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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • As a former owner of the infamous mid-90s Ford 3.8L V6, a Ford designed engine block is not a minimal contribution. Lets hope the block design doesn't have any problems with frequent head gasket failure.
  • rutger3rutger3 Posts: 361
    have a 99 LX, stock tire size 185/65-14. Does anyone know if 195/60-14 or even 15 inch tires will fit without a problem? Noticed the ES version has 195/55-15's.
  • Hi, i bought 1997 protege a month back. till now never had any problem. Last night when i filled the gas (this is second time when i filled up gas in this car, and first time alone) and started the car there is a warning light (looks like a Pipe or Plumbing Joint) on the Dash. i dont have the manual, can comebody help in identifying what is it?? and whats the solution...
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    I think we should stop harping upon the early 90's 3.8L gasket failures the same way we stopped harping about Honda sheet metal rotting away.

    Both of them have worked on their flwas and people no longer harp about Honda. Why should Ford be assaulted?
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    The head (and gasket) is Mazda's design.

  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    Check to be sure you put the gas cap on tight. Also, being of 7 model years old, you might want to consider getting a new gas cap anyway. If you take it to an AutoZone, they should be able to read the ODB code for you to tell you what is wrong. They usually do this for free.

  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Going up should be OK. Just watch the bolt pattern and offset of your new wheels.
  • Sorry, after going through the nightmare of dealing with Ford after multiple head gasket failures, its hard to let it go. But to compare Honda's problems with Ford's is unrealistic. Honda acknowledged their problems and now produces probably the best-built cars at their price point. Ford on the other hand, keeps putting out substandard products with the same problems year after year even after being in the market for 100 years. Funny how a 2000 Focus has similar problems as a 1984 Escort. This is abuse towards their customers and concerns me about buying joint Ford-Mazda products. Yeah, its built in Japan, but in a plant run by North Americans.
  • Either size mentioned will work on the car. Whether the stock wheels will work well with 195/60-14 depends on rim width. Check's charts. If you are going to get new wheels, consider 15 or 16 inch diameters, depending how low a profile you want.
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    But to compare Honda's problems with Ford's is unrealistic.
    How about comparing the recent Honda automatic transmission failures? Still unrealistic?
    Or sludging up Toyota engines? Definitely worth of a flashy headline:
    Toyota acknowledged Wednesday that millions of its cars and trucks could develop a ruinous oil-sludge problem and said it would repay owners who have had to make repairs.
    Unrealistic too?
  • The Check Engine Light on my 1999 Protege ES (45K miles) started to stay on from yesterday. A scanning at AutoZone revealed two problems in terms of DTC:

    (1) P0171 - Fuel Trim System Lean Bank 1;
    (2) P0455 - Evaporative Emission Control System Leak Detected (gross leak/no flow).

    I'm not so sure what exactly these two codes mean, but I noticed that a few weeks ago there was a discussion regarding code P0171 (failing MAS). In message # 1881 mazdafun specifically mentioned a recall on some 1.6L models affected (99-00 DX and LX models). Does this recall also apply to 99 ES 1.8L model? Would these problems (mainly about emissions) still be covered under warranty?

    Can I still temporarily drive the car while trying to contact a dealership to take a look of the problems?
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    The recall is for the 1.6L only IIRC. However, it could be the same issue or something as simple as an oxygen sensor.

    IMO, the car is driveable - but try to get to your dealer within a few days.

  • My oxygen sensor failed and triggered the CEL, but the code was different than the ones you mentioned. Just a warning, I've found that dealers quickly diagnose problems as failed mass airflow sensors because Mazda will cover the replacement costs under an extended warranty (I've had mine replaced twice in the U.S. and Canada, and the problem wasn't the MAF) You may want to research the possible causes of this problem prior to a trip the the dealer, especially if the car is out of warranty.
  • At least Toyota acknowledged the problem, Ford would have denied it until the government stepped in or a class action lawsuit was submitted. Lets hope Mazda doesn't adopt Ford's customer relations procedure when it comes to design faults in their products. Anyone have a late 90's 626 with an automatic transmission?
  • sounds like it could be a vacuum leak or a leak in the evaporative emission system itself. That's the the plumbing that condenses fuel fumes and puts them back into the fuel system. Without schematics, it will be hard to identify the right hoses. You might spot something disconnected if you look around the fuel injection and intake manifold.
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    At least Toyota acknowledged the problem, Ford would have denied it until the government stepped in or a class action lawsuit was submitted.

    It's the other way around. Please read the article.
    Toyota had been resisting repayment, prompting angry owners to demand arbitration, hire lawyers and vent on the Internet.

    Lawyers in Georgia and Florida have been gathering steam to seek class-action status for a planned lawsuit against Toyota.

    Marketing experts say Toyota's decision is an example of how persuasive the Internet can be.
  • Come on, to compare one problem that Toyota has with the THOUSANDS that Ford has had over the years in ridiculous. Anyway, it just proves that Toyota is a better car company.

    Lets see how Mazda handles the rust and staining problem on 2003 Mazda6s, will they acknowledge the problem and compensate the owners, or take a page from Ford's book and argue the "quality is job one" PR nonsense?
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Mazda handled the HP shortcomings with the Miata and RX-8 well (unlike Nissan, who still denies anything lacking with their engine outputs, despite several dyno tests that indicate either Nissan is overstating their outputs or the transmissions in their vehicles are really inefficient).

