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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • fritz1224fritz1224 Posts: 398
    There is an excellent explanation of the cause of this at the Protege 4 thread, post 300. Seems to make sense to me. On the other hand, that "clunking" I've read about may be something altogether different. When does it clunk? Shifting into every gear or just the lower ones? My tranny kind of "clicks" when I shift into reverse, but I think this is normal.
  • lgblgb Posts: 30
    I'm one of those people with the 5spd who notices the power lag- that explanation in Protege 4 made sense to me- I guess I need to wait a little longer than I am used to , before I shift from 1st to 2nd. I also started using one brand of gas only. I havent noticed any problem lately- maybe I just have adjusted to it.
  • fritz1224fritz1224 Posts: 398
    I don't think waiting a little longer before shifting is the key. I think accelerating harder after shifting to 2nd is what will counteract the lower engine speed caused by the lower gear ratio. My understanding is the engine speed is 1.58 times slower and therefore more throttle is needed after the shift. At least that's how I see it.
  • lgblgb Posts: 30
    Umm, if I remember back to my shifting problems, accelerating too hard made things worse- I was used to flooring it with my old 92 Protege LX, but the new one seems to like gentler acceleration. Maybe I have a different problem--(?!) :)
  • noelnycnoelnyc Posts: 1
    I bought a 5-speed ES 3 weeks ago. The check engine light came on one hour after delivery; it turned out to be a faulty wiring. Then now, I am also hearing a clunking noise while depressing and sometimes releasing the clutch. It only happens when the car is warm and going in and sometimes out of second gear. I wonder if this is the same problem that others have written about. The dealer claimed that they did not hear anything but after reading some of the comments here, I feel validated. Anyway, I will take the car to the dealer again tomorrow and show them some of the comments including the one regarding the differential. Please let me know if anyone else has the same problem and resolution. I'm just very frustrated because my old 5-speed Civic was never in a shop except for scheduled maintenance.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    ... because I have a 2000 ES 5-speed I purchased back in May. It now has more than 5,000 miles on it. No transmission complaints; no noises. The car shifts very smoothly.

  • If I were you I would print out that TSB if you got it off the internet and show it to the dealer if they do not believe you. I have a 1999 LX and I don't hear a clunk sound at low RPM, so I would tell them to fix it. Tell them that you want to test a new Protege ES on their lot and see if it makes the same noise. If it doesn't, demand they fix it or you will go to another dealer! Your dealer is too lazy to fix it, so that is why they say it's 'normal'.
  • That's funny; I got my car at 128 Mazda, too. And I have absolutely no complaints about their service.... No word on when the differential will be in, but, oh well....
  • chatratchatrat Posts: 3
    I have a 98 mazda protege with the same problem as jedda is having.There is a clunk sound in the front end of the car when I stop and go.I thought it might be my axles but I had them checked and they where ok.The noise stops after I reach 2000rpm and seems to shift ok.
  • chatratchatrat Posts: 3
    I have a 98 mazda protege
  • I have a 1997 LX with automatic. A couple of weeks ago during a very heavy and wind driven rain while the car was parked on a hill water blew into the air filter. When I started the car the water got into the fuel injectors, cylinder heads, etc. Has any one else had this type of problem.

    The dealter insists that the car was flooded but there are no indications of this type of damage elsewhere in the car and there was no flooding in the area where the car was parked.

    Can anybody help??
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    The first week I had my 2000 ES, I was on the Outer Banks of North Carolina during a Nor'easter. The rain was driving straight at me for 50 miles, and the wind was blowing about 40 miles per hour with 60 mph gusts! I know it was blowing hard, because I had to clean SAND out of my air filter housing and engine compartment it was blowing so bad. But the car never stuttered.

  • hboydhboyd Posts: 98
    Can anybody recommend a GOOD Mazda dealer service
    dept. in Southern California -- specifically Orange County?

  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    Post your question in the Mazda Vehicle owner's topics for better feedback.
  • chatratchatrat Posts: 3
    My mazda protege is making a (clunk) noise up front by the engine when i stop and go in traffic does anybody else have this problem? how did you fix it?
  • fritz1224fritz1224 Posts: 398
    If you let the clutch pedal out quickly, there will be a slight "clunk" because of the clutch plate contacting the flywheel. Slowly releasing the pedal after shifts gives a smoother gear transition. I've been told by a mechanic that front wheel drive manual cars do not have a differential. Any knowledgeable people know if this is true?
  • bnormannbnormann Posts: 335
    Most cars DO have a differential.

