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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • Has anyone else noticed a rust colored stain where the rubber stops for the fuel filler door meet the body? My car is a 2K ES with less than 1500 miles and this sure seems early to develop rust. It could be just a stain from the rubber but if anyone else notices it, let me know what you think please.
  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Posts: 1,007

    Just got my own protege back from the local Mazda
    dealership, and returned the nice LX loaner they
    gave me.
    The mechanic noticed that the auto CV boots on the
    front axle were both slightly ripped and suggested
    I change them. The quote - whopping 172 each plus
    tax! For two little pockets of grease - most of
    the cost is for the approximately 4 hours of
    labour, I'm told!

    I checked around a bit at other repair shops - and
    was wondering if anyone had any suggestions about
    where I should get this done. is this a car-specific and complicated enough job to justify
    the higher cost at the dealership?

    A few of the places I called told me that its
    possible that I would be looking at an axle
    replacement too, if the grease has been all lost
    and dust has gotten in - adding approximately $100
    to the average quote for 250 - for both axles.
    Anyone have any experience in this matter?

    And this after spending 550 on the basic 60K mile
    service :-(
    Its a pity that car expenses come in large bundles
    (of joy. Not!)

    Also, does anyone know if I should notice any
    difference in the drive characteristics/performance/gas mileage etc of the
    car after the 60K service?
    This included timing belt replacement, fuel and
    air filters, new spark plugs, gaskets in a few
    places, and all fluids, except automatic
    transmission and coolant/antifreeze.

  • That price for the service sounds high to me. Someone on one of the pro boards said a timing belt replacement should run @ $180 and I don't think the minor additional work done should cost what , another $370. What were those gaskets to ? That's the only thing I would think could make this service so expensive.
  • lgblgb Posts: 30
    If you have a DOHC engine, your timing belt replacement is probably going to cost more than $180. Just my experience. I did see those brown dots where the gas fill door is - but I haven't looked closely at them yet- guess I will tonight!
  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Posts: 1,007
    Well, as it turns out - I did look at non-mazda repair shops. the cheapest deal I could find on the timing belt replacement was 259 plus tax (7% here in Utah)

    So I think I got a reasonable deal on the 60K service when I paid 540 including tax
    1. Its an official Mazda dealership
    2. barely $50 more than the next most expensive (which was about the same rate as the couple of other places that did the 60K service)

  • Yes, the misinformation I had about the cost of the timing belt replacement would seem to bring the cost to a reasonable amount. And considering a dealership did the work, the peace of mind knowing the work was probably done right is well worth any small difference in prices.
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    Is this clunk felt by anyone having a auto tranny protege?
  • Hi,

    I am trying to make a decision between the Mazda Protege vs. the Nissan Sentra. Does anyone have an opinion on this choice ? I had a Toyota Corolla for ten years. My only complaint was the defrost system. It used to really annoy me. The windows never seem to clear. I don't want similar problems with either car. I will probably buy within the next two weeks. Any advice will be gratefully appreciated.
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    Welcome to Town Hall.

    Actually, our Sedans conference will be of more assistance to you in your decision. Here is a link to a topic over there that could be helpful to you:

    Mazda Protege vs. Honda Civic vs. Nissan Sentra

    I also suggest you use the Topic Search feature on the left side of the page, once for Sentra and once again for Protege. You should find lots of other topics in Sedans that will be interesting to you.

    Good luck and again, welcome!

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • I test drove both cars before buying my Pro-ES. I thought both cars were great, and it came down to a matter of personal preference. The Sentra seemed to have a bit more acceleration. I liked the styling and handling better in the Protege, and it had plenty of acceleration for me (I got the Pro-ES with 1.8L engine). I don't think you can go wrong with either car. There are 2 forums in the Sedans conference that debate this class of car, including the Protege and Sentra.

    Good luck with your selection > GIC
  • brajabraja Posts: 25
    My 2000 ES now has 1700 miles. I had noticed
    before that sometimes it would take more than
    one attempt to start the car. It had also
    stalled a few times at lights, when I started
    out on 1st from neutral. I had thought that this
    was because I was applying gas very lightly.
    Yesterday, the car was at home, and wouldn't
    start at all. (It would crank, but wouldn't
    start). I tried thrice, gave up. I tried again
    after a few hours and this time, it started
    at the second attempt. I'm going to take it
    to the dealer, but has anyone any clue about
    what might be going on? Any hints appreciated.
  • lgblgb Posts: 30
    do you use this starting procedure-clutch in, turn key, but don't step on the gas? If so, and no start, then definitely see dealer.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Your stalling when starting out at traffic lights sounds like driver error. Is this your first manual transmission? As far as the engine cranking but not starting, that sounds like something different entirely. When you turn the ignition key, do you give it a few seconds to start before releasing? Or do you let the engine crank once and let go?

  • lgblgb Posts: 30
    I was rereading your post and remembered that I went thru this a few years back with my 92 Protege. The technician at the dealer came back and told me, that even though the service writer had recommended a whole big package (replace CV joints), that I could probably just replace the outer rubber (?) boots and the lube stuff. That was over 60,000 miles ago, and the wheels haven't fallen off. However, it was still an expensive repair. But I don't see why the dealer has to do it, as long as they use the right parts (This has been a big problem with independent shops, they often try to use some non-Mazda part, which doesn't fit.) My advice to new Mazda owners is to use the dealer if their prices are close,or else bring the correct parts with you if you don't know your mechanic, especially for routine maintenance items. Fortunately, my Mazdas have held up relatively well with minimal repairs. I think other than the CV boot, I had one wheel bearing and needed new spark plug wires in 8 1/2 years and 119,000 miles (as of this morning).
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    No. With all OBD-II systems, if the fault which caused the CEL to come on is not detected after a given number of drive cycles, the PCM will turn off the CEL but retain the diagnostic trouble code in memory. Depending on the fault, the dtc may clear from memory after a further number of drive cycles. Disconnecting the battery serves mainly to clear radio presets.
  • brajabraja Posts: 25

    In response to your questions:

    1. I have been driving sticks for 10 years now. Of course, I'm trying to be gentle with the ES, so I don't accelerate hard etc. when moving from standstill. But what I find is that after it stalls, it takes more than one attempt to start it.

