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Mazda Protege Basic Maintenance Questions



  • alternatoralternator Posts: 629
    Timing belt replacement recommendation for 2001 Proteges in the Gates Belt guide is 105,000 miles. I believe Mazda's recommendation is something like 100,000 miles. You're having no problems now? Why change the belt early?
  • choosychoosy Posts: 3
    I have a Protege LX 2000 model, which completed 45k. I recently (on 7/1) got the Signature service from Jiffy Lube done (Oil Chng) after this.

    First, the service record says fluids topped, but I could immediately see that windshield wiper fluid was not topped off (as against "Claimed on service record").

    Second, after driving home 10 miles, the "Check engine light" came on. I saw the tech at center & he said it is because of some "emmision" related problem. Another one said it could be because of factory set that needs servicing at 45k.
    They reset the code, but the lights came on again after driving 10-12 miles..
    Need to know what should I do about this case, as I feel cheated. I went to Jiffy for the first time, & have had the problem.

    Any or all suggestions welcome.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    It sounds like the service may not have been first rate. The service rep could be correct in the emission guess but there's only one way of finding out: take the car to a garage you trust and have them check the CEL code to diagnose the source of the problem. It could be your oxygen sensor, for example.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    In most states, Mazda recommends changing timing belts at 60k miles. In a few states, they are required to push that to 105k miles.

    Whatever. If you don't change it, and the timing belt breaks, at least the engine is "non-interference", so the worst that will happen is you'll need a tow to a garage. In an "interfence" engine, a blown or offset belt could mean broken valves and damaged piston heads (lots of money to fix) in addition to a tow.

    Anyway, expect it to cost around $250, give or take $50 (independent to a dealership).

    I had mine done in conjunction with a 60k mile service, which included flushing and changing the coolant and transmission fluids. I had them change the accessory belts (they have to be removed to access the timing belt) as well. I also slapped on an EGR valve cleaning since I was getting a CEL (code P0402, which indicates a stuck valve). Total cost was about $800. They threw in a free rental car since I was spending a lot. :)
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Your local AutoZone or other auto parts reseller may offer free CEL checking. Mine does. Beats buying your own code reader for $150 or paying $35-70 for your local dealership garage to pull the code.

    You can look up the code on the web to find a description of the cause, though sometimes these can be a little cryptic. ;)
  • choosychoosy Posts: 3
    JL guys checked & filled up the fluids (gave some grief that it was filled blah blah!!).
    As for engine lights, the error code is 171: System too lean.
    I am not sure what is the problem. I have driven about 1200 miles after that (been to NY from DC), & had had no problems.
    Any suggestions what could be the problem?
    I paid $ 8500 in March to but this baby, don;t want to start pouring in any more money if I can avoid it!!

  • dzecheldzechel Posts: 3
    The solution to your problem is probably the MASS AIRFLOW SENSOR. Mazda Proteges made in certain years up to the year 2000 have had a recall on this part (they sent out a letter to me a couple of years ago which I filed away and forgot about until recently). Why do I think it is this? I had the exact same symptoms (plus had a check engine light indicating something to do with the O2 sensor) and was changing out O2 sensors, spark plugs ...basically wasting my money and time. I then gave up and took it to my Mazda dealer who found the problem right away. They fixed it for free because Mazda added a 7 year/100 000KM extended warranty on the mass air flow sensor. If you don't know where this sensor is, it is the little black module sitting on top of the hose leading to your air filter.
  • choosychoosy Posts: 3
    Thanks a lot!!
    I guess this should be it, as at the time of buying, I had checked Carfax, & talked to the dealer about this. They said it is just an extended warranty for the Mass Air Flow Sensor.

    I will take it to them & have them have a look at it!!

    Hopefully it is nothing more serious.

