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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • pmp3pmp3 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the advice on the EGR valve. I did pull it (tough job due to small work area) and found lots of carbon. Rather than replace it, I spent about an hour cleaning it by hand, along with the ports on the intake manifold. Reinstalled ... but didn't solve my problem.

    Bit the bullet and took it to the Mazda dealership who ran the diagnostics on it - "misfire on 3rd cylinder." Turned out that the spark plug wire on the 3rd cylinder was bad; i had inspected the wires (and replaced plugs), but didn't notice there was a small crack on the "boot" that fits inside the engine cavity (that you don't typically see). Replaced wires and car runs great!
  • frankiewfrankiew Posts: 10
    Hey Pmp3, Got that Mazad issue fixed!! come to find out it was my Cam Sensor wiring vs my Cam Shafter i had brought some Plugs and a Cam shaft Sensor. But maybe that may have been next. Any way all is well and I am back on the road again... Hopefully for another 150,000 miles Peace

  • manishsmanishs Posts: 1
    I had a problem last week with my Mazda protege 94 car. It had been making a sqealing noise past 3 months and especially when it was very cold/snow outside and when I turn the heater on. Just yesterday my car broke in the middle of the road and would not start again, as if the battery was down and would not restart. I had it jumpstart but again it broke within a mile. Then I brought it to the garage and they said battery is down and they replaced it with a new one, although the old battery was only 1 year old.
    After an hour or so, I noticed that the red indicator light was still on, so I called again. This time they said that the alternator belt is not working and thus I would need a new belt which would cost $ 90 with labor. They said that because of this the previous battery was not working and we had to replace. I wanted to ask you all and would appreciate you comments, whether replacing the battery was worth it or I could have used the same if I had figured out the belt problem earlier. Thanks very much and would appreciate your reply.
  • fritz1224fritz1224 Posts: 398
    This shop sounds very suspicious to me. Immediately diagnosing a battery bad without actually testing the charging system is not the quality of a good repair shop. And now, they want to replace the belt. Still have not checked the charging system? And when the belt doesn't fix the problem, then they go to replacing the alternator. You have then paid for a battery you didn't need and a belt you might not have needed. Find an honest repair shop and don't patronize this place anymore. They sound like they just want to gouge you for as much as possible before actually getting to the real problem. A bad belt would have been quite obvious.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    diagnosing a battery bad without actually testing the charging system is not the quality of a good repair shop.
    Agreed. Whether the garage did this intentionally or due to incompetence, it would be better to take one's business elsewhere. On the other hand, a diagnostic test is not going to be free either. So, the lesson learned is that one ends up paying one way or another.
  • Estivalis - In terms of the timing, I would probably have that changed. It is a quick change and does give you piece of mind. Find out if there are worn spots on it or not. If the dealership doesn't say or they "can't remember", you can feel for yourself. What I did was put a white mark on the belt for a reference point. Then, feel under the belt to see if any wear spots where grooved belt should be.

    I had a dealership where I was getting recommendations to fix something different every time I came in. When they told me about the belt, I thought they were lying, but I felt the belt where the grooves are and did feel some wear spots, so that one they were telling the truth. :D

    In terms of the seals, I would find out how much it costs to change them. My wife's Protgeg has almost 70,000 miles on it and never heard of this type of seal before. Or, take it some place else and get their opinion.

    Hope this helps.
  • tocapettocapet Posts: 1
    Went to replace the left front motor mount on my '99 Protege and found that the ear on the transmission housing where the motor mount bracket bolts up is broken off. The top bolt was missing completely. So now I can only bolt it up with one bolt instead of 3. I can see my torque converter thru the hole. Anyone know where I can find a '99 transmission housing? Or if the converter housing comes off even better.
  • green86green86 Posts: 1
    Do you know where the upper crank positioning sensor is located, I found the lower one but i can't seem to find the other, Is there one?
    I have two codes that are coming up on my car, P0300 ( Rapid cylinder Misfire) and P0421
    I am debating on what to do, no one seems to know, i don't want to change a sensor and then it not be the right one, then there goes 120 bucks.
    My car cuts out on me when driving down the road, engine light flashes for a minute then goes solid, then i get power again.
    Any suggestions?

