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Mazda Protegé



  • chiyochiyo Member Posts: 18
    Hi all-

    My 02 Protege LX has reached 45,000 miles. Other than getting a new transmission at 33,000 miles, she have been doing good so far. However, the front tires went flat at the same time. I just ordered 195/55/15 Kumho ECSTA Asx tires at $70 each. The wheel cover cracked when I was getting the spare tire on, so I guess I'll ask my dealer for a new one :)
    I plan to get radiator flush done in a couple week. So far, the only maintenance I've done is regular oil change, new tranny, spark plugs at 30,000, and air filter. Is there anything else I need to do before 60,000 miles? The guys at Valvoline recommended me to do a Power steering fluid & break fluid flush; the owner's manual says nothing.
  • alternatoralternator IndianaMember Posts: 629
    Power steering fluid & break (brake) fluid flush at 45,000 miles is simply a Valvoline profit ploy. Pass.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Brake fluid should be changed every 24 months. Brake fluid is very hdrophillic. Brake fluid changes are often neglected.
    Power steering fluid I would not mess with prior to 3 years or 50-60 thousand miles. At that time I would change it to synthetic and leave it for the next 60 thousand miles.
  • alternatoralternator IndianaMember Posts: 629
    My own experience is this: I have owned 17 new cars over a period exceeding 50 years. I would guess that I have averaged about 65,000 miles on each car. I have always lubed and changed the oil, filters, plugs, and radiator fluid myself. I have never changed the brake fluid or transmission fluid in any of these. And I have never had a brake or transmission problem, except for my 1980 Chevy Chevette which had an early-on, warranty-covered transmission failure. Most of my used cars I have sold to friends, and I have never heard that they have had any excessive brake or transmission problems.

    So I just don't get this current trend of expensive fluid changing, usually far in advance of manufacturer's recommendations.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    So I just don't get this current trend of expensive fluid changing, usually far in advance of manufacturer's recommendations.
    Do your friends a favor, change the transmission and brake fluids!
    brake fluid change why? article

    Also brake fluid change
  • alternatoralternator IndianaMember Posts: 629
    Within the NIST study you referenced I find the following :

    "If you decide to flush a brake system, it is absolutely critical to use the factory-specified brake bleeding procedure. The job often requires a scan tool and special software to run the ABS pump and activate the valves. Also, proper training should be considered an essential tool for the job. Doing the job incompletely can easily cause more problems than it will prevent, and doing the job improperly can cause personal injury to the tech, as well as to the next person to drive the vehicle.

    Servicing a hydraulic brake system has always been one of the most safety-critical jobs anyone can do on a vehicle, and surprisingly one of the easiest to do correctly. On vehicles with ABS, it's not so easy anymore, but the price of doing it incorrectly may be higher than the price of not doing it at all".

    Nothing I read in that convinces me that I should let anyone open up my sealed-in brake system before the car manufacturer's recommended time.

    Your other reference (Car Care Council) sites no authority or study for their comment at all. And on their own web site they do not specify any brake fluid replacement in their "service interval" recommendations.

    In any case, I just believe you and I can only agree to disagree on this matter.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    The reason I posted the article is that it provides both pros and cons of changing the brake fluid.

    I use synthetic oil in my Protege even though the manufacturer does not require it. I do not change the oil until 7500 miles.

    The Protege is very well built and can likely take more abuse than many other vehicles.
  • edmund2460edmund2460 Member Posts: 293
    "Other than getting a trans at 33K...." man you are pretty forgiving aren't you! Is that an automatic? I don't think anyone else in here has yet reported a bad tranny at any mileage.
  • 77hchbck77hchbck Member Posts: 24
    I'm with you, if my daughters 99LX autotrans failed at that low mileage I'd be upset, even if it was covered under warranty.Hers is at 56K+ and other than fluids, we've recently had to replace the battery, 2 tires and a drivers side window regulator. Even the window problem bothered me, but it seems to be par for this Gen.
  • fowler3fowler3 Member Posts: 1,919
    My 2001 Pro LX needs a battery, what do you recommend, which brand and price paid? My Pro has 24,250 miles on it.

  • gee35coupegee35coupe Member Posts: 3,475
    But you can't go wrong with a Diehard from Sears. And there are Sears everywhere.
  • chicagoprochicagopro Member Posts: 1,009
    Hey, Jim--

    Ditto what Calvin said.

    On Hank's advice, I got a Sears DieHard Gold a couple years ago...I think it was about $80 installed.

    Even given our temp extremes here in the Windy City, it's been doing fine.

    Good luck!

