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Mazda Protege5



  • To what PSI do you have your tires inflated? This discussion started because i'm concerned that my new P5's tires are overinflated (read that this is common during shipping) and I'm trying to get a feel for what has worked for others before I check them out and possibly change the pressure. I've heard various accounts on different edmunds message boards about what works for people, including one account in which a woman lowered her PSi to 32/32 and then got bad gas mileage and tire wear.

    Thanks so much,

  • pciskowskipciskowski Posts: 155
    I keep mine right around 32psi. I used to keep them at 34, but they are a little smoother at 32. I noticed no difference in gas mileage or tire wear. I average 30 mpg with a 5 speed. My tires currently have 33,500 miles on them, and I have the stock Dunlops, which I think are great tires.
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    It's hard to say how much is the gain of mileage at 34 psi from 32. It's less than 0.5 mpg for sure.

    Let's assume that the gain is 0.3 mpg, then you might save about 20 cents for each $20 fuel tank by varying the tire pressures in the reasonable range. Well, if you want splitting the hair for 20 cents then be my guess.

    PS: I get systematically get around 29-30 mpg with my manual mysterious car, which I let you the joy to discover from my user profile.

  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    I keep mine at 32-34 front and rear. As long as I keep it in that range, the ride and fuel economy are normal. As for tire wear, the Dunlop SP Sport 5000m is not known for excellent treadwear. If you aren't spending the majority of your time on the freeway, you will be lucky to get 20,000 miles out of your tire. I only got ~17,000 out of the same tire on my 2001 Protege ES. I expect to get about the same on my 2003 Protege5. Also, I think fuel economy started to suffer towards the end of the tire life with my ES. I didn't track it religiously, but that is the general impression I got. Tire noise also got much louder.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    Apparently they recognize the reliability of the Protege (323) in the UK as well. From the Electronic Telegraph, an article titled, "Image of German cars takes a dent"

    "Japanese manufacturers cemented their position as producers of the most reliable cars with the older design of the Honda Accord joining, among others, the Honda Jazz and Mazda 323 in earning a 100 per cent reliability rating."
  • Will this car look modern or dated?

    I tend to go back and forth between what I think - the "sportiness" of the headlights, wheels, etc., could cause it to look a little cheesy over time. However, if "sportwagons" are the next big thing in vehicles, this could retain its current appeal even after much time has passed.

    Just wondering what y'all think.

  • 1. I have the sport AT - is this somewhat rare? Even Edmunds doesn't list this car as Manual and Auto seperately, and I rarely see posts about the AT. Are there any concerns about the AT? Is it used in other proteges or other Mazdas? (I guess that was really more than one question, but oh well)

    2. How do you know if you have a ".5" year model? As is, 2002.5, as I see some people referring to their cars - mine was created in March of 2003. Is that considered a 2003.5?

    Just curious...

    -Philippa :)
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    1. The sport AT replaced the standard AT in 2002.5. It is also used in the Protege ES. I don't know that there is any difference between the sport and the non-sport AT aside from the extra electronics for the manual shift mode, and I know of no specific issues with the Protege AT.

    2. See #1. Seriously though, Mazda often changes the trim packages mid-year. You have to pay attention to tell the differences. For instance, the 2003 had a standard roof rack. The 2003.5 deleted the roof rack and added a spare-tire sub-woofer. Sometimes they add or delete colors (as with the MS Protege) The Special Editions (older Proteges and Miatas) are almost always half-year models. The DOT doesn't necessarily track these half year models in VIN numbers. You may have to call Mazda to find out for sure if no one can tell you here whether a specific car is a mid-year refresh model.
  • I have the 2003.5 edition in case you're interested - no roof rack, and the subwoofer (which came with no instructions and I have yet to figure out.)

    I think it's kind-of silly how much they raised the price (over a year) while actually deleting options such as the roof rack (lists now as $250). Oh well, I still feel I got a fair deal that doesn't keep me up at night, and I don't really need a roof rack, so there.

