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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • 11b33t11b33t Posts: 51
    In that whole dissertation I saw no mention of the the fuel filter being replaced nor checked...

    BTW, in no way am I a 'professional' so plz take my input with a grain of salt...
  • downtubedowntube Posts: 43
    Go with OEM plugs and forget about the platinum. Don't listen to anything they say about plugs at the parts store about plugs - just buy OEM NGK.

    Check for vacuum leaks. The accordion-like hose between the air cleaner and the intake manifold often develops cracks. Usually these cause more idle problems than anything else, but check it out.

    Make sure the vacuum port leading to the EGR chamber is not plugged.
  • giacomodgiacomod Posts: 9
    thanks for the reply,
    yes i forgot to mention i did have the fuel filter replaced at the same time i did take in.Today like i said i disconnect the eletronic control egr valve and it seems that it had some more power but as soon i take over 65 when i slow down and stop restart action,
    it stars again like it trottles almost like is rolling in the back ,and hesitates just like cough, i will check the air filter connector to the manifold to see if has any cracks .
    appreciated any of your sggestions thanks.
  • 11b33t11b33t Posts: 51

    This the hose you need to look at...
  • giacomodgiacomod Posts: 9
    Thanks again friend,
    this morning i have disconnect the negative cable from the battery, taken off ;the air filter ,hose, air filter canister complete from the engine mounts,i cleaned and i inspected,i found that the big downtube that goes from the air to the manifold just like the one you show me in the pic. Hose is in great shape,but the smaller rubber hose that goes from the tube to the engine on top the plugs, was crack,i went to buy a $1.50 hose and i replaced,i also bought from the ace store a big toilet rubber gasket $ 2.75 so i put it around the canister that holds the air filter canister,and now it does not move or unwanted air goes in ,i also tightned the bolts,so now is very firm,i took the egr valve out one more time, cleaned soaked in carb cleaner for hal hour,not the top part, again,inspected and also check all the rubber hose the spring and the wires,i start the car first time on the engine light is gone,i drove and the problem for now it seems to be gone,if when i will drive for a while on the highway will do it again,then i will go to the next step and check the fuel pump,for now i want thank you for your suggestion and it did help, i should have done it before i took it to the dealer and this car as always run really good and for 11 years i never had any major issue at all,it as always been take care ,but i understande that cannot last forever,i will keeep you posted to see if start doing it againg,thanks
  • giacomodgiacomod Posts: 9
    well ; i did test the car for few hours this evening,the car is now more smooth and runs better,especially when on the highway,when i stop completely and in gear once in a while it still hesitate as i idle,is almost like it wants to turn off,but it never does and never did so far,is not as much as when i take off,and that happened few times this evening after riding the car for couple of hours ,
    dilemma still there but i am closing in,i am determined to learn more as i go until it is resolve.
  • 11b33t11b33t Posts: 51
    Any progress on this? I was re-reading your posts and did not see anywhere that the MAF housing had been checked-out..
  • giacomodgiacomod Posts: 9
    after i had all the inspections done my car first time The 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, same symptoma as before much less do!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.
    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.
  • giacomodgiacomod Posts: 9
    I want to post some updates,i took the car to autozone,and they tested the alternator ansd check engine light,alternator is good cilinder 3 minsfire,and maf code,check test it ,and the maf it seem works ok,now i have a question for anyone that can help me on this;when i replace the egr valve,i cleaned the holes, from the engine part,i did notice something unusual that i did not talk about earlier ,previously threads,the question is ;
    when you take out the egr valve,in the engine there are two holes top and botton,i remember cleaning the top hole,but the botton hole is close and it seems to me that is from the manufacter like that,now i do not know that if it is suppose be that way,top hole is clean and get trough,bottom hole is closed like it is metal,is this normal?
    after the egr valve as been replaced the code went away ,but another code come back like i explained before,the problem still there it as a poor idle when stop and when take off it almost seems like it is running out of breath.
    i appreciated any of your imput/suggestions. thanks for the help
  • benoit6benoit6 Posts: 3
    I have a 2002 Mazda Protege ES with 107,000 miles on it, and I have been smelling either gas or exhaust smell coming from my air vents. I smell it when the fan is on and when I'm idling. For the most part, I don't smell it while I'm driving. Even sometimes when I get into the car after it has been parked I smell a gas fumes. I don't see any oil or gas leaks and I don't see any leaks around the fuel injectors. Anyone have any suggestions on what it maybe. I'm taking it to shop to get it diagnosed.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Have you checked your exhaust piping leading up to the muffler? If there is a crack or rusting I would think gas may be escaping. The reason you don't smell it when you are moving is because fresh air is being pumped into the compartment to diffuse the smell. It's good that you are taking it into the shop.
  • benoit6benoit6 Posts: 3
    Well I took it to the shop, and they said that they didn't see or find any gas leaks nor did they see any holes in the exhaust. They did however admit that when they detached my fuel line to clean the fuel injectors ( a service that was performed awhile ago) they said some of the fuel probably sprayed up near the window where the car vents pull air from. He then stated he sprayed some refresher or cleaner in the A/C to get rid of the smell. I will see if this works.
  • chump2chump2 Posts: 8
    i am going to attempt changeing the rear pads on my 2001 protogeg ES that has rear disc brakes , i see that the emergencey brake is attached to the rear brakes can anybody tell me if there is anything special i need to be concerned about ?
  • henzhenz Posts: 3
    Not really....just un do the cable from the'll see it....other than that,..just do basic things like supporting caliper w/ wire to prevent strain on hoses...Also, you can't use C clamps to push the piston have to remove cap bolt on back of caliper to access the gear to back off the requires an allen wrench..not sure what size. Reassemble in reverse order. Pull on the e-brake will feel very loose @ first..but will reset itself ( at least in my case ). Hope this helps. Jim
  • chump2chump2 Posts: 8
    thanks alot , some one had mentioned not to push the piston in with the c-clamp
    so this will help .thanks again . this was my first post but i look at the site quit often just to see what problems people have more so to see the respnses
  • giacomodgiacomod Posts: 9
    thanks for the suggestions, to the forum,i have new updates for my car.
    my car is finally repaired,i took me a while from 2 different mazda dealers,that they could not find the right problems,but instead they skrew you and ,change different parts,it serves me and anyone as an experience to get different estimates before you take to any dealer,and before you can do some research ,i finally find an honest meccanic and someone that understands cars, my all problem was not the idle egr valve , or maf sensor,or idle control valve, ,altough i did replaced all of them,compression was good,and clean of trottle helped a lot,
    it was the timing belt and water pump that was leaking,and causing a misfire,replace the timing belt ,replace the water pump,seals,valve gasket,coil and rotor ,plugs and wire for the second time,new hoose for the radiator,and the car is finally working like a charm,it took me more money to fix it,but half of the dealer estimate,and it was all done in one day.again thanks to the forum and help,it open my eyes and learned a lot from this experience. :)
  • benoit6benoit6 Posts: 3
    Okay, I still have the exhaust smell. Also, I'm experiencing idle surges on cold starts. The RPMS will jump from 1000 to 2000 back down to 500. Now what is going on? I'm suspecting the Idle Air Control valve may be faulty, but I don't know. I'm going to take the car back to the dealer. Has anyone else experience this issue?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I'm experiencing idle surges on cold starts
    I wonder if this may also be related to the car's emission control systems (e.g. EGR or PCV valves). Too bad the shop did not spot this while they had the car.
  • downtubedowntube Posts: 43
    Look for a vacuum leak. Any leak downstream from the MAF sensor will screw up the air/fuel ratio. It will affect idle the most.

