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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • curt3curt3 Posts: 101
    Have any of you out there gotten the letter from Mazda concerning the 1999-2000 Proteges with the 1.6L engine and the possibility of a malfuncitioning Mass Airflow Sensor? I got mine today.

    I have had an engine ping that has baffled me for 30,000 miles now but it only occurs when I burn 89 or lower octane fuel. The Mazda mechanics in my town say that they cannot hear it. Anyway, is there a connection between the Mass Airflow Sensor and pinging? The letter from Mazda mentions symptoms such as uneven idle, lack of power, hesitation, and a Check Engine light, but there is no mention of pinging. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I had a pinging problem with a 1994 Mazda B2300 pickup truck, and even though my troubles ran deeper than the MAF, the MAF was one item they swapped out immediately. It senses the amount of air coming into the throttle body and adjusts the fuel mixture accordingly. If it's bad, it can cause the mixture to be too lean. Lean mixture = pinging. There are other factors that can cause pinging (which is predetonation -- fuel combusting before it's supposed to inside the cylinder) but the MAF is one potential cause.

    Good luck.

  • curt3curt3 Posts: 101
    Thanks, Meade. I will post as soon as the part is replaced--I filled it with 87 octane today instead of the expensive stuff for a test run.

  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Proteges were designed to run on 87 octane gas. Running a higher octane than recommended could actually cause problems!

  • Is there any way you could scan that letter in and post it?
  • curt3curt3 Posts: 101
    Here's the letter from Mazda in Rich Text Format. Let me know how to post pictures and I can post the origninal letter as a gif or jpeg.

    1999-2000 Protege with 1.6L Engine Mass Airflow Sensor Warranty Extension Program (Non-California Emission Control Warranty Only) [Special Service Program-SSP56]
    Dear Mazda Owner:
    Mazda Motor Corporation has decided to conduct a Special Service Program to extend the warranty coverage of the Mass Airflow Sensor on certain 1999-2000 Protege vehicles with the 1.6L engine and Non-California Emission Control Warranty. Although the potential for failure is unlikely, the extended warranty is available for 7 years from the original warranty start date or 70,000 miles, which ever occurs first. This warranty extension program is provided in the interest of customer satisfaction.
    IMPORTANT: If your vehicle is functioning normally, there is no need to contact your dealer. We suggest this letter is kept with the vehicle's warranty documents for future reference.
    Vehicles with a Mass Airflow Sensor malfunction may exhibit any of the following symptoms: illumination
    of the Check Engine Light (located on your vehicle's instrument panel), lack of power, hesitation, unstable idle. Should a symptom occur, please make an appointment with your Mazda dealer to have your vehicle diagnosed. If the malfunction is due to a failure of the Mass Airflow Sensor during the terms of this Warranty Extension, it will be repaired free of charge. Failure of the Mass Airflow Sensor will not cause the failure of any other components. However, other components can cause these symptoms and are not covered under this extended warranty. This extension Q.!}J.'i covers the Mass Airflow Sensor .
    To locate your nearest Mazda dealer, visit our Internet dealer locator at or- consult your local yellow pages.
    If you have already paid for the replacement of the Mass Airflow Sensor, Mazda will reimburse you for reasonable repair expenses, based on Mazda's repair standards. Please complete the enclosed Reimbursement Application form, include the required documents, and return it in the pre-addressed envelope provided.
    If you have moved or no longer own your Mazda Protege, please complete the enclosed pre-paid Information Change Card as soon as possible. This enables us to update our records and notify the current owner.
    If you are the lessor of a subject vehicle, we encourage you to forward this notification to the lessee to ensure the current driver of the vehicle is notified of this program.
    If you have any questions regarding this campaign, please contact our Customer Assistance Center at (800) 222-5500, option #4.
    Our goal at Mazda is to manufacture only the highest quality products. We hope this program will ensure your continued satisfaction with your Mazda Protege.
    Mazda North American Operations {~~~ ;';,:;"~~C"
  • How to post a picture, its sraight html - You can post a photo directly into the body of your message using HTML tags. While composing your post in the Post box, type in the location of the photo on the Internet with the img src="http://url-location-of-photo" enclosed in the < > characters.
  • draymond2draymond2 Posts: 134
    2001 protege es 14k miles.
    no problems until last night. was shifting very awkwardly in overdrive, downshifting hard. Today wouldn't shift in to overdrive, overdrive light flashing also check engine light came on.

    Took it to dealer immediately, service rep called for a rental car immediately, mechanic also suggested rental. told will call when the problem is found.

    I hope this isn't the start of something. I bought this car because of its Japanese origin, due to realibility concerns. Anybody out there had this problem?
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    I assume you have the automatic tranny (yes the manual has an overdrive...5th gear). I haven't heard of this problem, but perhaps some of the others with the auto may know.

    Sarcasm follows:
    BTW, what bad service...them getting you a rental car right away. I wouldn't expect that for your econobox.
    End Sarcasm.
  • rob222rob222 Posts: 49
    After reading my manual, I determined that the reason the check engine light on my 2000 ES was on was because the gas cap was loose. Even though I've tightened it, the check engine light persists. The dealer says it can take 40 starts or more (weird) before it resets. Annoying!

    Has this happened to anyone? Any quick fixes?