  • mnjlargemnjlarge Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Mazda Protege ES 2.0.......and I replaced the engine about 1 year ago. The newer engine had about 36000 miles on it. Ever since we replaced the engine on has had a idle problem and is now starting to have an acceleration problem. When I come to a stop, the idle speed will go down to about 500 and then usually go back up. When this happens, it will have a little hesitation when accelerating. No problems at high speeds. My CEL came on the other day and my friend read the code and it said "lean exhaust" so he cleared it for me and the next morning it came back on. When we installed the engine, we replaced the plugs and did a small tune up on it. It also seems to be having some transmission problems like troble shifting. I need some help trying to figure out the problem.
  • debbi1229debbi1229 Posts: 17
    Green86 - I'm not sure if the codes on an '01 MP3 & an '03 Protege 5 are the same or not but when I was having CEL issues, I was getting the same codes but the P0300 was a Random Misfire and the P0421 was a Catalytic Converter code.

    My car cuts out on me when driving down the road, engine light flashes for a minute then goes solid, then i get power again.

    My car did the exact same thing as you're describing - replacing the plugs, wires and most importantly... the coils solved my issues. A little too late to save me from having to replace my CAT though....

    I hope this helps you with your problem... good luck.

  • bdkaybdkay Posts: 6
    Our 2003 Mazda Protege has been clicking on the check engine light for 2 years now. We are now at 133,000 km or about 81,000 miles and it all started at about 40,000 miles. Spark plugs, coil pack, wires EGV valve have all been replaced. Our fuel injectors have been 'blown'. Our dealer has done the work under our extended warranty. Mazda Canada will not do any more work without further investigation! Our PCV valve has been replaced yesterday and today because a yahoo in one shop broke the new valve installing it. Then we had the blinking light of death near another garage who correctly installed the valve. My investigation on the net says it could be one of the cylinders is malfunctioning. We have a common problem. Why are the dealers not connecting?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Our 2003 Mazda Protege has been clicking on the check engine light for 2 years now. Spark plugs, coil pack, wires EGV valve have all been replaced. Our fuel injectors have been 'blown'. Our dealer has done the work under our extended warranty.
    We're glad you had an extended warranty! Have you modified the engine (e.g. by adding components)?

    p.s. EGR valve
  • kpozzikpozzi Posts: 2
    my 01 protege lx 2.0 has 98000. Over the last 2-3 years it would occasionally lose some power, then catch up. Now its getting worse. 2 mechanics and the mazda dealership cant figure it out, it comes up rapid random misfire. I can be on the highway and drive steady, then it loses its power,for a 3-5 mile stretch, I'm losing speed with it floored, then it catches up. My recent mechanic charged my 650$ for the O2 sensors, and it didnt fix it. Now he says it can be the EGR valve or coil packs. I cant afford to have him do more work....should I press him to fix it for already paid funds? thanks
  • bdkaybdkay Posts: 6
    I would not pay any more for something that may or may not work. We have had the EGR valve and coil packs done under our warranty but it was still happening until the day of my first posting when we had our PCV valve was replaced. Our PCV might have been at fault; it is too soon to tell. The catalytic converter possibly; but that problem has NEVER been suggested to us.

    PCV valve should NOT be at fault; in the old days it might have been. An older mechanic disagreed with a younger one on whether that could be the problem. I think it's like doctors depends what they have seen. We are still in wait and see mode.

    My research has come up with a simple cylinder compression test as the culprit. Has this been done? Try searching on PCV valve random misfire and you will find an article on the subject.

    Let me know.
  • kpozzikpozzi Posts: 2
    no, the cylinder compression test have not been done. The mechanics says that the CAT was ok, since the catalytic code was not present. The PCV has been replaced, full tune up, and O2 sensors have been changed. I'm close to 1000$ into this with no the way, it passes inspection fine. Thanks
  • coolpetecoolpete Posts: 30
    I have a strange problem with my 1990 Mazda Protege (323 - 1.8L DOHC) - the car starts up fine on a dry and sunny day but it will not start on a rainy day or if it has rained hard the previous day and there is some moisture in the air and on the windshield.

    It cranks but it will not start on these kind of days but on a sunny day it will start right up like nothing is wrong with it. I had the battery amps checked and eventhough the battery is 4 years old, it is cranking out the right amps and so that can be ruled out as the problem.

    One of my coworker is telling me that this is due to some moisture issues and I need to replace the rotor and rotor cap....does any one else have this issue? What could be the problem here?

