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



  • dsm6dsm6 Posts: 813
    So this service dept. kept the car two days just to give it back to me saying that nothing was wrong - the noise it's making is normal, blah blah blah.

    I drive it out for lunch, and I can hear the brakes scraping when I'm not even pressing the brake pedal. Definitely not normal. I take it back, the service manager goes for a spin with me, he agrees that something is not right. They have my car again for try number two.

    And so it is that I've had my "umpteenth" bad experience at a dealer service department. If I had a nickel for every time a service dept. has either told me that something truly wrong is normal, or has failed to fix something right the first time ...

    Something is not right indeed!
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    Took my car out just noises like you're describing.

    Your problem kinda sounds like warped rotors, but I can't be sure. Sorry that you're having so many troubles :(
  • mudflatmudflat Posts: 47
    I've owned four Mazdas and have been able to make the front brakes groan on all of them by deliberately applying a feather light touch on the pedal while barely creeping from a stop. I've gotten good enough at it that I can often produce a sustained moan.

    There's a paste that can be applied to the faces of the pad shims that might quieten things for a time, but it's too much of a pain to use unless you're doing a brake job.

    A light deglazing of the pads and taking the shine off the rotors may help.

    So may changing the pads to a different type.

    I just avoid doing what causes it unless I want to annoy my wife.
  • tbaytbay Posts: 22
    My wife's 99 Protege displays the following quirk. If she's been driving it for a while and then turns it off and then comes back to it within 5 minutes or so the car starts but as she tries to drive off it hesitates for a few seconds as if it's not getting enough gas (and then drives fine). If the interval is longer between shutdown and startup, say 30+ minutes this does not occur. any suggestions folks? Thanks+++
  • kaiserheadkaiserhead Posts: 166
    I was up in Toronto last weekend and I was spent some time with a friend of mine who has a 1999 1.6L Protege automatic. When he drove up, I noticed that his engine was knocking like crazy and blue smoke was belching out the back. I asked him what the problem was and he said that it all started happening after the FIRST oil change at 55,000 kilometres. (Yes, 55,000kms, or approx. 38,000 miles.) I was a little shocked that he would treat a Mazda like that, but it just shows how much abuse these cars can take. I drove the car and to my surprise its still smooth (except for the knocking on hard acceleration!!) He leased the car, I can't wait to see what the dealer says when he brings it back. I hope they make him buy it instead of taking it in and selling to some poor unsuspecting used car buyer.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    My dad abuses his cars too. That actually kept me from giving him my '89 323. I'd like it to go to a good home, or I'll just put it out when it's rusted badly enough.

    BTW Meade, I must have some mold in my '89 323's air system. I'll give the "Lysol" treatment another try before I disassemble the dash to get at the air ducts.

    I suspect what started it was the warehouse-club-sized bottle of Armor-All I had once. I found a whole bunch of mold growing in it (sometime after I'd bought it), but not before I'd already applied it several times to the interior of my 323. That must've supplied enough mold spores to start them in earnest. I only got clued in when the pump sprayer stopped working. Plugs of mold were clogging it up! Disgusting. :P

    So...avoid any plasticizer if you can. Mold loves to eat that stuff.
  • dsm6dsm6 Posts: 813
    So they took a second look, and it turns out there was a bunch of crap in the caliper and a pebble stuck between the pad and rotor (causing the scraping sound when not pressing brake pedal).

    What poor quality work. They get a car with noisy brakes and didn't even inspect them - they just called Mazda NA who said that its normal for them to groan, and hand me back the car. Never mind the fact they make scraping noises even when not in use.
  • dsm6dsm6 Posts: 813
    This is, of course, just one possibility amongst many, but - My wife's Pontiac Grand Prix has a similar problem. If you start it up after running it with fewer than 30 minutes or so rest, it will chuggle at start up.

    The problem? Leaky injectors. They leak into the intake, then when you start up the car and those intake valves open up, way too much fuel gets into the combustion chamber fouling the plugs a bit causing them not to spark properly. Eventually the excess burns off and the car runs fine. If the car sits for a while, the excess fuel evaporates and no problem shows up.

    Of course, this happens in any type of weather.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    What poor quality work. They get a car with noisy brakes and didn't even inspect them - they just called Mazda NA who said that its normal for them to groan, and hand me back the car.

    Now you honestly think they called anyone? The technicians on Mazda's technical line ask plenty of questions when the dealer calls. if they haven't even looked at it, the hot line tech will send them back to the car for a complete inspection. The technical hot line's job is to resolve issues not dismiss customer concerns like the regular customer assistance line.
  • dsm6dsm6 Posts: 813
    Didn't mean to implicate Mazda NA - just the dealer service dept. Whether or not the called Mazda NA, they did give me back the car with the claim that they called MNA who told them the groaning was normal. The inspection before hand evidently either didn't occur, or was done quite poorly, because it didn't reveal the true source of the problem.

