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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Those sound like the symptoms my '99LX had when its MAS (Mass Airflow Sensor) went bad. It was covered under a special warranty on that component.

    A bad injector may cause rough idle, but then you would probably notice roughness from the engine above idle too.

    You may want to check all your vacuum hoses and connections for any potential leaks. A fouled EGR valve may also cause rough idle (and reduced fuel economy).
  • mmx6mmx6 Posts: 18
    Question to all of you with a 95-98 Protege ES or 99-01 ES (whether 1.8 or 2.0): how do you like the behavior of your automatic? I remember the one thing I couldn't stand about my old MX-6 was the way the transmission was extremely overeager to downshift at low speeds, making city driving a jerky, surging affair.

    In Edmunds' 1999 Protege ES review, Wardlaw makes a quick mention of "ill-timed gear changes." Any truth to that?

    Oh yeah, and on both the 95-98 and 99+ generations, they noted excellent sound quality. All 99+ models have 6x9 speakers on the rear deck, right? Obviously that does wonders for bass. What about the 95-98s? I don't think any other economy car at the time had 6x9s back there.
  • We have two 99 Protege DXs. Engine lights went on in one about two years ago. The bucking had been continual since purchase (when they were new).Factory recall has not fixed the engine light issue, but it did fix the bucking. They say they need to replace the EGA valve at the expense of $1000 however my car guy says it's more for efficiency than a problem- so we didn't bother. I have been driving this way, with the engine light on, for two years- no issue.

    My big problem with both cars has been hydro planing. The cars do not break on wet roads. I need to drive 20-30 miles an hour to insure that I stop. So- no highway driving, no main roads. Others who have driven my car say it's because there aren't anti-lock breaks on this model. Not convinced it's just that.I'm ready to sell the cars. SHarris Maryland
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  • If you still have the original Bridgestone/Potenza tires on your car, then I can guarantee that they are the cause of your hydro-planing. Those tires are absolutely horrible in the rain. Even worse if you are nearing the 30,000 mile mark with them. Take a look at the BF Good rich Traction T/A's if you plan on keeping the cars. They are excellent in both dry and wet performance, and they are reasonably cheap. I put a set of 4 on a 2002 LX (205/55 15) for $300 out the door at BJ's wholesale club. They are also available at Sam's & Costco's.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    I concur with bluem6i. Hydroplaning or poor traction is usually due to the tires. The Firestone FR680s on my '99 Pro LX also had very poor traction on water, snow or ice. I replaced those with Dunlop SP Sport A2s, and now have Falken Ziex ZE-512s. Both are much better than the stock Firestones (I think the Dunlops were a little better at resisting hydroplaning than the Falkens are). I've heard good things about the BF Goodrich tires, so I may put a set of those on my wife's P5 when her Dunlop SP5000s wear out. Unlike others, I had pretty good wear on my Dunlops (35k miles...good for performance all-seasons). I'll see how many miles I get on the Falkens.
  • meinradmeinrad Posts: 820
    I just put BF Goodrich Traction T/A's on my P5 and so far so good. Seem good in the rain and good in the snow. Had about an inch of snow on the 'very' steep driveway at work. No room to get a run, but I spun and slid my way all the way to the top. Couldn't do that last year on the Falkens, and they were both at about the same 500 miles of wear.


    And I got 20k out of the Falkens, YMMV of course.
  • I recently bought(few months)a 95 Mazda Protege, 1.5 liter engine with about 105,000 miles. Having trouble with alternator belts burning/braking. The first was put on by a cert mechanic when installing a timing belt. Although the other belt was fine, the alternator belt was really bad. The replaced alternator belt lasted a couple weeks and broke. I then changed it again myself, and checked to make sure the slternator and water pump pulley turned freely and the belt was adequately tight. Within a couple weeks the battery has gone dead, replaced same, and new battery also drained. Took it to an alternator shop, and the mechanic told me that he has had problems with the alternator belts on the (2.2?) liter engine. Anyway, he said they went through several belts, and found that the belt needed tightened beyond expected tension and that fixed problem. On my car, we verified no output, then tightened belt and got 5 amp output, but not what should be. Newly installed belt, which was already showing signs of wear/burnt, would slip on alternator upon acceleration, causing 5 amp output to drop back to 0. It would seem problem is alternator, but alternator guy thought it may be ok. He thouht installing a new belt very tight would fix the problem. I know that this may cause alternator/water pump bearing wear. It would seem that if there is another reason for the problem, it would have to be the alternator or water pump, but would like advice of owners/mechanics who may have had the same problem.