    2. I turn the key until the engine starts. For normal starts, it's not long. But on the occassions I had described, the car would simply not start.

    I don't if you read it, but there was a review on
    a 99 ES in which the reviewer said that his sample car came with a similar defect. He suspected a problem with the fuel injection.

    Anyway, my ES is with the dealer. Problem is, these guys often dismiss the complaint if they can't reproduce it. My car doesn't have starting problem all the time, but only on occassions. But the unpredictability is worrisome, since it can happen anywhere, anytime!


  • I hope you have good luck with the necessary fix. If i were you , go to another dealer in the area. Maybe they have better techs.
  • just had major tune-up in August, and A/C compressor replaced 2 weeks agos. Other day, Check engine light came on while daughter going back to college. I checked the oil and coolant, car runs ok, is this major?
  • lgblgb Posts: 30
    Uh oh, I have friends (with other types of cars) who had this happen... it is usually expensive O2 sensor. But I also read that sometimes it comes on if your gas cap is not on tightly. Worth taking off and putting back on (make sure it clicks). Good luck.
  • It actually says on the cap if you don't tighten till it clicks, check engine light may come on. If it's not that, better have it checked out. Better safe than sorry.
  • Picked up the car at daughters' dorm, check engine light wasn't on. Took it to Mazda dealer, they couldn't find anything wrong. Only thing I could think would cause it was that she stalled it at a light, and may have cranked a couple of times. by the way, car is a '97, bought it new, and just passed 77k miles. It's a long way from here to there in Central Texas. Been a great car, very reliable, only maintenance has been stalling problem with a/c on, also gets rather warm here, got tune-up, brake job and a/c compressor died labor day 110 degrees that day. bought extended warranty at purchase, and it paid for itself in 1 visit. So impressed, looking at 626 for next car for me.
  • I have a 2000 Protege ES, automatic, and when I'm driving between 70-80 mph, I get a very high-pitched whining noise coming from the engine. I asked about it when I took it in for the very first oil change and was told that the dealer couldn't test it because of the speed range at which it occurs. They fixed a tire problem in the same visit and seemed to think that that would solve the noise problem, but it hasn't. The noise starts at about 70mph and gets increasingly louder and higher until about 80mph where it stops entirely. If I take my foot off the accelerator it stops but starts again as soon as I put it back on. I realize the dealer's restrictions, but I have to drive this car on the interstate in speed limits of 70 and 75 and the noise is driving me crazy! Has anyone else had this problem or know what might be causing it so that I have something to go on?
  • your problem may be something simple like a belt that has to be tightened. next time you get your car serviced, have them check.
  • brajabraja Posts: 25
    Back from the dealer. They couldn't
    find any problem, started fine each time
    they tried. So, back to square 1, waiting
    for the next incident.

    Anyway, I was driving a corolla for the
    last few days while the ES was in the shop.
    It's such a relief to get the ES back.
    Sorry to say,
    Corolla was really lousy (at least the
    one I was driving, < 10k miles on it.

    So, while the protege seems not to
    be entirely trouble-free, the feeling
    when it's running is great.
  • wenn27wenn27 Posts: 2
    I have a '99 Protege DX auto (yes, I know no power) with 17k miles and I too had one of the locks jam (driver side door). The dealer thought someone might have tried to break into the car, but I think more likely the plastic disc became misaligned.

    Just recently I have experienced a "bucking" with the engine. I'll be driving along at around 40 mph and the car bucks. The car seems to hesitate and then surge forward. Reminds me of the cars in the old cartoons. I know I need a new air filter and am taking it in this week for service.
    Anyone else have this problem?
  • carlrjrcarlrjr Posts: 35
    Sounds like a drivetrain thing since removing engine power makes the noise go away. My suggestion would be to investigate differential first, tranny second.
  • lgblgb Posts: 30
    Unfortunately, you can't project reliability/quality from a Protege to 626. Protege is Japan-made, 626 is not (although engine is a Mazda). Too much Ford to be reliable!
  • Can anyone tell me how to deal with the carbon
    My 1997 Protege(auto) has some knock noise when
    I push the gas pedal. I usually use 87 gas,
    yesterday I filled it with some 89 gas and the
    noise dispeared. Post #8 from kmh3 said high
    octane will cause excessive carbon deposit
    buildup, so Iwill not use 89 gas anymore.
    Any advice is appreciated.
  • I experienced two similar incidents of "bucking" on my 2000 LX (under 1000 miles). Since then, no problems at all. The "bucking" could have been potholes. It was a delay & quick jerk forward. Kind of spooked me, but now I've had it for over 5K miles, & no problems at all. Hope it WAS potholes!
  • wenn27wenn27 Posts: 2
    Took my '99 Protege with 17,000 miles in to the dealer for its 15,000 mile service and New York state inspection, and had to have the front brake pads replaced. I was surprised since I hadn't heard the typical "squeal" and the car seemed to brake fine. Unfortunately I do a lot of stop and go city driving. They told me the warranty for brakes is 12 months or 12,000 miles.
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