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Mazda Protege Basic Maintenance Questions



  • Hi ,

    I bought a used mazda at 48K milage, and have been doing oil changes on it every 3K miles till now...

    I want to do a better servicingo f the car...waht all should be done on a that I have run it for 12K miles...Also, the only issue i have seen it Brake Squealing, as another gentlemen had mentioned. Other than that I only had to replace the battery...

    Kindly suggest waht should I ask the shop to do as a part of a wider servicing of the car at 60K...milage.

  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    Protege owners may have some suggestions, but you can also take a look at the Edmunds Maintenance Guide.

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • Edmunds maintainenence Guide was very helpful Thxxxx...

    I got Pep Boys to do that services for just about what Edmunds suggested... I am not doing the Timing Belt replacement (as its Minimun repalcement milage is 60K)....

    Apart from that the total (minus timing Belt) was $240...This includes the following:

    Air filter
    Automatic transmission fluid
    Engine oil
    Oil filter
    Spark plugs

    Hope its not a RIP off.....John Elway Mazda dealership was asking for $289 that did not include Automatic Transmission Fluid change...Dealers are always up to rip you off...ANother one Burt here in Colorado asked for $1010....ridiculous...

    ANyways, thx a lot for your assistance and guidance...

    Be back for more later...

    Take care
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Also replace the plug wires. They tend to get hot and short out on Proteges (I speak from experience having owned four of 'em). You should replace them every 30K to 40K miles and your engine (and gas mileage) will thank you.

    A stock set from Mazda costs about $60; I've purchased aftermarket sets from NAPA for about $40. As long as you remove one at a time and replace each one in order, it's not a hard job at all. I can replace a set in less than two minutes, and no tools are required.

  • Does anyone know of a reliable alarm system that I can have installed on my 99 ES? I replaced the battery a couple of years ago and did not have the patience or time to go back to the dealer and have them charge me to reset the alarm so I have been without one for awhile. I am looking for an inexpensive one that will do the job. I live in downstate NY and have approx. 72,000 miles on the car. It runs really well and would like to keep it another 72,000 miles but would like to have that little added protection.

  • Contrary to the response posted after yours which suggests driving the car until the timing belt breaks, it has been my understanding for many years (I am on my second Protege) that if the timing belt on a Japanese car breaks it causes serious damage to the engine (min. $2000 Cdn). -- better to fork out the $300+ and get it replaced NOW.

    My manual recommends around 90,000 k but because the timing belt is a pain to get at the last time I had it replaced was at 168,300 kms when I had other work done on the car. (I had previously had the belt replaced done at around 87,000k. Hence the references posted elsewhere on this forum about replacing the timing belt when you replace the water pump -- which I had done on my first Protege before I sold it. i.e. The cost of replacing the belt is mostly in the labour -- not the part.

    At 168,3000 kms, the shop inspected it, and in view of the mileage and the other work being done, the shop said "It's time". Just for the record, the shop is owned and operated by my friend's brother who I trust implicitly. He was the one who explained to me why they replaced the timing belt on the old car at the same as they did the water pump.
  • Some Japanese cars (many Hondas in fact) have so-called "interference" engines where loss of the timing belt may cause considerable damage. Protege engines are of the "non-interference" type where loss of the timing belt will only cause the engine to come to a stop, with no damage.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Protege engines are "non-interference" engines. I don't recommend waiting until the belt breaks and letting your car leave you stranded somewhere, but it is peace of mind if you can't come up with the $400 to $600 it normally costs to do this work at the exact mileage you need to do it. In other words, you can wait a little while without worrying about totaling your car if it does break on you.

    On the Protege, your engine will die and that's all that will happen. On many Hondas and other makes of cars, the piston heads will contact the valves when the timing belt breaks, ruining the pistons and the valves. In most cases that totals your car.

    Just one other good (and little-known) reason to own a Protege instead of a Civic!

  • oskwioskwi Posts: 88
    My local dealership is going to charge me ONLY $278 for the timing belt replacement! Needless to say, I was thrilled considering my previous Galant cost me in excess of $600 to get its timing belt replaced...YIKES!

