2003 Mazda Protege 5 from North America - Comments

10th Apr 2006, 22:46

For 50k miles per year with all those major components repaired, your car had to be in the shop for quite a long time. With that in mind, how many miles do you put on your Mazda daily? 50k a year equals roughly 1000 miles per week. How did you put that many miles on the car with the maintenance time figured in? Things do not add up.

29th Oct 2006, 21:48

Anyone knows, if you're putting 1000 miles a week on a car, you DON'T change the oil every 3 weeks. Jiffy Lube recommends 3000 miles, not the manufacturer, especially those kind of highway miles. Everyone that runs to Jiffy Lube every 3000 miles is a fool. Crack open the owner's manual for a change.

3rd Nov 2006, 11:09

Anyone that feels that they don't have to change their oil every 3000 miles is fooling themselves, and is going to end up with a big repair bill very soon!! Case in point, see above where the owner put over 100k on their car in just over 2 years! That's a lot of driving, despite what anyone says.

And, BTW, if you check the owner's manual, it will tell you to get your oil changed every 3000-5000 miles.

9th Nov 2006, 15:34

Getting your oil changed every 3000 miles is a rule of thumb not an exact # to follow. If you drive a 1000 miles a week you can go out to every 5000 miles. Really its every 3000 miles or 4-6 months, whichever comes first. Plus I would be curious as well as to how he put on 100,000 miles in 2 years with so many repairs.

29th Nov 2006, 10:53

I have had a Mazda Protege 5 for 2 years myself and I am extremely dissapointed. There have been so many problems this car has literally taken me to the poor house. EGR VALVE!, Belts, Brackets, brakes, lights, stereo, it goes on and on... In my opinion this Japanese car is really designed and built for a nice, easy life on the smooth roads of Japan... not the rugged and tough demands of life on the real road here in North America!

16th Jan 2007, 14:50

I purchased my 2003 Mazda Protege LX in May of 2003. It had 8 miles on the odometer. It had the 2.0 engine and 5 speed manual transmission. I took excellent care of this car, the oil was changed EVERY 3000 miles religiously. In April of 2006, with 58,000 miles on the odometer, I got into it, turned the key, started it up, and it shook like there was an earthquake under the hood, the "check engine" light also did not go off after the car idled for a few moments. I immediately turned the car off, and tried again in case it was a fluke. It wasn't. It continued. I had the car towed to the Mazda dealer who ran the diagnostic check on it and diagnosed that it needed a tune up. One of the spark plugs was bad, cyl #4. I got it out of the shop and on my way home at a stop light it started shaking again. The next morning I drove it back to Mazda, later that afternoon they called and said that the "rod" was broken and the engine needed to be replaced. I had them put in another spark plug and I drove the car VERY SLOWLY never over 2,000 rmp to the nearest dealer and traded it in.

17th Jan 2007, 18:27

3-1/2 years in with my Protege 5. 5-speed with A/C, no real problems to report. Car has been highly reliable and now has over 118,000 kms or about 71,000 miles. So far, have changed the brakes, timing belt, the two other belts and spark plugs. The only other thing was the water pump which was still in OK condition, but I requested the change at the same time as the timing belt to avoid possible future labour charges in case it went later. The time to change just a water pump on that car was 2.5 - 3 hours, while they were doing the timing belt, 30-45 minutes. I will be trading it in soon, looking for something bigger, excellent car, hope the next owner enjoys it. BTW, never missed an oil change, every 3000 miles...ALWAYS!!!

26th Jan 2007, 10:09

I have a 2000 Mazda Protege LX which has about 80.000 miles/130K Km. After it got off the warranty - time in which I changed the oil religiosly every 3000 miles (by then I had 40.000 miles), I switched to synthetic oil and since then I changed the oil every 6000 miles... It went through 6 Canadian winters and it still runs great, has very good acceleration etc. The gas consumption went up after the 4th year and 4 months ago I had the first oxygen sensor replaced which made it right.

6th Feb 2007, 08:41

I purchased a used 1999 Protege. The car has 155K miles and still going strong. Prior to the Protege, I owned a 1987 Mazda 323 for almost 12 years. End of 2006, I purchased a 2007 Mazda3 hatchback and I love it!!! I kept the Protege for my son who is wondering how more many miles he can get out of the Protege. We've religiously changed the oil every 3500-4500 miles. Replaced brakes 3 times, replace timing belt a few months ago, and performed maintenance as suggested by Mazda dealer. Can anyone tell me?

12th Feb 2007, 13:08

I have a Mazda Protege 2000 (110K Kilometers). Changed the timing belt, water pump, tensioner and idler a couple of months ago. Everything's fine except that the engine gets noisy at 100Kms (highway driving. Otherwise the car runs fine, engine does not heat up.

Can anyone suggest, what can be done to make the engine quieter / smoother? Should I go in an engine tune up or engine / belt timing? I believe the timing is computerized.

22nd Feb 2007, 02:26

Camshaft (timing belt) timing is never computerized. It's simply a mechanical connection between the crankshaft and the camshaft via a belt or chain. As for your complaints about noisy highway cruising... I wholeheartedly agree. If there's one major complaint about my car, it's the highway cruising noise. Whenever I visit my parents and cruise around in their 2002 VW passat, I'm always amazed at how quiet and smooth it rides at high speed, right up to 100+mPH (don't ask why I'm driving that fast).

My Mazda is a 5 speed manual, and in the interest of sprightly performance (less so by today's standards--the Mazda3 now has 160 HP), the transmission is geared very short. Redline in first is less than 30, and redline in second is less than 60...unusual for any car. The net result is high RPMs in top gear on the highway. in 5th gear, cruising at the usual 80 MPH (in states where 75 is the legal limit, so 80 is reasonable), my RPMs are right at 4000. That's VERY high compared to most cars, and the result is an annoying drone that combines with awful road and windnoise to produce shouting conversations between my passengers and I. I suspect that automatic transmission Proteges aren't much different, despite the mildly higher gear ratios of the 4 speed in cars equipped thusly.

8th Mar 2007, 11:58

I have a 2002 Protege and did all the regular maintenance on the car as set out in the owner's manual. I drive very little and have never put more than 10K km on my car in a year. I have been very disappointed with my protege. At first it was good, but as soon as I bought the car off lease (and off warranty) I have had to replace the stereo, ERG valve, brakes, battery, and spark plugs. Now 5 months after buying out my lease, I am told that the water pump has to be replaced, as well as front links and about four other so called "small repairs" which will be another $1,500. I will never buy a Mazda again.