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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • i figured out the problem. i cleaned the battery post till they were cleaned with a stainless steel brush and its been good since then
  • I had that same "clicking no start" problem about 2 years ago, which was due to the buildup around the battery posts. In my case, I've had to re-clean the posts every 4 to 6 months, otherwise the problem returns.
  • i have a 99 pro lx and i noticed on cold rainy days my car hesitates to accelerate only sometimes and it was the weirdest thing. so one day by chance i wenr to spray my squealing belts with belt dressing and i noticed that the a/c pulley was hesitating to turn ( i think its the a/c pulley cause it cycles on and off anf moves in and out). and i could smell smoke like burning rubber i was wondering if anyone had any suggestions.
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    Squealing is generally caused by slipping belts. I have noticed this on my Protege on rainy days and/or immediately after driving through good sized puddles. Have you checked the belt deflection? It is sort of a pain to do with this car.

    I put new belts on according to specs., but I think that they stretch a bit and hence the ocassional slipping. I need to get back under there and recheck. Funny, I did not have this problem with the last set of belts which were Gates. My current set is some no-name brand.

    As far as the A/C pulley, I think the A/C compressor clutch should allow it to freewheel when off and quickly engage when on. There should not be a burning rubber smell caused by belt slippage.

    My A/C compressor clutch started to fail at 7 years/150K miles. The clutch started to make a squealing noise that was very noticable. The independent shop said that they could not get a new clutch by itself, so I go a new compressor and clutch combo. Around $550 for the new parts and labor.
  • sambo4sambo4 Posts: 22
    I'd have to agree with jrdwyer that the burning smell is unlikely a squealing belt.
    I have to re-adjust my belt every fall/winter otherwise it begins to squeal. (In the rain/cold, and whenever I have 2 or more things on at once, like the defroster, wipers, heater or A/C, etc.) Once adjusted properly it lasts about a year or so.
    I have a 2000SE 1.6L, with 500K kms, and have only replaced the belts twice ( every 3 years).
    There are 2 bolts. First loosen the bolt on the alternator.
    Then, there is an adjusting bolt, about 3 inches long.
    After you adjusted that bolt, re-tighten the alternator bolt.
    It's trial and error,so you may have to try a few times before you get it right.
  • My 96 Protege has had a few problems, now it seems to hesitate. I'm thinking that the fuel filter needs to be replaced. Where is the fuel filter? Just had a new Mass air flow sensor installed and plugs and air filter and lube and oil change. Hopefully you can tell me where the fuel filter is, this is a manual transmission. Any help greatly appreciated since I just spent alot of money on it already.
    Thank you :cry: :sick: :confuse:
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    The fuel filter is on driver's side of firewall about half way down. It not an easy spot to get to from above, especially the hose on the bottom of the filter. If doing it from above, you will have to take the air filter box out to gain good access.

    Hesistation can also be caused by one or more spark plug wires being bad. This is very common on the Protege. You can check the wire resistance with a voltmeter to see if one is bad before buying a new set. I went with Bosch plug wires with a lifetime warranty. Also check and/or replace the distributor cap and rotor when doing plug wires.

    The Haynes Repair Manual is pretty good for the Protege and libraries often have it.
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    I got under the car today and found the alternator belt a little loose. For my '95, it is supposed to be app. 1/4 inch minimum deflection. It was about 3/8" deflection, so I tightened it. This should stop the ocasional belt squeek.

    I looked at the replacement A/C compressor (still good after 4 1/2 years) and noticed that it is a Sanden TRS090 Scroll (model #4953). Too bad it not a regular piston compressor, because Sanden makes a lot of replacement parts for this type.
  • Here is something I discovered that works for me: Use "valve grinding compound" ( not "belt conditioner" ) to stop belts from squealing
  • engine whistles like a tea pot seems to lag a bit behind rpms dissapears for a moment when the throttle first opened up
  • I've got an '03 Mazda Protege Turbo Speed and I'm trying to figure out where the Turbo Boost Sensor is. Also what the voltage on the Mass Air Flow Sensor should be.
  • The wipers, heater blower, and rear defroster suddenly stopped working on my 1991 dx protege a few days ago. All fuses are fine and as far as I can tell, all the other electrical systems are in perfect working order. Anyone know where I should look next? I have to believe that there's one problem that's responsible, but I don't know what else is common to these systems.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,349
    either fuses or some plug-in connector at the firewall or under the dash...maybe near the fusebox. Fuses can be deceptive if you just "look" at them. I replace them just in case.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    Thanks for the reply on the Harmony tires. Looks like I will get these next spring. Not as many options on 175/75/13 as I would like.

