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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • I would like to know if someone here could tell me how to change a speed sensor on a mazda 2001. pictures would be great thanks STEVE
  • Ok I'm really new to this but hope it works. My husband has a 1993 Mazda Protege and he ran it severly hot to the point where it shut down. The heads are not cracked but the engine now just turns over. We can not afford a new car so I am hoping someone here may be able to tell us what is wrong with it.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    My husband has a 1993 Mazda Protege and he ran it severly hot to the point where it shut down. The heads are not cracked but the engine now just turns over.

    Do you mean the motor is running but the car does not move? If it does move, I suggest you head to your local mechanic. On the other hand, it's almost 17 years old so it may be time ...
  • No it doesn't move the engine won't start. I realize it is 17 yrs old but we can not afford a new car. I am looking for a helpful answer not a take it to a mechanic answer. Thanks
  • downtubedowntube Posts: 43
    How do you know the head isn't cracked?

    The first thing I'd do is run a compression test. Blown head gasket and/or warped head is a good possibility. You can also look for sign of coolant from the tailpipe, oil in the coolant, or bubbles/churning in the radiator when the engine is cranked.

    If the engine got really hot it could have damaged sensors and/or sensor cables. I've seen the crank position sensor cable melted by an overheated engine.

    I recently replaced a blown head gasket on a mazda that overheated. Don't be fooled by thinking a head gasket is only $60. The repair cost me about $600, and I did all the labor myself. Overheating can do a lot of damage. I had to replace the radiator, the crank position sensor, top end gasket set, and head bolts. With the engine apart it made sense to replace the timing belt, water pump, both serpentine belts, and radiator hoses.

    The guys at and can be helpful. You'll need to provide good information, not just say "please help". Like, how do you know the head isn't cracked? What exactly happened? Have you done any tests? Do you have the mechanical skills to troubleshoot and repair? Don't be offended, but folks will respond better to good solid information than desperate pleas.
  • You will need to have the Cylinder head worked on. I paid 375.00 for the rebuild and did it myself. Your valves cant close now so you will never get the 195 lbs of compression you need. Your head is prob not cracked tho. The shop will do a pressure check before rebuilding it. I would fix then sell.. or junk the car meaning part it out on ebay! Mine left me stranded on a -30 degree day and I vow to never own a computer controled, timing belt istead of chain, piece of crap again! Mechanical everything, even the fuel pump!
  • chump2chump2 Posts: 8
    i need some advise , our 2001 Es has 108,000miles yesterday it just died , we were able to restart it but it would staul out , after running it for a while keeping my foot on the gas slightly it would now stay running but idles low . the engine light came on and is still on . we dont want to use it because we dont want to get stuck on the road , we havent had any problems until now we purchased it new .
    any thoughts ? thanks
  • Hi,

    I have a 97 mazda protege and recently i started having issues where the idle is very high. started with 1500 rpms and now its at 3000. Just wondering if anyone else had the same issue with this car and how did it get resolved.
  • Take it to a local auto parts store and have them hook a scanner to it to retrieve the fault code number that's causing the engine light to come on. They will do this for free. Post the information here, or on one of the many Mazda Protege online forums. There are many enthusiasts for this car who are willing to help.
  • The idle on your car is controlled by the ECU (Computer). If it's idling too high, that means the computer is not doing what it should. One of two possible reasons:
    - The ECU is receiving a bad input, or
    - The ECU is unable to control something it needs to control

    Common problems with inputs
    - The Mass Air Flow sensor carefully measures the amount of air flowing into your engine and provides that information to the ECU. The ECU then meters the appropriate amount of fuel to the engine. Two issues can occur leading to incorrect MAF signal to the ECU
    -- Dirty MAF. A thin wire inside the sensor sometimes gets dirty. It can be cleaned by spraying brake cleaner or electrical cleaner on the wire. Don't touch the wire with anything (not even a q-tip) or you'll break it.
    -- Vacuum leak. A vacuum leak lets excess air into the intake that the ECU doesn't know about. Any vacuum leak will do it, but particularly inspect the large accordion-like pipe between the air cleaner and the engine intake. Cracks sometimes develop in the grooves, and cause air leaks.

    - Bad coolant temperature signal. If the coolant temperature signal is wrong, the ECU will incorrectly adjust for temperature. I don't have any diagnostics for this.

    On the output side
    - Sticky Idle Air Control Valve. Can be removed and cleaned.
    - Sticky EGR Valve. Can be removed and cleaned.

    There are other possible causes, but these are common.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Good summary of the likely suspects!

    Checking for leaks can be done easily; the others (MAF, Idle Air Control valve, EGR valve) might involve some skill.
  • I have an 03 Protege LX and for the past year I have smelled antifreeze when I walk in the front of the car. I never see any on the ground, and my water pump was replaced recently, but the faint smell persists. Car never overheats or has any problems. Does anyone else have this problem?
  • Very small leak seems like a good possibility. A close visual inspection with a bright light of all hoses, gaskets, and coolant lines might turn up some evidence of a leak. It's pretty tight in the engine compartment, so you'll only be able to see a percentage of possible locations.

