Last post on Jun 09, 2012 at 11:01 PM
You are in the Mazda Protege
What is this discussion about?
Mazda Protege, Sedan
Jul 12, 2001 (8:43 am)
Here's all of the vehicles I have owned, the mileage range I have owned them through, and the drivetrain information. Listed below them are the major costs in upkeep... Notice my Protege had a load of problems right from the beginning. Some of it was probably transport related (alignment), some of it early build issues (it was in the group of the first ES's this dealership received), and some of it I can't explain (windshield inside edge was chipped which cut through the gasket causing a leak).
1974 MG Midget MkIII (72,000 - 105,000; bought from private party)
BL Series "A" 1275cc I4 Dual Carb; 4-spd manual; RWD
- 75,000 miles; intake system; rebuilt dual carb's and linkage
- 80,000 miles; electrical; replaced starting motor
- 82,000 miles; brakes; replaced pads/shoes, rebuilt master and slave cylinders
- 95,000 miles; exhaust; replaced entire exhaust system
- 102,000 miles; drivetrain; replaced teflon throw-out bearing
1991 Ford Escort GT (12,000 - 135,000; bought from private party)
Mazda 1.8L DOHC I4 with Ford induction; 5-spd manual; FWD
- 45,000 miles; 4-wheel disc brakes; replaced pads, turned rotors
- 58,000 miles; timing belt; snapped and replaced
- 65,000 miles; tires; replaced all 4
- 70,000 miles; suspension; 4-whl alignment
- 95,000 miles; AC system; recharged
1996 Ford Ranger (3 - 85,000; bought new)
Ford 2.3L SOHC I4; 5-spd manual; RWD
- 38,000 miles; suspension; front-end alignment
- 45,000 miles; brakes; replaced pads/shoes
- 58,000 miles; tires; replaced all 4
1982 Mazda RX-7 (80,000 - 150,000; bought from private party)
Mazda 1.2L twin-rotor rotary; 5-spd manual; RWD
- 80,000 miles; emissions system; replaced main catalytic converter
- 95,000 miles; intake system; replaced shutter valve
- 148,000 miles; drivetrain; replaced clutch disc and pressure plate
1999 Mazda Protege (2 - 45,000; bought new)
Mazda 1.8L DOHC I4; 5-spd manual; FWD
- 400 miles; suspension; front-wheel alignment, replace front tires
- 1,100 miles; body; replace windshield and windshield gasket, replace headliner, replace insulation
- 1,500 miles; body; adjust trunk and fuel door release
- 1,800 miles; engine; replace valve-cover gasket
- 2,000 miles; suspension; replace front bushings
- 18,000 miles; tires; replace all 4
- 21,000 miles; brakes; replace front pads, turn rotors
- 45,000 miles; suspension; front-end alignment
- 48,000 miles (est); tires; replace all 4
- 48,000 miles (est); AC system; recharge
- 50,000 miles (est); drivetrain; replace clutch disc and pressure plate
- 50,000 miles (est); brakes; replace pads/shoes, turn rotors
Do I do regular maintenance? Since I drive my cars hard, of course I do... How's this? I've replaced the spark plugs twice. I've been through three air filters. I change the oil and rotate the tires every 3,000-3,500 miles. I've had the brake/clutch hydraulic systems flushed. I've had the cooling system flushed. I have replaced the fuel filter. All of the vehicle's maintenance is completed by a Mazda dealership and they do the obligatory chassis lubrications and inspections.
I'm not saying the Protege is a bad car. It just can't seem to stand up the abuse my previous vehicles have. It just backs up the saying, "They don't build them like they used to."
#3145 of 24043 To Add To My Post...
Jul 12, 2001 (8:53 am)
The Ford Ranger and the Mazda Protege were both the "babied" vehicles I have owned. The Protege was properly broken in... I didn't push it for the first 5,000 miles. There was the occasional run up to 5,000rpm, but that occured perhaps once a month.
