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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • I'm pretty sure it's coming from the area to the left just behind the left air vent.
  • Somebody discovered the source of their rattle was the hood. Needed adjustment so it would close tight. Just a thought.
  • That's what I was thinking, but the problem is not too serious. I will have it looked at when the oil is changed at the dealer.

    Mpshute: I don't know if this will work, but try grabbing the corner of the hood where the sound is coming from and try to see if it is loose. Then, go to the dealer and tell them you have an idea of where the noise is coming from, and they should look at and fix it if that's where it's coming from. (That is, if you have a good service department)
  • "As an ex future mazda owner, I wonder how mazda can get away with treating someone as they did in the story above? Isn't it illegal? Im now strictly looking at Toyota."

    I don't quite understand what you are trying to pull here, but you have to understand that most of the Protege owners that post here were not born yesterday.

    Thanks for posting that link though. It was very helpful in that I didn't have to search for evidence for the point I am about to make. Here is a link to the Toyota complaints on that same link.

    There was even more complaints on the Toyota link than the Mazda link...including people complaining about getting cheated out of their deposit and being treated rudely.

    I suggest you take your game and move it over to the Saturn forum. Oh yeah, Saturn has a link on that web site too.
  • brajabraja Posts: 25

    I had posted a note a while ago stating that
    the radio in my 2000 ES gets interference
    (in FM) from the engine. The weaker the
    station, the stronger the interference, like
    a sputtering noise whose frequency increases with
    engine RPM.

    The dealer recently replaced the radio, but
    the new one does the same! The dealer called
    Mazda and the solution suggested was to
    incrementally replace all engine electrical
    components that could cause interference. I.e,
    the dealer would replace parts one by one
    until the interference stops! I'm highly
    skeptical of this approach, and I don't
    want to screw up factory-installed engine

    The dealer also claims that he sees the
    same problem with another brand-new 2000

    My questions are:

    1. Is there anyone else out there (2000
    protege owner) who has
    this problem?

    2. ANy idea on how to fix this??

  • For this sort of noise, start with plug wires. I assume there's no distributor, so consider the coil after that. Another possible cause might be a bad ground for the radio.
    There are also filters that can also be installed between the antenna and the radio; a good car stereo shop would be familiar with this problem. Does this also affect AM radio?
  • Usually, poorly shielded spark plug wires (or otehr ignition related component) will cause the crackling noise in the stereo. A whine is alternator induced and caused by a ground loop (fixed by grounding the stereo elsewhere or you can sometimes use a transformer in the 12v switched lead. Floating grounds are often a problem in noises. Most cars have a frame-mounted antenna and if you were to disconnect the ground lead on a stereo, it will still work because it is "grounding" through the antenna. This is a "floating" ground. It has the entire frame of the vehicle to travel through,before it goes through the small frame to ground lead to the ground on the battery. This is why aftermarket stereo components (or even shanging spark plug wires) can cause these problems. It sounds ignition-induced. A stereo shop could fix this, but that's what warranties are for, right?
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I'm an amateur radio operator and I have a two-way VHF radio installed in my 2000 ES, just like I did on my '92 Protege LX. I had a similar problem in my '92 that caused the same kind of interference you describe on both the mobile radio and my AM/FM stereo.

    The plug wires in our cars go down into the valve cover before contacting the head of the spark plugs. They pass through that rubber grommet you see on top of the valve cover and go another few inches before meeting the plug, in other words. What happened on my '92? Moisture had caused one of the wires to arc through its insulation and short to the metal "tunnel" above the plug. Replacing the wires (about $40) did two things -- it made the car run better, and the interference disappeared.

    You can check this yourself -- unplug your wires and look for burn-through marks (black sooty spots) on them between the rubber grommet and the top of each plug. Even if this ain't the problem, it's a cheap ($0) way of ruling out the wires as the culprit!

