Last post on Jun 09, 2012 at 11:01 PM
You are in the Mazda Protege
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Mazda Protege, Sedan
Feb 16, 2005 (7:07 pm)
Well, my 2003 Protege DX is in the shop again for the squeaky driver seat (repair attempt number 6), and they've had it for over three weeks now (34 days total for all attempts). The dash rattle has had 8 repairr attempts since the day I bought the car, and still rattles like always.
The sad part is that I really love driving the car, it is fast, handles well and is just plain fun, but the noises drive me absolutely nuts. The seat particularly, which sounds the bedframe in a downtown motel renting rooms by the hour. It is loud enough to hear over loud music (at its worst), and always attracts the attention of anyone who rides in the car.
I finally sent Mazda a letter, along with a copy of the California lemon law, which only requires four attempts and up to 30 days downtime before the manufacturer should replace the vehicle or buy it back.
I'm really saddened that it came to this, as I had such high hopes for the car.
#23672 of 24043 Re: What a nightmare [lawman1967]
Feb 16, 2005 (7:56 pm)
My 01 ES had a squeaky driver's seat from new. It was an intermittent problem so it took about 3 years before it bugged me enough to do something about it.
Anyway, I got a can of WD-40 and got underneath and sprayed anywhere I saw metal/metal contact. Took me three tries but I got rid of the squeak.
Car smelled pretty bad for a week or so but it was worth it !
#23673 of 24043 marr, I wondered if...
Feb 16, 2005 (8:32 pm)
WD-40 would help lawman1967's seat problem. Sqeaks and rattles can drive you nuts. I had a Porsche 914 with a sqeaky right front wheel. A mechanic took it apart, piece-by-piece four times and could never find what caused it. Each time he reassembled it and test drove it -- it still sqeaked. There were no marks indicating metal rubbing.
Usually, when tracked down it's something you would never have thought of. It could be where the seatback joins the seat frame, plastic parts rubbing together or the seat springs. Even a screw that rubs. had that problem on an American car.
A screw holding the center console on the drive shaft tunnel was too long. Driving over rough roads there was a hammering noise as the end of the screw was hit by the drive shaft. Switching the screw with a shorter one solved it.
lawman1967, on that window crank problem, exchange them between doors and see if that corrects it.
Another suggestion, stay with the car and ask if you can use the stethascope mechanics use to listen to engines as the mechanic drives the car -- maybe you can poin-point the sounds location.
Feb 16, 2005 (8:39 pm)
Gee, that seems like a lot of $ for a valve adjustment, but yes, it should be done. Not only is the timing thrown off with maladjustment, but if the exhaust valves are held open at all, they will be apt to burn.
#23675 of 24043 Re: What a nightmare [marr]
Feb 16, 2005 (10:42 pm)
I would try those things if I had the car. Star Mazda has had the car for the last 3 1/2 weeks.
I doubt it is the seatback as they have already replaced EVERYTHING. New tracks, entire new seat, EVERYTHING!
That only leaves whatever mounts the tracks to the floor of the car, or the floor to the actual frame.
It took a lot less than 3 years for it to bother me, especially as it did it since new. My car only has 22K miles and is a rattletrap, I want them to replace it and will fight them for that result.
Feb 17, 2005 (6:56 pm)
I would take it to an independent garage that services Mazdas, it's surprising how they can fix things dealers can't. What is unfixable for a dealer an independent garage mechanic can usually find the problem in minutes. Seems to be an attitude problem more than anything.
Have them swop the front seats, they are the same except for the seat controls. See what happens, is the squeak on the right side?
I doubt Mazda will replace a whole car for a squeak. If it was an engine problem you would have a better chance.
#23677 of 24043 Re: lawman1967 [fowler3]
Feb 17, 2005 (8:14 pm)
I would agree with that. Try an independent shop. Ask around any other Mazda owners you know to see if they can recommend one.
My power antenna (hate those things) broke on my 88 626. The dealer wanted three hours labour to put a new one in.
A car radio repair shop did it in under one hour. The dealer does not always know best.
Failing that, when you get the car back try the WD-40 yourself. What have you got to lose ?
Feb 17, 2005 (9:27 pm)
I had the seat swapped, FOR A WHOLE NEW ONE, didn't change anything, so switching left to right won't make any difference.
Its not replacing a car for a squeak, its replacing a car because its been out of service for 40 days now, when the law only gives them 30.
Anyway I will take them either to arbitration or court, after 6 attempts and 40 days (and counting), I will not just let them off the hook.
Feb 18, 2005 (5:21 am)
You said: "Anyway I will take them either to arbitration or court, after 6 attempts and 40 days (and counting), I will not just let them off the hook."
I empathize with your predicament but I wonder if your course of action will achieve your goal.
When you say "them" to whom are you referring : Mazda, MazdaUSA, your Mazda dealer?
Did your dealership provide the new seat or any related service to address this problem free of charge or at a reduced charge?
Do you think that you could prove that the problem is not the result of normal wear and tear?
Do you know of any similar cases or do you have any written statement by Mazda of this being a general problem?
Wouldn't the argument from the other side be something like we have made reasonable attempts to fix the problem and do not feel that we are obligated for further expenses?
Would you be satisfied if the court judged in your favour by compensating you with a sum of money that it deemed reasonable? If so, what would that reasonable sum be? If the sum is below that amount what would you do with the car?
What legal costs would you assume if you do not prevail?
Feb 18, 2005 (6:52 am)
Well, the problem was brought to the one dealer's attention at only 1200 miles (the car remains under warranty), and now has 22,000. Two dealers have worked on the seat, replacing the seat and the tracks under warranty with no change in the sound.
It is not a minor annoyance, but loud enough to be heard over the stereo, definitely not normal or in any way related to wear and tear (1200 miles?).
All it will take is a drive around the block for any arbitrator to hear how bad it is, something even the shop foreman at my dealer and the Mazda regional service manager both noted on test drives.
It is also not the only problem. The car has been plagued with rattles since new (first attempt at dash rattle was the day I bought the car, 8 attempts later it is still there). Even Mercedes produces the occasional lemon, but I am certainly not going to just tollerate it. Whether Mazda USA thinks rattles and squeaks is not important, its what I think and what an arbitrator or judge thinks that matters. It is loud enough to fight over.