    Look at the accordian pipe between the air cleaner and the intake manifold. Sometimes they develop cracks.
  • sir_dudesir_dude Posts: 2
    I own a 2000 protege es 1.8L with under 45k miles. I bought brand new. It's developed an engine vibration after I start it. It happens when the engine is completely cold, I turn on the fan for defrost and when the defrost kicks on the vibration starts and when it kicks off the vibration stops. Also, the transmission has to be in gear, not in Park or Neutral. As the engine warms up to normal operating temp, the vibration almost completely disappears. Has anyone else experienced this problem?

    This is my 2nd protege and has been a great car.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I turn on the fan for defrost
    What do you mean? What are you "defrost"ing?
  • sir_dudesir_dude Posts: 2
    The frost from off of the windows.
  • 302boss302boss Posts: 1
    I own a 2000 Mazda Protege and it recently failed a CA smog test. The failure was a MIL OBD failure to communicate. In this case, there was nothing wrong with the car, computer or wiring. The battery had been replaced a couple of days before the smog test. The computers memory of recent driving conditions was erased when the battery was removed. The failure was because the computer was not ready to be tested. The car needs to be driven an unknown number of trips of various lengths, speeds and conditions and the computer will store this information. My mechanic said to drive it as much as I can and bring it back and he will check to see if it is ready to be tested. When it is ready, take it back to the smog test center for retest. This is one of the strangest things I have ever heard about a modern automobile.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    The car needs to be driven an unknown number of trips of various lengths, speeds and conditions and the computer will store this information.

    Interesting. I did not realize that the test used the history from the car's computer.

