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Mazda Protege Idling Issues

good_boygood_boy Member Posts: 1
I bought a 2000 protege (auto) and has only 34 K miles. It runs fine but when I stop on a traffic light or the car is stationary it makes an audible rattling sound. This sound is not their when I am not stationary. Not sure why it's there. Is it typical of Protege's to make such a sound. I also have a 03 Camry and don't hear that. Any info would be much appreciated.


  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Hi - welcome.

    You might get some ideas if you go to the Mazda Protege Owners: Problems & Solutions discussion and search for "idling". I turned up quite a few posts about rough idle doing that.

    The Search This Discussion box is on the right just above the first post and just below the last post on the page.

    Meanwhile, I've given this discussion a bit more of a generic name so that others can join in here if they'd like.

    Good luck.
  • sly8sly8 Member Posts: 2
    I have had new altenator new spark plugs manifold gasket doughnut and cadalidic converter 2001 protege 2 liter intermedeate problem of rpm so low almost a stall runs normal most of the time i have a 30 day gaurantee and need a fix before time runs out any suggestions of what it could be??? please help any advice s appreciated
  • sly8sly8 Member Posts: 2
    I have just cleaned the egr valve it seems to be helping i know that part of my idle was altenator related it wasn't charging well wich was creating a real rough idle just enough charge but to run rough
  • ann14ann14 Member Posts: 3
    95 mazda protege 1.5 (1)idles rough;idle sometimes keep time with the indicator if in use. (2) headlights go off then come on again sometimes when i use the indicator -mostly left turn, sometimes right. any suggestions before i have to go to the dealer? chaching $$$; do i have to? Thanks in advance.
  • 95mazda195mazda1 Member Posts: 1
    I was driving my Mazda and 1st the radio turned off. It stalled out in the drive way. I would turn the headlights on and the interior lights it would want to stall mt foot to the floor it would not run. The air bag light is flashing and the speedometer does not work. All this happened after the radio stopped. The car is a 1.5 liter dx with around 104,000 miles on it. I never had much problems with it. If anyone knows or has suggestions what to do they are welcomed. Thank you for you're help.
  • moosebranmoosebran Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1997 Mazda Protege and I bought it with 6000 miles on it. I have 189,000 miles on it and never really any problems. The other day I started it went inside to let it warm up about 5 minutes. When I drove it about 1/2 mile it died. It would crank over and start the rpm would go to 3500 then immediately to 1000 and die. I could start it and press on the gas and get it to keep running at 1000rpm, but once I pressed on the gas it would die. My nephew decided it was the fuel pump so we changed it and all the filters. This did not help. There was a few codes that would not clear. I took it in to the local garage for repair. They said that the codes were the mass air flow sensor, eng coolant temp sensor, egr boost solonid, intake air temp, idle system problems. They have had it a week now and do not really know what the problem is. I thought I would post this to see if anyone has any ideas or similar problem. Please help they are baffeled!
  • hbarrigerhbarriger Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1990 protege And i'm just woundering what the firing order is for it. I thank it is a 1.8 motor 16 valve fuel injection. problem i'm haveing is it will run and idle but when i give it gas it cuts out. so I changed all the plugs and wires but I don't know the numbers on the distribitor cap so if anyone can help it would be nice.
  • peterjamespeterjames Member Posts: 1
    hi! i own a 1999 protege LX,1,6 liter...about a year ago,i fried the original engine,so i replaced it with one that has about now,65.000 miles...everything is fine ,only that lately,while on the road, regarding of the speed(anywhere from 20 to 60!),all of a sudden the gear just kicks into overdrive by itself and the check engine light comes out...i'm afraid that it may affect the transmission in the long run...i've noticed that if i stop,say at the stop light,it kicks back,so could this be related to the breaks? :cry: i have heard that the oxigen sensor might be the reason,anyone knows some details ,or had this problem before,please help!!! thanx guys!
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    It could be the EGR valve also. I'd bring it into the shop to have it checked out.
  • schmogcaschmogca Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone have any info regarding this. The same thing is happening to my 1998 protege.
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    Could you describe the problem exactly?
  • downtubedowntube Member Posts: 43
    I've done a bit of research on protege idle problems, having bought one a few months ago that idled poorly. Here are the common causes:

    Stuck EGR valve (remove and de-carbonize or replace)
    Vacuum leak (this was my problem. these cars are very sensitive to vacuum leaks)
    Dirty MAF sensor (clean with electrical cleaner spray DO NOT TOUCH WIRES)
    Defective MAF sensor (recall on some model years)
    Carboned Idle Intake Valve (try Seafoam)
    Bad plugs
    Bad plug wires
    Bad coils
  • jmazdajjmazdaj Member Posts: 3
    (Also posted in Maintanence)

