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Mazda Protegé



  • I have not been here in an extremely long time, but it's nice to see a lot of familiar people still posting. I'll be checking in again on a more regular basis. I also wanted to say our 00 ES 5-Speed had it's 20,000 event last week. I know that's 10,000 per year. We put 30,000 a year on the Quest (Soon to be a 02 MPV). Anyway, the ES has been perfect, and I still have the RE92's on it! They are almost slicks.

    The nicest, most enjoyable small car we have ever owned. Nice to see all the familiar posts again.

    Mark. : )
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    I agree...but really, I think the P5 and MP3 changed the minds of a lot of aftermarket part producers. I bet that there will be a lot more stuff coming out soon for the 2.0 L engine...even if it was meant for the P5, it'll work on the Pro sedan (in most cases at least).
  • chicagoprochicagopro Posts: 1,009
    Excuse me, please, Mr. Vocus, but
    can I get your autograph?

  • narenjinarenji Posts: 161
    I'd be concerned with big engines coupled with automatics, because bigger engines put more stress on a transmission. The acceleration will be good, but the automatic transmission in a Mustang or Camaro is probably getting stressed out handling all that torque. V8s are harder to find with manuals though. The V8s would probably be hard on the clutch also...

    Well I can tell you have a 93 Mx6 4 cyl 5 spd with 128k mi on right now, and it runs well, except for some squeaky brakes, but that was the fault of the mechanic, not the car. The interior is fine, no rips or tears, everything works fine. The power antenna makes a lot of noise going up and down. I broke the grill covering the front door speaker upgrading that speaker, but again, that was my fault, not the car's. The door lock freezes kinda too easily, but the little door that keeps water out of the lock is broken, so it's always back instead of opening only when you put in a key.

    The paint was in poor shape (I bought it with in 1999 86k mi from a dealer in Maine while I was in college). It was dinged up with rock chips and not too shiny, so I repainted it a year ago. It burns no oil, and looses no coolant. The gears shift roughly when the car's cold, and I sometimes hear some grinding when I shift (like the clutch is engaging a little even though I'm pressing the clutch in all the way). The car's still on it's original clutch, and local mechanics tell me I don't need a new clutch just yet.
  • Actually, we have a 1990 Mazda 323 in the family that has over 270 000kms on it. My father owns it now. We bought it used with 100 000kms. 323 and Protege were basically the same thing back then. Anyways, it runs perfect! Have never had any major problems with it...and this is good considering the total lack of maintenence we put into this car. Burns no oil, engine is smooth, tranny is fine. Sure, it's only one car but alot of other people I know have got similar mileage out of there Protege's/323's.

    I never said Civic's are crap. They are great cars, 300 000 people a year can't be wrong but they do have their faults. Rusting out is one of them.

    I don't think I'm being biased. 1 faulty auto transmission out of all the people who have posted here about the 3rd gen protege is hardly evidence that there is a problem with it.

    Why are you so Pro-Civic anyways? Don't you have a Protege? Go trade it in if you hate it.

    About the hockey thing case you didn't know, this is only the second time where pro athletes competed in the winter olymics. All good Canadain hockey players play in the NHL or are working towards that. We don't have a good college system like the US. The team that won the gold medal 50 years ago was actually a minor league team from Edmonton. Anyways, we won you guys lost and that's the bottom line.
  • axjokeaxjoke Posts: 13
    This morning i dropped off my 2000 ES to have a new transmission installed (27,000 miles). When i showed up after work to pick it up the head service guy took me back to my car to listen to the buzz in my new transmission. To make a long story short either the new tranny was bad or the mechanic mucked up the installation. End result was that they had me set there for 1 hour for a rental car to show up. They are ordering my 3rd tranny and say it will be fixed on friday. I also had to have my car towed at 17,000 do to a bad injector coil?!?!

    Anybody know who i should contact, dealer, mazda PR about getting a free warrenty for my lemon like car?
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    Sorry about your Pro, hope they get it right this time. I assume your "transmission" is an AT?

  • speedyptspeedypt Posts: 200
    No trouble Larry. You are like family to us. Hate to hear you feel a bit sour on your ownership of two of the same car.

    Meade...just couldn't resist the comment. Not trying to start anything but it was too easy a comment to resist! Friend of mine used to say this about "beauty-challenged" people... "Looks like they were beat with the Ugly stick". I know you are good sport for a pot-shot and can take it in style. :-)

    I remind to illustrate Protege old service manager had a 1st Gen Protege'. Had over 280,000 miles and looked and ran like new! I'd still own my '92 LX if I hadn't been able to get so much for it when I sold it! 68k miles and I got $5500.00 CASH!!!! Sold it in May of 2000.


