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Mazda Protege Basic Maintenance Questions



  • Has any replaced the front brake pads (ceramic), turned rotors lately? If so what did you pay for this? My mechanic is quoting me $346. That seems steep. Patrick (2002 P5, 54,000 miles)
  • mazdrvrmazdrvr US Posts: 112
    Hi guys, my baby (01' LX 2.0 sedan) hit the big 60000 today. How long can I drive before something happens? I do plan on taking my car in sometime next week but just want to make sure!
    Also, I am still having problems w/ my car picking up and going. Sometimes its like it used to be when I step on the gas I get a quick acceleration but more often, when I need /want to speed up, she won't go and I am pressing the gas petal to the floor. I had so far, fuel injectors flushed, replaced spark plugs, and my service advisor said that everything seems right. Is it just because my car is about 5 yrs now and this is to be expected? Thanks in advance!!
  • The timing belt may break tomorrow, but likely will last 100,000 miles w/o incident.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I agree with civiletti about the timing belt change; follow Mazda's recommended schedule and you should be fine.

    Regarding the lack of acceleration / pick up you're sensing, you may want to consider a motor vac service to clean the throttle body. Basically the technician cleans the carbon that has accumulated in the throttle body; this carbon buildup can lead to parts gets sticky and preventing the right air fuel mixture being used in the engine. Have you noticed any drop in fuel economy? That's another symptom of the carbon buildup over time. The service is not expensive. :)
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    You may also want to replace the air filter and the plug wires, if you haven't already done those.
  • bondsbonds Posts: 1
    I'm new i just want more info on the mazda6 I bought a 2003 mazdaspeed 5 for my husband birthday 4 months ago he wants a mazda6. I dont know much about them thats why I'm here could you guys give me a hand on this should i buy it for him or should i tell him to keep the one he has?
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    That's my first question. I'd be very happy if my wife bought me a nice car.

    Anyway, onto your question:

    By 2003 Mazdaspeed 5, I assume you mean the Mazdaspeed Protege. Also, which Mazda6 does he want? There are 3 body styles, and there's the Mazdaspeed6, which is based on the sedan 6. All 3 body styles of the 6 are larger than the Protege. However, in terms of internal cabin space, I think the 6 hatch is smaller than the Protege, especially if you equip it with a moonroof.

    The Protege has a better reliability record than the 6, in general. I don't have information on the Mazdaspeed Protege specifically. The 6 use new engine designs. Except for the Mazdaspeed versions, they all recommend regular fuel. Fuel economy of the Mazdaspeed Protege is about equivalent to the 2.3L engine in the 6i sedan and hatch. The 6cyl engine option for the 6 will get less mpg, but doesn't require premium like the Mazdaspeed Pro.

    Personally, I think the Mazdaspeed Pro handles better (this is up to your tastes) and has more direct feedback (I feel the 6 are all too heavy for real "tossability"). On the flip side, there is a bit of turbo lag, which the non-turbo versions of the 6 don't have, and the 6 are better as long-distance cruisers.
  • At what point have pro owners replaced the strut cartridges? My '99es has 52k miles. It seems to handle fine to me, but my wife, who drives like a snail, thinks the suspension has become sloppy.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    No serious degradation, but I did notice the suspension was improved immediately after the change. I could've waited a bit longer, but I manage to avoid most of the potholes around my area.
  • lizh456lizh456 Posts: 1
    My Protege is up on 90,000 miles and I am going to get the timing belt replaced, can anyone tell me if the cam, crank and waterpump need to be replaced since they are in the same area? I am getting conflicting reports. What are the cam and crank for anyway?
  • I have a 1999 Protege LX and as I hit 70,010 miles the check engine light switched on. Did this happen b/c it is time to take it in for maintenance or does anyone have experience with this happening to them?

    Also, I want to change my timing change belts and would like to know if it is rubber or what material it is.

  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Take it to a local auto parts store. They may offer to check the CEL code for free. The local Autozone does.

    All the belts in your Pro are rubber, with internal woven fiber reinforcement (to limit stretching). Get like ones as replacements.
  • My protege is approching 30,000 miles. I would like to replace the spark plugs on it. I haven’t replaced spark plugs on protege before so I am wondering if anyone could explain, step by step, the entire process on this.
    What tools do I need?

