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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    I think it's more to burn off fuel that wasn't completely combusted the first time

    It isn't. Introducing an inert gas such as engine exhaust lowers combustion temp below that at which oxides of nitrogen can form.
  • lew32lew32 Posts: 2
    I have a 91 Protege that starts and runs for about 2 seconds then dies. I changed the plugs, distributor cap and rotor. I'm still having the same problem. I listened for the fuel pump but can't hear it running but was told that if the fuel pump is out it wouldn't start at all. Any ideas?
  • Thanks All the above are happening (short trips ,cold weather, and the gas tank is below half ) i had the OBD reset i ve gone 100 miles it hasnt returned i even did the driving cycle thing
  • hoogie1hoogie1 Posts: 1
    I think the first year the 2 litre engine was introduced was 2001. I have a 99 protege with a 1.8 litre and it is almost identicle to the 2 litre except for some emissions components as far as I can tell. It has nearly the same performance spec as the 2.0 as well, the available 1.6 litre engine is a slug. I have 113 000 Km on my protege and have only had to replace the EGR valve and stabilizer links other than obvious wear items, In my personal opinion the newer proteges are a great little car and if you get the 2.0 you are getting performance equal to or higher than honda civic SI and golf/jetta 2.0 in terms of HP.
  • lew32lew32 Posts: 2
    I tested the fuel pump according to the Haynes manual instructions and could hear it running so I guess that eliminates the fuel pump as the problem.
  • lubeguylubeguy Posts: 3
    I am the proud owner of a 1997 Protege, which I've owned since it was new. Recently, it has developed a really bad habit: in the morning, I have to crank the starter/pump the accelerator for 3-5 minutes before it will finally start, then it runs rough for about 10-15 minutes. After that, all is well; no more starting problems all day long. I don't have a clue where to start: all the injectors are working, recently changed the plugs, replaced an air intake hose that was leaking, etc., but I can't seem to get this fixed. I live just over 4000 ft elevation, and morning temps are in the 29-40 degrees F this time of year. Help! Any ideas?
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Try turning the key to the run position, wait 2-3 seconds, then off, several times before trying to start it. This gives a fuel pump prime pulse. If starting's any easier, look for a low fuel pressure problem.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Plug wires, man. Replace your plug wires.

    Proteges (I've owned four) have a tendency to go through plug wires every 30 to 40K miles. They short out due to the high temperatures and moisture that collects in the "tunnels" they follow down to the plugs in the valve cover. The first time I had one go, my car stalled and died. Somehow I managed to limp the 2 miles to the dealership on three cylinders, which I'm sure was not very good for my engine!

    A new set of wires runs about $50 to $70 depending on where you get them, and they take less than five minutes to install yourself. I now do it as preventive maintenance every 40K or so, and I do notice a dramatic increase in performance even if none have deteriorated to the complete failure point yet! Replacing them usually results in a 1-2 mpg increase too.

    Keeping your plug wires in good condition is just as important as changing your plugs.

    Hoping this was your solution,

  • kagedudekagedude Posts: 407
    Hi. I backed up my 94 Protege DX in a mound of snow/ice and now the cat/exhaust pipe area has white smoke coming out of it and the car is louder to drive and it backfires when I let go of the gas. Anyone know approximately how much to get it fixed?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    It may be the exhaust, but it may be more ...

    I recently had a bout with a patch of ice in my parking space and remembered words from the past "be careful about rocking your car back and forth in the snow / ice as you can burn out your transmission". Maybe it's time for some expert advice from your friendly garage.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    In case you haven't seen the 2005 Auto issue of Consumer Reports, the Protege continues to rate as one of the best used cars. Here are some problem areas on which to keep an eye:

