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Mazda Protege5 Maintenance and Repair

Since the weather turned cooler, I get early morning engine rattle for the first minute or so of driving. Then it goes away. Someone earlier in the P5 main room said it might be due to the combination of iron block/aluminum head... different metals expanding at different rates when warming up>??? Greek to me.


  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    My engine seems louder and courser when cold but I wouldn't call it a "rattle."
  • mudflatmudflat Posts: 47
    I haven't heard any noises with mine because it's still pretty warm here, so this is just a guess, but perhaps the engine management system has been minimally programmed to adjust the timing and air/fuel ratio as a way to reduce the increased emissions that are normally present at startup with a cold engine, and this may be causing it to ping.
  • I just got home from picking up a cargo mat at the dealership. I asked the service guys about the rattle while I was there. It seems that this rattle is extremely common in all the Proteges, not just the PR5. They said that it isn't hurting anything; something is just vibrating and making a noise. Noone has a solution. So I guess the answer is that we just live with it until someone finds an answer.
  • Is it just my car or does everyone feel like the tranny is a little harder to put in first gear than the other gears??? It feels like the stick is grabbing a little bit or rubbing against something???
  • mjudsonmjudson Posts: 10
    Ok. I have a few adjustments I want to make.

    Has anyone adjusted their clutch? My pro5 catches at the very bottom brand new, and I would like to back it out a bit so I can have a bit of play. Plus I think it is catching to early because I notice a very very small kick back or bump some times when shifting, even with it fully to the floor.

    Every once in awhile I notice my belt buckle is twisted at the shoulder harness and I have to straighten it out. Anyone experience this or have a fix? Else, Ill probably have to let it recoil back slowly.

    Has anyone used the fog lights in real fog? how good do they work? seems like a joke to me, seeing they only provide 1ft of light infront of the car. Plus the main lights would reflect back light regardless of what the fog lights were doing. What I want to do is remove the metal shield that is covering the light to get atleast 10ft of light distance from the fog lights alone and maybe a little more side lighting for curbs.

    Any ideas on this? has anyone modified or replaced their fog lights. I dont want to blind anyone, but in their current setup, they feel like they are more for looks than for real world use.

    Adjusting the head lights. My head lights are too low and can only see 50-100ft ahead. Has anyone adjusted their head lights? How is this adjusted. I dont see the normal long screw on top like most cars.

    Yes, I also get the rattle when it starts cold, but I dont start moving the car until the temp gauge starts moving.

    Thanks for you input.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    In an addition to the feedback here, be sure to check out the Additional Resources on the left side of the page for links to other Edmunds' tools, features, and related discussions. Hope this is helpful.

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • mjudsonmjudson Posts: 10
    yesterday I was able to remove the fogs. it was real easy, one big nut that is directly behind the fog lamp. disconnect the wire and remove the 2 screws on the fog lamp it self. I bent the metal shield up untill it was squished against the glass cover. It probably only pushed up 1/2 inch which is good because I dont want to blind people. Then I readjusted the fog lamp mount. Now the top of my fogs touch the bumper.

    result, they work awesome now. They now light up 10-20ft distance infront of the car. Plus I can see 45 degrees of extra light on either side of the car allowing me to see dark corners and curbs.

    head lights just have one bolt, adjusted that and now i can see down the full length of road. Maybe too far down the road, but I notice they are not as bright as the fogs. Ill have to see how many people flash me during the week, or if they flip the rear mirror. But after 1hr driving last night, no flashes or flips.

    Now I just need to figure out that clutch adjustment.
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    This is actually a common occurence on cars with a manual. I know that my old Honda Civic did this constantly. I always downshifted in second and then pushed in the clutch when I came close. Just don't force it to do anything it doesn't want to. You may damage the synchros. Personaly I've found import cars in general don't like to go into first when moving at all.