    Please help!
  • When sitting at a light the engine will run slightly rough for a few seconds then get worse where I think it will stall then kick back up to a slightly rough idle. It hasn't stalled yet. When driving, the engine seems to run fine (in town and at highway speeds).

    The check engine light will also come on about once a week with a P0170 code. According to the book my OBCD reader came with it is a 'Fuel Trim Malfunction'.

    I'd appreciate some suggestions on what I should look at.

    Background info:
    EGR valve replaced three years ago (at a shop)
    I put in a new alternator and belt 1 month ago (did I damage something while removing the old alternator??)
  • schesneyschesney Posts: 3
    I haven't had that problem with my Protege, but I did have a mercury that if the engine got wet it would stall, turned out I had a crack in my rotor you might try to change the rotor or find some way to seal it with a moisture proofer to keep the moisture out of it.
  • coolpetecoolpete Posts: 30
    How do I locate the rotor cap on the Protege? Is it easy to replace?
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Yes, it's easy to replace. The distributor mounts in the end of the cylinder head. Simply unscrew the two screws to remove the cap and move the plug wires to the new cap, one at a time. Re-install the cap the same way the old one came off.
  • bdkaybdkay Posts: 6
    We passed our emission test here in Ontario also. We have an extended warranty to 100,000 miles or 160,000 km or we would be into the dealer for over $1000 also. Car goes in next week for another check.

    It sometimes smells of gasoline and gas mileage is down about one third. Light went out the other day for about half and hour.
  • civiletticiviletti Posts: 86
    I've not had this problem with my pro, but distrubutor cap cracks are a common reason for this problem. The pro also tends to go through sparkplug wires. I would replace them every 35,000 miles. Oh, it could also be a cracked ignition coil.
  • edmund2460edmund2460 Posts: 293
    I'm at 62K on my ES2.0 2001 and so far it's been a great car. It's first failure took place today when the battery finally died. Other than that not a single problem. Hope that lasts a while longer.

    The dealer quotes $800 to get all the belts and water pump changed and I know I can save half of that using the mechanics I've been going to for 25 years. They work primarily on VW's but do other foreign cars as well. They are excellent mechanics and very honest. But they are probably old school and not keeping up with current models.

    My question: Is there anything special about changing a timing belt and water pump in my 01 Protege that would make it highly desirable to take it to the dealer? Thanks.
  • jmazdajjmazdaj Posts: 3
    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 driving my car around 50 or 60 mph, my RPM's will go crazy and slide rapidly between 3000 and 4000. While doing this, it feels like my car is being pulled (almost like the car is on a rubber band--pulled backwards then released forwards). No mechanic has been able to identify the problem yet. 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
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    seems like that may be your torque convertor in the transmission going into and outof lockup or maybe there is a solenoid or a hydraulic fluid passage problem in the transmission case or issue with fluid quality impacting transmission operation. have you ever had the transmission fluid serviced? have you ever inspected it's color?

    i guess i'd explain the symptoms to a local mazda tech and see what they think.
  • pbrwolf2pbrwolf2 Posts: 2
    2003 Protégé ES, 71,000 miles. Last night the “Check Engine” light came on suddenly and car started running rough. Code was P0304 “Cylinder #4 misfire detected”. So I replaced the plugs. Old plugs looked great except for #4, on that one, instead of the normal gap, the ground electrode was touching the center electrode, in other words “almost no gap”. I don’t think it’s been like that since 2003, so how does that happen? Cars runs great again but what flattened that electrode? Anyone have any ideas? Thanks!
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    2003 Protégé ES, 71,000 miles

    Are you certain you haven't had your spark plugs changed since 2003? Normally, it's done after 24 months (in your case, 2005 perhaps?).
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    This can happen from carbon build-up, but it's not common.
  • jf3489jf3489 Posts: 1
    Had the timing belt and water pump recently replaced. The car was running fine and just quit on the way home. Now it will not start. Tried to start it on starter fluid with the same results so I am pretty sure that this is a spark problem. I installed a new distributor with the same results. I at a loss, any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Well your description leaves little to go on but I would look to the timing belt as it was the last thing done and the distributor is driven from the end of the cam.

    With the distributor cap off, look to see if the distributor rotor moves when the engine is cranked. If it doesn't, your belt is toast.
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