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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    quoting a $1400 price for a new catalytic converter, O2 sensor, and tune-up
    Seems high to me. You may want to get a second opinion.
    According to the carpartswholesale site it looks like the cost of the parts alone is approaching $500 to $600. So, the rest of the cost is labor ...

    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.
    Ah, the persistent dilemma with an older car! Do I keep on paying those repair bills or do I fork over major cash for a new vehicle? If you have more expensive replacements expected this year (example: need to replace timing belt and alternator), then you may want to bite the bullet and go for the new car. On the other hand, if you can stomach putting more money into the Pro and it lasts a couple more years, your pocketbook may be happier. Personally, I try to keep my vehicles running as long as possible, but after 10 years the repair bills keep on increasing while the advantages of a new vehicle keep on multiplying. Good luck!
  • Thanks for the thoughts. It's my first time doing the "keep or not keep" older car assessment. I did have a second opinion on the price which they said did not seem so far off (I might have been missing some parts and such along with the tune-up.) The second opinion also was "it's driving fine now, so it seems crazy to dump that money into it. Bring it back when the light starts flashing again" But, I am due for the timing belt and the sense was that the expected repairs would keep going up. And, I am risk averse and do some long drives, so I've settled on getting a Mazda3. They are doing some great deals trying to clear 2010s from the lots. I'll try to keep this one going for at least 10 years!
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    so I've settled on getting a Mazda3.
    Great! Making a decision is half the battle. And getting something new is exciting. By the way, when you try the Mazda3 you might want to give the Mazda2 a spin also as it's supposed to be a hoot.
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    I replaced the resonator pipe on Saturday. Overall, it wasn't too difficult. I did it using just metal front ramps. I am thin, and using front and rear jack stands would probably be better for many people.

    Some must haves for this project are spray rust remover-penetrating fluid for the nuts, 2'-3' long 1" pipe for leverage on 1/2" ratchet, spray lubricant for removing the rubber support bushings, sockets/adapters, long standard screw driver for prying the old flange apart, safety glasses, etc. I also used a stout cardboard box to support the new pipe (at the resonator) horizontal and attached muffler flange first and resonator flange second.

    One issue I faced was that the front heat shield clamp on the old pipe was pretty much rusted away. I cut it off and used one stainless steel hose clamp to secure the front of the shield to the pipe. The rear screws for this shield were reusable after removing from the old.

    The bolts and nuts and springs used by Mazda on the flanges are high quality and definitely reusable. Very little rust on these.

    I did not buy the flange gaskets online, thinking I would just pick that up at a local parts shop. Unfortunately, the in-store computer inventory systems at these national chains are lacking if you don't have Mazda's part number. I find that Google is better for a part cross reference search (Bosal to Walker to Felpro) than the store's systems. I finally got on the computer and ordered the right part from a local-national chain store that told me earlier on the phone they didn't carry it. I picked it up the same day.

    I got the parts from FCP Groton due to the free shipping offer. All parts ordered were fine, except that the resonator itself had a few small shallow dings. This was not severe enough to warrant me sending it back and it should last 10-15 years. Because the Bosal part was made in the Philippines and then shipped to CT and then shipped to me (IN) via UPS in bubble wrap, it is hard to say where such dings happened. Unfortunately, many parts stores online do not state where the part is made, and this was the case with fcpgroton. I would prefer to have the option to buy parts made in the USA for a number of important reasons. For reference, the Bosal muffler I installed previously was made in Mexico and the Walker flange gasket was made in Mexico. No wonder jobs are scarce!

