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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair

joloujolou Member Posts: 2
97 protoge', 48+K miles. I've had it for two
months and have recently noticed a groaning,
scraping sound while braking slightly or during
slow turns while not applying the brake. Sound is
not consistent. Manual mentions brake pad
indicators making a screeching sound when the pads
are worn...has anyone experienced this groaning,
scraping sound? It sounds just like something is
dragging from underneath and scraping the road. I
am taking it in this week to be evaluated. Can
someone give me an idea of what a brake pad
replacement will run? Do the dealership service
centers indeed charge at least 10% more? Is it
worth it for a Mazda authorized service center to
do the work or does it really matter with a job
like replacing brake pads? Thank you.


  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Member Posts: 168
    I replaced my EGR valve about 1.5 years ago. I was getting some pinging upon acceleration and the EGR valve was the last thing left to try to correct it. If my memory serves me right, it is located drivers side, firewall side, and up fairly high on the engine.


    I purchased a new Borg Warner valve (Part # EGR1122) at either Auto Zone or O'Reilly for around $75. I have the '95 1.5, so the part you get may have a different number.


    Replacement was fairly easy. I just needed an articulated or swiveling ratchet extension to get down to the bolts. Upon inspection, the valve did have significant carbon build up inside. I was just too lazy or impatient to clean out the old one.


    Also, be sure to check the rubber air intake snorkle. Mine developed hailine cracks around 7 or 8 years old.
  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    I am copying and reposting the following from a similar topic:

      #0 of 0: (wyldebill) Tue 13 Jun '00 (08:22 AM)

      this car has a hole the size of the grandcanyon at
      low speed, around 1500rpm? it literally pitches
      forward before shifting up. the shifts themselves
      feel fine, actually pretty tight. it's the damn
      pause before the first shift thats annoying me as
      well as the timing of it. it's not uncommon for
      this car to shift midway around a corner (90
      degree). also the car doesn't seem to accellerate
      until the rpms are above 2500-3000rpm. i mean u
      put the accellerator to the floor and it's this
      constant speed until about 2500rpm, then it starts
      to pick up. is that right? i've had honda civics
      and chev cavaliers that accelerated harder.
      bringing it back to dealer (my salesman has since
      disappeared..figure that one out) since it is a
      pre-certified mazda. curious if anyone has anything similar to offer.
    Does anyone have any suggestions for wyldebill?

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421
    ... my '92 Protege LX automatic did exactly the same thing you're talking about, and I presume you've got a '99 or '00. When I asked my Mazda technician about it way back then, he said it was operating as designed. He further explained that it's designed that way to shift more efficiently, when all of the clutch packs in the transmission are synchronized.

    That might be a lot of technical jargon (or even bull crap), but I do know this: I never had a problem with the transmission.

    My .02, FYI.

  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421
    Just noticed your title said you had a '98. Sorry 'bout that!

  • joloujolou Member Posts: 2
    Took it in to dealer service center..whoever did the last brake pad replacement only replaced one side and they removed the brake pad indicator so I was not aware that the pad needed replacing (I've only had the car two months). Of course, rotor was damaged badly and that was why it was making that awful scraping groaning sound. Rotor replacement and pad replacement and turning of remaining good rotor cost me and labor. Check out those used cars immediately after purchasing, especially if the used dealers offer a 30 day warranty (which ours did but husband declined to have car mechanically inspected).
  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    Wow, jolou, that's too bad. Sorry that happened to you.

    Thanks for the update.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • j70005tj70005t Member Posts: 2
    i have a 97' protege DX, having similar problems as jolou has, hope experts here can give me some suggestions:

    when braking, right before coming to a full stop, i can hear some "rubbing" noise, seems the pad is runnbing against sth. more annoyingly, after coming to a full stop (e.g. in front of redlight), the some vibrating noise is heard from the hood, seems coming from engine.

    I took the car to a Mazda dealership, they checked , saying my braking pads are fine, it is engine that is running rough because carbon built-up in engine as a result of not completing burning gas (i have only 22k on it, they suggested that is because i didn't drive much.) Believing what they said, i went ahead to have them do the cleaning for a whopping $200. Got the car back yesterday, found out the 2 problems are the same:
    1. brake still makes that noise;
    2. the engine vibrating noise is even louder and more evident.

