Last post on Sep 19, 2013 at 3:03 AM
You are in the Mazda Protege
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Mazda Protege, Sedan
#1908 of 3742 1999 Protege ES Update
Jan 16, 2004 (12:32 pm)
Been a while, so I thought I'd post an update, even though my for the first 40,000 miles - hehe):
1999 Protege ES 5-speed (1.8 liter)
Mileage: 92,000 miles
Current combined MPG: about 26 (we drive fast on Interstate!)
Issues (most are minor or typical):
(1) 5,000 miles - faulty water pump, replaced for free under warranty
(2) about 60,000 miles - alternator failed, replaced for about $200 (aftermarket part + labor)
(3) about 70,000 miles - replaced timing belt as dealer said it was an interference engine - found out later it is NOT. Oh well, now we won't have to mess with it for quite some time, I hope.
(3) 85,000 miles - spark plug wires needed to be replaced - aftermarket part for about $50.
Currently, the accelerator pedal is sticking, but just needs some lubrication.
Also, getting some hesitation at lower RPMs. Diagnostics (at Auto Zone) says that we may have a failed speed sensor, which is located near the transmission. Part costs about $200 from Mazda and cannot find aftermarket for this part. Doesn't really impact driving very much, so we'll probably wait before replacing that pricey part.
Clutch and transmission and rear brakes are all still original and feel excellent!
Overall the car still has NO rattles, squeaks, or other strange noises and the wife loves it. We plan on keeping it at least until it hits 150,000 miles.
Overall the 1999 Protege is a great car. But it looks like their quality may be coming down a bit in some of the later models. Naughty Ford!!!!
Enjoy! Zoom zoom and all that!
#1909 of 3742 Non-Interference Engine
Jan 16, 2004 (1:05 pm)
I've seen this mentioned a few times, what is it and how does it differ from a regular engine?
#1910 of 3742 Interference v. non.
Jan 16, 2004 (1:37 pm)
It just means that the valves and piston heads occupy the same space but at different times when everything works right. If the timing mechanism goes, then the valves and piston heads occupy the same space at the same time, which is messy, noisy and expensive.
Why design with interference then? More compression = more power or more efficiency or some mixture thereof from the same amount of fuel. This has been one reason Mazda engines have been less efficient than say, Honda's (which are of the interfering type...so it's a good thing they've gone to chains as well...chains fail too, but less frequently...they stretch, but most folks don't keep their cars for that long, which is generally over 150k miles).
Jan 16, 2004 (3:57 pm)
compensate Jan 16, 2004 3:32pm
"Overall the 1999 Protege is a great car. But it looks like their quality may be coming down a bit in some of the later models. Naughty Ford!!!!"
How so? Please explain.
#1912 of 3742 Oxygen Sensor Update
Jan 19, 2004 (7:59 am)
My shop has been hunting around Toronto for a cheap replacement oxygen sensor. The best price they have found so far is $240CDN at a dealer, however, they can't confirm the price until they call Mazda. Apparently dealers haven't had to source this part before so I guess I got the one oxygen sensor in the bunch that was faulty.
compensate, I changed a throttle sensor six months ago, is that the same as your speed sensor? I was annoyed that Mazda wouldn't cover it under the powertrain warranty, its attached the engine as far as I'm concerned!!!
Jan 19, 2004 (3:54 pm)
Are you referring to the Mazda 3 being lower quality than the Pro, or later model years of Protege being inferior to 99?
My 2003 Protege has a few minor squeaks (one in that little dimpled pad on the passenger side dash and one in the right rear door), but otherwise quality appears exceptional, far better than my last 2002 Mitsu Galant, 2001 Saturn L200, 98 and 97 Nissans and about the same as my last Mazda, a 94 323.
My 2003 Protege has panel gaps that look about the same as my friend's BMW, and the best seats I've ever tried in an economy car. I honestly don't see any evidence of Ford tampering or cost-cutting anywhere in the car.
Can't see it in the window sticker either, which indicates 97% Japanese parts content and Hiroshima/Hofu, Japan as the point of final assembly. Last I checked, Ford doesn't have any actual Ford factories in Japan.
The last few iterations of the 626 and the new 6 are made in the United States in joint venture factories with Ford, and the B-seires pickup and the Tribute are badge-engineered Ford products (Tribute had some Joint development, B-series didn't), but the Protege, and the new 3 are made in Japan.
Of course, the 3 is built on a new Ford platform, so that could be what the Ford reference comes from. I also wasn't impressed with the interior switchgear on the 3 as I am with the Protege, but those didn't seem like Ford parts, at least not from any Ford I've ever seen.
I would expect the same longevity out of my 03 Protege as the other poster's 99. Yes, the new one has a 2.0 instead of a 1.8 liter engine, but it is from the same family and both it and the transmission are real Mazda units, not transplanted Fords.
Jan 19, 2004 (4:58 pm)
There may not be Ford parts in the Protege and Mazda3, but I think Ford may have instructed Mazda to lower their design tolerances to lower costs.
#1915 of 3742 design tolerances to lower costs
Jan 19, 2004 (9:26 pm)
Well, what do you expect?
A space vehicle quality for the Yugo prices?
The compact car market in US is extremely competitive and commands lower, not higher prices with every new redesign (adjusted for inflation).
I doubt that there are any design tolerance adjustments.
On the other hand just about every manufacturer employs engineering teams whose whole purpose is to look for cost savings in the designs of just about every part without affecting its reliability expectations.
#1916 of 3742 Ford influence in 3.
Jan 20, 2004 (6:15 am)
It's mostly in the controls in the center stack (rotary audio dials feel good, but everything else feels flimsy and "cheap"). They don't feel up-to-snuff when compared to similar controls in previous Proteges. Hopefully, they'll fix these soon.
Also, you'll note on the 3 hatch that the latch release is at the very bottom of the hatch door, instead of placing it mid-way between the bottom edge and the edge of the rear glass. This eliminates a few parts but places the latch much lower than those on pretty much any other similar vehicle out there. I personally find it too low for comfort.
Also, despite increased numbers on paper, the cabin feels more cramped than the last Protege/P5 except in width. Ford excels at designing cars that feel smaller inside than their dimensions suggest (i.e. Tempo, Contour, Continental, Escort [based upon similar Protege platform, but feels much smaller inside]). The rear seat accomodations in the 3 suffer when compared against the last Protege/P5, especially headroom (and kneeroom to a small extent) in the sedan.
#1917 of 3742 Naughty Ford and Speed Sensor
Jan 20, 2004 (11:21 am)
My response about Mazda's quality in relation to Ford was merely in response to some previous posts I saw here. I don't have any special information or legitimate facts on the topic.
I'm not sure if the throttle sensor and speed sensor are the same part. All I know is that a local Mazda dealer told me it was located on my transmission (manual). It could very well be the same part, but I'm not sure.