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Mazda Protege5 Maintenance and Repair



  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Hi Folks- This discussion in now linked from the Hatchbacks Message Board to the Mazda Protege Owner's Club. If you have a chance, please stop by and say hello in our Mazda Protege Owners: Meet The Members discussion. Also, for those entering here from the Hatchbacks board, you'll find a direct link to the Owners Club on the left side of this page. Hope this is helpul.

    To elec3 & phoenixmp5- Glad to hear that your Protege5 is serving you well. Happy motoring! ;-)

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • In the Mazda Protege Owner's Club main list, there's a space between Protege and 5 for this message board, whereas the other link below it just spells it out as "Protege5" instead of "Protege 5". Just a minor little nitpick. :)
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    It's been corrected. ;-)

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Posts: 1,007
    Note that many of the posts in the problems board for the P5 and the sedans are about the lack of problem posts. Thus artificially pushing up the number of posts. Just like this post. I think I'll shut up now :-)

    OT: Love my 95 DX sedan :-)
  • pgillpgill Posts: 84
    Has anyone compared wind noise at highway speeds with and without the roof rack? I've read somewhere that there is considerable wind noise attributed to the factory roof this true? I'm considering removing them since I do a lot of highway driving and feel the cabin noise is a bit excessive in my P5. Any thoughts?
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    They are pretty noisey. I removed them early on but I forgot that I needed them to go get the christmas tree so I put them back on again. (sigh) When it warms up a bit in MN I might take them off again.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    I took mine off too. I don't use them right now and it makes brushing snow off easier.
  • pgillpgill Posts: 84
    I removed the roof rack last night and drove about 90 miles mostly at highway speeds this morning. I did notice the cabin was quieter and a "rumbling" sound I heard at 40 mph disappeared as well. While I wouldn't characterize P5's cabin as quiet at highway speeds, I'm glad I took the roof rack off. Thanks for the suggestions.
  • douglamdouglam Posts: 67
    Any of you notice there's a lot of rattling going on inside the car? Everytime my car goes over uneven roads, I can hear a least one rattle or squeak coming from the interior panels (especially the headliner). The condition has gone worse since the weather is cold. It's really annoying to have this kind of noise in a 3 mth old car.

    Anyone have similar problems and how did you guys fix it? I'm thinking of sending it back to the dealer, but I'm not sure if they'll do anything about it.
  • Yep - I got the same problem. The first rattle comes from the door panel - but I think that has something to do with the aftermarket speakers I installed, so thats probably my fault.

    But there's always been some type of wind noise over my left shoulder - sounds like its coming from the hatch area. More annoying is the noise coming from somewhere under the dash, seemingly behind the speedometer. Only started when it got colder. The cabin looks very tight and flawless -so I'm surprising that Im' hearing these noises.

    I'd be interested to hear whether anyone got anywhere with their dealer. The problem is recreating the noise so they know how they might fix it!
  • douglamdouglam Posts: 67
    Exactly!!! there's a noise coming under the dash!!! But I can't pinpoint where it is. Well at least I know it's not just me being paranoid :)

    If you open your driver side front door and look at the dash panel, there's a flat piece of plastic that covers the side of the dash. That piece of plastic is pretty thin and there's quite a big gap between that plastic and the door frame. I was wondering if that's the culprit.

    Some guy in another forum said that he heard some noise coming from the front dome lights, and the dealer fixed it by tightening some screws. Seems that they will actually try to fix it.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    The only rattle I have is coming from the pass-side door panel. It's a "buzzing" at certain RPM's. Otherwise it's dead quiet.
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    I found one that I found that was coming from the center console. Right below the stereo on the plastic that surounds it there is a slight buzz. I tracked it down by tapping the right side of the console. Of course on mine it went away when it got cold. (GRIN) Of course that's what warranties are for baby! When I bought my used saturn a few years ago I went back about a dozen times to rattles fixed before the warranty ran out. Of course some of them went away and some didn't. But it made me happier about the car.
  • Hmm - I have that same rattle and I keep chaulking it up to my aftermarket speakers. But I'm hearing of some people who have that buzz/rattle and have never touched their door panels.

    Douglam - seems we have the same problem! Really annoying - the wierd thing is that it doesn't always happen! How do you explain that to Mazda? This morning on my drive to work I didn't hear it once - but its a bit warmer today so...

    One other problem... Anyone having problems getting started when the engine is cold? The engine seems to studder sometimes on startup if the engine is cold. This morning I wondered whether it would even start! And it was above freezing this morning, so its not like I live at the North Pole :) Maybe I just need to keep the ignition cranked for longer until I release...but I swear I did that this morning and still go the studder... anyone else? My next maintenance will be at Mazda where I'm hoping they can fix some of these problems....
  • douglamdouglam Posts: 67
    I don't think the aftermarket speakers are the culprit. I mean, if you screw the speakers on nice and tight, there shouldn't be anything that will rattle (except maybe if you blast your stereo really loud)

    Yeah, the rattles are sometimes so faint that i'm afraid that the dealers can't hear them.

