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Mazda Protege5 Maintenance and Repair



  • just bought a Protege 5 and got through the break in period. I got up on the interstate saturday and when i hit about 75 or 80 mph the car started making a sound like a drill at the dentist. i'm tkaing it in to see what the deal is. any ideas? i thought at first it was tire noise, but i'm concerned. If it is the tires then i'll have to buy another set because it's awful. otherwise, i REALLY love the car.
  • - I've found that the tires on the P5 do "sing" a bit on certain roads, but I've never had it up past 70 mph.
  • Mine made a low pitch whistling noise that started at 75 and got unbearable at 80. There is a TSB out about it. My dealer resealed the windshield, and it is quieter than ever.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Especially in freezing weather. Water can get into the cables that go to the parking brake lever and freeze, binding them.

    Preventive maintenance: spray silicone lubricant into the cable housings and don't pull harder on the parking brake lever than you have to.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    At high speeds, a crosswind will catch the wipers and make them vibrate against the window in the Protege. It doesn't happen often, but when it does it tends to startle me.

  • called one dealer and they said "it's the low profile tires, no need to bring it in" in other words, "live with it..." called another they told me to bring it in. the service manager told me he thought he knew what it was and took it for a test drive. it was the windshield. They added the foam per the TSB and all is fine. Now when i get the survey from JD Power i will skew the results and the Cavalier will rate higher than the PR5 because mine had a goofy wind noise problem that took all of 10 minutes to fix.
  • ibookibook Posts: 3
    I just got a 2003 MP5 (220 miles so far) and it has unstable engine speed. And it's not just at idle, but if I carefully hold the accelerator at, say 2000 RPM, it goes up and down around 2000 RPM and I can feel it stuttering right before it drops a little. It cycles at about 2 seconds. Basically, it happens regardless of engine speed.

    Is it just me? Can other people try this, please? Should I take it to the dealer? This is my first new car, so I was hoping it to be perfect. I had (and still have) 1990 Civic Si. Even after 13.5 years, it doesn't do anything strange like my new MP5.

    By the way, does it use distributor or is it all solid-state control?

  • gintoginto Posts: 12
    I had a similar problem with my brakes. The squealing at 32K kms was so bad that I paid for them to be replaced about 2 months ago.

    After noting that some others here had this work done under warranty, I asked my dealer if this would be covered. They said only if it was under 1 year or 12K kms, i.e. NO. I checked with Mazda Canada, and it appears that they weren't willing to go to bat for me. So it looks like this is a dealer-dependent call; good ones will, my dealer won't (Morningside Mazda in Toronto).
  • I do not have that problem with my protege5. It's a 2003 as well. I could not replicate it based on your description.
    My engine is stays right where I put the tachometer at.
    I tried this driving at various speeds, and also using the cruise stays right where I put it.

    Do you mean when your just sitting in neutral revving it you cant keep it steady?

    Ps. I just ticked over 10k miles. No troubles, and 3 hastle free roadtrips under my belt.
  • ibookibook Posts: 3
    I meant at neutral without moving. It's gotten better (or maybe I was just excessively paranoid). Either way, I'm just going to give it some more time. I tried it on my friend's Subaru and it's not perfect either. Oh well.

    On an unrelated note, since it's a wagon and it's red, I named my car Red dWagon. I crack myself up!
  • lara7lara7 Posts: 1
    I got a P5 last week. It's been a lot of fun driving this car around. I have a question regarding the anti theft device. Since P5 doesn't come with a factory installed anti-theft device, can I install an anti theft device say from circuit city and it won't still affect my warrenty, or else do I have to always get it done through the mazda dealer.

