Last post on Sep 19, 2013 at 3:03 AM
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Mazda Protege, Sedan
#3504 of 3742 Buying 2002 or 2003 Protege..Need your ADVICE
Jul 05, 2009 (9:54 pm)
I'm looking into buying a 2002 or 2003 Mazda Protege with around 70,000 miles to get to around while I'm still in college. This will be my first car so I would appreciate some advice on the following:
- Is there much difference in reliability between the 2002 and 2003 models?
- Are there things in particular I should look for when I go check out the car? I've read here about the EGR valve, anything I can check for related to that? Any other problems?
- I know it depends on a lot of factors, but overall would you say it is a good purchase that won't give me too much trouble?
Since this will be my first car I am a little nervous about getting a lemon, so I would really appreciate your input.
#3505 of 3742 Re: Buying 2002 or 2003 Protege..Need your ADVICE [jenni81]
Jul 06, 2009 (11:10 am)
Is there much difference in reliability between the 2002 and 2003 models?
No, there is no big difference in reliability.
Are there things in particular I should look for when I go check out the car? I've read here about the EGR valve, anything I can check for related to that? Any other problems?
Rust around the wheel wells can be a problem. Also, check the state of the disc brakes to see that they do not need replacement.
I know it depends on a lot of factors, but overall would you say it is a good purchase that won't give me too much trouble?
Overall, a reliable car. Check Consumer Reports for their recommendations on used cars. To be sure the car has been well maintained ask the seller if they have all the service records and have the car checked at a mechanic of your choosing. Be wary of sellers who do not want to do this. If a seller claims the car is fine they should feel confirdent about it passing this test. Your mechanic will also provide valuable information about items that may need to be addressed in the near future (such as worn tires) so that you can reduce the surprises after your purchase.
Final words about Proteges: great cars!
#3506 of 3742 Re: Buying 2002 or 2003 Protege..Need your ADVICE [jenni81]
Jul 06, 2009 (5:40 pm)
At 70k there are some things you want to know
- How does the transmission perform? Drive it on the highway, noting how the transmission shifts as you accelerate onto the highway and how it downshifts as you decelerate. If you detect anything rough or jerky, or if it fails to stay in overdrive while at speed, stay away.
- When you turn the key on, the Check Engine light will come on momentarily as a test. Make sure it really comes on - otherwise it may have been tampered with. Also make sure the light goes out once the engine is started.
- Pay careful attention to how the car idles in Park, and in gear while stopped. It should idle smooth and not too fast. EGR problems, IAC valve problems, or vacuum leaks will cause idle problems.
- If it has power windows, make sure they all roll up and down.
- Drive slowly over a speed bump or similar, and listen for clunks in either the front end or back. Rear endlinks aren't too expensive to have replaced, but front ones are.
#3507 of 3742 Re: Buying 2002 or 2003 Protege..Need your ADVICE [jenni81]
Jul 06, 2009 (6:42 pm)
Really, really good advice there. Thanks a lot downtube and autonomous.
To clarify, you mentioned,
Pay careful attention to how the car idles in Park, and in gear while stopped
I assume this is for an automatic transmission? If so, then for a manual does the same apply when idling in neutral?
Also if anyone else has some other input it would be appreciated.
#3508 of 3742 Re: Buying 2002 or 2003 Protege..Need your ADVICE [jenni81]
Jul 07, 2009 (6:27 pm)
Yes, the same for a manual transmission in neutral. Most people prefer an automatic (not me), so I assumed that's what you were considering.
In either case, a vacuum leak will generally cause the engine to idle too low to the point of stalling, then overcorrect and rev too high, then drop down start dropping too low. The air/fuel ratio is wrong and the computer can't compensate. Typically they will run fine when not idling, when the amount of air leaking is small compared to the total airflow.
BTW, I love my protege. I've been looking for another one for my kids to drive.
#3509 of 3742 Re: 2000 Protege 1.6L DOHC won't idle, runs rough [primemover]
Jul 09, 2009 (10:01 am)
I have a 2003 protege es with only 74k miles and I just replaced some belts and the radiator (due to a crack). But since replacing the raidator, my car will not hold coolent and has over heated less than 200 miles from having it back. The mechanic Ive been taking it to says he can not find anything wrong with it. What caused your radiator to have a crack in it? Im only worried because I do not know what other damage this is doing to my car. I do have an extended warrenty, but if i dont know what the problem is, what am i to do!
#3510 of 3742 Re: 2000 Protege 1.6L DOHC won't idle, runs rough [stmyers]
Jul 09, 2009 (10:40 am)
But since replacing the raidator, my car will not hold coolent and has over heated less than 200 miles from having it back.
Is the coolant leaking to the ground (and not into the engine)?
Were the hoses leading to and from the radiator replaced?
Were the clamps holding the hoses checked?
Have you considered going to another garage for a second opinion?
#3511 of 3742 2003 mazda protege with only 74k miles
Jul 09, 2009 (11:11 am)
I bought my car new in 2003, Ive kind of have had problems with it form day one. but nothing as major as now. My belts broke on my car so I had the car towed to the mechanic and they replaced the belts. I couple weeks later my car over heated on me so I took it back. It turns out my radiator had a leak/crack in it. I had them replace it a mazda radiator and had them pressure test the hoses and they said it was all good. A couple of weeks later while I was driving my over heated on me . (it had only been 200 miles since getting the radiator replaced) I took the car back the the mechanic and they said they could not find anything the matter with it. They checked the hoses again and the gaskets. they still said there was nothing wrong with it, but it is not holding coolant. I will fill the over flow up and a day later it is empty. I need help. I am in college, therefor i would like to hold on to my car for another year, but with things happening Im worried.
#3512 of 3742 Re: 2000 Protege 1.6L DOHC won't idle, runs rough [autonomous]
Jul 09, 2009 (12:01 pm)
I have NOT seen any coolant on the ground.
No the hoses were not replaced, they pressure tested them and there were no leaks.
I will ask about the clamps.
one of my customers owns a shop who customizes cars and he said to bring it by.
Did i mention i live in texas!! Could that have anything to do with anything (the heat?)
#3513 of 3742 Re: Buying 2002 or 2003 Protege..Need your ADVICE [downtube]
Jul 09, 2009 (2:56 pm)