    I am thinking of picking up a Walker CAT for a future repair due to the rebate going on right now. The CAT side of the flange was heavily rusted and flaking, so its time is numbered. This is definitely a weak spot with the Protege. I don't know if it is the weld material or the flange/pipe itself being incompatible with the weld. Anyway, this is where they fail.
  • I am a single female age 23 , I'm going to college to be a registered nurse. I need a good car so I bought this mazda protege 03 2.0 L. at an auction hoping I could fix it myself. It does not run, the guy said it might be a head gasket. well the head was warped I had my machinist shave it down and redue the valves they were egg shaped the person who had this car got it REAL hot, that was my first guess when I seen all the water juggs in the backseat, I also found an extra coil pack in the trunk. I figured I would get the head fixed which costs me around $300 altogether, I bought a new gasket and intake gasket put it all back together and it still want start!! I thought well maybe I didn't put it in time right . So I got a timing book and it showed a picture and it STILL wont start , maybe I need different timing marks maybe the one in the book is wrong , I don't know? Please help me!
  • I have already posted but nhaven't got a reply I NEED TIMING MARKS i guess that s why it won't run its a 2.0 mazda 2003 protege and it won't start and I have done everything Im going nuts here its been months and the damn thing still isn't runnin so if anyone has a picture of the timing marks i would very much appreciate it I have a timing book and apparently its wrong!!!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    I'd suggest that you take out a subscription for $29 bucks to ALLDATADIY ( and that'll be good for any job on this vehicle for a whole year. It gives step by step details for installed and aligning the chain and would also help you diagnose other reasons for the no-start. There's just too much info, and too many diagrams, to post here, and sending too little information often leads the person into difficulties.

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  • I hope someone can help - I left the hatchback lid ajar for a few days (didn't notice some fabric was keeping it from latching) and the battery wore down. Battery is under a year old, 2003 Mazda Protege5.

    I finally got a chance to jumpstart it (pickup truck with plenty of power), and I get power (radio, lights, etc) but it won't start, or even try, I just hear a small click and that's it. I did some internet searches and some mention a fuel switch to reset, but I can't find out where that is. Another place said to disconnect the battery for 20 minutes so something can reset, so I did that, and still it won't start. I've had no previous trouble like this, the only time it ever needed jumpstarted before was a ten degree below zero day, a few years ago - but the battery had not been run down, it just got too cold :-)

    Thanks anyone for any help.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    You should never try to jumpstart a *completely* dead battery---this can kill the battery and sometimes kill you as well.

    You'll have to slow-charge it, clean the battery posts and see what happens. The battery might be toast after the jump start (overheats the plates, which warp and short out).

    Also, jumpstarting a dead battery can cause it to explode, which, given that this is more or less an acid filled hand grenade, could get ugly for someone standing nearby.

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  • Update - got it started! Not quite sure how, but I pulled each of the fuses to make sure they were all ok (they were), and one of them must have reset something. It started right up, not even connected to the other vehicle! :)
  • Mr Shiftright - it wasn't completely dead - I had radio and interior lights and stuff. But thanks for that important info, I'll remember that.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    Good! I'd still clean up the battery posts though. I'm not sure messing with the fuses had anything to do with it. I really focus on everything a person says about their problem, and if they (or I) interpret the words differently, then I'm off in another direction. You had said that you got a "small click" when you tried to start it, and that tells me the starter solenoid was getting some juice---so that suggests a fuse was working at that time. The starter relay is fused but not the starter motor.

    Well WHATEVER...important thing is it now works. But check everything over and make sure it's all clean and tight.

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    I have a 2003 Mazda protege and the car won't start!!!

    I've just installed a new starter yesterday cause there was no contact, no clic clic,
    a bit of rust on my old one. So the starter is new, the solenoid is new, the switch
    too and the batterie is new too . The contact or connection from the batterie to the starter is ok. AND still won't work!!! still no clic clic when I turn the key.

    Could it be a bad connection from the key to the switch, or a computer problem, a wire problem. Does anybody got a clue THanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    edited October 2010
    Hmmmm.....presuming you testing for voltage at the solenoid with a test light, I'll take a stab at a blown fusible link in the engine bay. Some starter solenoids are fused this way.

    Do you have headlights?

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  • 99dx99dx Posts: 3
    With no answer in sight, I'm respectfully asking your advice on a PO 171 code (lean condition). The car is solid with 14k miles, but until Feb, it was sitting for 3 years at least and to get it, I had to start it with the old gas. My Dad's choice of mechanic has thrown a new MAF and recently a can of something like 'commercial' DRYGAS into it with no results. I put a water dispersant (Amsoil) in as soon as i got the car and recently a can of injector-cleaner. No Luck at this game of darts and the mechanic told me, 'That model car's 1. fuel pressure can't be checked 2. fuel filter can't be changed as it's integral to the in-tank fuel-pump. 3. It could be a million things 3. next step is to change the the in-tank fuel-pump/fuel filter unit which requires dropping the tank $$$$$. I have zero confidence in him and can't afford another 14k mileage vehicle, so

