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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • catcarrcatcarr Posts: 1
    i have a 1994 protege with 92k miles. it has never had engine problems, but it does have one other hugely annoying problem. when i drive, it vibrates like crazy. i've had new tires, balancing, and alignment twice since i acquired the car a year ago, plus new brakes and rotors. nothing stops the vibrating. not only does it vibrate, but it makes a thumping noise when i brake (sounds like CV- joint, only it doesn't occur when i turn the wheel) . . .we have spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $2000 on this car (radiator also cracked and had to be replaced). if anyone knows what this could be, it would help. i've been considering maybe shocks, struts? it sounds like it's about the tires somewhere.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    No, it's not a buzzing or rattling. It's a squeak the door makes when you press on the rear part of the trim. If you don't press on it, it doesn't make any noise at all.

    I do want to take mine back sometime while it's under warranty and get my shop to adjust my driver's side window -- it rattles a little if it's down less than about three or four inches. Nothing too terrible, just a minor annoyance in an otherwise flawless car.

  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    If you've spent $2k already, it's time to see a different mechanic. It sounds like you have a bent wheel or warped rotors. With all the work you have had done, somebody should have noticed these.

  • Love the wifes protege, 48,000 care free miles. At about 46K, the Check Engine Light remains on. All fluids are good, runs great, same great gas mileage. What gives? What needs checking/replacing? Any suggestions?
  • fritz1224fritz1224 Posts: 398
    Probably needs to be checked with a OBII scanner to accurately diagnose reason light is on. Unless it was due to a loose gas cap. If that were the case, might try disconnecting negative battery cable and reconnecting to shut off light. But I doubt if it will work.
    From what I'm gathering, a scanner is needed to reset the light as well.
  • catiejcatiej Posts: 1
    Shopping at Fremont Mazda was a nightmare!!!
    I spoke with a sales rep. (Joesoph) and he and
    the head manager played the game "bate and switch".
    A price was given on a specific model and when
    I drove there with a check in hand, the deal vanished. They want more money for the same car
    I came to buy... The manager was very rude and he didn't care what was promised to me! This would have been the 6th Mazda purchased. This has to be the worst Dealership I ever came across!

    DON'T Shop at Fremont Mazda, if you want a good deal!!!
  • fritz1224,
    turns out, the light only came on after my wife left the gas cap at the filling station. We bought an aftermarket cap that fits fine. I disconnected the Neg cable as suggested, light is still on. Where can I get this OBll scanner? I'm used to working on and builing engines in the pre fuel injected/internet days. How can I get it scanned, or other suggestions?
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Scanners range in price from $200-$300 for basic units to about $4,000 for professional models such as the Snap-On MT2500 with all the adapter cables and cartidges. If you're considering buying one go to the link below. Scroll down to Scanners and Diagnostic Tools. Otherwise any shop which has one with an up to date import cartridge will be able to extract/clear stored diagnostic trouble codes.
  • We have a 2000 Protege DX with only 5,000 miles on it.
    Recently, on a long trip, we heard a strange squeak -- somewhere between a squeak and a sigh.
    We only heard it a couple of times after three hours of interestate driving. But it was such an odd noise that it concerned both my husband and me. It was hard to pinpoint where it came from, but it sounded like either the heater, the radio (which was off) or, god forbid, the transmission.
    Anyone else heard anything like this?
  • Before you spend three figures on a scan tool, spend something in the low two figures on a proper Mazda OEM fuel cap, and see if the problem goes away. If fuel pressure isn't just so, OBD II will report a problem, and you never know exactly what pressure you're getting from someone else's cap.
  • norcannorcan Posts: 72
    Maisemaid. Re. Weird squeak.
    If you go to Mazda Protege owner's club, (Sedans)you will see several posts about a slight 'whistle' or 'whine' at certain speeds. Seen especially around 75-80 mph. Even though no one seems to know what is making the noise, there seems to be no cause for concern. Most likely a 'resonant frequency'.
    The 2nd possibility is wind noise - leak around a window - unlikely by your description.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    The whine is from the differential and is just a charachteristic of the 99-01 Protege. So far, I haven't heard of any problems associated with the whine.

