9th Jul 2007, 20:59

Well, I can say that I LOVE this car. I drive it hard and fast, and I have had absolutely no problems with it. I do maintain my car well though, so perhaps you guys just need to take better care of your cars...

4th Jan 2008, 13:05


Car is limping along at 162k - running terrible again and CEL came back on so back to mechanic tonight. I suspect (hope) that it's just another coil pack issue....

Shifts like an old bus and has difficulty engaging on occasion. More funny noises, but not worth spending money on. At this point I'll just take my chances to keep this thing safe and running without breaking the bank if possible.

My next car will probably be a Toyota.

30th May 2008, 13:05

Following up on my last post, the CEL was indeed caused by another coil pack. It's been 12k km since then, and the CEL has come back on yet again...

At least my radio still works to drown out the front-end grinding and clunking noises the car makes (although the CD player is getting finicky and the LCD display is burning out).

At least my mechanic says the car is still safe to drive despite the noise - if anything, this vehicle is a good income source for him.

14th Jun 2008, 17:48

Unfortunate your repair costs so high. I just sold my 2001 Protege ES, low miles. The 1st noise you reported is likely worn out stabilizer links. I had to have mine replaced before selling. My high cost repairs: brakes. Otherwise no problems.

9th Jul 2008, 09:09

Regarding the post above, the stabilizer links were indeed one of the problems and I had these replaced. The car still grinds a fair bit on acceleration, even though the rear rotors were serviced as well. It jerks when braking so I suspect the front rotors are also shot (although mechanic says it's safe to drive). It squeaks in the back end, so I think the rear struts may be gone. In addition, it has just started to shudder when driving at highway speeds.

CEL stays on all the time now and mechanic says the Cat Converter is on the way out. Again. It was replaced once around 110 km under warranty and less than 70 km later, it's toasted - this, despite my vigilance in replacing the last coil pack as soon as it began acting up.

Seeing as the Cat will cost about $1200.00, adding in the brake, suspension, and who knows what else to try and fix all the noises and shudders, it isn't worth it anymore. There's too many unknowns going on with the thing to warranty dumping endless cash - at 178 km, the car is worth little more than scrap and I'll probably be trading it in shortly, realizing I won't get much for it.

18th Jul 2016, 22:45

Original poster follow up...

I have no idea if anyone will even read this considering the car was a 2001 and it's now 2016! Anyway, I made good on my word on dumping this vehicle in 2008 at just over 180,000 km as it would have needed a couple grand to keep it going. In return, I bought a 2004 Camry with 122,500 km on it and I'm still driving it with over 375,000 km on it - more than double the mileage that the Mazda gave me before it turned to scrap. No comparison in any department, aside from the bit of extra peppiness that the Protege had. Even the Camry's gas mileage is better despite being a bigger car. Nothing aside from regular wear parts has been required for the Camry. I spent almost half of the purchase price for the used Camry and have put on way more miles with way less repairs with a much more comfortable ride to boot. Toyota has won me over and Mazda most certainly lost me forever.