I have a 93 Mazda Protege DX and I have had exactly the same problems mentioned although overall it has been quite reliable. The CV boot have to be replaced and today the horn got stuck in my apartments Parking lot. A couple of good samaritans helped stop the horn by disconnecting the wire from the horn, but I would like to know how much it will cost to fix the problem.
Yes. I have had the same problem with my 1994 Protege. The horn went off in the middle of the night and I disconnected the battery just to get back to sleep. What happens is the sponge-like separator between the horn plates becomes worn/flattened over a period of time and shorts the two plates together. This part is actually part of the steering pad and is quite costly to replace ($250-300). I have replaced each CV boot/axle yearly, and those hub caps don't hang on too tight either. Also, be careful of the plastic reservoir atop the radiator, it will soon crack. I replaced the radiator with an all-metal on around $100k miles. This little car is dependable, but is not held together well at all.
I had the same problem with the horn on my wife's car. However it didn't cost me nearly as much as $250+. All it actually cost me was a $10 contact plate I bought at the dealer. I took the steering wheel cover off that covers the horn contact and replaced it with the new one. It only took me about 10-15 minutes. Keep in mind, I'm not a mechanic, but found it very easy to replace. As for the cv boots, I've had to replace them twice.
Yeah, I have a 94 Protege DX and just recently had the horn problem. I have yet to replace the contact pad, ill post any new info on it when it happens. I did have to replace the boots just a year ago. I'd also like to know where to find that new radiator for 100 bucks so I can be prepared. Other than those few problems, the car has been extremely reliable.
I also own a 1994 Protege. Same problem with the horn. For anyone that needs to disconnect the horn, you can unplug the horn itself until you get the problem fixed. The horn (part that actually makes the noise) is small and is located under the hood in the passenger side near the front of the car. There is a cord running into the horn that you can unplug... its tough to do. You can get to it easiest from the top, pull hard. No need to get under the hood. Tight squeeze on the hands though. You can drive this way until you get the problem fixed. If you notice some clicking noises coming from the dash/fuse box you can hit your steering wheel to stop them. The problem is actually in the switch inside the horn pad in the steering wheel. The switch is available for around $10-$20 and you can get it installed by a mechanic for about $50. (You probably don't need to replace the entire horn pad, just the switch itself.)
Of course, to stop the noise immediately, simply unplug the battery cables!
I've been through this horn debacle and it's horrible! The other thing I've noticed... I think this horn thing tends to happen during temperature and season changes...i.e. the first cold night of fall.
Other than the horn issue, it's a decent car. I've replaced the boots a few times.
I hope this is helpful to those going through the horn mess.
Thank You all for helping me diagnose my Protege horn problem. I took a piece of 1/4 inch thick foam we had, cut out holes in the same places as the worn out piece of foam, reassembled the steering wheel and the horn works like a charm. Take your steering wheel cover off (three screws) and you will see the contact plate and piece of foam. When we first had the horn problem, I disconnected the wire from the horn and figured we would just drive without a horn. That is until we were driving in the city and a bus began merging into my lane and we had no way of alerting the driver. Thankfully the bus missed us by inches, but it was a close call. For your safety, fix your horn. I have had my 1994 Protege for 8.5 years and am very pleased with it. It has a standard transmission, offers plenty of pep, and is fun to drive. Yes I have had to have a few things replaced/repaired, CV boots, A/C, etc.
But what 8.5 year old car does not need some repairs.
I have had the same horn problem. Thank your for the tip about using a foam piece similar to the worn piece. That worked like a charm!
This page was so helpful.. thanks. My horn went off at 1 am this morning and I just started pulling fuses until it quit. This morning after the ringing in my ears subsided.. I pulled the plug on the horn. I will try to replace the "foam" piece that was mentioned when I have a bit more time to deal with it.
I too have replaced the CV boots twice I think, as well as the head gasket.
My biggest problem with this car has been the seat belt buzzer. Somewhere there is a short in the seat sensor or in the belt it's self.. it beeps all the time unless I get the seat, the belt and my body in the right place.
I got the car used about 5 years ago... and it's been one thing after another.. paint chipping off and gas tank latch is broken, I have to go through the trunk to pop it open.
Not my favorite car.. but it has almost 200,000 miles on it.
The 1am line is a common thing, my horn went off about 1am. Thanks for the horn advice, that alone saved me $90. I'll be installing new foam. My next job is to replace my CV boots. I have a 90 Protege with 186,000 miles on it, but it continues to run.
I have a 94, Protege. I purchased it new, now it has 50,072 miles on it. I have not had any trouble with the horn yet and I have not had any trbl with my CV JOINTS. But I am experiencing an oil leakage from the oil pan, I am not sure if this is from the plug or pan it self has any one else run into this trbl.
Second, I would like to put alloyed wheels on the car, but I am not sure how it would look, any suggestion?
I have a 94 Mazda Protege LX, and its got abt a 106K miles on it. I haven't had problems on the CV joints or the horn as yet. So, I am assuming its just a handful of people who have that trouble.
The usual wear and tear is always there and those things I have maintained and repaired/replaced when necessary.