Last post on Jun 09, 2012 at 11:01 PM
You are in the Mazda Protege
What is this discussion about?
Mazda Protege, Sedan
#6847 of 24043 Protege
Dec 29, 2001 (4:35 pm)
mother in law has had a protege, DX, 1997 model, since June 1998.
It has had the following problems
1)Heater died at 64,000 miles..just this week
2) radio replaced 2x
other than this, it is a nice car(engine could be more powerful,like the newer ones are).
My mother in law,though, swears that the car is inferior to her old 1992 Cavalier, which also had problems, like alternator left her stranded when it died, they replaced it, and it died again 60 days later, and replaced again.
I guess it is due to "peer" pressure(her husband is against "foreign" cars highly vocal) o drop the Mazda and drive a Tracker.
Oh well, A nice car guys, even though I drive Hyundai stuff these days. What is the "sporty" (around $15,599) Protoge(was on sale, $1,500 off msrp)?
Dec 29, 2001 (5:18 pm)
The manual for m '02 Pro5 says to use 87 ctane so that's what I use.
#6849 of 24043 suspension is killing me
Dec 29, 2001 (11:27 pm)
I've had my Pro for 2 weeks but have run into an unexpected problem. The stiff suspension is causing a neck injury to flare up, to the point where I'm wondering if this car is going to work for me.
I fell in love with the Pro after 3 different rentals in CA and NC. The only reason I can figure that I didn't notice the problem is that I was driving on mostly new asphalt roads, not the patched and repatched roads that tend to be around here in Chicago.
I am majorly bummed out as I've been looking forward to this moment for months, (good thing my wife is the understanding type!)
Does anyone have any suggestions? I hate to change the way this car drives, but I might consider giving up some of the great handling if it means I can keep the car. It has helped some to tilt the seat back nearly vertical. Not sure what my tire pressure is as we just entered a cold snap.
Incidentally, I visited my dealer today to kick around the possibility of trading for an MPV. He offered my $12,000 on an '02 LX with 300 miles. Whoa. I was hoping I would only get hit for around $1500 (instead of over $3000) since I was proposing buying another new, more expensive vehicle there.
Maybe its time to move south.
Dec 30, 2001 (6:13 am)
Sorry your neck's starting to hurt.
Probably the easiest thing to try is to lower your tire pressure from 32 to 30 or 29. Your handling will suffer a bit, and so will your fuel economy, but it will soften impacts.
After that, try switching to a good "touring" or "grand touring" type tire. I think the Micheline X-One is an excellent tire in this class. Good grip wet & dry, with long tread life and much better at absorbing impacts. Their only downside is the siping in the tread design tends to collect a lot of small pebbles. My Dunlop Sport A2s are softer than the stock Firestone FR680s, but are harder than the X-Ones (IMO).
While you do this, you can "minus-1" your tire size (although this will require new wheels...steel ones cost about $40 in a 14" size). Your tires' sidewall will increase in height about 1/2 inch, which again softens road impacts.
Beyond this, you're looking at softer springs and shocks, which gets more complicated (although costs about the same as good new tires and wheels) and more drastically affects the handling of the car. If it weren't for the multiple recalls and TSBs on the Focus, I'd recommend a non-SVT'd version, as this car has a lot of wheel travel in its suspension.
#6851 of 24043 Maniacal driving.
Dec 30, 2001 (6:27 am)
Boston, MA - no regard for pedestrians. Very aggressive driving in the city. Hate those dumb traffic circles. Almost like driving in NYC in those.
NYC - This is where I learned to drive. I mellowed out while on the west coast (and in the Midwest, where I currently live), but I get back into my old driving habits whenever I return. Playing "chicken" is a good description of how to avoid getting stuck behind "double-parked" vehicles etc. Expect a lot of "close-quarter" driving, front-to-back and side-by-side (taxi drivers either have a very good sense of the extents of their vehicles or don't mind getting them scratched up). My father always kept a "beater" just for driving downtown. Most folks with nice cars kept their distance from it. ....that's something to remember; you can almost always bully expensive vehicles. Cross-Island expressway has the narrowest lanes I've ever experienced on a freeway, and they let 18-wheelers on it! And the clover-leaf with the Long Island Expressway is the smallest I've ever driven on too, with practically no merge length.
