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Mazda Protege5 Maintenance and Repair



  • 2002p52002p5 Posts: 2
    Hi there. I am the owner of a black 2002 P5. Purchased in June 2001 by my mum and sister and I took the car in late 2003 when they bought themselves a new Mazda3. Approx. 58000kms driven so far. Extended guarantee till June 2008. Automatic transmission (you'd never catch me with a standard! ;) )

    Now that I've introduced the car, I will say that I found this thread yesterday when I was searching something about the vehicle's service schedule since I just took it in today for the 104,000km checkup. Anyway, I was quite intrigued by this thread since I goes back to 2001 when my car was first new and I really enjoyed reading the comments from back then. So much so that I actually just finished reading all 59 pages. I recognised so many of the loves, hates and issues with this car that I wanted to reply to quite a few messages. But it seemed a bit foolish to reply to 5 year old messages. So I'll make a few comments in one general reply.

    The one thing that I absolutely hated about this car was the tires. Those Dunlops were atrocious. From almost day one they had severe tramlining and hydroplaning issues. We had it to the dealer a few times for the tramlining, but obviously little could be done. The situation was made better when we got steel rims and Kumho snows for the winter. And more recently got rid of the Dunlops in favour of Kumho Ecsta 711s. Beautiful tire, nice and quiet and most importantly no pulling. And I can drive in the rain. I'm surprised the tramlining was hardly mentioned in this thread.

    Someone else mentioned they had the sunroof come off its track. I think it was in 2004 mine did the same. And was made worse because it started to pour and would not close. So I had to pull off the highway and jerk with it just to keep dry on the rest of my trip.

    A few people mentioned some issues with the air conditioning not being cold enough. That is something that has always driven me nuts about this car. I've tried every setting imaginable to try to get the AC to cool down the car. And the only thing that works is time. If I am taking a road trip the car will cool down eventually, but I am usually out of luck if it is just a few short trips through town. I just chalk it up to a black car with dark interior, but even both my dealers have said it is just not a terribly good AC.

    Like others I had the rear brakes go before the front. And the same rotor and caliper problems. Though in my case I wonder how much it has to do with NOT driving the car enough.

    I saw a few fog light issues here, but didn't see my problem. They work (and work well in fog), but the one on the passenger side I guess has a broken seal and there is MOLD growing in it. It has been like that for years and I've just gotten used to it now. Though now and again I search ebay for a used one. Just for a little better resale since I am thinking of selling it.

    I think I saw someone comment about the alloy wheels bubbling and corroding. I'll raise my hand to that one too. It actually started doing it on all four when it was less that a year old. It wasn't my car at the time, but I should have insisted my mother and sister complain to the dealer. I asked the service manager today when I had the car in for service about any good wheel repair shops. Good time for it now that my snows are on. Again for the resale.
    But could be quite pricey (about $125 per wheel).

    One odd little quirk is the hatchback. When there is rain and then snow and a quick freeze, the area around the hinges is so deep that it becomes one solid block of ice and the hatch won't open. :shades: Anyone else notice this? I've had quite a few hatchbacks and this is the first this issue has come up.

    There was a pretty big chat about MPG/KPL in some of the earlier pages. I've no idea what mine gets, but I am reasonably pleased with it. With the Ecstas/Dunlops I could get about 600 highway kilometres from full to just a little less than a quarter full. And about 550 with the snows. A little less in the city. Though I've never really noticed how it is in the city because I tend to top up the tank every few days. I find it much less painful to continuously top up my tank with the leftover change in my pocket at the end of the day than to use paper money when I actually need fuel.

    I've had a few minor repairs since 2001. A driver side strut in 2005. And I've been informed that the passenger side one will need replacing soon. Um, I noticed one day in 2004 that the OverDrive Off button wasn't working. They repaired that under warranty and a few days later replaced the whole gear shifter. I am not really sure what they did, but when I got it back I could feel in my hand that it was just a millimetre or two off centre and going from position to position would stick. They didn't want to do anything about it at first, but I can be quite insistant. Brakes and rotors of course. And the sunroof as I mentioned...I believe it was a pin of some sort that came loose. They biggie was the catalytic converter, but again that was under warranty. I guess when they do the cat they also do the front pipe too at no charge. Which kinda disappointed me because a few months previous I replaced it.