I don't floor the throttle, but gradually increase pressure as the rpm's rise. I generally drive between 70-80mph, although the car has been up to the speed limiter once. I do take corners hard, but not hard enough to squeal the tires. I generally brake gradually and downshift (double clutching) unless I need to brake hard. The car has its maintenance done well before the maintenance schedule calls for it.
The RX-7, MG, and Escort GT I totally thrashed. But they held up quite well... Of course, those were the older cars I have owned... Like I said before, they just don't build them like they used to...
#3146 of 24043 Nice record-keeping.
Jul 12, 2001 (9:05 am)
That's pretty thorough. Most folks don't even recall when they last tested the pressure in their tires. Although, I think that's atypical of this group.
Sounds like you got a bum Pro. Probably somewhat due to it being one of the first of a new model.
Of course, any model will have good and bad examples. It's a matter of percentage. Again, sorry you're having such a bad experience with your Pro. Other than the water getting into my trunk whenever I power-wash it (and some surface rust on under-body components and the rear drum brake casings), my 99's been pretty good. I don't drive as hard as you, though. At 19,300mi, I still have over 50% of my front pads left and probably another 15k miles on the tires.
#3147 of 24043 My Protege story...
Jul 12, 2001 (9:14 am)
With the 1999 DX I had, here's what I had to do it in 20 months and 34,966 miles that I had it.
Acquired from friend- 2398 miles/traded 37,364 mi.
6000 miles- took car in for harsh shifting when passing and for CD sticking in player. No problem found with either thing.
20,000 (est.)- 4-wheel alignment
26,500 (est.)- realign car, replace 2 front tires, tune up, and replace front pads and turn rotors.
I did oil changes ever 7500 miles on the car, and rotations at the same time. Those were the only two things I ever had to do to it though. Pretty good, IMO.
My 2001 Protege has already been in the shop 3 times in 5 months. The brake rotors are warped (still has to go back for that one), the alignment was off several times, the driver's seat springs squeak occasionally, A/C isn't as cold as I thought it should be (tested fine though), and the CD player malfunctioned once (never did it again though). Had less problems with the 1999 model. We will see what the long run holds.
#3148 of 24043 Let's see here:
Jul 12, 2001 (9:29 am)
#3149 of 24043 A word from the wise...
Jul 12, 2001 (9:55 am)
Don't pour a lot of money into things that depreciate...put some of it into mutual funds for retirement and that last car, which you want to be a fine one.
I have owned 30 cars and wish, now, I hadn't bought most of them. Most were not at all as good as I believed at the time. They are just cars!
Look at dealers lots, full of cars, acres and acres of cars. Not one is worth more than any other and none will be worth much in a few years. That's why dealers don't offer you much on a trade, it's just another car to them.
Long ago my dad told me, "Which will give you more prestiege, driving an expensive car, or people knowing you are worth, in dollars, what that car implies?" Save your money!
#3150 of 24043 My Proteges' histories:
Jul 12, 2001 (9:56 am)
Protege No. 3:
2000 Mazda Protege ES 5-speed
Purchased: May 2000
Whitten Brothers Jeep/Chrysler/Mazda
2,000 miles: Replaced plastic clip holding trunk springs under rear parcel shelf, under warranty. (Um, I broke it by trying to slide too tall a box into the trunk, and they still fixed it under warranty!)
16,000 miles: Replaced CD player, again under warranty. (Cause: I placed a CD with a label on it in my player -- this is strongly advised against in the owner's manual, yet STILL my dealer replaced it under warranty.)
I now have 23,000 miles on my car. That's the entirety of my non-scheduled dealer visits. A good friend of mine went out and bought the exact same car I have (even the color's the same) -- except his is an automatic -- three months after I bought mine. He's had zero problems with his.
Mazda No. 2:
1992 Mazda Protege LX 5-speed
Purchased: September 1992
Whitten Brothers Jeep/Chrysler/Mazda
Traded it in at 83,000 miles on a Mazda B2300SE pickup, built by Ford. Worst mistake I ever made.
