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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • Juer,
    Thank you for your response. After I did some research I contacted my nearest dealer in Burlington VT. I spoke with a service manager and the parts manager. They did confess it was pretty common problem. I ordered A relay and a resistor for 35$ it is located behind the glove box.
    I sure hope this works. It was -4 this morning. Having the fan speed on 4 is a bit loud ....but I guess its better than no fan. Anyway I'll try and get some info from the dealer when I pick up the parts.
  • We are pretty sure it is 1 and 4. The car gets sluggish and you can feel the missfire kick in, then the CEL Blinks during the episode, then missing stops and the CEl stays lit. As usual as soon as the car gets close to the dealership all is well with the engine. He has tried to drive it in the morings and cannot replicate the problem. Mechanic is getting less interested in trying to fix as they can not bill for a problem they cant find. I do believe it is the same cylinders missing so most probably rule out fuel system troubles ie dirty fuel or bad line type of problem. New wires to cylinders so not sure what direction to go as electrical should be OK
  • Hi Greg-
    Have you had any luck with the sensor idea? This would work well with my situation - my Protege stalls after about 10 minutes when started from cold every time - a sensor would pick up block heat in consistent fashion, time after time. Let me know if you've had any luck with sensors. I'm thinking I'll just unplug one sensor at a time when my Protege dies - when I find the bad one, the car should run, right? Thanks again,
    Rich Locasso
    Huntington Beach, CA
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I recently traded in my 2000 Protege ES for a 2005 Mazda3. I still hang out here, though, and answer questions when I can. My 2000 Protege was my third Protege (the first two were 1992s), and I put 91,100 miles on it before trading it for the 3.

    To get to the point ...

    About a year after I bought my Protege, Mazda issued a recall for the ignition coil. It covered 1999 and 2000 Proteges. No one ever found out why the coil was replaced -- the new one looked just like the old one too.

    Has your dealer checked your VIN to see whether the recall applied to your car, and if so, whether it was performed? I would "assume" -- since you say you've been doing your diagnostic work at a Mazda dealership -- that this has been done, but hey -- you never know, eh?

    Just a thought.

  • bocatripbocatrip Posts: 194
    I have an 02 Protege with 59,000 miles. I have replaced all 4 tires 17,000 miles ago with BF Goodrich Traction T/A Vs and after 17,000 miles the rear tires are both worn completely down on the inside treads. I had the car aligned right after the purchase of these tires. I now ordered two more and just wanted to know if anyone else has had any issues with the rear tires wearing unevenly., These tires are expensive ($100+ each) and I am not wanting to repeat this next year. Any help would be appreciated. Also, I know the recommended replacement for timing belt is 60,000 miles. Have any of you replaced it at a later date or had any failure prior to 60,000 miles?
  • Were the rear wheels aligned? Usually only the fronts are done.

    My "99es hasn't hit 60k yet. I will probably wait until ~80k to change the belt unless there is some other need to get into the engine.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    02 Protege with 59,000 miles. I have replaced all 4 tires ... with BF Goodrich Traction T/A Vs and after 17,000 miles the rear tires are both worn completely down on the inside treads. I had the car aligned right after the purchase of these tires. I now ordered two more

    More questions for you:
    Were your previous tires wearing in a similar way?
    Were the tires rotated during the 17K period?
    What range of tire pressure (psi) did you use?
    Did the dealer or someone else do the alignment?
    Did you speak to the people who did the alignment?
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    The only 2 possible reasons for rear inner tread wear are either excessive negative camber or excessive toe out. I'd like to see the printout of rear alignment settings.
  • Hi, I have a 96 protege es. I recently replaced the accessory belts because the alternator/wp belt snapped while I was driving home on the highway (luckily I live off the highway).
    Upon replacing them I noticed they still squeeled - a lot. So I rechecked the tension and all the bolts and they were to specs (both belts). I looked up the info on the autozone website, which said for new belts - 8-9mm is what they should deflect for new belts.
    So driving home from work tonight, I noticed the lights got dimmer, then the tach/speedo stopped workinig, abs light popped on for no apparent reason while hitting the brakes, and the airbag light flashed on/off every now + then. From experience, the car seemed to be running off the battery and only the battery - which meant the alternator wasn't putting any juice. I'm assuming its the belt again, since the car was also starting to overheat slightly (alternator/waterpump belt).
    Now, I'm going to get another set of belts from Mazda (I used belts from advanced auto, which looked kinda shady when I got them, but I had to put them on the car when its 20 or so degrees outside). If anyone could recommend a better way of doing the belts (I don't have a factory svc manual for the car). Like whats the proper tension, as mazda recommends.
    The other thing that bugs me about the car, is that it didn't flash a Charging system light on the cluster whereas last time it did??
    Also, the car randomly throws a Check Engine Light for something in the TCC Circuit, car drives fine, but that thing keeps flashing every once in a while after I clear it.