    Aside from that it has just been oil changes and regular services like new plugs, wipers, etc... Oh, and the timing belt at the 96000km service.

    As much as I hated the Dunlops, I really love this car. Fun for zipping around town. Could use a few more HP, but I've never had any issues when passing on the highway and often don't notice my speeding until I look down and see the speedo. Especially now with these Ecsta tires...very smooth and quiet. Kinda hate to sell it now. ;)

    I suppose I am just prattling.

    Thanks everyone for providing such an enjoyable read.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Welcome aboard. :)

    You mention kilometres and snow tires which sounds like code for Canadian driver. Are you a Canuck?

    I agree with you that overall this is a wonderful car and as you said it's a treat to drive.

    Regarding several of the problem areas you mentioned (tires, brakes, rotors, alloys) I have had some issues but not to the same degree. The Dunlops were fast wearing but I chalk that up to them being performance tires. Also, many urban drivers in Canada suffer the blight of salted roads in the winter which wreaks havoc on wheels, underside and paint. My strategy for preserving my brakes was having them serviced by the dealer every 24 months with a cleaning and lubrication for roughly $100. Result: my 2002 Protege5 has nearly 100K km on the original brakes. :shades:

    On the other hand, my failed EGR valve & water pump have meant that my dealer continues to be happy to see me and my credit card.

    I was pondering selling mine next year but decided against it when I heard the dealers offer ($7500 as a straight purchase or about $9000 if I were to trade it for another Mazda). So, I'll continue to drive it another couple of years and pass it on to a friend. What is motivating you to sell yours?
  • 2002p52002p5 Posts: 2
    Yup, Canadian. :) East Coast boy! I need my snows and those Kumhos are the best yet. I find they are a bit loud, but handle great and are fun entertainment in an empty parking lot.

    With the tramlining Dunlops, I had the service manager and mechanic come along with me for a quick run on the highway . I told them if it doesn't do it, I'll buy them lunch at McD's. And if it does, then they know it wasn't just a bit of tramlining, but rather a safety issue. Once I got up to speed I let go of the steering wheel briefly and the car pretty much threw itself onto the shoulder. After that I got a free rotation, wheel balancing and 4-wheel alignment. Didn't help, but at least they were trying. So I just ended up running the snows later into the spring and put them back on in early autumn. Then I got the Ecstas. Love 'em!

    I haven't really decided yet if I should sell or not. But it'd be nice to get things cleaned up if I do. The wheels and the fog light to me are the main draw backs. Well, that and my old man took a shovel to it in the winter of 2002. :D About a 2 inch gash on the hatchback Cleaned up of course, but noticeable if you look. Other than that it is the typical wear and tear. A few 'cat scratches' on the bonnet and such.

    But why sell? Just a few clicks on it, but the warranty is up at the end of next spring. And since it is almost 7 years old a change would be nice. But of course with so few clicks on the car it is hardly been broken in yet. A big choice. Kinda leaning toward a VW. Prefer an Audi, but well....a bit out of my price range. Though I'm dreading the process. I'd never get what I want on a trade and selling privately can be time consuming and a real pain. Unless maybe I go with another Mazda. The 04 Mazda3 my mother and sister bought is our sixth Mazda from the same dealer since 1993 so I reckon I might be able to cut a great deal.
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  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769'd be nice to get things cleaned up if I do. The wheels and the fog light ...

