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Mazda Protege5



  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Me thinks you got hosed.

    Fuel injection cleaning is pure dealer profit. I add a fuel injection cleaner every oil change as insurance to possible bad gas. Timing belt is recommended at 105K.

    I'm guessing I'll spend about $200-$250 for my 60K service. New plugs, wires, some fluid changes. That's about it. I get my servicing done at an independent shop which only does what needs doing, not what makes them big $$$. If you have to go to the dealer, make sure to specify you only want the manufactures recommended service, not the dealer recommended service.
  • 60K service is just like the 30K service with the addition of INSPECTION of the timing belt.

    I also took mine to an independent, and I provided the OEM spark plugs and Mobil1 and OEM oil filter...they provided the inspection, labor, coolant, and transmission fluid...and topped off all other fluids. they offered to clean my K&N drop-in air filter for me, but I had just cleaned it.

    cost me less than $100. brakes were still good (they were at 80% back during the 30K)...and I get free tire rotations/balance at Discount Tire.

    new wires would have been nice, but I can do that myself.

    Fuel Injection cleaning is a total ripoff, especially if you're ordinarily using name-brand gasoline, which already has detergent in the mixture. If you're not next to a Chevron or Mobil, throw some Techron in your tank every 10K miles...

    That's a GREAT point about MANUFACTURER'S recommended service versus DEALER'S recommended service. Mazda recommends oil changes every 5K miles for extreme dealer recommends oil changes every 3K miles regardless.

    I opt for what Mazda recommends...

    after owning a BMW, I've vowed never to take a car to the dealer for maintenance...the dealer is there to sell you something, not to make sure that you avoid purchases.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    after owning a BMW, I've vowed never to take a car to the dealer for maintenance...the dealer is there to sell you something, not to make sure that you avoid purchases.

    I dunno; last week my wife and I were royally screwed by Meineke trying to gouge us during a 4-wheel brake job on our Protege5. It took a trip to my Mazda dealership and a signed estimate of the brake job's cost THERE to make the Meineke guys (who already had our car in the shop) to back off $30 -- but they still made about $50 more than what my Mazda dealer would've charged for the same service.

  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Meineke is not an independent shop in my book. They are often worse then the dealer. At least the dealer is familiar with Mazda.

    I use the dealer for quick and cheap oil change every 4000 or so. They totally screwed up a warranty cd replacement. They are competitive with some independents, but I don't like the hassle of the additional services they try to push on you.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    got the 60K service on the '03 Pro5 done. That plus a "strongly recommended" fuel system service set us back $1,067! ... they replaced the timing and other belts ... did I just get majorly hosed?

    This is disheartening to hear. Did you get this done at your regular dealership? If so, did the dealer recommend that your timing belt be replaced at 60K and not at 105K? Why? Were you having any issues in terms of performance, and if not, why did the dealership recommend the fuel system service at 60K? I would complain that these services were not clearly explained to you, that the charges seem exhorbitant and that you expect satisfaction or you will take your business elsewhere. I would also say that all this will go in writing to the dealership and to Mazda.
  • as someone already indicated, Meineke is not considered an "independent"...I'd say that Meineke is just as bad as Jiffy-Lube (since they push 3K oil change intervals when most cars really only need them every 5K miles).

    My Mazda dealer has service in 'green', 'yellow', and 'blue' intervals; where are these so-called intervals in the car's service/warranty manual?

    a synthetic oil change for the Protege5 at the dealer (which only uses 3.3 qts of oil) is $65.00! if you purchase your own Mobil1 at a shop for $5/qt and a filter for $5...figure out how much the dealer is making on 'labor', since an oil change takes 10 minutes, at most.

    granted, there will be exceptions to the rule. my dealer just happens to be an exception. period.

    anyway, glad to hear that your dealer treats you fairly. most of us can't say the same.
  • isseyvooisseyvoo Posts: 121
    Yeah, this was our regular dealership from whom we bought the car. Middletown Mazda in Middletown, NY. The manual says replace the belt at 60K if you live in the snow belt, so we figured we better not tempt fate. The fuel service thing was pitched to "clean out all the carbon build-up" allegedly caused by all the modern pollution control equipment. Whatever. I guess it's our fault for being gullible. Caveat emptor, right?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    First of all, isseyvoo, let me apologize for not checking my facts before expressing an opinion.

