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Mazda Protegé



  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 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?

  • 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 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?
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Check Edmund's pricing tool.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi - mazdafun gives you great advice. You can start here: 2002 Mazda Protege.

    Let us know if you have more questions, and keep us posted!
  • rutger3rutger3 Posts: 361
    Okay, if the private party price is $8400 and the retail price $10,300, what would be a fair offer. Given the state of the used car market, is somewhere in the middle more appropriate? The problem is if I pay full retail for a used car, then trade it in 6 months later, there would be a huge depreciation hit. What are people paying dealers for used cars these days?
  • xomlexomle Posts: 2
    My 99 mazda protege es needs a new "front exhaust pipe" (aka Header pipe?) and a new cad conv. i think i found both online (for way less than my mechanic) how do i triple check that it is the right part? ex: needs to be for a dual cam. any advice would be helpful

    thank you
  • My husband just purchased a 95 Mazda Protege.

    The person we bought it from is out of town for the next 2 days and we were wanting to do some maintenence on it under the hood....

    The problem is. We cannot get hood up. The guy we bought it from yesterday had no problems opening it up, but we cannot open it. There is no owners manuel.

    We are releasing the hood release from inside and looking for a latch under the hood that we cannot seem to locate. Help please. I know its something simple, but I guess we are missing it.

  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    It should be just to the driver side under the front edge of the hood. You need to push it towards the passenger side to release the safety latch. You may have to lift the hood at the same time if the springs are worn or not adjusted correctly. If you run your fingers under the edge of the hood after pulling the release inside the car, you should be able to find it by feel. If not, get your head under the level of the hood and look for it.
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    Did all the Pros get recycled? Except mine.

  • cptfirecptfire Posts: 1
    Just had my Protege for 6 months and wanted to share my thoughts

    $1000.00 cheaper than a civic or corolla with more features
    Handling is unreal for an econobox
    Solid Feel
    Still a good looking vehicle after 4 yrs
    Can find a comfortable seating postion
    Excellent quality looking interior
    Good gas mileage
    So far mechanically sound (38,000 miles)
    Good passing power on the highway

    Dislike (petty)

    No door lock/unlock function on the passenger door
    No lighted vanity mirrors
    No cup holders in back seat.
    Not the strongest acceleration
    Sometimes the transmission seems to be guessing
    on which gear to kick into

    Again the dislikes are minor, I am quite happy with my purchase.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    A national news magazine is looking to interview college students who has “pimped” out his/her ride Have you tricked out your car with big rims, outrageous stereos, wild paint jobs, spoilers, ground effects, neon lights, nitrous, the works . Please send an e-mail to [email protected] no later than Friday, June 9, 2006 by 5:00 PM PT/8:00 PM ET containing your daytime contact information and the make and model of the car you’ve “pimped” out.

    Chintan Talati
    Corporate Communications
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Just check in less frequently.

    My Pro is still going strong. Some of the plastic trim bits at the bottom edges of the door windows are cracking. The front ones look easy to replace, but I have to remove the glass in the rear doors. It's only cosmetic. Maybe I'll learn to live with them, but probably not. :)
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    My Pro is still going strong. Some of the plastic trim bits at the bottom edges of the door windows are cracking

    Good to hear from you! Hopefully the cracking is happening on your 99 Protege and not your 03 P5. I've been using Armor All to preserve the plastic in my 02 P5; so far it's good as new.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    No plastic trim troubles on the '03 P5 yet (other than the side mirror that got knocked off and since replaced under warranty).

    The front part looks easy to replace. The rear door part involves removing the window glass too.....hmmm. I may wait for it to break down further and really irk me before I tackle them.
  • the lower passenger compartment got flooded and now the car won't start. the automatic seat belts won't activate and there is no power to the starter. all the other electronics seem to work. i've discovered a circut board underneath the drivers seat with a wire bundle into it that appears to have fried. what is this board? it has a part number on the case but i can't seem to locate what it is, or what it's function is.BR70 67 780. Is there an aftermarket source for this? Is it likely to be my electrical problem. Thanks for your help.
  • civiletticiviletti Posts: 86
    My '99es now has 58k miles and runs like a champ. I've had some of the typical minor problems:

    buzzes in the dash
    warping rear door panels
    disintegrating door lock covers
    road noise
    CD player shorts out

    But the only problem that has cost money was a vacuum leak in the intake manifold, which was too minor to cause any drivability probems.

    Just about to install a set of struts from tirerack.
    The alpine CD and Polk rear speakers are a great improvement over stock.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I traded my 2000 ES (same car) for a 2005 Mazda3 in April 2005. It had 91,100 miles on it then. I never experienced any of the problems you reported -- except maybe road noise, but the car was always relatively noisy on the highway due to the low-profile tires -- so I don't consider that a problem per se.

    The only thing I ever had to do to the car was replace some strut bushings in the front at about 80,000 miles. It was a $300 job that was covered by my extended warranty, and I had to pay a $100 deductible. So, $100 in repairs in 91,100 miles. Not bad!

  • chicagoprochicagopro Posts: 1,009
    ...just representative of the fact that we all live in different climates, drive on different kinds of roads, have different driving habits, etc. etc.

    My report: 2000 ES, approx. 55,000 miles

    replaced under warranty:

    --leaky radiator
    --busted seat belt latch thingy

    customer pay:

    --stabilizer links

    And yes, I have the warped rear door panels, too. Door locks and such have been fine, though, so far.

    YMMV, of course. :shades:
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    It's been a while since you've shared the sage advice, Meade, but you've come back stronger than ever. Glad to see you back, amigo.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I've been back for several days -- my first posts since January. Even Pat had the audacity to ignore that I was back -- that's OK, Pat, I know you love me anyway. :)

    Hey Dale -- got a question. I've read several posts about the warped rear door panel thing. What exactly is that? Are some people finding the actual interior of the door pulling away, into the inside of the car? If so, how far away does it warp? If that's the case, shouldn't that be fairly fixable since the door panel is nothing more than thick fibrous material (aka "cardboard") with vinyl glued to it?

    Glad I never saw that little problem -- you'd think I would, with all the humidity we have down here in Virginia.

  • edmund2460edmund2460 Posts: 293
    ES 2001 approx 46,000 miles. No problems not one, not even a squeak. Still looks good inside and out. Garaged and mostly highway miles
  • chicagoprochicagopro Posts: 1,009
    I've read several posts about the warped rear door panel thing. What exactly is that? Are some people finding the actual interior of the door pulling away, into the inside of the car? If so, how far away does it warp? If that's the case, shouldn't that be fairly fixable since the door panel is nothing more than thick fibrous material (aka "cardboard") with vinyl glued to it?

    Right, the door panel is pulling away from the door, and a gap is forming where it meets the window.

    How far: not terribly, so far. In fact, if you didn't know to look for it, a passenger sitting in the back seat might not even notice it.

    Easy fix: Well, I guess I'm thinking that because it's fibrous cardboardous material, that it might be a little hard to unwarp. (Mine has the upholstery glued to it, not vinyl, where it's warping.)

    I mean, I suppose I could get it super-damp, try to squash it back into shape, and then hold it there while it dries, but that all seems a little imprecise and risky to me. I think I remember reading somewhere sometime that the only fix is to replace the panels.

    Chow-chi, are you out there? Seems to me you had some thoughts on this.
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