  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    The November 2005 issue of Consumer Reports has a spread on batteries including quite a few recommendations as well as useful tips to choose a battery. Walmart's Everstart seems like an especially good value.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Member Posts: 3,475
    talk about EVERYWHERE. If you trust the quality, you can't go wrong there. I'd still buy a Diehard though.
  • fowler3fowler3 Member Posts: 1,919
    I was searching on the web this afternoon, checked Sears DieHard. Can't believe I need a new battery at only 24,250 miles, but it's also four and half years old. May be the sudden change to colder weather. I couldn't restart the engine with the headlights on the other evening, thought it might be time.

    Funny thing about the change in the weather: the car coughs and won't start, I seem to be getting a chest cold and my dog has a cough and can't bark. Is spring far away?

    One other thing, do you lose the onboard computer settings when they change the battery, speedo reading?

    aka Jim
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Batteries need to be replaced by age, not mileage, and that sounds like about the right lifespan from what I've seen. And yes, the battery has to work harder to start the car in cold weather, so that is definitely a factor.

    I'm sure a Protege owner knows the answer to your last question.

    Good luck with it.
  • alternatoralternator IndianaMember Posts: 629
    Re "One other thing, do you lose the onboard computer settings when they change the battery, speedo reading?"

    No to that Jim
  • fowler3fowler3 Member Posts: 1,919
    ...Pat_HOST and Alternator. I figured it was age related probably, not holding a charge. Well, off to Sears tomorrow.

    Funny, the last time I had this problem it was the "alternator", 1977 Audi Fox, three bad alternators in one week. Never buy Factory Refurbs. As soon as they got it running again I traded for a Mazda GLC (1981). And what didn't work on that car? The heater. Sound familiar?

  • alternatoralternator IndianaMember Posts: 629
    Paraphrasing the Protege Shop manual:


    Remove in the order indicated
    Install in the reverse order of removal

    1 Negative battery cable
    2 Positive battery cable
    3 Battery clamp
    4 Battery box (cover)
    5 Battery
  • fowler3fowler3 Member Posts: 1,919
    Got the DieHard WeatherHandler. This morning I started the car and drove it for 40 minutes to charge the battery up, hopefully. Then three hours later when starting it to go to Sears it just barely started. I needed a battery today!

    Better than getting stuck somewhere, I don't have a cell phone, no roadside assistance plan, and if the police call wrecker service it costs three-times more than if I call. In NC that's $120. Ouch!

  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    You're lucky you had some warning. The last time my battery died, everything had worked perfectly -- right up until it didn't work at all. :)

    Glad you got it resolved.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Member Posts: 2,329
    It's what I used in my '89 323 and currently use in my '99 Pro LX. Of course, I also back-shop to get as fresh a battery as I can find (lead-acid cells don't recover from deep drains, just like Li-ion cells).

    Even if I don't have a problem, I change them out every 5 years. Ditto for the tires.

    I can't believe my Pro is almost 7 years old. Other than needing a bath (and that annoying EGR valve), she's in pretty good shape.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421
    Sorry, I joined the conversation late. A DieHard Gold went in my wife's 2002 Protege5 a couple of weeks ago. Funny, my 2000 Protege never needed a replacement battery even after five winters!

  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    My battery will likely be due for a refresh next winter, so I'd like to benefit from your experience regarding the Everstart.

    Do you know the size/model that fits the P5?
    Did you have it installed at Walmart?
    Anything to watch out for?
  • mazdafunmazdafun Member Posts: 2,329
    The part number is 35-3 (size code 35), same as what fits the sedan.

    I installed it myself. It's pretty easy. Lugging the batteries back and forth is the hardest part. You get your deposit (if you need to leave one) back once you turn in your old battery.

    Don't overtighten the restraining strap, as doing so may crack the battery's case. I clean out the battery pan while I have the battery out. I also clean out the battery terminal clamps with a wire brush and inspect the cables for cracked insulation or conductors. Once the terminal clamps are installed, I spray them with some wax (I think it's called battery terminal protector or something like that) to prevent corrosion. I'd wear dry leather gloves and safety glasses, just in case.

    You'll probably have to reset your radio presets, clock etc. as you'll have the battery disconnected for at least a few minutes.
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    Thanks Chow-Chi! That was very helpful. :)

    Do you use anything (like baking soda) to clean the battery pan?

    Fortunately, mine can wait until the spring/summer when there isn't any snow; snow can present some problems in an uncovered work area. :surprise:
  • mazdafunmazdafun Member Posts: 2,329
    No, I just remove the dry dirt, then wipe with a few moistened paper towels.

    If the previous battery leaked, I'd wipe it out with towels. If I suspect some ran out of the tray, or if the tray was also cracked, I'd rinse out the area with a generous amount of water, gently flowing out of a hose.

    Yeah, I definitely prefer doing work on my car when I don't have to defrost my fingers every five minutes (I hate mid-winter oil changes...I prefer to do these just before winter, even if they are a bit early). I only had to do that once to avoid doing that again (I have to leave my garage door open when I have my car up on ramps, so I can get underneath).
  • fowler3fowler3 Member Posts: 1,919
    ...besides DieHard, one they suggested, similar to Everstart, lists at $34.99. It has a higher cold start number than the DieHard below "Gold", which I bought -- $59.99. Tax and installation brought it to $77.42.

