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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    "plastic connector housing was half melted ... all the electrical components (headlights, interior light, radio display, etc.) flicker "

    Are you the original owner since 2000? If not, there could be a bit of missing history that may explain these events. Has the car been soaked (for example, by a flood)?
  • I am the original owner and there has not been any major damage such as flooding.
  • tekvotekvo Posts: 1
    Ok ive been driving my 02 Protege for the last couple of days and the problem as been getting worse. It seams when i first start to drive my car and press the gas and release the clutch the car begins to go jerky and act like its getting gas and not getting gas. Even when im in 2nd gear it does the same thing like its almost about to stop but it keeps going. I have to push in the clutch and then go again giving more gas then it should need. Any ideas on what the problem is?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    press the gas and release the clutch the car begins to go jerky and act like its getting gas and not getting gas.

    One possibility is your Protege's EGR valve. EGR stands for Exhaust Gas Recirculation and the EGR valve is part of the car's emission system. The valve could be clogged which would cause the engine to choke and then to spurt as if the car was about to stop and then suddenly jump.

    The EGR problem is very common with Proteges. I had the EGR valve on my 2002P5 replaced a few years ago. Some recommend just cleaning the valve can do the trick.
  • Yeah I just bought a '98 protege from a friend... big mistake, but I've run into the same problems you have! First your light housing is melting because it is not making contact all the way with your the light... I think a spring is missing that will keep it in place and not melt your wires. Second, your 3 cylinder is not firing because of carbon build up in your catalytic converter... swear to god it's nothing with the engine. Change the O2 sensors and make sure that the cat is not completly clogged and smells like eggs. Than give it a tune up make sure that your airbox and everything that leads up to the mainfold(I don't know what that plastic piece is called, but make sure it isn't broken). Lastly your Alternator... these year protege's have really bad alternators and have a tendancy of seizing up. BUY A GOOD ALTERNATOR don't skimp like i did and get one from a junkyard, don't buy a bottom of the barrel OEM replacement... get the best. Trust me this will save you from repeating a job over and over and over again. Honestly the protege isn't a bad car... wait yes it is because Ford had a say in making it. I'm honestly just holding on to mine until I build up my credit enough to finance a better Japanese car that has nothing to do with Ford at all. Or until I can't take it anymore and I sell it.
  • How do you replace an EGR valve on a 95 Mazda Protege?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    How do you replace an EGR valve on a 95 Mazda Protege?
    The simplest way to replace the EGR would be to go to a Mazda dealership. The alternatives are to have an independent garage do it, or to have the EGR cleaned, or to replace it with one from a vehicle that has been scrapped.

    p.s. I learned something! I was not aware there were EGR valves on Mazda vehicles back in 1995.
  • after you changed the o2 sensors and cleaned the EGR or replaced it, is the car running good now because mine is doing the same thing jerking and acting like it is not getting enough gas then as if it is getting too much?
  • Your Front Calipers or Rear wheel wheel cylinders might be seized. or you could have a small leak in one of your brake lines
  • How do I know what is the problem? My car shakes while driving passed 40 mph. So is it the tires, strut and suspension? Any ideas? It was very bad on the highway tonight that I thought I had a flat tire, but when I checked the tire was okay.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    It's always a good idea to attack the most likely problem first and then go on to more complex possibilities. So for a "speed related" shake or shimmy, one always makes tire balancing the first suspect. Once the possibility of out of balance tires, or a bent wheel, are eliminated, then one can look for other things.

    Of course, while the tires are being balanced, someone should give a quick look at the front end to make sure there's not an obvious cause, like a loose tie rod or a broken bolt somewhere.

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

  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    I haven't posted in a while, but my old '95 Protege is running great at 235K miles. I just finished some moderately difficult DIY repairs and will share some tips. All of this work was done on jack stands in my garage with just a moderate collection of tools, none of which are powered.

    My original driver sides half axle boot had finally torn open. It has been clicking since 70K miles, but the boot was great until recently. The first stumbling block in doing the half axle is the FROZEN stabilizer bar link nut. If you are not familiar, these sealed links don't have any good spot to grab the stud to prevent it from turning with the frozen nut. The allen on the end of the stud is worthless at the force levels associated with a really frozen rusted nut. A professional would just use a torch to cut this out, whereas I used a hacksaw with a cutting rod. This was very time consuming.

    Getting the ball joint off of the knuckle wasn't too bad. I used a tie rod end puller to push it off instead of a pickle fork to pry it out because I didn't want to destroy the ball joints that were replaced at 150K miles. Tie rods ends themselves are easy with the puller.

    An axle puller made popping the end off of the knuckle easy. Removing the axle from the tranny was initially difficult due to the limited space and tight fit. I finally used a front axle puller adapter tool from Auto Zone. This is designed to be used with a slide hammer, but limited space prevented this. So I just wedged this thin metal adapter in behind the axle and popped it out with one moderate blow from a long 1" pipe.