  • rob222rob222 Posts: 49
    I have a 2000 Mazda Protege ES. My check engine problem was created by a loose gas cap. After you crank the cap closed (clicking noise), it takes a couple of weeks for the check engine light to go out. This has happened three times over the life of the car. Currently humming along with 42k. Check it out.
  • jester99jester99 Posts: 1
    But remember, when your water pump goes out and they always eventually do, they will replace your timing belt again regardless!
    Timing belts are designed to last at least 130,000 miles but they wont tell you that.
  • Is there some trick to removing the driven gear from the transaxle so I can check/add fluid? I have 92 Protege that I race SCCA with the 1.8DOHC 5speed manual. %The Haynes manual says to remove the speedo cable, no problem. Then remove the driven gear carefully. It won't come out carefully! I am trying to pry it with a screwdriver but no luck. Any help would be appreciated.
  • garciscogarcisco Posts: 2
    I bought a Mazda Protege 1999 last month, one week after the check engine light went on, took it to the dealer and the OBD threw code PO402, got the EGR clean and the light off.One week later the light came back on.. went again to the dealer, now code the light off. Guess what.. this morning..Check Engine Light back ON again!!.. I plan to take it to the dealer next week, the car is running ok. but this light is annoying! seems not to be a big deal (Dealer's words..), maybe could be the Mass Air Sensor?, how much it could cost? any inputs on this?..any similar cases?, I will strongly appreciate any advice, I'm loosing my patience with this CEL on every week!.Thanks.
  • mconheadymconheady Posts: 1
    This is odd... I got a mailer about the Mazda 5 a week back with a set of coupons for a dealer I was getting service from. The top coupon says:
    Timing belt replacement
    4 cyl. $10 with coupon
    6 cyl. 10% off with coupon

    Timing belt replaced for $10 can't beat that.
    I'm sure they'll say with was a missprint or mistake or something, but not my fault.
    Anyon else get one like this?
  • leilaleila Posts: 1
    :confuse: Hello!

    I have a 01 LX Protege with almost 93,000 miles. I have been told that I need to get my timing belt replaced. When the car is running I can actually hear a "hissing" sound coming from under the hood. Could that be my belt getting dry (I live in the South)?
    I was also told by the dealership that smaller car repair shops do not always have a machine that "aligns" the new belt once it's on... I don't know what they were talking about...
    Also, when I get the belt replaced, what other parts should be checked/replaced at that time? I was told that it would be wise to replace the water pump because of where it is located.
    I have never done any major repair on my car. Just the regular oil change every 3000 miles or so. I live 45min. away from work and most miles on my car are interstate miles. So far, my car has been doing great!
    I know it's a lot of questions! I am a female who does not know a lot about cars and I just need some advice. Thank you all for your time!
  • civiletticiviletti Posts: 86
    93k is pretty good life from a belt. If you don't mind an unplanned breakdown, though, you can drive until it breaks, then have the car towed to a shop. I've never heard of a machine or tool for aligning timing belts. As far as I know, there are no adjustable elements involved, and the belt is simply centered on the pulleys. It sounds like the common "jive the woman" situation.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Sure does. The pulleys for the timing belt are self-centering. What they do have to do correctly is make sure the different pulleys are registered correctly when they install the new timing belt. They have markings on them to aid the mechanic in assuring proper registration (and thus, timing).

    You might as well replace your accessory drive belts (AC, power steering etc.) since they have to be removed to access the timing belt.

    You might replace the water pump as its also more easily accessible when you replace the timing belt. Some seem to break more often than others. I'm at 64k miles on my Protege's original water pump (didn't replace it), and my '89 323LX was still running on its original water pump at 142k miles when I sold it. I figure I would replace the water pump on my '99LX at the 2nd timing belt change at 120k miles.

    The hissing sound is likely not due to your timing belt. You may have a leak in a vacuum hose somewhere, which can affect whatever system the hose is hooked to.

