Mazda Protegé



  • norcannorcan Member Posts: 72
    This 'winter' is ridiculous! I want to know how my winter tires will handle in the snow, but I did't want it to snow, if you get what I mean. I haven't checked in for a couple of weeks, surprised to see hundreds of new posts, lively bunch we have here. Since it's very busy at work, Christmas parties starting, etc (12 hr workdays including weekends :( to get a project finished before flying out of Toronto on the 20th) I'll say 'Seasons Greetings' to you Protege-ers now. Here's a toast to 2002 too!

  • mazdafunmazdafun Member Posts: 2,329
    Hey, watch what you say! :)

    Yeah, the 1.6L has less oomph, but is a smooth-running, rev-happy engine. I wouldn't mind more power though. :) Well, as long as I can still get decent fuel economy.

    I just changed my oil at about 23,400 miles (I change more by season than mileage or # of months). I have not noticed any oil consumption.

    Regarding the A/T's funny shifting, I can get mine to "stumble" if I let off the gas and then stomp on the accelerator. I give it about a second before stepping on the gas, and it doesn't do that. Quirky, yes, avoidable, yes.

    Other than that, the A/T shifts smoothly, and its shift points change with your driving style (it allows the engine to rev higher when you give it more gas).

    It feels best in 3rd gear, at about 3000rpm. Just the right range for merging onto the freeway.

    Anyway, my economy is a little over 29mpg with mostly local driving (about 70/30, probably higher). That's averaged out over the 3+ years I've had it.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Member Posts: 2,329
    You can (just barely) access the oil filter from above the engine, so you don't have to slide under your car to change it. Small convenience. :)

    BTW, I finally got a set of "Rhino" ramps (mfr'd or distributed by "Blitz") at my local Autozone. These fit fine under my Pro, unlike the set of metal ones I got before. I was stuck for someplace to store them, but discovered they serve well as parking stops in my garage, under the front of my Pro!

    Thanks to whoever recommended these (sorry, my short-term memory's not what it used to be)! Now I don't have to jack up my car everytime I want to drain the oil pan.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Member Posts: 2,329
    Check this out today:

    They have a couple stories about Mazda, one about Familia (Protege) production for the Phillipines market & sourcing of purchased components through Ford, the other about some customized Roadster (Miata) that is tailored for some race series. Uh-oh, I hope the high quality and reliability of our Pros can be kept up!

    Oh yeah, they have some article about the Honda Civic Gas/Electric hybrid too. Guess my wife will be interested in that one. :(

  • floridianfloridian Member Posts: 219
    Here in Florida they are disappearing as fast as rats @ a cat convention !! Do not seem to be reopening as anything, just vacant. I miss those steak biscuits @ breakfast and those hot cinnamon raisin rolls. Ah well, I need to lose about 20# anyway.

  • kaiserheadkaiserhead Member Posts: 166
    I have a 2000 1.6 SE with the manual transmission and I haven't had any problems with it. We also have a 2000 1.8 automatic LX and I think the 1.6 SE drives better, the manual transmission feels a little quicker off the line than the auto with the bigger engine and the 1.6's steering is lighter. Of course, I'd love to trade the 1.6 SE in for a 2002 2.0 manual!! (Mabey next year!!)

