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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • I've never been a fan of the extended warranty, it was a ploy by domestic manufacturers to suck a few extra $$$ out of their customers while continuing to produce a substandard product, I don't like the fact that Mazda has followed suit.

    The problems that I've had should not be occurring until the five year mark. Perhaps Mazda is going the Ford route by pressuring their suppliers to cut costs which in turn produces cheaper and lower quality parts.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    Almost all manufacturers use this ploy including Toyota, Honda, BMW, etc. Mazda is just following industry trends. Also, they do sell rebadged Ford trucks, so it makes sense for them to offer it.
  • rutger3rutger3 Posts: 361
    My 99 LX has 52k miles and the brakes always seem to squeak. Just had new front pads and they still squeak. Anyone else had this problem. Is it the metallic pads?
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Make sure they installed all the spring clips and applied the dampening grease behind each pad.
  • Check to make sure the squeak isnt coming from the rear. If your car is equipped with drums in the rear, it's probably the case. I have machined drums, replaced drums, sanded shoes, replaced shoes etc., the squeak always comes back. Of course this is usually a driver specific issue. The type of driving you do will determine how your brakes wear. Lots of city driving causes the rear shoes to glaze quickly and results in the noise.
    Carefully come to a slow stop using only the parking brake and see if you hear the squeal. best way to determine the location of the problem.
  • Hello

        I would like to share me experience (rant that is) with everyone about a 99 Mazda Protege and their service warrrant. In the warranty I have had a starter replaced, minor repairs such as door seals, done twice on the same door, trunk seal and now at 60 000K (37500 miles) I have the water pump going bad. Good think I caught it early. Has anyone ever heard of a water pump going bad that early? In the last 15 years I had 5 cars none of them had a water pump ever go at 60 000. I have a 93 Dodge cold with 140 000 K with original pump.

    The quality of Mada protege rivals that of ford. Feel free to send this email to anyone. Not a very good endorsement to but another mazda.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    Sorry to hear you are having some problems with your Protege. The number of defects you experienced is unusually high compared to others who post here on Edmunds, but everybody (including Mazda, Honda, & Toyota) is going to make a few lemons from time to time.

    If the door seals had to be replaced twice, I suspect the second set wasn't installed properly by the dealer. Since both the door and trunk seals went, I would also suspect a bad batch of adhesive at the factory.

    As for the water pump, I had one go bad on my VW Jetta at 8000 miles. That had to pull the whole motor to replace it. As a comparison, I had that car in for warranty work 13 times in 18 months (and 18,000 miles). If you peruse the VW forums here, you will see that sort of shoddy work in not uncommon. My Jeep Cherokee averaged a similar number of failures (5) to yours in a given year over the 5 years I owned it which is also not uncommon for the model.

    My point is: while your problems are unusually numerous and not what we expect from Mazda, it could be worse. Be careful what manufacturer you flee to. I wouldn't expect most Dodges, for instance, to be as reliable as your Protege has been.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    There seems to be a screw missing from the driver side of my exhaust manifold insulator on my 2003 P5. I seem to recall someone else having a similar missing screw, but a search here found nothing. Is anyone else missing this screw on the 2.0L?

  • Have a 2001 Pro ES - one fog light has gone out due to a crack and moisture inside. Can you get these aftermarket at an auto supply store or am I stuck with the dealership only?? I have not had time to research but the dealership wants over $200.00 just for the assy!! This seems outrageous to me. Has anyone replaced one and how difficult is it??
    Thanks, Greg
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    You could just replace them with aftermarket ones if you wanted a different look. I haven't done any research into an aftermarket brand that makes stock-looking fogs, so I don't know if there's any out there.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    Check with a Ford dealer to see if they use the same part on another Ford product. The fog lights on 2001-2003 Miatas are also used on the Mercury Marauder for instance. The Mazda part costs $243 while the Mercury part costs $56.
  • As boggse said, Ford's fog light might fit. The price difference in the parts is probably caused by the origin of the part.

    Ford parts are manufactured in the US and they are more common than mazda parts which are probably manufactured in Japan and shipped to the US by boat.

    At least, I believe that is the reason for the price difference.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    How many times did you have the radiator fluid flushed and changed?
  • I have Mazda Protege DX ( 2000 / 71.026 mileages ) and suddenly engine light turn it on I went to Mazda service They told me that computer gives them P0171 error massage which indicate something wrong with air flow sensor And cost me $ 479.00 + tax . I do not want to pay $ 479.00 and I was wondering is this problem harmful to engine ? can I drive without fixed?

    Thank you very much
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    There was a TSB on this, and a recall on some 1.6L models affected (99-00 DX and LX models). Mine failed last winter and I had it replaced under the recall. You should check to see if your VIN is included. Log into MyMazda on the mazdausa site and enter the VIN of your DX.

    I wouldn't recommend continuing to drive with a failing MAS as it will make your idle uneven and too low. You could get by temporarily by feathering the throttle when idling (as for a stop light) to keep the engine from idling roughly or even stalling.
  • ram22ram22 Posts: 15
    I have a 01 LX 2-litre auto with 25,000 miles on it.
    Problem # 1
    I recently noticed oil stains on the floor where I park my car. There seems to be a small oil leak/drip from the front of the car. I'm sure that this was not there before. I parked the car in a fresh spot and the next day there were oil stains there also.
    The only maintenence I have done in the past 1 year is oil changes and one tire rotation.