    I bought my '98 mazda protege with 50,000 miles on it about a year ago. Right now I am at 60,000 and have been having this same problem for about 6 months. When I am idling, my car will start by making a soft sound. The longer I idle, the louder it gets, with some mild shaking.. So far, I have had my spark plugs replaced, some wiring replaced, and my fuel injectors cleaned.
    The other day my check engine light came on, and the code was for my wiring, and for the coil number 4. It went away when I got the wiring fixed.
    Also my gas mileage has goign downhill lately...
    Any help would be appreciated
  • jmazdajjmazdaj Member Posts: 3
    when you cleaned the egr valve, did you just pour the solution into the vacuum? what brand solution did you use? I read online that you just pour into the vacuum and have someone rev the engine, turn off the car, let it sit for a while, then drive it. Is this how you ddi it?>
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    Same symptoms I had with my faulty EGR. I had mine replaced by the dealer; pricey solution but it worked.
  • downtubedowntube Member Posts: 43
    To clean the EGR, you have to remove it. It's a little tight particularly if you have big hands, but there are only two bolts and an electrical connection holding it on. Clean it with brake cleaner. Google for cleaning protege EGR and you'll find a howto somewhere.
  • zoom60zoom60 Member Posts: 1
    2000 Protege 1.6L on cold start up will idle at 1500rpm after about 5 min. it will
    drop 900rpm any advice.
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    2000 Protege 1.6L on cold start up will idle at 1500rpm after about 5 min. it will
    drop 900rpm any advice

    Could be a number of things. Any other symptoms? Have you had regular maintenance performed on the car? Have you had the throttle body cleaned?

    My 2002 Protege5 normally idles between 1000 and 1200 for the first half minute or so and then settles down under a 1000.
  • codon_shiftercodon_shifter Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1993 Protoge LX 1.8 DOHC with 94k on it. Recently, when I would press the clutch in the revs would kick up like normal, then go way low, about 200. It would either sit there until I gave it gas, or it would correct itself. It even got so low that it would kill the engine, but it would start itself back up. I took it to CarX and they replaced the ignition coil, plugs and wires. I picked it up today. It drove fine until I would slow down and be in first gear and make a sharper turn like into a parking spot. It would rev really low again, but not so low as to die. It seems like it's losing power when I have the wheels turned. I have no idea, but I'm gonna change the air filter tomorrow or sunday. Any help would be appreciated.
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    drove fine until I would slow down and be in first gear and make a sharper turn like into a parking spot. It would rev really low again, but not so low as to die. It seems like it's losing power

    Replacing the air filter will not hurt but I wonder if it's not a dirty throttle body or a mass air flow sensor. Either one will make the car feel as if it's gasping for air. It would also lead to a richer mixture which means higher fuel bills, not a good thing these days.
  • mike294mike294 Member Posts: 2
  • mike294mike294 Member Posts: 2
    I own a 95 protege 1.8. I recently got a code for a closed throttle position. on start the cars is idling at 1500 + rpm and very slowly kicks down to 1000rpn, seems to act up on hot days with uncontrolled acceleration. once i put the car in gear it kicks the rpm down to 750 and purrs like a kitten. i pulled the throttle body which was very sticky and cleaned it. the TPS metered fine but i don't know....

    Any help and advice would be great
  • mazdaman10mazdaman10 Member Posts: 2
    if you got a code reader i dont know why it didnt say that your heat sensor in the airfilter box is bad or that your mass airflow sensor is bad cause i had that problem with mine untill i replaced i dont get the bouncy rpm but i still dont know why i cant accelerate normal. if i baby my throttle from under hood it accelerates up just fine but when i apply a medium to large ammount of acceleration it putters down and sounds like it wants to die and extended pressure on throttle causes a any ideas?
  • sex32sexsex32sex Member Posts: 1
    I have a mazda protege 1.6 and when I am drivng it loses power and will cut off on me but I am always able to start my car right up. Could it be my fuel pump or fuel filter.
  • MazdaChickMazdaChick Member Posts: 2
    Mazda Protege's are supposed to idle at 900 RPM that's normal if it idle's higher then that or lower then that's not good
  • MazdaChickMazdaChick Member Posts: 2
    I own a Mazda Protege 2000 just purchased in August, I am having some idling issues, was only idling at 200 and was fine at first I have now replaced, plugs and wires twice, and O2 sensor, the mechanic seems to think it could be my cadillac converter, once they replaced the O2 sensor it started to run worse down to 0rpm all my lights would come on (check engine, my oil light as if the car stalled) and then it will jump up to 2000rpm and jumps my car forward. I have had my car for 5 months and it has been back and forth to the shop since any advice?
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    Have you had your EGR (Exhaust Gas Release) valve checked? If dirty, it can create a bucking sensation with wild jumps in the RPM.

