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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • arabamarabam Posts: 11
    The "clunking" that I complained about in Message #2184 is also getting worse in hot weather. One other thing I realized is that the clunking has gotten worse after I had my Potenzas replaced with Yokohamas; kept the same size etc.

    ... similar to your situation my last two trips to the repair shop did not change a thing; and they keep on telling me that "may be rotors - but everything else looks fine!".

    It is really annoying because it basically sounds like something will fail very soon; all the joy of driving is gone!
  • jjnjjn Posts: 3

    I really do not think it is your tires. I also had new tires put on....Noise still there. And it does happen more when the car is warm and the outside temp is warm to hot. There are many times that it took me upwards of 5 to 6 tries to get a problem fixed with this car.

    Yhe dealer tells me that even tho I have an extended warranty, that dealer is absorbing the cost of diagnosing the proble. And that since they feel the car is fine, they mayneed to charge for the diagnosis...Well, my opinion is that it is not the customer's fault that the dealer is unable to fix a problem because of poor diagnostics.

    The dealer has told me that they do want to resolve the problem but are at a losss as to what to try next. I have attempted to contact Mazda direct but they will NOT speak to a customer regarding technical problems. I find this unacceptable, but, it is difficult to speak to someone who will not speak to you.

    I am hoping that if enough people start complaining about this problem then maybe Mazda corp will listen.

    So, if anyone else is having the same 'clinking' noise and are concerned for their safety, then please keep on the dealership and continue to contact Mazda.

    With that said, does anyone have any idea how this thumping can be corrected?

  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    My '95 LX (174K miles) has also been making the same type of sounds you mention when braking to a stop for the last 8 months or so. I just had my fourth set of tires put on last week and I know the problem is not tire related and the shop also gave the brakes an "all good" report. In an earlier post someone mentioned a poor design in the caliper brake sleeves causing a "clunking." Also, my brake rotors are still the originals but the pads were replaced at around 120K miles. I don't feel it is warped rotors because I don't get any pulsing feel when braking. But something is definitely binding or moving improperly in the system and I hope to get this fixed as noises like this annoy me even if they are considered normal.
  • hobbs03hobbs03 Posts: 17
    I've got 32k on my 01 LX 2.0. I just replaced the plugs and oil.

    When should I replace the tranny and power steering fluid?

    Also, when I get the brakes done, is it necessary for them to turn the rotors or can I just have them replace the break pads?

    Thanks for any input
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    I change my AT fluid every 3 years. I average less than 10k miles a year.

    I'm not sure about the power steering fluid. I don't think I've ever changed mine in any of my vehicles (not that it shouldn't be done).

    Turning rotors at a brake job depends on how smooth they are. Most auto mfrs do have a smoothness spec, but I've skipped turning rotors if I thought the rotor surfaces felt fairly smooth to the touch. These days though, rotors seem to be made of softer steel, so you may as well have them machined down smooth as you'll likely replace them with every other set of pads.
  • dewebdeweb Posts: 1
    when driving my 1992 protege in stop and go traiff my brkes locks up . change pads ;calitpor rotors still my front brakes lock up.
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  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I've moaned about my underpowered AC before but Friday on the drive home I couldn't get the AC to turn on. Warm air and the little button's light wouldn't go. Five minutes of fiddling with it and suddenly cool air came out once more.

    I'm near due for an oil change so this might be a good time to get Mazda to take a look at my AC and its connections. Bummer
  • hobbs03hobbs03 Posts: 17
    Thanks for the response.

    Not to keep hammering, but when you get it replaced are they doing a "flush" or just draining. The reason I ask is that the shop I take my car to offers a flush for $180 v. a "drain" for about $80. They say the flush hooks up some pump to get all the AT fluid out whereas the drain doesnt get everything.

    ALso, I asked Mazda customer service about the PS fluid and they said that it doesn't need to be replaced, just monitor the level.

    Thanks again for your input
  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    Well, the wife finally passed 100,000 miles on our 1999 Protege ES 5-speed. The car has been very reliable. Outside of regular maintenance items (brakes, oil, filters, plug wires, etc.), the only real issue was having to replace the alternator around 65,000 mils (if I recall correctly). But, other Mazdas I've owned (1986 626 and 1992 Protege) have had similar life expectancies on their alternators, but rarely other problems.