    Good luck,

  • I still have a hesitation when I accelerate, its been happening for 3 years now. I think there are 2 things that may be causing this and a remedy may be almost impossible to achieve.
    1.The throttle plate and assembly needs to be cleaned regularly. This may smooth things out. ( upper engine cleaning systems are expensive and you may get some results with Tektron) 2. The automatic transmission is electronic and shifting is rough, this may add to that hesitation when accelerating. My car downshifts from 4th to 1st and redlines when I try to accelerate after braking and cornering. I have my car at the dealer today, with 6 weeks left on my warranty. These are ongoing issues with the Mazda Protege. I really like the car and want to keep mine.
  • deki80deki80 Posts: 3
  • But I could go through a dozen of those two-dollar shirts sequentially, and have six bucks left over, and you're still wearing that same old shirt. Unless you drive a Morgan, you'll have to do better than that for a comparison.
  • speedyptspeedypt Posts: 200
    What are you doing posting in here? Go back to your overpriced VW. Expensive? On my third Protege and have not had a major problem with a single one. Went to Scottsdale Porche with a client three months ago. They charged him nearly $80 for a frickin' oil change!!!! Even if they used full-synthetic oil, that's nearly three times what it should cost. Mazda did my last oil and filter change for $12.95. Sounds like you are calling yourself a chump!

    Stick to topics you know something about. The Protege is an extremely reliable car and has been recognized for it's overall value by both Car & Driver and Consumer Reports.

    Wanna talk depreciation? Okay....

    1996 Porche 911 Turbo in Sunday's Arizona Republic with 48k, stated original title, no salvage title or damage. New it cost over $105,000.00, selling for $38,500 OBO FROM A DEALER!!! 63% depreciation in 4.5 years.

    1996 Protege ES cost 17,000 new with 68k miles, again no damage, "like new" for 9500.00 OBO from a dealer. 44% depreciation over the same period.

    Tell me again how buying a more expensive car is better?

  • mq76mq76 Posts: 1
    I have a 98LX 5 speed. my idle fluctuates often. when I'm idling at a light or whatever, it often will go up to 1000-1300 RPM and the shoot down to 700ish. I've taken it to the dealer twice and had it adjusted while I was there. It used to be worse, it would almost die on me...i just want to try to get this resolved before my warranty runs out. anyone else have this problem and fix it? Also when I'm accelerating and the RPM gets above 3000RPM I can hear a rattling. sounds like plastic really... what could it be. I don't know much but i do understand the rattling=friction and friction=wear.

    In response to post #49 - my protective plate on my driver's side wore out and made my lock inoperable. the dealership replaced it. my passenger door is wearing out but sill works i have about 8000 miles to get that replaced.

    In response to post #30 - my brakepads wore out just before 30,000m and i'm not a super freak stopper...i drive like my dad as of late. it seemed unusual. but i replaced them and got my tune-up. hopefully these will last longer.

    sorry about my long windedness.

    by the way i love my protege although i am jealous of my little brother's '99 it seems to have more room inside.


  • I have a 2000 Mazda Protege with 4800 miles on it.
    After driving long enough for the engine to be fully warmed up, say 20-25 minutes on the freeway,
    and am idling for 1 minute or longer, I notice a burning oil smell. It only occurs with the heater on, and only at idle. It is not overpowering, but noticeable. I had the oil changed and thought that might have been the cause(spilled oil on the engine), but cannot find any oil anywhere on the engine. I am not losing oil either. I have tracked
    the smell to a location right next to the timing belt cover, but cannot find a drop of oil leaking anywhere. Anybody else run into this smell/problem?
  • fritz1224fritz1224 Posts: 398
    Has this particular topic board been gone for awhile? I thought maybe they just dropped it because it wasn't very active. Possbily proof of the quality of the Protege. Anyway, glad to see it back. I have had my 2k ES 5sp for 3400 miles now and still get a thrill when driving it. Gotten plenty of compliments on its looks as well.
  • I'm interested in a 2001 Protege for my daughter. Who is the best and most reliable dealership in Phoenix/Scottsdale area? If you know a specific salesperson, please include. Thx
  • curt3curt3 Posts: 101