    This is a known issues with Proteges. Are you dealing with a Mazda garage?

    p.s. The "cadillac converter" is actually a catalytic converter, but cadillac converter has an interesting ring to it.
  • downtubedowntube Member Posts: 43
    Look for air leaks on the intake side, particularly in the accordian-like hose between the air-cleaner and the intake manifold. Any air leaks at all will screw up idle, while impact while driving will be less noticable.
  • Protege_InfoProtege_Info Member Posts: 5
    Your Problem is with your alternator. It's been damaged, or is just worn out. Try using a volt meter w/ the engine running at about 2500 rpm. If it's below 13.6 volts, then you're alternator's bad. Change it out by removing the Catalytic Converter, and pulling it out that way, if your Protege' has AC. If it does not, simply unbolt the cruise control, and if needed, the module next to it, and pull your alternator out the top. If your alternator is not the problem, check your air filter, and the coil air intake hose for breaks or leaks. An error in the fuel/air mixture could make the engine "gasp". Also, check and make sure your battery is still good, and if your connection posts and clamps are clear of corrosion. If you have any further problems after trying these steps, visit your local Auto Zone, or contact me at ...

    PS: Try to keep the engine from backfiring. Don't let the engine putter down, let of the gas, and floor it again in an attempt to get it going, because each time you do, the engine will backfire once or twice.
  • Protege_InfoProtege_Info Member Posts: 5
    This sounds like a vacuum problem. Or another electrical meltdown. Assuming you have power steering, the pump could be draining the engine of power. Not during normal speeds, because the engine is working hard. Check your battery for corossion, and get it replaced or the connections cleaned. If this doesn't work, check to see if either of your belts are loose. If so, tighten them up so about 2 pounds of pressure will bend it in about a half inch. If this still isn't the problem, press the clutch when you make these sharp turns, and give the engine some gas. Just enough to keep it from the chance of further damage until you can figure out what your problem is. Remember, your steering is powered by the engine, so check to make sure it's getting enough air. Giving the engine some gas in those tight turns should solve your problem.
  • Protege_InfoProtege_Info Member Posts: 5
    A common thing for a protege' to do is to vibrate when in gear. The car's engine was designed with only 92 hp, so the engineers had to put all of it to the ground. The protege' has a strong get up and go, so it will tend to do that. Check under the hood while someone else is in the drivers seat, and listen. Move around to see if you can figure out where the sound is coming from. It is most likely just a loose part, or a piece of road debris.
  • Protege_InfoProtege_Info Member Posts: 5
    I just recovered from this problem today. Your problem is your alternator. It has been damaged, and needs to be replaced. It's not putting out enough juice to power all your appliances in the car, so cuts corners on important electronics like headlights, and speedometer, and the airbag light will flash. Be very careful, as a flashing airbag light means there is not enough power to deploy them in case of a crash. Replace your alternator, by removing your catalytic converter, if you have AC. If not, undo your cruise control, and the other module below it, and pull your alternator out the top. There is no other way. Also, make sure your battery is good, and your connection post and clamps are free of corrosion and rust.
    Hope this helps.

    PS: Your radio died first because it takes the most power, besides the engine and headlights.
  • Protege_InfoProtege_Info Member Posts: 5
    There is nothing wrong with your car that I know of. It's running high at first to heat up, so it doesn't die. The engine is designed to idle at 900rpm, so if it drops to that after a few when cold, everything is normal.
  • bnbbnb Member Posts: 2
    Having problem with code #Pll35 Manufacturer Control Fuel Air Metering.Put in two new mass air flow sensors and still coming up with same code. Has any one had this problem, and if so how do you fix the problem.
  • giacomodgiacomod Member Posts: 9
    i own a mazda protege 97 1.5,recently i had so many issue ,i havea thread already in the mazda protege forum,if you read you can understande what i went trough,just to give a follow up,after i had all the inspections done my car first time yhe engine died ,i took back to the meccanic and they replace the battery the egr valve light come on again,i since then replace the egr valve check all the hose and maf aitr filter atc everything seems fine,after i replace the egr valve the car run great,but after few hours i start up again and the car as the symptoms again,actually it gasp ,trottle when take off or stop in gear, the meccanic could not find anything else,but i let the engine run a little and listen where the noise is coming from when i give gas,and that schriekin sound is comin from the alternator.
    my question to you is ;is possible that the alternator is causing the gasping,and drain my battery before?and mabye it was nothing wrong with the egr r valve in the first place. I will have the alternator tested altough the car never as a problem when i ride on highways.
  • goodie2goodie2 Member Posts: 3
    check your vacum hose, spray a little at the hose you will see it
  • teresa1401teresa1401 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 96 protege and just recently I was driving and all the sudden the rpm's went all the way into the red. Now when I turn the car on it does the same thing, the rpm's go way over into the red?? Anyone know what this may be?
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    edited June 2010
    driving and all the sudden the rpm's went all the way into the red. Now when I turn the car on it does the same thing