    Thanks for your responses,

  • kauai215kauai215 Posts: 190
    Hi Philippa,

    I assume that by now you've checked your tire pressures. May I ask what they were?

    What did you finally decide to set them at? The Mazda recommended 32/32 front/rear?

    By the way, I expect you know this, but "always" set your tire pressures cold. Driving, at interstate speeds, especially, will heat the tires up and the pressures will increase around 3 psi. (They'll drop back down when the car has been sitting for a while.) Do not bleed the pressures down when the tires are hot, for then they will be too low when cold. The manufacturer has taken this into account when recommending their general-purpose pressures.

    Also, note that the general rule is that for each change of 10 degrees in ambient temperature, tires will gain or lose one psi. For example, if you set your tire pressures to 32/32 in the mid-day heat on an 80 degree day, and then check them the next morning when the temperatures have dropped to 60 degrees overnight, you can expect to see pressures around 30/30. That's a two psi drop in pressure following the 20 degrees drop in ambient temperature -- one psi drop per 10 degrees. This is normal, should you happen to notice this phenomenon, and your tires are not leaking air. By noon when the temperatures have climbed back to 80 degrees, your tires will once again be at 32/32 psi.

    It's a good idea to check your tire pressures weekly, and whenever there has been a dramatic change in ambient temperature. In fact, whenever I approach my car to drive it, I give a quick glance at all my tires to confirm that they "look right." With experience you'll be able to readily see whether a tire is abnormally low, probably from a slow leak.

    Your tires are your "lifeline." Those four fist-sized contact patches are all that is connecting you to the road -- and permitting you to control your car. Tire condition and tire pressures are critically important. You're wise to seek to learn more about them. :-)

    You'll probably want to purchase your own tire gauge so your pressure readings are consistent. The gauges found at service stations are often inaccurate -- they get dropped a lot, which is not good for maintaining consistency and accuracy.

    For what it's worth, I run 32/32 psi in my 2002 P5 for regular driving. If I've loaded up the kayaks and our gear, and am heading on a longer interstate trip, I'll increase the pressures to 35/35.

    If I drove at 80 mph and above for any length of time, I'd increase the pressures, too.

    I hope this has been helpful. :-)
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    That's a pretty complete overview of the basic tire pressure set up!
  • kauai215kauai215 Posts: 190
    Thanks, Bruno. :-)

    I was just offering some additional thoughts to the already excellent advice offered by you and the others here.

    It's remarkable just how much there is to explain about tires alone, isn't it?

    Some of the bad advice on the 'Net needs to be countered, too, such as that nonsense of inflating tires to the tire manufacturer's figure on the tire sidewall, which is, as you so correctly pointed out, the MAXIMUM permissible pressure that should not be exceeded lest one risk blowing the tire clean off the rim with potentially catastrophic consequences!

    If you think your car rides harshly at 40 psi inflation, try 52 psi! My goodness. It'll shake the fillings right out of your teeth. Apart from track days, autocrossing, and other competition events, I cannot think of any circumstances when one might need to inflate one's tires to the maximum permissible pressure.

    I often wonder when I see such nonsense advocated on the 'Net whether the writer is truly so ill-informed, or whether they think this is a good joke.

    Young(?) folks like Phillipa need good advice when they wish to learn more about their cars and automobiles in general.

    You came to the right place, Phillipa. ;-) There are a lot of knowledgeable people here who'll steer you (pardon the pun :-) in the right direction.
  • In contacting Mazda concerning replacement tires for my 2002 PRO5,they say they can only recommend the same brand and the same size as the OEM tires.That certainly doesn't leave one with much choice at all,as I've seen from many tire companies.Some tire stores give some optional sizes and brands which they say is compatible with the PRO5. Mazda doesn't support deviating from their position of OEM only. What to do? Thanks for your suggestions,Martin
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    I have replaced the Dunlop with the Michelin which are one of the tires recommended by ... [drum roll here] ... my Mazda dealer.

