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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • Thanks a bunch for the info Joe, I found them! I had never seen a setup like that before. I just replaced the spark plugs and the two wires, but didn't replace the coils and the car is already running so much better! That saved me a little over $300. I'm all for that! Thanks again.
  • I have removed the steering wheel and the combo switch(I think that is what its called.I do not know how to remove the ignition lock cylinder (where you put the key in I think)I need to know how to remove it.Please Help
  • Update to the overheating issue: Turned out to be a split seam in the radiator. So while that's being replaced, I'm also replacing the upper and lower hoses, and thermostat. And while they've got it torn apart, I'm having the water pump replaced along with the timing belt, alternator belt and serpentine belt.
    I figure I've pressed my luck as far as I want to with the water pump and timing belt.
  • jdybberjdybber Posts: 3
    I have a 1994 Protege DX (SOHC)5 Speed that idles very rough at a stop as well as bucking as gears are changed. This happens most noticeably when AC is on. Turn AC off at a light, and rough idle stops immediately. The car when first started in the morning and AC on, will not buck or rough idle until engine warms up. I can also duplicate the rough idle with AC off and steering wheel turned all the way R or L. So it appears heavy loads are doing something. The voltage at the battery remains steady under load. There are no codes showing.
    Here is what I have done so far:
    New plugs
    Wires are fairly new and look good
    New distributor cap and rotor.
    Cleaned throttle body
    New air filter
    New fuel filter
    Checked for restrictions and or cracks in air hose.
    Checked vacuum lines for cracks ect.
    Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you
  • hunt261hunt261 Posts: 1
    Recently my wife's 99 protege has been making a vibrating/buzzing sound that happens most notably whenever the car accelerates and hits 2500 RPM's. In the time since we first heard the noise, it has gotten progressivly worse, happening more often and louder each time we drive. Now, we hear the buzzing at 3000 RPM's as well, and its starting to buzz when idling and during 1st gear.

    I've tried to research this a lot, and naturally found a helluva lot of things that it could be. I was wondering though if a clogged/dirty Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve/system could cause this buzzing, as this has given the car fits before. Something else that's weird, all this time the A/C has been on, but this morning when my wife drove to work, she turned the A/C off and the sound was dramatically quieter. Thoughts???

    Im scheduled to take the car in later this week, but I was hoping that someone out there could at least give me a heads up as to what this could be, and if there would be anything I, quite inexperienced with cars, might be able to check out beforehand. Thanks a bunch in advance!!!
  • rpcvmattrpcvmatt Posts: 4
    Greetings everybody, wow-what a great forum! Looking for a little help here.

    My problem(s) approximate messages 2881 & 2642 (ROUGH IDLE ISSUES): Out of nowhere my car started stalling in drive when I pulled up to a stop sign or light (in DC traffic this is a killer). Also, I noticed that the RPM would move from 500-800-1000 and back on down (I assume this is meant when folks say rolling). Then the check engine light went on. I took it into a place that I trust (I am new in Silver Spring, MD but had to do a Maryland State inspection and was charged nothing). They replaced the plugs, cables, and cleaned the fuel injector (plus the hook-up fee) in response to the P0300 multiple misfire issue.

    Well, I got it back after $400 (oil included because it was time anyway). The mechanic stated that the O2 sensor (he said there were two and this was the second one) was going and on its way out—but I could change that later. I drove it out of the shop and around a bit. It did not stall. BUT it still had the rolling idle slightly…and RPM sank to 500 with a small rattle. I brought it back and stated my car had not been “tuned” to the point I want it to be. They told me to drive it around a bit. Well, the next day the engine light came on and I took it back. The service area was closed but I made the worker call the owner so that I have it documented that the light came back on.

    Summary: Fixed plugs, cables and cleaned injectors in response to a P0300 error.
    Car does not stall but shimmies at a stop (while in drive) and engine light is now on).

