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You are in the Mazda Protege
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Mazda Protege, Sedan
#2175 of 3742 Some recommendations please
Jun 07, 2004 (9:49 am)
Hello, Mazda owners! I'm considering buying a 1994 Mazda Protege AT with 114,000 miles for my son who is coming home from Europe in a couple of months. I have owned a 1988 Mazda 323 and he had a terrific 1990 626 hatchback that he sold before he went to Europe, still running fine at 165,000 miles. Any of you still have older Proteges out there? Have they held up well? He just needs a cheap reliable car he can drive for a year or so before he takes off somewhere else. Thanks for your suggestions!
Jun 07, 2004 (10:56 am)
My 1992 LX was running fine at 83,000 miles when I traded it in 10 years ago.
My current car is a 2000 Protege ES with 75,000 miles on it, running fine.
Can you find one newer than 10 years old though?
#2177 of 3742 suggestions...
Jun 08, 2004 (7:21 am)
Hi all, have been a past participant in this forum, and still read it weekly, well....ok almost daily... Have had 3 Pros over the years, but now the only one is my 22 year old daughter's 2002 LX. I am about to embark on a cross country trip in this car with her, (bringing her back home to Tucson, from Detroit)and have several questions for you knowledgable folks.
First, the car has about 45,000 miles (I think) and hasn't had spark plugs or wires replaced. I know from personal history, that the wires can be an issue...at least they were on her 1996 LX. We will have only a few hours to pack up her car and get on the road Monday after I arrive by plane...do we change them out, or wait till we get to Tucson, and I have my tools and other resources. (we have no tools or even covered parking in the apt complex she is leaving in Detroit). I could bring some tools on the plane, if someone can advise exactly what tools are needed. The car has been running fine lately, and she even commented on getting 30 MPG on the last tank.
Second, can anyone from around the Detroit area recommend the best roads to take to begin the trip....AAA office provided trip-tik showing I75 south to almost Dayton, then I70 west to St. Louis. The web based AAA trip-tik suggests taking I94 to somewhere near Chicago, then south on I 57. Anyone have local experience with these roads? Is one way less congested or less construction? Thanks for any and all advice
#2178 of 3742 I'd avoid Chicago, if you could.
Jun 09, 2004 (11:44 am)
It always seems busy around there whenever I drive up. I've driven I-75 between Cincinnati and Detroit several times. South of Detroit, it's pretty open. There is currently construction work on the I-75/I-70 interchange, but traffic is still open in all directions as they build the new ramps.
So far as the wires and plugs, you'll need a metric socket set (I forget the size for the ones that hold down the coil-over plug packs, but it's a small one, like 9 or 10mm), including a deep one designed for spark plugs (metric) and an extension (those plugs are in deep) of at least 3 inches in length. Get some anti-seize compound for use on the threads of the new plugs to help removing them when it's time to replace those. And have a gapping tool to verify the spark plug gaps. The ones I buy from Mazda (NGKs, I think) come pre-gapped and have a shipping cardboard tube around the terminals to protect them.
FWIW, I replaced my plugs at 30k miles, but am still on the original wires at 52k miles. I plan to change both at 60k miles. I'm averaging 31mpg on my '99 ProLX with the 1.6L engine and AT in mostly local driving. No symptoms of worn wires yet.
#2179 of 3742 Replace your wires.
Jun 10, 2004 (5:32 am)
They usually only last about 30K to 40K, and even if they haven't failed completely (hard to miss while your engine sits there and sputters), they've probably already broken down somewhat and started to short out. I replace mine every 30,000 miles or so. When I did it last, about 5,000 miles ago, I noticed an immediate difference in engine smoothness and a MPG increase of about 1-2 mpg.
#2180 of 3742 Secondary Cooling Fan Replaced
Jun 13, 2004 (8:22 pm)
I replaced the secondary cooling fan today in my '95 Protege LX (172K miles). At first I thought the ringing-buzzing type noise was the A/C clutch since it came on when I turned on the A/C and I have experienced this problem on other cars before. But an A/C shop diagnosed it when they did a routine check on the system and topped off the R134.
The electric fan motor was about $50 new from Mazda and it took me an hour to do in the driveway. I usually curse when doing repairs on small cars with tight engine bays, but this was actually pretty easy.
First remove the plastic shield above the radiator, the metal shield on the back of the fan motor, and the two bolts holding the secondary fan assembly to the radiator. Then unbolt the bracket holding the radiator to the frame and tilt it forward to allow just enough room to slide the secondary fan assembly out through the front. Swap the fan motors, reattach the blade with locktite and nut and pop it back in.
Cheers to the engineers who designed the drop-in fans and the floating/rubber damper type setup for the radiator. It sure made this repair much easier.
#2181 of 3742 Clunking noise
Jun 16, 2004 (12:27 pm)
My 2000 Pro has been doing the same clunking described
by several people here. I have it at the dealership as
I write and their diagnosis was the "sway bar links",
which I assume means the bushings. Anyway, the good
news is the Mazda Extended Protection Plan is covering
the repairs and a loaner car, as they need to keep it
Jun 16, 2004 (12:34 pm)
hey guys (and gals) -
2002 and 2003 Pro's are the same, right? all come with the 2.0 liter in DX, LX, or ES, right? is this the infamous 2.0 from the 626 that had issues?
also, at 130hp, it seems kind of underpowered for a 2.0 liter. with an automatic, can a person driving a LOT (she has a 60 mile round trip commute each day at least) expect anywhere near 30mpg's in real life? or is it Civic/Corolla time to get better mileage.
looking at 02 and 03 automatics, preferably with ABS and bags. good deals to be had on the inventory due to depreciation and the new 3 coming out.
thanks for the input!
BTW, my 99 Miata gets 30mpgs, and i sit in rush hour traffic, but it is also a 1.8, not a 2.0. and it is a stick of course. hoping the Pro can get at least that much since it won't be driven as "hard" as i drive my Miata.
#2183 of 3742 Justin's questions.
Jun 18, 2004 (6:45 am)
I don't recall much difference between 2002/2003 models. I think there was a slight change to the P5 midway through the 2003 model year (subwoofer instead of roof rack being standard, I think).
The 2.0L in my wife's '03 P5 feels plenty fine, even with the AT (of course, my car is a '99 ProLX with the 1.6L engine and an AT). She gets about 28-29mpg in mixed driving (mostly highway, but it's rush-hour-type highway). She gets about 32-33mpg in non-stop highway driving. The sedan, being lighter and more aerodynamic, will do a little better. The Civic and Corolla will do better, mpg-wise, as their engines and transmissions are set-up more for fuel economy than acceleration-feel (though both will out-accelerate a comparably-equipped Protege/P5, though I think they sound kind of nasty when pushed that hard). I think both cars have taller top gears for highway cruising than the Protege.
Other than the fuel economy, my wife likes her P5 very much. Her previous car, a Saturn SL2 ('91) got much better fuel economy on the freeway, though not any better in local driving. It was a better highway cruiser (taller top gear again and more aerodynamic shape), though I thought its engine had a coarse note to it.
#2184 of 3742 Re: Clunking noise [pkuehn #2181]
Jun 21, 2004 (10:54 am)
I was also experiencing the same problem and took my car (2000 ES 53k) today to a local repair shop ... the guy insists that the sway bar bushings and the struts are fine; he told me that the front rotors may need to be replaced !! The brake pads were changed 1.5 yrs ago (at around 35k) at that time they had told me that the rotors were fine ... I am having difficult time to believe that "this clunking" is related to wharped rotors? I may need to take the car to a Mazda dealership; do you have any idea how much this would cost?