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Mazda Protege5, Wagon
#7080 of 7874 Tire wear and end of warranty
May 21, 2004 (4:49 pm)
My first ever message on these boards, although I've been an avid reader for quite some time!
I'm not surprised at people getting 38000 miles out of their tires. I'm currently at 62000 km on my 2002 Protege5, and my tires have 4/32" of treadwear left. It's all about driving style, and I guess I'm not zooming quite as much as other people...! I figure I can still wait until next summer to change them. The stupid dimension Mazda put on this car means tire replacements will be expensive, but I'm hoping that the longer I wait, the more cheaper choice there will be as new manufacturers are getting into this market. Hoping to pick up 2 sets (summer and winter), since winter driving in Ottawa is no fun on all-season tires...
Now, I'm hoping people can help me out with something. My comprehensive warranty expires this summer, and I want to make sure I don't get any nasty surprises after the fact. My experience with Mazda dealers has been shoddy at best, and I want to take the car to an independent mechanic for a complete check-up, and then go to Mazda to get them to fix anything that is covered. So far I have had very little problems with the car - changed ventilation fan under warranty, and had to pay to change discs and pads on the notoriously weak rear brakes (now making sure the sliding pin is lubed at all times!).
What in particular would you recommend I get the mechanic to take a look at? Anything you can suggest would be greatly appreciated!
May 23, 2004 (5:36 pm)
The first thing you want to do before you even go to the mechanic is have the engine compartment and entire underside of the car professionally steam cleaned. This way, the mechanic can quickly see even the smallest fluid leaks.
You want to have all vital fluids analyzed for color and smell (there is spec to that, each has a specific color, and nothing should ever smell burned). You also want them checked for debris content... metal shavings can mean bad news.
Have the electrical system thoroughly tested for consistent voltage - electrical and electronic items are the most common failures that will cost you the most money short of the powertrain.
The suspension should show no signs of fatigue. Alignment is not covered, but the springs and heavy-metal parts (control arms, etc.) should last the life of the vehicle.
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#7082 of 7874 Check your electrical equipment, weather seals and the tranny..
May 24, 2004 (6:29 am)
My factory stereo died only five months after my warranty expired. Oh well, much happier with my aftermarket unit now.
In addition to checking for leaks from the engine, have the transmission checked out as well. Flush the fluid and look for any symptoms of damage. Proteges don't have a history of bad transmissions, but if yours does, it could be costly to fix.
#7083 of 7874 1 Year after P5 Purchase
May 25, 2004 (8:38 am)
- It's been an enjoyable first year with our yellow P5. Only problem is with the Dunlops - outside edges are feathering after 4,000 miles, especially on left side of vehicle. Dealer says, " Dunlops always do that!". Translation - it's the customer's problem, so take it to a Dunlop dealer and good luck! Sounds more like an alignment and/ or balance problem to me.Dealer said they checked and everything was fine. I doubt if they did anything at all. I'm a very conservative driver and have kept inflations at 31 psi +/- all along. Car vibrates at all speeds now, otherwise I'd ignore it. What a great car, though - almost everybody looks at it and admires it. Purchased 10 yr/ 100,000 mile warranty, so we've got a long time to enjoy it!
#7084 of 7874 P5 is a great car.
May 26, 2004 (9:54 am)
And that does sound more like an alignment issue. My wife's P5 has over 21,000 miles on her original Dunlops, and they just started to show noticeable wear after around 15,000 miles.
Then again, she drives it, and she's easier on her tires than I am on mine.
May 26, 2004 (11:18 am)
Thanks a lot kcram and mazdafun. That's a great little laundry list for me to bring to my mechanic!
mazdafun, I understand you being happier with an aftermarket stereo since the factory one is crap. I've heard that just changing the speakers can make a big difference, though. What does the dash look like with an aftermarket unit? Personally, I think the interior of the P5 is very nice, and I really like the big buttons and clean look of the factory stereo, so I've been a bit hesitant about checking out other stereos, which often only have push-buttons instead of dials. Any tips?
May 26, 2004 (5:55 pm)
Most welcome, jabba
I have had the luck of a clean engine compartmnent save my buns a couple of times when I *thought* something *might* be leaking... and spotted a leak before it got serious.
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May 27, 2004 (8:45 am)
Better speakers make a huge difference. I actually find the stock head unit to be pretty good once you upgrade your speakers. I only replaced it with an aftermarket unit because my stock head unit died and Mazda was going to charge me a few hundred for a new one. I got my JVC SX-780 for less than half of what a factory one would have cost me, plus it's got a front AUX-in jack I use to connect my iPod on long trips.
One tip for upgrading speakers: look for ones with lower minimum power ratings. I think Pioneers are pretty good with this (Crutchfield used to list that data point, but no longer does); I think mine start at 2 or 4 watts RMS. Rockford-Fosgate and a couple others start at something ridiculously high like 10W. That means you need to supply more power to even hear something come out of them (on the flip side, they do have higher top RMS values). I guess they're made for systems that have a separate amplifier. I find the stock stereo to provide enough power for my personal needs with a good set of speakers. I like playing some music loudly, but I don't need to share it with other drivers.
You could get the Kenwoods that Mazda sells (they already come with the connectors you need to attach to your existing wire harnesses). I've read that they're pretty good. If you consider other speakers, make sure they don't protrude too much or are too deep to fit behind the door panels and in the recess. Crutchfield lists these values.
For the P5, the stock speakers are 6x8 front and 6.5in round in the rear. I don't know the size of the tweeters, if you have those, but I think the stock ones are OK. At least the rear speakers in the P5 are in the door, so they'll be easier to access than those in the sedans. Replacing the ones in my sedan under the rear shelf trim panel was really difficult.
I don't recall breaking any plastic connectors in the door trim panels (these are all 2-way types). You'll want a #1 or #0 Philips head and a small flat-bladed screwdriver (covered with electrical tape). There are a number of sites with pictures showing the procedure. Here are a couple specific to the P5:
Give yourself about 45 minutes for the first door to learn the process and how to "wiggle" the panels out of and back into place. It takes less than 15 minutes for each of the others after that.
#7088 of 7874 oil change
Jun 03, 2004 (11:38 am)
This is the second oil change for my p5, 7200 miles, and I switched to mobil 1 10w-30 and used a purolater pureONE filter. Never used synthetic oil before but I will report back if I notice any difference or improvements. Is there anyone that has long term experience with mobil 1 or any synthetic oil, pureONE filter, in their p5?
#7089 of 7874 Not in my P5 (yet), but in my Protege.
Jun 04, 2004 (3:42 am)
My 2000 ES has been about 25,000 miles now using MobilOne 10W-30. No complaints here; in fact I've seen my gas mileage increase about 1-2 mpg. As far as the PureOne filters are concerned, they're very highly rated and they're all I've been using in this car (75,800 miles now) and on my last vehicle.
My wife's P5 only has 32,000 miles on it. I generally follow the belief that "dino oil" is more than adequate until the car gets a little age on it.