    I checked further into my LeMans tires after I noticed wheel spin from takeoff on just a slightly wet incline. The tread isn't down to the indicator yet, so I was surprised about the spin on 2 year old rubber. It turns out the tires were retail new but technically 2 years old when put on my car based on the DOT marking on the sidewall. So the rubber is actually 4 years old, and hence the spin. Also, they were made in Argentina. I don't know much about the quality control standards there, but I will assume the worst.

    Now I really question whether or not this shop has ever properly done the alignments they said they did under the lifetime agreement. NOT GOING BACK.

    By the way, we just put Goodyear Assurance Triple Treads on our Olds Minivan and this is a great tire. Very quiet ride and good handling and braking (for a minivan). Too bad they don't make them for the 13 inch Protege wheel.
  • I still don't know where the problem is. There's definitely juice going into the wiper relay. So it could be the relay, but that doesn't explain the blower. There's a circuit breaker for the heater on the fuse box, but it appears to be reset. I'd like to try replacing the wiper relay, but it doesn't look like this part is widely available and I don't know if I'm prepared to track one down in a junkyard since I'm not terribly optimistic that it will solve anything. I also can't find a replacement for the heater circuit breaker (which I managed to crush while trying to remove). I'll have to juryrig a fuse or another circuit breaker back in. The main hold up is dropping out the panels below the dash so I can get to the electrical, but since I only vaguely know what I'm doing I'm hesitant to dismantle everything. I would like to run some juice to the wiper motor and the blower and see if the motors are still working.

    Anyway if any of that information leads you any conclusion that you think might be helpful, let me know.


  • Hello,
    I recently brought my 2000 Mazda Protege into Jiffy Lube for an oil change. They also cleared my fuel filter. However, now my car has problems when idling. When I come to stop signs or lights with the car in drive, it idles very slowly, almost to the point of stalling. (The same thing happens when I turn my car on after it's been sitting for only a few minutes. So, it also does this in park when the car is warm.) I've kept it in drive with this slow idle for a couple of minutes just to see if it will stall out and it hasn't. It drives fine whenever I'm applying gas and there are no other problems. Any ideas on what could be causing this? My initial guess is that perhaps Jiffy Lube obstructed the fuel line in some way?

  • I have had a similar problem, it could be an airflow problem. You can check your airflow hose to see if there is a hole in it or your air flow sensor may need to be cleaned or replaced.
  • Did you ever get notice of a Mazda recall for this problem with loose throttle screws? I just paid $850 for the dealer to install a whole new intake manifold, which they said was needed to cure the problem correctly. I had one screw banging around in the cylinder, and two waiting inside the manifold to drop down too. The dealer said there was no recall or warranty. I have 66,000 miles on a 2003 Protege 5.
  • I have a 99 pro lx and all of a sudden out of the blue the belts made an annoying sound( only in cold or rain) it continued for a couple hundred feet and went away after about 30 sec. keeping in mind it it only happens in these conditions i thought it was water getting in under the car. i took the car to place where i got the belts replace and the guy said i had a leak of some fluid, because there was an oily residue on the belts. he figured it wasnt from the engine because it was only on the outside belt and all my fluids were full so he just cleaned the belts, the sound stopped, and said watch my fluids. now the sound is back after a week and i was wondering if anyone could tell me what the problem is.
  • If the belts are squeeking though, they didn't tighten them properly. it usually takes 2 people to tighten up the belts

    I know it did on my car.

    The squeeking noise could be if your car is an automatic check the power steering fluid.

    This could squeal as well.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,349
    Sometimes old belts will do this. If you can see the belts, look for a shiny glaze on the inside of the belt or for hairline cracks on the inside of the belt. As for the residue, that could just be normal road grime or "weepage". If these are original belts, they are overdue for a change, and probably your radiator hoses too while you're at it.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • The Trico web site says that 19" and 21" Winter Blades are available, but I have never found them anywhere I have looked.

    However, to my surprise, I discovered that 18" and 20" Trico Winter Blades are almost exactly the same length as the Protege OEM 19" and 21" summer blades!
  • I originally posted this over on the P5 forums, but since it SHOULD be the same physical setup (as far as I know) with the normal Protege, I am posting it again here. Still looking for advice.

