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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • lazonavlazonav Posts: 3
    Did you get your problem resolved? If so, what was it?

    I had my mufler worked on and the same thing happened to me, but my car won't start at all.">link title
  • Hi all, I'm at my wits end and very stubborn about taking my vehicle into a shop to get it fixed but running out of options. '99 Protege emits a loud "creaking" noise (like that of a coffin opening in old horror movies!) when steering wheel turn form left to right. It is coming from the suspension somewhere but not sure exactly what is doing it. First thought it was the control arm bearing but not 100% sure. Car does not have to be in motion for it to occur, wondering if anyone has a had same problem and fixed? Thanks!
  • Nevermind, I found it......just a sway bar link, replaced 3 of the four last year, was told it was still good......guess not!
  • I bought my 2000 Protege about 4 months ago with 20,000 miles on it. It ran great for about the first month that I had it and then it developed this weird problem that keeps getting worse and worse.

    Basically, if I drive it and then turn it off, I cannot physically turn it back on for at least an hour. I don't know much about cars so excuse my lack of auto-jargon, but it turns over when i turn the key but nothing happens, the car doesn't actually turn on. i've been told it's a problem with the fuel injection, i've been told it's the radiator, i've been told that it's overheating, i've been told that it's this and that... agh! but anyhow, now it's getting to the point where i can be sitting in traffic and it just shuts down on me and it WILL NOT turn back on, leaving me stuck in a turn lane or something. i've been told that it's overheating, but the coolant gage has never read more than half way in between hot and cold... does anyone have any suggestions???

    i desperately need help, i know i paid too much for this car and now it's getting to the point where i'm afraid to drive it... any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
  • I'm only guessing because it sounds similar to a problem we had,maybe the timing belt?
  • harbihoharbiho Posts: 8
    I had the same problem with my 99 Protege.

    It turned out to be the Camshaft Position Sensor.
  • I took my car to the shop and the Air Flow Sensor was dirty. After they cleaned it out, my car has ran fine and has not given me any problems. :D
  • My 02 Protege has been having similar problems. I need to keep my foot on the gas for the first 1 minute or so, as it the RPMs are very low and it will die at idle. After a minute or so, the RPMs suddenly go to normal, and the car drives fine all day. No engine light comes on. It's just in the morning that it wants to die on me. I had it into the dealership a month ago for the EGR valve to be replaced. My local mechanic can't figure it out. The only thing that he was able to find was a idle air control valve that was malfunctioning, but that doesn't seem to have been the problem. :mad: I hate to throuw $$$ at a problem that's only there for 1 minute every morning, but Murphy's Law says that it will only get worse. Any thoughts?
  • It would be good to get one of the maintenance books from a parts store.
    I got the Haynes from an Autozone store. In front of the book it has a trouble shooting section and I think it mentions the problem that you are having. I don't have the book with me or I would look for you, but it list the parts to check that could be causing the problem.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    The entire factory workshop manual for the protege/protege5 is online in pdf format. Go to
  • just to upadte ... check engine light came on after day or two, I took it to the dealership and they ran diagonistic.. it came out EGR needed to replaced... got it done 3 days far all looks good.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    There seem to be quite a few people reporting EGR failures both on the Protege and Protege5 boards. Personally, I had mine replaced in June and a colleague at work had hers done earlier.

    Is there some kind of preventative service that could be done to prevent these types of failure? For example, would annual cleaning of the throttle body help in this regard?
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    I seem to avoid the recurring clogged EGR valve CEL when I use Shell gas. They claim to use more detergent in their gas than most others. It seems to work for me.

    You could also put in fuel injector cleaner or some other fuel additive that adds detergents.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    You could also put in fuel injector cleaner or some other fuel additive that adds detergents.

    Have you used these in your vehicles? I've heard that they have a very limited cleaning effect.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    But I've not used any with our newer cars ('99 ProLX and '03 P5).

    I can't say that I really noticed much difference with the 323LX. I think using good-quality gas probably works better because it's always in your tank, unlike the additive products, which I didn't put in with every tankful. I think it works out to be cheaper too.
  • The car drives and accellerates fine. Once i reached a speed around 40-65 and slightly let off the gas pedal the car starts to hesitate, if I push down on the pedal it stops, if I pull my foot off the pedal completly it stops. It only does it when I let off the pedal slightly, and at driving speeds. It doesn;t happen at low speeds, or when accelerating, or when letting off the pedal completly. I have replaced the plugs, wires, and fuel filter. The car drives fine under accelaration or when I let off the pedal completely..Any help,,,please??? Ray
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    What codes come up in the diagnostic?
  • No codes come up...any suggestions??
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    It not just the Protege that can have problems with a malfunctioning EGR system. A quick search showed all types of vehicles from many different makes with the same dilemma.

