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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • Common problems on this model are:

    EGR Valve clogs up, resulting in rough idle and poor economy.
    If you're handy you can clean it yourself, or replace it. Part is around $100.

    Air intake leaks, resulting in rough idle and poor economy. The accordian-like hose from the air cleaner to the intake manifold often cracks over time. Part is about $35, fairly easy repair.

    Clunk in rear suspension in cold weather. Anti-swaybar bushings and/or endlinks are the culprit. If you don't mind the sound it's generally not a problem.

    The internals on the Protege motors are bombproof. There's no reason maintenance would be higher than any other car. Most Mazda fanatics stay away from the dealers for maintenance.
  • Hi I was wondering if you found out why its doing that? here is where i am at with mine and talking to a fello mechanic...

    I found the correct wiring in a 02 mazda miata book lol and mines a 00 protege lol I found and traced that wire in the diagram and also found it went to the computer. There is a problem I hate with the car tho is the fuse relay box under the hood is a matrix pattern of circuts u cant physically see/ take apart fully to check for dammage and where is there a diagram for that in the books lol stupid mazda! anyways..

    I know my pump is bad cause I was getting no movement out of it with full voltage. I rebuilt it and ran it in my sink lol and it turns on now but I plan on getting a new one cause the flow is to weak only 20 psi on my gauge. but my prob is the book sais it should fire the relay to activate but it wont unless I ground it my self while in run position like you say cause I tried it before reading this. I knew I wasnt stupid!

    Does the computer make the ground complete?

    I have continuity from the relay plug (going to pcm) to ground but not enough to make the buzzer sound it just shows random numbers like barely any ground i guess. Its like the computer is holding ground open a bit untill it decides to provide full ground?

    Its funny tho when I turn the key from start to run after attempting start it will turn the fuel pump on for a few seconds then off lol.

    Again thanx for any help my gf is pissed and probably thinks im an idiot mainly cause I talk of opening a shop lol I just told her I dont have the books and mazda shops wont talk to me cause they want me to bring in the car! Thanx for you help!.... Robert
  • omarromarr Posts: 88
    Did you find a solution to the smoking at startup? :cry:
  • Smoking at start up? What was smoking on your car? You tried to ground the wire?
  • I own a 2001 Mazda Protege, 2.0 LX. 120K. Over the past year, my car has been intermittently sputtering on ignition and occasionally while driving. To fix it I would rev the engine a couple times or turn the car off than on again. The check engine light would come on, but would turn off after a couple days. The local garage couldn't find anything wrong.

    Fast forward to last week, and while driving my car on the highway it started to sputter, and I lost all acceleration. The engine sounded as if it was struggling to keep up ( Going 65-70 mph). I pulled over to the side of the road, turned the car off and on a couple times, and it started working again. This has happened 3 or four times in the past week. Today, I checked and replaced the air filter (Dirtier than it should have been) and checked the MAF sensor (clean). I tuned the ignition and it ran fine, then started to sputter again. I gunned the engine and it once again fixed the problem. I've noticed a drop in MPG as well since this has started happening.

    It's getting worse by the day.

    Would anyone know what is causing this? I been researching the problem, but it seems no one has a definitive answer as to if this is caused by the EGR valve, catalytic converter, etc.

    Thanks for the help,

  • It is the egr or map im sure... The tube that comes outs my intake that goes to my egr was clogged with rust it looked like. after cleaning egr idle control and that tube my car ran great untill.... read above lol sorry sell the thing asap j/k just be warned... I love mine for the gas saving and engine durability but the components attatched to the motor all suck!
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I've had similar issues when my EGR failed on my 2002 Protege5. There could be other issues; why not take the car in for an inexpensive diagnostic?
  • I own a 2000 Protege. Bought it used in 2002. It has 165,0000 km & has been a great car until now.

    I was recently in a fender bender. The day after the body work done, it died on me. Took it in for a servicing- had an oil change. It makes a loud knocking or pinging noise when accelerating or have foot on gas.