    Like I have stated, I have read, with great enthusiasm, the posts on this topic thus far and am looking for advice as to how to best proceed with this repair (meaning what I should insist the mechanic look at –and not-). I don’t think I could find the IAC valve solenoid on my own (one post here sugggested and I clean it) and I am further inclined to believe that this is a good thing. We love the car and want to keep it forever. Any advice would be great.
    Thanks. Matt
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    My posting last month in the Protege5 Problems and Solutions forum may be useful to you:

    I recently had my 02 P5 in the shop for similar symptoms. When I described the situation to the service rep (check engine light appears; rough while idling at a stop) he said: "It's probably your EGR valve, we replace lots of them as they get fouled by dirty gasoline." The technician ran a diagnostic and reported a P300 code (random cylinder misfire detected); a new EGR was installed (curiously the EGR malfunction codes are in the P400 range). Since then the P5 has been working properly. I have also heard that it is wise to get a throttle body cleaning every couple of years to clean out the gunk.

    Best of luck and keep us updated.
  • rpcvmattrpcvmatt Posts: 4
    Thanks for the response---UPDATE:

    Got the car back today. Mechanic said he cleaned the AGR valve and it was a little rusty--but OK. He said it was working.
    My wife drove it for 15 minutes and it still shimmered. he did not charge us anything for it. He asked for 1 more day.

    The first time I took it in he said 1 of my O2 sensors had strange readings. We'll see. I wish I know a trustworthy garage in this new town (Silver Spring, MD) that we just moved to. I am steps away from taking it to the dealor.

    Thanks again for your comment.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    By the time this independent shop gets through taking whacks at your problem, and you wind up going to the dealer anyway, you probably will have paid twice to fix your problem.

    I think dealerships get unfairly berated sometimes (and no, I don't work for one). Who would know more about a Protege -- some shop that sees one a year, each with a different problem, or a dealer's shop that sees several a day? And if you check labor rates, the dealerships and shops are all about the same these days. Plus a dealer is more likely to know -- or have better access to -- TSBs related to your car, and they'll probably have a better warranty on new parts -- plus you'll get real Mazda parts, not NAPA equivalents.

    Nowadays there are other reasons too. My 2005 Mazda3 always goes to the dealership, even for oil changes, because the dealership gave me free oil changes for the first 36,000 miles. Even after that, it's still a good deal to take it to the dealer -- an oil change is only $24.95, and they provide a free loaner car if I don't want to wait around. Also I got free tires for life, as long as I do my maintenance at the dealership. I'm coming up on 25K miles and my first set of tires that I don't have to pay $700 for!

  • rpcvmattrpcvmatt Posts: 4

    my cousin who used to be part of a Mazda Miata in a Detroit club who stated just about the same thing. I think you are absolutely right and I am going to take it to the dealer if it is not OK after tonight.

    The shop is going to install a new EGR valve at the cost of the part ( I saw the receipt and what they paid for it) w/no labor charge since I had already paid for a tune-up. If it still does not work, after a replacement EGR valve, plugs, cables, fuel injector cleaning, I was also told by a Mazda mechanic to disconnect the battery cables (not a simply reset from the dash) because there may be electronic demons in the computer. I will loose my radio presets but should otherwise be fine (this was the FIRST thing I should have done). Note: I have not done this yet so people reading should NOT take this as a solution.

    Thanks again for your advice. This site is great. Thanks to the moderators.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    I'm thinking the stumbling may be the result of a messed up throttle body, or lack of proper fuel pressure to the injector rail.

    Did anyone diagnose your problem, or are they just throwing parts and services at it? :confuse:
  • robo2robo2 Posts: 2
    Just bought a 96 Protege w/ 5 speed this past weekend. I changed the oil, filter, air filter, PCV, Plugs and wires and then had a clutch installed. The CEL was on so my mechanic checked for a problem and could not find one, so turned off the light. As the sun was setting, I turned the lights on and she drove fine until I stopped at a light. The car stalled, I restarted her then proceeded on. The next light same thing. Then at each light I would turn off the lights and she idled fine. Could it be a battery going bad? Any suggestions would be helpful.

  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Yep! Could also be a bad alternator -- though I'd try the battery first!