    Soon to be P5 owner!
  • tistevetisteve Posts: 142
    I too have found that import manuals don't like to go into first until you're almost stopped. I also agree, don't force it!
    I wonder if this is a safety thing so you don't accidently put it in first while doing 60 mph and then let the clutch out and BAM! There goes your engine and transmission and maybe screw the clutch up.
    Generally speaking, if you're still moving, second gear should be ok, maybe a little bogging. If you want first, you need to stop first!
  • If you feel resistance going back into 1st, double clutch it. Put it in N, blip the throttle, and it should slide right in :)
  • Hi,
    I have had my P5 for about 7 weeks now. Overall I love my little car. Over the past
    week though, I have noticed that the ride has
    been getting very rough and bouncy. Even on
    smooth roads.

    The only thing I did recently was add air to
    the tires. When I checked them, they were around
    29psi. The manual said that 32psi was the recommended air pressure. So I filled them up to
    32psi. That was about a week ago too. I am wondering if somehow that affected the ride or if
    something is weird with the suspension or shocks

    Alana :)
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    Higher pressure will often improve handling and slow down tire wear but will always harden the ride as well, a little or a lot. I find it is usually best to go by the manufacturer's recommendation but some pressure gauges read much lower than the real pressure so if the ride is quite harsh you might want to get a better guage to make sure your tires aren't now over-inflated.

    Also make sure you read the pressure while the tires are cold, as they'll warm up when you drive which increases the pressure. The recommended pressure is for cold tires only.
  • This topic has been covered a number of times with numerous recommendations regarding tire pressure. So... here's my two cents worth.

    I found that my tires were inflated to 48psi. The side wall of the factory Dunlops read 52psi max.

    Following several recommendations to follow the owners manual(not the sidewall), I dropped the pressure to 32psi. The car drove like my Camry... Soft and smooth. I also noticed the outside of the tread showing signs of dragging, not to mention my gas millage dropped 4mpg!

    I spoke to my dealer and they said they recommended always following the sidewall as Mazda did not make the tire. The next set of tires may recommend 32psi, but the Dunlops are stamped 52psi. They also recomended dropping a few punds, in order to compensate for the extremely hot weather we have here in the summer time.

    My P5 now has 7400 miles on it. I've kept my tire presure at 48psi and have not noticed any strange tire wear since.

    As recomended by hpulley4, you may want to check your tire guege! It sounds like it's reading low!
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    What do I miss here? The side wall mark on the tire indicated the maximum pressure, not the recommended one!

    Higher tire pressure will imply:

    1) less roll resistance
    2) less heated under speed (since the tires change less its shape while rotating).
    3) better mileage (consequences of 1 and 2)
    3) less road grip
    4) less comfort

    Recommended pressure are always given by the car designers, which give a good trade off among all the above effects. The optimal pressure may change from tire to tire, but few psi at most. 48 psi IMHO is too high.

  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    If one of your wheel is off balanced, it makes also the ride bouncy (in addtion, you'll feel a vibration on the steering wheel if the front wheel is off balanced). Check if your wheels are well balanced.

  • Bruno,

    I've never owned tires which were labeled "Inflate To 52psi Max" only ones that read "Inflate To 32psi max". All I can tell you is that at the lower pressure, the outside edges were showing signs of premature wear and my gas millage dropped to well below Mazda's ratings.

    If I were to have a warranty issue with the P5 stock tires and the outer edges of the tread were worn, Dunlop would tell me I ran them too low. If the inside was worn, they would tell me I ran them to high. The tread appears to be wearing evenly @ 48psi.

    If I were to inflate them to 32psi, I would be 20psi under the tire manufacturers recommendations. If I were to apply the same logic to a set of tires which recommended 32psi max, I would be running @ 12psi. Where do you draw the line?

    Whether that appears to be too much pressure or not, I can only allow the tires to speak for themselves.

  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    Hi Ryan,

    bellow are few websites about the above topic:

    article 1

    article 2


  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Do you know what Dunlop's reccomended pressure is?
    Not max pressure, but recommended.
  • maltb,

    Enlighten me... I haven't seen anything about Dunlop's recommended pressure!


    Thanks for the articles, they conflict each other! One says go with the manufacturer's recommendation, the other says choose something in between.