    You may want to check out the scrap yards, too. In the recent episode of Motoring 2007, the mechanic was talking about replacing parts and cited used wheels from a scrap yard as one example. Getting four may be a challenge though. Might also find a used fog light
  • Hello. Last night my dashboard lights and tail lights went out on m car. The tail light fuse was blown so I replaced it. When I turned my tail lights back on it immediately blew the fuse again. Anybody have any ideas?
  • I have an '02 P5, 115,000 miles (a lot, i know) and my check engine light came on about a week ago. Diagnostic said that it was the O2 sensor and the catalytic converter going out at the same time. Gonna run me $1,500-2K. Huge bummer. Anyone else have this prob? And if so, if you got it fixed, how was the car afterwards? I'm wondering if I should just trade it in and get Mazda3 5-door since my car is worth $5K right now anyway. I just love my P5 so much, I don't want to get rid of it if I don't have to. Plus, living without car payments for the last few months have been awesome. Anyone else have this O2 senson/Catalyitic onverter thing going on? :confuse:
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    I won't give financial advice to you, but if it were me, I would pay for the repairs and keep driving the P5. After all, Even at $2000, that is like only 4 new car payments. I might shop around for an aftermarket catalytic converter though. Your engine and tranny probabably have another 100,000 miles left in them, so you could keep driving for some time. My P5 just hit 114,000 miles.
  • Hey all.
    My wife has a 2002 Protege 4 speed automatic.
    About 5 weeks ago, she noticed that the engine was running a little rough and the "Check Engine" light would come on. When it came on, it flashed for about 5 seconds and then stopped. We took it in for the 60,000 check and they did everything they were supposed to.
    Well, we noticed within a few days, the car ran worse than before the 60,000 mile check up. It ran rough at stop lights, the check engine light came on a bit more, and a new twist - when driving on the freeway, the car seemed to hesitate a bit or, when it would lurch to a degree.
    We took it in 2 weeks ago, appararently, during the tune up, the mechanic forgot to put some conductive agent on the coil which was causing a misfire, hence the check engine light. Well I got the car back and we are still having the problem of hesitation on the freeway, almost near stall outs at stop lights (Though that was a one time thing and generally runs smoothly at stop lights) and the "Check Engine" light is making new visits. Flashing at first, then turning off after about 5 seconds. But, definetly, more often.

    Our trip to the dealership yesterday didn't yield any results. They had the car for about 7 hours. According to the computer, the engine is misfiring still, but they cannot locate the reason why. They did check the EGR valve and it is working fine. (Though this was a problem of the "Check Engine" light about 8 months ago.) We got one phone call wanting to know if we had changed gas stations lately. End Result: Drive the car for a week and bring it back next Saturday and see if anything new is on the computer.

    Anyone have any additional thoughts as to what this could be?

  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    My wife has a 2002 Protege 4 speed automatic ... 60,000 check ... engine was running a little rough ... misfiring ... EGR valve ... is working fine

    Is the misfiring intermittent or constant? If constant I would wonder about the wires and plugs, especially if you had not replaced them recently.

    Also, it may be worth considering a fuel induction system cleaning if you have not already had it done. It did wonders for my 2002 Protege5.

    It would also be worthwhile for the dealership to provide details of their findings (such as the OBDII codes coming from the computer). That way you can go to another garage with some detailed information in case your dealer does not satisfy.
  • Hello to all: Great to see a forum for my car. I have a 2002 Mazda Protege 5. When I start it up from cold in the morning or after sitting for a few hours it revs very high. Around 2 thousand and stays there for a minute or so before dropping down slowly. It will go to under 1 thousand RPS in a couple minutes. Is this normal? My car does have an air intake system on it also. Thanks. Hoping to get some opinions.
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    Yes that is normal. If you are in a cold climate I would put the original intake tract back on the car though. Without it, your car will take longer to warm up and your gasoline mileage will suffer.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I have a 2002 Mazda Protege 5. When I start it up from cold in the morning or after sitting for a few hours it revs very high. Around 2 thousand and stays there for a minute or so before dropping down slowly. It will go to under 1 thousand RPS in a couple minutes.

