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Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair



  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    1. is it effective to use a fuel system cleaner like Techron/STP? will it not damage the car's engine or fuel system?

    In Autotalk, a local tv show here in Canada devoted to automobile care, this very question came up and the answer offered by the three auto experts was: it will not do any harm but neither will it do much good (apart from giving you a sense of relief that you have done something); the reason: these "bottled" cleaners have a very low level of detergent. The experts noted that many gasolines come with a detergent already that does the job to a certain degree; but if you need to get it done right you need to bring it into the shop to get it done professionally.

    p.s. the cleaning service I hear recommended more often is for the throttle body (also called a motorvac). This gets gummed up over the years and requires a solvent to clean a flap that may not be opening and closing properly.
  • where is the EGR located exactly? i know it's near the throttle body.
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    On my '95 it is located right behind and underneath the intake manifold (which it connects into) near the center. It has an electrical clip on top that is very visible. The top of the EGR valve is round, metal, and disk looking. The Haynes repair manual has a good diagram.
  • Do you have any more info on this? My 2000 protege has started downshifting on the freeway and the o/d light blinks. My mechanic has read a bunch of tech bulletins and is guessing it is the speed sensor sending false date to the atx about how fast the care is going, thus the downshifts. It's going to cost me just shy of $400 to see if his guess is right.
  • harbihoharbiho Posts: 8
    Hi......first post here.

    A few months ago, I bought my 99 LX (1.6L) from the original owner who mentioned that when the weather gets hot, the car won't start after being driven for more than 15 minutes.

    Since it has been a relatively cool winter, I din't experience it until the other day...... 80+ degrees outside and I took it on an 80 mile trip. When I got to my destination, I shut off the ignition for about 30 minutes or so. When it was time to leave, it would crank over but not fire up. I had to pump on the gas a few times before it finally did.

    On the way home, I hit traffic. After about 20 minutes of stop and go, I noticed the temp gauge go up to about 3/4 and my engine started stumbling. I finally pulled in to a parking lot where I attempted to fire it up to no avail. So I let it cool down for another 20 minutes or so and it finally did. I then just sprinted it home and while moving, the temp gauge never went past the normal <1/2.

    I suspect that I have a faulty Coolant Temperature sensor; but I am stumped as to why the temperature would creep up like that. Maybe it thinks it is running hotter than it really is....thus leaing out the mixture = heating up the engine.

    The fans seem to be working though.

    Can someone help me on this?
  • sambo4sambo4 Posts: 22
    You don't mention if you've ever changed the coolant, or if the thermostat is okay. Assuming that's the case, does it overheat on the highway? If not, then your rad and coolant and thermostat should not be a problem.
    If it's only during stop and go traffic, I'd say it's your fans. You can check the driver-side fan by lifting the hood, turn on the A/C, and that fan will go on automatically. The other fan is secondary, and will go on at certain temperatures. If neither go on you could check the fuses in the engine compartment. And finally, you could check each fan by removing them and test them (with wires attached to the battery- maybe someone else could explain better). You should be able to find used ones 10 times cheaper than new ones.Very easy to install.
    You say you're not sure if it's a sensor- does the coolant seem hot, and does it over-fill into the reservoir? If so, then the car is overheating.
    My best guess is that your rad is reaching the end of the line, and one of your fans is starting to burn out.
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    Surprisingly, a new secondary radiatior fan from a Mazda dealer was only $60 including home delivery. It is easy to replace too, if this is part of your problem.
  • sambo4sambo4 Posts: 22
    Could be same problem I had.
    I've got a 2000 Protege 1.6 ltr. On the highway driving at 100 km/hr, it would suddenly shift into 3rd gear, and the "O/D Off" light would start flashing. Pressing the O/D button would not change anything. I would have to bring the vehicle to almost a full stop in order to stop "O/D Off" light from blinking. Then within 15 minutes it would repeat itself.
    I spoke with a few mechanics that informed me that the PCM is simply going into "Safe Mode" when it does that, similiar to a home computer.
    I then went to get a scan- some transmission shops are offering a free reading, but the first one I went to tried to rip me off, by telling me there was something wrong with 2nd and 3rd gears, and that I would need to spend about $ 2,000.00 in repairs. I got suspicious when he said he'd do it cheaper if I paid cash.
    I then got a second opinion and it turned out to be the Throttle Position Sensor. It cost me $100 for the sensor and $ 60 for labour. Although after watching the mechanic, I could have easily have done the job myself, I was just happy to save thousands.
    I've had no problems since.
    If possible, when you get the scan done, try to get a print out.
  • harbihoharbiho Posts: 8

    I checked the paperwork and the coolant was changed but over a year ago.

    The temperature seems to be just fine when I drive it on the freeway. It just started to creep up on stop and go.

    Checked the fans and they seem to be working. Both with the AC on and when the engine reaches temp.