    The only issue we are now having is some hesitation under low rpms, especially in the lower gears. Since the plug wires and plugs have been replaced recently, I've ruled that out. We had Auto Zone hook a diagnostic to the CPU and got a message about a failed vehicle speed sensor that is supposed to be attached to the transmission. The part can only be acquired from Mazda last time I checked and it costs about $200, which I don't have. However, I am not sure that is the real problem. I was told that it could be a problem with clogged fuel injectors, but the dealer wanted a lot of money to professionally clean them.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks and enjoy your Proteges!! They are great cars!
  • jjnjjn Posts: 3

    I am replying to my own posting. Has anyone been able to figure out the cause of the problem I described in message 2188? The dealership said they will 'look ' at it again, but, I think until I can come up with the cause, they will say the same thing ' Can not duplicate the noise'.

    They want me to wait till the problem is severe enough that they can actually see it without needing to troubleshoot.

    This is very frustrating. If I knew what the problem was then I would expect they would pay me...Anyway, any help would be apprecitated.

  • chicagoprochicagopro Posts: 1,009
    jjn, I'm not sure about your problem.

    I had clunking over bumps, and had my front and rear stabilizer links replaced yesterday. My car drives reeeeeally well now, and no more clunking.

    Good luck!
  • civiletticiviletti Posts: 86
    I use a bottle of Techron every 6 months to clean injectors. You may try a bottle for each of tne next few fillups to see if that works.
  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    Try one of the oil change places (Jiffy Lube, etc.). When I owned an auto trans car, I used to tkae it to Jiffy Lube about every 25,000 miles for a flush. I don't think it cost much more than $30 at the time (been a few years), but I expect it will still be MUCH cheaper than having the dealer do it.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    How much?

    I haven't gotten around to doing anything about mine yet.

    P.S. Do you have an extended warranty, and if so, were they covered?

  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    I actually tried using some high-strength cleaner in the gas tank about a month or so ago. It didn't change anything, so then I added another one when the gas tank was nearly empty (hoping to send a concentrated amount of the cleaner to the injectors, but that didn't make a difference either.

    The nearest Mazda dealer (and not one I trust, based upon past experiences) swears that only a professional cleaning will work fully and pretty much said that those bottled cleaners didn't do a good job, but I don't trust this dealer anyway . . . I think he wants to make a sale.

    Does anyone know anything about this vehicle speed sensor that is part of the manual transmission?
  • syd968syd968 Posts: 27
    When driving my 2001 Mazda Protégé for more than 3 hours at highway speeds with the A/C ON the blower freezes up. The A/C is set on fresh mode and the fan speed is set either on speed 1 or 2 the whole time. When the blower freezes up you can turn the fan speed up to 3 or 4 but all you get is a hissing noise coming from the blower. The little bit of air that still comes out of the vents when the blower freezes up is still cold. When the blower freezes up I turn the A/C off and the fan off. If you put your hand on the heater box (I think this is the heater box - the black box on the left side behind the glove compartment) you can feel water condensation has built up on it. This water condensation then drips onto the passenger floor. After leaving the A/C and fan off for about five minutes to unfreeze the blower works again and I can turn the A/C and fan on again. If I continue to leave the A/C on at this point it will freeze up again about every 2 hours while driving on the highway.
    This car has had this problem since I purchased it new in 2001. I've had it looked at by Mazda 3 times and have had a new fan blower installed, but this has still not solved the problem.
    Has anyone out there experienced the same problems? Any ideas for how they (Mazda)can fix this? Thanks!
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    You may have a clogged/blocked/kinked drain line. If you don't see water on the ground underneath the car a few minutes after turning off the car and parking...after driving with the A/C on, it would tend to confirm this. The condensation is probably backing up and freezing up "the works" so to speak.
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    and fan at lowest setting is not recommended by many. try keeping the fan at a higher speed.
  • riopelleriopelle Posts: 132
    >Cross posted on Protege list<

    Hi Pro folks.

    My P5 is at 32,000 miles and will be 3 yrs old nex week. Mazda recommends a 3 yr/30k maintenance that includes flushing the engine and replacing the spark plugs, amongs other things, totally about $350. I have reservations that an engine would need new plugs this quick since most engines don't need a tune-up until 100k, Any advice?