    The garage said they don't know what the actual problem is- tried a few things but Bottom line - need to replace the engine. New engine is $4000.

    Is this normal? Could the accident have cause this serious problem?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    It makes a loud knocking or pinging noise when accelerating or have foot on gas.
    Are there any other symptoms? For example, does it feel like the engine is going to stall? Does the tachometer dip or surge when the problem occurs?

    The garage said they don't know what the actual problem is- tried a few things but Bottom line - need to replace the engine. New engine is $4000.
    Before proceeding with such an expensive repair, I would go for a second opinion from another garage. Why not get a full diagnostic done to get an overall assessment of your car before investing any more money in the car? Make sure to provide as much information to enable the garage to diagnose the problem properly.

    I was recently in a fender bender. ... New engine is $4000. Is this normal? Could the accident have cause this serious problem?
    If it's a fender bender, then the accident does not sound serious enough to require a new engine. 165,000 km is an older engine but if it has been properly maintained it should not require replacement as part of normal wear and tear.
  • after replacing the fuel pump the relay works now when the key is turned to the on position! Great! Hope this help anyone but I still need timing marks for a 2000 1.6L Protege! Car still wont start after new fuel pump and cannot figure out timing for thew life of me!
  • Well I am so f-ing mad I could scream! I am not an idiot and I have built motors before but I cannot get this junk to start! Sorry not junk just mad! I changed the head gasket due to overheating (cracked Radiator -30 degree day) and now the f-ing thing will not start! My gf thinks im an idiot I am sure cause the car has been down for 2 months! Every timing mark example I try wont work! Does anyone know the actuall timing marks for a 1.6L 2000 Protege! I could scream! And dont send me some pic of what I have tried Cause I will burn my computer lol! I am so mad I could light the thing on fire today! 1000$ you pick up the car and its yours!

    I took the Protege into a mechanic after checking the MAF and EGR. Both were in good shape. Plugs, wires, and coils were changed, as well as a gasket to the exhaust. Now the car runs great, except for lurching from a standstill. This doesn't happen every time though. Anyone know what would cause this? It doesn't feel like a power issue.

  • I changed the spark plugs on my 2002 protege at 65000 miles. The next thing that happens check eng light,Trip to auto zone, fault code eng miss fire.Car was fine for next 100 miles then would miss fire again.Found out left coil wire connector if reset when eng running miss went away.Am not sure why. swaped coils left to right no more problems.
  • OK, so I have an 03 mazda protege. My issue started about 1-2 months ago, I was on the interstate and had been going along approx 70 - 75 mph just fine, then suddenly the rpm's shoot up.. so i immediately let off the accelerator to get the rpms back down.. when this is happening mph is also dropping, and i couldn't keep it up, definitely wasn't able to go 70 - 75, if i tried the rpm would shoot back up, but no increase in speed. So I parked, we ended up having it towed back, got back, oddly enough started working OK. Couple of weeks later, started to notice rough idling, hard start, couple of tries, and it idled around 1500 - 2000 rpm or so.. check engine light came on, took to autozone, cylinder misfire, but then went away, works fine.. Was working good was on the interstate last week, going about 70, same situation happened as above, rpm shot up, couldn't hold high speeds. We ended up driving it back going like 55 mph, I've been driving around some around town going 45 - 55, but what happens is it takes off really slow, the rpm and the mph, I had a dump truck pass me at a dead stop as I tried to get it up to 55.. if I try to push to much the rpm will jump up, or if I hit a steep hill and try to hold the current speed. Someone told me it sounds like the transmission, slipping maybe, I'm not so sure.. would it do it then get better, and maybe the cylinder misfire isn't related to the current issue, I dont know.. any advice would be great.. If there is already a similar post, let me know, I looked but couldn't really find one..
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    maybe the cylinder misfire isn't related to the current issue, I dont know.. any advice would be great

    I'd have a diagnostic done.
  • funguy123funguy123 Posts: 94

    My car was running fine until this past Sunday. Than i got o/d off light on and it goes on and off.
    At first the car will go in "limp mode" once in a while. But some time it will work just fine. So when it's in a limp mode it will not go over 35 MPH and stays in 1st and 2nd gear, it would not go to 3rd or 4th. The problem got worst in next 2 days and than we took it to the dealership.

