26th Feb 2009, 13:43

I have a 99 protege SE (bought in Canada) with a 1.6L engine, 233000km and it has been wonderful up until lately.

In the past year I've had to replace 2 alternator belts, the second time they found that it was the alternator it's self that was faulty. It was actually melting the belt. I've also have to replace the fan belt, but this is minor. The 02 sensor went bad a couple months ago and I had that fixed. 10 months ago I had the timing belt changed. The oil gasket had a leak in it for a while then that was fixed. And the check engine light is always on. Every time I bring the car in they find nothing that turns the engine light off.

Since I drive the car through Canadian winters, the outside has began to rust, but not just around the wheels and such, but also on the hood of the car and on the trunk.

A few years ago, the radio/CD player died and we had that replaced and now the speakers go in and out.

She's a great car but she's becoming a lot of work, and all at once!

8th Mar 2009, 23:13

I have a 1999 Protege 1.6L, and have had the engine check light on for a few years while living in Virginia. Now I've moved to New Jersey where we have emission laws, and I cannot get the light to go off for more than 1 day. I got p0171 and so I replaced both O2 sensors only to get a low voltage CEL. I cleaned the MAF and then installed some high quality O2 sensors. The light came on within a 30 miles and 2 days of the replacement. I am going to get the code checked tomorrow, but I don't know what to do. I need this inspection to happen soon. Any tips?

5th Apr 2009, 22:23

I have similar problems, most of the time I get P0172, but rarely - P0171 too. Cleaning helps for some time. I got unlucky as I noticed it one month after recall and they refused to apply it. Earlier in NY they did not have emission tests, but then I moved to Ontario and I was passing them OK. I guess, they measure real emissions here instead of just looking in those stupid codes that can mean anything, and it emits much less limits. After all, what is their business to those codes if a test is called an emissions test, not a computer test?

And if it drives OK as well - why bother?

21st Jun 2009, 08:50

I bought a Protege LX 1999 brand new in November 1998, I now have 90,000 miles on it, I love this car and I intend to keep it a few more years.

I simply want to advise everybody that my engine light came on 2 years ago. Did I try to fix it? No way. It's still on, the car has absolutely no problem, it runs like new.

My next move on this engine light issue is to wait till the bulb burns. Than the problem will be solved at no cost... but I tell you, these bulbs are though... like the car.

G.H. Montréal, Canada.

12th Aug 2009, 11:51

I bought my '99 Protege LX new in January 1999. The first time I encountered the check engine light (CEL) problem was in March 2006. After going back and forth to Mazda dealer, I had to replace Pressure valve, O2 sensor and Mass Airflow (MAF) sensor. I had to pay for the new MAF since the extended warranty from Mazda expired on the 7th year, which is just a couple of months before the CEL problem appeared. I'm quite disappointed with the way Mazda handle this issue, and I'll make sure that my next car won't be a Mazda. I also bought a new Mazda 626 in 1986 and I never encountered any problem until it's just too old to drive in the early 2000.

After spending around $700 to perform the replacements mentioned above, the CEL disappeared for about 6 months. Then it's start to be on and off under certain conditions, and I stopped to bother to fix this problem.

Then in April 2009, the CEL is on and off again, but then in May 2009 it always on, and I start to notice some effect it had on the engine, especially if the engine is cold.

I brought the Mazda to a local mechanic shop that mentioned that they are an expert on fixing CEL problem. They said that the problem was a crack in air intake hose. It looks like a good explanation to me, so I had it replaced in the beginning of July 2009. And since then the CEL stays off, hopefully it stays off until the next state inspection in March 2010.

18th Aug 2009, 11:47

Guys, just give up on Mazda! Too many better cars to choose from and customer service.

20th Aug 2009, 16:25

"Too many better cars to choose from and customer service."

Come on! You could say that about just any modern car.

It took the commenter a while to figure out the problem (intake hose) but then it was fixed. If you find a good and honest mechanic you can take any cor to him or her and have good experience. It's not at all depending on the make.

29th Dec 2009, 17:18

I bought the 99 Mazda Protege DX in 2007 October. A few days later the check engine light (CEL) came on. Note that the engine light goes away when the battery is disconnected, and that's why the mechanic thinks he fixed the problems until a few days later when the CEL is back on. My airflow intake pipe was broken.

The car jerked on gears 1,2 and 3, and I could feel the car stalling when in high speed gears 4 and 5. (5 speed manual). I changed the air filter and replaced the broken air intake hose and the CEL problem went away until today 2 years later.

By the way the computer diagnosis had shown "systems too lean". However the jerking and stalling came back a year later, and replacing the air filter (air intake hose still OK) didn't solve the problem.

A few months ago, I decided to replace the plugs when I realized one of the plugs was completely burned, and the ignition coil was producing sparks. I replaced the plugs and the coil, and now the car drives like new. I hope the light and the jerking won't come back on.

20th Jan 2010, 15:29

My father-in-law bought a 99 Mazda Protege LX with 123k miles on it for about $2200 about 6 years ago. This car was for his daughter, who is now my wife.

When we got married three years ago, I took over the car maintenance.

The first year I replaced the the rear main seal. $1200.

The second year I fixed the passenger side wheel bearing. $400.

This year, at 218k miles, I replaced the driver side wheel bearing, cleared EGR ports (CEL P0106) and belts. $430.

All work has been preventive.

Unfortunately, we have OBDII state inspections in Texas, and the CEL has been on since May 2008. My inspection WAS due in June, but I just 'forgot'. In an attempt to be honest with my sticker, I cleaned the EGR ports (cleared code P0106, resulted with P0401) and replaced the EGR valve. Hopefully this will take care of CEL, else the cat converter is next. Since the car is in the shop, I went ahead and got the timing belt and water pump replaced. (current estimate ~$700 without cat converter))

So far my total has been $2030 in repairs in three years (plus my new bill). Still cheaper than car payments, and runs great at 29 city mpg.