    I will bring back the car to the shop to argue with them. Can some one give me more suggestions on this case?

    FYI: it is a 97' protege, 1.5 liter engine, for the first 2 years i only drove it a few miles everyday (to the metro station) on weekdays, thus only 22k miles on it. Regularly maintained/oil change, etc.
  • kmh3kmh3 Member Posts: 35
    No it wasn't carbon deposits. Carbon deposits cause an engine to ping or knock under load, note this does not affect idle at all. Modern anti-knock sensors retard the engine timing so no knocking is heard, you lose power and gas mileage instead.

    Carbon deposits reach a steady state at about 10-20k miles. The trick is for that steady state to be below the ping threshold.

    Causes of excessive carbon deposit buildup are putting supreme gas into a regular engine, driving a lot of short trips where the engine doesn't have a chance to warm up, and an engine that burns oil can have excessive carbon deposit buildup too.

    Running rough at idle which is what you are describing can be a binding automatic clutch, or maybe just the idle speed is set too low. You could also have air intake adjustment problems, the air intake is computer controlled and something in there could be binding up too. Ultimately though, all of these add up to an idle speed that is too low, although the cause is different.

    I would start with the idle adjust. If you have a manual then the problem is not in an automatic clutch because you don't have one. The problem is more likely idle speed too low, clogged fuel injectors, or something messed up in the air intake path.

    If you have a tach you can easily test and verify the idle speed, I don't know what the recommended spec is but mine reads about 650 RPM. If you have a manual then this is an easy test try gently pressing on the gas and get the idle up to 700 RPM, if the shuddering noise goes away then the problem is identified. If you have an automatic then try shifting into neutral and back. If the idle isn't up to near 700 RPM in both cases then an adjustment may be needed, if the problem goes away in neutral and the idle speed goes up, that confirms a low idle also.

    If shifting into drive causes a huge decrease in idle speed and idle adjust does not fix it (meaning the idle speed is hard to raise up but in neutral it goes way up easily) then you have an automatic clutch problem (these are rare so not too likely here).

    hope this helps,

  • wbaker1wbaker1 Member Posts: 1
    Some people have asked how long a Mazda will last. I've had my 91 626 since 9/93 when I bought it with 16,000 miles on it. I now have 350,000 miles and still with the original 5 speed manual transmission. I replaced the engine @ 266,000 due to excessive oil consumption. I bought a used engine with 40,000 miles on it supposedly (you really never know about the true mileage) & have been very happy with it. The only problems I have had are the air conditioner ( which I have had worked on many times) & the excessive road noise due to design I suspect. Other than that I've been very happy with it. It has been extremely dependable.
  • kdankakdanka Member Posts: 1
  • quad143quad143 Member Posts: 3
    I have a '97 Mazda Protege LX, I got it new so I have had it for almost 3 years. I have about 41,000 miles on it. I love my car, it is so dependable. I recently had thought that I needed to change the brake pads and I also heard a tapping like you said, j70005t. I found out that the tapping was the heat cover (?), I have no idea what that was but they just removed it-guess you don't need it. It is fine now. They checked the brakes and said they were fine. No noises now. I have not had anything wrong with it, I have taken it for regular oil changes and just had the brake pads replaced (driving in downtown Boston, MA during rush hour kills my brakes). I love the way it handles too, it is so easy to steer and I love the pick up on it. So j70005t, have the mechanic check the heat cover to see if that is what is causing the noise.
  • j70005tj70005t Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for all your comments/tips on my original post about a protege (auto/dx/97). I took the car back last week to the dealer again, and a technician took a ride with me in the car, he then listened to the noise, open the hood, and adjusted 2 screws, and the hood is no-longer in contact with the noise source and the it is "fixed". Although, i can still feel the idle is still a little rough. As kmh3 said, it might just be a low idle (when i changed to "N", it seems reduces the small vibration i can feel). Anyway, the dealer has cleaned the carbon built-up and air in-take in "an effort" to fix the idle problem. (The technician told me the computer will do most of the work, so they just did the cleaning.) In the past 3 years, i drove mostly short trips.

    Anyway, felt much better now. Agree with quad143, this is a nice car. Loved it.

    Thanks again!

