the mildest winter I have seen in Canada so far (since 1991) in both Montreal and Toronto. No snow yet. I saw a report on The Weather Channel today and saw the ice in VA and NC. Reminds me of the ice storm we had in Mtl a few yrs back: ice EVERYWHERE (trees, houses, cars, roads); the city was blocked for a few days...

    Compact Sports Wagon: I think Volvo did with their All Wheel Drive Model. Audi has the Quattro. But it is very likely Mazda started this trend with the PRO for smaller wagons with the "fun to drive" quotient.

  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    They do matter. Gasoline formulated for colder climates yields less energy (more of it has a low-flash-off temperature, which makes it combustible below 0-degrees C...hydrocarbons with lower flash points are typically shorter-chain, which release less energy when oxidized), thus your Pro needs to use more per distance traveled. On top of that, heap on cold starts and you can expect about 10% less economy in cold weather in more northern regions.

    Any gasoline with oxygenating ingredients, while much better for reducing tailpipe emissions, also contain less energy. You can expect to see maybe 3-5% reduction in fuel economy with fuel that is 10% ethanol.

    Regarding "grades", the effects are either negligible to slightly worse if you use a grade other than that recommended by the manufacturer.

    Your tire pressures OK?
  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Posts: 1,007
    For those who were wondering, I got here (NoVA) over the last weekend, after leaving from Salt Lake on the 3rd, and making a few stops along the way.

    My car held up great (95 protege dx, auto) throughout - including a painfully heavy storm through the rockies on my first leg! The seat could do with a little more support for the lower back, as evidenced by my cousin bro's backaches.

    There are so many more Pro's here on the East Coast!

    I'll write more later, and return to my regular prowling of this board over the next few days - gotta apartment hunt and avoid my 50 mile (beltway) commute to work now - priority number one!

    I'll also get in touch with all the kind board regulars in the area, and wanted to thank them, as well as several others for the plethora of tips and advice I received before my trip, as well as the offers of emergency assitance (if needed) and generous lunches, which I was unable to accept (on this road trip ;-)

  • chicagoprochicagopro Posts: 1,009
    Glad you made it safely! I was wondering how the trip went.

    Do you know how many miles you put on the car?
  • Hi, Mazdafun. Really, Thanks for your response. It is exciting to learn the new thing everyday, and I even can find someone to discuss chemistry with me (I have a chemistry)in this Protege forum. I intentionally keep the tire pressure at 35 psi (as opposed to 32 psi). The temperature here is around 35-40 degree F in the morninng start, and I usually let the engine warm up for 30-60 sec and go. In your opinion, have you "discovered" what brand of gasoline the Protege really likes or what is your personal preference. Oh, one more thing, Is there any "additives" in the market which can be used to improve MPG? Thanks.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Oh, I'm not a chemist. The furthest I got in chemistry was AP Chem in high school. Enough to understand the basics. My wife, though, is a BSChE, so I bug her for the tougher stuff. :)

    I usually try to purchase from those who claim 100% gasoline. Surprisingly, it's the local Meijer (regional hypermarket chain). I find that Shell makes the fumes smell more (supposed to be caused by the higher sulfer-content). So far as national brands go, I prefer Exxon, Mobil and BP. I use Shell since there's a station located conveniently nearby. I do get about 1-2mpg better when I fuel up at the Meijer.

    I don't know of any additives that will improve your fuel economy if your system is clean and running well. Fuel injector cleaners can improve mpg if your injectors are partially clogged. However, most fuels today contain enough detergent to keep them clean. Avoid anything containing methanol. I personally have found more fouling (carbon and some white, ashy stuff on my spark plugs after using additives containing methanol. Not sure why.

    I'd check your ignition system (timing, plug gaps, plug wires), your fuel injection system (to make sure it's not putting in too rich a mixture...make sure your oxygen sensor is working OK too). Check your air intake to make sure there isn't an obstruction. Your air filter shouldn't be clogged at that low mileage. I also notice an uptick in fuel economy after each oil change as well. I suppose, but doubt, that if the the tolerances in your piston chambers are in a min/max condition, there may be some "blow-by" around the piston rings. If this were the case, you would also notice loss of oil between oil changes (supposedly 1qt/1000miles is "acceptable" to auto mfrs) or an oily scent in the exhaust.

    At least it's not your tire pressure. :) Do you notice anything that might indicate misaligned wheels? Check for some visual aids on this subject.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Sorry, I though Tire Rack had some pictures of uneven tire wear.

    This site has some simplified visuals, but gets the point across about tire wear patterns indicating alignment problems:

    Look under the car care section.

  • Thanks for your advice. I think I will start from the fundamental thing, looking for the gasoline my protege likes for the next 1-2000 miles (give a longer break-in time). If nothing can be improved, I will go to the dealers and bring up to them the lists you mentioned. Happy zoom-zoom.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    I've found no measurable difference in performance of MPG between Texaco, Shell and Mobil which are the 3 brands I use 99% of the time. (all 87 octane)
  • I feel bad when I was told by my dealer that I have to pay $49 for regular inspection. I bought my Protege 6 month ago and now it comes to first inspection and oil change. My dealer's service department told me I have to pay $25 for oil change and $49 for inspection. My friends who own Toyota and Honda just pay under $20 something for oil change, no any other charge for other service and labor fee during warranty.

    Also the parts are much more expensive than Toyota and Honda because they have to to be delivered from Japan.

    Did I choose a wrong dealer or wrong brand?
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