Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Mazda Protegé



  • yooper53yooper53 Posts: 286
    '01 ES 2.0, AT. Had it 5 wks averaging 30.3 80% hwy, 20% town. Put 111.7 mi on, 4 mi in town, bal hwy it came to 34.5 mpg, cruise set @60, today.
  • kaiserheadkaiserhead Posts: 166
    My 2000 Protege just ticked over 42,000 km (approx. 31,000 miles) this week, the only problems I've had are rattles from the engine at high RPMs and the stock Firestones are pretty weak. It may be depreciating faster than I like, but this car's in for the long haul. Our last Mazda, an '87 626 (one of the first built in Michigan) refused to die and only ever failed us once, we let her rot on the driveway while I was away at university and six months later we fired the 12 year old up, took her up to the gas station and she never made it back, she was rotten and had to be put down.

    In the last few months the 626 was on the road, she was burning more oil than gas, had the original clutch, was racking up about 900 kilometres a week, and always started, even on the coldest day. (We often had it boast our newer Pontiac with it!!)

    I expect the Protege to be just as good, if not better. It may rattle here or there or groan when the A/C is on full on a hot day, but the car will never fail me. I can't say that about the Fords, Chryslers or GMs that I've driven.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    Did you get the valves adjusted? You are supposed to get the valve clearance adjusted at 60,000 miles; do it sooner if you drive it hard with frequent trips to redline. When the valve clearance isn't to spec, the valves will make a really loud ticking noise. These cars have solid lifters which require adjustment. Another thing you might want to try is getting new shifter bushings to get ride of the play in your shifter. Because you need new shifter bushings already makes me think that you drive it very hard. I had to do all of these things with my Acura Integra which required valve adjustments every 15,000 miles with hard use. All of the things you mentioned would wear out prematurely with hard use (brakes, tires, clutches). I have had to do all of the things you mentioned with all of my cars that I have abused: (92 Integra GSR, 91 Mustang LX 5.0L, 87 Prelude Si, 86 Mazda 626 GT turbo). I drive my car nice now, I learned my lessons. I don't see anything unusual in your circumstance. What do you expect?
  • djmax813djmax813 Posts: 30
    They are compact sport sedans and bargain prices-lol. I am dismayed at some of the negative postings here regarding bad experiences. I was very leary at first about buying a Mazda. My other car is a 97 Accord EX. After 50k miles i dont need brakes or tires yet! My wife loves it. I offered to sell it and get an Outback wagon but she wont let me. I sincerely hope to have the same kind of luck with the Pro as my honda. You just cant kill these honda's though. My friend has a 91 Accord with 300k miles. Runs like a top. Anyway I am locked in for the next 59 months-lol. good luck to me
  • I know this is late but I like the looks of the moon roof wind deflector. Mine was installed by the dealer.I have the SeaBreeze and the black makes a good accent color. Also the nose guard.
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    Do you have the 1.8 or 2.0? A Mazda Master Technician told me that the Protege 1.8L uses HLA's and doesn't require adjustment. I have looked over the owner's manual and it mentions nothing about valve adjustments.

    What did I expect? I have driven all of my cars this way and I have never had one deteriorate this quickly... Perhaps I was spoiled by the RX-7 before this... I would have kept that car but I needed the extra space. Since I am only half-way through my loan, I will probably replace pieces with performance parts as other parts wear out. I do like the overall dynamics of the car. Other than the ticking of the engine, it is still smooth throughout the revs.

    I think the 2001 and newer Protege's will wear better. The 1999 and 2000 model years were designed as an economy car... the 2001 has been beefed up considerably to back up the zoom zoom claim. This is the first time I have had rear drums in a while... and I remember my 1991 Escort GT had much beefier brakes, tires, suspension pieces, and the Miata's engine. Except for the Ford body and interior that just wouldn't hold up, that car was absolutely amazing.

    I just noticed that my front tires are worn pretty bad on the inside. I'm taking it to the dealer for a front alignment tomorrow and rotation tomorrow. Looks like it's time for new tires... I'll probably go with the Nitto's again since they were pretty good and cheap. Perhaps the alignment will help bring the mileage and performance back up.