  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    just trying to stir things up a little bit, come and put in your 2 cents on this little debate!

    Mazda Protege vs. Volkswagen Jetta
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    Hi Mark, glad all things are well!

  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Hi Mark, and welcome back! Good to hear you and your car are doing fine. I recently (within the last month) replaced the "slicks" on my 2000 ES with Dunlop SP Sport A2s. Nice tires! No more slip-slidin' away!

    Drop us a post from time to time!

  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Our 9-month-old son Sean squirmed out of mom's grasp on the changing table last night and took a 3-1/2-foot dive head-first to the floor. (Thank God it was carpeted and padded.) We called his pediatrician's emergency number and we were instructed to get him to the hospital.

    The hospital was a 15-mile trip -- most of it on a local expressway -- and thank goodness the traffic was light. I was amazed to see that people still do seem to understand what it means when a car comes screaming up the left lane with its flashers going and its lights flashing. My 2000 ES didn't let me down. I averaged 90 the entire expressway trip -- even screamed through a toll booth at about 70 -- thank God the gate was up and I had an electronic tag!

    Anyway, to the most important part -- Sean, now aka "Hard Head," checked out fine. We do have to watch him for 24 hours to make sure he's coherent and stuff, but it's been 12 hours now and he's acting just fine. So we thank God for that.

    But dammit, that's twice in my life I would've enjoyed a police escort and I haven't been noticed! And to put the icing on the cake, we saw a state trooper running radar on the expressway on the way home!

  • meinradmeinrad Posts: 820
    Man it's good to hear he's ok. Thats got to be a scary thing and thats quite a fall. At least everything went well getting him to the hospital and back. Hope he continues to feel good.
  • yooper53yooper53 Posts: 286
    Will someone explain what is, how it works, sounds? Thanks.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    If you live outside CA, Bosel has an exhaust that removes 1 of the 2 cats for even better airflow. That's the one I want.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Sorry to hear about Sean's little tumble. At least he's ok though. Now when he gets older and someone says, "did your mother drop you on your head?", you can tell him to say, "why yes she did". :) Just kidding.
  • chicagoprochicagopro Posts: 1,009
    Glad to hear Sean is I'm sure you know, he's reached the squirmy age that will last for another year or minute you'll think you have a good grip on him, and the next minute he'll be a candidate for the Olympic diving team.

    Hang on tight!
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Yeah, he really is a squirmer. He weighs in at 26 pounds now too. He's not quite crawling yet but can get himself around by spinning and rolling. It's quite humorous. I've already learned one important lesson -- his favorite toy in the whole wide world is the multi-colored remote to our digital cable box. If I make the mistake of putting him on my lap while I'm watching TV and forget to HIDE the remote behind a pillow, he will summon the strength of Atlas to get that doggone thing. And why don't I just let him play with it? Because! Where's the first place it goes when he gets his hands on it?


    P.S. Anybody want to see him? I've put a great photo of him and mom in my folder in the Yahoo! group.
  • rbrooks3rbrooks3 Posts: 174
    Glad to hear everything is ok with your son. My daughter somehow manged to flip herself out ot the car seat at 2 months old, laniding on the tile floor face first after falling about 3 1/2 feet. Thank GOD she was fine except for a bruise. Children certainly do have a way of getting your undivided attention in a hurry, don't they?

    Ron B.
  • rbrooks3rbrooks3 Posts: 174
    I'll limit myself to one question today. I was about to start removal of the door skin on the 02 ES last night, when I stopped before step 1. I noticed that there is a fixed black plastic tiangular piece of plastic inside the acr that matches up with the mounting plate of the outside mirror. Inside the car. the bottom of this tirangular piece is about 3 mm above the top of the door skin. My understanding is that once I take out the screws and get the push pins pulled out, I'll have to lift the door skin up to get it off. but, I can't lift it up because it will hit the bottom of this triangular piece. Am I supposed to gently pry the top of the door skin inward to avoid this piece?

    I just want to avoid messing the door up because the car is so new. I took off the rear door skins on my wifes MPV but they were very easy as there was nothing like this in the way. I'm beginning to seriously weigh paying the $38 to have the fronts installed. I don't want to screw anything up, but I also have serious reservations about just how careful the Best Buy installers will be with my baby as well. I don't think they'll be as gentle as I will be.


    Ron B.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    ... before entrusting my car to a couple of 19-year-olds who can't pull their pants up above their thighs, LOL!

