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



  • dudette3dudette3 Posts: 45
    hi folks, i am researching getting an extended warranty for my sister's 2003 Protege. Has anyone negotiated one and have a cost estimate, or recommend a good dealer to get one at? I bought one for my mom's ford explorer, and was able to negotiate a reasonable price at the dealer. any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks
  • kt62078kt62078 Posts: 4
    I'm not an expert, but with my protege I check with local service shops like Jiffy Lube and Pep Boys. They may not be able to give you a hard copy of a manual, but they can definately tell you what routine checks are due. If they seem too pricey, I either shop around or fix my car myself. I bought my car new and have a manual-I find reputable places stick to recommended maintainance and are very helpful. I think I could get along ok without a manual-good luck!
  • kt62078kt62078 Posts: 4
    Hi, I extended the warranty on my 2002 Protege with a company called MEPCO. With my plan, I pay a monthly fee for 2 years but the warranty is for 5 years. The contract covers what you would expect and also includes roadside service. The $60 a month I pay is well worth the piece of mind and I don't have to pay for a separate service like AAA. My Mazda has never given me any problems so the only thing I can say I used the warranty for is the roadside service-I left my lights on. They were at my house within 30 minutes to jump my battery. I've been very pleased. I hope you find what you are looking for.
  • kt62078kt62078 Posts: 4
    I am a girl as well who has had to deal with caring for 2 new cars. I have learned that you DO NOT have to bring your car to the dealer. In my experience they charge tons of money (2-3 x what another place would charge) and don't provide the information you need to maintain your car and ask the questions you need to ask. My best advice to you is to find a mechanic you trust to give you good info and the best price. I found that at a Mr. Tire. They saved me 50% off the dealer's cost and more importantly explained why. What my dealer wasn't willing to tell me was that my warranty would be good as long as I kept records of scheduled routine maintainance. If you have the manual for your car, follow the advice in it. My Protege manual gives recommendations for different climates (like hot and high elevations) Just FYI-the timing belt tends to make a choppy high pitched squealing noise when it needs help-at least here up north. Point being, a reliable mechanic will tell you everything you need fixed and checked without ripping you off. If you have any questions, ask friends or a local shop that isn't looking for your $$.
    Good luck!
    PS shops like Pep Boys will often perform tests for free and be able to tell you where you need to go for certain things. Don't get taken for a ride-ask around
  • kt62078kt62078 Posts: 4
    Just a thought-take your car to someone ELSE! I bet the dealer is charging a good amount of $ for each visit. If you have the same issue and have asked the dealer-get a "second opinion" from someone else you trust. I have a Protege and have never had an issue-something is obviously wrong-ask someone else.
  • brode1brode1 Posts: 2
    Hello everyone,

    I bought a 2000 ES for my daughter. It is in excellent condition with only 49000 miles. But it was a salvage title because it had been in a minor front end fender-bender and subsequently repaired. I want to get everything I can think of squared away before she goes off to college next month so I’ve been doing all the maintenance stuff ie. spark plugs, tire rotation, oil & filter and a transmission fluid change etc .

    Anyway I am telling you all this because the only thing I am still unsure about is the way the cooling fans are operating. It has two cooling fans. Alldata labels one as the A/C condenser fan and the other a radiator fan. When the engine is started up cool in the morning, if I turn the A/C on, both fans immediately run continuously. I can understand why the A/C condenser fan would run, but why does the other radiator fan run along with it unnecessarily even though the engine is still cold?

    After a while and when the engine is warmed up, both fans then cycle on and off together apparently with the A/C compressor cycle. At this point I would think the radiator fan would run controlled by the coolant temperature and I would also think the condenser fan would be the only one cycling on and off with the compressor (and preferably just running continuously when the A/C button is selected). Doesn’t that seem logical?

    But like I say, both fans continue to cycle on (and they are pretty loud too) and off together about every 20 seconds. Why have two separate [big roaring] fans if the the system is then designed to run them always together. It would be more sensible if the A/C condensor fan would run continuously anytime the A/C is selected... and the radiator fan was controlled by temperature and would run or not run independently. This is how all my other cars electric fans seem to work.

    The 4 cylinder 1.8 liter engine runs very smoothly in or out of gear at about 700 RPM. But when the A/C and the two fans come roaring on, and the RPM jumps to 800 rpm, things then vibrate excessively making the hood shake along with the unpleasantly loud fan noise. Is this normal? This seems unnecessarily poor scheduling of the cooling fans.

    My question is: Is this how it is suppose to be? Or is there maybe a temperature sensor or something not right? I noticed it also takes about 3 times longer to warm up than my other cars. This also seems odd especially since the Protege makes the cooling fans run on the cold radiator and engine.

    Or... if this is how all Proteges are designed to operate the cooling fans, is there a way to make the system operate in a more sensible manner?

    Or... since both these fans turn on and off together would it be OK to just unplug one to cut the fan noise in half and still have adequate cooling. It seems like overkill anyway to have two fans, especially considering that during the cycling they are sometimes both completely off for 20 seconds instead of providing nice consistent moderate airflow rather than this on-off-on-off all the time.