    Another problem is that the windows will rattle when they are partially down. Anyone agree?

    Oh, and about starting your engines when cold, i had the same problem, but now i have a solution. (my dealer told me this). Before you start your engine, turn your key far enough so that it's at the fully on position for 2-3 seconds (when you see all the little warning lights go on). After that, then turn the key further to start cranking. I do this as a habit now, and it works like a charm.

    I'm not sure why we need to do this, becuase my previous 6 year old civic starts right up at subzero temps without the need to "prime the fuel pump"!
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Cars are more prone to rattle if they are cold. What you could do is park the car at the dealer overnight, then have them take a ride with you in the morning in the car while it's still cold. I found it easier to diagnose rattles when the car has sat all night long and is cold.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    That's very good advice doug about turning the key partway until the warning lights are off. I do that on al my cars in cold weather. I was never sure if it made a big difference but it certainly can't hurt (and it makes sense to.)

    Also, since in the Pro, the AC Compressor is ON in every Climate Control position except for Full Face adn Face/Feet... I try to turn to one of those settings when starting the car in the cold.

    Fewer things to crank over.

    fwiw.. I live in cold VT and have no problems with cold starts. (UNheated garage)
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    The wire harness connectors in the door can rattle, not usually the speakers themselves.

    Also, there are a number of plastic pins that hold the trim panels to the door itself. They may not all be correctly fastened. If you can easily pull away any edge around the door trim panel, then a fastener isn't correctly plugged in. Hold a flashlight to the gap and you should be able to see what is wrong.

    Cold weather will shrink your plastic parts to where they can separate enough to rattle. The rattles will go away when your interior part temperatures go up above freezing. Tightening screws may not work as they may not exist there. You can try to put thin felt material between the offending parts or squirting in some rubbery glue.

    I sometime hear a rattling sound in the instrument cluster (I have a '99 LX, but the dash isn't that different from the P5's), which seems to be rpm-related. I figure it's either the cable that feeds the speedometer or tach (I tend to think tach, as I've never heard this in a vehicle that lacked an analog tachometer). This seems to go away a few minutes after the engine warms up.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    My window rattles too when it is partially down. It's just the driver's side.
  • douglamdouglam Posts: 67
    Thanks to all who responded! :) You guys are great. Well, today I changed my front speakers and so I removed the door panels. I found that there's some styrofoam glued to the door panels (for insulation, i guess) and one piece was coming loose! So i glued it back.

    Also, there were about 10 screws in the back of the panel. I didn't know what exactly what they did, but I tightened them further anyway (i thought they weren't as tight as they should).

    And before putting the panels back, I added some insulation in the panels myself. I bought some sheets of polyester battling (used to make quilts and comforters). They're about 0.5 inch thick and are pretty fluffy (cheap too). I'm sure that this will absorb some of the noise and rattling going inside the panels (road noise also).

    Haven't had much time to observe if my mods killed any rattling, but i'll keep an ear on it and let you guys know.
  • Thanks for the update! Quickly...

    My windows don't rattle...
    My gf always starts her car by turning the key on 2 or 3 clicks until some of the warning light go off. When I got my new car, she convinced me to do the same. So I always do that, and I still have the problem. Really wierd. I guess as long as it starts it starts. ON a side note, I put Mobil 1 synthetic in there last night for the winter months, so I'll see if that seems to help the cold starts. I don't expect to see any difference, but I'm hoping it will help keep the engine in tip-top shape.

    Anyway, its probably just the cold causing the rattles, except for that passenger door thing. I'll remove my door panels in the spring to see what I find...

    Douglam - what kind of speakers did you put in? Did you keep the stock head unit? What were the results?
  • douglamdouglam Posts: 67
    Really? so by turning your car keys all the way for a few seconds before cranking doesn't help? Hmm, that's strange, because about a week ago, the temps were in the single digits (F) and I didn't encounter any problems. But I'm sure if you switch to synthetic, it will definitely help during cold starts.

    Oh, I put in Polk speakers in all the doors. EX572a's in front and EX602a's in the rear. The stock head unit is still on. The results are not that impressive (as I expected) because the stock head unit doesn't have much driving power (my guess it's like 4x15w RMS). However, the highs are definitely clearer now. The bass is lower, but there's no 'punch' to it.

    Since I still have my aftermarket radio from my previous Civic, I was going to install it in my P5 anyway. I'm sure the results will be much better after everything is done.

    So for those who are going to upgrade their speakers ONLY, don't spend too much on them, and make sure that the speakers can match your low power stock head unit. With proper tweaking of the 3 band equalizer, you can get pretty 'decent' music from upgraded speakers.

