Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    don't replace the coils if the car runs. Just try the wires first.
  • gibbergibber Posts: 41
    Unfortunately, I'm stuck with the dealer, since it is far away and I can't get the wires until tommorrow anyway. Then it would be just the wires and if that didn't do it I would be without the car for even more time. However, the dealer's explanation for the coil was that it is shorting out when it gets hot. It has been my experience that it runs OK when cold, but when restarted after running for awhile, gets the blinking or full on engine light and barely runs. Unfortunately, at this time I can't afford(in time) to experiment. But it really sucks that I couldn't have just gone to Kragen's or whatever and tried out a new set of wires to satisfy myself.
  • jskhojskho Posts: 107
    Since this is the same engine as on the 626, I wonder if it has the same notorious Ford CD4E auto transmission. Since Protege/5s are built in Japan, does this mean that they have Mazda trannies?
  • I'm here in the San Francisco Bay Area, where labour is amoungst the highest in the nation. To pull codes with the scanner, charges here run from 100.00 - 140.00, not including repairs. Although I don't work with Mazda's currently, I have in the past and normally recommend replacment of ignition cables at 50K miles. It appears that for most vehicles, that's about as much life as you can reasonably expect from them.
    dennisjhs in SF
  • gibbergibber Posts: 41
    Well, now I got the car back, $415 later and sure enough, the engine light comes on a day later. I look under the hood and there are the new plug wires(a nice blue) and one of the old ones lying there as well. Now I get to go back to complain and be lucky to get off with another $100.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Stored DTC's identify the circuit or system whose operation is/was outside specified parameters and has triggered the MIL. Even then, stored codes don't specify what the problem component is, only the affected circuit. Did the dealer specify which DTC's were present?
  • gibbergibber Posts: 41
    Back to the dealer-failure was catalytic converter. Fortunately, a warranty item.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    If the plug wires were defective and causing a misfire, that often damages a catalytic converter. All the excess hydrocarbons from the unburned fuel make the catalyst work overtime and can overheat it, causing the bed to melt down. Glad to hear you got it resolved.
  • sunbyrnesunbyrne Posts: 210
    So, today I drove to work in a rented Dodge Neon. Why? Well, lemme tell ya...

    A couple months ago we brought my wife's 1999 Protege LX in to the dealer for it's 30K service. They did it quickly and without hassle, which was nice.

    But a few weeks ago, her car was sputtering and she was experiencing power losses. I popped the hood and told her to rev the engine. One of the spark plugs popped out. I took a look at it, and the threads were discolored halfway up--looks like someone forgot to tighten the plug all the way. Probably the dealer's fault, but not a huge problem so I just put it back in and tightened it myself. Everything seemed fine so I forgot about it.

    Thursday morning my wife was driving to work and the car started sputtering again and the "check engine" light came on. She pulled into the nearest service place (a Goodyear) and had them look at it.

    The Goodyear guys said that a bunch of stuff was wrong. First, the car had the WRONG spark plugs in it. It had the spark plugs rated for the 1.8 (that would be the ES), not the 1.6. Second, three of the four spark plugs were loose, apparently only hand tightened. Third, and this is the kicker, one of the plug had literally come apart, and the electrode was now rattling around in the cylinder, damaging the piston!

    Needless to say I immediately called the dealer. They were willing to send a truck to tow the car to the dealer so they could look at it, but they would not send out a loaner. My wife had meetings she had to get to, so she rented a car. The dealer picked up the car and also the plugs. Needless to say, at this point I was pretty miffed.

    The dealer is now claiming that the correct plugs were installed, and installed correctly. This is BS. However, they are calling this a part failure under warranty, so they are paying for all the work, including (ulp) a new engine block--the electrode that had been rattling around damaged the cylinder. They say they're going to pay for the rental car as well, though I still haven't nailed them down on who's supposed to be paying the Goodyear bill.

    So, my question to you guys is, if they really do pay for everything, should I just be glad it all got paid for and let the obvious labor error on their part slide, or what? I'm sure they want it to read as a part failure so they can charge Mazda for it, which is their concern and not mine, but since I don't have the plugs anymore, I'm not sure how much leverage I have if they give me any trouble over this. Any suggestions?
  • sfratsfrat Posts: 205
    That sounds awful. I would guess the goodyear people were probably right, and the dealership is trying to cover up their mistakes and classify it as a warranty problem so that they won't have to pay for it themselves out of their pocket. That's just a guess. At this point, you really don't have much choice but to let them fix it, but next time it needs to go in for routine service, go elsewhere.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Untrained monkeys, some of these guys.

    Really sorry you had such a horrible experience.

    I'd get them to give you an extended warranty on the powertrain (engine, transmission etc.), at their expense.

    Too bad you let go of the spark plugs. 20/20 hindsight. Service providers used to present you with the used parts (supposedly from your vehicle), giving you the option of either holding onto them or tossing them out. Nowadays, they don't even bother saving them to give you the option unless you demand up-front to be shown them after the service. Just CYA behavior, if you ask me.

    Get the paperwork. Make sure the repairs are documented. If you're still PO'd and won't go back to that dealership, then I'd complain to HQ.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    "I'd get them to give you an extended warranty on the powertrain (engine, transmission etc.), at their expense."