    If anyone here is from the Western New York area, Towne Mazda in Orchard Park, New York has been outstanding...rental cars without me asking, discounted parts and occasionally, free parts (I pay for labor) even though my car is out of warranty...being a faithful customer has its rewards!
  • Hi,
    I looked up . There was lot of useful info.
    However, I did not find instructions on changing brakes.
    I am looking for instructions on changing the brake pads. Today I opened my protege wheels/ brakes and could not install the pads. There was a wire like thin clip which I do not where to put back.
    Can anyone give me some instructions on changing the brake pads? Pictures will be ideal.
    Please help!
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I looked up . There was lot of useful info.
    However, I did not find instructions on changing brakes.

    Did you check chapter 04-11 Conventional Brake system in the manual?
  • I bought a 97 mazda protege about a month ago. Description: Protege/dx/s/se 4 door. It had 135k when I bought it. And I was just wondering if that model is known for any problems. The car was sold with safety but the garage changed the break pads and claimed the breaks worked and I still had zero pressure. I smashed the breaks on at 20km and very slowly come to a coasting stop. I'm unsure of what else it could be. When I brought the car home I bled all four breaks and I have about 50% pressure now. But I can't lock the breaks.

    If anyone knows a site I could look at to find out what the ministry would check if I were to report the faulty safety. The car has a body kit and everything and my dad is unsure if it would be more good to bring it to the ministry.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Your message is difficult to follow but if I understand correctly last month you bought a 8 or 9 year old Protege with 135K km and a safety certificate. You discovered a braking problem and you proceeded to bleed the brakes yourself. Why did you not return the car to the garage from which you purchased it to have them correct the problem? The Ministry of Transport is usually the department involved provincially; if you wanted to lodge a complaint regarding the car purchase you might have to go through a consumer affairs department and/or the better business bureau. Considering the aggravation and legal cost involved, this may not be worth it. Also, it sounds like you may need to have the problem fixed by a professional immediately. In the meantime, for your own safety avoid driving the car until this problem is fixed or you may get involved in a bigger problem. Sounds like a maintenance not a design problem. Good luck.
  • I'm wondering if anyone can help me out here. The other day, when getting out of work, I went out to my car and started it up, and it made this horrible metallic rattling noise. It literally sounded like a marble in the crankcase or something. I've heard the "clackety-clack" when you first start it up before the lifters pump up, and it definitely wasn't that. Also definitely wasn't detonation, because it did it even when the engine wasn't under load. When it was making the noise, the idle would get rough at the same time, almost like the crankshaft was hitting something in the crankcase, or the valves were intermittently colliding with the pistons or something. I only kept the engine running long enough to have power steering to get it out of the parking garage, and once I got it on level ground, I pushed it into the nearest parking space and had it towed to the nearest dealer. It's still there right now, and I haven't heard back. My fear is that the oil pump exploded, and there are pieces of it floating around in the oil pan that the crankshaft is hitting. Either that, or some valves are sticking open and hitting the pistons. I can't remember if this is a "clearance" engine or not. As soon as I hear the diagnosis from the dealer, I'll post and let everyone know.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Ed --

    Well, you didn't mention what year and model Protege you have, but most Proteges have non-interference engines.

  • By reading through some of the discussion threads, I've surmised mine's a non-interference engine. It's an '03 P5 with the FS 2.0L. Even if the valves aren't colliding, something's bad wrong. Still haven't heard from the dealer.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    OK, then this conversation belongs in the Protege5: Problems & Solutions discussion, where I see you are co-posting this information. Not here as well.

  • Sheesh! No need to be rude about it! Just seeing if anyone else had a similar experience that might be able to help me.
    OK, then this conversation belongs in the Protege5: Problems & Solutions discussion, where I see you are co-posting this information. Not here as well.

  • Thanks a lot. I figured going to the ministry would be a mistake. The thing with going back to the garage. Is when the car was first brought there two days later they told me it was ready. I went to pick it up and the breaks didn't work. I told them and they took the car back. When I picked it up the second time the brakes still didn't work. I gave up on that garage considering I gave them 2 chances to fix the problem.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    When I picked it up the second time the brakes still didn't work. I gave up on that garage considering I gave them 2 chances to fix the problem.