Houston, TX - man, they drive fast here! Even during a torrential downpour! Not a lot of weaving though. Lots of tailgating.
Washington, DC - Fast-paced driving. Some weaving. Lots of tailgating. Lots of blind curves.
SF Peninsula - Fast-paced driving, but most folks seem to allow enough following room, except at rush hour. Got to watch out for drivers stopping suddenly to yield to pedestrians. Most go out of their way to do so, it seems, though not all. Probably one of the best places to get around on a bicycle (unlike the midwest...but that's another story).
Cincinnati, OH - Just a lot of careless drivers. I've had the greatest number of close calls here due to people merging w/o looking or rubbernecking or something else silly. I never heard of "sun delays" before coming out here. Even during good weather people have difficulty driving.
#6852 of 24043 Sorry your neck's starting to hurt...
Dec 30, 2001 (7:19 am)
Zupster, I would consider seeking a medical opinion to make sure the new car is the only cause of your neck discomfort. Perhaps, the pain flair-up is only a symptom of a larger issue?
I felt the difference in suspension tuning and ride quality when I switched from my 94 Toyota Corolla to my 2000 PRO-ES for like a couple of days. After that, could not feel the dif? I hope you feel better soon!
Dec 30, 2001 (8:24 am)
Jeez, that really sucks about your new car and neck...I hope (in a way) that Larry is right, and that maybe it isn't the car that's doing it.
I agree, though, that Chicago-area streets are pretty bad, and we haven't even had our winter cycle of snow/ice/freeze/thaw yet, which as you know always creates more craters. And during some construction this fall around the corner from me, workers let some sort of god-awful moonscape exist for about 2 months while they were 'fixing' the street. Dreaded driving through that each morning. Even the SUV's had to slow down.
Are you in the city, or the burbs? Which dealership are you using?
#6854 of 24043 zupster and Worst Place to Drive
Dec 30, 2001 (8:25 am)
Zupster: Definitely lower your tire pressure. The Difference b/w 34 and 32 (recommended) is quite significant. I tried it out. Try 30 or 29 as Mazdafun said. Yes the Michelins X One are great all seasons that will do the job on dry pavement and on snow.
Worst Place to Drive: Don't know about NYC or CHI, but Toronto is ok, even if it gets congested in rush hour. Montreal on the other hand provides a more European driving experience. Narrower streets and lanes; cars allowed to park on major streets so you always have to watch for opening doors and a place to merge on the left lane, very bumpy streets with lots of potholes and uneven patches... Somehow I get a feel I'm talking about Chicago
Overseas, apparently India is bad and driving in Turkey is not much better. I heard there is this rule that any car wanting to merge from the right into a left lane, has priority to do so. So without checking, drivers just butt-in. There are quite a few colisions this way, but it's nothing big; everyone is used to it.
And I just wanted to add Romania where potholes 1/2 foot deep are not out of the ordinary in Bucharest and driving between cities is just plain dangerous. The roads have been re-paved ( since 1989) and in some places there are 2 lane going in each direction (yey!), but that is not too common. On most roads (I can't refer to them as highways as there are horse carriages, tractors and trucks going 50 km/h and of course the odd sheep crossing if you're lucky) you have to come into oncoming traffic to pass since nly one lane is going in each direction. No DRLs, so you can't really see if there are cars coming at you. Pretty fun, no?
Dec 30, 2001 (8:42 am)
Okay, I'll stop complaining about Chicago now
Dec 30, 2001 (10:20 am)
When I bought my '01 Protegé LX I wondered if I would get use to the firm ride. The LX is softer than the ES, but firmer than most other small cars.
It takes time and mileage, by 3,000 miles you will notice a softer ride as the struts loosen up. That won't help your neck problem if you can't drive that long. Try avoiding the roughist pavement spots
and patches. Lower your tire pressure for the next 1000 miles and see if it is better.
Protege_fan, some drivers pull into the left lane because the road camber is less (pulls on the steering less) and the pavement is smoother. If a city right lane has a lot of manhole covers people drive in the left lane to avoid the jouncing.