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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    One thing he didn't tell you to change, so you probably didn't -- your plug wires. I'll almost guarantee that a $60 set of new plug wires, which you can install yourself in less than five minutes, will make your problem disappear.

    BTW -- When your CEL illuminates, a code is stored in your car's computer. The fact that the mechanic you visited could not retrieve this code speaks for his competence, or lack thereof. I would not take my car to that mechanic in the future.

  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    If the new wires don't work, have them check and clean the ports on your EGR valve. The inlet ports on mine ('99LX) were getting clogged. I was getting P0402 (excessive flow through the EGR valve, which really means insufficient flow for the Protege).
  • kia3kia3 Posts: 2
    My daughters 2000 Protege died and left her stranded on the side of the road. We towed it to a garage and they cannot get it to fire and turn over. All major areas seem to be ok, timing, alternator, battery etc. and nothing shows up on the computer diagnosis. It just will not turn over and crank. We are stumped. Please help. :confuse:
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Just out of curiosity, how can they know the timing is OK if the engine won't turn over? I think that right there is reason enough to have the car towed to a REPUTABLE mechanic.

    I own a 2000 Protege ES. The car had a recall for its ignition coil back in 2002. Mine was replaced free of charge under the recall campaign. If you call your Mazda dealer and give the service department your car's VIN, they can check to see if your car has had the recall performed.

  • kia3kia3 Posts: 2
    The engine will turn over it just will not crank. It turns and turns but will not crank. The mechanics say that it would not even turn over if it was the ignition switch.

    Any other ideas?
  • mistyrmistyr Posts: 1
    Did this ever happen again?

    I am having the exact same problem. No warning tone if the lights are left on.........Dash lights not working.......... Turning signal, reverse lights and brake lights work but not the tail parking lights. My front lights work fine. Also I cannot figure out how to check the parking lights to see if the bulb is blown. I can get to the brake lights and the reverse lights but not the regular lights.

    any suggestions?
  • h_ollyh_olly Posts: 2
    :cry: I have an automatic 95 Protege and the transmission has been slipping, they say we need a new one, but we want to know if anyone with a similar problem had an easy fix. We only need the car for the next few months and just need it to work temporarily... any ideas or feedback would be great.
  • Can someone please explain to me the overdrive feature on the Mazda protege? I drive a '96. I'm just kind of curious what is the best way to maximize my gas mileage. Should I start with the overdrive off and then when I hit a certain speed turn it on? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Um, is it a manual or an automatic?

  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Leave it on. It will have no effect at lower speeds. All the switch does is engage the ability for the transmission to go into fourth (its highest) gear. Leaving it on will greatly reduce wear on your engine and increase gas mileage, especially if you do a lot of highway driving, since the engine will be revving much slower at high speed. The only place you really want to leave it off is if you're going down a long hill in the mountains -- in this case you can leave it off to keep the engine in third gear and assist with braking, to avoid burning up your brakes.

  • h_ollyh_olly Posts: 2
    it's an automatic
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    It also affects the shift points (when the AT controller decides to upshift) when you're driving normally. With O/D on, your transmission will shift at lower RPMs, which is more fuel-efficient.

    With the AT, which uses a torque converter, once you're in the O/D gear, there's also a point beyond which the torque converter is locked (not allowed to slip, like it usually does), which improves fuel economy further. This is engaged above a certain speed (around 45mph, I think) and below a threshold torque (to prevent damage to drivetrain components). You can feel the change, if you pay attention. It's like a very soft shift into what feels like a fifth gear, even though the transmission has only four. If you turn the O/D off, then you prevent the transmission from also engaging the torque converter lockup.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Hmmm, can't help you there. All I've had are manuals. Keep it simple!

    Good luck --

  • Front exhaust pipe?I also have a 99 protege (1.6). Thought I needed a new muffler, but the problem appears to be with a short pipe - about 20 inches long - that connects the catalytic converters. It is anchored by a couple of spring-bolts. The dealer wants $280 for this part. I just want to know what to ask for when I call around to different used parts stores. Anyone know the name of this pipe?
    If any of you have leads on this part (and the bolts), I'm all ears.
  • kagedudekagedude Posts: 407
    Below is how your exhaust system should be in order from engine to muffler. It sounds like you need a header pipe replaced. Is it noisy up front? A "new" header pipe is $67 if you search the net. You shouldn't have to pay more then $125 for parts/labor at a reputable repair shop.

    1. Header Pipe
    2. Catalytic converter
    3. Muffler pipe
    4. Muffler
  • kandrkandr Posts: 3
    I am at a loss, and so is my mechanic. He gave the car back to me after a week of diagnostic testing.

    The car idles great. It has no power, and at 4000 rpm, the power fluctuates and rocks the car forward and reverse. When cold, hitting the gas will bring up RPM to about 2k and then it quickly drops to a stall.

    There are no trouble codes in the computer which makes this even more difficult to figure out. My mechanic said that he hooked my car up to a machine that bypassed my fuel delivery system to make sure it wasn't the fuel, fuel pump or filter, and it still exhibited the same problem. He checked the intake, plugs, exhaust, cylinder compression. Everything was fine. Anyone have any suggestions?
    I forgot to ask if he checked for vacuum leaks. I am going to check this tonight with a can of starter fluid and a fire extinguisher... ;)
  • kagedudekagedude Posts: 407
    Did this problem start gradually or right away? What kind of work was done to the car recently?

    A few things come to mind. Could it be the fuel injection/distributor timing position? If it was worked on in the past and not set back correctly, it might give you the symptoms you mentioned.