    I know this topic has been beaten to a pulp in the past, but can anyone recommend a replacement tire for the stock 14" Firestones? I want something that is good in all seasons and has the same good looks as the Potenzas.
  • silentguiltsilentguilt Member Posts: 35
    Thanks for the replies.
  • newcar31newcar31 Member Posts: 3,711
    They just tested a 2002 GTI in my local newspaper. I found it interesting that when they tested it, the power windows went haywire and started rapidly opening and closing the window without warning. The power window switch on the driver's side that activated the passenger side worked only intermittently. I though VW would have fixed the power window situation considering that this body style has been around since 99 and they seem to have been having problems with the power windows since then. Thats really too bad because I like everything else about the newer VWs but they can't seem to get things right when it comes to eliminating these problems that plague the Jetta and GTI.
  • hayrigonhayrigon Member Posts: 6
    My '00 ES has almost 22k miles; no problems until this evening. We were on the road for 1/2 hour and then stopped for gas; When we restarted the car after filling gas; the car started with an extremely rough idle
    and it stalled several times, then, the check engine light started first blinking and then went into the constant mode. I suspected that one of the spark plugs was misfiring, therefore, I stopped the car decided to check the engine, when I stepped out I felt a very strong H2S smell - probably coming from the catalytic converter ??? I tried to tighten the plug caps, started the car; same thing .. it was very frustrating;
    Then I decided to drive home slowly, since I was just a block away; after driving for a couple of hundred feet with that rattle and the check engine light on, suddenly, it just started firing with the proper timing ... however my check engine light is still on.

    I'd like hear comments from you folks whether the following explanation makes sense:
    I believe: because of a spark plug and/or electrical cable
    problem the engine misfired which eventually lead to some unburned fuel reaching into the catalytic converter causing it to overheat.

    My car should still be under warranty (3/50k) but I wonder whether this type of problem would be within the coverage defined by Mazda?

    Please let me know what you guys think about this?
  • newprodrivernewprodriver Member Posts: 1
    My wife and I purchased a 2001 Protege 2.0LX about 1.5 months ago. This week, I started to notice a faint , occasional burning smell coming from engine bay once the engine is warmed up ... kinda smells like burnt popcorn, not oil or anti-freeze or anything ... my thoughts are either a belt starting to ride on one of the pulleys a bit cockeyed or potentially a wire/harness getting a little close to something hot( like a manifold ... ) Has anyone had any experience like this before? I plan on popping into the dealer's service dept tommorrow just to check in with them, nothing seems to be malfunctioning on the car or anything ... yet.
  • fowler3fowler3 Member Posts: 1,919
    start changing things as soon as they get their cars...and wonder why they don't run right?

    Don't you trust the engineers who designed it?

    My Pro LX 2.0L A/T is running fine. I didn't do anything the book doesn't recommend. The fuel economy is great and it runs like a...well...a PRO. It's joy to drive and I have no plans to change anything.

    Isn't that what it is designed to do?

    Personalize your Pros in some way that doesn't screw up the mechanicals and you will be a lot happier. Paint flames on the doors! LOL

  • protege_fanprotege_fan Member Posts: 2,405
    I know that it can be the result of not tightening the gas cap enough after filling up. Did you click it several times after putting the cap on? Not too sure what else it may be. I've had my Pro for 6 months (LX 2.0 5spd Canadian model) and I have had no (knock on wood) troubles.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Member Posts: 2,329
    Could be a spark problem. Best to check it out. Probably covered under warranty as it's part of the "powertrain". Your description could cause rough idle (I didn't fully connect a spark plug once and it cause pretty rough idle).

    I can't say I know what could cause a burnt popcorn smell, but burnt rubber doesn't smell like that to me. Some plastics do smell like burnt nuts, though (acrylic especially, but resins like ABS and nylon are more likely to be under the hood). There may be some wiring harness or hose out of place, so I'd search for the smell and use a strong light to look for burnt plastic or rubber.
  • cpoupartcpoupart Member Posts: 13
    Sounds like bad gas, or perhaps you didn't replace the fuel cap properly. Was the tank empty when you filled it? If so, there may have been some condensation in there that caused your hiccups.

    The 'check engine' light will probably have to be reset by the dealer. There's a memory buffer that needs to be cleared before the light will go out.

    You're car's almost certainly fine. I used to have this problem with my Maxima all the time -apparently it was very common. Get it checked out sooner rather than later for your own piece of mind, though.