    I was a bit harsh this morning with my post. The car is not that bad. I was just in a bad mood and the road to work is really backed-up with traffic and covered in huge potholes. The "tick tick" of the engine I would consider normal for a Japanese 4-cyl engine. They all seem to do that... particularly Mazda and Honda engines. The rattles I knew were going to happen due to the outrageously stiff ride. I don't care how well a car is built, with the '99 and '00 stiff ride, any car would develop rattles. I hear the 2001's have a softer ride and better handling.

    What I need to do is buy myself a used Miata or RX-7 to drive like a sports car and have the Protege to drive like an economy car...
  • theparallaxtheparallax Posts: 361
    My 99 LX has rattles too, coming from the doors, but the only time I hear them is when I have my stereo on. It has about 20,700 miles on it now and I'm pleased with it. The only problems I have are the rattles and this constant 'hissing' noise coming from the engine/tranny when I'm in any gear but park or neutral. You can only hear it when the windows are down and there's something for the sound to bounce off like another car next to you. It's been this way from the start, and I thought it was normal until I noticed my father's 00 DX doesn't make it. I'll probably get it fixed at my next oil change.

    I'm getting that 'new car temptation' thing again, and this time, it's over the Protege5! I absolutely love that thing. Very sporty and agressive and nicely done interior/exterior, plenty of features for the money...WOW. I might have to go down and trade for one! I dont know though, I'll have to think it over REAL well before I end up doing something I will regret. Paul (you should have waited for the Pro5!!) :)
  • theparallaxtheparallax Posts: 361
    I've been dying to wash/wax my car for almost 2 weeks now! I finally have the time, but the forecast is for it to rain the rest of the week! I need to use up all this Meguiar's Gold Class wax so I can order some Zymol Carbon Wax and some 3M Imperial Hand Glaze!!! Oh well, I think I'll give the interior a nice detailing while I wait for all this rain to go away!
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Gee, I leave for the evening and I come back to find everybody dissing their Proteges. Well, let me say that I drove my '92 LX to 83,000 miles in only 28 months FOR PIZZA HUT, with a lot of hard, tire-squealing stops and starts, and it never gave me one iota of a problem. (Yeah -- the Poortenzas were replaced by Yokos at 25,000 miles, but that's not the car's fault.) My 2000 ES 5-speed is 14 months old, has 23,000 miles on it, and I drive it like a demon -- I hit 80 coming to work this morning, and I've had the car to 100 several times. It's running well, no creaks, rattles or engine noises. (Oh, by the way, I had the '92 up to 120 and frequently "stretched its legs.")

    Jerry, have you kept up with your regular maintenance sked? (I'm not just talking about oil changes.)

    I'm not worried -- I've got a 100,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and 11 years of experience with my dealership -- they know me by name, since I've purchased four cars from them! (Oh and Jerry, my last vehicle was a 1994 Mazda B2300SE pickup -- built right here in the good ol' U.S. of A. by Ford -- and it was the most troublesome piece of crap I've ever owned. Want details? Read message 369 in the "Mazda B Series" topic. I've got a stack of service receipts a half-inch thick if you want some good reading sometime!

    Jerry, do you really think a comparably priced economy sedan such as Civic or Corolla, driven as hard as you've driven your Protege, is going to perform any differently? After all, when all's said and done, these are $15,000 econoboxes with high-revving four-cylinder engines -- not $50,000 sports cars with more leisurely running V6's and 8's.

    I recommend you check out the topics "Honda Civic Problems" (lots of transmission, coolant and "ticking noise" complaints -- 724 posts in 18 months), and "Toyota Corolla Trouble" before unloading your Protege only to treat another car the same way and wind up with the same complaints after two years.

    And it's no wonder you're unhappy -- you went from an RX-7 to a Protege? That's jumping from the top end of Mazda's lineup to the bottom!

