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Mazda Protegé



  • Boris2Boris2 Posts: 177
    Has anybody performed a collant flush on Protege? I am planning to flush the radiator on my 2000 ES this weekend and wanted to find out if there is anything special I need to know.

    I just finished flushing the radiator on my Rodeo and stumbled into some unexpected problems - couldn't drain the whole thing through the radiator.

    Is Protege designed so that everything will be drained when I open the radiator drain plug? On rodeo, I had to disconnect the hose from the heat exchanger and literally blow the wather in the system through the radiator to push all the old antifreeze out of the system.

    Not very environmentally friendly, so I prefer not to do it again if I can get around it.

    Any suggestions are appreciated!!!
  • I had a mechanic friend do mine, so I don't know.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I've been AWOL from here for a couple of weeks. A few notes to catch up:

    1. My 2000 ES 5-speed now has 83,200 miles on it, making it the "oldest" of the four Proteges I've owned. (My 1992 LX had just turned 83K when I traded it.) It's running just fine, by the way. (That's what keeping up with your recommended maintenance schedule does for ya.)

    2. I'm on my second set of front brakes and my second set of rears. (And it's BRAKES, not "breaks," BTW, people!!!) I made the fronts go as long as I could, and changed everything at about 50K.

    3. No squeaks or whining from my transmission. I am on my second clutch/throwout bearing/flywheel set, but this is only because of a TSB on cold chatter that came out. When they removed my old set about 10K miles ago, they said it hardly looked worn at all. So for all intents and purposes, I could still be on my first set. (I've had more than a half-dozen manual-tranny cars in my lifetime and I've never replaced a clutch, even though most of them have clocked over 100K miles. My last vehicle, a 1994 B2300 pickup, was at 117K on its first clutch when I traded it on the 2000 Protege in May 2000.)

    4. Still looking at April or May 2005 for my 2005 Mazda3. By that time my Protege will have clicked over 90K miles (probably 92K or so), and by that time I'll be facing needing a new windshield (or repairing the ding in mine), plus new tires and new front brake pads for my May state inspection. Plus, 90K means another major service @ $300. And 90K is getting close to the 105K change time on my timing belt. Soooo.. I'd rather put the thousand bucks-plus that I'd need to do all this maintenance into a down payment on a 3 hatch. Heck, I'll even get a little pittance of value from the 8K miles left on my 100,000-mile extended warranty -- a pittance, but still enough to buy a burger on the way home from buying the 3!

    Everyone OK? Good. See you in another few weeks.


    P.S. Maybe the fact that the Protege ISN'T MADE ANYMORE has something to do with the level of participation in this discussion, no? Go look at the activity on the 3 discussions. That's what Protege looked like in (sniff) its heyday (whimper, sob).
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    So is my Pro. :)

    Still milking my tires for a couple more weeks before the really wet weather arrives. I probably got the most miles out of my Dunlop SP Sport A2s out of anyone here (35000 miles and counting).

    I'll be waiting to see what the Mazda5 is like, since Mazda decided not to bring their MX-Micro over here. :(

    In its current state, there is no 3 for me, nice a vehicle as it is. I just don't fit well into it w/o an 8-way seat.
  • I have 30K on my ES and it looks like the pads can go to 60. The Dunlops should have at least another 10K. I recommend "optimized brake use" driving on your commute, which is what I practice. After years of driving this route I know the congested stretches and I lag behind the tailgaters easing off the accelerator when I see red lights ahead. When the traffic eases, I speed up. My goal on the commute is not to use brakes till I get to the exit. Of course this doesn't sit well with the others on the road...
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    no post! Good to see you.

    My 2001 Pro LX just rolled over to 20,000 last week, three and half years after buying it. Runs good, no problems. About ready for tires, though they still have some tred. I was thinking today, IF I replace them with tires rated for twice the mileage it will be seven years before they would be replaced.

    "When new toys become old toys, kids lose interest."
    Or they have too many toys. ;)

    The 3s are selling and have taken our guys!

  • I owned my 2002 Protege ES 5spd for only a few months because my left knee began locking up due to cartilage damage. Anyway, I had to sell it. Now, a few years down the road, I'm in the market for a car again. Because I'm not too fond of the Mazda3 lines, I'm considering an '02-03 ES or '02-03 Pro5. The car would have to be auto because of continuing knee problems. When I bought my '02ES they were just coming out with the 2002.5 model of the Pro5 that had the sport auto.
    1)My first question is, did the sport auto come in the Pro ES as a mid-2002 item? If it did, I can consider both models.
    2)My second question is this: Did Mazda ever actually sell a turbo kit for the 2.0 Pro and Pro5? I've checked but there's no info.
    3) Lastly, anyone with the sport auto care to chime in with your impressions? I've never owned an auto before and while the sport auto is nothing like the SMG or like transmissions, it at least invites some input from the driver. So, for those of you that have it, what's it like?