  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    That's weird about the GTI you drove. That car should not have been in the sales area of the lot. Apparently the PDI wasn't done right on it, or that stuff would have been fixed. I have a little rattle in mine, and the radio went crazy. But the same stuff happend to my Protege when new, so it's no big deal. Actually, my rotors in the Pro warped quickly instead of the rattle. I would rather deal with the rattle than warped rotors on a new car though.
  • hayrigonhayrigon Member Posts: 6

    Thanks for a number of quick replies. I will definitely take my car to the dealer. The nearest dealer to our place is ~20 miles south and every morning, my wife drives ~20 miles to the North; so it is really very inconvenient for me to drop my wife and take the car to the dealer (approx. 60 miles) in a weekday in Boston traffic; then taking the train back to downtown ...we'll see; I guess I have to do it, as you guys suggested, for the sake of "peace of mind!", even tough the car runs fine now.

  • narenjinarenji Member Posts: 161
    I have a 93 MX6 with the same 2.0L engine and 5 spd, it burns next to no oil between oil changes- It's got 126k mi on it. I don't think they make Mazda's like they used to, although the Protege is definitely still a car made in the old Mazda way, I think and hope.

    The only thing the MX6 might need soon is a new clutch.

    Enjoy the Jetta and I hope it stays trouble free. I really looked at Golfs when I bought our Sentra in April (that car now traded for the WRX), but the reliability turned me off. I have to have a reliable car. Hope VW reliablity comes up-it's about time.
  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    Well, the turbo engine is not a VW engine, it belongs to Audi. That's one of the reasons why I got it. It seems like alot of people have had trouble with VR6 and 2.0 models, but not 1.8Ts. We shall see what happens I guess.
  • newcar31newcar31 Member Posts: 3,711
    I didn't drive the GTI. It was reviewed by a journalist in my local paper. I can't believe VWOA didn't check the car out before giving it to journalist for testing. Talk about bad publicity.
  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    That doesn't seem right. That is totally inexcusable. I wouldn't want to be one of the employed at the dealership where that car came from... :)
  • maltbmaltb Member Posts: 3,572
    "Well, the turbo engine is not a VW engine, it belongs to Audi."

    That's a bit like saying a Ford has a Mercury engine.

  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    From what I have heard, it seems all the engine problems come from the 2.0 and VR6 engines, not the 1.8T. The other two are original VW engines, the 1.8T an original Audi engine. Audi developed and designed it for use in their A4 and other cars, not VW. That's what I meant by that.
  • SporinSporin Member Posts: 1,066
    That engine is better because it's newer.. period. It was develped by VolkswagenAG. It's just as much a VW engine as it is an Audi engine.

    The 2.0 and VR6 are both considered to be reletively trouble free as well... now.

    The problems with VW's are not the drivetrain, it's the little stuff. Window Regulators, electrical gremlins, sensors, trim, etc, etc. All exasperated by the worst dealer/service network in the US(IMO).

    I had the 1.8T in my Passat and loved it, not one problem in 2 years/40k miles with the engine. But I had plenty of other stuff. Enough that I won't buy another VW, but not so many that I will trash the brand either.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421
    That's gotta be a record for LOW NUMBER of posts. Well, let me be the first to say, welcome back everyone!

  • chikoochikoo Member Posts: 3,008
    to put in 195/55/TR15 Yokohama AVID T4 tires. He refuses to do so since the ES has V-rated tires as OEM..??****

    anyway, the next size is 205/55/VR15 AVID V4. Any ideas on how good are they?

    Did not find too many reviews on tirerack.
  • dinu01dinu01 Member Posts: 2,586
    see you're back. yeah very little posts, most dealing with a crappy Jetta review (on a PRO board). Oh well.