    2003: Body integrity
    2002: Brakes, body integrity
    2001: Brakes, body integrity & hardware, power equipment, electrical
    1997-2000: several problem areas but still highly recommended as a used car
  • lubeguylubeguy Posts: 3
    Thanks much for the suggestion. I'll give it a shot in the morning and let you know what happens.
  • lubeguylubeguy Posts: 3
    That's my next step. Thanks for the tip!
  • kagedudekagedude Posts: 407
    How much did it cost you to replace the cat converter? My mechanic removed the heat shield last summer due to it vibrating but in hindsight, it was a bad idea. This winter, I backed up into a snow/ice mound and it might have punctured the pipe. I looked at it this morning and white smoke was coming from the catalytic converter area. Thanks.
  • kagedudekagedude Posts: 407
    I finally took it to my mechanic and whew, it was just the exhaust pipe that needed replacing. It cost me $110 and the car now has a brand new feel/sound.
  • ang8504ang8504 Posts: 3
    I have a '99 protege and the same thing happened to me. the cable is broke for the trunk release and actually i cant even open it with a key! i havent gotten it looked at yet cause i can get to my truck from my backseat but it kinda annoying lol. also i have that clunking when going over bumps too. and one last thing my dipstick broke! i went to check my oil and the yellow thing came out but the long metal piece that shows the level is still in the dipstick tube. i have taken it to the local mazda lealer and they said it would be about $175 labor and $25 for a new dipstick because they would have to take the dipstick tube to get to it. I have tried many things to try and get the dipstick out anyone got any suggestions?? thanks
  • I haven't posted for a while, its been so long that I had to re-register. The 2000 1.6SE is in good shape, 114,000kms and still solid and trouble-free. I parked it for the winter to keep the rough, salt-covered Toronto roads from beating it up too much, it will emerge again from the garage on April 1st, a day that can't come soon enough.

    Has anyone changed the spark plugs and wires for the 1.6L engine? I took a look around the engine and can only find 2 plugs with 2 wires. Seems odd for a 16 valve engine. I suspect that there are two more plugs under the coils. I thought only the domestic car companies place things in such awkward locations like that.
  • carltechcarltech Posts: 1
    Did you ever get a solution to this? My 96 Protege recently failed the California smog check for exactly the same reason, although I have 94,000 miles on it.
  • zen77zen77 Posts: 1
    does anyone know, what is the vibration coming from engine to steer wheel when the engine is on but the car still in stay? (engine is not noissy, Protege 94)
  • kkarneskkarnes Posts: 3
    i have a 1999 mazda protege just stopped running this week turns over has weak to no spark replaced wires and plugs. ordered and tried new ingnition coils still didnt work any ideas would be great
  • kkarneskkarnes Posts: 3
    revamp on message

    i have a 1999 mazda protege 68k just stopped running this week turns over has weak to no spark replaced wires and plugs. ordered and tried new ignition coils still didnt work. wondering if it could be the timing belt and if the best way to check timing belt was to remove valve cover. had check engine codes pulled they said ignition or misfire wondered if that could be caused by timing belt any info would be great
  • kkarneskkarnes Posts: 3
    i have a 1999 1.6L protege and on mine you have to remove the ignition coils which are mounted on top of the valve cover to gain access to the spark plugs. kinda a pain just to change plugs
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Yeah, but putting the coil over the plugs is a lot easier than pushing the boot over the plugs. Just don't lose any screws. :)

    I get a little vibration through the steering wheel column of my '99LX (AT-equipped). It's definitely related to the transmission as it's a lot less when I put it into neutral or park. It was really bad after they serviced the AT on my '89 323LX (adjusted bands to resolve a hard 1->2 shift). Not sure where it'd be, but I suspect the torque converter, or the alignment between the transmission and the torque converter.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Don't forget that A, idle speed is usually slightly lower when the trans is in gear, and B when in gear, the engine/transaxle torques and may show up a defective mount.
  • tweedletweedle Posts: 2
    I asked a similar question earlier but no one could help.