    They are telling me that i need to replace TPS, transmission and air valve.

    for some reason i don't believe them. Anyone has any thoughts?
  • You could try replacing the coil packs. My car had somewhat the same issue and it helped quite a bit. I still have a bit of a stutter when coming out of first gear (intermittent) buy no issues driving on the highway. Also try the ERG valve. It could be clogged with carbon.
  • funguy123funguy123 Posts: 94
    What about TPS (Throttle Position Sensor)? I did some research and lot of people has the same issue and it went away by replacing TPS.
    I can also try TPS, coil packs & ERG valve.

    how much are the coil packs? Can i get those at the local part stores?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    They are telling me that i need to replace TPS, transmission and air valve.

    Just to be clear, your dealer says you need to replace the transmission? :(
  • funguy123funguy123 Posts: 94
    They are telling me that i need to replace TPS, transmission and air valve.

    Just to be clear, your dealer says you need to replace the transmission?

    Yes, Mazda Delear told me that I need to replace the transmission. But I am thinking of getting 2nd opnion and see what happens.
    I will let you know.
    Thank you for your help.
  • funguy123funguy123 Posts: 94

    I took the Protege to couple of other places and after talking with them it sounds like the TPS is the first thing to try. The transmission may still be good because today the o/d off lite was gone for a while while (~5 Mines) i was driving and the car was running smooth :)

    But i will have them replace TPS and let you all know if that fixes the issue. If it dose than "Shame on Mazda Dealer"

    I will keep everyone posted.
  • funguy123funguy123 Posts: 94
    My Car is now fixed... Yeeeeeeeeee

    Here is the history. I got check engine and o/d off light. When I get the o/d off than the car would not shift to 3rd gear but when that light goes off than car does go into 3rd & 4th gear. I took the car to mazda dealer. After doing detailed troubleshooting they told me that I will have to replace three things (1) TPS (Throttle Position Sensor) (2) Transmission (2) Air Valve. The cose would be $4500 (if i get new Trnas) $3000 (if i get old Trnas). Well the value of my car is <$4500 so i wasn't going to pay $4500.

    I took the car to other places (non-Mazda dealer) for 2nd opinion. they told me it could be TPS and may be something else. First I had them replace TPS, that didn't fix the issue But after checking circuits they found the issue with the circuit. and the problem was fixed. The whole thing cost me ~$600.

    I will never buy another Mazda again in my life and I would not recommend it to anyone.
  • hey man congrats on your car.. couple of questions.. it sounds like i have a similar issue.. as of late the car will not shift into 3rd gear and struggles to get into second a little.. i have a slap shift so i have to manually throw it into 3rd & 4th.. anyway i have a protege es, not sure what o/d light is you referred to.. i have the check engine light on.. last diagnostic was random cylinder misfire, and rich air fuel ratio bank 1.. like you i can't really get the speed up.. and no way of getting past 40 - 45 mph.. but this is constant, likewise i've been told possibly transmission, but not so sure, what circuits exactly were the issue, not very car smart, may only be one type, idk, but any info would be awesome.. thanks bro
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I will never buy another Mazda again in my life and I would not recommend it to anyone.
    Curious ...

    Did you buy the car new or used? If used, do you know how it was maintained prior to your procurement?

    How many miles do you have on the car? All cars (and most of us humans) have problems as they age. Having to spend $600 on a repair for an old car is not unusual. And, a nine year old car with transmission problems should not be a shock. But that's not your case, because your nine year old's transmission seems fine. ;)
  • funguy123funguy123 Posts: 94

    "o/d off" is a light next the check engine. Which means over drive is off. I have automatic gear so when this light is on my over drive (3rd and 4the gear) are off and car will never go to 3rd or 4th gear. Means i can't drive more than 40 MPH.