    Could be a few things ... When my EGR valve failed, it caused the car to rev wildly as if it was gasping for air. The EGR valve is part of the emissions control system. You may want to have a diagnostic test done to determine the exact problem.
  • matt1964matt1964 Member Posts: 2
    I've similar idling problems to many others; mine is a '96 with 100,000. Mechanic said "Idle air control valve", and also the torn intake air hose (bad engine mounts let the engine shift and it has pulled this hose to pieces). Ordered the hose on ebay; meanwhile, it's taped. Replaced the IAC valve (ebay, also). No change: rough, variable RPM while in gear and stopped, okay when driving or in P or N. Question: manual says resistance on the IAC valve terminals ranges from 1070-1230 ohms; both the old and the ebay replacement measure 880 ohms. Curious that they're both 880 (unless, of course, they're both 100,000 miles old!). Is the manual accurate?
    Thanks, Matt
  • jimmy828jimmy828 Member Posts: 1
    my 96 protege idles at 2300 when starting cold then will drop to 800 after about 1 minute.Is this abnormal.Is the rpm to high at cold starts?
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    edited November 2010
    my 96 protege idles at 2300 when starting cold then will drop to 800 after about 1 minute
    Yes, that does sound a bit high to me.
    Could be a bunch of things: cold, not driven frequently, throttle body/fuel system dirty ...
    My 2002 starts at 1100 before dropping to 800..

    Next time you bring it to a garage, mention it to your mechanic to hear what he says.
  • diykingdiyking Member Posts: 2
    I purchased my 2000 Protege 1.8 ES with 135K on it, and it had a low idle and eventually would stall under moderate to hard acceleration. I took it to Autozone for the code readout and got "system too lean", and "cyl. 4 misfire". I read some forums, and the car now had a brand new EGR valve, brand new ignition coils, which didn't help at all. I just got done installing a new intake manifold gasket, and now the car idles very high (between 2500 and 3500 RPM), and the hesitation under acceleration has not been cured. HELP!
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    brand new EGR valve, brand new ignition coils ... new intake manifold gasket
    Sounds like you might need to bite the bullet and bring it into a Mazda garage to get the diagnostic and their suggested cure. Otherwise, you may end up spending even more money replacing parts that are not the problem. Good luck!
  • diykingdiyking Member Posts: 2
    edited August 2011
    Yes, that's the point I'm at. No sense in throwing darts, as they say, just finding that out the hard way. As for the high idle, I just installed the accelerator cable incorrectly, quick fix. My biggest fear is the head gasket, I've changed one in an '83 beamer but it wasn't this modern. No signs of that though, does not burn antifreeze or oil. Good thing the Mazda dealership is about 5 minutes down the road :)
  • mechtech1mechtech1 Member Posts: 1
    i've heard sooo many people have a problem with bad idle 200-1000 rpms!this is a nightmare on proteges but what ive done is give you my checklist right before you go to mazda. remember keep it simple!
    1996 mazda protege
    1. replace your air filter if bad
    2. get some cfc maf cleaner only clean maf sensor (located in top of air filter cover 15 shots of spray through the screen side only and wait 15min til dry)
    3.remove air hose between maf sensor and throttle body in the accordian section check for rips any cracks replace remember when replacing air filter to remove this hose or you will crack it.(this also can be caused by a bad motor mount)
    4.egr valve located on backside of intake remove intake hose, 2 12mm bolts and label the two vacuum hoses on egr. with brakekleen spray into 2 holes with carbon build up clean shaft well oil then press diaphram up and put your finger on vacuum hole if diaphram doesn't hold and move freely replace.
    5.check catalytic converter basically go to tail pipe and check for good flow of exhaust
    6. battery /alternator clean teminals, load test battery,with multimeter in dc check voltage you should be getting atleast 13.8 volts @idle
    7. Iac sensor i leave this for last because its pricey so far my check list has cost you a bottle of cfc maf cleaner and your time at this point head to mazda
    hope this helps
  • littlemazdalittlemazda Member Posts: 6
    where can one find out which years and vins protege were had recalled Maf's ? thanks
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,135
    If you own a Protege, just call a Mazda dealership service shop and give them the VIN. They can look it up for you. We have recall info on our site, and NHTSA has it too, but you're stuck looking year-by-year.

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  • littlemazdalittlemazda Member Posts: 6
    Hey thanks K. This Protege is 2000 DX. 1.8 DOHC 5speed manual in need of several service updates.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,135
    Didn't see anything on the list related to the MAF on your year/trim level.
    Still, if you have a half-decent dealership in your area, it would only take them a minute or two to look it up by VIN. I've never had a dealership charge me to do so.

    I had a '96 Protege that was very kind to me.

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