    Getting the plastic/rubber oil seal out required some care so as not to destroy the metal. I used a small vise grip and slowly pried it out by grabbing the seal itself. Getting the new Timken seal in straight required a metal form of the same size and some gentle blow with a hammer. I also used the puller adapter to spread the force of the blows on just one side when it was going in slightly uneven.

    Popping the axle in was fairly difficult until I realized I had to slightly adjust the angle instead of just trying to push it straight in. I used the car's jack to assist in pushing the ball joint back into the knuckle.

    One difficulty I faced in replacing the stabilizer bar links was the parts. MOOG replacements will not work in this application as the grease nipple sticks too far out and will strike the strut tower with an extended suspension and the steering wheel turned to the right. So then I went looking for sealed links and found some. The best version are ones that have a nut head that can be wrenched on the ball side of the link. I ended up getting ones similar to the OEM links due to availability, but used anti-seize compound to hopefully allow later removal of the nut using an allen on the end of the stud.

    One other tip, drain the tranny oil prior to pulling the axle. Interestingly, when I pulled the axle on our minivan, very little tranny fluid came out. With the Protege, a lot of oil comes out.

    Next up for maintenance/repairs is a timing belt change. After that, I will tackle my first clutch job in a year of so (still on the original). Hope this info helps someone out there.
  • txcutietxcutie Posts: 3
    I have a 95 Mazda protege that runs well other than the fact that it idles high which isn't my main concern. My main concern is the car overheating....runs warm in town and runs warm on out of town trips but as soon as I get on my way home the temp gauge shoots up to hot and the coolant in the reservoir is boiling....also found oil on the motor.....husband thinks it is either a valve cover gasket or the head gasket...any one have any experience with this situation?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    If you're saying that it only overheats when you hit the freeway but runs "okay" in town, then you have a coolant circulation/blockage problem of some sort.

    With a bad head gasket, chances are you'd overheat in town as well, and pretty quickly.

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

  • txcutietxcutie Posts: 3
    yeah found out it isn't the head gasket....the thermostat I have is a 195 degree and I am trying to find out what the water temperature in the car gets up to so I can make sure I have the right thermostat
  • txcutietxcutie Posts: 3
    Well I am having the car checked out and there doesn't appear to be anything majorly wrong with it so no more out of town driving for me...just in town and we are going to have diagnostics run as soon as it overheats again but I think you are right
  • khmankhman Posts: 1
    I have recently started a new job which requires a lot of driving. The stock seats on my 1997 Mazda Protege are starting to really hurt my back, and I am thinking of swapping them for something a lot more supportive and comfortable.

    Does anyone know whether seats from a Miata, MX3, Protege 5 or any other Mazda will fit in the existing bolt holes?

    Many thanks
  • bennybsoxbennybsox Posts: 1
    My problem started with a squealing belt about a month ago. No problems came from this immediately and the squealing seemed to go away after the car warmed up. Just today going to work the battery light started flashing and soon after the transmission failed to shift into a higher gear out of 2nd. Also the radio and all power options either turn off at random or seem to lack enough power to work properly. Half way home the transmission shifted up and things were fine until i pulled into my driveway.

    Could this be a tranny prob? or does it more likely sound like an alternator/battery issue?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Usual suspect: your alternator.

    The squealing belt may be related to your timing belt. If it is the alternator and if you have not done your timing belt already, it makes sense to do both at the same time as they are located in the same area of the engine. Also, you might want to have the mechanic check out your water pump at the same time for the same reason. The parts are cheap compared to the labour to get to and replace the parts involved.

    p.s. if your alternator has been acting up for a while it may have also affected your battery, so it may be wise to get that checked.
  • My Mazda has started to make a grinding, metal-on-metal sounding noise whenever I push in the clutch pedal. The RPMs also drop, sometimes stalling the engine. This happens only when the clutch pedal is pressed in, whether in gear or not. When I release the clutch pedal, the noise stops completely. I first suspected the clutch release bearing, and I replaced it as well as the pilot bearing, but it did not change the problem in any way.

    My vehicle is a 1991 Mazda Protege LX. It has the 1.8 L DOHC and 5-speed manual transmission.
  • I have a 98 mazda that had a squealing belt one time. I had the alternator in a speciality shop and the guy told me that the alternator is just barely the right size for the demands on it. So the belt has to be "banjo" tight or it will give problems. AFter it was tightened up then it didnt' give a problem anymore.
  • The manual says to use a special tool for holding (differential) slide gears after removing half shafts (axles). What kind of tool is this? Is there something in the garage that can substituted? How critical is it to have something to hold these slide gears or can a person go without?
    This is 98 mazda protege. Manual transmission. We;re changing the clutch disc.
  • mchauvinmchauvin Posts: 1
    Two screws at the top of the Black bezel drop steering wheel adjustment to the lowest setting. You should be able to pull the bezel free. Two screws at the bottom of the gauge cluster one at the top. Pull gauge cluster forward unplug the wires one plug on the right two on the left. Pull out the gauge cluster the bulbs are in the little black connectors half turn and they come out. Little bulb.
  • Check engine light has been playing with me for about 6 months, coming on and going off every couple of weeks. Two days ago it started flashing and I took it to a mechanic. They are quoting a $1400 price for a new catalytic converter, O2 sensor, and tune-up. (Codes PO421-need catalytic converter, and PO300 - random misfire.)