    The car: ’93 Mazda Protégé, 5 spd, 1.8l sohc w/ 91K+

    The Problem: Car stalls under the following conditions only
    1. AC must be on
    2. Air temp must be above 70
    3. Car is at normal temp (after 10 min. of driving)
    4. Throttle is quickly closed at RPM >2500
    5. Clutch pedal is completely depressed
    6. Car is in gear

    This happens while driving when approaching as stop sign for example. I step on the clutch while simultaneously releasing the gas pedal. The rpms drop quickly to zero. The car will start instantly by letting up on the clutch or using the starter.

    This NEVER happens if the AC is off, or the air temp is 70 or less, or the car is still warming-up, or the engine speed to begin w/ is less than 2500 rpm or if I slide the shifter into neutral.

    The process can be simulated in the driveway as follows:
    With the car warmed up, AC on, clutch pedal on the floor, tranny in any drive gear if I rev the engine above 2500 RPM and quickly let up on the gas the car will immediately die or drop down to about 200 rpm and sputter back to about 750.

    With the car in NEUTRAL and clutch in any position the rpm will quickly drop to 1100 plateau and then drop slowly to 750. The whole process while in neutral is as smooth as glass.

    The computer gets input from a neutral switch on the tranny. When in neutral, this switch is closed. If I unplug the switch and tape a jumper onto the end of the wire I have no problem and the car drives fine.

    On this car the throttle position switch only tells the computer two throttle positions, wide open or fully closed. If I unplug the TPS, my problem goes away. The switch is adjusted correctly and functions fine. I checked with feeler gauges and ohmmeter.

    The dashpot seems to function fine and I extended the rod all the way, but that did not help. It does appear to slow the throttle closing.

    The engine does get a slight boost when the AC is switched on. It goes from about 700 to 750 per the tach in the dash.

    I checked the plugs, the timing and the fuel pressure. The air flow meter checked out ok too.

    While checking the timing I noticed that the idle is set as low as it can go but is as per spec. The air bypass screw is turned in all the way.

    The idle control valve has a mechanical feature that closes slightly as the coolant flows through and warms up. With the electrical connector unplugged and starting from a cold engine the idle may drop from 1200 to 1100 rpm once the engine is at operating temperature. When I plug in the electrical connector the idle drops back to 700 rpm. I wonder if the mechanical portion is not closing enough. Such a small drop (100 rpm) seems hardly worth having.

    Why does the car die in the above conditions?
    Why does unplugging the TPS or jumpering the neutral swith so the computer thinks the car is always in neutral or never has a closed throttle help?

    Thanks for helping.
  • My 99 Mazda Protege has 40 thousand miles on it. About a month ago, the check engine light came on (steady, not blinking) under normal around-town driving conditions. A mechanic and I looked at it, ran a diagnostic. The code, if I remember correctly, was something like 1401 ... or 1412 ... anyway, the translation as told by autozone clerks was an oxygen-rich system. We all reset the computer and the light stayed off for about a week and a half before popping back on under normal driving conditions once again. I have noticed a rougher idle as well as a slight hesitation during high speeds. Any ideas? I think it may be a mass air flow sensor, but it could also be a clogged EGR valve -- so I'm not sure. How do I check? Or do the codes give it away?
  • I have 70,000 miles on my 2000 Protege and I have a bad ignition coil. I was considering changing them myself and I took a look at the engine today. The other two plugs are indeed under the ignition coils. It looks like an easy job. Is it hard to change spark plugs, don't you have to measure the tips or whatever?
  • ang8504ang8504 Posts: 3
    hey!! there is a recall on the mass air flow sensors in the 99 proteges so you should go and get it fixed and it shouldnt cost u anything (I think) since it is a recall. I have a 99 pro too I have not got mine fixed yet, but I havent really seen any symptoms like u have but i will probably call my local mazda dealer and set up an appt time
  • civiletticiviletti Posts: 86
    Have you tried a magnet on a rod?
  • civiletticiviletti Posts: 86
    Do folks use Techron regularly? I think it is worth it to keep injectors clean.
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