Last post on Sep 19, 2013 at 3:03 AM
You are in the Mazda Protege
What is this discussion about?
Mazda Protege, Sedan
Aug 24, 2004 (10:38 am)
That's like asking the proverbial question, "Mr. Owl, how many licks DOES it take to get to the bottom of a Tootsie Pop?"
The world may never know.
However, as the former owner of two '92s and now an '00 and an '02, and a veteran Edmunds member, I can offer the following enlightenment from a post made on this same discussion four years ago (which you could have found yourself, FYI, by using the "Search This Discussion" window on this page):
"According to the canonical list compiled by the Gates Rubber Company, the '94 Protegé does have a belt, and Mazda recommends that you change it out every 60,000 miles. And if Gates is correct, this engine is free-running (as opposed to an interference fit), which means that if the belt breaks, the engine will stop, but actual damage is unlikely. The procedure, as I understand it, doesn't require any special tools, but it is a bit on the complicated side."
That said, I changed the belt on my 1992 LX -- same engine as in your 1994 -- but it took an entire day and resulted in an expanded vocabulary and several ounces of blood-letting.
It's gonna cost you a pretty penny -- several thousand of them in fact. Probably in the neighborhood of $300. (The belt itself is less than $50.) But if your car hasn't had a major service (like the 60,000-mile one that your aunt probably didn't do either), it's time to stop expecting everything and maintaining nothing! Get the car in for a major service and have the timing belt changed.
$300 is pitiful little insurance for another 60K miles for a "mint condition" engine, as you call it. (You can recoup some of the labor in this labor-intensive job by having them replace the other belts while they've got the engine torn down -- use this as an opportunity to put a little pre-emptive maintenance back into this car that has served your family so well for a decade.)
Unless you're planning on selling it in the next couple of months -- then you can unload it on some poor unsuspecting sucker. But the fact that it has a new timing belt just might cinch the deal then, too ...
#2245 of 3742 Re: Ben ... [mdaffron]
Aug 24, 2004 (10:56 am)
Thanks for the quick response. I really didn't want to spend any maintenance money on the car since my aunt pretty much just gave it away and I have 2 other cars to maintain (TSX and Maxima). The car is definitely serving our family well. It is still very peppy and the a/c is still very very cold a few seconds after startup. I had so much fun driving it the first time again. I just called the dealer this morning and they wanted $599 for the timing belt which is why I'm hesitating. Yikes!
Aug 24, 2004 (11:03 am)
Well, you're not under warranty anymore ... why not price it at Joe's Engine Repair over on Elm Street?
(As timing belts go, it's pretty straightforward -- any mechanic should be able to do it.)
Let's put it this way. Your profile says you live in New York. So your Protege has been through 10 winters and 10 summers. Timing belts are made of rubber (and a few other things, but mostly rubber). Rubber stiffens, cracks and wears out over time and temperature changes.
If you plan to keep this car for any more than a few more months, you're going to have to wind up putting a timing belt on it anyway ... either when you choose to, or when the car decides enough is enough and leaves you stranded out on a dark highway in the middle of the night. (Then you can add towing charges to the cost of that belt.)
You've already cheated fate by 11,000 miles and managed to stretch -- probably literally -- 118 percent of the life out of the original belt. Congratulations.
Now change the belt.
#2247 of 3742 Re: Wowch!!! [mdaffron]
Aug 25, 2004 (9:18 am)
Okay... you've convinced me. =) Gotta find a reputable mechanic now. Thanks!
#2248 of 3742 Fuel Filter removal
Aug 30, 2004 (9:03 am)
Hi. Anyone replaced the fuel filter on a 94 Mazda Protege DX? I'm having difficulty removing the fuel filter. I'm unable to loosen the bracket screw and can't seem to find a tool that will work. The area is tight and really hard to get any play doing it from under the hood. I've used a plier, an open and socket wrench. Any pointers? Thanks in advance.
#2249 of 3742 Re: Fuel Filter removal
Sep 02, 2004 (7:15 am)
Nevermind. I went to my dad's mechanic and it took them half an hour to remove it. They used a snake socket to remove the bracket screw, a crowbar to hold in place the bracket when removing and reinstalling the fuel filter, and the car lift to remove and replace the bottom hose.
Sep 02, 2004 (10:41 am)
- Thanks for the info - doesn't sound like anything I want to try on my own!
#2251 of 3742 Air Conditioning? on a 1999 Protege
Sep 05, 2004 (9:57 am)
My 1999 Protege ES has been screeching on startup for several months now. I took it to a tuneup place and replaced the belts, however they said the problem was that the a/c compressor bearings were bad, so it wouldn't turn initially, thus the belt screeching. They quoted about $800 for the repair, including the a/c recharge. Does this make sense?
Sep 07, 2004 (2:53 pm)
70,000 miles, no recent problems with my 2000 Protege. I'm not really driving it much any more, it'll probably get parked in the garage for the winter months.
Sep 07, 2004 (3:04 pm)
...that the Mazda3 "problems" forums has half as many messages already as the equivalent Protege forum? You may want to keep those Proteges just a little while longer.........