    Hope this helps...
  • Have owned my Protege 5 for six months and the rattles inside the cabin have been noticeable since the first month.
    I have taken it to the dealership numerous times. The only one they've been able to fix is the front dome light rattle. I was there when they fixed it and all they did is take it a part and put back together again.
    I still have all the other rattles that have been mentioned in other posts.
    Good LUck to anyone who can get these resolved!!
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    If they're in your door panels, you can try pulling around the edges to see if any are loose. The edges are held to the door with plastic buttons. If an edge is loose, the button is either no pushed into the door (for which you just shove the panel against the door until you feel a snap), the button is in the door, but isn't correctly snapped into the panel (hmm, you have to remove the panel to put the button in place...see previous posts about removing the panel to replace the speakers) or the button is just missing.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    I have a '99 sedan, so the head unit's different. However, I replaced all 4 stock speakers with better Pioneers (TS-A6999 and TS-A6865 (I think)). The sound was improved a lot. The bass is punchier and mid-ranges and high-end are much clearer too. These speakers are rated a bit more sensitive than other comparable speakers, and the bottom power range spec was lower too (2W v. 4W RMS, I think). The stock speakers' magnets are kind of puny. I think I added at least 3lbs to my car with the upgrade. :)
  • elec3elec3 Posts: 160
    When I installed a sub in my Pro5, I had to get access to the rear speakers for signal input since I couldn't get what I needed straight off of the head unit. This gave me a chance to check out the speakers (because I had to literally cut and splice the sub wiring into the factory wiring to the speakers) and it occurred to me that these were pretty wimpy speaks. They have rather thin paper cones and way small (light) magnets compared to "good" aftermarket speakers. Pioneer is generally a good brand in car audio, but it was apparent to me that the speakers that come with the Pro5 were near the very bottom of Pioneer's line. Still I'd rather have those than some no-name stuff.

    As an aside, my brother drives a 2000 626 and it comes with an audio system which I think is Bose and the same one they were putting in Miatas for a while (I think). It is far superior to that of the Protege and, as much as I dislike Bose, it's a very competent sounding car audio system. Every time I get into my Protege after listening to some quality audio (car or home), I'm always struck by just how dark and a little murky the Pro's sound system is. I get used to it but it's truly a dark and recessed sound and nothing like the sparkle and shimmer I've come to love from audiophile-grade headphones. I can't complain about bass though because my sub took care of that :)
  • douglamdouglam Posts: 67
    a joke. Actually, I was quite surprised that those crappy speakers actually produced music! :)

    The speaker wires are dental-floss thin too! so again, don't overspend on speakers unless you're going all out for a full upgrade. Pioneers are easy to drive speakers and they go well with many head units and they are reasonably priced. My Polks require higher power.

    Oh, as an update, I would highly recommend people who are changing their speakers to add in some extra insulation in the door panels. Now there are no noise whatsoever coming from the doors! even road noise! now i can only hear noise from the window upwards. The music seems to sound better also :)

    And one more thing. The rattling noise coming from the door might be caused by the speaker harness that is just floating inside the door . Just to be sure, I wrapped a piece of foam around the harness before placing the speaker in (yeah, i reused the harness with my new speakers).
  • Although this conversation is probably best for the regular Pro5 board and not the problem board, I will continue...

    The stock head unit will not put out anywhere near 15W RMS. I'm guessing 15W peak power. A good aftermarket head unit only produces 20-22W RMS, and the difference between 15 and 20 RMS wouldn't be that noticable. My infinity speakers need a 7W RMS minimum, and I'm guessing that this head unit is just barely meeting that requirement because the sound is still fairly quiet even at with the volume turned up to half. I'm guessing that most of you who haven't replaced their speakers or head unit would find the sound fairly loud at half sound level...

    I'm going to wait until the harnesses become available...supposedly in January according to Best Kits. Metra still has no idea. Didn't hear back from Schosche (sp?). Then I'll have plenty of power for my Infinitys and my next project become a small sub setup....
  • I purchased a 2001 Protoge CD player on E-bay, and it didn't come w/a wiring harness. I had never hear of "Best Kits" wiring harnesses, but mp5freak's mention of Best Kits in item #60 in this discussion allowed me to contact Best Kits and discover they now have the harness available. It is part number BHA7902 and cost $13.95. It's not listed under the 2001 Protoge on Best Kits' web site, but they indicate they just developed it, and it's the right harness. I'm putting the 2001 Protoge CD player in my 91 Miata and could not have done it without the tip from this site. Thanks for the tip mp5freak!
  • have had my P5 since oct 15th 2001, almost at 8,000 miles (24 miles when i got it) and have had no probs, no complaints. i don't even mind the wind noises either, i get no rattling, and a fairly smooth ride (but not as smooth as other sedans). if anyone is reading this and is trying to decide, go for it. this is one fun fun beautiful car.
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