    How's the level in the overflow tank?

    I'd wait for the car to be dead cold, like overnight, then check the level in the radiator. A pinhole leak will eventually lower coolant level - and usually will grow.

    If the coolant isn't going down, you could either wait to see if the leak grows, or take it to a shop to have them try to find it.
  • MIght be coming from the weep hole on the water pump. BUT its under the timing cover so you will have to remove it to see. The timing cover might be collecting the antifreeze in the bottom. When full enuff it will then drip out. Remove upper and middle timing cover plates and inspect. Also thin old hoses can emit an oder by sweating. Not uncommon either.
  • The alternator froze when driving shredding the belt. Working on it at home any time I reconnect ed the wires it would run for a short time and freeze up. Took the alt to a shop tested it on the bench ran fine. Took it to another shop in the car, they came back saying it was a bad alt, even thought it ran fine during the time they had it didn't freeze. Computer issue???
  • The overflow tank is still full, it could be the weeping from the hoses. I know it can't be the water pump area because when it was replaced they were under there doing all sorts of work. I'll try checking the radiator itself when the car sits. Just find it hard to believe anything would be wrong, CR gave this thing a bulletproof reliability rating!
  • cam sensor is the problem. Mine did exactly the same thing and the check engine light came on but the shop said that the reading was not about the cam sensor. But my friend replaced the cam sensor and I had no problems starting the car again. Before that we replaced the O2 sensors (2) and it did not make a difference.
  • My little yellow lights work and so do my high beams. The high beam bulbs are also the low beam bulbs. I checked the fuses and they are good. I took out the relay from under the hood in the fuse box and the high beams and low beams didn't work. It was a wet and rainy day so maybe I hit a puddle and got something wet?

    2001 Mazda Protege
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    The high beam bulbs are also the low beam bulbs
    Interesting. I guess Mazda changed this in 2002 because my Protege has separate bulbs for high & low beam.
  • cav4cav4 Posts: 3
    Died when driving. engine light went on then died. wont start. doesnt crank. low pitched sound when trying to start. has 220,000 miles and bad seals. Is it solonoid(s), starter, alternator etc?
  • Hmnmm Try tapping the starter while someone is turning the key. How was the oil level? Sounds like a crank sensor was knocked off. Its located atop the bottum main pully. A credit card distance away from the teeth used to read the crank timing. Ummm Shut down huh???... Um Altinator No Starter No.... Maybe you broke the timing belt! Open the upper plastic inspection cover for the timing belt. You may have a busted belt! Sounds like the engine cranks but the upper half is not turning so it will just make a humming noise..
  • Fuel pump pressure check at the fuel pump
  • I have a 2000 Mazda Protege 1.6 liter and when I turn on the AC the belt slips for a few seconds (a really loud screech). However this usually happens when the engine is cold. The belt feels tight to the touch but it must not be. It usually does not slip when the engine is warm.

    I would like to replace the belt as a starting place. If anyone could give me detailed instructions as to how to replace this belt, I would greatly appreciate it.


  • It's time for a clutch replacement.
    Anyone have any experience w/ P5 clutch replacement:
    OEM vs. aftermarket?
    helpful hints?

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,839
    All I can tell you is to buy the best clutch kit money can buy, (OEM or name-brand) because you don't want to be doing this twice.

    As for procedure, I'd recommend that you get a Chilton's Import Repair Manual or a subscription to, so that you'll know how to do the job step by step.

    It's important to be thorough, for a successful clutch job. So you want to do pressure plate, clutch disk, throwout bearing and pilot bearing, and a close inspection of the flywheel face for cracking, burning, grooves, etc. If the flywheel doesn't look so good, mark its position and remove it for machining or replacment. Also consider flushing your clutch hydraulic system.

    Be sure to work safely.

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  • lekyleky Posts: 1
    Could you let me know when it's time for me to change the timing belt and how much would that most likely cost me? Thanks.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,839
    Every 60000 miles for the 1.8 DOHC engine. Cost will vary, but book says about 3 hours labor and $60 bucks for the part. Of course, if they replace tensioner, water pump etc (one of those "while we're in there" type of repairs) then the cost can go up accordingly. I think a private repair shop could run this up to $600, and a dealer would be higher or course. But it looks like basic belt + parts @ $100/hr is about $400 bucks out the door. So be sure to check on what you get for the price quoted, and think about what you want to replace "while you're in there".

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  • Mr Shuft,

    Thanks for the info. I'll probably go w/ Mazda, but it looks like I should do the entire kit. Not sure yet if I'll have Dealer or Trans shop do it.

    As per flushing, Is the clutch hydraulic system part of the brake system, a seperate bleed line, or entire seperate system?

    Thanks. O15
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,839
    looks to be all separate, yes.

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  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    the entire kit
    I believe the alternator is another item that you may want to have checked while "they" are there. If it's in good shape, then no worry. If not, it may be worth considering for replacement before it fails (and knocks out a battery or two).
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