    Well, anyways - sorry for the long post. I had a long day and this just added to it. Thanks.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Remove the belts then spin the alternator and all accessory pulleys by hand to check for any bind or excessive resistance to rotation. Almost sounds like an alternator bearing is starting to give up the ghost.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,260
    my wife has an '00 Protege ES with 70K miles. while the engine is still "cold," the car makes a grinding noise whenever you push the gas down at low speeds. It even does it when the car is in park if I rev the engine a bit. What could this be?

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

    Last night the car wouldn't even crank over, this morning she fired right up. Then after shutting it down a few minutes later, wouldn't fire up at all.
    Looked at the battery and it was - to put it nicely - pretty old. Swapped the new battery in, car fired up no problem. Belt squeeling stopped, drove it around and the car was perfectly fine.
    Untill, on the way to work, noticed it started to overheat - only on the highway (@ constant speed, low rpms). When driving locally (off the exit), car cooled down(??). Going out on lunch, car drove fine - didn't overheat or nothing - odd. Leaving to go home, started the car and let it run for about 20min before leaving - fine, fired right up, didn't overheat, no belt squeels, no odd noises (could hardly tell it was on).
    Got on the highway going back home, started to overheat again (this time hitting the 3/4 mark and a lil higher), lights began to dim - but the car didn't do the christmas tree thing it did last night. Got home, car started to cool down off the exit (the heat it put out didn't change at all vs. when it didn't overheat), drove it home - car ran fine. Parked it, shut it off then tried to fire it up - again - battery seemed drained.
    Possible alternator AND waterpump faliure??? Seems odd, the belts are still on and are as tight as they should be, alternator pulley and waterpump pulleys were turning when I checked it this morning (after the battery swap). If the alternator seized up wouldn't it burn or rip the belt after running for a few minutes? Atleast I would've smelled something odd. I know when the car is running with almost no charge, dead battery - wierd electrical problems occur (flashing dash lights, tach + speedo die out) - would it be possible that the temp signal gets messed with (or am I being too optomistic?). I dunno, this car has some wierd problems.

    -Replaced battery this morning, car drove 100% pefect.
    -Car operated normal when driving on local roads.
    -Upon entering the highway, car oveheats(??) and alternator seems to fail to charge the battery(??).
    -Exiting the highway and driving locally (low speed + stop+go traffic) - car cools down(??) and runs normally.
    -Getting back home, the car wouldn't fire up (battery drained) - this after putting in a new battery the same day.

    I'm going to try and fire the car up tommorow, and disconnect the + terminal on the battery and see if it dies out, if it does - then I'll check the alternator. As far as the overheating issue on the highway, then cooling off when I slow down (which doesn't make sense to me). Thats another issue I would like to look at (since the wp is ran off the same belt).
  • Ok, tested with the voltmeter this morning:
    Jumped to start, checked voltage @ normal idle.
    -Battery Connected: low 13v, sometimes 13.5
    -Battery + Disconnected (alternator): 13.5v varies up to 13.8v
    -Battery Only: 12.5v @ the battery