  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    You should check out the Kumho ECSTA Supra 712's. They are priced really well, and everyone who has them seems to love them.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Hey! They look like a nice tire! Maybe there IS an alternative to $150 Goodyear Eagle RSA's after all! I just got off the phone with my local dealer (Merchants Tire & Auto -- a national chain? Not sure) and they want $84.95 per tire, which includes mounting, balancing, and all that other stuff they usually stick you with extra fees for. And it saves me the hassle of having to order them from TireCrack for home delivery (that oughta look funny, UPS showing up at your door with TIRES) and then having to find someone who'll install them ...

    Thanks for the info Sporin!

  • mileagemileage Posts: 9
    I have a 99 protege with 80K miles. No problems
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Meade: Merchants is a national chain. They do have really good prices, from what I have heard.

    Parallax: Yeah, I should have waited for the P5, but that's okay. I will just keep my ES until it falls over, or I get a big enough raise at work to afford a mid-size V6 sedan. It serves me fine though, so I have no problems with it.

    Mileage: 80K on a 1999? How did you manage that? And how do you like it thus far?

    Economy: I averaged 24.4 mpg on my last tank, in 90-degree heat with the AC on most of the time. Not too bad for an automatic 4 driven by a leadfoot. :)

    Jerry: I used to have a 1999 DX and now have a 2001 ES, and the ES does feel alot more substantial than the DX did to me. It rides a little harsher, but the handling is alot better. But, like others have said, if you drive an economy car hard you will pay the repair bills in the end, especially when the mileage gets higher.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    I don't even think it is a matter of a top end car or a bottom end car. If you beat the heck out of a Corvette or a Supra, it will go through clutches, brakes and tires too. My Mustang 5.0L was meant to thrashed, but all it took was a couple of manual transmission brake-stands to warp the flywheel and cook the clutch (these were heavy duty items that were not even made by Ford). Slowing down from 130 mph frequently wasn't so good on the brakes either. I stored the car in the winter, and had to get new tires every single summer due to frequent 2nd gear smokey tail-slides around corners. The car was a blast, but it sure went through tires, brakes and clutches.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Boy, when you say abuse you mean abuse don't you?!? :)
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    It was a step above abuse. The car had so much power that it was asking for it. Good thing I worked at the ford dealer, the techs there would do my brakes for a couple cases of beer after work. I spent the majority of my paychecks on SVO (Ford performance catalog) parts which gave the car even more power. I used to race the thing at the illegals every Friday and Saturday night in the summer. Good thing the Protoge isn't nearly as tempting. ;)
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    Here's all of the vehicles I have owned, the mileage range I have owned them through, and the drivetrain information. Listed below them are the major costs in upkeep... Notice my Protege had a load of problems right from the beginning. Some of it was probably transport related (alignment), some of it early build issues (it was in the group of the first ES's this dealership received), and some of it I can't explain (windshield inside edge was chipped which cut through the gasket causing a leak).

    1974 MG Midget MkIII (72,000 - 105,000; bought from private party)
    BL Series "A" 1275cc I4 Dual Carb; 4-spd manual; RWD
    - 75,000 miles; intake system; rebuilt dual carb's and linkage
    - 80,000 miles; electrical; replaced starting motor
    - 82,000 miles; brakes; replaced pads/shoes, rebuilt master and slave cylinders
    - 95,000 miles; exhaust; replaced entire exhaust system
    - 102,000 miles; drivetrain; replaced teflon throw-out bearing

    1991 Ford Escort GT (12,000 - 135,000; bought from private party)
    Mazda 1.8L DOHC I4 with Ford induction; 5-spd manual; FWD
    - 45,000 miles; 4-wheel disc brakes; replaced pads, turned rotors
    - 58,000 miles; timing belt; snapped and replaced
    - 65,000 miles; tires; replaced all 4
    - 70,000 miles; suspension; 4-whl alignment
    - 95,000 miles; AC system; recharged

    1996 Ford Ranger (3 - 85,000; bought new)
    Ford 2.3L SOHC I4; 5-spd manual; RWD
    - 38,000 miles; suspension; front-end alignment
    - 45,000 miles; brakes; replaced pads/shoes
    - 58,000 miles; tires; replaced all 4