  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    Under something called the Magnuson-Moss act, an aftermarket part cannot void a manufacturer's warranty unless it causes damage. Read more here:
  • Both salesmen I talked to at each Mazda dealer I went to whilst looking for cars told me not to bother with the Mazda alarm unit. They both told me that they've had problems with the unit being overly sensitive, i.e. someone walks past the car in a parking lot the darn thing starts going off.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    I have the Mazda unit on my Miata. It is sensitive enough that if you bump the car while it is armed, it will sound 5 short blasts on the horn. Similarly, if you break the glass or cut the top to steal some personal items it will sound the horn continuously. This is exactly what I was looking for. It has never gone off without provocation.

  • -2003 Mazda Protege5, 5spd manual, 2,900 miles/owned 4 months

    I purchased a 2.0L Protégé5 about 4 months ago and with the exception of some intermittent quirks, am really enjoying this car.

    Rough spots in 1st and 2nd gears: The owner’s manual suggests shifting from 1st to 2nd at 13mph and 2nd to 3rd at 24mph. (I presume that these recommendations are designed to optimize fuel economy under normal driving conditions.) Unfortunately, I experience a harsh buckling when shifting through an acceleration at this rpm range (aprox. 2000 rpm in next gear following shift. (note: I have no buckling problems when downshifting). If I allow the rpm’s to land at 2500 from 1st to 2nd (aprox. 22mph from 1st to 2nd, and aprox. 30mph from 2nd to 3rd) a slight buckling is still present, but not as severe. If I shift at 25mph and 35mph, respectively, the buckling is usually not apparent. However, if I need to slow down in traffic – take my foot off the gas after shifting -- still in the appropriate rpm range for that gear – my car starts buckling/jolting again. This is a consistent, easily replicable phenomenon.

    I find this disturbing because the buckling will occur anywhere between 2000 and 3000 rpm (under 2000 rpm is completely unbearable) in second and third gears if I do not keep my foot constantly on the gas – fourth and fifth gears respond just fine in this power band). If I downshift in an attempt to get around these rough spots, the engine, of course, races at about 3600-4000rpm. While this is not anywhere near the redline, I feel uncomfortable doing a quick acceleration at this range if the traffic conditions require such a maneuver, not to mention associated fuel economy implications. (Minor Rant: I am frustrated that the owner’s manual does not discuss optimal power bands and provide an rpm chart for this vehicle). I have never experienced a problem of this kind with my other vehicles (’74 VW Bus and “89 Nissan Pickup (both manual transmissions). Any ideas?

    Difficulty shifting into 1st gear from complete stop: This is an intermittent problem. When I come to a complete stop at a traffic light, my pattern of driving is to put my vehicle into neutral – with my foot on the brake J -- and then to release the clutch. After about three weeks of owning my Protégé5, I started having intermittent problems getting my car back into 1st gear from neutral. When this happens, I back up to 2nd and then try again. It usually lines up the second or third time, but when it does, there is a deep kthunk sound (gears don’t want to mesh?) that is similar to the sound my Volksie made right before the transmission died – first gear just gave up the ghost and the transmission needed to be rebuilt. I have a hard time believing that the brand new Protégé5 is suffering from a failing transmission. I am wondering if the linkage needs extra lubrication – because I was trouble free for the first three weeks of ownership – or if I may have a clutch problem – yes, I fully depress the clutch when placing the vehicle in gear J Again, any ideas?

  • I'm no mechanic but your experience suggests something (somethings?) not correct. You should be able to shift up at 2-2500 rpm with out the car bucking & the issue of not being able to engage 1st cleanly from a stop is certainly not normal. Until you get the car in for repair, you may want to double clutch b4 going into 1st. You should be able to avoid doing additional damage that way. It appears you're about to test the warantee coverage. Best of luck, hopefully its something simple.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    You could have a bad synchro, or your clutch could need some adjustment. I never experienced anything similar in my 5 speed Protege Sedan. Here is a dyno chart from Racing Beat which may give you an idea of the optimal power bands.

