Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Mazda Protege Basic Maintenance Questions



  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Bumpers are painted just like the rest of the car! I love reading posts from people who are scared to polish their bumpers because they "aren't metal." Here's your rule of thumb -- if it's painted, DO IT!!!

    (Just don't apply wax or that other stuff to unpainted plastic or bare rubber, OK?)


  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    Let us know if it works too. I've spent a half hour or more scrubbing the bug guts off just the bumper. The insect world sure seems to like the yellow paint. >:(
  • Hi there,
    I noticed recently my Protege 2000 (around 30k miles) has a lot of scratches. I can understand why there are scratches on the side doors since they normally happen when parking spaces are tight and people open doors and hit my doors, or cars hit my doors.

    But I was surprised when I saw there are so many scratches on the hood, it is not only one, but almost the whole hood has circular scratches, and then there are maybe 3 or 4 major scratches. These scratches have been there since a while (maybe building up over time).

    What is the reason of these scratches? I owned other cars before and I didn't see so many scratches. I did take the car several times on long trips (3 hours one way) so I don't know if the scratches are caused because of the wind and dust on the highway... Do you know the reason? Also, what can I use to fix it?

    Also, I had several tiny dents on the body of the car recently, so I went to a dent-magic shop and fixed them. Why does my Protege get so easily dented?

  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Circular scratches are usually from automatic car washes, or over-vigorous waxing or polishing done with a circular motion.

    Also, the Sunrise Red doesn't have a clearcoat layer (trust me, I've got one, and lots of red gets onto my polish/wax cloth).

    Big scratches are likely from rocks thrown up on the road (usually highway). I'd use touch-up paint on the worst areas. Use a small craft brush or a toothpick to minimize overpainting. Polish will take out a number of the small abrasions.

    Most cars dent easily these days.
  • Thanks for your post. Yes, I guess I'm going to polish it and then wax it. Hopefully, the most visible scratches will be gone.
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    There are also colored waxes that I can't vouch for because I've never used them, but would probably fill those scratch marks in less noticeably than trying to use touch up paint.
  • Hi all - I'm enjoying my 2003 Protege5 (had it three weeks now!), and have some questions.

    I've read about too-tight lug nuts possibly warping the rotors. Should I check all the lug nuts and retighten them to 83 ft-lbs? Would any damage from too-tight lugs already be done?

    The car came with Dunlop SP Sport 5000 tires. They seem to be pretty good on dry pavement and rain so far. Do these tires do OK in snow? I hate to switch tires just for the winter if I don't have to. I'm in NE Ohio, but below the 'snow belt' (area that gets *mucho* snow because of Lake Erie).

    A local auto parts store has Meguiar's stuff on sale (not the Gold Class paste wax I've read raves about, darn it!). One wax they have on sale is Meguiars 'cleaner wax'. Clerk told me it both cleans and waxes. Wouldn't you get better results if you clean, *then* wax? Is the shortcut of getting both done at once worth it in the long run?

    I'm thinking about getting some Meguiars Quik Detailer, and Meguiars Deep Crystal Car wash (it's on sale, is it close to as good as their Gold Class car wash?). I think my car's too new yet to worry about chemical washes and polishes, but I'm thinking about wax (especially the hood, where the dealership buffed out a small scratch that was there when I got the car). There's the Gold Class wax I mentioned above, but on sale is some Meguiars Deep Crystal Carnuba Wax. Anyone used it, or have comments?

    I've also read posts about using the larger oil filter (for the 2.5L 626) (thinking ahead). I asked at the Mazda parts counter about this, and was told they weren't making the larger filter for the 626 anymore, and were using the smaller one for both. Anyone hear about this? I hope to try and pick up a few of the larger ones at auto parts place, anyone have brands to look for (or stay away from)?.

    I've already learned a lot from reading through all the posts here, I've made notes for myself about a lot of stuff, thanks so much for sharing all your knowledge!

  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    Your lug nuts should be tightened to the correct torque setting from the factory. Any damage done to them due to over torquing would be covered under warranty. I guess it just depends on how paranoid you are. I wouldn't bother.

    My understanding is the SP Sport 5000m is just OK in snow. As long as your tires are relatively new, you are probably OK, but I would avoid driving them in snow once you get below 6/32".

    I wasn't aware that they were no longer providing the larger filter for the 626, but since is has been discontinued, I am not surprised. I was planning to switch to either the Purolator Pure One or the Mobil 1 filter next time I get the oil changed (next week). I recommend you check out this site which has a lot of information on oil and oil filters, and make your own call:

    BTW: I use Mobil 1 10W30 year round.