    Do you really think they would do that? I don't think they are sitting around ready to hand out free insurance plans for a 2 year old car. After all, he's already getting an engine out of the deal.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    What's $700 if they stay out of trouble (i.e. small claims court)? Based upon the experience he's had, I'd be suspect of any work they do on his car, and I'd want coverage for it. Who says they won't slightly misalign the interface between the engine and tranny (resulting in both being trashed) when they fix it?

    For the labor rates dealer service departments charge, they should really be properly trained and QA should be enforced by the service managers to make sure work is properly done. That's why we go there instead of to independent of non-dealer chains. They're supposed to be "a step above."

    Sorry for being so blunt, but I've had my share of bad service, mostly due to carelessness (such as when they forgot to put the grease seals back on my hubs after replacing the bearings...geez!).

    Of course, they'd probably be more willing if he'd retained the spark plugs. I guess the mechanics at the Goodyear might be willing to be witnesses should it come to litigation. Speaking of which, where's twistinlemon (pardon me if I spelled that wrong)?
  • duh_sterduh_ster Posts: 102
    i've notice a bit of rust accumulating on my disc brakes (specifically, the discs). i've been told this is normal, bothers there any way to remove it??
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    but the dealer said they were going to fix it so there's nothing to be litigated. The stop at Goodyear wont be covered as they can claim that he should have called the dealer 1st.

    Nobody is in business to lose money: not Mazda, not the dealer and not Mazdafun.

  • sfratsfrat Posts: 205
    The "disks" you are talking about are probably your rotors. Perfectly normal. If you drive the car, it should just wear off as you use the brakes. HTH

  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    The rust is normal.

    I wouldn't spray them with anything oily.

    You might try removing them and having them chemically cleaned or sand-blasted. You could then have them plated with something to resist oxidation (such as nickel or chrome) and then machining the plating off the brake surfaces....or you could look around for after-market ones that already have rust-resistant coatings on the non-braking surfaces...or accept it like I do (I'm cheap).

    Seriously, the rust shouldn't be a problem. It wears off the braking surfaces right after you first apply the brakes. Rust on the rest of the disc shouldn't affect the performance (unless you live downwind of the lucky guy, you).

    If you don't like the appearance, you can remove the more visible portions with pipe cleaners and soft metal brushes (such as those with brass bristles, not steel), such as those used to clean BBQ grilles. Don't use metal brushes on a power tool. You can do damage before you know it.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    if it's on the brake surface, you can't do much about it besides brake If the looks bother you, you can mask the braking surface off and spray the rotors with high temp paint. It's purely cosmetic though.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Braking surfaces of rotors tend to corrode after some time, usually more evident on the inner surface and extending from the inner edge of the braking surface outwards. Eventually the corrosion buildup will cause a brake pedal pulsation, at which point it's time for fresh rotors and pads. Part of the cost of maintenance.
  • sunbyrnesunbyrne Posts: 210
    I think maltb has it right--I think the dealer is covering the cost of the repairs (and rental car) to avoid litigation, or at least the possibility of it. I'm sure they know they screwed up and that they're open to legal action if I wanted to go that route. Frankly, I'd rather not. I'll be interested to see what they say about the Goodyear bill, though we haven't gotten to that stage of the discussion just yet. My wife talked to them today and they are still maintaining that the correct type of spark plugs were installed, which I'm not sure about.

    I'm actually kinda bummed to have this happen with this particular dealer, because I had a great sales experience this year when I bought my Pro5 there. Grr.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    "Eventually the corrosion buildup will cause a brake pedal pulsation, at which point it's time for fresh rotors and pads."

    corrosion causes pulsation? must be some serious rust!

    I'm of the belief that high temps cause the rotors to warp and therefore result in pulsation. Many times they can be resurfaced depending on how bad they warp.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    No question that the most common cause of pedal pulsation is rotor runout (usually from severe usage or an impact gun tightening the lug nuts), but corrosion is becoming a pretty close second with the vehicles I service. The last 2 front brake complaints I've had were for a bouncing pedal, and in each case about 1/2 of the inner braking surfaces was corroded to the point where the contact from the rust scabs was clearly evident on the brake pads. The other brake problem I've been finding more often recently is metallic pads separating from their backing plates after rusting through at the pad/plate attachment rivet area.
    Maybe living in a low humidity place like Arizona has hidden benefits, although cooling system service would be a killer. LOL
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    The joys of living in a salt free/snow free environment.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    I envy you, but don't you sometimes get sick of that eternally glorious weather? :o)
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    If you scream "intelligently" enough, you WILL get a 7yr/100,000 mile extended warranty with 0 deductible.

    That is the law in the land of USA.

    Believe me.
  • sunbyrnesunbyrne Posts: 210
    For the advice. I will be talking to the dealer on Monday, and I'll certainly ask for the extended warranty.

    Where, chikoo, is some documentation of this law so I can be as informed as possible when talking to the dealer? I'd love to see that...
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    I am not talking about laws.
    The very fact that you had such a big problem in the first weeks of your car should pressurize the dealer enough. Represent your thoughts to MNAO too. Give a fair indication on how YOU feel about mazda and reliability.......since YOU(sunbryne) is already scorched once, how can you trust the car?....and blah blah long those lines.

    This will certainly help you.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    read it again Chikoo...this is his '99 that he had a 30k done on.

    I too was wondering about these "laws".
Sign In or Register to comment.