    Is this usual on this age Protege?

    Trying to decide it I should repair or get a new car. I'm at 95K miles and just replaced all the brakes 3 weeks ago. Sigh

    Any advice appreciated.
  • I had that same problem engine misfiring and all of that, but my protege actually shook. Quite scary. Don't take it to a name brand auto shop they'll rip you off. Order a CAT online yourself. I'd recommend The O2 sensor may not necessarily be replaced unless it's damaged when taking your old CAT off. But I'd just do the CAT and see how that goes for a week or two and if nothing comes up you should be good. I will note this though, depending on what state you're in you might need a certain type of CAT. Either California Emissions or 48 State. I was supposed to get California Emissions but they are HARD TO FIND atleast for me and I beleive I ended up just getting 48 state. Smile though, mines an `01 and with 179000 mi. damn previous owner!!
  • Wow, I'm impressed. First, by the mileage you've got; not to mention the click persisting so long until it absolutely needed attention. Second, your success with the half axle. My '96 was clicking (at about 90,000: maybe I should have just let it click a while longer!). I had replaced a CRX axle once upon a time; my main experience is aircooled VWs, which are stupidly simple. But the Protege: man, I was ill from trying to pull that sucker from the transmission; didn't know about the axle puller adapter you mention. I guess I need one, or I'll just let the mechanic do them (I'm getting old, or at least tired). Should have found this forum earlier. At the shop they used the impact wrench with a spade "bit" and just hammered away, somehow, somewhere, and the axle released. Pretty violent. Wish I knew how the CRX came out so easily; all I was doing was reading the book, no prior knowledge at all.
    Hey, thought I might ask: I posted this on the forum but don't know who'll notice or know. Do you? To manage an idling problem I am replacing the idle air control valve (with a used one; the $600 for a new one is impossible). My manual (Haynes) says the resistance across the terminals should be from 1070-1230. Both the original and the replacement read 880. Any insight?
    Thanks, and keep posting
  • First step is to diagnose the misfire. You need to fix the misfire before anything else because enough misfiring can foul the emissions system (ruin the cat). After diagnosing the misfire, fix it and move on to the next step.
    Second step is to diagnose the PO421. This code could be caused by a bat cat, or could be caused by a bad O2 sensor. A well equipped shop can tell the difference by looking at the O2 sensor output with a scope.
    Maybe they already did all this... but if not don't let them just start replacing parts without a diagnosis.
  • I'm with you on the axle - what an incredible pain.

    Are you positive the idle problem is not caused by an air leak or an EGR problem? EGR fouling is very common on these cars, and an air leak will totally screw up idle. I had both - the air leak was a crack in the accordion-like duct between the air cleaner and intake, and my EGR was carboned up.
  • 2000 mazda protege LX keeps stalling out on me.
    I have an automatic protege, that when it gets hot it tends to die.
    the other day I drove my car to a tire store and it broke down on the way there. after about 30 min of trying and failing it finally started again, and made it to the shop.
    now it has been there for 3 days and they cant tell me whats wrong.
    it only tends to do this when ive driven for a while, or when its reallly hot out.
    i live in flordia so its hot alot.
    it never over heats or smokes or anything, it just dies.
    also it idles kind of low.

    someone said something about freeze plugs maybe being the problem..

    any ideas??
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    edited September 2010
    What downtube says is my experience too. I've not had to do the idle air control valve after fixing the cracked rubber intake at around 100K and the fouled EGR valve twice (replaced with new after market with lifetime warranty in '03 and just took the dirty one in for free replacement in '09).

    I am very impressed with the overall quality of parts on my '95 Protege. I still have the original alternator, power steering parts, radiator, etc, and the interior is still in good shape due to the high quality fabrics used.

    That said, I am about to replace the exhaust from the cat flange back to the muffler. The resonator and pipe are still good, but the flanges always seem to fail/rust out due to not being stainless like the rest of it. I contemplated just getting it cut out at a shop and replacing with straight pipe, but I found a new Bosal resonator # 282033 for $63 online. The local big chain parts store wanted $100. I also got free shipping if I spent over $100, so I got some new plug wires and a fuel filter and some spray undercoating. I replaced the original muffler with a new Bosal about 5 years ago due to flange failure.
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