  • fas3fas3 Member Posts: 1
    My '98 Mazda Protege LX (automatic) has 25,000 miles on it. Just recently, the dashboard light behind the speedometer and tachometer went out for good. Also, the tripometer continually resets itself without me pushing in the knob to reset it. I just recently bought the car from a dealer and it is still under warranty. When I bought the car, the odometer had been replaced 5,000 miles ago.

    Could these two problems be related to having a bad clip or dashboard unit? Any suggestions? Is the dashboard light hard to replace? Will this be covered under Mazda's warranty?

    Thanks for any input.
  • quad143quad143 Member Posts: 3
    I recently said that I have had no problems with my '97 Protege LX, I guess I should have knocked on wood. The problem isn't bad though, I noticed that all the lights on the dash are on except the heat/AC control. I noticed the strip where you control what is on was not lit up and then once I moved it back and forth a few times, it came back on. I will take it in and have it fixed because my warranty is up soon, I think. No problems with any other lights or anything else (now I am knocking on wood). I'll let you know what the dealer tells me.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421
    ... for a 3-year-old car. You've probably got nothing more than a light bulb that's loose in its socket.

  • wjm1wjm1 Member Posts: 33
    Two days ago my '00 Protege ES just lost power. The car became much clumsy and acceleration became so bad. Before I wasn't able to floor the gas pedal at all - the car would take of! Now I am pressing it all the way down, trying to get responce...which comes years later and it is much weaker, compared to what it was before.
    Today I took it to the dealer. They said - "no problems found". Damn! Tech roadtested the vehicle for 2 miles - felt ok according to the tech. "checked computer for codes. no codes found" - I do not even know what that means.
    I have no idea what to do...
    A person from the TownHall suggested check/change the air filter. (I'll do it tomorrow, but the car has less than 4000 miles on it) Is it possible the air filter to affect the power that much?
    By the way - the gas pedal itself feels sort of "lighter" - seems like now it is easier to press it...
    Any ideas/suggestions?
  • mpshutempshute Member Posts: 6
    thanks for the input, Chickoo and Mdaffron,. My protege is an ES and the noise does not sound like it is coming from the engine as it is very loud and sounds like it is outside of the engine as it is not muffled and almost echo's under the hood. My guess would be it is a part that is loose, I will check the plugs however and notice if it occurs at a certain RPM range. I don't feel anything weird on the acceleration pedal when it occur's either.

  • chikoochikoo Member Posts: 3,008
    open the hood. put the car in N and race the engine. see where the sound is coming from.
    might well be something stuck to the radiator fan for all you know!
  • doctoranndoctorann Member Posts: 12
    I have a 2000 Protege' ES with a manual transmission. I bought it newm and after 8 months and 10,000 miles, I absolutely love it! I have a couple of friends who are looking for new cars, and they're getting tired of me pushing the virtues of the Protege' :)

    But recently, I have noticed a soft "clunk" when I shift gears, and a very brief loss of power immediately afterwards. Does anyone know what this might be?

    Since I am female, I'd like some technical terms, because I want the guys at the dealer's service shop to take me seriously. :/
  • 5speed15speed1 Member Posts: 6
    I'm having the same problem on my ES 5 speed. I'm also a moron under the hood, so don't feel bad ;)

    I'm calling the dealership Monday, I'll let you know what I find out. I'm ususally in the MAZDA PROTEGE 4 topic thread, but thought I'd check this one out, too. I'd check that thread too. Let me know if you find out anything!

    PS Its a brand new ES, only 460 miles, so I'm concerned, too.
  • wjm1wjm1 Member Posts: 33
    5speed1 and doctoran:
    I posted before about power loss (mine ES is auto though).
    It is gone now (hopefully forever).
    The only think I did was to put (again) regular gas in the trunk. Don't know if that has to do something. I read before that this engine is tuned for regular (that would mean the engine is very caprice ...).
    Try it. It is cheaper also after all :))
    Good luck.
  • krzysztoslawkrzysztoslaw Member Posts: 2
    I have a very weird problem with my air conditioning on Mazda Protege 1992.
    It works for a minute or two than it blows a fuse marked "AD FAN". When the fuse is blown the compressor doesn't work. Can anyone diagnose this problem?? It is muggy where I live. Thank you very much. Your quick help is very appreciated.
  • rpatel1rpatel1 Member Posts: 2
    Hi, I have 98 Mazda ES w/ 1.8L engine (brand new) and 40K some miles on it. Had spark plugs & air filtered changed at 30K miles. No tuneup though. Had always regular oil change. Driving distance is fairly long per week and currently living in Indiana.