  • I have a 99 Protege with about 64K miles on it. Today was the first day that my check engine light has come on in the past 5+ years. I took it to a local trusted certified mechanic and they did the diagonstic and came up with the above code. They took an additional 2 1/2 hours to find out that the exact problem that lead to the code was the EVAP sensor above the intake hose and the sensor itself has to be replaced. I already paid about $400 for both the diagnositc and work to find out what the problem was. My question is, has anyone heard about this before, and if so what did you do about it?


  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    I have replaced the alternator belt and power steeing belt twice now on my '95 as preventative maintenance. The first time I used Gates belts and followed the manual for tension and had no problems. The second time I used some belt from Pep Boys (not Gates) and did it the same way and got squeeling from the Alt. belt. So I had to go back under and re-tighten it. I am not quite sure if the belt stretched or if it just required more tension than spec. It works fine now. So I would say that a belt is not a belt. As far as the alternator, I am impressed with the quality of this part on my '95. 178K miles and still working great. I will pay the price when it does fail and get a new Mazda alternator. Rebuilds and even new AC/Delco alternators have not performed nearly as long in other cars that I have owned.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    This is the second time. The first time, the CEL was lit by a clogged port on the EGR valve. I suspect this will be the same as there are no other symptoms, and the CEL came on as the car was moving (same as the last time).


    I'll get the code read at the local Autozone to confirm, but I suspect the EGR valve has a clogged port again.


    Taking the car in to have this done (or doing it myself) is a pain. Especially if it's going to do this every few thousand miles. I might get into the habit of ignoring the CEL if that's the case.


    What I'd like to know is what could cause this to happen and how to prevent it from happening again? Please let me know your thoughts. I'll check the plugs and wires, air filter and inspect and blow out (with canned air) the vacuum hoses connected to the EGR valve. I'll also check the vacuum hose to the PCV valve (or what I take to be said hose). I'd like to solve the root cause.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Joe mentioned in message 2288 replacing belts (alternator and power steering) and the efficiency of the alternator on his 95 Pro. I'd be interested in hearing from other Pro owners about parts and repairs. Could you include when the repair was required (miles driven) and whether the repair was easy to do?


    According to the Consumer Reports 2005 Buying Guide overall reliability of the Pro is better than average for an extended period.


    Three key trouble spots were reported by owners of older Pros to CR:

    - Air conditioning (1996 model)

    - Brakes (in 1996 and 1997 models)

    - Exhaust (in 1996 model)


    p.s. the information in CR covers 1996 to 2003 models.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    It was logged as P0402, which claims excessive flow through the EGR valve. However, as noted in an ASA-certified tech's posting on another site, for Proteges of later vintage, this actually means reduced flow through the EGR valve (because of the way the sensors are used).


    The clerk at Autozone was nice enough to clear the CEL. We'll see if it pops up again though, as posts on other sites mention that this code can be logged under certain conditions when there are no problems with the EGR valve (cold, wet weather, almost-empty tank, lots of short trips...all pretty much what has been going on with my Protege since winter weather really set in). The clerk at Autozone mentioned that dirty exhaust can foul the intake port of an EGR valve and that a filter can help prevent this, though they don't stock any for Proteges. Hmm. Doesn't sound like it would hurt to ask the parts department for one, though it sounds like it's almost time for a tune-up (I will likely get the 60k service done this spring).