    BTW, the groaning and scraping I was experiencing is now completely gone. So, clearly, this was not the normal type of groaning to which MNA was referring. Again, clearly the fault of the dealer service dept. They didn't even apologize for the mistake, for making come back twice to get the job done right, or for sending me out in a car with brakes that weren't functioning properly. Dissapointing, but I'm sad to say it is not surprising.

    My guess is that an inspection of the brakes never took place. My guess is that the mechanic took a quick spin, heard some groaning, and thought to him or herself -"This is just like that Pro we had in the other day (and get in all the time), the one Mazda NA said was normal (just like all the others we 'inspected')."
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Lots of service departments are like that. The one at a local Mazda dealership was very sloppy for a while (used to be OK). They once even didn't apologize for a sloppy job they did of replacing the wheel bearings on my '89 323 ( sign of wear)...they forgot to replace some grease seals or something because grease just kept pouring out from the hubs. I figured a little would be normal due to excess grease, but it just kept coming out for several days. They found out the grease seals were missing. Did I get an apology for the inept job? No, I just got a bill.

    I've noticed they've improved of late. Must be Mazda NA responding to poor consumer feedback (including mine). I hope that trend continues. Great cars won't continue to sell if people find keeping them is hard (now, that is one good point about my wife's Saturn, she's usually very happy with their service department).
  • grannynetgrannynet Posts: 2
    I have had my car for 5 years no problems. All of the sudden my car starting vibrating bad when I would come to a stop. I had a new motor mount installed. The vibrations would not stop and I found out I needed new brakes. The vibration is getting worse and now today when I was slowing down to stop I was turning to the left to park and there was a popping sound. Please Help. Thanks
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    Do the vibrations only occur when you press on the brake pedal? Sounds like you could have warped rotors if that's the case...or possible alignment issues, or tire balancing issues. Also, when's the last time your tires were rotated?

    Are the vibrations associated with the engine idle?

    Where did it sound like the popping sound came from? The engine bay? Behind you?

    I hope we can help you out!
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    If the problem is a rough, vibrating idle, inspect all the air intake ducting between the mass air flow sensor and the throttle body for any splits, cracks, or other damage which would allow the engine to receive unmetered air.
  • grannynetgrannynet Posts: 2
    Thanks so much for your help. The vibration only happens when I am at a full stop with my foot on the brake. It reminds me when the idoling is set too high. The popping came from the front of the car as I was turning the wheel to park. Thanks
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    That happens to me sometimes. The pad can stick a little, if conditions are right (hot, humid) since they have an organic base.

    So far as rough vibrating at idle, if you have an automatic transmission, they should also check the torque converter (sounds like you do). My 89 323 vibrates much harder when idling at a stop than when moving. I suspect the torque converter, but it's not so bad I need to fix it. However, the vibration is stronger than before I had them adjust the AT to fix a rough 1-2 shift.
  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Posts: 1,007
    The Protege's (atleast 95-98) CV boots are notorious for their short life (is 5-7 years too short?). Anyway - the popping noise is occuring because your CV joint grease-holders and dust-protectors (the boots) have torn over time, and are letting mud into the joint, and letting the grease escape - leading to joint damage. (This is how I understood it - I'm sure I'll be corrected if any of that was inaccurate)

    Have someone look under your car, or do it yourself - if the joints are badly damaged, a replacement is usually smarter. The various options are ...
    1. Putting on joints that are pre-cut so they slid on with minimal labour, and just reinsertion of grease - cheap, but (obvisouly) not very long-lasting
    2. Having the axle taken apart and the grease and boots replaced, and putting it back together - parts cost will be around 25 per axle, and labour is around an hour and a half (IIRC)
    3. Taking the axle apart, and replacing the entire CV joint with a remanufactured (12-24 month warranty) one with grease, and boots - labour cost is the SAME as above, and parts will cost $40-50 more per axle (the joint being extra over option 2)

    I went with option 3 on both my joints, when I ripped my CV boots and damaged the axles (heard popping many weeks later) by unjudiciously driving up Pike's Peak in Colorado - dirt road, lots of rocks and debris! Total cost was around $250 IIRC.

    The whole thing was explained to my by a very good and well-recommended mechanic, and I confirmed it on the internet (yeah yeah - "If its on the internet, its true!")

    Of course, its possible it might be something else - perhaps a steering issue or something - make sure its diagnosed accurately, instead of just throwing parts at it and hoping the problem disappears!
  • apollo_11apollo_11 Posts: 3
    Several weeks ago I was complaining about the
    blink overdrive light om my 2000 ES.

    Well, one day the light started flashing again
    and wouldn't reset. The transmission started to
    exhibit delayed/erratic shifts.