    First let me ask you this, Can you some time drive into 3rd or 4th gear without a problem? If yes that i don't think its a transmission issue.

    Also, As you can see i was given 3 codes when they checked my car. That was all because of bad circuit. That may be the case for you.

    I would say take to the places that do free codes on your car. Make sure you get more than one opinion as I found out, the first guy may not always be correct.

    Honestly I think your issue is probably electrical just like mine. I was able to find a decent place who checked everything out for < $200. Unfortunately these problems are not slam dunk. Good Luck and let us all know how it goes.
  • funguy123funguy123 Posts: 94

    Sorry I should have been more clear on why i am not happy with Mazda.

    We purchased this car new back in 2000. My comment wasn't just based what just happened but series of issue and lack of Mazda's support.

    The first issue with Mazda i had was their shifting is always a problematic. Even when the car was new (4 months old) I had issue where if slow down from 45 down to 40 than it will unnecessary go back to 3rd gear from 4th. This means I could never go to 40 MPH because it will go back and fourth between 3rd and 4th. This really really sucks. In my area there are lot of roads that has 40 MPH speed limit, now i am stuck with going either below 40 OR over 40. What do i tell Police when i get pulled over? LOL

    I took the car to two different Mazda dealers and as expected they were no help. Instead they told me it has Ford's transmission so those issues are expected. What the hack... One dealer goes on to say, all Mazda have this issue and there is nothing they can do. WoW... great..

    Also, When my car was newer (<1 year old) I had the same issue couple of times where "o/d off" They looked at the car and found nothing.

    Bad Customer Service and So So product aren't going to win customers.
  • whats up, yea the problem has pretty much progressed worse and worse.. it started out it would shift into 3rd and 4th fine, get up to 50 mph or so, but recently it has struggled, rpm kinda bounces a little i'd say maybe, and I've had to use the optional slap shift to reach 3rd gear. But even in 4th, I'll have the pedal to the metal, no rise in RPM or 30 - 35ish MPH .. as I said though the check engine light has come back on so I'll go get it checked out again.. there was an issue with the 4th cylinder misfiring, but the spark plug is firing fine.. but i'll check the codes and go from there, i'll let you know, thanks man.
  • funguy123funguy123 Posts: 94
    No problem.

    It sounds like electrical problem. But have them check the codes and go from there.
    Good luck and let us know how it goes.
  • giacomodgiacomod Posts: 9
    Please i need your help anyone. I have a mazda protege lx 97,130.000 mil,
    after i had a taken the car to the dealer,done a tune up,coil,distributor,one fuel injector replaced,and clean the rest, the computer changed at no charge,still i come home and the car have the same symptoms,runs a bit better, i had an engine light come on,it is the egr valve,i took it out cleaned took gunk out,replace the hose and the gasket check, also replace oil, filter, transmission fluid, and pcv valve,while i was at it.the first test was i put back the platinum plugs,when i turn the engine on the lengine light went off.i test and drives almost the same but as before but stalling and esitating,i put back the nkg regular plugs and it runs better no stalling or choking,do you think the egr valve is bad or it could be someting else, also today i unplug the egr valve it runs better but the symptoms are still there,when i take off still as poor accelleration and it feels like is rolling,also stalls if i stay in gear when stop, it only gets worse when i put the platinum plugs brand new, but sometimes the car is running and it does a stall, almost fells like a small cough. i am thinking is a fuel related problem,i had a nightmare with the mazda dealer they charge me about 800$ and the problem it is still there ,aprreciate your proffessional opinion,any help is appreciated.thanks jack
  • i havea1998 mazda 1300 ,just change the engine and two years ago the transmission 2 weeks ago had to replace the top convertor after which the gears was also changed on saturday the car would not go into drive will only reverse can some one tell me what is wrong and what can i do to fix it
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