    I'd appreciate your thoughts, please

    Scott (99DX) Schuck
  • jfrankha112jfrankha112 Posts: 8
    edited November 2010
    Did you ever find out what was fixed? Or did they not tell you but charged you $600? Is car still working fine?
  • Did you ever get your Protege fix? If so what was the final problem?
  • Did any of the advice finally fix your car and if so what was the real cause?
  • Did you ever get your car fixed, if so what was the final cause?
  • I have a 2002 Protege 2.0 with 95K miles that is dripping very small amounts of oil. The dealer says the leak is from the oil pump gasket, and the repair would be $1600 because they have to pull the engine and transmission to get to the oil pump. Is this realistic? And if I do get it done, what other work should I consider while the engine is out? The engine is running well, so I'd like to keep the car for a while.

    Greg O.
  • I now have this same problem this morning. How did you repair this problem?
  • For me the problem was that for whatever reason, the low beam filament in both of my headlight bulbs burnt out. I replaced the bulbs and it worked fine. It actually happened to me again during another wet day. It hasn't done it since, but take a look at your bulbs and look at the filaments. If replacing the bulbs doesn't work then I really don't know what to tell you. Go to walmart though for headlight bulbs, much cheaper than an auto store.
  • Your suggestion worked! Thank you!
  • I have a 95 Mazda protege - Ive had my car for like 2-3 months after a bad buy... I havent had a problem since I got it- its been upkept by a non smoker- only had 158K on it... oil underneath every year...regular oil changes, etc... Well it was cold one night about 2 weeks ago, and I went to move it to public parking( I live on a main street) and It wouldnt start- so I had to get a boost at 3 am... The next day I found out from an Active Green and Ross close to me and after charge tests- my battery didnt have a high charge so after $150 bucks and an oil change later right after xmas.... I bought a new battery went on my way0- cars been fine since... and than me and my fiancee went about a half an hour outta town to look at a few music stores and while driving my cd player and digital clock were losing power... next my charge light went on in the car... and finALLY the clock and cd player lost all power... praying I got home *being without cables* *timing my foot on the gas near lights* We made it home drove it to my dads and had to reverse in his driveway just in case* because I knew this previously... sure enough I shut off the car and it wont turn over no power nothing..... So I visit with my family with nothing open 5 hours later I go outside and start my car... not needing a boost- which was odd and this didnt happen last time the battery went.... but quickly within five minutes started dying out again.... Currently the car is sitting at the shop- waiting for morning... What do I do? I thought maybe its the belt... not the right size I been told its alittle lose... Im broke and cannot afford anymore money into the car... praying its something in expensive does anyone have any ideas? Its not the alternator or the starter because both are working...just thought id take the long shot and see if I could get a reply before i get it fixed:)
  • Yeah I thought so. It's weird though how both just seemed to fry.
  • From the way it sounds it sounds like it's something to do with the alternator if the battery isn't holding a charge. I can't think of anything else it could be.
  • I have Mazda Protege 2002 model. i have check engine light. The codes for check engine light are P0300 and P0431 (OEM number). Car is on with check engine light since a month but lately the light have been flashing and car seems to be less powerful. Car shuts down when I stop at traffic light and sometimes gives push. Except getting tune up can some one suggest what has happened?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    edited February 2011
    flashing light is not a good sign. You have a misfire and you are probably (potentially) going to damage your catalytic converter---that's why it's flashing right now.

    The cause of misfires are numerous and you have no choice but a step by step diagnosis to eliminate any one of 10+ possible causes.

    In any event, you'd better get on this.

    Causes might include bad crankshaft positioning sensor, bad camshaft positioning sensor, bad coil, bad high tension lead, MAF sensor, vacuum leaks in intake manifold, fuel pump malfunction, fuel pressure regulator malfunction, clogged fuel filter, evaporative emissions system malfunction, PCV malfunction, EGR malfunction, related vacuum hose or wiring harness defects.

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  • What the best diagnostic tool for a 1995 mazda protege 17pin connection?
  • I have had my 92 protege for a few years now, I never drove a standard or evan a used car before... economy. So in any event would like to know how I can check to see if my transmission is leaking.
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