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Mazda Protege, Sedan
#1598 of 3742 1999 Protege ES 5-speed Update
Apr 17, 2003 (9:25 am)
I haven't posted here in about 1 1/2 years so I thought I'd give an update now. The Protege used to be my car, bought it new in 1999, but now my wife drives it most of the time. I now drive a 2001 Hyundai Elantra GT and love it - not knocking the Protege though!
Our 1999 Protege ES 5-speed (last year for 1.8 liter DOHC engine) is doing very well at 78,000 miles! Outside of regular maintenance, the only issue we have had (besides a freaky broken water pump fin at 5,000 miles-replaced under warranty) was having to replace the alternator at 68,000 miles. Even better is the fact that we did not have to replace the ORIGINAL front brake pads until 72,000 miles! And the original rear brake pads are still in fairly decent condition.
My only depressing thought, after reading some of the previous posts about timing belt replacement, is that we had the timing belt replaced at 75,000 miles, as the Mazada dealer told us he had seen several Proteges come into his shop with broken timing belts (and destroyed engines, of course) at only 65,000 miles. Now I feel he was simply trying to make a service sale and it has me very mad! The timing belt replacement cost around $400, which was money we did not really have.
So, for anyone living in the Nashville, TN area, I would avoid the service department at the Mazda dealership in Franklin, TN, as I feel they cannot be trusted.
We plan to keep this Protege (I had a previous 1992 model that was flawless) for quite some time!
Apr 17, 2003 (9:28 am)
The Proteges have non-interference engines, meaning if the belt breaks, the engine won't go with it. Sounds like they were screwing with you.
Apr 17, 2003 (10:04 am)
Long time no talk to. Remember me?
Very interesting post. My 2000 ES has 53,500 miles on it, and it too is still on its original brakes! You just made my day; maybe there IS hope that the brakes will pass state inspection next month after all. I've been meaning to pull off a wheel and check them, but frankly I've been scared to look!
I usually try to arrange having my timing belt replaced at the same time I do a major service where I plan to replace all of the belts. It's the labor that makes it so darned expensive. I remember one year, while in college, I told my dad I wanted a timing belt (for my Hyundai, by the way) for Christmas. He didn't understand and actually went out and BOUGHT the belt and wrapped it! Upon opening I said to myself, "gee, thanks a lot for the $45 belt" and then went off to find the 250 extra bucks I needed to pay for the labor. Thanks Dad ...
I also owned a 1992 LX (two of them, actually) and it was running like the proverbial top at 83,000 miles when I (stupidly) got rid of it. I'm hoping my 2000 does at least as well as yours. BTW, how much did the alternator replacement set you back?
Apr 17, 2003 (10:10 am)
>>>Sounds like they were screwing with you.<<<
sound like??.....THEY DID SCREW HIM.....
Apr 17, 2003 (10:22 am)
"I would avoid the service department at the Mazda dealership in Franklin, TN"
Funny - That is where Mazda American Finance is located, or least where I send my payments.
Apr 17, 2003 (11:33 am)
We have something in common. Your comment just made me check ... yes, my wife's payment goes to Mazda American Credit at that address too. (I'm the bill payer in the family.)
Nice -- my Protege's financed at a local bank. I make drive-thru payments (or sometimes while grocery shopping since they're teamed up with the city's most popular supermarket chain) and save a stamp, and my payment never gets delayed by snail mail! Heck, I even got a free interest checking account and free checks when I got the loan!
(I could opt for direct withdrawal from my account, making the whole payment thing totally transparent, but I don't like people's electronic hands in my electronic pockets. Besides, I enjoy the "countdown to zero" feeling I get each time I tear off one of those payment coupons. Only 26 to go ...)
Apr 17, 2003 (4:27 pm)
I haven't done it on a pro, but timing belt replacement is not beyond the average DIYSer. Just make sure yu get the cams lined up properly with the crank.
Apr 21, 2003 (10:57 pm)
I have a '93 Mazda protege DX (MT) with 145K. I've owned it since new and it still runs like a jem. Recently I began to experience a noise coming from the front left wheel as the steering is turned from left to right and around 10 - 30 mph. I took it to the dealer who suggested replacing the wheel bearings ($200). After a few days I still noticed the noise. Returned to the dealer who now now said it may be the axle. I replaced the axle assembly on the left to include a new CV joint ($300).
Well now I have $500 invested and still the noise. I returned to the dealer today who says I'll have to leave the car as "it will take time to isolate the noise". Has anyone experienced this problem? Any suggestions?
#1606 of 3742 Finally found an answer to the mysterious jerk/jolt
Apr 22, 2003 (4:44 am)
ALL 1999 and 2000 Protege Owners, take note:
DTC'S P1633, P1631, P0173 UNSTABLE IDLE/STALLING
0003500 Dealer Repair Information
Customer may experience one or more of the following:
* Charge light on
* DTC P0173 (caused by excessive noise in O2 sensor circuit)
* DTC P1631
* DTC P1633
* Unstable Idle (Surging) under electical loads (cooling fans, rear
* Stalling coming to a stop or at a stop, due to the unstable idle.
Condition may be caused by excessive voltage spikes and/or noise
produced within the alternators that had an incorrectly soldered
condencer and were installed in vehicles produced in March,
April and May of 1999.
If you incounter a vehicle with this concern replace the alternator
and verify repair.
Copyright © Mazda North American Operations
Apr 22, 2003 (8:04 pm)
Are you sure you are not hearing the steering?
If the pump is weak or low on fluid, or the belt is slipping, yu can get noise at full lock, although this does not sound like bad bearings or a bad CV joint.