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Mazda Protege5, Hatchback, Sedan
#624 of 1420 transmission/clutch/linkage problem? Driver Error?
Dec 05, 2003 (5:02 pm)
-2003 Mazda Protege5, 5spd manual, 2,900 miles/owned 4 months
I purchased a 2.0L Protégé5 about 4 months ago and with the exception of some intermittent quirks, am really enjoying this car.
Rough spots in 1st and 2nd gears: The owner’s manual suggests shifting from 1st to 2nd at 13mph and 2nd to 3rd at 24mph. (I presume that these recommendations are designed to optimize fuel economy under normal driving conditions.) Unfortunately, I experience a harsh buckling when shifting through an acceleration at this rpm range (aprox. 2000 rpm in next gear following shift. (note: I have no buckling problems when downshifting). If I allow the rpm’s to land at 2500 from 1st to 2nd (aprox. 22mph from 1st to 2nd, and aprox. 30mph from 2nd to 3rd) a slight buckling is still present, but not as severe. If I shift at 25mph and 35mph, respectively, the buckling is usually not apparent. However, if I need to slow down in traffic – take my foot off the gas after shifting -- still in the appropriate rpm range for that gear – my car starts buckling/jolting again. This is a consistent, easily replicable phenomenon.
I find this disturbing because the buckling will occur anywhere between 2000 and 3000 rpm (under 2000 rpm is completely unbearable) in second and third gears if I do not keep my foot constantly on the gas – fourth and fifth gears respond just fine in this power band). If I downshift in an attempt to get around these rough spots, the engine, of course, races at about 3600-4000rpm. While this is not anywhere near the redline, I feel uncomfortable doing a quick acceleration at this range if the traffic conditions require such a maneuver, not to mention associated fuel economy implications. (Minor Rant: I am frustrated that the owner’s manual does not discuss optimal power bands and provide an rpm chart for this vehicle). I have never experienced a problem of this kind with my other vehicles (’74 VW Bus and “89 Nissan Pickup (both manual transmissions). Any ideas?
Difficulty shifting into 1st gear from complete stop: This is an intermittent problem. When I come to a complete stop at a traffic light, my pattern of driving is to put my vehicle into neutral – with my foot on the brake J -- and then to release the clutch. After about three weeks of owning my Protégé5, I started having intermittent problems getting my car back into 1st gear from neutral. When this happens, I back up to 2nd and then try again. It usually lines up the second or third time, but when it does, there is a deep kthunk sound (gears don’t want to mesh?) that is similar to the sound my Volksie made right before the transmission died – first gear just gave up the ghost and the transmission needed to be rebuilt. I have a hard time believing that the brand new Protégé5 is suffering from a failing transmission. I am wondering if the linkage needs extra lubrication – because I was trouble free for the first three weeks of ownership – or if I may have a clutch problem – yes, I fully depress the clutch when placing the vehicle in gear J Again, any ideas?
#625 of 1420 transmission/clutch/linkage problem? Driver Error?
Dec 05, 2003 (7:29 pm)
I'm no mechanic but your experience suggests something (somethings?) not correct. You should be able to shift up at 2-2500 rpm with out the car bucking & the issue of not being able to engage 1st cleanly from a stop is certainly not normal. Until you get the car in for repair, you may want to double clutch b4 going into 1st. You should be able to avoid doing additional damage that way. It appears you're about to test the warantee coverage. Best of luck, hopefully its something simple.
#626 of 1420 Transmission problem
Dec 06, 2003 (5:25 am)
You could have a bad synchro, or your clutch could need some adjustment. I never experienced anything similar in my 5 speed Protege Sedan. Here is a dyno chart from Racing Beat which may give you an idea of the optimal power bands.
Personally, I don't shift until at least 4000 RPMs, just past the torque peak. Please check with your dealer of choice for service.
#627 of 1420 What's a clutch stopper and do I need a new one at 3 months?
Dec 08, 2003 (6:33 pm)
I'm driving my 3 month old P5 yesterday and the check engine light comes on and stays on....I take it in today any they say something about the "clutch stopper" needing to be replaced, but they don't have the part and I'd have to bring it in again in about a week. However, I picked up the car and notice the light isn't on anymore...unfortunately picked up the car after service hours, so there was no one to ask about this....do I really need that part (no idea how much it costs)?
Also, the rattling on the inside of the car is about to drive me crazy....I mentioned this today and they said something about readjusting the centre console, but now it seems the rattling is worse than ever...anyone had any experience with this? I think its coming from the vents....my '99 Protege sedan started doing it in about its 3rd year...I just chalked it up to age which can't be the case here as it starting rattling almost from day one...
Other than that, I'm loving the car!
#628 of 1420 Exhaust Manifold Insulator
Dec 08, 2003 (8:11 pm)
There seems to be a screw missing from the driver side of my exhaust manifold insulator on my 2003 P5. I seem to recall someone else having a similar missing screw, but a search here found nothing. Is anyone else missing this screw on the 2.0L?
#629 of 1420 switching from gass guzzling suv to gas saver p5
Dec 27, 2003 (9:33 am)
I have a 2000 toyota 4runner limited and am looking for a new car for 2004. My job demands require me to travel much more now than when I purchased my 4 runnner. I am looking for a nice, sporty, reliable , gas-saving, car. I am considering the P5. I have 2 teens. My 13 year old son is 6"2. Is this going to be a problem as I am hoping to keep the car for at least 8 years? Am I making an overall good choice?
Dec 28, 2003 (5:15 am)
- The P5 has surprisingly good room for a small car, front and back. If the boy grows to 7 feet, then good luck! You should be able to make a tremendous deal on a P5, and it would be a great combination of quality, sportiness, and value.
#631 of 1420 switching from gass guzzling suv
Dec 28, 2003 (5:53 pm)
Thats a pretty big move/ like from a tank to a go cart. There are small cars that have a smoother ride than the P5 & some with 4 wheel drive (Subies). The P5 leans strongly in the sport direction with superior handling & responsiveness (and the stiff suspension you would expect). If thats what you want, then its a super choice. I think mine is great but I come from a sports car background. If thats what you like, its an excellent choice (with some aggressive pricing right now). Good luck with your decision.
Dec 28, 2003 (6:29 pm)
A new Accord or Camry will ride much smoother, have much more room, and get the same or better gas mileage as the P5, and have more power to boot. The only thing they aren't is sporty. Don't get me wrong, I love my P5, but it rides ROUGH, and has limited space in the rear seat and trunk. Mine has been unreliable and has been in the shop an average of once a month. I too drive often for my job, and the rough ride becomes tiring after a while. This is not a car to keep long term. Also, the depreciation is horrid, so once you buy it you will have it for a while.
#633 of 1420 pciskowski
Dec 29, 2003 (6:18 pm)
What kind of problems? What was it in the shop for? A partial or complete list would be of interest to me and possibly other P5 owners. I have only 2,900 miles on the car, manual trans base model. Other than less than expected gas mileage, I have had no problems.