    Sounds high to me. My 2002 P5 takes under a minute to get to start idling around 700 revs. Do you have it serviced regularly?
  • your car is not happy .. i had this identical problem on my p5 , and found it to be the EGR valve. They have since updated the valve to cure the carbon build up problem. For those who dont know how a EGR system works i will explain briefly . A Exaust gas recuirculation vavle allows exaust gasses back into the intake via a port in the head on the exaust side that runs back to the EGR valve wich depending on rpm and throtle possiton the computer caculates the flow of exaust gasses to be let back into the intake. usually lower rpms 700-1800 it functions at higher it cuts out completely. But what happens when it malfunctions it is usually caused by carbon build up it gums up the valve causing in most cases to remain fully or mostly open . wich at low rpm will cause rough idle or missfire . most people wonder why its even there .. and yes it is completly unecesary ,but it is for your polution controll and fuel consumpion it is in place. also at high rpms the syptoms are very noticeable , loss of power hesitaion are afew . the EGR valve is supose to be fully closed for freeway speeds or rpms . Its possible that this problem can be intermitent or constant depending on sevarity of carbon build up. the best thing to do is replace it or have it replaced. and like i said earlier if the valve hasnt been updated its a very good idea to update it. The old EGR vavle is located almost dirrectly under the the intake plenum on the throttle side. The old style valve has no external lines , were the new style has three rubber hose lines to conect to other units.. make sure you have the required parts for the update if doing it yourself oh and line running diagram.. that ir required.
    I speak from experence and alot of farting around on this problem my dealer was unable to figure out the problem because it was intermitent. This is harmfull to your engine .
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    my dealer was unable to figure out the problem because it was intermitent

    The Protege's EGR problem is pretty well known by now, so most dealerships should be able to figure this out. My dealer rep diagnosed it in 10 seconds when I described the condition. His words "oh, another EGR valve ..."
  • Hey all.
    Well, after my post of December 2, things got worse. When slowing down, the car would surge between 36 & 39 MPH as well as around 15 to 20 MPH. , I made the dealership give me a free loaner car.(the service guy wanted me to pay $30.00 a day for the loaner.) Enough of this sitting around wasting my Saturday as if I have nothing else to do! I brought the car in on December 11th, got it back on December 15th. What was it? It turned out to be the EGR valve after all. (or so they thought - see below) At first they eliminated it, then looked at it and realized how full of junk it was. So, it was replaced to the tune of about $500.

    Well, I have been driving the car ever since. Do you think it is ok? NO! Christmas Eve day I am driving home. I feel the car hesitate then the "orange light of death" comes on (The check engine light). I dropped off the car on Wednesday after work.

    Current Status: They know it is misfiring again - they just are not sure why. On the way to the dealership, I felt the car shudder, not hesitate, like I lost 2 cylinders.
    Anyone have any clues on this? I need this car to be worth something for trade in!
    Happy Holidays!!
  • Auto - thanks for your response. Sorry it is late.
    At the time, the light issue as well as the hesitation was intermittent.
    Please check posting 1179 from me with an update as to what is going on.

  • I'd love to hear any updates on this as my 2003 P5 seems to be going through the same thing. A few days back the Check Engine light came on, re starting cleared the issue but it came back. I was out shopping so there were repeated starts and sometimes the check engine light would come on others it wouldn't. One of the times it began surging as described above and it would also slow suddenly if I let off the gas. I took it in for investigation and they said it threw codes for the throttle position, engine coolant something or other, and an air flow sensor (not the mass air flow). They didn't have time to fully diagnose (New Years eve) so I took the car, things got progressively worse, to the point that it was revving to 7000 or stalling out when I actually managed to get it to start. I dropped it back off because they thought it might be a common grounding issue so they spent some time de bugging it and now they think it's a bad computer. They are bringing in a used one which is considerably cheaper but I'd be interested to know others opinion about the possibility of this fixing it.
  • The codes mine threw up were

    P0113 - Intake Air Temp Sensor 1 Circuit High Input
    P0118 - Engine Coolant Temp Circuit High Input
    P0123 - Throttle / Pedal Position Sensor A Circuit High Input
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    I can see why they are betting on the main computer as a failure. The likelyhood of 3 sensors failing simultaneously would seem odd. If the used computer doesn't help, I would check the battery connections and the main grounds.
  • Current Status: They know it is misfiring again - they just are not sure why. On the way to the dealership, I felt the car shudder, not hesitate, like I lost 2 cylinders.

