14th Sep 2007, 14:21

I have a 1996 Mazda Protege LX. I've owned it for seven years and it has 189,000 miles on it. I drove it, my 19 year old son drove it, and now my 17 year old son will drive it. I've had to replace the exhaust manifold, muffler, air compressor, front axles, water pump, radiator, rotors and brakes pads (3 times). Right now the check engine light is on again (other times it went off after a while), it leaks oil, and it shakes and tries to cut off while idling. But it has a lot of miles on it and we have drove it for years now. After driving a van daily I feel like I'm driving a go cart when I drive my Mazda. At least the motor and transmission are still working fine. Overall it's been worth having for this long, and I still like the body style.

28th Nov 2007, 13:00

I just want to say THANK YOU www.carsurvey.org and everyone who posts. This site is awesome (and informative)!

I have a 1.8L 1996 Mazda Protege. I've had to have the water pump replaced. It was causing the coolant to leak out sporadically based on the position in which the water pump stopped when the car was turned off. At the same time, I got a gasket changed to stop oil that was slowly leaking out. Total cost for P&L approx. $600.

Now I am looking for a new exhaust manifold, as the one I currently have is cracked; which is also causing the engine light to stay on. Does anybody know if the exhaust manifolds sold online for the 1.5L will also fit the 1.8L?

I'm experiencing a rough idle when the car is in drive, but if I switch down to neutral, the car stops shaking. I guess I'll check the EGR valve to see if that helps.

Overall a great car!

23rd Apr 2009, 16:19

I have a Mazda Protege 1996, 140k miles. I have had the car for 12 years now. Overall, it has been a good car. The brakes do need replacing often. I've read comments regarding a shaking near the tires. That's probably the wheel bearing. I've had to have it replaced once a year for the last 7 years. It's expensive but cheaper than a new car. I've had the air compressor fixed also. Now, I have the check engine light on. I will try looking into the EGR valve.

17th Sep 2009, 21:34

Have a 96 Mazda Protege DX 1.5L & auto trans with 120k miles or so...

We got the car used from a family member in 2002 for free with about 85k miles on it. Immediately spent about $1000 on routine maintenance items that were never performed.. including timing belt replacement and a bunch of other stuff. New tires too. Put a new drivers side sun visor in too! The old one was torn up and anytime you moved it a lot of stuffing would come off.

Car worked fairly well for the next few years and was driven regularly until Summer 2007. Became a 3rd car/station car from then on.

A few years ago the car was parked and a neighbor backed into the front end. Cracked the front bumper cover and some other things. He tried to put the blame on my wife... not too smart as the car was legally parked, turned off and she was inside the house. Collected some $ from their insurance company.

The car now makes a really irritating intermittent noise from the engine compartment while highway driving. It's loud enough to be almost painful! At first I thought it was the front brakes, but it is most likely the transmission (which most likely was NEVER serviced at all). Local shop wants $2000 to replace the tranny with a rebuilt one. They also said we could keep driving it so we have been... I should keep earplugs in the car.

The exhaust system just went last week after years of rust and rotting. Local mechanic quoted $500 to repair. I think all new pipes/mufflers are needed except for the cat conv. It sound like a truck... At least the transmission noise has gone away... no I just can't hear it since the engine is running without an exhaust system!!!

I think its time to draw the line... pull out my Blaupunkt AM/FM/CD player and let the car go.

Too bad... a new tranny and exhaust and the car would be fairly decent again.

Comment... Driving this car is like being invisible... the car blends in and looks like every other nondescript car on the road.

Pros... Good gas mileage. Easy to drive. Goes in the snow!

Cons... Kind of small. Fairly slow acceleration from a stop. Not bad while moving though.

9th Feb 2010, 13:45

I have a 99 Mazda Protege, and when I try to put gas in the tank, it comes rushing back out. Does anyone know what the problem is, and how to fix it?

10th Feb 2010, 16:52

See if the filler hose that goes down to the tank has a kink in it.

19th Mar 2010, 14:25

I have a 1996 Mazda Protege - idles really rough while cold, but when the temp gauge goes to normal, the rough idling calms down.

Anyone out there think it is the EGR valve???

When I pull the spark plug wire off plug, it misses on all 4 cyl. so probably not a miss.

19th Mar 2010, 17:11

Yes. Or it is the EGR ports and stuff. I don't think you have to replace it, though. Try scraping it out first. Check my review under '98 protege "A lovely runner". Tell us if it worked.

Good luck.

30th Aug 2010, 15:54

I have a '96 automatic transmission Protege that has a huge vibration, as though the engine is going to jump out.

This only happens at lights, and when the car is put in neutral, the vibration stops. When the car gets rolling, the vibration stops.

My mechanic said it was the engine mounts; I've since changed those, but nothing has changed.

Anybody have suggestions to rectify my problem?

2nd Sep 2010, 13:41

Is your idle a little rough and high? If that is the case, you need a proper tune up, or find vacuum leaks or whatever makes your idle high or rough.

If your idle is high, then the torque converter catches on and wants to propel the car, but you keep it stopped with the brake. That makes the engine shake.

Good luck to you.

6th May 2012, 09:23

I bought my Protege, and the engine looked like it had some work done to it around the heads, and the passenger seat shakes when in gear too.

11th Sep 2014, 21:30

My O2 sensor isn't passing its OBDII initial checkout (also called monitor, or IM).

I looked and it actually has two oxygen sensors, but they are both before the catalytic converter (?). I went to try and replace them, but the heat shield for exhaust manifold has these two bolts WAY deep in the compartment where there is barely any space to get to them - I couldn't do it.