    1982 Mazda RX-7 (80,000 - 150,000; bought from private party)
    Mazda 1.2L twin-rotor rotary; 5-spd manual; RWD
    - 80,000 miles; emissions system; replaced main catalytic converter
    - 95,000 miles; intake system; replaced shutter valve
    - 148,000 miles; drivetrain; replaced clutch disc and pressure plate

    1999 Mazda Protege (2 - 45,000; bought new)
    Mazda 1.8L DOHC I4; 5-spd manual; FWD
    - 400 miles; suspension; front-wheel alignment, replace front tires
    - 1,100 miles; body; replace windshield and windshield gasket, replace headliner, replace insulation
    - 1,500 miles; body; adjust trunk and fuel door release
    - 1,800 miles; engine; replace valve-cover gasket
    - 2,000 miles; suspension; replace front bushings
    - 18,000 miles; tires; replace all 4
    - 21,000 miles; brakes; replace front pads, turn rotors
    - 45,000 miles; suspension; front-end alignment
    - 48,000 miles (est); tires; replace all 4
    - 48,000 miles (est); AC system; recharge
    - 50,000 miles (est); drivetrain; replace clutch disc and pressure plate
    - 50,000 miles (est); brakes; replace pads/shoes, turn rotors

    Do I do regular maintenance? Since I drive my cars hard, of course I do... How's this? I've replaced the spark plugs twice. I've been through three air filters. I change the oil and rotate the tires every 3,000-3,500 miles. I've had the brake/clutch hydraulic systems flushed. I've had the cooling system flushed. I have replaced the fuel filter. All of the vehicle's maintenance is completed by a Mazda dealership and they do the obligatory chassis lubrications and inspections.

    I'm not saying the Protege is a bad car. It just can't seem to stand up the abuse my previous vehicles have. It just backs up the saying, "They don't build them like they used to."
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    The Ford Ranger and the Mazda Protege were both the "babied" vehicles I have owned. The Protege was properly broken in... I didn't push it for the first 5,000 miles. There was the occasional run up to 5,000rpm, but that occured perhaps once a month.

    I don't floor the throttle, but gradually increase pressure as the rpm's rise. I generally drive between 70-80mph, although the car has been up to the speed limiter once. I do take corners hard, but not hard enough to squeal the tires. I generally brake gradually and downshift (double clutching) unless I need to brake hard. The car has its maintenance done well before the maintenance schedule calls for it.

    The RX-7, MG, and Escort GT I totally thrashed. But they held up quite well... Of course, those were the older cars I have owned... Like I said before, they just don't build them like they used to...
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    That's pretty thorough. Most folks don't even recall when they last tested the pressure in their tires. Although, I think that's atypical of this group. ;)

    Sounds like you got a bum Pro. Probably somewhat due to it being one of the first of a new model.

    Of course, any model will have good and bad examples. It's a matter of percentage. Again, sorry you're having such a bad experience with your Pro. Other than the water getting into my trunk whenever I power-wash it (and some surface rust on under-body components and the rear drum brake casings), my 99's been pretty good. I don't drive as hard as you, though. At 19,300mi, I still have over 50% of my front pads left and probably another 15k miles on the tires.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    With the 1999 DX I had, here's what I had to do it in 20 months and 34,966 miles that I had it.

    Acquired from friend- 2398 miles/traded 37,364 mi.

    6000 miles- took car in for harsh shifting when passing and for CD sticking in player. No problem found with either thing.

    20,000 (est.)- 4-wheel alignment

    26,500 (est.)- realign car, replace 2 front tires, tune up, and replace front pads and turn rotors.

    I did oil changes ever 7500 miles on the car, and rotations at the same time. Those were the only two things I ever had to do to it though. Pretty good, IMO.

    My 2001 Protege has already been in the shop 3 times in 5 months. The brake rotors are warped (still has to go back for that one), the alignment was off several times, the driver's seat springs squeak occasionally, A/C isn't as cold as I thought it should be (tested fine though), and the CD player malfunctioned once (never did it again though). Had less problems with the 1999 model. We will see what the long run holds.
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    Don't pour a lot of money into things that depreciate...put some of it into mutual funds for retirement and that last car, which you want to be a fine one.