    I am the proud owner of a 2000 Protege LX that I bought in December of 1999. I will be turning 30,000 miles within the next two weeks and I have had absolutely no problems except for pinging with cheap gasoline. I am happy to say that this Mazda replaced its evil twin Kia Sephia that I traded in on the transaction.
  • gweedogweedo Posts: 4
    I don't know if anyone else is having this problem, but the tires that came factory on my 2G Protege suck in snow, ice, rain and anything other than road. I cant remember the brand name (Yoko something) Is anyone finding a better tire that performs a ton better, on stock rims? I live In Omaha Neb. So...Snow and ice is a 6-7 month season.
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    I have a '95 Protege LX 5-spd with the 1.5. Bought the car new and to date have 120k on the odometer. Only problems have been relatively minor:

    1. Rear defrost switch, replaced under warranty

    2. Dome light bulb, replaced under warranty.

    3. Small crack in exhaust manifold at 100k. Bought used part and replaced myself.

    4. Check engine light at 100k. Replaced both Oxygen sensors myself(relatively easy to do with ramps and a few tools) and this fixed the problem.

    5. Some ideling irregularities when stopped in neutral similar to Mq76 post above. Problem has gone away and car never stalled, so I ignored it. This may be related to bad gasoline.

    6. Some CV joint clicking starting at 70K and noticable on left turns when car is first run(cold). This goes away when warm and since both boots are fine I will ignore this until it gets really bad.

    Overall this is the highest quality car I have ever owned. Engine is still tight and powerful. Does not burn or leak any oil and I change it every 7,500 miles with full synthetic. Clutch is still strong and the original brakes went 115K(mostly highway miles). Finally, since I tow a trailer/ATV quite a bit and have tested the top speed (115 mph) on several ocassions, I consider myself a tough user. To top it off I get 30-40 mpg.

    To save money on parts consider used from nationwide used Mazda parts dealers listed on the internet. I got a used exhaust manifold for $80 and a used secondary O2 sensor for $120. I also bought a new main O2 sensor from for $60 with a coupon. Mazda dealer prices are much higher.

    Now I just wish someone could make a minivan as reliable as my Protege for $18K.
  • speedyptspeedypt Posts: 200
    I bought from Bell Road Mazda (9th Ave and Bell Rd) and I've been very happy with them. They cut me a HELL of a deal too. If you are going there to buy, email me at and I'll split the referral fee with you! (Bell Rd Mazda pays a $175.00 referral fee to buyers who send them other customers who buy cars from them.)


  • plaresplares Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 protege ES, manual trans and the other night I noticed flickering or slight fluctuations in the brightness of the dash and stereo lighting upon starting the car at night. The flickering was very subtle and did not appear to be related to the stereo or the engine rpm, though I only sat there and observed it for 5 minutes. The car is running fine otherwise. I do not have any additional components like an aftermarket stereo or alarm installed yet.

    I suppose it could have been the cold. I'm in Houston, TX (temperate winters), but the night I noticed the flickering, it was somewhere between 25-32 F and I had just scraped frost off the windows. I think I had the rear defroster on as well.

    Is it something to worry about?
  • I have a 99 Protege LX and I'm experiencing the
    same whining noise that a few other people have described. I don't think it's just wind noise or some other minor problem, because the buzzing seems to be related to how I am pushing on the gas pedal. I hear it most around 60-70 mph. Anyone have any success with this? I took it to the shop but they said they didn't hear it. A friend of mine bought a 2000 AS and also heard some funny transmission noise and after she kept complaining they finally replaced her transmission and now she doesn't have any problems. It turned out that Mazda knew about this problem because after she gave them a lousy review, they sent her all this literature about the transmission noise problem which evidently affects a variety of Proteges. I'm not sure it's the same problem I'm having, which is why I haven't stormed into Mazda holding the info.

    On an unrelated note, a long time ago someone mentioned a rattle in their dashboard. This may be totally different, but I had a similar problem, and all it was was a missing piece that was supposed to go on the back of the radio. Unfortunately, now there's a new rattle coming from the RHS of the dashboard that started after they fixed the first one.