    You may want to have your transmission fluid and coolant changed every 30k miles too, as preventive measures.
  • lindslinds Posts: 2
    Do you know where I can get a service/repair manual for my 2001 Protege?
    I dont think Haynes makes one for that year?
  • alternatoralternator Posts: 629
    Go to

    Scroll down page and download each file, starting with 00-00, 01-02a, etc.

    After all 87 files are on your hard drive, open the 00 INDEX file to find where a subject of interest can be found

    And, best of all, it's free
  • We just bought a 2000 Protege 1.6L with 100K. I'd like to change plugs and filter ASAP and wonder if inexpensive air filters are suitable for this car. Or should one spend $18 or so for a "good" filter. Also on pulling plugs. Anything to watch out for? Do I need a non-standard plug wrench?

    thanks - David
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    If you buy a filter that does not fit properly, you'll end up paying much more than $18. I repalce my Fram air filter every 18K - 20K miles; costs C$19, fits snuggly. Don't forget to check the filter from time to time and to wipe the dirt in the housing.

    Are the spark plug wires the originals? Maybe worth checking and replacing at the same time.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Or an extension. They're in pretty deep.

    Blow all the dirt off from around the plugs before removing the boots or coils. You don't want this falling into the combustion chambers.

    Good air filters can cost as little as $15 when you buy them on-sale. No point in trying to save a couple bucks on cheap filters that may offer shorter life and may have poor gaskets, leading to unfiltered air.
  • Hi,
    I have a similar problem in my Protege 99 and called to a Mazda dealer about the warranty you mentioned, they asked me for any proof of that and then they will check it out, can you please give me the telephone and address of the Mazda dealer that fixed your car so I can have my dealer calling them to check on mine also?. I will strongly appreciateyour help with this matter.
  • Hi guys, this is only my second post here. I've got a 2001 Protege DX with just a shade over 60,000 miles on it. First question....the last couple of weeks I started hearing a squeaking from my brakes. It's not a solid squeak, it's kind of an intermittant squeak as I come to a stop. And then sometimes it's not even there at all. Just need new brake pads or what? Plus I'm new in town, so I don't know ANY mechanics at all, let alone reputable ones. What are some direct questions I need to ask to avoid getting fleeced?
    Ummm...had another question, but I've lost it. So you guys get off the hook with just the one this time :) I'd appreciate any advice.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Yep, it "sounds" like new brake pads are the order of the day. I'd call up a Mazda dealership and ask them how much it would cost as a base line number. Then ask around for garages that colleagues or friends have used and call them to compare. Should be a fairly straightforward job.
  • I have a 2001 Protege but can only find repair manuals for protege's up to year 2000. Does anyone know if brake pad and rotor replacements for a 2001 would be the same as for a 2000? I would like to buy the manual to see how simple or complex it is to change both pads & rotors.
  • alternatoralternator Posts: 629
    See post 932 in this forum for 2002 Shop Manual. I don't believe you should attempt this replacement unless you have prior experience at such, or have someone with prior experience to assist you.
  • I have a 2003 Protege with 23000 miles on it. Today while driving on the interstate the car completely stalled. All service lights came on and after putting the car in neutral and coasting to a stop the car started up on the first try. I know it could be a variety of things. The car is under warranty so it will go to the dealership but I would appreciate any heads up on the problem.
  • Hi,

    I have a general maintenance question. My 95 mazda has 92k miles on it and over past year I have done 3K oil changes, tune-up, radiator flush, transmission fluid replacement, put new tires, and new battery. Still it continues to give only 20 MPG. I mostly drive in city but was expecting atleast 27 - 30.

    Any ideas on what could the possible culprit? I would hate to go to a mechanic and open up the wallet to find the issue.


    Poila :sick:
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Ever replaced the plug wires?

  • luv2zoomzoomluv2zoomzoom Southwest Posts: 12
    Has anyone printed out the TSB's for you car from this site and taken it to the dealership? Is it a good idea too?
This discussion has been closed.