  • kaiserheadkaiserhead Member Posts: 166
    Its been a while since the last time I was here, good to see the discussion still going strong. I changed the battery on my 2000 Protege last spring after I left the map lights on all winter long when the car was parked. Needless the say, the factory battery was totally dead and wouldn't hold a charge. I took the subway to Canadian Tire and bought one of their store brand batteries, took it home in the back seat of a cab, and had it installed in the car in about half an hour. The battery mount bolts were a seized in place and took about 20 minutes to loosen, easy job for almost anyone to do.

    Just a hint, I had the Protege fully detailed inside and out before I parked back into the garage for the winter, definitely worth the $100. It felt like a new car when I picked it up. Recommend it at least twice a year (spring and fall.)

    Here in midtown Toronto, there a quite a few mint mid-80s 323s cruising around, probably grocery getters that were bought as second cars by yuppies who take the subway to work. I'm hoping that my 2000 Protege holds on for another 10 years!!!
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    I had the Protege fully detailed inside and out before I parked back into the garage for the winter, definitely worth the $100 ... I'm hoping that my 2000 Protege holds on for another 10 years!!!

    The way that you're caring for your Protege another 10 years is definitely possible. My 1991 Corolla will be heading for its 15th year of continuous service; I had given it to a friend several years back who does the minimum of service and it still keeps on ticking. My current 2002 Protege5 is as good as the first day I drove it.
  • civiletticiviletti Member Posts: 86
    And my "99 es is going strong. I even cured the buzz - pie tin, my wife called it - under the dash. I lay on the floor with my feet over the passenger seat as Jane drove up Interstate 5 - carefully, I hope. I dimantled the lower console shroud and found that the buzz stopped when I pressed on a cable that ran vertically right up the firewall. The next day I wedged a piece of foam under the cable. Now the pro is as quiet as a 7series bimmer. Well, almost.
  • theparallaxtheparallax Member Posts: 361
    Hey all, I just wanted to drop in and say Merry Christmas!
  • chicagoprochicagopro Member Posts: 1,009
    And happy holidays, everyone else!

    Please drive safely...almost involved in a head-on this evening, driving home from Christmas dinner. Goof in an SUV comes spinning across several lanes on the highway; ends up in my lane, facing me. Eek! Fortunately, I was able to get on the shoulder and go around him without incident. Still, got the old ticker a-racin'.

    Happy 2006!

  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Yikes, glad to hear everything is okay!! Sounds like your reactions were excellent.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Member Posts: 2,329
    Dale, I'm glad you were able to dodge that goofball. Eek.

  • chicagoprochicagopro Member Posts: 1,009
    ...Pat and Chow-chi! All that autocross (okay, all two times :P ) must have really paid off.

    Car turned 50K over the weekend; last payment next month.

    Woo hoo!
  • edmund2460edmund2460 Member Posts: 293
    Since the q. of batteries has been brought up my 01 Pro (bought in 02) has 40K on it. What is the life rating on this battery? Also, my local Mazda dealer has closed, moved or gone out of business (thought Mazda was doing well) so I may have to start changing oil myself. Can someone tell me the approx. location of oil filter? I think I will have to buy some ramps. I don't like the idea, know someone who was killed using ramps.
  • marsalinasmarsalinas Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 mazda protege with 87,000 miles and I love it, but recently the transmission is making a rattling noise and holds back some when taking off. Has anyone had this problem and if so what should I do?
  • mazdafunmazdafun Member Posts: 2,329
    I wouldn't let a battery go longer than 5 years, and that's under mild conditions. In really cold or really hot conditions, I'd replace them every 3 years. I replace the battery when I get a few slow starts when the weather's cold (but not bitterly cold, like -15F - I expect slow starts no matter the condition of the battery). So far, that's worked out to be 4-5 years for Champion or Everstart batteries.

    The oil filter is located between the engine block and the firewall. You can just reach it from above with my 1.6L engine (easier to get at from underneath though). With my wife's 2.0L engine, I have to get underneath.

    Cheap or poorly-maintained ramps can fail, with catastrophic results. Good quality ramps don't cost that much (like $30-40, so why risk your life with $15 ramps?). I have a set of "Rhino Ramps". They're plastic, so rust isn't an issue. They make a set for trucks that cost only several bucks more, so go for those if you want an extra margin of error. Also, the first set of ramps I got were too steep (my Pro's bumper was going to hit before the front tires even got to the ramps), so you've got to be aware of that.
  • civiletticiviletti Member Posts: 86
    The panasonic battery that came in my "99 pro es worked fine for 6 years. I replaced it with one from costco, though it may have served even longer.