    Problem # 2
    Recently, a strange vibration sound has started from the front of the car as if something is slightly loose. This usually happens when the car is accelerating and around 2,500 to 3,000 rpm. The same sound comes when I go over potholes/humps at any speed and hence I think that something near the wheels is loose.

    Please advise.

  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    Get thee to a reputable dealer. Here are some guesses as to what is wrong:

    1. You (or whomever) didn't replace the washer on the drain plug when the oil was last changed.

    2. You have a loose exhaust manifold heat shield. Mine is currently missing a screw which holds it in place.

    The dealer will be able to tell you for sure, but they sound like minor problems.

    Good luck, and let us know how it works out.
  • ram22ram22 Posts: 15
    Thank you boggse.
    I have always gone to a Mazda dealer(Sterling Mazda, Sterling Heights) and the car is still under bump-to-bump warranty.
    I hope that u r right.

    Is the "exhaust manifold heat shield" near the front wheel/axle or unde the front hood ?

    -Ramprasad S.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    It is on the front/bottom of the engine. It covers the exhaust manifold and 1st catalytic converter. 3 screws hold it in place along the top of the heat shield.

  • I've had the mass airflow sensor and air meter replaced under warranty for my 2000 1.6, the air meter was replaced recently at 96,000kms at no charge. Look into this matter with Mazda, there shouldn't be a charge.
  • I share your concerns, we're on Mazdas three and four, a pair of 2000 Proteges, one with the 1.6L and the other with the 1.8L.

    We haven't been satisfied with these cars compared to other recent purchases. The 1.6L has been decent, but still required a new throttle sensor ($350), a new oxygen sensor ($400), this is ridiculous on a three year old car. The 1.8L has been through three CD players and Mazda refused to accept that there was a problem, was disabled recently after a valve spring broke ($500) leaving the running on three cylinders, and has been cursed with rattles. I know that every car company has a few duds, but two in the same house is not promising. I'm re-evaluating my loyalty to Mazda after this experience, there's no doubt that Ford has cheapened the brand.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    i knew that Ford was involved with the 6, truck, and Tribute. but i thought the Protege and Miata were "real" and "pure" mazdas. is not that true?
  • since installing 205/55-15 bridgestone s-03's, my '99es no longer spins the tires under high power launches. Instead, the wheels tend to hop. anyone have a fix suggestion?
  • The Protege and Miata are not Ford. My 03 DX window sticker indicates only 3% US/Canadian parts and 97% Japanese parts, with final assembly in Hofu, Japan.
  • Ford may not supplying the "physical" parts, but they do run the company. Remember, Ford bailed out Mazda in the mid 90s and began a process of merging the design process to save money and provide a better return on their investment. It's a pretty strong assumption that Ford influenced Mazda designers to reduce the tolerances of the products to Ford levels.

    Take a good look at the Jaguar X-Type, there is no way that would pass for Jaguar when the British owned the company, just like the current and last generation Protege would not pass for a Mazda when the Japanese owned the company. I have very high expectations for Mazda products based on prior purchases, they just aren't meeting my expectations any more.

    BTW, take a good look at how the Mazda3 was built. It has plastic exhaust headers and other unorthodox design features, that raises some alarms for me. Also, they are selling much more car at the same price point as the previous model, I would wait for a few years to see if these components age well.

    Don't think I hate Mazda, I'm just disappointed with the way Ford has influenced the company. The only way its going to get better (and more in line with Mazda of the past) is if consumers honestly raise these issues.
  • Dash rattle excepted, my current 03 Protege feels just as tight and has even better panel gaps than my old 94 323 did. The engine isn't as refined and there is more wind noise, but otherwise build-quality seems about the same and the quality of interior materials seems better.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    i think most would agree that Jaguar is only considered reliable lately BECAUSE of Fords the past if you wanted a daily driver that wasn't in the shop often, you didn't buy a Jag. now you can.

    sure, Ford has "cheapened" the brand, but they are also selling three times as many in this country as they did in the 80's.

    i don't think it is bad or good that Ford is involved with Mazda or the Protege, i was just curious.
  • Wahoo. My car is nearing 3 weeks old, about 1600 miles and the CEL light popped up on my drive home tonight.

    Usually this signals an electrical, gas cap or emissions problem.

    The engine's running fine (maybe smoother than normal? ;) ) and it's pretty much the same. It could be my imagination but I got shocked when getting out of the car.

    I'll fire it up tomorrow and see if it's on. If it stays on tomorrow and through my 90 miles commute, I guess the ole dealer can troubleshoot it. Not sure if it matters, but the tools at my buying dealer finally got my key fobs for me (they lost the originals before I bought the car) and hooked them up this week. maybe one of them tweaked something electrically? Wouldn't put it past them...

    Oh well if it's on by tomorrow night it'll give me a good excuse to skip work Friday. Heh, heh, heh...
  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Posts: 1,007
    Take it to your nearest Auto Parts store (AutoZone etc). Little known fact - they usually check/pull the codes from a CEL for free. The idea is, if you're a DIY-er, you'll buy repair/replacement parts from them.

    Sometimes, its just more convenient than a long haul to a dealership.
  • Thanks for the suggestion. It still gives me a good excuse to use my soon-to-expire floating holiday (get a new one Jan 1).
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