    Last Friday "Engine" indicator has appeared on my dashboard and has remained on since then. Like to know what could be possible problem associated with it. Have already setup appointment w/ the dealer.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421
    If you haven't noticed any problems but the light's on, and you're at that many miles, that's what it sounds like to me. Time to replace!!!

  • mpshutempshute Member Posts: 6
    Unfortunately, it does not make the noise unless the car is in motion. Also noticed that the rattle only occurs at about 1800-2000 rpm, very strange.....thanks for the ideas though
  • lgblgb Member Posts: 30
    I'm another one with the 5spd thing- When the car was really new I had the soft clunk, but its gone now (2500 miles)...But I still have the power loss on occasion only... I think I can now characterize in as a big drop in rpms after a shift (lower gears-1st to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd)- with resulting loss of umph. And then the car does not pick up speed instantly. But I am kind of a leadfoot- if you accelerate very smoothly and slowly it doesnt happen, and you can also slip the clutch a little but that's not a good thing. Also, there were some Technical Service Bulletins - for the 1999 ES 5spds that sounded like they were about this- It would be worth asking your dealer to check them. Please report back what if anything they say!
  • rpatel1rpatel1 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks mdaffron. But new situation has developed. After driving last Friday I did not drive my car whole weekend. When I was ready to drop my car to dealer on Monday (evening), car did not start right away. After applying lots of crank and slowing reving up the engine it finally started blowing big emission cloud. The exhaust seems to be in blue colored and if thats the case then there is oil leakage.

    Any way I was able to drop the car at dealer's shop. They spend whole day trying to isolate the problem. Finally at end of the day the supervisor called me and informed me that they think one of sensor for fuel injectors is going heywired. Do not know which one. They reset the engine indicator lamp though and fired the engine again. The light did not show up.

    He plans to keep the car overnight and check again tomorrow morning. Will let me know then. If any body has a clue would certainly help.
  • doctoranndoctorann Member Posts: 12
    I just want to let you all know that my2000 Protege needs a new differential. If you are having similar problems to the "clunking" upon shifting with your new ES 5-spd, you might want to get this checked out by the dealer. This may be a common problem, in that differentials are back-ordered at the MAzda factory. It's not dangerous to drive the car while waiting for a new one.

    If your car has less than 12K miles on it, the repair should be covered under warranty.

    I still love my Protege!
  • fritz1224fritz1224 Member Posts: 398
    Just because an item is backordered doesn't necessarily mean a lot of them are being replaced. May mean they hardly ever need to be replaced, so not many are kept around. Just trying to balance the assessment you made-"this may be a common problem".
  • fritz1224fritz1224 Member Posts: 398
    I read this one review by a Car and Driver critic and he said there were complaints about the brakes and clutch wearing out too fast. I wonder if this applies to the 98,99,00 models? Anybody had any experiences regarding this?
  • fritz1224fritz1224 Member Posts: 398
    There is an excellent explanation of the cause of this at the Protege 4 thread, post 300. Seems to make sense to me. On the other hand, that "clunking" I've read about may be something altogether different. When does it clunk? Shifting into every gear or just the lower ones? My tranny kind of "clicks" when I shift into reverse, but I think this is normal.
  • lgblgb Member Posts: 30
    I'm one of those people with the 5spd who notices the power lag- that explanation in Protege 4 made sense to me- I guess I need to wait a little longer than I am used to , before I shift from 1st to 2nd. I also started using one brand of gas only. I havent noticed any problem lately- maybe I just have adjusted to it.
  • fritz1224fritz1224 Member Posts: 398
    I don't think waiting a little longer before shifting is the key. I think accelerating harder after shifting to 2nd is what will counteract the lower engine speed caused by the lower gear ratio. My understanding is the engine speed is 1.58 times slower and therefore more throttle is needed after the shift. At least that's how I see it.
  • lgblgb Member Posts: 30
    Umm, if I remember back to my shifting problems, accelerating too hard made things worse- I was used to flooring it with my old 92 Protege LX, but the new one seems to like gentler acceleration. Maybe I have a different problem--(?!) :)
  • noelnycnoelnyc Member Posts: 1
    I bought a 5-speed ES 3 weeks ago. The check engine light came on one hour after delivery; it turned out to be a faulty wiring. Then now, I am also hearing a clunking noise while depressing and sometimes releasing the clutch. It only happens when the car is warm and going in and sometimes out of second gear. I wonder if this is the same problem that others have written about. The dealer claimed that they did not hear anything but after reading some of the comments here, I feel validated. Anyway, I will take the car to the dealer again tomorrow and show them some of the comments including the one regarding the differential. Please let me know if anyone else has the same problem and resolution. I'm just very frustrated because my old 5-speed Civic was never in a shop except for scheduled maintenance.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421
    ... because I have a 2000 ES 5-speed I purchased back in May. It now has more than 5,000 miles on it. No transmission complaints; no noises. The car shifts very smoothly.