    There is no reason why you shouldn't be able to put different tire on your car. As you probably knew, many people here decide to stay away from the Dunlop SP5000 while changing their tires. No need to be too strict on the size of the replacement. All you need to make sure are:
    - the size is suitable for the stock rims,
    - the tire diameter does not vary more than say 2% from the stock tire (to keep the speedometer and odometer accurate, as well as a similar torque load conditions for the engine)
    - there is no risk that the rubbing.

    You can trust Ted's (aka Boggse) recommendation.

  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 859

    Try the "Tire Tires Tires" forum - where I usually hang out. Just happened to do a search (I try to do that once a week.) and came across this discussion.


    The maximum inflation written on the sidewall - Tires are much stronger than kauai215 thinks and you are not in significantly more danger from inflating that high - at least from the pressure alone. Increased risk of an impact failure, sure, but is only a bit more of a risk. But he's right that the proper inflation pressure is what is on the placard.

    What the vehicle manufacturers put on the placard (at least in the US) is to accommodate the maximum load the vehicle was designed to carry. If you look at the placard, you'll see the letters GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating). 99% of the time that's the load carrying capacity of the tires at the specified inflation pressure. Add the front and rear GAWR's together and you'll notice that this is greater than the GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) which is the maximum design weight of the vehicle fully loaded. The reason the GAWR's exceed the GVW is that the vehicle manufacturers know they need to accommodate loads that aren't exactly where they are predicted them to be.

    Sometimes the vehicle manufacturers will add a reserve into the way they calculate the proper inflation pressure. This is a good thing and this is precisely why the some Internet discussions point to the Ford / Firestone debate to support the contention that they should use what's printed in the sidewall. The truth is that Ford generally specifies inflation pressures with no reserve capacity, and Firestone was merely pointing that out and suggesting that every vehicle ought to be designed with some reserve capacity. Personally, I think this is just good engineering practice!

    Tire recommendations from vehicle dealers - For liability reasons, I can't imagine any dealer recommending anything but what came OE. HUGE, HUGE potential liability.

    Tire Standards - The US tire standardizing body is the Tire and Rim Association (TRA). In Europe it is the European Tire and Rim Technical Organization (ETRTO). There are others through out the world, but these 2 pretty much dominate the field and everyone else tries to be compatible with them.

    These guys set the load tables (load vs inflation for a given tire size), the nominal dimensions for a given tire size (Note, there is no requirement that a tire be dimensionally close to the nominal, but they usually are.), and the dimensions and contour of the wheels where they interact with the tire (It is up to the tire manufacturers to design around those dimensions and contours).

    The Tire Industry Association is more of a dealer / service organization. They provide training materials on mounting and repairing tires and anything else that a tire service technician might need to know.

    There is also an organization called the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA). This organization is more of a collective voice for anyone involved with things made out of rubber. (Tires, gloves, hoses, seals, etc) RMA is the industry's conduit to the government and the public. The RMA has published many things regarding tires and their use. Everything that gets published by the RMA is reviewed by the member tire manufacturers (pretty much everyone!) and reflects their collective wisdom. For example, RMA has been heavily involved with interpreting and implementing the TREAD Act and serving as a singlular point where the government can talk to the tire companies and vice versa.

    So to answer the specific question - ISO recognizes these organizations and their standards. But sidewall siffness is not specified anywhere.
    I would recommend that everyone use the placard inflation. That way you are always covered for the maximum load conditions. Personally, I like a crisper steering response, so I add 3 to 5 psi to what the placard says. I also get better fuel economy, better tire wear, better wet traction, better snow traction, better tire durability, and only give up a bit of ride harshness.

    Hope this helps.
  • I made a brief post on the 'meet the members' board, but wanted to introduce myself here, too.

    A few weeks ago I started looking for a car to replace, finally, my 1989 Mercury Tracer hatchback (still runs, but showing its age). was a great help, as well as lurking on many of the boards and asking a few questions here and there. At most of the dealerships I visited, I knew more about the car than the salesperson, it was kind of embarassing...