    Anyhow, any guidance on where the EGR valve is on a 1.6L '99LX, and how to clean its ports? I think I've located it, but am not sure. :)
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    "any guidance on where the EGR valve is on a 1.6L '99LX, and how to clean its ports?"


    You may want to borrow a copy of the Chilton Haynes guide to the Protege from your local public library. It has pretty detailed steps and illustrations.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    I don't think to check the library for auto service books for some reason.
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    I've regularly posted on this board about my car and parts/repairs over the last few years. Try paging back through the months/years.


    The trouble spots CR lists jibe with my car for A/C and Exhaust. The clutch on the A/C compressor gave out at 150K miles and 7 years. The muffler cracked at the welded flange at around 110K miles and 5 years. The brakes have been really good and only in the last 15K miles have I started to notice an occasional pop sound. This may be a sticking front caliper as the pads are still good (first set lasted 120K miles). I will get this fixed soon.


    Repairs have ranged from easy to hard for a shade tree mechanic like myself. Easy- spark plugs, oil/filter, radiator flush, rear muffler, air filter, battery, secondary O2 sensor, bulbs, air intake snorkle, EGR valve. Moderatley difficult- front/rear struts, primary O2 sensor, secondary cooling fan, belts. Difficult- fuel filter, exhaust manifold. I leave the really tough stuff like timing belts, water pumps, and CV axles to the pros.


    Some of the repairs I listed were preventative, like the struts. Many people just igonore a mushy suspension on their 10 year old Honda or Toyota (CR readers). Also, some junkyard parts I have come across have been a steal. Like a 3 year old OEM muffler for $6. But that is countered by a $50 Mazda air intake snorkle.


    There are minor things I would change about the car, but overall I really like my '95 Protege LX 5 speed.
  • I've had the same issue w/my '03 automatic Protege. I've had 3 transmissions put in all under warranty. The current tranny will rev from a stop upto about 3500RPM & then hesitate to shift into 2nd from 1st. Its as if I'm driving a manual and have the cluth depressed while accelerating. It also has the same issue with doing a sort of sputter like it wants to die, but then takes right off. I read somewhere it might be a mass airflow sensor(I think thats the part)? What does that do? Aside from that I have had a metallic grunt/rattle coming from the underside of my car under the engine compartment for months! The first time I was told it was the gas tank heat shield so I had to get a new gas tank and heat shield. Problem not solved. It's been in the shop about 7x for this issue. Mazda keeps saying my car is fine mechanically but obviously not if there is this noise. It happens after the car is heated up to normal operating temp. and when accelerating. Last time in the shop, Mazda said a different heat shield was the cause of the noise. They said it was warped and so they repositioned it. Why not replace it?! A week went by and no noise until 2 nights ago. Any suggestions as how Mazda can fix these issues? I just want my car fixed.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Thanks a bunch, Joe!


    A friend of mine clued me into the scrapyards, they're a great source for parts. What are your favorite web sources for auto parts?
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    I'm going to hit the library this weekend to check the service guide. Autozone doesn't have a comparable part, so I'll just clean it out when I have it apart.


    Yeah, I replaced a number of vacuum and coolant hoses in my '89 323LX around 9 years. None looked like they were going to blow, but I figured that was old enough. I did the struts and springs too. I'll probably have the same done to my '99LX around the same time.
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    I bought a used exhaust manifold from out of Atlanta, GA with success. Good used parts for my Mazda are scare in this area as the junkyards typically have only one similar car and it's usually well picked over.


    I have bought several new Mazda parts recently from Trussville Mazda in Birmingham, AL I was happy with the purchases. Trussville offers 20% off list price, so when you add in shipping it is slightly cheaper for me than buying from my local Mazda dealer. Orders are over the phone by 800 number, so you have to know exactly what part you need or be able to describe it clearly to their parts guy. I bought an air intake snorkle and a secondary cooling fan from Trussville. I suppose the local dealer might price match Trussville, but if they really want my parts business then they should make the effort to advertise on the net like Trussville does. It sure would be great if all dealers advertised parts (with diagrams) on the net and competition drove part prices down.