  • theparallaxtheparallax Member Posts: 361
    If I were you I would print out that TSB if you got it off the internet and show it to the dealer if they do not believe you. I have a 1999 LX and I don't hear a clunk sound at low RPM, so I would tell them to fix it. Tell them that you want to test a new Protege ES on their lot and see if it makes the same noise. If it doesn't, demand they fix it or you will go to another dealer! Your dealer is too lazy to fix it, so that is why they say it's 'normal'.
  • doctoranndoctorann Member Posts: 12
    That's funny; I got my car at 128 Mazda, too. And I have absolutely no complaints about their service.... No word on when the differential will be in, but, oh well....
  • chatratchatrat Member Posts: 3
    I have a 98 mazda protege with the same problem as jedda is having.There is a clunk sound in the front end of the car when I stop and go.I thought it might be my axles but I had them checked and they where ok.The noise stops after I reach 2000rpm and seems to shift ok.
  • chatratchatrat Member Posts: 3
    I have a 98 mazda protege
  • blazer6767blazer6767 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1997 LX with automatic. A couple of weeks ago during a very heavy and wind driven rain while the car was parked on a hill water blew into the air filter. When I started the car the water got into the fuel injectors, cylinder heads, etc. Has any one else had this type of problem.

    The dealter insists that the car was flooded but there are no indications of this type of damage elsewhere in the car and there was no flooding in the area where the car was parked.

    Can anybody help??
  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421
    The first week I had my 2000 ES, I was on the Outer Banks of North Carolina during a Nor'easter. The rain was driving straight at me for 50 miles, and the wind was blowing about 40 miles per hour with 60 mph gusts! I know it was blowing hard, because I had to clean SAND out of my air filter housing and engine compartment it was blowing so bad. But the car never stuttered.

  • hboydhboyd Member Posts: 98
    Can anybody recommend a GOOD Mazda dealer service
    dept. in Southern California -- specifically Orange County?

  • protegextwoprotegextwo Member Posts: 1,265
    Post your question in the Mazda Vehicle owner's topics for better feedback.
  • chatratchatrat Member Posts: 3
    My mazda protege is making a (clunk) noise up front by the engine when i stop and go in traffic does anybody else have this problem? how did you fix it?
  • fritz1224fritz1224 Member Posts: 398
    If you let the clutch pedal out quickly, there will be a slight "clunk" because of the clutch plate contacting the flywheel. Slowly releasing the pedal after shifts gives a smoother gear transition. I've been told by a mechanic that front wheel drive manual cars do not have a differential. Any knowledgeable people know if this is true?
  • bnormannbnormann Member Posts: 335
    Most cars DO have a differential.

    It's just that on Front-Wheel-Drive cars it's buried inside the "transaxle" rather than being hung out between the rear wheels where you can see it, in it's own separate housing.

  • doctoranndoctorann Member Posts: 12
    That clunk is probably not a big deal, unless it's accompanied by a loss of power or a hesitation... If it is, get the differential checked out.
  • tb73tb73 Member Posts: 1
    I own a 98 Mazda Protege LX. It has only 27k miles on it. In the past few weeks, each lock cylinder has become inoperable. It appears as if the protective plate that get's pushed in when you insert the key has broken off on each side, jamming the locks. Has anyone else experienced this?
  • chikoochikoo Member Posts: 3,008
    "Most cars DO have a differential"

    you cannot run any 4 or more wheels vehicle without a differential. That's basic mechanical engineering..unless you have engines attached to each wheel seperately and control the RPM on each of them individually!!!
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