    I've always taken the slow, careful approach. Take each step slowly, and don't put undue force on anything! In pulling apart several cars' door panels (not my Protege's, unfortunately), I've learned that they're usually pretty flexible and forgiving.

    One piece of advice -- pick up a handful of those whatchamacallits -- those press-in nylon fasteners -- before you start the job. Usually, once you pull one of those out, the "teeth" in it are damaged and it'll never hold as well as when it was new. Replace all of them with new ones when you reinstall and your door will be as tight as new.

  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Glad to hear he's OK. My daughter once took a dive in my '89 323 when I was cleaning out the interior. Unfortunately, I had the front seat moved up so the rears of the seat tracks were exposed.

    She cut her head and needed several stitches, but turned out fine otherwise. I too, took a very rapid trip down the expressway to the hospital. Thankfully, during mid-day, most folks drive in excess of 75mph.
  • miles our Civic looks like new inside with no rattles. Our 94 LS400 with 118,000 also looks like new inside. Our 89 Civic (got this car for $500, fxashun was jumping with joy) wagon with 120,000 miles looked and ran like new, our 90 Integra that we bought after it had been VERY!!!!! abused (needed a new fender, it had 3 different sized tires, and it looked like somebody had used it as a 4WD) at 130,000 miles only had on slight tear in the driver's seat but it ran like new after a timing belt, a new exhaust to replace the one that was hanging off the car. We paid $2500 for this 1990 Integra LS in 1996 but 2 years later we sold it for $4500 with almost 160,000 miles on it. Last I heard the kid we sold it to was still driving it. Our 94 Integra with 108k when we bought it also looked like new ... same thing goes for the 91 and 92 Integras we had both with upwards of 140k by the time we sold them. Our 93 Accord with 140k looked and ran like a top. We are looking at a 96 Civic right now with 102,000 miles that still looks like a 2 year old car with 30k instead of a 6 year car with over 100k. Strangely, no Honda of any year that we've had have shown any signs of rust.

    But I can go on and on for days about what I've seen and you can go on and on for days about what you've seen but historically Hondas and Toyotas hold up better over the long run. I don't think we've just been "lucky" all those times. I'm not saying I don't like the Protege, I'm just saying that you shouldn't frivolously down another make to make yours look better.

    You like stories .... how about this ... fxashun came to my job one day all excited. I asked him what happened. He went on to tell me about chasing a new (2000'ish) Maxima SE down I75 doing about 120MPH. He was redlined in 4th gear for about 5 miles. How many of us with our Protege's anemic-after-70 engines would try that?

    The bottom line is that the US won more medals overall. Yes Canada won hockey (finally) BUT!! overall we won more medals so we're still better :) It's almost like the Protege and a Civic. Sure the Protege comes ahead every now and then but we all know the Civic would win any contest about reliability, economy, durability, and most performance tests. But the Protege is cheaper, has 4-wheel disc brakes, and stops on a dime. It can also be argued that the Pro has a more distinctive look. See I'm not completely biased against the Protege I just realize there are some things the Civic does better.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    You can slide your panel backwards until you clear those plastic triangles. Conversely, you can slide these back.

    The plastic fasteners used in the door panels are designed to be reusable, so you won't need replacements if you're careful (and they weren't damaged at the factory). I discovered one wasn't correctly placed in the trim panel, so that it allowed the panel to vibrate freely. Got rid of that particular rattle. :)

    Once you have all the screws removed, you just pull on the rear/bottom corner and then work the edge away from the door until you've popped all the fasteners. The trick on putting them back is making sure everyone has been popped back into place.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I'd really like to see a Civic go 120.

    Speaking of performance tests, how about my 105 mph one last week? Or more recently, last night's 15-mile run to the hospital at 90 mph? I'm not sure what you're talking about when you say "anemic-after-70." Maybe you've only driven (you HAVE driven, haven't you, to be so informed) Proteges with automatic transmissions. My 5-speed comes into its own at high speeds. I cruise the 19 miles home each afternoon with the rest of the work traffic going about 75, and a quick downshift to fourth and I can fly by anyone. I don't want to appear reckless, but I frequently have my car up in the 80s just because it's such a joy to drive at that speed.

    That's why I bought my fourth Protege last month. Great car!

