98 Mazda Protege
by Paul B.
98 Mazda Protege
My 98 Mazda Protege has been a fantastic vehicle and has provided the most trouble-free operation of any vehicle I have ever owned. This little car has 180,000 miles on it and is still going strong. When I finally did need service for a check engine light problem things didn't go so well.
When the check engine light popped on I was so unfamiliar with problems with this car I didn't know where to go. I figured I would take it to the experts and went to a local Mazda dealer. They ran a diagnostic and said that the vehicle set a code for an EGR malfunction.
They also said that the repair of this system would be necessary to pass the state inspection that was coming due in a couple of months. I figured I had no choice and asked them to provide an estimate to repair the problem.
They stated that the Egr valve would require replacement and that they would have to then clear the codes after the system was repaired. I agreed to the $300 repair for my beloved 98 Mazda Protege. I picked up the car at the end of the day and all my ride home the check engine light came back on.
When I called the dealer to my surprise they stated that I would have to pay another diagnostic charge because this was most likely a new problem even though I only drove 3 miles. After discussing this with a friend he recommended a private repair facility in my town that had a fantastic reputation.
This second mechanic pulled the same code for an egr valve malfunction that the dealership had pulled the day before. This mechanic removed the egr valve and saw that the exhaust passages were completely blocked with carbon. This caused the emission valve not to operate correctly because when it would open exhaust gases would not flow to the combustion chamber due to the carbon blockage.
He cleaned out the carbon reinstalled the valve and cleared the codes. This was a couple of months ago and not only did my 98 Mazda Protege pass the local state inspection but my check engine light has stayed off. I took the receipt for the second repair to the Mazda dealership hoping for a partial refund on the first repair. The dealership declined.