    OMG - I am having the SAME exact problem! AND I wasn't the only one - they had looked at two other proteges with the same problems yesterday. They have been able to tell me one thing though - my cat converter is toast! Because this seems to be such a huge issue, you would think that Mazda would/should be doing something about this! I had my code read 6 weeks ago - I can't help but wonder if the techs had been given the information they needed to remedy this issue if the failure of my converter could have been prevented - I'm looking at a HUGE repair bill. I wish you the best of luck in getting your dreaded orange light issue resolved....
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    For those of you with failed EGR's, what octane fuel have you been running?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    what octane fuel have you been running

    Regular (i.e. 87)
  • Debbi - here is the latest. What they ended up doing was replacing the coils from one Protege and putting it into my wife's car. So far, so good. We only have had the car back a few days, so we are not sure if this is going to work or not. The dealership was not 100% sure either seeing how they can only put so many miles on a car.

    I will keep everyone posted.
  • We run regular gas in our car. Do not see the point of putting premium into a car that is not a performance car.
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    I had been wondering if people were using higher than 87 octane because running to high of an octane in a car that was designed for low octane fuel can definetely lead to excess carbon build up in the cylinder heads, valves and exhaust components (EGR). But both you and Dave aren't running premium so I guess that rules out that theory.

    Another reason for carbon build up is lots of short trips where the engine doesn't fully heat up and burn off the carbon deposits.

    I commute roughly 90 miles round trip every day to work during the winter. In the summer I'm mostly on motorcycles so the car sits until the weekends when I need to get groceries which is not a long trip. I do get her out every other weekend for a longer drive though, so that probably helps.

    Maybe I've just been lucky so far with 116,000 miles (186,000 km). I better start crossing my fingers. ;)
  • Dave ~
    Thanks SO much for the update! Were they finally able to get a specific code that prompted them to replace the coils? Or are they just trying this because they've run out of other options? I guess I'm still a bit confused as to how the whole "code" thing works - doesn't it make sense that the computer should have told them that to begin with? Funny thing is, when I first started having this problem I had my son's friend, who is a mechanic at a toyota dealership, take a look at it and he was pretty sure it was one of the coils but because he couldn't get it to repeat the behavior he couldn't be sure & didn't want to have me have to spend the money to replace both if that wasn't the problem! Because my car broke down at work & I work two hours away from home I had to take it to a dealership that I've never dealt with in the past & so far I don't have a lot of faith in them. As of yesterday afternoon they still couldn't tell me anything except that they are continuing to run tests, etc. Long story short, I'm picking the car up today & taking it to my own dealer who I know & trust AND who will be willing to listen to what I've learned from you! I appreciate your keeping us updated & will keep you posted. Thanks Again - Debbi
  • I dn't know if I have a failed EGR or not, but I've only ever put "regular" gas in my car...

  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    wondering if people were using higher than 87 octane ... can definetely lead to excess carbon build up in the cylinder heads, valves and exhaust components (EGR). But both you and Dave aren't running premium so I guess that rules out that theory.

    Alternate theories:
    1) Cold climates affect the proper exhausting of gases via the EGR.
    2) Running excessive speeds overwhelms the EGR. Typically, I average 70 mpg, speed up to 75 for passing and occasionally reach 80 mph. I don't think this qualifies as excessive speed.
    3) Some people are lucky, others not.
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    I'm located in a suburb of Minneapolis so that probably counts as a cold climate. ;) I didn't know that high speed could overload an EGR. Interesting. I generally keep my speed under 65 mph 99% of the time. I guess I average around 60 on my work day commute.
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