  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    the whine is due to the gear tooth form(square or trapezoidal) which allows for max metal to metal pressure on gear tooth - creates a whining sound. no problem. -basic mech. engg.
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    hey maltb, still waiting for your valuable assistance :)
  • I test drove a new 2001 ES auto today and really liked how it handled. However, I definitely noticed a subtle vibration transmitted through the steering wheel while the car was in motion. I also own a Subaru Forester and Nissan Maxima and don't feel it with those vehicles. It doesn't seem to detract from the accuracy of the steering, but it's just there. Is this normal?
  • nikecarnikecar Posts: 460
    probably the tires were out of balance.. it will shake bad if its out of whack.
  • On post 314, I referred to a steering vibration on a 2001 ES. Yesterday, I went to another dealer and test drove another one, and this time, NO vibration, so nikecar (thanks for your response), I bet you're right about the tires.
  • nikecarnikecar Posts: 460
    no prob... ours when we got it shaked abit too. Took it back and they said the tires were way out of balance.. sometimes dealers don't do the entire pre0inspection and prep.
  • protegecpeprotegecpe Posts: 10
    Hi friends,

    1997 Mazda protege 60000 miles.

    The check engine light is on and got the error
    codes by a dealer.

    Anyo suggestion?
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    P1170 is an oxygen sensor (which might also explain things in the P017x range, which deals with fuel trim); P0505 is the idle air control (not necessarily the valve itself). Replacing the O2 sensor probably ought to be the first order of business.
  • yangkryangkr Posts: 1
    I bought a used car from a Mazda dealer shop in Austin (December, 2000).

    Air filter is soaked whenever it rains relatively heavy. (Of course,it is already soaked while parked in front of my place before driving)
    I would have to take out the filter to be dried each time it happen.. But, it doesn't always work. Of course, I would have to stop running the vehicle when seeing the engine warning signal and/or smelling engine burns while driving.

    Finally, this early morning my car stop on the way to school. I was so much scared..

    Just wonder how the water leaks through the air filter container box when it rains.

    Would anyone have any similar problems to mine? Also, any comments or advices are welcome. Thanks.
  • protegecpeprotegecpe Posts: 10
    No, the deealer said they need 3 hours (about 200$) to find out the problem.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    I remember reading somewhere that if the fender was replaced and not properly sealed with body caulking, it could channel water right into the air box. I think it only happens when the vehicle is parked at a particular angle.

    What to do:
    Park the car where you normally do. Take a hose and turn it on with a slow flow going over the top of the fender and hood. Then lift the hood and look to see where traces of water have gone. You should be able to trace it and seal the proper areas.

  • mpshutempshute Posts: 6
    Anyone know the trick to remove the rear wheel cylinder's on this car. After removing the wheel, there are two screws on the cylinder which I removed. Have not had any success removing it after doing this. The only other thing I can think of is there is a small cap that looks like it could be removed, maybe providing access to another nut of some kind but I don't think this would be probable. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated as I'm trying to avoid purchasing the $115 manual from the dealer! Thanks,

  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    just those two bolts.... Give the cylinder a few light taps with a hammer to loosen any rust and should come right off. You have removed the brake shoes, right? Also that small cap on the back is the cover for the bleeder screw. If you aren't sure what that is, I suggest you seek some help from an enlightened friend.

    Also, factory shop manuals are worth every bit of the $100 they cost. NEVER waste your time with a Chilton's or Haynes.

  • dhkchengdhkcheng Posts: 6
    Hello, I have a 2000 Protege LX (Canadian Car) with the
    Bridgestone Potenza RE92 (195/55.15) tires. After about
    3500KM of use the tires started to develop whine between
    50KPH to 80KPH. Has any other owners of Proteges reported
    simular issues with these tires? The whining was not that bad
    during the winter, but now that it is summer, the whining is
    getting alot worse.