    Does the new 2.3 in the 3 have the same maintenance schedule? I am tempted to save the bucks and put them toward a new 3 if my 5 really needs this,

    Thanks everyone.
  • civiletticiviletti Posts: 86
    I think it depends on what the problem is. If there is carbon or varnish restricting the injector orifices, techron is reported to be quite useful. If there are chunks of rock, metal, etc. in the way, then it will take high pressure to dislodge them.
  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    I did some more research and I don't think the vehicle speed sensor is the issue. As civilleti suggested, it is likely related to carbon or varnish buildup in fuel injectors or valves.

    Is Techron the best fuel system cleaner? There are MANY of them, all claiming to be the best.

    Thanks again!
  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    Anyone heard of K100 Fuel treatments? I found the site while browsing the internet.

    It seems to be good stuff, based upon testimonials and other information on the website.

    I don't think I can post the product link without violating policy on this board, but you should be able to find it by searching for K100 Fule Treament.

    Any advice?
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    30K is actually the norm for plugs. The cars that have come out in recent years advertising "no tuneups until 100K" are really pushing the envelope, from what my mechanic friend tells me. Heat and carbon buildup are going to destroy plugs just as fast as they always have. Besides, changing plugs costs about 10 bucks and you can do it yourself. By the way, change your plug wires while you're at it.

  • dianebdianeb Posts: 1
    I have read some previous postings on the subject and I am not experiencing the usual symptoms. My only problem (after not driving my '92 for a few months), is when I push the clutch in, sometimes it goes straight to the floor and I have to "pump" it to get it into gear. Am hoping there is an easy fix?!
  • reitrofreitrof Posts: 122
    I am assuming it is a hydraulic clutch. sounds like you have air in the line or the master cylinder for the clutch is gone.

    If it is the master cylinder, find a used one at a junk yard.
  • aj2000aj2000 Posts: 1
    I own a 1996 Protege with 68,000 miles. I recently took it to a local gas station for a smog test. It failed the System Malfunction Light test. The statement reads "This vehicle failed the MIL/check engine light due to failure to successfully complete all OBD self tests." He said drive the car around for about 60 - 100 miles and bring it back. I drove it around 68 miles, took it back and it failed the same test. He said bring it back after a couple of days after I drove it around for another 100 or so miles. It passed every other test but this test. I only drive the car about 25 - 30 miles a say. Low mileage. He said there wasn't anything that could be replaced or repaired. Any suggestions?
  • jjayantjjayant Posts: 3
    My '98 Pro trunk release has broken, (seems the cable broke inside). The problem is the car didnt had the trunk lock in working condition when i bought it, so i can not open the trunk now.. showed it to a local mechanic, they told me its a half day job. and may cost $200 or more..Is this cable replacement so dificult and expensive?? Please share if you had similar experience. What would be the most effective way of resolving this..Thanks
  • I have a '99 Protege that has been having a few issues lately. It has often had problems accelerating when coming from a dead-stop, and will take longer then many cars to get up to highway speeds.

    I took it on a trip this weekend and experienced pretty poor highway driving with it. I would get it up to 65 or 70 MPH, and eventually once I was going up a slight incline or even sometimes when I wasn't, the RPM's would rev up from 3000-3200 where I had it, up to 4000 or more.

    Also, when I had the cruise on and wanted to go faster, the car would often not allow me to do this. The RPM's would increases, but no the MPH. I have had 2 experiences since then where I am driving on the highway and the car doesn't want to accelerate and instead wants to quit on me.

    This is very frustrating obviously. Has anyone had similar issues with their car, whether it be a Mazda or other 4 cylinder engine?

    Also, after I the first 1/2 of my drive this weekend, I had parked the car for a day. I wasn't experiencing the issues I was on my way home with accleration on the way to my destination. After the car was parked for a day, it didn't want to start the next morning. After 3 tries it did and I have not had any more problems with that aspect of it since.

    Any advice/help/ideas would be appreciated.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    How many miles are on the car? My 2000 ES just turned 80,000 miles yesterday and still has brilliant acceleration. But then again, I changed my plug wires back in the 40Ks. How old are your plug wires? They can make a BIG difference. Also, when's the last time you had your plugs changed? Air filter changed?

    Give us a little info and maybe we can help!

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