    I'd call a local Mazda dealership or a trusted garage and ask what they would charge for: a) an inspection, b) new brake pads and c) new rotors. That will give you an idea of your options. The closer we get to winter the trickier the driving especially on our Canadian ice rinks, sorry roads. Take care!
  • sean17sean17 Posts: 4
    that's great advice. Thanks, I'll see what I can get done.
  • My coolant level close to low mark. (Protege ES 2001) Should I add a bit of Walmart Super Tech; coolant or distilled water or both? I read all the stories with silicate non-silicant coolant compatibility and not sure now. :( OM doesnt seem to specify this.

  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    I'd get a checker for whatever coolant is in there (probably propylene glycol), to make sure the SG is correct. If it's in the right range, then add a 50/50 mixture of coolant/distilled water. If it indicates there is too much coolant, then just add distilled water.
  • djparadjpara Posts: 2
    Okay, so I feel pretty stupid right now and I hope someone can help me soon! :cry:
    Tonight, on the interstate, my 1.5L '95 Protege (manual tranny) started sqwealing REALLY bad in 2nd and 3rd gears. I thought I changed my oil a couple of months ago, but I might have just drained the gear oil pan and added a lot more oil to my crankcase!
    Under my car, there are 2 (as it looks) bolt that could drain fluid. One is pointing straight down and is about 15/16" in size. The other is more to the passenger side, and is on the back of a black pan pointing toward the back of the car.
    I drained the first one, and now I'm thinking that was the gear oil and I've been riding around without and lube in the gear box for a couple of months!! The past couple of days, my shifter has been sticking really bad, then tonight, under my car sounded like a wild turkey was stuck in my engine!
    I know I need about 3 quarts of 75w-90 gear oil (and prolly some Lucas Transmission Fix to try and repair a little!) and a tube to put it in...
    So am I right about having pulled the wrong plug? PLEASE HELP SOON! I really need my car back on the road! :(
    Thanks for your time!
    -Jon :lemon: <- my car
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    The one on the passenger side is the motor oil pan (that's where it was on my '89 323, and that's where it is on my '99 ProLX and on my wife's '03 P5).

  • ripcordripcord Posts: 23
    Sorry, but I laughed as I read your post. I shouldn't taken enjoyment from others misfortunes, but I couldn't help it. How could you not notice the difference in oil viscosity when you were making the change? :surprise: At any rate, you might have pooched your tranny, but you may be lucky. I would definitely add some lucas oil additive if you are going to use the basic mineral based gear oil. On the other hand, you may be better off to add synthetic gear oil and as an ounce of good luck add some lucas synthetic oil additive. Synthetic runs cooler (up to 50 degress F in some cases) which may help with your tranny live a little longer after the abuse. Let us know how you make out. Good luck :shades:
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Here are a few (true) stories to help you right now:

    Uh, the cap, dudes?

    My dad drives a 1997 Buick Riviera (poor, old man). He took it in for an oil change a few months ago at his Buick dealership. The whole way home he noticed a burning smell, and thought they'd just dripped some oil on his intake manifold. But the more he drove, the more he also noticed what looked like a convex dent in the middle of his hood.

    He got home and opened the hood to find oil all over everything and his filler cap sitting on top of the valve cover, nearly crushed between the valve cover and the hood where the dealership had left it after changing his oil.

    His dealership wound up paying more than $1,000 for a body shop to repair the hood and repaint the car.

    Synthetic comes outta that too?

    I switched to synthetic oil at about 40,000 miles in my former car, a 2000 Protege ES. I was at Merchant's getting my oil changed one afternoon about a year ago, and I was watching the guys through the little window in the customer waiting area. Near the end of the procedure, I watched as a guy walked up to my open hood and gently placed five one-quart containers of Mobil One on my valve cover. I then watched him walk away and grab this big hose that was hanging from the ceiling. He then came back to my hood with the hose, inserted it in my oil filler opening, and squeezed a trigger.

    Curious, I walked up to the guy at the front desk and said, "I did pay for a full-synthetic oil change, right?" Oh yes, he assured me. "Well," I continued,"if you're not supposed to mix dino oil with synthetic oil in your engine, should you be shooting both kinds of oil through the same hose out there in your shop?"