    Also, when was the timing belt last changed? Did your mechanic verify the tensioner and idler?
  • garanthgaranth Posts: 1
    I have a 1995 AT Mazda Protege, and I've had two problems with it.

    Being a poor college student, I can't run out to the mechanic and spend a ton of money on getting fixes. The check engine light will turn on, and just as I'm about to say, "All right, it's been on long enough, time for a mechanic" it will turn off. So that's not my main concern.

    The first of the two problems, I'm 90% positive, has to do with and exhaust leak. The car recently become ten-times louder when I'm driving it, unless I'm not giving it gas, in which case it's as quiet as it normally is. Is this normal of exhaust leaks or is it a different problem?

    The second is that, whenever I come to a stop, the RPMs nearly bottom out and stall. I got the car used, and it's done it for a while. I plan on changing out the fuel pump/filters to see if that helps at all, but I was wondering if anyone else could recommend what the problem might be. It also idles very low once the engine has warmed up to normal temps. Any advice would be greatly greatly appreciated.
  • kandrkandr Posts: 3
    I changed the timing belt at 60K. The car is about to hit 70k now. That was the last major thing that was done to it.
    Oil change every 4k - 5k with synthetic. It was happening slightly when cold for about a month before it got really noticable. It got really bad the morning that my battery died when I tried to start my car after getting gas. When I replaced my battery, the car never drove the same again. I thought at first that I got some bad gas. The problem however never went away after many tanks of gas.

    I'll get my hands on a timing gun and check it out. In fact, I'll give my mechanic a call and ask him. Thanks.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Two words: muffler and diagnostic
  • kandrkandr Posts: 3
    I just got off the phone with my mechanic. He isn't the one who changed my timing belt. I was in a rush, so I had taken it to Pep boys for that job. But he said that since it was thousands of miles after the belt change that I noticed a problem, then it most likely is not the cause. He also said he checked the timing advance on the car and that was set right. I checked my car for vacuum leaks with the starter fluid and the fire extinguisher last night, and the motor didn't change idle. I'm just happy that I didn't blow my car up.
  • nazabenazabe Posts: 2
    Is your engine 1.6L
  • oshadoshad Posts: 1
    Yesterday we made the last payment on our 2001 Protege! :D The same day, a CD got stuck in the player and won't come out by pressing the eject button. :cry: In fact, pressing the CD button won't even switch to the CD player from the radio. And the little CD light that shows the presence of a loaded CD, isn't on. I confess, it was a CD-R I burned with a wave file and it's possible I forgot to finalize the CD. If that's the case, how do I get the little sucker out of there?

  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Also check your battery cables, voltage regulator, distributor, ignition coils and plugs wires.

    Some other things that can cause low or irregular idle: failing mass airflow sensor, clogged exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve, clogged PCV (crankcase ventilation) valve. Also check the plugs, plug wires, ignition coils, distributor. Check for any loose hoses as well. A vacuum hose off the top of my throttle body came lose and caused my '99LX to idle roughly. I put a cable tie around it to fasten it more securely to its attachment point.
  • 77hchbck77hchbck Posts: 24
    Hello folks, I'm a refuge from the Accord and Altima forums, but I just bought my daughter an Emerald Green 99 Protege LX w/47K miles for her college grad celebration. I'd never ridden in a Protege before, so before I purchased the car, I asked the original owner if we could take an extended test drive on the interstate. I put 45 miles on the car and bought it. Man, this is a sweet ride, the ride and handling and interior amenities remind me a lot of my 01 4cyl Accord. (Heresy, yeah I know).

    Anyway, before I bought it I had researched the known TSBs for this model year and sure enough this car did indeed have a few of these issues. The door key locks were missing the flaps, which doesn't bother me, but the driver door lock has to be pushed and pulled manually to work. The remote and interior switch will lock and unlock the other 3 doors and you can see it trying on the drivers door, but unsuccessfully. Any ideas as to where to locate the TSB printout for this issue?

    I think she'll freakout when she sees this car, because I had been shopping higher mileage Prisms, older Corolas and Altimas before stumbling across this original owned LX (with all the maintenance records) . And the tilting/sliding moonroof is a feature I wouldn't necessarily look for, but this LX had it, so I'm not complaining. I just hope it doesn't leak later in its life.

    Anyway, I'm a diehard Honda fan giving the Protege it's due.
  • Hello,

    I have a 2002 Protege ES with just over 31,400 miles on it. A few days ago I noticed a high pitched squeak, but it is not constant. Here is what I have observed.

    1) The squeak won't appear until after about 15-20 minutes of driving.

    2) The squeak is periodic and increases how frequently it occurs with speed.

    3) The squeak goes away anytime I apply brakes.

    4) The squeak seems to be worse after going over bumps.

    Can anyone help me diagnose what this problem is, or is it best to just take it to someone to look at it? Thanks for any and all help!
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Probably the audible wear sensors for the front brake pads. Have the brakes inspected.
  • If you have a Mavis Discount Tire dealer around you, go to them. They should be able to tell you what the problem is pretty fast. They are VERY reliable...I go to them all the time with my 99 ES. If there is a problem and it has to be fixed, they'll give you a good price without ripping you off.

    Good luck and let us know what happens.
  • Can you explain more how those sensors work? Should the squeal be noticeable when I apply brakes if that's what the problem is? Anytime the brakes are applied the noise goes away completely. I'll have someone take a look at it.

    (by the way, at my 30000 checkup they did say it looked like the pads were worn and asked me if i wanted to replace them)
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