    Thank you both for your responses. Everything is still as clear as mud though! Maybe I'll try 42psi... It seems like a nice compromise.

  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    That's why I ask. All I know is that you shouldn't exceed the max cold pressure. From what I know, the tire manufacturer does not reccomend a pressure; that is the responsibility of the auto maker.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    The inflation stamped on the tire is not a recommendation but a warning. It warns you to not exceed that pressure or you could experience a blowout. I would be very careful with that high tire pressure. You run a higher risk of damaging your alloy rims with potholes since the tires will absorb very little of the impact. Alloy wheels are already more susceptible to damage then steel wheels. Putting 31 psi in my VW GTI with aftermarket sport suspension hits bumps harshly (manufacturer recommendes 27), and one of my alloy rims was bent by a raised railroad track at 20 mph before I even added the firmer shocks. Also, my car noticeably hydroplanes easier with the tires at 31 instead of 27. One steel rim on my 00 Accent was bent by a pothole when the tire was inflated to 33 psi, the max recommended pressure for heavy loads. Now I have to deal with an annoying bouncy sensation everytime I come to a stop. My point here is that with the high pressures you are using, you have a higher chance of bending your wheel or damaging the internal belts of the tire, as you can see by my experiences. Also, you are riding on a smaller contact patch as the tire is raised higher than what the car manufacturer designed it to be, so your braking, hydroplane, and handling performance is reduced and your steering becomes super sensitive, which can get tiresome on the highway. If I were you, I wouldn't go any higher than 36 psi. I honestly don't see how you can put up with the ride. It has to be rough! Anyway, just thought I would share my experience with the downsides of using above recommended air pressures.
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    Thanks for the info. I always inflate my tires at pressure recommended by the car makers. I found your experience very insightful, especially about the hydroplane. In Houston, heavy rains are the main weather hazard, so I'll never venture to put more pressure on my tires.
  • Thanks for the helpful information. There are tons of conflicting viewpoints out there regarding this issue. What you say makes good sense and I'll give it a try.

    Just so you know, 48psi is a stiff ride, but not as bad as you may think. When I test drove my car, it had 52psi in all the tires and I loved the ride then! Like I mentioned earlier, the P5 feels like my Camry with 32psi. I'm sure my passengers will like a softer ride too. I'll try dropping it down again. I just hope I don't loose 4mpg again!

  • Hi,

    I have had my silver P5 for 3 months now and if I brake while reversing the brakes make a high pitched squeak.

    I am reluctant to think that I have worn down the brake pads to the point that I already need new ones. I've only got 2000km on the car and I really don't drive it very hard at all.

    Since I am not really a "car person" can anyone give me any ideas on why this may be happening?
    Any solutions (other than going to the dealer of course)?

  • You must have the optional backup alarm which alerts the people behind the car that its moving in reverse.

    ok, j/k
  • I am experiencing steering wheel/front end vibration only when the car is cold and has been sitting 3-4 hours. After warming up 5-10 minutes, it is smooth. I've checked the pressure (32 psi), I've had a tire shop balance and front-back rotate. 2000 miles on car.

    It begins as a pretty heavy thump/wop as if I had a flat spot, or a belt seperated, but I don't know why this would fade after 10 minutes, or why it would remain after rotating. Anybody else?
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    I'm chocking it up to the tires being slightly out of round. I've noticed this is other Higher performance tires. When you warm them up and then park them they get out of round until they warm up slightly. I could be off base but that's what I've observed in the past.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Hi Folks - You'll now find a direct link to Edmunds' Maintenance Guide in the Helpful Links on the left side of the page. In addition to looking up manufacturer recommended service schedules, you can now keep a look out for any Recall or TSBs (Technical Service Bulletins) on your Protege5. Hope this is helpful.

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • elec3elec3 Posts: 160
    If there have only been 30 posts about problems AND solutions in the 6 months it has been available :) I know I love mine and it just hit 4000 trouble free miles.
  • 10,000 trouble free files and loving every one of them :-)
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