    Unfortunately, the pro oil filter is a [non-permissible content removed] to get at. Most oil filters can be changed from a standing position.
  • mkieffer1mkieffer1 Member Posts: 5
    I have a 1999 Mazda Protege ES with 68,000. What's the expected lifetime for the shocks/struts on this model. I'm getting the feeling that the shocks may be wearing out but it might just be the cold weather which is causing some creaking when I go over bumps.
  • civiletticiviletti Member Posts: 86
    Often the 1st sign of shock wear is play at initial input. It's easier to notice this if the shock/strut is seperated from the spring, but you might be able to notice it by pressing down on the body. 68k is pretty decent life for these hydraulic units.

    The creaks in cold weather may be shrunken bushings rather than worn shocks, though. I've heard of wear in the pro anti-sway bar bushings.
  • bmichelbmichel Member Posts: 7
    I hit a van that pulled out in front of me square on the side. I was going about 35 and was able to brake for just a bit. My 2003 ES did well. The front end crumpled but the air bag did not deploy (why?). No apparent damage from A pillar back. Nothing more than a stiff neck.

    I really love this car (a replacement for a '95 ES) but the insurance company may total this.

    Has anyone had similar damage? I am not concerned about the body being redone well but subtle damage to the mechanical components that will show up later and cost me money since it will be hard to pin it on the accident.

    On the other hand, the new 3 is awfully tempting if I need to replace this one. That would be Mazda number five over the last thirty years.
  • civiletticiviletti Member Posts: 86
    A good bodyshop can do wonders. I had a "79 dodge colt that had 3 close-to-total wrecks in its first 5 years, yet it was in decent shape when I sold it in "99. On the other hand, a slip-shod shop can leave you with a dangerous mess.
  • lukedunklukedunk Member Posts: 1
    New to the forum and I couldn't figure out where to find the response you mentioned in Problems and Solutions.

    I just bought a 97 Protege and the driver's side window (power) just stopped lowering. I can hear the motor start to run when I push the button, and the window flexes a bit, but doesn't come down, seems like it's getting stuck.

    Any advice? Do I need to put in a new window regulator?

  • mazdafunmazdafun Member Posts: 2,329
    "Totaled" doesn't equal "undriveable" or "unsafe". Find a reputable shop. You can ask their opinion regarding safety (of course, they would WANT to do the work). Also ask your insurer's opinion. It really depends on how much crumpled, and what they can repair or replace.

    I totaled my '89 323LX, but I opted to have it repaired because there wasn't anything on the market at the time that I wanted, and I really liked it. "Totaling" means the cost to repair the vehicle is close to or more than replacing it with a like vehicle, no matter the driveability of the vehicle (well, that's my layman's understanding of how the term is used...the lawyers can chime in on the legal definition). You can do what you want with your money and car. I drove that until I sold it years later, after I'd bought my '99 Protege, but only because I wasn't driving it enough.
  • edmund2460edmund2460 Member Posts: 293
    My Dunlop 5000's were getting close to 2/32 at 41K and I replaced them with Michelin Exalto P2's 195 50 16 from Costco and saved $200 over Sears @ $528 for 4 tires. A much smoother ride. The only thing different is that the steering seems a little bit more tight. The wet performance on these tires are supposed to be outstanding (recent Car and DRiver review - also on Tire Rack). Costco is a little weird, they won't install any size other than what's on the decal on the door, they use nitrogen, they hand torque the lug nuts and make you come back after 25 miles to check the torque again. Any of youse guys have any experience with these tires? It's V rated.
  • ganggang Member Posts: 16
    There is some electricity drain from the battery in the audio system of my 1999 Protege ES even when the car is off. With the fuse for room lights on (#8 on the panel in driver's side) there is some cranking noise from the CD player, and this happens even when I unplug the fuse for the audio system (#3). This seems to be some messed-up wiring from the room lighting system, but I couldn't find a way to figure out where the problem occurs. The wiring behind the audio system is pretty bundled together. Any suggestions, anybody?

  • civiletticiviletti Member Posts: 86
    I bought my Pilot Exalto PE2's at costco as well. They are great tires. There is almost no difference between dry and wet performance, which is quite amazing. They're smoother and quieter than other tires I've had on my '99 pro es. They are a notch below the bridgestone s-03's in dry responsiveness, but cornering force is as high or higher. Tirerack also sells them, but with installation, balancing, rotation, and road hazard included, costco can't be beat.

    Here is a good track test report: link title
  • rutger3rutger3 Member Posts: 361
    Does this deal sound fair? Purchase from a dealer in N.J.,
    2002 LX, silver,auto, 46k miles, sunroof, alloys,good condition, clean title. Original asking price $10,300, offered at $9,950. This seems at least $1000 too high to me. Any thoughts?
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