    Sorry I can't help with the wax questions. I just take mine to the detailer 2 times a year and wash with Armor All Bug Wash every other week to keep the bugs from ruining the finish. I have no idea what the detailer uses, but he warranties his work, so I don't worry too much.
  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Posts: 1,007
    (I know a lot of people will pipe in with other recommendations like Zaino, Zymol and Zoo-all etc etc - I've had great luck with Meguiar's stuff, so ....)

    Check out, their August special has a great car care kit that includes Gold Class, some carnauba, a bottle of Deep Crystal Wash, a bucket, towels, applicators and a couple more things. No store sale prices will beat that. If you prefer to customize what you get - the Cleaner Wax is nice, and what I actually used on my Protege. But I switched to Gold Class when I got the Mazda 6, and I am amazed at how good it is. Bear in mind the differences ...
    - Protege, older, white (doesn't shine super glossy like darker colors), questionable previous maintenance (bought used) but not neglected!
    - 6 - Lapis Blue (a dark, glossy color), new, shines and reflects beautifully after one Gold Class application and two washes since!

    I've never used the Cleaner Wax on the 6, nor the Gold Class on the Pro! I'd say just get the Gold Class directly - lots of people swear by it! It'll be wroth the double (or more, if only Cleaner is on sale) price. Or get the Meguiars website August special kit with free shipping :)
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    Gold Class is a great wax for shine, but it's not great in the durability department.
  • Hey everyone, just wanted to let you know that I finally got to wax my P5 with Rejex. It seemed to work good, but I couldnt tell a difference between it and NU Finish (which I used to use on my B2000). I will drive it for a couple of weeks and see how good it is. Considering that it cost $20 for an 16oz. bottle, I dont think I will be using it as my normal wax. Probably pick up some Bullet Wax that I have heard good things about, and use the Rejex once a year or so.

  • Hi there,
    The scratches on my car don't seem to go away with the products that I have used namely:
    1- Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound (Heavy duty cleaner). The product package says that it removes scratches and stains.
    2- NuFinish car polish

    Are there other alternatives I can try?

  • Be careful wit the rubbing compound. If your paint has a clear coat, you can rub right through it. Polishing is a matter of using the right grit. If a scratch is very deep, you aren't going to rub it out. If the scratches are shallow, too rough a grit will only make more scratches. If you use a rough grit polish to remove a scratch, you then need a finer grit to remove the scratches made by the first rubbing compound. You can do it, but be careful, especially if yu use a power buffer or yu are working near edges or creases in the bodywork.
  • Is a long lasting wax with a decent cleaner, but it won't remove any serious scratches.
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    Try Meguiars Scratch-X. I think Mothers also has a scratch removal product.
  • sugoiyasugoiya Posts: 12

    Let my inlaws borrow my P5 this weekend. Wound up scratching the alloy tires while trying to parallel park. :(

    1/4 inch scratch where the rubber and tire meet. Damage not too bad, but looks ugly. Any ideas? And if I let it go will it rust or something?
  • Yeah, the place where I tried the rubbing compound lost its shine... Ugh
    I think I'd better not experiment much further with these products before I damage the paint...(which I already did by removing stains with the rough edge of the sponge as stupid as I am! I introduced 3 new white scratches :-(

    I'm going to show it to a body shop and see what they think, although it might be an expensive alternative.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Try some clear acrylic paint or lacquer. Apply with a fine art brush or toothpick.

    They won't rust since they're aluminum, but they will dull. Any acidic or caustic material will eat away at the dull aluminum oxide that forms over bare aluminum to keep it from further oxidizing (rusting).

    And I'd suggest the in-laws rent the next time.
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    Shoot me an email I frequent a detailing website that I believe to be one of the best out there. They have a message board so I'm not allowed to post the link here.
  • I hate it when that happens. Factory alloys have a clear coat that is rubbed off in such accidents. To minimize the blemish you first need to smooth out the metal. Depending on the depth of scratches, this may require polishing compound, wet&dry sandpaper, a file, etc. Like with paint, you start with the roughest nedded and work to fine polishing compound. Then touch up with a clear coat. It could be lacquer or a waterbase acrylic or urethane.
  • sugoiyasugoiya Posts: 12
    someone knew of some magic dust that will make the scratch go away. ;-)

    Thanks to you all. Even if there is no such a thing I'm relieved to know that I can minimize the problem with a file, some sandpaper, mag polish, clear coat and ALOT of elbow grease. I guess everyone knows how I'll be spending my Labor day weekend. Rub, rub, rub, cuss, cuss, cuss!
  • For the help.