  • rbrooks: You may want to consider a pre-owned (or new) Camry. They have more room therefore comfort level may be higher than that in the Protege. In my area you can get a new 05 LE for around $15,900. YOu should be able to find a great deal on a pre-owned.
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    1. Yes, all post-2002.5 Protege ES sedans have the sport auto with manual shift mode. It's only available on the Protege5 and the ES sedan though.

    2. Mazda never officially sold a factory turbo kit that owners can buy from dealers and bolt onto their regular Proteges. However, in 2003, Mazda came out with the Mazdaspeed Protege, which came installed with a 170hp turbocharged engine, along with a whole bunch of performance modifications. But it only came in a 5 speed manual transmission, so that's out of question for you.

    3. I'd just save your money on the sport auto and get a LX with a traditional automatic, unless you want the additional features that come with an ES. In the end it's still just a slushbox automatic.
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    you should be able to pick up a 02.5 ES sedan for around 12k now...
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    Even here in Chicago, for some reason ES are hard to find.
  • Just tested a 97 Protege LX 2.0. Everything was fine except the gas pedal was little hard to press: that is, if I pressed softly, the car hardly move; but if I pressed harder, it gave me a sudden accelarate.

    Is this a problem because of age or is pedal adjustable? How much money needed to fix it?
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    throttle wire may be sticking a little.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    ZOOM ZOOM!!!

    (84,400 now)
  • It has indeed been a long time. I'm surprised you have so few miles on yours. And you need new tires so soon? Did you have the Dunlops? My excuse for having only 30K in 3+ yrs is that I still drive my 256K 82 VW diesel to work most days. No problems so far - rock solid car. Have flirted with the thought of selling it to raise cash and perhaps buy another car in a few years.
  • Hi guys,

    I'm new to this group. I just bought a used 2000 Protege LX. Wanted a Mazda 3 (being my very first car and all) but I'm a little tight on the budget. Why'd you guys chose a Mazda intead of a Honda or a Toyota? I'm actually debating on these 3 makes and ended up with a mazda.

  • oskwioskwi Posts: 88
    I researched many, many cars and decided on a 2001 ES because of its high Japanese parts content and past reliability records. I also put my mother in a 2003 ES (brand new in summer of 2003).

    I avoided the Honda because some of my friends had transmission problems (Accords and Civics)...unheard of for Honda until recently. Toyota had some engine sludging problems, and from some previous research, some of the newer Corollas are needing entire engine replacements at very low miles...again, unheard of until recently. News like this sends shivers up my spine!

    All in all, I am very pleased with the reliability of both cars. I find myself fixing things on the 2001 that were poorly taken care of by the last neglectful owner...certainly not the fault of the car. The 2003 has 30,000 miles on it and has never been back to the dealer to correct anything...not even a minor squeak or rattle. My mother came from Chevrolets, Buicks and Cadillacs and vows to never "go back"!

    Good luck with your purchase and keep in touch on the Mazda boards.
  • I bought a Protege in 07/01 because it looked good on paper and in person. It was a good deal ($15,000 and 0.0% for a ES 5-speed) and it looked good. It also drove greaat until you got to speeds over 70. Then the engine just got to buzzy for me. I traded the Protege and went back to Hondas. It was reliable in the 10,000 miles I owned it and if you never drive on the highway or above 70 then the engine would probably never bother you.

    I don't like the Corolla because of the driving position and the rear axle.
  • For the ZOOM ZOOM factor! These cars are fun to drive. They handle like they're on rails around corners. They aren't the fastest in their class and don't get the best fuel mileage either, but they are FUN to drive. And they are extremely reliable and down right cheap to buy. They are more like a little sports car than a cheap econo box.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    A newspaper reporter is looking for vehicle shoppers and recent buyers age 20-29 who live in either the Atlanta or Raleigh-Durham area. If you're willing to talk about your vehicle preferences and shopping experience, please send an e-mail to with your age, location, and contact info by December 13, 2004. Thanks!