    But I have to say that I find it disturbing that Mazda 6 built in NA have this rusting issue at all when ones built in Japan don't. I'd be very hesitant to buy and NA-built 6 (sedan, hatch or wagon) until I'm sure they've solved the root cause.
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    u probably have a vacuum leak and a catalyst gone bad. should be covered under warranty.
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    Come on, to compare one problem that Toyota has with the THOUSANDS that Ford has had over the years in ridiculous
    THOUSANDS? Care to list?
    BTW, those 3.5 million cars which are affected by just one problem of that caliber is easily worth of thousands much smaller Ford problems.
  • meg11meg11 Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 Mazda protege w/ 43K miles. In the past month my check engine light has come on three times. I have had the air filter, spark plugs, and an oxygen sensor replaced. Now the diagnostic code is 01721 and my mechanic recommends replacing the air flow meter. Has anyone had this experience...
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Meg, can you recheck that code? All OBD II trouble codes start with P, then 4 digits. P1721 refers to incorrect gear ratio (transmission), P0172 is fuel system rich (engine). If it's P0172, start by looking closely at the ducting between the air flow meter and the throttle body for any signs of cracks or other damage.
  • meg11meg11 Posts: 2
    Thanks for the information. I must have written down the code incorrectly. I believe it is P0172. I will share your insights with my mechanic. Truly appreciate it....
  • I guess we'll agree to disagree.
  • I'm annoyed today. We got the protegé in September. It now has a 5000km.

    Last weak it was -25 degree celcius and the car would not start. The battery wasn't providing the necessary power to the starter to start the engine even if the car is new. We had to boost it.

    I have a 2002 Elantra, which is supposed to be the worst car on earth according to what I read on the Mazda 3 vs Elantra discussion, and it started without hesitation. If only mazda had put a stronger battery this problem would have never happen.

    Why don't they use stronger batteries in car delivered in Canada ? Our winter is a lot worst than in the northern states of the US. The price difference between an average battery and a good battery is so small, I just don't understand their decision.
  • cdnp5cdnp5 Posts: 163
    I understand how you can be upset with your car not starting in the cold (having to wait outside isn't fun in that weather) but maybe its just your battery that is having a problem. I've spent many a days in the very cold weather and didn't start my car for two days at -35C and it did start when I needed it to. Take your car back to your dealer and have them check the battery (its still under warranty) and they will replace it if there is anything wrong with it.
  • live in mn. very very cold recently. like -25 to -30 below with wind chills. just bought a 2003 protege es,and experienced very iffy cold starting performance. called dealer, and brought car in. they checked battery and said it was low on cranking amps (about 150?). soooooooooooo..they replaced the battery, under warranty, with a mazda replacemnt - 550 amps i am told.
    well guess what happened today?? yep. no start. cranks as slow or slower than it did before. i know, your thinking charging system right? they say they checked that. so.......i call the mazda dealer today (again, me and service mgr are on first name basis now) and i say "well, i was right. you were wrong. car wont start. mazda roadside assistance is towing it in today".
    then, the *!#%@ service manager has the balls to shake me down about cold weather starting procedure. "did you crank the engine until it fired?" my reply, "i could crank the engine for about 35 seconds and then my battery would be dead". "well, if you stop cranking too early, you will flood the engine. its in the owners manual". [non-permissible content removed], you think this is the first car i have had to start in a mn winter?? "im telling you this new battery you just installed, doesnt crank any harder/faster than the one you replaced".
    service manager also gave me some song and dance about how the engine is tight. so it will crank harder. soooooo...with that reasoning then most new car owners aren't able to start their cars in the winter. pffffffttt!!
    i am very p.o'd about this (as i watch my neighbors in blazers, grand prixs, navigators start their cars and drive away). i am calling mazda usa.
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    Are you guys using block heaters? We had -32C weather up here (-45C w/ the windchill) and although it takes a bit to start, my '03 ES hasn't had any trouble starting.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    They go bad with age. Goes for any make of lead-acid batteries. The one in yours may have drained due to any number of reasons (probably because the car hadn't been run in a while...think of it: assuming they put a fresh battery in at the factory, it is shipped over the ocean, which can take a week or more, depending on the port, then it is processed through the port and then trucked or rail-freighted, which can take weeks, then it may sit around a dealer lot for days to months after a brief run to park the car, which probably drains its battery more than charges it). If I got a 2003 model car now, I'd plan on replacing the battery before a real winter hit. When I got an '89 323LX back in late '89, the battery was close to dead; the dealer put in a fresh battery. I got my '99 ProLX in Jan '99, so its battery lasted 4 years fine; I replaced it before this winter, just in case.

    The replacement battery they gave you may have been sitting around uncharged for a while. Retailers of car batteries should charge them every now and then, but I bet most don't

    Like all rechargeables, they drain (even w/o a load) in a matter of weeks to months. Once a lead-acid battery is dead, it stays dead. It won't hold a charge for long and it won't have nearly the CCA it's supposed to have.

    The occasional bad one gets in too. If it's a "service-free" type, there may be a crack in the casing, allowing the water in the cell to evaporate, causing premature death of the cell. There are many ways for car batteries to fail.

    So, if you've ever drained your battery (by leaving a light on etc.), then you should really replace it.

    Even the best of car batteries don't last beyond 5 years. I'd say most go between 3 and 4 years of use before needing replacement, especially up north. I replace mine every 4, and I garage my car, so it has at least one "warm" start during winter days.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Our PRO is usually outside and even with the cold weather (routinely -20C to -30C for the last 2 wks) the car started w/no problem w/out a block heater.

    If you bought it recently, if the car sits on the lot for too long, maybe (just speculation) the car will have a hard time to start???

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