    Running ONLY off the alterenator, car idles + runs. Upon putting any electrical load, the car stalls out. Hitting the brakes was enough to almost stall it. Headlights on, forget it - car stalled instantly. This is all by running off the alternator (battery disconnected). I'm going to look into another alterenator (more $$$ spent on this thing :lemon: ) unless there's an external voltage regulator (which I doubt :cry: ).
  • Hello! I would like to replace the wimpy horn on my 2002 Protege. I know it's behind the front grill but couldn't discover how to remove the grill without almost breaking it. Do someone have a step-by-step procedure for replacing the horn?? Thank You.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    step-by-step procedure for replacing the horn?
    Check the instructions online at
  • Thanks autonomous!! That's exactly what I was looking for!
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    The rears on my Protege are noticeably cambered in. I suppose it's to make fast turns more stable, but it can lead to more wear on the insides of the treads.

    However, I rotate my tires every time I do an oil change (at 5,000 miles), so it's not been a problem for me. I did notice faster wear when I had the tires at 34psi. Dropping that back to 32psi took care of that.

    You can adjust the camber to be more neutral, at the expense of some handling prowess. But if longer tire wear is your goal, then that will help. So will staying close the 32psi inflation pressure.
  • My '02 with 76k is doing the exact same thing. Did it turn out to be the EGR Valve? Did you fix it yourself, and if you did, how difficult was it?
  • have you got an answer? I am having the same problem
  • not hard to remove the egr at all...the most important thing you could do during the repair is to clean the vacuum port that goes straight down into the mani above the valve.
  • mazcarmazcar Posts: 7
    Hi all,
    I have a 96' protege, 1.5L, auto with 112,000 miles on it. Recently the car started missing so i went ahead and had a complete tune up done.The problem was solved but after driving for 1000 miles, its back on. I have checked it, even distributer cap is good not to mention the plugs and wires. I have shown the car to 3 mechanics, none of them could point out anything concrete. So guys your help is needed. Please advice what should I do next.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    had a complete tune up done ... even distributer cap is good not to mention the plugs and wires.

    What did the tuneup include? For example, did you get a diagnostic report, were services like cleaning the throttle body included and were parts replaced?
  • Hello,

    I have a 2002 Mazda Protege, and over the past two months the rear right tire there has been a noise coming from it. At first it started as a rubbing sound. Now it is a loud clicking/ticking sound which increases as I increase in speed.

    The hubcap has been removed, tires properly inflated, there are not objects stuck in the tread, and I have alternated the tires, yet the noise persists. My next step is to replace the brake drum.

    Is this the next step I should take? Do you have any ideas as to what this clicking might be?

    Thank you.

    Mitch - Rowed2damascus
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Remove the drum, there should be a double lip at it's outer diameter which fits a lip on the backing plate to reduce water intrusion. Make sure there isn't rust buildup in the groove between the lips on the drum. It can contact the backing plate and cause the noise you describe. A giveaway is a shiny spot anywhere aroud the backing plate lip where the drum's rust buildup is contacting.
  • I have a '96 protege, 1.8L DOHC 5sp. The water temperature gauge does not move from cold, and I have found a wire disconnected in the engine compartment. If I ground this wire the gauge goes to full hot.

    Where is the water temperature sender located, so I can connect it to the gauge?

  • mazcarmazcar Posts: 7
    the tune up was just basic, replaced plugs, wires and air filter. Also had oil and oil filter changed.

  • Hi stychentyme,

    I just bought a '99 with the same rear door problem. I am wondering how you may have solved it. Did you have it fixed at the dealer? If so, which one? (I am in Vancouver BC, read your profile; same area?) Was the $600 accurate? Any other info I should know?

  • My "99 has the same problem. I'd ignore it. The panels straighten out in dryer weather. It is, indeed, a design flaw. I suppose one could design and rig an attachment from the center-top of the panel to the door frame. I would do that before spending six bills.
  • jeff48jeff48 Posts: 2
    I'm so glad all you folks posted this info. I thought I was seeing things... all of a sudden the door panel warped and popped up the other day on my '03 Protege. I thought I had done something to damage it. Now I figure it's due to weeks of foggy, cold weather. I'll wait and see what it does in the dry 100 degree weather.
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