  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Why not check the service manual online for all the details? See:
  • ripcordripcord Posts: 23
    This is the easiest task you would ever do on a P5. You need a socket set specifically a 10mm socket, a 5/8" spark plug socket with a 6"extension (or two 3") and a ratchet. Pull off the coils and the ignition wires (10mm socket). Pull out the spark plugs using the socket, ratchet and extensions. Then install the new spark plugs and tighten to the specifications on the package (depends on the type, but snug is usually good enough). They should be torqued, but if you don't have a torque wrench then snug will suffice. Next install the coils and ignition wires and you are good to go. Don't do this when you engine is hot or you risk damaging the threads which will be a costly adeventure. I agree with the post above, check the online manual, it is very comprehensive.
  • taviustavius Posts: 1
    Hi there,
    I've just bought my first car. It's a Mazda Protege SE (1.6L), year 2000. It's great for what I need!!!
    The problem is previous owner lost owner's manual, and I don't know how to get one. I want to go through some maintenance in order to start my own records of the car, but I would like to read maker recommendations first.
    Any idea where I can download a copy? Official web sites don't have electronic copy of a 2000 manual.

    Thanx a lot!!
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Remember to check the gap on the plugs before installing them; you'll need a simple tool for that and the measurements are listed in the online guide. I've also heard it recommended to use an air gun to blow clean the area before inserting the plugs to avoid grit falling into the engine.
  • ripcordripcord Posts: 23
    Good points. I usually use Platinum or Iridium plugs and therefore no gapping required. Blowing the area clean prior to removing the original plugs is very good advice. One thing I should add, I like top put a dab of spark plug grease on the boots before I put them on the plugs. This makes removal easier in the future, plus keeps out moisture and any other junk.
  • civiletticiviletti Posts: 86
    I heartily recommend Bosch single elctrode platinum plugs. They're reasonably priced, work well, and last a very long time.
  • alternatoralternator Posts: 629
    I assume you meant to say blow clean before removing plugs. Also, I would definitely recommend a little anti-seize be put on the threads of the new plugs.
  • richnlayrichnlay Posts: 1
    Hi everyone, Just bought my 02' p5 and it doesn't have the mazda emblem on the back hatch. Anyone know where I can find another one online?
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    Can anyone recommend a replacement tire (preferably not too expensive, suitable for Chicago--all-season) for a 2002 Protege DX 5-speed (which to my surprise came with 195/55/15s from the factory--previous years had 14s)? I'm on 3 originals and one replacement at almost 55k. Thanks.
  • hboydhboyd Posts: 98
    I'd strongly use the OEM spec plugs on our Proteges -- NGK V-Powers. You get no power or economy advantage with expensive plugs. I've used the Bosch Pt single electrode plugs on my current Protege and they do NOT last worth a darn. One set wore out the tiny Pt tip at 10K! They are also prone to overheating. The NGKs are designed and work best for our engines. My 2 cents.

    Always check gaps even if "pre-gapped" from factory. Thread the new plugs on very carefully, as our Al head is very soft and cross-threading is likely. Do not overtighten. Always inspect hi-tension leads for wear and damage.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Good advice. I recently bought the OEM Mazda plugs for my Protege5; each comes in a Mazda box with an NGK spark plug (BKR5E-11) inside.

    How are your ignition wires? Have you had to replace them yet? If so, when and with what? If not, any recommendations?
  • 3demons3demons Posts: 3
    I'd call a Mazda dealer if you haven't already. They usually have those things in their parts department. If not they can order it.
  • eks484eks484 Posts: 1
    i opened my 2000 protege to change the spark plugs and looks like i have to take the entire engine apart to get at the aparkplugs. anyone have the info on what i need to do?
  • dugnetdugnet Posts: 1
    I have a 95 Protege LX 1.5L and I am trying to determine if the timing is set right after some recent work was done. The Haynes manual shows a picture of the crank pulley with the timing mark pointer next to it but for the life of me I can't find anything of the sort. I am told I have to short out the TEN and GND terminals but I don't have a clue on where I should be aiming the timing light. Anybody out there have a similar experience?....... Anybody?


  • diamond13diamond13 Posts: 8
    Why does it matter which state one drives the car in for the timing belt replacement schedule? For example for the state of Washington, the manual states 60,000 miles for replacing the belt. I know that for most other cars, the replacement time is at 90,000 miles so I opted not to replace the timing belt at my last 60,000 miles service. However, I am selling the car now and I have to disclose this to the prospective buyer. The only thing is that I don't understand why it is dependent on the state. Is it because there has been a few rare cases in these states where the timing belt broke at around 60k and Mazda wants to protect itself from liability? Or any other reason?

  • diamond13diamond13 Posts: 8
    I contacted the dealership today and talked to the service department. Their answer was similar to what was already posted on this forum earlier. The 60k replacement for the timing belt is what Mazda recommends, however the belt could last longer than 60k (for example until the 90k service), but people would be driving at their own risk. He also mentioned that the engine is non-interference and that the breakage of the belt will not damage the engine. Also, the reason why California has a longer mileage schedule for the timing belt is because of consumer protection laws that dictate when major services should be done to a car.

    All this info can be found also in previous posts. Just wanted to repost this answer to confirm this from the dealer.

  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    They're just in really deep, so you can either get an extra-long spark plug socket or an extension for your socket wrench.
This discussion has been closed.