    Chikoo: you can ask for a discount and have them installed somewhere else. I read somewhere (can't remember where) that you should stick to the original speed rating though.
  • maltbmaltb Member Posts: 3,572
    just isn't necessary. Have them mounted elsewhere chikoo.
  • elec3elec3 Member Posts: 160
    On a quick little jaunt to El Paso. Nearly 50 miles and about as many minutes to get to where I was going. I still think this would make a great little car for city commuting. It will hold 80mph with no problem if you ask it to and there is plenty of passing power from 60. Trying to pass at 80 is another story (hey, the speed limits here are 75, so it happens). This is just a good quick, zippy car - great for weaving in and out of traffic, and good brakes to get you out of trouble too. Of course my Pro5 is now stranded at the airport and it'll be a good 3 weeks before I see it again. Maybe I'll have to borrow my mom's Tribute a couple times so I don't suffer from zoom withdrawal :)
  • newcar31newcar31 Member Posts: 3,711
    My Father just had to trade his Dodge Caravan company car in on a Ford Focus wagon. He told me to go drive it around and tell him what I think. Here are the pros and cons IMO:

    Tilt/telescoping steering wheel
    Feels tight, handles well, yet rides good
    Keyless entry opens wagon door
    High quality interior materials (Is this a Ford? My Mustang's interior was made out of cardboard!)
    Fun to drive

    Funky interior and exterior styling (I know styling is a subjective thing, but I don't know who could argue that the Focus is better looking than a Protege)
    Recall history (who knows, maybe they ironed out all the bugs for 2002)
    Coarse, gruff sounding engine (2.0L DOHC "zetec") compared to the Protege

    Conclusion: I think the Protege and Focus are remarkably similiar cars in the way they handle, their power output, and their european feel. While I am biased towards the Protege, I think Ford and Mazda have two of the best small sedan/wagons on the market. I've driven the new Corolla and Civic. The Corolla is painfully bland and the Civic is, well, a Civic.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Member Posts: 1,265
    "Actually, my rotors in the Pro warped quickly instead of the rattle. I would rather deal with the rattle than warped rotors on a new car though."


    Well warped rotors can be identified replaced and repaired. I hope the V-dub techs can find and fix those elusive irritating rattles? :-)

  • tomcivilettitomciviletti Member Posts: 207
    pro es doesn't need v rated tires unless you drive down pikes peak full throttle with no brakes.

    Focus looks better than pro? Maybe more modern, but a bit awkward to my eyes.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421
    It's called washing your car, either at home or (god forbid) in one of those automated car scratchers -- anywhere where nice, cold water gets blasted on your hot rotors. I learned that after resurfacing my rotors three times on my Saab back in the 80s and finally receiving a helpful hint from the guy at Midas. Now I let the car sit at least a half-hour after driving it to wash it ... and I haven't had a warped rotor or pulsating pedal (except for ABS) in more than 10 years. If you see steam when you clean your wheels, you're asking for warped rotors.

    Paul ... warped rotors are not the fault of the car. The driver warps the rotors. As for rattles ... how hard do you slam your doors?

    Just thought I'd share. 'Tis the season, after all.

  • sfratsfrat Member Posts: 208
    While cold water wouldn't help, they will need replaced just from normal use though. When would depend on type of driving, style of driving, and quality of the rotors. I really don't think its the "fault" of a drive if the rotors warped, they are a wear item. They're the same as tires and brakes. You can get a lot more life out of them depending on how you drive though.

    My dad has had four Ford Taurus for company cars, and everyone has needed new rotors after about 25k miles. He only has these problems on that car, so in that case its probably cheap parts. Anyway, that's just my thought. I would rather have warped rotors than rattles, because its a heck of a lot easier to fix the former.

  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421
    Rotors will WEAR over time ... but something other than normal wear accounts for warping. A rotor under normal use will get hot evenly across its surface. Warping is caused by a sudden change in temperature that causes the metal to expand too quickly and distort. You could say driving through puddles can do this too, but in most cases the tire will splash the water outward -- not up into the rotor. (Unless of course you drive through a 6-inch puddle -- which is not recommended either. And again, that's caused by the driver, not the car.)

  • SporinSporin Member Posts: 1,066
    Overtorquing wheel lugs is a big cause of warped rotors too. Especially on hub-centric, FWD cars.

    That's why I've started doing it myself.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421

    Rotors warp because (1) the driver drives too aggressively, causing the brakes to overheat; and then (2) does not allow the rotors to cool properly. It is not the fault of the car -- it's the fault of the driver.