    He looked at me like I was stupid and said, "We don't use the hose for synthetic. We use Mobil One in bottles." I gestured toward the window and he got all wide-eyed. He ran out there and I watched as he confronted the mechanic, who then turned around, noticed the full bottles of Mobil One, and smacked himself on the head and rolled his eyes.

    The front desk guy came back to me. "Mr. Daffron, it's going to be a few more minutes while we drain the regular oil out of your engine, get a new filter and put synthetic in it like we should have. And this oil change will be on us."


    Okay, this one's my favorite, and it goes all the way back 18 years to late 1987. I had just bought my first brand-new vehicle, a 1988 Hyundai Excel GL 5-door hatchback. (Whoa DUDE!) :shades:

    Well, I wanted to make a little bit of a "statement" with my econobox, so after owning the car a few weeks, I drove it to a local, reputable (so I was told) tire and wheel store and ordered up a set of American Racing Stingray wheels for it, along with some nice, wide-profile tires. (Honestly, they didn't look half bad.)

    The guy behind the desk had never seen a Hyundai in his shop before. (They had only come out a year earlier). I looked through his catalog and picked out my wheels, and he said to give him a minute while he ordered them. He picked up the phone. Part of his conversation went, "yeah, they're for a 1988 Hy- Hon - Hy-on-dai. Yep, hy-on-dai. I dunno how to pronounce it either."

    Well, the wheels came in a few days later and they installed them and my new tires, and I was off. A day or two later I took the car on the highway for the first time since getting the new wheels, and when I reached about 60 mph, my steering wheel shook violently. I took the car back and they checked all the balancing, alignment, etc. Still vibrating like crazy on the highway. They took it back again, checked a few more things, and told me to come back in three days since they needed to order two new tires -- they suspected two of my new tires might have been slightly out-of-round.

    I came back three days later and had the two new tires installed. Out I went. Still vibrated! In I came. "Must be somethin' wrong with one of the wheels," the guy said. So he ordered me a whole set of four new wheels.

    I came back a week later. They installed all new wheels. The vibration was still there! So bad that it had started making the dashboard rattle when it happened! I drove it back to the shop and the guy had a guest. Seems the rep from American Racing had stopped by on his monthly visit to his outlets. The shop guy introduced me to him and explained my exasperating problem to him. The rep was standing beside my car at this point and asked what kind of car it was. The shop guy and I answered in unison, although I said "Hun-day" and the shop guy said "Hon-day."

    The American Racing rep got a little pale looking and walked inside the shop office and got on the phone. He walked back outside about two minutes later.

    "Mr. Daffron, I apologize for all you've been through over the past few weeks. Turns out the Hyundai Excel is so new, American Racing doesn't make wheels for it yet."

    "Then what do I have on my car?!" I asked, kinda pointedly.

    "Honda wheels. Civic, to be exact. The bolt pattern is close enough so they still fit your studs, but not close enough to be a match at rotating properly."

    There's a sunny side to this story too. They took the wheels off, reinstalled my Hyundai's OEM steel wheels and wheel covers, refunded the entire price of the new wheels and tires, BUT let me keep the new tires for my trouble.

    And I've never been back to Hanover Tire again!

  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    There's a sunny side to this story too.

    All things considered, Meade, the sunny side of your story is that your alive to tell it.

    p.s. is Hanover still in business?
  • djparadjpara Posts: 2
    Well, thanks for the help (and the laughs)! I went ahead and lubed it back up and threw in some lucas. The car runs fine & shifts great. (God's really good to me! :) ) Now I've got to do my brakes and belts! Belts started sqwealing after a terrential downpour a few days ago (and it's still raining!!...) But they only sqweak every once in a while when I start my car. I CAN tell that the days of my car are numbered... I'm shopping around for a new(er) ride! (Might be a Protege5!! ^_^)
    So, in short, I and my car are not dead (yet)!!
    Thanks again!
  • Hello,
    I drive approximately 120 miles per workday, commuting between York and Baltimore. I am curious about using Slick 50 products to better maintain my 2002 Protege. Has anyone used these products before, and what has been your experience with them? Would you recommend products that were better for engine, fuel injector maintenance and optimization?

    Thanks greatly,
This discussion has been closed.