    Personally, I don't shift until at least 4000 RPMs, just past the torque peak. Please check with your dealer of choice for service.
  • I'm driving my 3 month old P5 yesterday and the check engine light comes on and stays on....I take it in today any they say something about the "clutch stopper" needing to be replaced, but they don't have the part and I'd have to bring it in again in about a week. However, I picked up the car and notice the light isn't on anymore...unfortunately picked up the car after service hours, so there was no one to ask about I really need that part (no idea how much it costs)?

    Also, the rattling on the inside of the car is about to drive me crazy....I mentioned this today and they said something about readjusting the centre console, but now it seems the rattling is worse than ever...anyone had any experience with this? I think its coming from the '99 Protege sedan started doing it in about its 3rd year...I just chalked it up to age which can't be the case here as it starting rattling almost from day one...

    Other than that, I'm loving the car!
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    There seems to be a screw missing from the driver side of my exhaust manifold insulator on my 2003 P5. I seem to recall someone else having a similar missing screw, but a search here found nothing. Is anyone else missing this screw on the 2.0L?

  • I have a 2000 toyota 4runner limited and am looking for a new car for 2004. My job demands require me to travel much more now than when I purchased my 4 runnner. I am looking for a nice, sporty, reliable , gas-saving, car. I am considering the P5. I have 2 teens. My 13 year old son is 6"2. Is this going to be a problem as I am hoping to keep the car for at least 8 years? Am I making an overall good choice?
  • - The P5 has surprisingly good room for a small car, front and back. If the boy grows to 7 feet, then good luck! You should be able to make a tremendous deal on a P5, and it would be a great combination of quality, sportiness, and value.
  • Thats a pretty big move/ like from a tank to a go cart. There are small cars that have a smoother ride than the P5 & some with 4 wheel drive (Subies). The P5 leans strongly in the sport direction with superior handling & responsiveness (and the stiff suspension you would expect). If thats what you want, then its a super choice. I think mine is great but I come from a sports car background. If thats what you like, its an excellent choice (with some aggressive pricing right now). Good luck with your decision.
  • A new Accord or Camry will ride much smoother, have much more room, and get the same or better gas mileage as the P5, and have more power to boot. The only thing they aren't is sporty. Don't get me wrong, I love my P5, but it rides ROUGH, and has limited space in the rear seat and trunk. Mine has been unreliable and has been in the shop an average of once a month. I too drive often for my job, and the rough ride becomes tiring after a while. This is not a car to keep long term. Also, the depreciation is horrid, so once you buy it you will have it for a while.
  • bballabballa Posts: 56
    What kind of problems? What was it in the shop for? A partial or complete list would be of interest to me and possibly other P5 owners. I have only 2,900 miles on the car, manual trans base model. Other than less than expected gas mileage, I have had no problems.
  • Sorry you've had bad luck with your P5. Based on the posts here & other forums, lack of reliability is not a common problem. I do agree that the P5 is not the ultimate highway cruiser. Not a good car for a bumpy road when you have a hangover either. Great for the cut & thrust of a city or suburban commute tho.
  • I did a considerable amount of research via consumer/auto publications and discussions with actual owners and my educated guess was that the P5 was above average in terms of reliability. can you elaborate on what your P5 problems were? I would like to know what to look out for and hopefully avoid.
  • Hello everyone,

    I will post a detailed list over the weekend. However, the most frustrating has been the clutch chatter problem that is listed in a TSB.

  • It was me. Never replaced it. Cannot remember if it was always there before, though. Seperate issue I need new tires - 36 K on my Dunlops and not liking the wet weather. Any suggestions? I was leaning toward the Proxes 4 but none of the local shops carry Toyos. What is the best way to get them?
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    Since TireRack doesn't sell Toyos, I would contact The Mazda dealer replaced my missing screw under warranty.
  • My P5 is the first car I've had with ABS & as it finally snowed here in SE Wi, I thought I'd give 'em a shot. When I hit the pedal in a snowy parking lot, the fronts braked as if nothing unusual was happening but the rear end started to come around. Also, I didn't feel any pulsing from the pedal which I've been led to expect. I'm wondering if the ABS is actually working. Any thoughts?
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