    Thanks in advance.
    David Cheng
    Belleville, Ontario
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    ...I. have talked to says the Potenzas are noisy. Maybe that's why the 2001s are coming with Dunlops.

  • wjm1wjm1 Posts: 33
    My wife drives 2000 ES (Auto) that now has about 9K miles on it. The fuel economy has been bad to terrible since the day one. At t5he beginning I thought that after breaking in the car it would improve. Well 9K seems enough to me. When complained earlier this year, the dealer said that it's because of the "winter" gasuline here in Northern CA (SF Bay Area) and that nothing is wrong. True - MTBE and other oxygenates decrease the MPG figure, but not to that extent I believe.
    Now the fuel is not "winter" type and the car is still doing 22 MPG on 70% city 30% hwy driving.
    And she's not a heavy foot by all means. Tried different gas - almost no difference (Chevron seems to be the best btw). Before the last oil change I used a bottle of Techron injector cleaner - didn't help.

    I thing that's horrible for such a car (EPA 24-29).

    What do you guys think? Anybody from Northern CA to share their numbers?
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    There are so many factors that affect mileage.

    What speed does she drive on the highway?
    Does she vary the throttle excessively when cruising?
    Quick starts?
    A/C or defrost on all the time?
    Very hilly terrain?

    My suggestion would be to swap cars and run a tank of gas through there on your own.

  • dhkchengdhkcheng Posts: 6
    Has any other Protege owner tried running on a higher octane fuel
    then the 87 octane recommended in the owners manual? and if so,
    did you have any problems using the higher octane fuel?
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572 that my $20 doesn't take me as far. Other than that, tank up all you want, it's your money.

  • nematodenematode Posts: 448
    I have a 01 ES 2.0 and the very first tank resulted in 27mpg 80-90% highway at 60-70mph. I posted about this in the regular Protege forum.
  • dannygdannyg Posts: 131
    FYI, my mother's 99 LX auto gets about 35-36MPG in 80% hwy 60-65MPH, no A/C.

    Doesn't have the HP of the ES, but the MPG isn't bad...
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    The best MPG that I have got was 33 mpg and the worst was 26 mpg. I usually average around 28 MPG with a lot of city driving. I have a 5sp 2.0L ES by the way.
  • wjm1wjm1 Posts: 33
    maltb: there are the answers to your questions:
    1. Usually 60-65mph
    2. No, she's driving pretty much with a constant speed (dosn't use the cruise though).
    3. Quick starts - Usually waits a minute or so before pull off the parking lot. (but there aren't any really cold conditions here anyway)
    4. No AC yet (the heat just started), occasional use of the defroster (as a defogger - no frost here) in the winter
    5. Not a hilly terrain (I used to live in SF before, but I drove an escort back then :) )

    So what do you think ?
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Try a different dealer. Something is not right. Does the vehicle exhibit any other problems? Misfire? Rough idle? Exhaust fumes that burn the hair out of your nose?

    How many different times did you calclate mileage and what method did you use?

  • My 99 ProES gives approx. 28 MPG in northern CA (bay area) with abt. 60% highway , 40% city .. of course, some of the highways are worse than city streets :)

    Check your tire pressure. I have noticed a significant difference in the mileage with variations in tire pressure.
  • wjm1wjm1 Posts: 33
    No other problems as far as I can tell. Seems normal. Well in my oppinion the auto trans seems to hesitate a little (only my oppinion) and the brakes could be better for sur, but I don't think that this has anything to do with the mpg.
    Tires alignment and rotation is fine with the pressure right in the middle of specification.