    With more basic parts like struts, EGR valve, etc., I purchase locally from either Auto Zone, Advance, Pep Boys, or O'Reillys which are the local stores in this area. Easy returns if needed.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Though I discovered that Motor publishes a much nicer service manual than Chiltons or Haynes. However, none had illustrations on where the EGR valve is or how to clean it (just text). However, the local library didn't have recent-enough editions to cover the '99 and later Proteges.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    What a coincidence as I just found an incredible new publication in my public library: Chilton's Asian Service manual. It includes everything from the Acura to the Mazda in volume 1. An amazing work! Not only does it give information about the Protege, Mazda3, Mazda6, etc. but you can also peruse the sections of Honda and other manufacturers to get an idea how they handle brakes, air conditioning, etc. The Mazda section is about a hundred pages and includes drawings and general directions. The earlier Chilton book on the Protege is more specific and detailed (in other words, it's a good thing to look out for in used bookstores).


    For a description of this book, see:
  • i have a 99 lx pro and i had a break job done by a friend and at first things were fine then i had a prob with break fade after having that fixed i had the best brakes of any car i had ever had now right b4 i come to a complete stop i hear a crunching sound i dont know what its from ... any info would be helpful
  • i have a 99 lx pro and when i turn i hear a squeeling i was wondering if anyone knew what it was and also in the morning sometimes when i put the car in reverse i hear a squeel
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    In the troubleshooting section of the Haynes guide for the Protege 1990-2000, it says:

    "Noise (high pitched squeal when the brakes are applied): Front and/or rear disc brake pads worn out. The noise comes from the wear sensor rubbing against the disc (does not apply to all vehicles). Replace pads with new ones immediately Chapter 9)."


    You may want to visit your local garage to check.
  • thanks but someone said that it may b due to loose clamps and i dont think the pads are worn cause the brakes were just put on
  • Hi,


    I have a Mazda protege 1998. I bought it when it had 40 K on it. Following are the things I took care of when my vehicle was close to 45 K. I changed the transmission fluid and the tires. At around 58 K I got the timing belt changed and other associated repairs. Around 63K the car started to make a squeaking noise. The mechanic said that I had worn out belts. He changed the belts (frankly I dont know which ones) and the water pump. He said the pump change goes with the belt change. Anyway, the car worked fine after that but at around 65 K the squeaking started again. Progressively it has gotten louder and louder.


    Following are the symptoms


    (1)Squeaking starts as soon as the car is on.

    (2)Increase in acceleration is causing more squeaking.

    (3)The squeaking is for the first 5 minutes only. After that my car runs like a real Mazda.

    (4)Squeaking is usually during cold weather.

    (5)Rainy days and an unusual warm winter day results in minimal or no squeaking.


    This may not be associated with squeaking but my car is idling very rough when in gear. The entire car vibrates when I idle in gear. Moving to neutral quietens the vibration considerably.


    Can someone suggest what repairs need to be done and an approximation of how much it will cost.


    I am a still a student. Looking for minimal financial hit
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Tigthen your accessory belt that turns the power steering pump (check your manual). It sounds loose. There's also a spray sometimes called "belt dressing" that temporarily removes the squeal by increasing the friction between your belt and the pulleys, but I'd still make sure you have enough tension in your accessory belts.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Make sure your caliper's piston is able to move freely. Sounds like it may be sticking.


    Also check the flatness of your rotors. If they're warped, they push the piston back, which: 1) prevents the brake pads from keeping the rotor surfaces clean through constant slight contact (which can cause the grinding noise as surface corrosion and contamination accumlate on the rotor) 2) increases the distance the piston needs to travel to a) touch the inner rotor surface and b) pull the caliper to touch the outer pad against the outer rotor surface.


    Also, bleed your brake lines to make sure you don't have air in them. Any air in them will make your brakes feel weak and spongy. Afterwards, make sure the bleed screws/valves are shut completely.
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