    I plan to have the radiator checked soon. Maybe have it pressure checked or something. We'll see.

    I do wonder why the no-start condition though. I don't see the coolant reservoir overfill at all. :cry:
  • sambo4sambo4 Posts: 22
    Okay, when you're driving on the highway, the fans would make no difference whether they work or not, because you're getting enough cool wind from the speed.
    But if your rad wasn't any good, even on the highway it would over-heat, because the engine is working hard. So the rad is still not totally gone yet.
    The part about the coolant overfilling: Next time the gauge goes higher than 3/4, try pulling over and shutting the car off. When you lift the hood, if it is overheating, you'd see the coolant transfering into the reservoir.
    Also, if the fans are turning, are they going fast enough?
    Or are they just barely turning?
    And, is the problem worse with the A/C on? When you notice the car starting to overheat, turning off the A/C should help.
    I'm not sure about the no-start. I believe the over-heating is contributing to the problem.
  • I just worked on a '98 Mazda Protege. Replaced the brake pads for a friend of mine. I live about an hour away and everything sounded and felt fine when she left. She called later and said that now her brakes are making a grinding noise (the metal on metal sound you would hear if your brake pads are about completely gone). This noise was not evident when she left. I'm going to check it out tomorrow and thought I'd get some opinions before I head out there. Anyone know what might cause it to do that? I know the brake pads are fine...and if anyone told me about that kind of noise brake pads are my first thought. But..since it's not that. Also, I can't be entirely sure it's coming from the brakes since I haven't heard it. Anyway...throw out any and all ideas you guys have. Thanks!!
  • Updated to above. I drove her car this morning, and the grinding noise is constant. It does sound like it's coming from the brake area. When you first start driving you don't hear it, even when braking, if you're going slow. Once you pick up speed, you hear this grinding/scraping noise continually and it gets louder when you brake. I haven't had a chance to look yet as we're both at work. My first thought might be the caliper piston is frozen. Anyway....please any suggestions???
  • bluetoothlessbluetoothless southeast floridaPosts: 15
    Found a 2000 Protege LX with 58K miles that appears to be in great shape. I performed a CARFAX search on it and found four entries regarding electrical system needing service. First was at 7K,then 11K, 18K, and 30K. The third, but first private owner was not aware of this history, but admitted to having similar problems to your description. Had it repaired at one dealer, but it re-appeared a week later. They had a relative that managed at a Toyota dealership and a tech drove the car to and from work for a week After a period the symptom presented itself and according to the onboard diagnostics it was the cam sensor. They replaced it for a cost of $174 and the problem has not re appeared. The relative was very confident that the problem was truly resolved. I am considering buying this for my 17 y/o daughter for $5-5.5K and consumer reports ranks it above average for reliability. Any comments?
  • harbihoharbiho Posts: 8
    Actually, when it reached up to 3/4, I didn't see any overflow to the reservoir.

    However, when I turned on the ignition (not starting the engine), I noticed that the fans did not turn on. Aren't the fans supposed to go on when I turn on the ignition?

    If so, are the coolant fan switches wired for 2 speeds? Maybe it turns on for the lower temp setting (thus slower fan setting), but does not switch to the high fan speed setting when it should.

    I'll do a complete cooling system revamp......change the fan switch and the engine/fuel injection's coolant temperature sensor, and flush the radiator this week.

    Let's see if that fixes it.
  • sambo4sambo4 Posts: 22
    I was on another site that had almost the identical problem, except that it was a 1995 model, and the expert first suggested to scan for fault codes; maybe it is the coolant sensor; and also "check rubber air intake boots for cracks".
  • davemacdavemac Posts: 1
    My first thought was one of the dust shields was accidentally bent and rubbing rotor. I'm not sure why you don't hear it always. It should be easy to determine if a caliper is hung up as one rotor will be much hotter - and when removing old pads one wheels brakes should have been more worn down then other. Good luck.
  • hboydhboyd Posts: 98
    Get the stored DTCs read by a good ATX shop with high-quality equipment (Snap-on) FIRST. Probably the common P0715 code -- Turbine Speed Sensor (TSS) Malfunction. Relax... the part is officially a "Pulse Generator" according to Mazda and senses ATX gear speeds magnetically. Erratic signals may cause unusual shifting behavior. Part costs about $41 discounted online and if you have someone install it for ya (it's a no brainer), 15 minutes labor tops. Always check the DTCs and troubleshoot related connections/wiring.
  • pete79pete79 Posts: 4