    Anyway, any ideas about the buzzing would be appreciated!
  • I have a 2000 Protege ES which I've owned for a little over one year. Unfortunately, I'm often hit with a minor electric shock when I close the driver's door after driving the car. I had hoped that the shocks would stop after a while, but no such luck. I assume that the problem is that the car is somehow not properly grounded, but that's a complete guess. Has anyone experienced this with their Protege and do you know how to solve the problem? I'm planning on heading over to a dealership to get the problem fixed, but I was hoping to learn something about the problem before dealing with the dealership. Also, am I correct in assuming that the warranty should cover whatever work is required?

    One reason I've been somewhat hesitant to take the car to the dealership to fix the shock problem is that the local dealership doesn't seem particularly trustworthy. They told me to not take the car to places like Jiffy Lube for oil changes because Jiffy Lube doesn't have oil filters which are appropriate for the Protege. According to the dealership, Protege oil filters somehow incorporate special safety valves which the Jiffy Lube filters lack, which can result in leakage. This seems like hogwash. Clearly, Jiffy Lube may not have the best service in the world or the most experienced mechanics, but a decent oil filter is a decent oil filter. Or am I wrong?

    Any help on either issue would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  • speedyptspeedypt Posts: 200
    The electric shock is normal for this vehicle. We discussed it a while back in Protege 5 or 4...
    The earlier Proteges used to have a static discharge button near the door lock for this reason. It has since been discontinued. If you hold the metal part of your key, and touch it to the door latch while you exit the car you won't get a shock.

    Oil filters: I have used Fram (PH6607) filters on all three of the Proteges I have owned with ZERO negative effect. I don't believe that story from the dealer. How to know for sure? Buy a "Mazda" filter (usually made by AC Delco) and visually compare to Fram or other name brand. That should tell you there really is no difference. I personally won't go to the quick lube joints due to several bad experiences, and the fact that I'm not about to let some 16 yr old change the oil on my baby! (2000 ES Protege). If you are so inclined, a set of ramps and an oil change basin pay for themselves by the second oil change if you do it yourself!


  • nikecarnikecar Posts: 460
    is usually caused by the type of tire. the materials inside to make them have less rolling resistance lessens the grounding effects. that's why you get shocked. My altima I get shocked more than the Protege. I just touch the metal key area before I get out and I'm ok.. usually.

    Its noting to worry about. the best the dealer can do is put a grounding wire on your car. but who wants a wire hanging down while driving?

    and the line about filters is hogwash. You want the best? buy a Mobil1 filter or something like that. The dealer's filter is usually manufactured by an after market company anyhow. would you as a dealer want someone to buy your filter at $10 per, or go somewhere else and spend $2.50 on a filter?
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    The wintertime shocks are caused by static electricity due to the dry air and your clothing rubbing on the velour-like upholstery of our Proteges' seat covers. I get it too -- sometimes painfully. But what's all this "hogwash" (to quote a recent post) about "touching keys to frames" and such? Good grief, it ain't that hard! All you've got to do is hold onto the door frame as you slide off your seat and get out of the car! The static bleeds off through your hand as you get up! There's no need to touch keys to metal or anything like that. All you're doing there is extending the electrical path from your hand to the door frame. Just holding the door frame as you get out does the same thing. Try it!

  • nikecarnikecar Posts: 460
    that doesn't work for me. I even try pulling my sweater to touch it on the metal, still shocked.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    ... to keep your hand on the door the WHOLE time you're sliding out of your seat. I don't see how you COULD be shocked doing this -- I never have.

    On a similar, more humorous note, have any of you ever wondered if anyone's had that winter shock problem right when they touched the gas nozzle to their filler pipe? Ker-BLAM!!! HA HA HA HA!!!!!

    Oh, guess what everyone, I made the big mistake of putting a LABELED CD in my CD player the other day, and ... GUESS WHAT. I've got to make an appointment with my service department to extract the damned thing. It won't eject.

    My fault!!! Sadder but wiser!!! Anybody got a fix that doesn't involve the service department?

  • speedyptspeedypt Posts: 200
    There's a 1999 Protege radio for sale on could try that...


  • nikecarnikecar Posts: 460
    try something super flat. insert it and try to push the label back down onto the CD.. happened on the computer one, and that's what I did . puch it down in spots, and it ejected. (floppy)
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