    In Ontario Canada we have a Drive Clean Emission program that measures the emission systems of the car every second year. The thirty minute test involves measuring the output at idle and 40 km/hr of hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrous oxide (NO) from the tailpipe. Mechanics recommend that prior to testing the car be warmed up by driving it on the highway for a half hour or more. One way of ensuring positive results is to have a fuel system cleaning done before the test.
  • downtubedowntube Posts: 43
    This is one of the strangest things I have ever heard about a modern automobile.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of On Board Diagnostics. The complexity of the OBD software in your car's computer rivals that of the actual control system it's monitoring.

    Some monitors only run on cold start. Some only run once a certain temperature is reached, and engine is operating at a certain speed and torque output. It may take several drive cycles over several days to get all monitors to run enough to satisfy the smog test.
  • My Protege, w/ 94,000 miles on it had a radiator leak that caused an engine overheating. I replaced the radiator and while I was inspired, I replaced the timing belt and water pump. That is when my problems began. I was using the Haynes Repair Manual (#61015) and the timing marks illustration for the 1.6L is wrong. I finally got the right information and put things back together. It starts and does not display any check engine errors (no CEL and I do have a code reader, but no codes are stored.) If I start the car and do nothing else, the engine will die very quickly. If I play with the throttle, I can keep the car running but have to continually move the throttle or it will die. The engine runs rough and it is not burning the fuel completely. The plugs (new) are now coated with soot. I could not keep the car running long enough to get it fully warmed up (radiator cap was still cool) but I checked the wet/dry compression while the engine was still kinda warm.

    Dry: #1 140 #2 140 #3 145 #4 150
    Wet:#1 155 #2 145 #3 170 #4 160

    I checked for vacuum leaks and found none. I cleaned the throttle body and the EGR valve, which had much carbon. This car does not have a distributor and I have ohm'ed out the crankshaft and the cam shaft sensor. They check fine.

    I wonder: While I am confident that the (DOHC) timing marks are lined up properly (Intake "I" (left) at 12 O'clock and the line @ 3 O'clock, Exhaust "E" (right) at 12 O'clock and the line at 9 o'clock) - with the #1 piston @ top dead center, I wonder if my timing belt (new) has become stretched with all the putting on/taking off.

    Please post suggestions / theories about what could be the cause of the no idle/rough running. I welcome _all_ ideas. Thanks in advance!
  • hooker321hooker321 Posts: 13
    Sounds like my problem! My car is still in the garage from Jan 09'. It overheated blew the radiator and left me stranded 15 miles away in -30 degree weather in the middle of corn fields! I Did find out my valves were shot from trying to make it while over heating. I had the head serviced for 375 bucks along with all new gaskets 100 bucks only to have now what sounds like the same problem as you. It will start then die start then die! it did run once until it came to temp I was like cool I will drive it but as soon as I put it in reverse it died! then didnt restart for an hour or so.... I have a fuel pressure tester coming to check fuel pressure while it starts n dies. I am hoping to get this junk running so I can scrap it! I hate mazda! I hate computer controlled cars! Never again will I buy a car that depends on a computer! I bought a 1986 ford 4x4 that Im converting to mechanical fuel pump and carburator controlled with a gas tank in the bed. No more depending on computers for me! I dont know what I was thinking buying this junk mazda! If you have any advice I could use it and I am glad to be of help if I have been! ...Robert
  • downtubedowntube Posts: 43
    What you describe sounds exactly like improper timing. Maybe time to take it to a professional to get the timing right.
  • hooker321hooker321 Posts: 13
    Pictures of correct factory timing marks from a car is all we need to see if we are idiots. Someone please take your valve cover off, put it at top dead center, and snap a picture of the cams and gears. How can we do any work when the book is telling us to do something wrong or telling nothing at all for the 1.6L. Its a joke. All we need is a never toyed with 1.6L picture with the timing marks and cam gears placement at TDC. If its correct then we need to look elsewhere. Like I am with buying a fuel pressure guage that goes above 30 lol. Just waiting for it to arrive hoping this week!
  • Hey...not sure if you're still monitoring this discussion or not, but I thought I'd give it a try anyway...

    I signed up for this car blog thing because I read your March 15th post, and the exact same thing has been going on with my car for the past 3 or so years. I've dealt with it because it has been so random, and I usually can get where I need to go, but recently it has gotten to the point where I am not sure if I'll get from point A to point B anymore and I'm sick of it! (In fact, this past weekend I also had to drive back from a trip I started at 55 MPH and then get a rental.)

    The only differences that I can notice is that mine happens during any speeds (but it's worst on the highway), and I didn't have a cylinder misfire (not quite sure what that is, though). My check engine light has never come on, and the computer codes show nothing.

    Sorry, I know there was a big long discussion after your initial post, but could you possibly recap in very simple terms for me? Was your problem ever totally fixed? I am not very car savvy, but mine is currently at a mazda dealership being tested, so I am just wondering what you found out.

    Thanks a ton!! I appreciate any insights!
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