    I took it in to the local Mazda service dept... They needed to replace the transmission (it took one week) and was covered under warranty.

    Now it drives just wonderfully. Hopefully that
    transmission problem was a fluke and not a design
    problem (hate to see automatic tranny problems like Mazda's 626 several years ago!)
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    IIRC, ProtegeXtwo had the same problem with his wife's 2000 ES. It too was fixed by a tranny replacement and was a warranty fix.

    I haven't seen a recall or anything like that though....hopefully those were just two isolated incedents.
  • alternatoralternator Posts: 629
    There don't seem to be any Technical Service Bulletins ever isssued regarding 2000 Protege ES transmissions. That is a good sign isn't it?
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    ur guess is as good as mine.
  • Hey Everyone,

    As you know, I've been trying to figure out what was causing the severe engine vibrations on my 2002 Protege LX .

    It is a high frequency vibration that is at its worst at around 3,000 RPMs on the freeway. The vibration is definitely coming from the engine and not from the wheel or suspension.

    I believe my Protege has either defective or improperly installed engine mounts that are not doing their job by filtering out some of the vibrations before they reach inside the cabin.

    The funny thing is that the engine feels fine at idle.

    My Protege has an automatic transmission. Could that have anything to do with it?

    The Mazda service department was no help. They said severe engine vibrations was considered "Normal" for the Protege. If that is true, then Mazda is making some terrible quality cars. I've driven Dodge Neons with less engine vibration. And those things were crude as hell!

    Is there a test or any other way for me find out if the engine mounts are the cause of my vibration problems?

  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    Does it only happen while in motion? You could put the car in neutral, apply parking brake, and then have somebody rev the engine to 3000 rpm to check.

    It's probably while in motion though...the engine moves quite a lot more when you're moving rather than just revving the engine while stationary (according to some I've talked to in regards to intake fitment).
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    If the Dealer is unhelpful, try another one, or if that is not an option, call Mazda North America at 1-800-222-5500. They REALLY like to know when one of their dealers is not helping since it makes Mazda look bad. That should fix any problems with the dealer. Of course, you could just threaten to call. Proteges should be vibration free. Having an AT shouldn't make a difference.
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    I have a suggestion:

    Check out the amount of transmission fluid in your AT. make sure it is less than the uppermost line when HOT.

    I had engine resonance problem at around 3100 RPM which magically vanished after I reduced the AT amount to somewhere between the two lines on the dipstick when HOT viz. after driving 15 miles or so.

    Could work for you.

    The Protege engine has one of its mount on the firewall(unique?) which makes you feel everything the engine is doing. I can feel tiny "happy" vibrations when revving which actually increase the pleasure of driving.
    But like in your case, if the engine is not stable during revving, that also would be passed on to you.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Try to get a test drive in another Protege. That should tell you whether or not yours in unique.
  • sd1228sd1228 Posts: 46
    I own Mazda Protege' 95 with 115K miles and looking for a good independent repair shop/mechanic for the same in Austin Texas metro area . Any recommendations ??
    (I have a major service coming up including
    timing belt , water pump replacement)
  • The seat belt warning light and alarm on my '94 Protege LX (97,000) come on intermittently when I am driving with all of the shoulder and lap belts properly engaged (it has automatic shoulder belts). The alarm and light seem to reset themselves when I give a quick tug on the shoulder belt. Until recently the problem happened so rarely that I never thought about it, but now it is going off constantly and driving me nuts. The dealer says that they need to do a diagnostic to determine the problem (which is $80) and that it sounded like a $250 computer sensor for the belts. Has anyone encountered this problem and found a way to fix it that is less than $325+?
  • sgtgloksgtglok Posts: 8
    We just bought 2002 LX for my mom and since she was away for a week, I took the car and drove it for 5 days to work. Although I am not used to small cars and 4 cyl. engines (I drive an SUV), I found LX responsive and the engine pretty quite when going over 50 mph. It revvs healthy (for 130hp v4) when accelerating and at over 3500 rpms, and I didn't feel any vibrations. Definetely, either take the mechanic for a drive at highway speeds or just check with different dealership.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    My 92 does the same thing. I took it to the dealer a long time ago and frankly can't recall wht they wanted to do, but do recall that it cost a lot more (couple hundred bux?) than I wanted to spend. It was a "replace" situation, not a "repair or adjust."

    Here's what I found...the sensor in the shoulder belt reel at the center console has developed a "sweet" spot which causes the buzzer to sound. In fact, if I gently pull on the belt and find the spot, I can get the buzzer to sound continually. The only cheap advice I have for you is to move your seat slightly forward or back to get the sensor off that sweet spot. If that doesn't work for you, I think you're off to visit the dealer. Luckily for me, the sweet spot in our car is at my wife's seating position, not mine. :->

    Good luck.
Sign In or Register to comment.