Protege No. 1:
1992 Mazda Protege LX automatic
Purchased: December 1991
Whitten Brothers Jeep/Chrysler/Mazda
Yes folks, Mazda was placing Bridgestone Poortenza RE-92s on its Proteges nine years ago. This was my "learning Protege" with these tires. On one muggy Richmond late-summer afternoon, I found myself in the middle of a sudden, torrential thunderstorm. Those tires, and my nine-month-old Protege, had 28,000 miles on them. I hydroplaned at 40-45 mph for about a tenth of a mile, coming to a not-so-graceful stop at the rear of a Volvo 245DL station wagon at a traffic light. Car was totaled. (Excellent Mazda safety note: Even though the '92s only had those damned motorized "passive restraint" belts and no air bags, I walked out of my totaled car.)
Jerry, I'm sorry you've had so much trouble. As we've seen from your own post, your Ford Ranger treated you well -- yet my own Mazda-built-by-Ford B2300 (with the same engine as yours, by the way) had engine problem after engine problem.
I will say that after reading your itemized list of repairs, many -- more than half -- of those items are wear-related. Ask any mechanic about how long a clutch will last and he'll say anywhere from 500 miles to 200,000 miles, depending on the driver. I can't sit here and say you're hard on your clutch any more than you can make me believe you don't sit at traffic lights and ride it. I also can't estimate how hard you brake and whether you let your engine slow the car down (I have a five-speed too) to help the brakes. There are two schools of thought on that little habit right there -- those who would rather let the engine do some of the braking, and others who say brake pads cost a LOT less than engine rebuilds.
But who knows? At one time I had a 1988 Hyundai Excel -- yeah, yeah, everybody stop snickering and read -- such a worthless car, right? Well, my 5-speed Hyundai Excel GL 5-door -- which I paid $7,100 for in 1987, the first year Hyundai was in this country -- went 120,000 miles delivering pizzas and only had one problem -- a transmission slip that was covered by a Hyundai recall. Funny thing is, considering all the cars I've owned -- Toyota, Saab, Hyundai, Ford-Mazda and Japan-Mazda -- and the miles I've put on them, the Hyundai probably was the most reliable of the bunch.
Jul 12, 2001 (9:56 am)
If I had not bought 20 of those cars, I would be driving a Lexus instead of a Mazda.
#3152 of 24043 Sorry, haven't been keeping up...
Jul 12, 2001 (9:57 am)
Hey, I am back from vacation! Well, I was going through the post and someone said the 1999-2000 Pros. aren't going to wear as well as the 2001. Uhm, there is very little difference between the two cars and the 1999-2000 was not just designed as another economy car. I didn't look back to see who said this but you have your facts wrong I am afraid. Oh, and I own a 2000 and a 2001 and personally like the front of my 2000 better then my 2001. Just my $.02.
Jul 12, 2001 (10:23 am)
I know most of the items are wear items... It's just that normally those items last twice as long for me. I have never owned an automatic and I consider myself an excellent stick-shift driver (who still double clutches on downshifts?). The only clutch I had to replace was on the RX-7 and that was at 148,000 miles! (The MG's clutch disc and pressure plate were fine, it was that block of teflon they called a throw-out bearing that wore!) I don't ride it and the car sits in neutral when stopped. The clutch in the Protege has about 5,000 miles left on it... actually, the technician said the clutch disc was fine, it is the pressure plate that's about to go!
Tires I can understand... I go through those fairly quickly (but 18,000 on those Potenza's was ridiculous, but common). Brakes I typically get about 30,000-45,000 miles out of. I am not surprised I need an alignment at this point. That's pretty common. Of course, all of that warranty work I had in the beginning just kind of jinxed the car... I think it's just that I came out of the RX-7 before this. Even though that RX-7 was 20 years old, it still had much more refinement and build quality than my '99 Protege.
panamaltd2... It was I who said the 2001 Protege would wear better than the 1999-2000. Of course it will. The brakes are larger, the body stiffer, and suspension stronger. The engine is larger and stronger (don't have to push it as hard as the smaller engine). I am referring to the ES models...