    I thought like others here that you had mistakenly had the timing belt replaced at 60K miles instead of just having it inspected. But then I checked the Mazda Protege manual! Being in Canada I follow Schedule 2; it turns out this schedule also applies when "driving for long perioeds in cold termperatures or extremely humid climates" which I think qualifies many northern states and elsewhere. In Schedule 2 there is a footnote for Engine Timing Belt which states explicitly "If the vehicle is operated in cold districts (below 18 degrees C or 0 degrees F) replace the timing belt at 96,000 Km (60,000 miles). So your dealer is absolutely correct to do this service at this time and I apologize for questioning his integrity.

    As for the service to remove carbon build-up, I have heard similar advice. Kirk Robinson, a trustworthy mechanic hosting Autotalk, a local TV auto show which regularly features other mechanics and experts in its panel, recommends this service. Kirk says that due to the nature of current gasoline, over time the throttle body, fuel injectors, etc. can get fouled up with a carbon-like deposit. This buildup of carbon prevents the right air/fuel mixture which eventually leads to symptoms of sluggish performance and increased fuel usage. Here is a website describing the fuel/air induction service ( Personally, I've never had this second service performed, but I don't doubt that it has some value. I have not priced this so I would not know if your dealership service was reasonably priced.

    It sounds like your dealer has prepped your car for some problem-free future use which sounds good to me!

    p.s. a lesson I've learned from all of this : do your research!
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I have just had these installed on my P5 and they are a dream. The OEM Dunlops 195/50/16/V were fine tires except in the wet when they showed their weakness to hydroplane. Although the Dunlops had enough tread to last another thousand miles I had a side puncture a few days ago which made it easy to justify switching now to the BF Goodrich tires which I had bought on sale earlier. Although the BFG tires are larger 205/50/16 they fit perfectly and in fact give the car a more muscular appearance (maybe I should add WRX :P to the P5 nameplate).

    The Dunlop Sport 5000 M are pricier and are sold in fewer shops making them more difficult to cross-shop and to replace.

    For more information see and check under Passenger cars for Traction T/A H/V. The tires come in various speed ratings (H, T, V); the P5 stock tires are V rated. The specific model no. (MSPN) for the 205/50R16 87V is 88328.

    p.s. this attests to one of the benefits of being a reader of Edmunds: I found these tires after checking out the forums here; kudos to Edmunds!
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Had 'em installed on my 2000 Protege ES; they were far superior to the OEM Bridgestone Potenzas and the Dunlop SP Sport A2s that replaced the Bridgestones. They had about 30K miles on them when I traded the car and were doing just fine.

    We put a set of Traction T/As on my wife's P5 last July (15 months ago) and they're doing very well with about 15K miles on them.

    They do give the car a more muscular appearance. They also last a lot longer than many other tires, plus they handle very well in dry and wet (AA traction rating), and they're quiet as well! Anyone looking to replace their OEM Dunlops should give these tires a close look and read the reviews at Tirerack.

  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    I agree with everything autonomous and Meade said on the quality and appearance of the Traction T/As. The only thing I did different was to go with 55 series (205/55/16) and I think H rated.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    The only thing I did different was to go with 55 series (205/55/16) and I think H rated.
    You're right: the 205/55/16 are H rated (210 km/h); they're about 10% cheaper than the 205/55/16 V rated (240km/h). So, your H tires are not only great performers but also a great value. :D
  • the only problem with 205/55/16 is that you're running a taller sidewall, which will affect performance for the sake of a better ride.

    your steering probably is not as 'crisp' as before either...oh, and your speedometer is going to be off by more than 15%.
  • I had my tires of my P5 replaced 3 weeks ago. I wished to go for BFGoodrich Traction T/A but there was no 195/50R16 and I didn't know that 205 fits. I got the Toyo Proxes 4 instead. They are great tires, very good dry and wet traction, good handling, comfortable and quiet though with some noise in highway. However the road feel becomes more sedan like because of the softer tire. I also noticed that the gas milage dropped by about 5% and the transmission(Automatic) engaged in the 3rd gear for longer time before it switches to 4th gear. May be this is the reason for lower gas mileage.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Here's an excellent online tool for calculating speedometer error.

