12th Jun 2009, 21:15

My 2002 Protege was having a terrible idle problem. It would shudder, shake, and eventually die. I pulled the EGR valve off and found it to be stuck open. I cleaned all the carbon off with carb cleaner and worked the valve back and forth until it moved smoothly---Problem solved!

22nd Jun 2009, 13:36

I'm disappointed to hear others having a rough time with their Protege5s. As for us, it has been an exceptional car. We have owned our '03 protege5 since new, it has 87,000 kms (I never thought I would put so few kms on a car/year). We have put new tires on it and are about to do timing belt and battery (Mazda stock batteries aren't known for their life span), and simply done the oil changes regularly. Other than that the car has been very good to us.

I'm guessing that this is a case of the people with gripes having the loudest voices and people who are happy with the cars simply not writing about it. Or maybe living on the west coast of Canada is easier on the cars than wherever the rest of these people live. I think resale value is a very good indicator of how good a car is. To buy our 2003 protege5 today used, it would cost $9-10,000+. We paid $25,000 (taxes in) the end of 2002. That's a pretty impressively low depreciation rate compared to most vehicles.

In my opinion, our 2003 protege5 has been the 2nd best car ever owned (2nd only to our 91 Tercel, which was owned by our family for 14+ years, 300kms+ and has to be one of the most indestructible vehicles ever built).

If you are thinking of buying a Protege5, I would highly recommend them.

13th Jul 2009, 01:21

I am looking into buying a used 2003 Protege 5. The car I saw has run 120,000km. I'm wondering if I need to ask the dealer to change the timing belt, battery and spark for me before I purchase it. Any suggestions? Thank you.

Rebecca C.

21st Jul 2009, 16:13

Find out how much this would cost. Then you have a bargaining chip. If the services have not been performed yet they should drop the price some significant amount.

14th Aug 2009, 16:46

I own a Mazda Protege ES 2000 which I purchased new. It now has 107,000 miles on it. It has been a very reliable car until at 60,000 miles the timing belt was replaced by our local mechanic.

At about 70,000 miles the idle became rapid, but the car was running fine, until the timing belt slipped off in the middle of the NYS Thruway, our local mechanic provided a tow, and replaced the belt stating the idle screw was loose.

A 90,000 miles the belt was again replaced at the recommendation of a Mazda dealer by the dealer.

At 107,000 miles the timing belt slipped off again. Our local mechanic replaced the belt and showed us how the tension pulley spring was stuck in the belt. He stated he had never seen this before.

This is the 4th timing belt for this car. We are very careful with regular maintenance for this car, but 4 timing belts has been very expensive.

We would appreciate any explanation or advice.

17th Nov 2009, 16:40

This is a response to the 6th comment, I work for Jiffy Lube, and the reason that we recommend an oil change every 3000 miles is because Pennzoil, the primary oil that we carry, recommends it be done every 3000 miles, however Pennzoil recommends it to be changed every 5000 miles if, and only if, you are using their full synthetic oil, Pennzoil Platinum. Once again I am a certified employee for Heartland Automotive, the company that owns Jiffy Lube, and I am very knowledgeable about the oil that I put in cars everyday.

27th Nov 2009, 09:15

I have a 2002 Protege 5 that I bought new 7/1/01. It now has 161,000 miles on it and has been an extremely reliable car.

Yes, I have had to replace some parts. The headlights don't seem to last long, but I do buy the cheap replacement bulbs. I've never had a single repair bill over $300 in the entire life of this car, excluding tires.

This car has never left me stranded, it has never quit. I can rely on it starting and getting me to where I need to go, even with its high mileage.

I'm sorry to hear about others having major repair bills. I consider myself very lucky to have such a great car. I plan to hand it down to my teenage daughter. At 8 years old, the paint and body still look fantastic.

7th Jan 2010, 10:43

I have a 2003 P5 and I love my car. It has just a little over 162000 miles on it. I change the oil every 3 months, using synthetic oil.

I just put new drilled/slotted rotors and ceramic disc pads on the car in the front. They look cool on the car. Have to get to do the rears soon.

Though I have an issue with my parking brake, it doesn't hold well at all on any surface but flat. My friend said sometimes the rear caliper freezes, and that we should replace the caliper when we do the rear rotors. I've only changed the rear brakes at 78k and the fronts at 92k. (I'm driving a manual.) I did not need to do the fronts right now, but got a great deal on the cool rotors.

And my other complaint is the headlights; every fall one goes out, and every spring the other goes out. My boyfriend has a Mazdaspeed Protege, and he hasn't replaced his headlights but once, just to upgrade. Go figure!

All and all, it is a great car, and I hope to get to 250k plus with it.

17th Mar 2010, 01:54

Had a recent bad experience that I thought I would share. It was also a bit puzzling, and I would appreciate feedback if possible.

It's my mother's 2002 p5 that seemed to be going just fine up to 160,000 and some miles. The car died and stranded us on the side of the freeway. Without any drama, it just stopped running as I came to a stop on an exit. After a couple of tries, it started enough to roll through the stop, then died again and wouldn't start. It was towed to a dealer shop where it was found to have stripped its timing belt, and subsequently lost all compression in the cylinders. I was under the impression that this was a non-interference engine, and that it should have been able to survive a failure of this type. It's not really worth it at this time to put a new motor in it, and the car is most likely going to be scrapped. I know it's a lot of miles, but I was curious if anyone else has had a similar experience?

1st May 2010, 17:09

That doesn't make sense. It is a non-interference engine. A new timing belt and water pump should fix it.

17th May 2010, 15:56

Holy poop!!!

I've had nothing but problems with my MP5...

Got it in the summer of 06' with 64k on it, now has 110k.

Since then I've replaced the trans, alternator, all 4 calipers, trans again... I've rust proofed it and yet it still rusts (the rust is strong with this one)

Wheel bearings/hub are my worst nightmare... had the front passenger replace also.

Maybe I was just got unlucky and was sold a lemon, because I don't drive the car hard by any means.