    Many people just replace the gunked up EGR valve and wire brush the port opening. This is what I did. My valve was only $78 for the '95 Protege (Borg Warner) and replacement was quite easy.

    You can also clean out the black carbon in the valve with carb cleaner. Many people do this, especially if the new valve is expensive.

    You are also supposed to clean out carbon build-up in the ports that connect to the EGR valve. This probably varies by engine with regards to the susceptibility of port clogging. So far (160k-200K), my Protege seems to do fine with just the new EGR valve and no chemical port cleaning.

    Here is one auto service company that advertises a chemical cleaning after removing the valve:

    A Chevy dealer online lists EGR port cleaning at $180.00. Too steep for my old car!

    Cleaning the carbon build-up off the throttle plate is good preventative maintenance. I try to do it with air filter changes. That said, I don't think doing this service will stop exhaust gas carbon build-up in the EGR system.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Many thanks for your suggestions and guidance, Joe.
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    I feel my '95 Protege is a good car in most regards, except for the tires.

    The original set did fine for 55K miles. The next two sets of mid to upper level Bridgestones (Turanza and BT-70s ) each lasted about 50-60K miles before some sort of failure (sidewall or very uneven wear). The treadwear warranties for the two sets were lifetime and 70K.

    Being frustated with $70 tires not lasting nearly as long as promised, I went with the low end LeMans 40K tires two years (28K miles) ago. So I am in the shop today for a rotation and they tell me the back tires are not in that great of shape. They don't want to rotate and try to sell me some new tires. I passed on the new tires, drove the car home, and inspected the tires. Sure enough, the back two tires have uneven wear with more wear on the outside edge. This was never mentioned previously by the tire shop in the last 3 rotations.

    I have done all the typical stuff like an alignment when the tires were put on and rotations every 5-7K miles. The car tracks straight and there are no tire vibration issues. Any ideas on uneven wear?

    I do plan on dumping Bridgestone and going with some higher end Michelin or Goodyear tires in the next year. And even though I have a lifetime alignment agreement with this shop, I still plan on going elsewhere.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    low end LeMans 40K tires two years (28K miles) ago
    That does sound premature but you may still be able to get a couple of thousand more out of them.

    each lasted about 50-60K miles

    How long do the tires last on your Olds?
    Personally, tires that last close to 100K km (60K miles) sound pretty good. Many in the Protege5 forum have complained abut tires that have not lasted half that long. Also, the rubber in tires degrades over time no matter whether they are driven or not. So keeping a tire for beyond five years may be risky. Did the sidewall failure you mention happen on an old tire?
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    The General Tires on our Olds minivan are junk and have been since almost new. The issue here is vibration at 35-40mph. Again, all proper rotations were done, tire balancing, etc. GM didn't want to help. We are at 58K miles(5 years) on those tires and they will be replaced with better tires this fall.

    Looking through my records, it seems the most I get out of a set of tires on the Protege is 3 years or 55-57K miles. The sidewall failure occurred at 3 years. They gave me credit for the tire because it had lifetime treadwear warranty, but of course, I had to replace in twos and no credit for the other. I now have little faith in treadwear warranties.

    I know other aspects of independent suspensions can come into play with regards to uneven tire wear. Side to side play in struts was mentioned on one post I read. I previously assumed that a proper 4 wheel alignment and wheel balancing would be sufficient. Maybe this in not the case, at least with independent suspension vehicles.

    I'm considering the Michelin Harmony tires as many people say they last a long time and work well. Maybe I need to rotate my own tires every 3K miles? I have the air tools, I only need a quick floor jack to speed things up. I'm just very frustated with tire shops that want to continually sell you new tires.

  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    i'd have to agree with autonomous, anything 55-60K, you are doing something right! i cannot ever remember in almost 30yr of driving doing much better.

    an 80K tire? I'd feel good getting 40-50K out of them.

    FWIW: i have a used '02 accord with harmonys. i like them. i've put maybe 25K on them (don't know how many were on them to begin with). i think they're good for another 20-25K.
  • i was changing the belt on my 99 pro lx 106000 and i hit a piece i later discovered was the cam position sensor ... just wonder is that the reason my car wont start now or could have been something i did fixin the belt and what is the sensor anyway.
  • i too have the problem with the click click noise on my car when i started it up. and this is after i just got the battery replaced. The hazard lights were blinking too. The mechanic pulled out a relay and it stopped, but my dashboard lights don't come up now. I think he screwed it up when replacing the battery. Do you know what could have gone wrong? this a 98 mazda protege.
    any suggestions would be appreciated.
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