    2002 Protege5 auto
    2000 ES 5-speed
    ex-1992 LX 5-speed
    ex-1992 LX auto
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    My Dad was shopping for a new car and looked at Accords. He wanted to get one even though every Honda (4 of them) in our family rusted out. My Dad mentioned this to the salesperson. Instead of saying that Honda has addressed the issue, he admitted that Hondas have a problem, then he tried to sell him $1000 rustproofing. Nobody in our family will EVER buy another Honda after that. What part of the country do you live in?
  • rbrooks3rbrooks3 Posts: 174
    I'm not sold on the higher speed stability of the Pro myself. I just got over 1,000 miles on it so last night offered the first look into higher speeds. Nothing wild, just on the highway and traffic opened up and was moving very well. I accelerated slowly up to 85 and I was quite surprised how loose the car felt. The engine was ok, a bit buzzy, but ok. The suspension was very loose and the steering was incredibly light and that it is supposed to be speed sensitive, I would have to assume would be approaching full stiff at that speed. I can't imagine that the speed sensitive adjustment can be set to arrive at full stiff too much above 85.

    I was very surprised by how loose it felt because the car handles very well at lower speeds. I may be a bit biased in my higher speed feelings, but I don't think so. The Pro replaces my '83 Porsche 944. Now, the Pro handles not that far in limits from the Porsche. It certainly handles different, being a front driver, but in all honesty, I have to say that 19 years of chassis technology has come a long way and I don't believe there is that much difference in the ultimate handling ability of the 2 cars in stock trim. But the feeling of driving both at 85 is worlds apart. The Porshce feels stable and completely in its own element. My new Pro, was ok, but I definitely felt like if anything were to occur on the road it would not take much to completely upset the car. That I assume is the difference between a car that in 2002 cost me 16,600 and one that in 1983 cost over 20,000.

    But, having said that, the Pro is a great car for what it is. And for being one step above entry level and in fact being entry level for Mazda, I believe it is hands down the best of the group. For the price, the handling is unmatched by anything in its price range for a new car. Plus the Pro runs circles around the Porsche in the wet. Unfortunately, we haven't had any slushy stuff here in NY since I bought it, but I'm sure the same would hold true in the snow and slush.

    I looked at them all, and I'm happy to be zoom zooming around. On the plus side, because the car is so eerily quiet to me, mechanically, I can't wait to get the new speakers into it. The stereo should make the loss of all that mechanical symphony the Porshce offered a little easier to deal with.

    Ron B.
    Zooming, but now much more cautious above 70!
  • chicagoprochicagopro Posts: 1,009
    Glad to hear a more experienced driver comment on loose steering at high speeds.

    Thought it was just me...

  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    it really enhances high speed stability for the Protege. Now I can run it up in the 80s and the car will run arrow-straight without much steering wheel grabbing. Very confidence-inspiring.

    btw I think the protege vs jetta thread is dead for good. bad idea Pat, bad idea!
  • rbrooks3rbrooks3 Posts: 174
    I believe it may well be the steering that communicates the feeling of lossness than the actual suspension. the suspension is certainly softer than my 944. But, 19 years of technology have also allowed the Pro to have a sofetr ride than my Porsche yet offer nearly the same dry grip. That's a great thing. But, once you get beyond normal speeds, that's where the compromise shows itself. the Pro is a great handling commuter car. Is is not and is not meant to be a sports car. That fact that it holds its own so well in the dry is a credit to where Mazda has aimed this car. But I thought the steering would really tighten up nicely at speed as it's speed sensitive. Personally, form parking lot speed to 85, I did not feel much of a difference at all. A shame, because a more weighted feel to the steering would come across as more surefooted on the road. the wheel itself feels great, nice and thick with well placed 9-3 o'clock thumb rests. But the feeling communicated thorugh it to me at least, at speeds above 70 is, be careful.

    Not having driven the Pro much at speeds above 70 yet, I could be wrong. Maybe at higher speeds the Pro is fine, but with more body roll and a bit more busy and unrefined suspension than I'm used to. But, only time will tell.

    I will say that handling aside, the braking is what sold me on the Pro. I could not believe how hard it was to get a car for the price with 4 wheel discs. The ES had me. but, I wish that braking ability had increased more over the last 19 years. While ABS is great, my 944 on stock 215/60/15 tires makes my Pro feel way slow to stop. I have braked the Porsche on track from 120 and it is stable and does not fade. The Pro lacks the brake feel and does not in any way brake as smoothly.

    Again, that's the difference between a sports car and a great sports commuter. Mazda did a wonderful job with the Pro. I think a few minor tweeks and I'll cry much less over having sold the 944. THAT says a lot about just how good the Pro is and just how much more the competition has aimed at cushy ride over sporting feel. Honda and Nissan have good hanlding Civics and Sentras, but just look at what they want you to pay for them!

    Bravo Mazda! Maybe I should keep my mileage low and see what I can get trade-in wise on one of the anticipated turbo models due soon?

    Ron B.
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