    I have owned 30 cars and wish, now, I hadn't bought most of them. Most were not at all as good as I believed at the time. They are just cars!

    Look at dealers lots, full of cars, acres and acres of cars. Not one is worth more than any other and none will be worth much in a few years. That's why dealers don't offer you much on a trade, it's just another car to them.

    Long ago my dad told me, "Which will give you more prestiege, driving an expensive car, or people knowing you are worth, in dollars, what that car implies?" Save your money!

  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Protege No. 3:
    2000 Mazda Protege ES 5-speed
    Purchased: May 2000
    Whitten Brothers Jeep/Chrysler/Mazda
    Richmond, Virginia

    Non-preventive maintenance:

    2,000 miles: Replaced plastic clip holding trunk springs under rear parcel shelf, under warranty. (Um, I broke it by trying to slide too tall a box into the trunk, and they still fixed it under warranty!)

    16,000 miles: Replaced CD player, again under warranty. (Cause: I placed a CD with a label on it in my player -- this is strongly advised against in the owner's manual, yet STILL my dealer replaced it under warranty.)

    I now have 23,000 miles on my car. That's the entirety of my non-scheduled dealer visits. A good friend of mine went out and bought the exact same car I have (even the color's the same) -- except his is an automatic -- three months after I bought mine. He's had zero problems with his.

    Mazda No. 2:
    1992 Mazda Protege LX 5-speed
    Purchased: September 1992
    Whitten Brothers Jeep/Chrysler/Mazda
    Richmond, Virginia

    Non-preventive maintenance:


    Traded it in at 83,000 miles on a Mazda B2300SE pickup, built by Ford. Worst mistake I ever made.

    Protege No. 1:
    1992 Mazda Protege LX automatic
    Purchased: December 1991
    Whitten Brothers Jeep/Chrysler/Mazda
    Richmond, Virginia

    Non-preventive maintenance:


    Yes folks, Mazda was placing Bridgestone Poortenza RE-92s on its Proteges nine years ago. This was my "learning Protege" with these tires. On one muggy Richmond late-summer afternoon, I found myself in the middle of a sudden, torrential thunderstorm. Those tires, and my nine-month-old Protege, had 28,000 miles on them. I hydroplaned at 40-45 mph for about a tenth of a mile, coming to a not-so-graceful stop at the rear of a Volvo 245DL station wagon at a traffic light. Car was totaled. (Excellent Mazda safety note: Even though the '92s only had those damned motorized "passive restraint" belts and no air bags, I walked out of my totaled car.)

    Jerry, I'm sorry you've had so much trouble. As we've seen from your own post, your Ford Ranger treated you well -- yet my own Mazda-built-by-Ford B2300 (with the same engine as yours, by the way) had engine problem after engine problem.

    I will say that after reading your itemized list of repairs, many -- more than half -- of those items are wear-related. Ask any mechanic about how long a clutch will last and he'll say anywhere from 500 miles to 200,000 miles, depending on the driver. I can't sit here and say you're hard on your clutch any more than you can make me believe you don't sit at traffic lights and ride it. I also can't estimate how hard you brake and whether you let your engine slow the car down (I have a five-speed too) to help the brakes. There are two schools of thought on that little habit right there -- those who would rather let the engine do some of the braking, and others who say brake pads cost a LOT less than engine rebuilds.

    But who knows? At one time I had a 1988 Hyundai Excel -- yeah, yeah, everybody stop snickering and read -- such a worthless car, right? Well, my 5-speed Hyundai Excel GL 5-door -- which I paid $7,100 for in 1987, the first year Hyundai was in this country -- went 120,000 miles delivering pizzas and only had one problem -- a transmission slip that was covered by a Hyundai recall. Funny thing is, considering all the cars I've owned -- Toyota, Saab, Hyundai, Ford-Mazda and Japan-Mazda -- and the miles I've put on them, the Hyundai probably was the most reliable of the bunch.

    Go figure!!!

  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    If I had not bought 20 of those cars, I would be driving a Lexus instead of a Mazda.