    Boggse - you're not paranoid if they're really out to get you :-) Anyway, you're probably right, the lug nuts are OK. I was remembering the overly-tight factory oil filter, and worried the same person put the lug nuts on.

    I'll see how the tires do this winter.

    Ashut and Protege fan - thanks for the info. I already have almost everything in the Meguiars august special. My P5 is silver. After reading a lot of posts, and some websites, I went to several places looking for more stuff. I got a cotton chenille wash mitt and some microfiber towels. I also have Meguiars Quik Detailer, Quik Wax, and Deep Crystal car wash.

    I looked at waxes, there's so many choices. Just in the paste waxes, I looked at the ones with carnuba. Interesting how the size went up as the price went down. Meguiars, 11oz, 9.89 (.90 per oz); Mothers, 12oz, 7.89 (.66 per oz); Turtle Wax, 14oz, 4.98 (.36 per oz). I went for the Turtle Wax, I'll see how I like it.

    I washed my old Tracer to get it ready to sell. I used another poster's suggestion of 1/3 iso alcohol, 2/3 distilled water for the windows - it works great!

    I have some more questions, but I'll put them in a separate post.

  • Me again, picking everybody's brain :-)

    Washing cars: a friend told me to put some kerosene in the wash water, said it makes the car shine. I've never heard of this - any comments?

    I read a post somewhere here that told about keeping the engine compartment clean by hosing it out with plain water once in awhile. I'd like to do this, too - are there any parts I should not get wet?

    Floor mats - I understand their intended purpose, but they're driving me crazy. I took them out of my old car, and am about to take the drivers side one out of my P5. It has the little grippy things on the bottom, but my getting in and out of the car makes it constantly move forward, and I have to keep moving it back in place - every day. To me, it's not worth the nuisance. Anyone have a suggestion before I ditch the darn thing?

    Thanks everyone!

  • alternatoralternator Posts: 629
    My 2002 Protege sedan has a "prong" sticking up from the floor just forward of the seat, and a matching hole in the factory mat fits over the prong and keeps the mat in place. I substitute a piece of carpet for the factory mats during the winter, and just punched a hole in the appropriate place in the carpet to fit over the prong. If you don't have such a prong, couldn't you fasten a strong cord to the rear of the mat and tie it to some part under the seat.
  • alternatoralternator Posts: 629
    Oh, please no kerosene! That will only remove any wax protection and then start removing your paint.

    Re engine cleaning, auto parts stores sell engine cleaners that can be sprayed (onto metal surfaces only) and rinsed off, but these tend to eventually remove paint from under-hood parts (not bad if used carefully and very infrequently). Keep all cleaners away from electrical parts and cover electrical parts when rinsing.
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    I know of several people that have sprayed their P5 engines w/out covering anything and had no troubles. However, I have also heard of some people spraying their P5 engines and having water get in less desirable places, causing them some problems. I'd play it safe and cover electrical parts w/ something (ie. plastic bags), as Alternator previously stated.
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    On all of my vehicles I've always used a low pressure rinse on the engine, dishsoap, a rag and a sponge. If you rinse it often and keep oil off things it'll stay pretty clean.

    If you'd like the link to a great deatailing site, shoot an email to
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    If you are missing your floor mat retention clip on the driver's side, stop by your dealer and ask for one. Mine were missing on my Miata, and my dealer ordered them for me for free.
  • I won't use kerosene!!

    I checked my floor mats. The drivers side one does have a hole in the center of the back edge. There's nothing to fit it over, though, but there is a screw about three inches further back - on the hump under the drivers seat. Is that where the retention clip is anchored to, boggse? I'll check with my dealer about getting one, it seems like that hole is supposed to fit over something. I am so glad for this message board - I would have never known about a retention clip for the floor mat - it's not mentioned in the owners manual, and some friends of mine had never heard of a car having such a thing. If it keeps the mat in place, that will be great!

    Thanks for the engine rinsing suggestions, too - I'll have a garage go over the engine with me so I'm sure of what parts not to get wet, and I'll be careful.

  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    Yes, that screw on the "hump" is where the retention clip is anchored.
This discussion has been closed.