    I have a 2002 P5, and last winter (in Maryland), during a standard fill up sometime in December '05, I could only pump about half of a gallon of gas at a time before it would back-fill and overflow. Between each half gallon, I had to wait about 10-15 seconds to let that gallon settle. It wasn't a full tank issue, because I could keep doing this up to the full 10-11 gallons I was down.

    This problem continued every single fillup until I drove the car to Florida on a trip for the holidays. In southern Virginia the thermistat broke and stuck close. I limped the car to a mechanic who repaired that problem and the gas fillup problem disappeared as well, though the mechanic said he didn't touch anything else other than the coolant system.

    It remained gone for about 2 weeks upon return to Maryland, then it dumped snow one day and the problem came back. This time it didn't go away until late March when it warmed back up again.

    During this time, I took it to 2 different mechanics I trust, one who disassembled the entire fuel tank and filler components and didn't find a problem. Everything was lubricated fine and free from damage or defect. The second mechanic put a camera down the filler tube, trying to see if there was any issue that way, and could not detect anything wrong.

    Now I have moved to Rhode Island, and it first snowed up here yesterday, and today the problem returned. Half a tank at a time.

    This is really frustrating me, and wouldn't be so bad if it only happened in warm weather. The cold and the moisture HAVE to have something to do with it (freezing something in place?), but I can't figure out what or why, or how to fix it.

    Any help anyone can give is much appreciated.

    I then got this post in response:
    "Sounds like the charcoal evaporator canister. I remember my old Saab had that problem. Gets fuel soaked. I’m assuming your mechanics have checked that."

    But still looking for further information, as well as anyone with experience dealing with repair/replacement/drainage for the carbon cannister.
  • :sick: hello,this is my first time posting here,so i apologize if this is long or confusing.i am car stupid,so bear with me..I recently got a 2000 protege lx from my brother who was deployed to south was running fine at 1st,but now its giving me idles right at in between the 0 and 1 rpms its only getting like 20 miles to the gallon and its having a hard time picking up speed...when i go up bridges,i basically have to floor it to get up them and even then i lose speed going up the its starting to pull coming out of 1st gear...i went to autozone and they hooked it up to the machine and it came back that the mass air flow sensor was intaking too much air and the next code said it was taking in not enough...i also got a code about the intake air temperature sensor and a code saying cylinder 1 misfire..i had a mechanic friend check it out and he said the mass air flow sensor was fine,he checked the voltage and its putting out a little more voltage than it should...he says it could be the computer in the car messing up,but he's kind of stumped...anyone have this problem before or have any input on this would be greatly appreciated...he can fix it if i can give him something to work with...i don't have alot of money to put it in the shop...thanks for any help..i don't have internet access but i can check email on my cell so if anyone has any ideas email me at please..thanks
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    Check the rubber air intake hose for any small cracks. Check the spark plugs. Check the plug wires for abrasion damage and use a multi-meter to check the wires' resistance. These are common problem areas and will produce symptoms similar to what you describe. I believe you have the distributor-less ignition, so you might want to have the coil packs checked too.
  • I encountered the same brake problem as ayip, msg # 2933 did. I changed brake pads, rotors, and calipers on my 92 Protege and now it's as if I practically have none. My fluid level is fine but the brake pedal travels almost to the floor. Does anyone have a solution?
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    when your pedal travels to the floor, i think that's a sign you have air in the lines. did you bleed the lines? when's the last time the fluid was flushed/drained/changed?
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Check the vacuum line from that goes to the back of the throttle body; it's black rubber, about 3/8in in outside diameter. It came loose on my '99 LX w/ 1.6L engine and resulted in loss of power, rough running etc. The symptoms were quite similar to what my car had when the MAS went bad (replaced under recall - you might want to check if that part has been replaced yet on your car).

    It came loose a couple of times, so I now use a nylon cable tie to hold it in place. I haven't had a problem with it since.
  • I Not sure if this is the right forum to post this message. but I will post it anyways, I have a Mazda Protege '95 model and having problems, the timing belt is not good and now there is a bad queaking sound coming from the engine and the automatic transmission is not responding no matter what gear I put it in, right now the car is stalled. Once stalled, if we switch off the engine and restart it after 5-10 mins all works fine, I can even drive for the next 100-200 meters, untill the queaking sounds starts and the engine stalls.
    Does any one has an idea if there is any link between the timing belt and the working of the automatic transmission.
    Any reply is greatly appreciated.
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