    It's just that on Front-Wheel-Drive cars it's buried inside the "transaxle" rather than being hung out between the rear wheels where you can see it, in it's own separate housing.

  • That clunk is probably not a big deal, unless it's accompanied by a loss of power or a hesitation... If it is, get the differential checked out.
  • tb73tb73 Posts: 1
    I own a 98 Mazda Protege LX. It has only 27k miles on it. In the past few weeks, each lock cylinder has become inoperable. It appears as if the protective plate that get's pushed in when you insert the key has broken off on each side, jamming the locks. Has anyone else experienced this?
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    "Most cars DO have a differential"

    you cannot run any 4 or more wheels vehicle without a differential. That's basic mechanical engineering..unless you have engines attached to each wheel seperately and control the RPM on each of them individually!!!
  • My 98 Protege's air conditioner stinks...literally. After turning it on I notice an unpleasant odor for about two minutes. The dealer used some kind of fungicide spray and said that should take care of it, but after a few weeks it has returned. Anyone else have this problem, or a fix? Thanks.
  • carlrjrcarlrjr Posts: 35
    I'm not aware of the specifics of an A/C system, as I am not a mechanic; however, I have heard that the odor problem of which you speak can be caused by condensation from the A/C system not draining properly. Something may be plugged -- that's why the smell went away only for a few days when they hit it with the fungicide.
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    Welcome to Town Hall!

    We have discussed problems similar to yours in two other topics here. You might want to read through the posts to see if you can find anything helpful. Here are links:

    smelly vent (Topic #561)

    airconditioning (Topic #194)

    Good luck. If you figure out something that helps, be sure to let us know.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • fritz1224fritz1224 Posts: 398
    Notice how few posts in this topic? Could it be there just aren't that many problems with this car? Probably so. Take a gander at some of the other car problem boards and you can get a real good idea of where quality lies-zoom zoom.
  • I've just inherited a '94 Protege DX with the SOHC 1.8L engine which has had a valve 'clicking' noise almost similar to what a diesel engine might sound like. The car's had this problem since ~50k miles and also shakes a lot at idle when in Drive. Does anybody know what this problem is and has anybody else had this problem? Does this problem still exist on the current Proteges?
  • I'm not that familiar with the 94 1.8. But assuming it has hydraulic lifters, it sounds like you have one or more that are "stuck". They most likely need replacement. If this occured at 50,000 miles the engine was most likely not maintained properly the first 50,000. If the engine has solid lifters, then the valves sound like they need adjusting. I had an 87 Corolla with solid lifters. The valves required adjusting every 35,000 miles.

  • lgblgb Posts: 30
    Valve sounds- Before you replace anything, you might try an oil and filter change and running the right fuel (87 octane) see if that helps. Its a pretty common syndrome with Mazdas.
  • Thanks for the advice. I've actually had the car into several mechanics including the dealer and they mentioned that there isn't anything that they could find wrong with the valves. However, they all mentioned to me that many of the the Proteges from this era had similar 'clicking' problems. The oil and filter has always been changed at regular intervals (I got the car from my brother) and has always used regular (87 octane) fuel. This car is I believe the first generation protege (squarish body) from ~'89-'94 before Mazda had switched to the 1.5 liter as the base engine. It's a pretty good car, but I'm not so sure about getting a new one if they still have these sorts of engine problems.
  • lgblgb Posts: 30
    Well, my '92 is still clicking and ticking at 118,000 miles, so although it sounds bad, if they've looked it over, and it runs okay, it may be an annoyance rather than a real problem. It's a characteristic of the hydraulic lifters when there's a build up of gunk, they get a little sticky and clicky. But there's a lot of first generation Proteges out there that keep going and going!
  • According to the canonical list compiled by the Gates Rubber Company, the '94 Protegé does have a belt, and Mazda recommends that you change it out every 60,000 miles. And if Gates is correct, this engine is free-running (as opposed to an interference fit), which means that if the belt breaks, the engine will stop, but actual damage is unlikely. The procedure, as I understand it, doesn't require any special tools, but it is a bit on the complicated side.
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