    For the record, I have had 18,000 miles of flawless performance from my ES. Despite driving it somewhat hard (how can you help it, with a 5 speed), I still average 26 mpg for local suburban driving.

    Thanks for your help. Rob from Sterling, vA
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    the negative battery cable for a few minutes. You'll have to reset your tuner presets, but the light should take a hike unless the problem persists.
  • alternatoralternator Posts: 629
    if you wait for the onboard computer to reset itself, it may take quite awhile because a number of variables must occur simultaneously before the computer will reset.
  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Posts: 1,007
    Do what maltb sugegsts - I'm surprised the dealer didn't suggest the same and at least offer to look at the engine codes.

    Who's the dealership - Rosenthal Mazda?

    Just thought I'd mention - a nice coincidence, I'm Ashu from Sterling, VA!
  • draymond2draymond2 Posts: 134
    Where in my post do I mention bad service? The only reason for my post is to find out if anyone has had the same problem. Keep your sarcasm to yourself!!
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Do what MaltB suggested and drop by the sedans board to talk it up more. More people drop by there than here.

    Dinu from Toronto 2001 ES auto
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    The comment about sarcasm was not directed at you...Sorry if you thought so. I was trying to show that your dealership sounds like it had good service. However, don't try to tell me what to do...I'll give sarcasm out to whomever I see fit.
  • Would you recomend auto or 5 speed? I dont mind driving either and its prolly gonna be a LX/DX.
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    I own a 95 LX with the 5 spd. and would recommend it.

    The clutch and trany are still strong at 144,000 miles. I treat the gearbox with care and don't hold the car on hills with the clutch or use the trany to slow down the car for routine braking. I prefer the 5 spd due to the lower initial price, better fuel mileage, and better control of engine power. The 1.5 and 1.6 liter engines in the 95-98 Proteges are somewhat weak and the manual trany lets you get the most out of the engines by revving up to the 3,000-6,000 RPM power band.

    I rate the overall feel of the clutch and gearbox as very good. Maybe not quite as good as a Honda gearbox, but better than most.

    The only place where I would not want a 5 spd is in stop-and-go freeway traffic. Good Luck.
  • curt3curt3 Posts: 101
    The manual transmission in the 2000 LX with 1.6 liter if flawless. The 5-speed really gives the car a sporty feel and the ample power needed to pass. I have driven the same model with an automatic and was disappointed with the power, or lack thereof, hence the change to the 2.0 in the new models. Maybe some others out there have the smaller engine with the auto tranny who would like to comment.
  • curt3curt3 Posts: 101
    Has anyone out there bought his Protege from eBay? I typically see 3 or 4 listed at any given time.
  • draymond2draymond2 Posts: 134
    Dealer called today, needs new transmission. States not a common problem are trying to find the replacement, unsure when it will be done.
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    Did he say what the problem with the tranny was?
  • rob222rob222 Posts: 49
    When I filled it up and the light when off. Very low fuel is another the light goes on. I had about a quarter tank, but gladly it did the trick.

    Actually both Rosenthal and Congressional offered the same, wait and see advice.

    Thanks to everyone.
  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Posts: 1,007
    Go for it!

    FWIW, I have a 95 DX automatic, with 76K+ on it (bought it at 57K) - and its been flawless, knock on wood. A fun car to drive, lots of room (just like the 97, more than the 2000-onwards!) and a zippy engine. Yes, I have often wished I'd waited and bought a 5-speed too (the engine can be lacking in some/many situations!) - but when i saw the car, I had to snap it up!

    Good luck,

    ps: If you're not writing about a 'problem', lets limit posts to the 'main' board. Higher readership, and more info available there, too! And keeps the count ni the 'problems' board from ballooning unnecesarily!
  • draymond2draymond2 Posts: 134
    They didn't go into specifics, I will find out more details when I talk to them tommorrow. I will keep you posted....
  • curt3curt3 Posts: 101
    I find that posts left in the main Protege board can get lost in the high volume of traffic there--it's approaching 11,000 about now. Much of what goes on in the main board borders on small talk and conversations that tend to leave others out. I will say, however, that some of the regulars on the main board have been helpful.
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    Yeah it does get into "personal" conversations and inside jokes, but there is sooooo much good info, it's hard to stay away.
  • chicagoprochicagopro Posts: 1,009
    I hope that the regulars on the main Protege board aren't THAT scary...

    Come on over and hang. We're trying to recruit fresh blood...I mean, encourage new folks to join us. :)

  • mkassar1mkassar1 Posts: 4
    Having done about 32000KM on my 2000 protege 1.6L SE (Standard) I noticed an odd noise and feel from the pedal when the brake is depressed and when I am coming to a stop from a slow reversing of the car.
    The noise is not normal sounding, kind of a grinding noise Maybe bad contact is occuring with some brake component while in reverse?
    I had the pads estimated at 30% left at around 28000KM and have noticed normal brake harshness wear and tear during stops, but have not yet heard any indicator that the pads are wearing out.

    Is it possible that I need to have new pads and service the rotors this soon?

    Many Thanks

  • draymond2draymond2 Posts: 134
    Waiting on transmission,was mistakenly shipped to Canada. Service advisor couldn't specifically tell me the problem, stated that Mazda will not allow them to break the transmission down. Instructed to order new transmission and send old one to them.
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