98 Mazda Protege

by Paul B.
(New Jersey)

98 Mazda Protege

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.

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Feb 14, 2011
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My Zoom Zoom
by: Anthony

Hello, everyone, I have the 98 protege LX, I have had it for a year now. I bought it with a little over 180k miles on it, It now has just over 190k. It still runs like a champ. However I cant seam to get the check engine light to go away. It say its the MAP sensor but I tested it and it is working fine, so any help or advise on that is helpful.

Also so far after owning this car all I had to do to it as far as repairs is i had to replace the steering pump and belts, also had to replace the switch for the heat. now the rear passenger window does not go down or up. Well other than that this car is great I wish they still made this, but they got replaced with the Mazda 3.

I still get over 35mpg on this car i can wait to see how she will run after I get the check engine light off as well as the valve passages cleaned. living in Illinois she has gotten a little surface rust.

Apr 20, 2010
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engine light 98 mazda protege
by: Faith

I also have a 98 Mazda protege. Yes the check engine light came on. I had it for over 6 years. I continue to drive it and to this day I have only minor problems.

Apr 11, 2010
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Check Engine Light Keeps coming on
by: Dave Di

98 Mazda Protege check engine light Keeps coming on. I bought a 98 Mazda Protege for my daughter so she could go back to school. She has racked up some mileage on the car. The only problem we had was with the engine light coming on.

It appears the the oxygen sensor was setting off the Engine light because the exhaust system was not getting hot enough to burn off all the unburnt gasses. Somewhere there was a change in the sensor, but they are not the same, even thou they say OEM. Exhaust system was not changed. It's all the same size and original OEM pipe. Rather than pay a guy 300 dollars to have them unplug the battery and re-hook it up, so the computer resets it's self, and the light will say off until another time.

I was told/or read some where that the exhaust system does not get hot fast enough and that is the cause of the check engine light coming on. It can't capture the unused gases, and sends a message through the check engine light to have the system checked. Nobody these days will fix a problem like that, you have to live with it and know how to reset it.

Pull off the battery terminal for few min. and re hook it up. Or you can go to Auto zone and have them reset the computer for free. This happens more in the winter months than in the summer, because it's not so cold and the pipe heats faster. Regards David

Feb 09, 2010
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97 Mazda EGR
by: Jimmy Nails

Hey Paul I just wanted to mention that I have a 97 Mazda protege that also set a code for an EGR problem. My repair shop was able to fix the problem on the first visit unlike the dealer that you went to. But it was necessary to replace the EGR valve as well as removing the carbon from the passageway. It seemed like from your story that you felt maybe the valve itself was not needed. But it most likely needed to be replaced.

I kept my old part and I could clearly see that the EGR was rusted heavily.My mechanic told me that this was causing a binding situation and may have led to the passageway being clogged with carbon.

So it seems like the fact that you had to go to (2) shops did suck. But it would seem to me anyway that both repairs were necessary. P.S. My 97 Mazda protege has 210,000 miles on the original engine and is still going strong. Zoom zoom!

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