    I have a mazda protege 1993 SE. I have a similar problem... When I start the car (in cold temp), it runs perfectly. When it almost reaches its optimal temp, and I drive in city (lights/traffic), and shift 1/2/3 or just step on the gas while stopped, the engine stumbles too. This can last for 10 minutes and disapears. But if I do highway (from cold engine to full temp) I feel nothing. Again, the difference in my case is that I can always start the car when its fully heated. The problem seems to be gone in summer (I'm from Quebec), but the stumbling came back when I drove through a big puddle of water even with a hot engine. Can the car be sensitive to humidity? I found out it might be the coolant sensor, just like you guys mention, but in my case, the temp gage doesn't show abnormal temps. Engine light doesn't go on either.
    Any advice??
  • sambo4sambo4 Posts: 22
    If it seems sensitive to humidity, or when it's raining out, I would check the ignition wires and/or coil first.
  • sambo4sambo4 Posts: 22
    I forgot to mention that when I had that problem with the ATX ("O/D off" blinking light and tranny slipping into 3rd gear on the highway ) that the air hose was cracked, so air was leaking through. I have since repaired it and changed the TPS, of course, and everything is running fine, but I'm wondering if the cracked air hose wasn't adding to the problem, or if it maybe was the original cause?
  • mshutemshute Posts: 1
    Hello all, recently brought my 99 ES 1.8L to the dealer to check out the A/C since my compressor would not kick in. I was told it was the PCM not sending a ground to the compressor. I'm obviously not going to replace the PCM for $1200 for this but I'm hoping someone can tell me they were diagnosed with this same problem and found an alternate solution. Thanks for any help..
  • sambo4sambo4 Posts: 22
    You can always try a used PCM.
    Where I live, the auto-wreckers sell PCM's for
    Protege for about $100. They come with a 30 - 90 day
    guarantee. I have replaced used electronics and they
    have worked now for years.
    I'm not familiar with the part, and don't know if you
    can change it yourself or not.
    Just call up every wrecker you can until you find one.
  • creon448creon448 Posts: 3
    After having my motor mounts replaced, my transmission failed and needed to be serviced. Since receiving my car from the mechanic, I have noticed that the exhaust note has become very raspy. Moreover, after coming to a complete stop, my car will hesitate breifly when I press the gas. I read on the net that when the transmission is removed for service, that the transmission mounts should be replaced. Is it at all possible that the problems I'm experiencing are related to the transmission mounts?
  • creon448creon448 Posts: 3
    Does anyone know the technical explanation of the o/d button?
  • adisaradisar Posts: 4
    I have a 99 Protege, with 59K on it.
    Recently, it has started blinking the O/D light once in a while, which goes away if i turn off the engine and turn back on. Shifts are somewhat rough. I can also hear some sort of a noise when shifting in lower gears. Hasnt given any problems on the highway yet - works absolutely fine when running at speeds.
    Having read all messages rgding auto-trannies on proteges, can someone give me a couple of options to diagnose issues for the autotransmission?
  • creon448creon448 Posts: 3
    Does anyone know how to safely clean the EGR valve on a 98 Protege?
    I was thinking about adding "SeaFoam", but I would prefer only to apply it to the gas tank and engine oil.
  • sambo4sambo4 Posts: 22
    Here's a few questions:
    1)Is the check engine light on at all?
    2)Have you scanned the engine for a code?
    3)When the "O/D Off" light is blinking, can you
    get into overdrive, or does it stay in 3rd or 2nd gear?
    4)Is the air hose in good shape- no cracks, or air leaking out?

    Okay, just to give you more info, go to this site:
    Then go into page 15, that's DTC TABLE[FS]...01-02B-15
    If you look across the headings, DTC NO.,Condition,MIL,
    then "O/D off indicator light", follow that down to
    P0122 TP circuit low input, and P0123 TP circuit high
    input, you notice that those both show Flashing, right?
    I was informed by a mechanic that the computer does this
    blinking thing just as a safety mode, possibly to prevent
    bigger damage, and it makes the driver stop the car.
    Your car may possibly be in the early stages.

    By the way, I can't take any credit for that other site I
    mentioned, since someone else mentioned it here first.
  • sambo4sambo4 Posts: 22
    I forgot a couple of details when you go into that site:

    Look for ENGINE, then ON-BOARD DIAGNOSTIC [ENGINE CONTROL SYSTEM (FS)], click on 01-02B,

    then go to page 15, DTC TABLE, etc.
  • adisaradisar Posts: 4
    Thanks for that sambo4. I did get the OBD test done, and it returned a P0734 Gear 4 Incorrect Ratio.
    Can anyone tell me what it means? The mechanic said it will be an electrical problem with a solenoid.
    What are my options in this case? I have an extended warranty on this car.
  • adisaradisar Posts: 4
    To reply to your questions:
    1) No check engine light on
    2) P0734 Gear 4 Incorrect Ratio code returned
    3) I will have to check if it goes into 2nd or 3rd if OD light is blinking. Till now it has always happened on local roads, so I have immediately pulled over.
    4) The air hose DOES seem to have some cracks in it, and air IS leaking out.
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