    I finally narrowed it down to a Mazda P5, or Ford Focus wagon, and after driving both again, and checking my research, I decided on the P5 - got it about a week ago. Thanks to Boggse, I know it's a 2003.5 model - silver, sport AT, a little over 200 miles now, and I do like this car!!

    Suffering through 'new car owner syndrome' right now. I want to drive it places, but I'm afraid to leave it alone in parking lots. I had this really strong urge to hand-wash it yesterday, but I fought that off, LOL (have a feeling I will be doing that soon, though - I've been reading through posts from people about what they use to wash and polish and wax their cars, and I'm actually getting interested...). I always kept lots of 'stuff' in my Tracer, but I'm resisting putting too much in the P5 yet, it looks so new and clean inside, I don't want to mess that up. Although taking all 4 dogs to the kennel later this month will take care of that :-)

    I'm hoping to do quite a bit of the routine maintenance myself, too, and it's nice to be able to ask others who have the same car, and know so much about it. I hope to post a lot more here and in 'care and maintenance', instead of 'problems'!

    Anyway, thanks, I'm glad you're here!

  • cogs25cogs25 Posts: 39
    I want to find out if I have a problem with my visors, or not. Both of my visors will NOT stay up against the winshield when I flip them forward. The passenger one stays a couple inches away, and the driver one actually flops back down a bit, partially blocking my vision. When I compare other vehicles, they stay flush against the winshield. Is this just my problem or is it a P5 "feature"?
  • Hi everyone,

    Thanks for all of your responses to my question about my tire pressure. I did buy a guage, checked the tires while cold during mid-morning (about 80 degrees out), and found them to be right around 32 PSI. Surprise. So, I guess I just need to get used to the "rough" ride. I have noticed, now that I'm driving it a bit more, that it actually rides quite smooth on the highway and at faster speeds, but the ride leaves a bit to be desired on our beat-up city roads (I live in the Boston Metro area). Particularly noticable is when the pavement was not laid down smooth, and there are "waves" in it - that transmits into a somewhat uncomfortable ride.

    I'm sure in time I will adjust to this difference from my Jetta. Since it's new, and I drove my Jetta for 6 years before that, every little difference is magnified during this transitional period. I am enjoying the car, though.

    Thanks again for your responses,

  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    and congratulations! We look forward to hearing more about your 2003.5 silver Protege5. Thanks for your participation! ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • zoommp5zoommp5 Posts: 2
    I recently had my car serviced for it's 30k checkup (yes, I do a LOT of miles as it is just over 1 year old). They told me I needed new tires, but having ruined one of the original tires and having it replaced at the dealership for $195 I wanted to check on my options. I came to the board and looked for messages on tires. After reading the posting on the board about the Kumho tires I searched the net for them and found TireRack.Com . I asked friends about TireRack but they had only heard of them, so I called around to tirestores in the area and got a price for EACH tire of $125 plus blah blah blah. Bottom line was they wanted close to $600 for a set of 4 tires, I chose TireRack ! They were $61 per tire and only about 1/2 that for shipping. Bottom line $280 for a set of 4 tires ! I am a member at Sam's wholesale club (no they don't special order tires) so I brought them there to be mounted. I have had them over 3 weeks now and LOVE them. Here in New England we've been deluged with rain recently and the tires proved themselves in it ! So much BETTER than the original Dunlop's I couldn't believe it. However this is New England and the Kumho's are ONLY for Summer so I am looking for a Winter solution. I got by last Winter, but the car did not handle all that well. I hear people talk about changing rims, and Blizark tires, should all 4 tires be Winter or would just the 2 front (FWD) tires be enough to handle the Winter ?

    Any comments ?
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    There aren't many winter tires in the stock size, and the ones there are, are expensive.

    I live in VT and run a set of 15" steel rims with 195/55-15 Michelin Arctil Alpins for winter. All 4 corners and the car is a tank in the snow and ice. With proper rotation, you will get 3-4 winters easily out of them.