  • robo2robo2 Posts: 2
    Luckily, I have a good parts car that I can swap alternaters if needed. Parts car has a 1.8, mine a 1.5. Looks like it would swap out ok.
  • coldjecoldje Posts: 4
    If you do replace the thermostat, try a Failsafe thermostat. If it ever fails, it will fail "open" keeping the engine from overheating.
  • coldjecoldje Posts: 4
    I'm trying to change the belts on a '93 Protege' LX with the 1.8L DOHC engine. I can't see where either the Power Steering pump or the A/C Condenser pivots to allow the belt to loosen. I've loosened the bolt and two locknuts and loosened the adjuster and the belt doesn't seem to be loosening. :surprise:
  • coldjecoldje Posts: 4
    I figured it out. I need to loosen the Adjuster quite a bit more and then the P/S pump *just barely* tilts towards the front of the car to allow the belt to slide off of the pulley.
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  • Greetings,
    We acquired a 1997 Protege from my brother-in-law last year, and it has been running well until about 3 weeks ago. This car has a security keypad where we have to enter a 4-digit number before the car will start (I believe it was not original equipment, but was installed at the dealership when the vehicle was originally purchased).

    The battery appears to be fine, as headlights, radio and other electrical components will come on. There is not even a click, however, when the key is turned in the ignition. In this condition my only option appears to be having it towed to either a Mazda dealership or the mechanic that usually works on our automobiles. The problem can certainly be with some other component, but it sure seems like the security device.

    Any suggestions?
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Umm, that "keypad" is not a Mazda product. If it's some kind of aftermarket security system, you need to find out whose brand it is (possibly from the dealership) and ask them about it.

    I'd have it uninstalled. Most of those aftermarket systems go squirrelly after a few years.

  • coldjecoldje Posts: 4
    Took my 1993 Protege to a muffler shop for repair. The shop ended up replacing most of the old exhaust system, including a new cat and muffler. When they brought the vehicle off the hoist, it wouldn't start. Today I looked at it and it turns over fine, but I couldn't get a spark out of the coil. The Haynes manual said the resistance should be 0.81-0.99 Ohm on the primary. I read 1.3 Ohm on the
    primary. The secondary was 13.3 KOhm with the spec about 10-16 KOhm. I am getting positive battery voltage going to the coil.

    Any ideas? The Haynes manual kind of stops at the coil. :sick:
  • Hi.. I have a mazda protege 1999, 1.8 litter (132K kms) ...just from yesterday I started noticing when ever I stop rpm's on car goes up and down from 800 to 1500 and I can feel engine is trying to check engine light on yet...any information would be great...
  • My 2000 Mazda Protege with only 55K miles on it "bucks" without any notice,usually on the highway but occasionally on back roads. The RPM's go way up then take a while to kick back down. It seems to me all the shifting is otherwise fine,It doesn't make any weird sounds like grinding. I took it to AAMCO but they found no problems with the transmission. Has this happened to anyone else? Any suggestions?
  • I've been reading some old posts and alot of them sound like the same problem with the speed sensor being the culprit. Thanks,I'm going to Mazda tomorrow.
  • grltalkgrltalk Posts: 1
    I just acquired a '99 Protege, 89K mi. From what I've read here, I think its problem is a bad CV joint or front axle. My son is a decent mechanic, and has worked on a lot of imports, but no Mazdas. Could this be fixed in a driveway by someone with that level of experience? I'm not dying to take it to a dealer, so it's the driveway or the local Goodyear. Any advice? :cry:
  • My 1999 Mazda Protege has 130K on it, I have never had any problems with it until now. It does this through all the speeds, 10,20,30 miles an hour, but even more at around 60 miles an hour there is a slight pulling feeling and if I press the gas peddle it does not gain acceleration nor does it loose acceleration and my rpm does not gain or loose. There is no rough idling, it cranks up fine and the engine light has not came on. Any suggestions? :sick:
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    maybe a stuck brake caliper or shoe, maybe even a bad axle?

    i suppose i'd drive and then come to a stop and see if a wheel is hotter than the rest.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    there is a slight pulling feeling

    Does the car pull to one side? How do your tire threads look: are they all uniform or are some tires worn more in a certain edge? When did you last balance and align your wheels?
  • 4 new tires and balance about two mths ago. The engine light came on yesterday. The pulling feeling is in the engine. I think I need the fuel injectors cleaned and spark plugs changed. I will let y'all know if that makes a difference.

  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    The engine light came on yesterday. The pulling feeling is in the engine. :confuse:

    maybe a bad engine mount resulting in excessive torquing or movement when getting on /off the gas?
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