    And oh sure, improperly torqued lug nuts also are blamed for warped rotors. Again, not the fault of the car.


  • sfratsfrat Member Posts: 208
    I was under the impression that heat can also cause things to warp, and that over time, they would become distorted as well. I've never had a problem, and I would agree that spraying cold water is not the best thing either. But it is conceivable that the rotors could warp just from heat alone, before they actually wear out? Or am I totally misguided. :-)
  • sfratsfrat Member Posts: 208
    a lot of stop and go city driving could cause premature warping as well then, which my dad does.

    BTW, post #6539 was put up before I saw #6538

    Also, I passed 9k miles on my 01 ES that I got mid February.

  • chicagoprochicagopro Member Posts: 1,009
    AAGH! So does this mean I can never wash my car again?

    I can't wash at home, because I live in an apt building. How about if I drive a few blocks to one of those DIY places? Will the rotors still be cool enough if that's my first stop of the day? And then should I let the car sit a while? Had no idea that cars were so sensitive.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421
    how hot rotors get. After you drive home from work today, reach down and VERY carefully bring your finger close to one of your rotors. I'll bet you can't touch it because it's so hot.

    You ever pulled the coffee pot off the burner and had a drop or two hit the hot plate underneath it? Notice the fizzle and spray as the water instantly changes to steam? Now imagine getting your hose out and dousing that plate with cold water. Probably crack, wouldn't it?

    Would you spray cold water on your hot exhaust manifold?

    It's not a sensitivity issue ... it's a sensibility issue. Just give the car a chance to cool down a little. I've taken my car to the "Car Pool" before, where they vacuum your car prior to washing it. Usually the 20 minutes or so that it takes to wait in line and have the car vacuumed is enough cool-down time so the rotors don't sizzle and steam when the water hits 'em.

  • chicagoprochicagopro Member Posts: 1,009
    um...where ARE the rotors? (and for that matter, where is the exhaust manifold?)

    I wasn't trying to be a wise guy in my previous've got me totally convinced: no cold water on the rotors (whatever and wherever they are). I went to the CarTalk link (thanks for that, btw) and read the info there, too. So now I just want to be sure I don't shock any part of my car into warping...
  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    The rotors are those big, round things you see when you look "inside" the wheels on the car. They are what the brake pad grabs when the car is being stopped. Scary to me to think that a little pad and a 1-inch thick piece of metal are what stop a 2500+ pound car. :)
  • chicagoprochicagopro Member Posts: 1,009
    Thanks for the I know what you guys mean. Had no idea those were the rotors. Totally makes sense that if they get really hot, you wouldn't want to blast cold water on them.

    They should probably make new car owners like myself take some sort of test on the parts of the car before we take delivery :)
  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421
    Then there'd be no women on the road!!!


    JUST KIDDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    That's not always true about women not knowing about cars. My mother helped build 2 race cars back in the 1960s when she was in her early 20s. Also, I know a guy friend of mine (who is 24 and been driving since age 16) who doesn't even know how to change a flat tire on his 1997 Nissan Sentra or how to add power steering fluid to it!
  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421
    I said I was KIDDING!

  • chicagoprochicagopro Member Posts: 1,009
    I just don't even know what to say :)

    Love and kisses,
    MS. Chicagopro
  • chicagoprochicagopro Member Posts: 1,009
    That's pretty cool about your that how you know so much about cars?
  • shriqueshrique Member Posts: 338
    I think it's correct in saying that the majority of men and women dont' want to have a thing to do with their car if they can help it.

    I will say however that your more likely to find a guy that is a car nut than a women that's a car nut. I think I only personally know one female car nut. Of course the rest of my guy friends don't know a thing about cars. (chuckle)
  • SporinSporin Member Posts: 1,066
    And another thing... if your rotors warp, it is almost always cheaper to replace them with aftermarket ones instead of Mazda OEM ones.

    It pays to shop around. When I have to replace mine, I'll go with a nice set of drilled aftermarket units.
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