  • Was Kumho ever used as an OEM tire on the 2002 Protege's? I'm asking because we are thinking of buying a used Protege and it has Kumho tires on it (44k miles).
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Nope. OE Dunlops, at least here in the states. I've got some Kumuho's as replacements on my 02. With 44k miles, the tires should have some decent tread left.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    thinking of buying a used Protege and it has Kumho tires on it (44k miles)

    Can you check the sidewalls to see which model and size of Kumho tires you have? If the ones on your prospective car are 195/50/16 with a rating of V (150mph) then they match the original Dunlops. The Kumho Ecsta ASX or Ecsta Supra are two examples of excellent models. I have noticed that Walmart sells some very inexpensive Kumhoes.
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    Actually, the speedometer error is only 7.2% according to my GPS (checked multiple times). The ride improved quite a bit, as I expected, and oddly, cornering still feels almost as crisp as the Dunlops. No noticeable decrease in acceleration either. I'm sure it's there, I just can't detect it. Fuel economy has improved by about 3% which allows me about an extra mile per gallon.

    The real reason I went with the 55 series was so that visually the tire fills out the wheel well more fully. And as a bonus the car sits off the ground just a bit more, which can't hurt here in the snowbelt.
  • your extra 1 MPG may be a false reading due to the taller sidewall and the affected speedometer error.

    sorry about the 15% mistake. it was just my personal approximation.

    either way, your speedo is off 7.2%...and that's a lot.
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    The extra 1 mpg is actual. It's an average over many tanks and and takes into account actual distance traveled vs indicated distance traveled. It comes from the fact that the engine does not work as hard (lower rpm) at a given speed.

    The speedometer error is easy enough to live with. As a motorcyclist, I'm used to dealing with speedometer error of that magnitude. Only on bikes, the speedometers are always optimistic by 6% or more.

    On the car, I just keep a few conversions in my head. So for instance, if I want to drive 62, I keep the speedo at 58. If I want to keep the car at just under 70, I drive 64 to 65.
  • ripcordripcord Posts: 23
    Does anyone have any experience with the Iridium spark plugs? My P5 was getting great gas mileage, until I changed the to synthetic oil, a new K&N air filter and Iridium spark plugs. Several websites on the internet mention using the V groove plugs instead of platinum or iridium because of gas mileage. Doesn't make sense to me, but I am open to any thoughts anyone can add to this. Thanks.
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    Your best bet is to go back to the factory plugs. I know of no one who actually experienced a measurable performance increase from upgrading their spark plugs. And by measurable I mean at least four separate runs on a dyno. First with new factory plugs followed by the so called "performance plugs" and then once more with the new factory plugs and again, the performance plugs.

    I do know of people who have had their vehicles clearly run like crap after putting in aftermarket performance plugs.
  • How does the P5 perform in the winter? My friend is still thinking of getting the P5 with 44k on odo. Not sure if the car has ABS. I know it has Kumho exsta..somthing tires on it. I have to take another look at this car before the final decision is made. Hope this winter is mild compared to last year!
  • ripcordripcord Posts: 23
    Thanks for the reply. I think I will put the NGK V-groove plugs in it tomorrow and see if there is a difference. It is definitely not running as good as I would like it to with the iridium plugs. I will report back to let everyone know what I found after putting in the V grooves.
  • ripcordripcord Posts: 23
    Has anyone used the NGK zfr5f-11 long reach plugs in their 2.0l P5? Apparently these are the stock plugs for these cars in Japan and also in the 1.6l engine. Causes the fuel/air mixture to ignite earlier which in turn causes the engine to run smoother etc etc... Apparently no issues with piston damage which makes sense due to the non-interference engines.
  • limatelimate Posts: 4
    I recently bought a 2002 protege5 with auto tranny. I feel the car is slowed down quickly on the flat road if the acceleration pedal is not pressed after reaching certain speed, eg, 40 mph. Has anyone similar experience? Is this normal for protege5 or I need to do something to make it smoother?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    slowed down quickly on the flat road if the acceleration pedal is not pressed after reaching certain speed, eg, 40 mph. Has anyone similar experience? Is this normal for protege5 or I need to do something to make it smoother?

    No, this is not normal. How many miles on your P5? What kind of maintenance has been done on the car to date?
  • limatelimate Posts: 4
    My P5 has just past 30K miles after my purchasing for 2 weeks. The tight driving feeling is compared to my former Toyota Camry driving. Maintenance is regular oil change every 3000 miles from the former owner. Any suggestion for the reason of the tight driving is highly appreciated. Meanwhile I am watching the gas mulage to figure out what I should do.
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