    Is there anyone reading this forum that can give me some reliable answers to any or all of my questions? -who knows about proper cooling fan operation or has experience modifying it's operation to make it quieter?

    Thank you for taking time to read my post and thanks for your advise.


  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    a minor front end fender-bender that was repaired generated a salvage title?? Yikes!!
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    The radiator fan cycles on and off as directed by the car's computer to keep the coolant temps down. This usually happens in slow traffic on hot days.

    However, even with both fans on, your hood shouldn't be shaking. You will hear them, but I never thought it was excessively loud, just noticeable.

    I suspect the fans, fan housings or mounting points may have been damaged in the accident. I'd inspect them, and if they are unbalanced or a mount is broken, etc., I'd replace them. You might check junkyards for units from a Protege that didn't suffer damage to its front end.
  • kbinatlkbinatl Posts: 2
    Hi all -

    It's time to replace the struts on my car. To save on costs, a buddy of mine (who know his way around cars) is going to help me do the work. Does anyone have any pointers that might help us out?

    Also - if you have any suggestions for a brand to buy, let me know. I'm not interested in anything fancy - just a basic replacement for original struts that have worn after 78k.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,768
    Beat the heat (going to need to do that here in the East!) tonight and stop in for a bit of car chat!

    The Mazda Club Chat is on tonight. The chat room opens at 8:45PM ET Hope to see YOU there! Check out the schedule

    Edmunds Moderator

    Need some roadside assistance? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

    PF_Flyer's 2014 Versa Note Long Term Blog
    How To Start Your Own Long Term Blog

  • Hey all.
    I took my wife's 2002 Protege in today for an oil change and the dealership came out and said that the transmission fluid was looking a little dark and suggested it be changed. The car currently has 48,696 miles on it.

    The last time I had the transmission fluid changed was in November 2003 at about 29,400 miles.

    My questions are:

    1. Is the recommendation to change the tranny fluid based on miles, years or a combination of the two?

    2. Would people suggest I get it done because it has been a while?

    I looked in the owner's manual and the American version of the maintenance did not say anything. (There is a specific maintenance regiment for Protege's being used in Chile. And before I drop $135 on it, I would like to know if it is worth doing it or not.

  • I had a similar problem on a Nissan Maxima. AS it turns out, the oxygen sensor sent a signal to the computer, and the computer determined that it needed to open the EGR valve. The computer did not see a change from the oxygen sensor, so it set an EGR error code, assuming the EGR did not respond. The reason the computer did not see a change is because the oxygen sensor was defective. Replacing the oxygen sensor solved the problem.
    Remember the oxygen sensor(s) are the only sensors that tells the computer how things are running. The other sensors simply provide input, such as throttle position.
    The only real check you have that the computer commands are being followed, are the oxygen sensors.
    Good Luck,
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Getting the tranny fluid changed after nearly 3 years sounds reasonable to me.

    p.s. I have heard that when one gets the transmission fluid replaced the garage it should be flushed and not just drained to ensure that all the metal filings and other crud is removed; it's this crud that eventually wears down the transmission. Typically the flush involves "dropping" the drain pan from the engine. You may want to talk to a transmission shop for their advice.
  • mlgbmlgb Posts: 4
    My car is a silver ES with manual transmission, it now has 95000 miles on it. I bought it new. The only repair has been an alternator last year($500 at dealer with the new battery). The result was engine light on and car stalling after starting. Funny that I could start it, though. Also the windshield cracked and I don't remember anything hitting it, but it could have happened at night. A $280 repair. After a tuneup it passed smog check this year with flying colors.

    For tires, I found Yokohama YK420 at America's tire to be the best solution for me. They seem to be in stock at America's tire (as opposed to having to special order). I can get a road hazard/60000 mile treadwear warranty on them. This comes in handy, I have had several side-wall damages that were not able to be repaired. They were $88 each installed last time. They don't handle or track as well as the OEM tires, but the car is still fun to drive.

    The soft clunk from the transmission when shifting at low gears has disappeared after I adjusted my technique. However thankfully I still have the original clutch. I think I've only replaced the brakes once in 95000 miles. I was told at 60,000 that there was not a required replacement of the timing belt then. I may be coming up on one.

    The car has an assortment of noises. The squeal that I notice at high speeds remains. The car is noisy, especially tire noise on rough paving (not as bad after switching to Yokos but still noticeable). Also the engine is at high rpms going over 60, I wish there had been a 6th gear. It also is a stiff ride, but fun fun zoom zoom.

    Favorite things: The sporty handling, peppy engine and comfortable seats with lots of adjustments. Trunk capacity and rear seating room are amazing for a car this small. I've not seen another small car that can match it. I can fit three golf bags in the Protege's trunk. Most small cars now can barely hold one.

    Least favorite things: Expensive hard to find tires, cheap visors, high rpms at cruising speeds. Gas mileage could be better, but I guess I have to pay for the performance.
  • Hi guys, I've asked a couple questions on here before and always got good advice, so I'll try one more.