  • panamaltd2panamaltd2 Posts: 162
    Hey, I am back from vacation! Well, I was going through the post and someone said the 1999-2000 Pros. aren't going to wear as well as the 2001. Uhm, there is very little difference between the two cars and the 1999-2000 was not just designed as another economy car. I didn't look back to see who said this but you have your facts wrong I am afraid. Oh, and I own a 2000 and a 2001 and personally like the front of my 2000 better then my 2001. Just my $.02.
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    I know most of the items are wear items... It's just that normally those items last twice as long for me. I have never owned an automatic and I consider myself an excellent stick-shift driver (who still double clutches on downshifts?). The only clutch I had to replace was on the RX-7 and that was at 148,000 miles! (The MG's clutch disc and pressure plate were fine, it was that block of teflon they called a throw-out bearing that wore!) I don't ride it and the car sits in neutral when stopped. The clutch in the Protege has about 5,000 miles left on it... actually, the technician said the clutch disc was fine, it is the pressure plate that's about to go!

    Tires I can understand... I go through those fairly quickly (but 18,000 on those Potenza's was ridiculous, but common). Brakes I typically get about 30,000-45,000 miles out of. I am not surprised I need an alignment at this point. That's pretty common. Of course, all of that warranty work I had in the beginning just kind of jinxed the car... I think it's just that I came out of the RX-7 before this. Even though that RX-7 was 20 years old, it still had much more refinement and build quality than my '99 Protege.

    panamaltd2... It was I who said the 2001 Protege would wear better than the 1999-2000. Of course it will. The brakes are larger, the body stiffer, and suspension stronger. The engine is larger and stronger (don't have to push it as hard as the smaller engine). I am referring to the ES models...
  • fritz1224fritz1224 Posts: 398
    It's refresshing to see a little dose of reality sometimes. The pro is a nice little car, but the "irrational exhuberance" some owners display just makes me laugh. All I expect from my pro is to get me from A to B whenever I need to, in an economical fashion(mpg and maintenance). I'm not asking much and don't expect anymore than that. I treat it with respect and don't abuse it in the least. I only have put @8k on mine in a year, so it will take almost 6 years to put the kind of mileage you have on your pro. As far as the clutch wearing, I downshift only on turns and right before making them. I use the brakes for slowing down, not the clutch. That may explain why your's is already worn out.
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    The car is good.....but depreciates too rapidly.
    my '99 es is worth only 9500$ now.

    But I drive my cars carefully and speed them up only on the freeway 65-70 generally. sometimes 80 if the road is smooth.

    No rattles on a smooth road, but if I hit potholes, I can hear the doors rattle because of the body flexing.

    I think that maybe taken care of by having tires with softer and bigger sidewalls.

    and maltb, yes my upper half of the body sways when I am in the passenger seat and I can't push back far enough ' cause the child seat interferes.

    Biggest drawback is the way the engine is mounted on rubber bushings on the firewall.

    No new car has it's engine mounted on the firewall. Tehy all have hydraulic mounts which are great for isolating the noise/vibrations from the cabin

    Hope mazda learns....
  • fritz1224fritz1224 Posts: 398
    Saw my first mp3 on dealer lot today. Sales rep and customer were getting ready for a test drive when I walked up to it. Heard sales guy say it wasn't eligible for the S plan. I looked at the sticker and with dealer add ons it was over 20k. I thought to myself, no way is it worth 6k more than my 2k ES(at least in my eyes). The tires alone would cost a fortune to replace.
  • sunbyrnesunbyrne Posts: 210
    My wife needed a new car in 99 and we did all our homework, looked at everything in the price range, and settled on the 99 DX with automatic. Not fast, but it's my wife's car.

    It now has about 34k miles on it. Here's the non-preventive maintenance we've had to do on it:

    Whew, long list. :-) Seriously, we did have some intermittent troubles with the CD player transport, but that hasn't shown up for months now. And we had to replace the windshield because of a big rock that came off a construction truck, but that wasn't the car's fault.

    This is one of the many reasons we're buying another Protege, this one for me--it'll be a P5 with a 5-speed. I can't wait!
Sign In or Register to comment.