    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    I took it easy on them for the first couple hundred miles after having them installed a few weeks ago. Now I'm starting to take turns a bit faster.

    Compared to my last set of tires (Dunlop SP Sport A2), they seem to:

    roll a bit more quietly
    dampen road impacts better
    hydroplane at a slightly lower speed (when new)
    respond a little less quickly to lateral inputs
    hold on just as well in dry turns, a bit less in wet turns
    roll over onto sidewalls a little more gradually, but more easily

    I've not pushed them hard enough to elicit 4-wheel drifts yet (not recommended if long tire wear is important to you), as I did a few times with the Dunlops. I'll wait for next spring for that. The roads are a bit too slick to attempt something like that these days. Although, it is easier to do. :)

    I'd say overall they are a little more "touring" than the Dunlops were, but are still plenty "performance" for me. I'll see how they hold up long-term. I put on over 37k miles on the Dunlops (more than most have reported here); they could have gone another 3-5k miles until the tread wore down to the wear bands, but I'm not risking that little tread with winter coming up. I've not put on enough miles to judge impact on fuel economy, but I was getting a long-term average of 31-32mpg on the Dunlops.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    No brainer. I'd owned two 1992 LXs, one of which saved my life in a hydroplaning accident. And both (the first one up until its demise at 28,000 miles, and the second until I traded it at 83,000 miles) were completely and totally trouble-free.

    My current Protege, a 2000 ES 5-speed, just crossed 85,000 miles this morning. My wife drives a 2002 Protege5 with just over 40,000 miles on it.

    Mazda makes small cars that buck the "appliance car" trend. They're a blast to drive, and my little Zoomster still makes me smile all the time.

    They also fit us "big and tall" guys much better than Civics and Corollas, at least from my large butt's point of view.

    My next car? No brainer there as well. Ol' Zoomster's going out to pasture next May, when he'll be replaced (well, he can never really be REPLACED) by a 2005 Mazda3.


  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    A word of advice ...

    Most of us usually check all the Protege discussions when we look at the Town Hall ... so there'll be no need to cross-post future questions on three discussions!

    Posting on just one discussion not only makes it easier for us to answer you; it also makes it easier for you to find all the responses when you come back!


  • oskwioskwi Posts: 88
    Hey Meade...Long time, no read...your posts that is!

    I went and looked at the new Mazda3 hatch last week and really liked it. I also sat in the new Kia Spectra5 and absolutely hated it! (This dealership does Mazdas, Kias and Lexuses) If you're looking for leg room, AVOID the Spectra5. With the seat all the way back, my knees were hitting the steering wheel! (I'm approximately 5'11'')

    Anyway, my only initial complaint with the M3 is the arduous process of removing the back "shelf" to fully utilize the hatch cargo room. The piece seemed cheap and prone to breakage. Also, I'm still a little concerned with the A/C performance issues...they appear to have been worked out, but it's difficult to say.

    So, needless to say, I may keep the 2001 ES a little bit longer. I'm rather frustrated with myself that I didn't pursue a P5 near the end of their run when they were doing their cash back incentives. Finding a good used one, or even a bad used one, is next to impossible!

    Keep us posted as to your future purchase thoughts.
  • meinradmeinrad Posts: 820
    The Falkens should be great in the rain. They were amazingly good for the first 15k miles. In the last 5k wear has increased exponetionally and I'll be replacing them this weekend.

    Looks like I'm going the Meade endorsed BF Goodrich route. I need something that will get me through winter and wear a little better.
  • According to Consumer Reports, the M6 has poor reliablity. I wonder if the M3 will suffer the same weakness. That would be sad. My '99 pro es has done quite well.

    Good to see some old-timers around.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Consumer Reports rated the Mazda 3 as reliable and the best of the breed (economy sedans) in a recent issue. The Mazda6 rating, which came afterwards, was a surprise to many of us, as a result.
  • kagedudekagedude Posts: 407
    Hi Mazdafun... just read your post now... my 1994 Protege DX which I bought back from my aunt still had the Dunlop A2s that I purchased back in 95. She put around 61K miles on it. The tires were awful at that point and were making weird noises so I just replaced them with the Kumho Ecsta 716 tires.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    She must've been really easy on those tires. I think they're rated for 40,000 miles. She's the record so far.
  • Hi all, I'd like to ask a question... Did every 2000 ES have keyless remote as standard equipment? The one I'm looking at doesn't have the fobs, but Edmunds mentions it as standard on the ES. Thanks!
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