    I always drive over a speed bump and some dips in the road on my way to work. The weather here has gotten colder lately and I've noticed that every time I go over one of these my Pro makes a metallic clunking noise in the front and the back (underneath). I was thinking there might be a problem with my shocks, but so far I can only hear this when the weather is cold. When it warms up, the noise doesn't happen.

    Insights? Suggestions?

  • The Trico web site says that 19" and 21" Winter Blades are available, but I have never found them anywhere I have looked.

    However, to my surprise, I discovered that 18" and 20" Trico Winter Blades are almost exactly the same length as the Mazda OEM 19" and 21" summer blades!
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,768
    It's Tuesday so it's time for our weekly Mazda gathering! Avoid the holiday crush at the mall and have a relaxing chat! :P

    The Mazda Club Chat is on tonight. The chat room opens at 8:45PM ET Hope to see YOU there! Check out the schedule

    Edmunds Moderator

    Need some roadside assistance? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

    PF_Flyer's 2014 Versa Note Long Term Blog
    How To Start Your Own Long Term Blog

  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Sway bar bushings? Replace or need lubing.

    Mine makes the clunking noise too.
  • Cabin (Pollen) Filter, Does the Protege5 have one & if so, where is this elusive lil fella at? I can find AP stores selling them but no information on it. Thanks, any info would be appreciated. :confuse:
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    That's why it's so hard to find. ;)
  • gw5gw5 Posts: 1
    I drained my transaxle because I was replacing the clutch. Everything is back together but I can't figure out how to replace the gear oil. How do you remove the driven gear? I have removed the speedometer cable and the bolt that secures the driven gear but cannot remove the gear unit from the transaxle. Any suggestions on how to remove the gear or an alternative way to refill the tranny? Thanks
  • Hey all.
    I just took my wife's 2002 Protege to the dealer for an oil change and belt replacement.

    They mentioned to me that one of the clips for where the air filter goes into is broken. Not the actual filter, but the plastic "housing" where it goes into.

    Is this a common thing? Can this break on its own through normal use of a car? I am asking because I have not touched the air cleaner in 9 months and the only people who have touched that component is the dealership. I am thinking during one of their checks, they may have broken it.

    Just need people's opinions on this.

  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    one of the clips for where the air filter goes into is broken ... Can this break on its own through normal use
    I doubt it. Have you had extreme temperature changes? Do you see cracks in the rest of the housing? I have a 2002 Protege5 and I can see how someone could break a clip if they weren't paying attention.

    the only people who have touched that component is the dealership ... they may have broken it
    Possible. I wonder if they did it as they were doing the oil and belt change. Hopefully, it's not expensive to repair.
  • Dear Autonomous -
    Hopefully, it's not expensive to repair.
    The dealership quoted me a price of $230. That is on top of the $135 tranny flush I did a month or two back, the $150 or so dollar belt replacement this weekend, the $99 dollar brake fluid flush & plus they found a power steering system hose leak near located near the radiator, which I think is in the $300's to repair. I have not done the power steering nor the brake fluid flush yet!
    My wife is not happy.

  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Sounds like it might be time to try another dealer or an independent shop.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    might be time to try another dealer or an independent
  • At 70,000 miles would like to change standard transmission oil in my 2003 P5. Per owners manual, needs 2.9 quarts of 75W90. Many sources on internet specify that additives in GL-5 rated oils significantly deteriorate synchros, brass/bronze components and seals. Service depts don't have a clue. A couple suggest not using synthetic as it can hurt seals. Some service depts use mazda oil(no ratings on container), others use whatever bulk oil they stock. I can't find any GL-4 rated 75W90 non-synth anywhere.
    Where can I get non-synth GL-4 75w90?. Suggestions?
    Also, Is 2003 P5 interferece engine or not?
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    P5 2.0 is interference engine.

    Manual says... Specified oilGrade: API service GL-4 or GL-5 Viscosity: SAE 75W—90 (All season) or SAE 80W—90 (Above 10 °°°°C {50 °°°°F}.

    Don't know if I'd worry about the oil yet. Synthetic should be fine though. I use it in my Miata and it shifts smoother. P5 shifs fine on original stuff. Not sure it would make much of a difference.
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Interesting information. Never heard this, but I guess it makes sense. From the 1/25/07 Ask a mechanic.

    "Tranny oil change
    Q--I drive a 1998 Ford Escort and want to know if manual transmissions require oil changes. I keep hearing about automatic transmissions, oil changing, and flushing, but what about the good old manual?

    A--Yes, manual transmissions should have an oil change. I suggest having it done during the first or second engine oil change to get any junk out of the box early on in the car's life. After that, you can usually forget about it. On my personal vehicles, however, I change it again at 100,000 miles."
  • I'm going nutz over here. I can't change the Time on my Clock. I have the factory radio in my 2002 Mazda Protege'5. I've tried about everything & I don't have the manual. Please help.
    Thanks all!
This discussion has been closed.