    did you get this numbers from the day one or after a specific mileage. Yeah, I know what you mean about the highways. What is your recomendation for the tire pressure? What have you experienced? Share any numbers psi/mpg ?
  • orangelebaronorangelebaron Posts: 435
    I know this is about a totally different car, but when I had a 1986 LeBaron GTS turbo, at one point I was getting terrible gas mileage. It turned out my thermostat was not working properly therefore screwing up the cars computer. Once I replaced the thermostat, gas mileage was fine. There are probably many different things that could be defective that would cause bad gas mileage. A few lbs of tire pressure too low will not drop gas mileage that much.
  • nematodenematode Posts: 448
    is on the rise for my ES 2.0 auto. First tank was 27.0. Second tank 27.5. 80-90% highway. It would be really nice to see 29-30mpg combined. I'm 1/2 way through tank 3 and its looks like it will be a little better better than tank 2. This tank will put me over 1000 miles so I'll start using cruise contol at 65mph instead of going 60-70mph. I bet I can kiss 30mpg combined by the time I hit 5k. I really like going 350-380 miles between tanks.
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    and I have a 99 ES.

    100% town driving traffic lights every half a mile). I get to only 50mph max for 3 minutes.
    average speed for me(when I am not stopped at a stop sign) is 35mph.

    so am I getting a bad mileage?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    My last tank in my 2001 ES yielded 22.5 mpg with mostly in-town driving using the AC. So your mileage (23.3) is about right for all in-town driving.
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    no need to mull over it now.

    Anyway, I get to fill up my tank only once in 15-17 days - who cares?
  • rnd2rnd2 Posts: 31
    it must be nice to only fill up every 15-17 days! i drive 90 miles round trip just togo to work, i get 29-31 mpg. but still have to fill up every 3-5 days
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I drive about 70 miles a day back and forth to work, and have to fill up about the same amount of times that you do. If gas keeps going up, I am going to have to start hitchiking to work. :)
  • r_scott_gr_scott_g Posts: 16
    The rear doors on my protege don't get used much, but one day I noticed that the weathersripping was coming off. Then I noticed that it was coming off in the same place on the other rear door.

    If you don't disturb it, it does manage to stay put in the correct spot. I can't even find any evidence of the factory adhesive.

    I've considered fixing it myself, but maybe I'll see if the dealership will fix it - as the car is only 9 months old.

    I have to take the car in to have the front door panels removed and re-attached. They make the worst noise if you happen to lean on them. They creak and groan like an old chair. I checked other proteges, and they do not do this.

    If I do fix the weatherstripping, I'm not sure what product to use. I'm mostly familiar with that yellow stuff from 3M.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    There is no adhesive on there from the factory. the weather-strip just fits in a groove. I noticed the same thing on mine that they tend to come off if you grab the door frame to shut the door. I managed to fit them back in the groove without adhesive and I think the dealer would do the same. If all else fails, use the gorilla snot(3M weather-strip adhesive).

  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Did you ever wonder about the origin of some terms? I'm from the Toronto area and we Canuck techs have used the same expression, gorilla snot, for weatherstrip adhesive for as long as I've been in the trade (30+ years). Guess some things just have a universal international tag. LOL
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    The same thing happend with my 1999 DX when I had it. The weatherstripping on the left rear door came loose. I took it to the dealer, and they fixed it with no problems.
  • r_scott_gr_scott_g Posts: 16
    Thanks for the info. I'll try and push the weatherstripping back into place.

    On the mileage issue, my Protege has been about what I expected. Not quite in the league of some other economy cars, but I knew that before I bought it. We're tall, and the Protege was the best small car choice when it came to interior room.

    It's supposed to get 30mpg city/41mpg highway(not U.S gallons). When it's warm out, I probably get around 29mpg or so, in the city. And that's with a lot of stopping and acceleration. If it's summer time, I probably I can get as high as 45mpg on the highway, but 39 to 41 is more realistic.

    Air-conditioning noticably affects the mileage, but I have the 1.6 auto.

    Gas is one thing I don't like paying for, but at least I'm not driving a real gas guzzler.

    This weekend, I'll put around 1000 miles on the car. I'll be interested to check the mileage, now that it's not winter.
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