    The entire package was $535 shipped from TireRack.

    The only issue I ever have with my P5 in winter is ground clearance... it's just a low car, period.
  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Posts: 1,007
    Check on the Tires discussion to be sure, but my understanding is that you should switch out all 4 tires to winter tires!
  • pciskowskipciskowski Posts: 155
    and replaced the factory head unit. Budget wise I had to pick between a new unit or speakers, and I would much rather have MP3 than new speakers with the old head unit. It sounds much better, plus I have MP3s again (I used to have one in my last car). I can even live with these speakers for a while.

    Pretty easy to make the swap once I got the tools to remove the old radio.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    Which one did you get?
  • pciskowskipciskowski Posts: 155
    Pioneer DEH-P5500MP. I paid $145 from after rebate, plus shipping.
  • I recently purchased a mica blue Protege 5, and absolutely love the car. It came down to Civic vs. Protege, and it really wasn't a contest. The only sticky point for me was gas mileage, but I figured 25/30 was acceptable. I have an automatic with the sports shifter, and after three tanks of gas, I'm only averaging around 23 mpg. It has been a mix of approximately 70% city driving and 30% highway, and I don't drive the car hard because I'm breaking it in. I'm disappointed thus far, and would like to know what other owners are getting. Thanks, I appreciate your inputs.
  • jadams6jadams6 Posts: 9
    I don't have a response to your question, but I'd love to hear your views on what sold you on the P5. I'm in exactly the same boat - Civic or Protege...up until yesterday I had only test driven the Protege in a sedan, and was leaning to the Civic (sedan), but then drove the P5 and thought I'd died and gone to heaven! I want to drive the car that I buy for at least 10 years, so research and advice seems to steer me to the Civic for all of the well documented reasons (reliability, fuel efficiency, higher resale etc..), though a safe purchase (a "no-brainer" as one colleague put it), who wants to drive what everyone else is driving? I have to admit, when I drove the P5 yesterday, it was the first time I could say that I got excited about driving a car....but how long will the excitement last?!?!?

    Just thought I'd ask....

  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    I remember there are few complains in the pass about poor mileage, mostly during the first few months of ownership. It has been suggested that mileage could get better after 5-6 thousand miles. It has been a while since the last complain occurs here. The problem is we don't get update of individual case thus we can't tell you with certitude if the above statement is true.

    For me, (I have a P5 manual), I never get worse than 27 mpg since day one. As being previous civic's owner, I would say expect the P5 mpg to be worse of 2-3mpg for the same driving condition.

  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    You can cross one over three concerns in your list: the reliability. It's well known that the Protege/Protege5 is as reliable as any Civic.

    The two others points, you get them right: resale value and mileage. They are the only two major weaker aspects of the Protege/P5 when comparing to the Civic. I would say if you plan to keep the car ten+ years, then resale value is not that critical (both cars will be down there anyway.)

    An accolade here: I used to follow magasins such as Consumers Report, etc... as guideline for car purchases. I'm no longer do that. Buying and owing one Civic is enough for me. IMHO, the best way is to come to Edmunds here and see how owners discuss about their cars. You will get a pretty good idea how good or bad is a specific model.

    As for exciting longevity: After two years of ownership, I still love my P5 as the day one. I certainly can't say that with my 1997 Civic EX.

    Last point: in the case you are not aware, the Protege/P5 will be replaced by the Mazda3 (from December). That having said. A new product is very exciting, but there is few risks if you decide to wait for the new model: do not expect the same reliability for a brand new model, especially during the first year. You can't possibly negotiate for a good rebate as the Protege/P5 right now. I expect the new model to perform better for mileage (new engine), ride comfort (Ford/Mazda plateform), larger interior (but not higher). The rest (handling, steering response, cornering capability, fun factor, build quality, reliability, and possibly the look), it's hard to beat the current Protege/P5.

This discussion has been closed.