OK. Got the car back from the shop.
Initially went in for:
- Whining belts,
- Rough noise from driver side wheel
- Engine light code p0106.
Resulted with: (prices parts & labor)
- Power steering and alt belt (73.83)
- Wheel bearing and inner seal bearing (207.20)
- Timing belt, belt tensioner, belt idler bearing, waterpump, seals and gaskets (my request) (578.87)
- Remove EGR and clean ports and passage (resulted in P0401)
- Replace EGR valve (resulted in P0420) (374.60)
- Replace catalytic converter (no more CEL) (344.00)
Total before taxes and disposal fees:
$1578.50. (still better than car payments!)
I purchased a 99 Protege for $200.00.
The check engine light on the first code was a mass sensor, I replaced it then the next day map sensor, I replaced it and I drove the car 25 miles and now the light is on again. It says heater circuit low. Does anybody know what that is?
What a mistake it was to buy a Mazda.
I think it is an oxygen sensor. Oxygen sensors work only when they are hot enough. Instead of waiting for the exhaust gases to heat them up, they have an electrical heater circuit. That way the catalytic converter can do its job earlier.
Try using heavy 40, 50 or 60 grade oil in it. That should at least slow down the leak.
I also have a 99 Mazda Protege LX. I recently got a tune up and replaced a bad alternator. The first time I start the car every day, the car stalls out or almost stalls. At various speeds, the car hesitates and shakes. It seems to shake more while going up hills. The hesitating and shaking seems more noticeable between 65-70 MPH. The engine light is on and off consistently. The last code implies a bad oxygen sensor. But research suggests it won't resolve the problem, since many people replaced it and still have the same problem. Apparently, the car is giving off FALSE READINGS when we see the codes.
I read the mass air flow sensor was recalled years ago, and it could also be the coolant sensor. At this point I just wanna throw in the towel on this car. It's too old to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars trying to guess what will resolve the problems. It's frustrating to keep spending money replacing parts that don't fix the issue.
Go to http://www.mazdaforum.com/forum/ and ask your question. I am sure you'll get some help there.
Hi, I'm a mechanic, and I've been working on these vehicles with the same problem. Clean or replace your EGR valve, replace O2 sensors, and the TPS sensor and map sensor. These are all in conjunction with each other. I guarantee your problem will go away, and even after you replace these items, your check engine light has to be reset. If any other problem remains, it will come back on within about 50 miles.
I know some of these items are expensive; you can buy from a salvage yard if money is an issue, but replacing these together will make a huge difference in the performance of your car.