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Used Cars for sale - Used Trucks for sale [4274833011] Buy Used Cars

Hesitant Acceleration and rattle in engine

- Mazda-Protege

Forum Post
04/19/08 05:51
Atlanta Protoge Guy

Hesitant Acceleration and rattle in engine

I own a 2003 Protoge LX - bought brand new


Car has 103, 000 miles

Coolant flush 18 months ago.

Oil changed per owner's manual- at 90, 000 miles I started using Mobil One Hi-Mileage.

At 95, 000 miles had the major service done, which included: adjusting timing belt, valves and replacing water pump.

Have always put 87 octane gasoline in car.


1. About three months ago I noticed a rattle in the engine when I depress the accelerator. Like a marble rolling around in the engine. I filled gas tank with 93 octane and bought a bottle of STP Fuel System Treatment. The noise went away- but now its back.

2. While idling at a stop, e.g. traffic light, the engine starts to sputter, almost die.

3. The "check engine" light came on steady a month ago, several days later it went out...few days later came back on steady, few days later went out.

I am in college and need this car to last me 5 more years, but don't want to break the bank keeping it running.

Archived Replies

This post has a total of 45 replies. The most recent 25 are shown below, you can view the complete archive here: Hesitant Acceleration and rattle in engine archive. Your feedback, comments, opinions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

This forum post has messages dated from 04/19/08 through 05/13/11, please be sure to read all the messages. If you feel it is old or outdated, please follow up with a question or comment and someone may be able to update it, or reply with newer information if you have it.

**/**/** **:**

Well i had a 2001 mazda millenia supercharges, 7 months after i bought it, i heard a tapping noise. i took it a local mechanic and they said it was the lifet, a bad motor, i called the dealership back and asked them about it, they told me to put lucas oil in it. well it did'nt work and a couple of weeks later, it caught on fire while my sister was driving. as much as i loved my mazda millenia, i was completely turned off from even remotely liking them anymore. huge mistake, never again.
**/**/** **:**

I've got a 95' Protege ES, After it has got cold here in Canada, my engine does not want to idle under 1, 000RPM.

When I warm it up, it sits around 1, 000 - 1, 200 RPM. Then when I touch the gas then take my foot off, it goes and stays at 2, 000RPM. Then when I turn the car off and turn it back on, its back upto 2, 000RPM. I disconnected the air temp sensor and the throttle position sensor, that did not fix the problem. My temperature gauge always has stayed in the middle when the engine got warm. Is it possible the thermostat is gone? I dont know what ele is making the car run and stay at 2, 000.

I even backed off the idle set screw. Stil nothing. Linkage is all good.


**/**/** **:**

I have a 2002 Mazda Protege5 with a manual transmisson. It has about 140, 000+ miles and have never given me any problems. After I did the 100, 000 mile tune-up my engine light came on, but I figured this was just a sensor. Recently whenver I am accelerating I don't have any power and the engine starts to die on me. As I accelerate more I can get the car moving, but can't take the RPM higher than 3000 on each gear. If I do the car starts to lunge back and forth radically. As I come to a stop the engine starts to die on me again and have to keep it idling so that it doesn't shut off. At first I thought it was the clutch failing, but I can change gears just fine and don't get a grinding noise when shifting. What else could this be?
**/**/** **:**

Have a 2003 Protege LX. Check engine light came on and car would almost die at idle. Had new plugs and wire and a new fuel pump installed. Picked up car from shop and the problem was still there. Turned out to be a rotten rubber elbow intake that was throughing off the mass air sensor. Got that replaced and everything was fine. Now 3 weeks later the check engine light is back on! The car starts, idles, accelerates, and drives fine. Any ideas as to why the light would be on, but performance not effected??
**/**/** **:**
jordan folger

you need a coil fixed in your cilinder i had the same problem.. 200$ fix for me runs great.
**/**/** **:**

while on the freeway my 2000 mazda protege ran hot and then started to decelerate. I stopped and car cooled off but when started it would not move out of first gear.
**/**/** **:**

I have a serious knocking on my 95 protege. I have already changed to heavier oil, checked replaced the fuel, checked the spark plugs. It sounds like a diesel from the drivers position, from outside sounds like there is a marble in the motor and more to the left by the belts, any ideas?
**/**/** **:**

I accidentally put too much oil in my car and the engine cut off at a was idling poorly. I took it and got and oil change and I believe he did a synthetic oil change. The next day I drove it for about three hours and right at the end of my trip the engine cut off again as I pulled away from a stop sign. I bought the car used I've allready replaced the battery and put a new positive terminal cable in. Was the engine shut off due to too much oil and then the change to synthertic oil...or is it something more serious. After that last time the engine has not cut off since so I'm hoping it was just the new oil working through. But I'm scared every time I drive that my car is gonna die on
**/**/** **:**

My 2002 Protege 5 has been making a rattling noise when I start up. It is barely noticeable after driving for about 5 minutes, but when it first starts up, it's quite noticeable. It only exists when it's in gear. It doesn't make the noise when it's in park. There was squeaking before, but that went away after a dose of belt lubricant.

Is this serious enough for me to take the car into the shop immediately, or should I wait until my next maintenance (in a couple months)?

**/**/** **:**

I bought a used 2000 Mazda Protege ES a few months ago. It now has over 170k miles. I don't have a manual but it appears that the check engine light came on. I read previous stories from this site and noticed that it could be the light comes on for no reason or should I check it out soon? Strapped for cash to spend alot of money on it.
**/**/** **:**

I have a 2000 protege es. The check engine lite to the left of the dash screen is a constant on. It will idle fine and go fine in reverse but when i start out in 1st gear it will hesitate and want to stall when the clutch is being engaged. Any ideas on the problem?
**/**/** **:**

I have a 2001 Mazada Protege dx and I gear a knocking sound coming from the engine what could it be?
**/**/** **:**

I have a 2000 mazda protege and it makes a funny grinding noise in the engine while cranking but it quits when it fires up. Does anyone have an idea what the problem might be? Someone told me it could be related to the water pump.
**/**/** **:**

Hey guys, my '02 Protege5 automatic at around 120K was doing this, every time I accelerate the rattling noise was apparent including when I let off the gas from time to time. My engine ended up blowing one day after sluggish acceleration; I hope you guys are doing regular oil change, check the level (P5 uses 3.85 quarts). It was god awful experience spending $2, 500 including labor/parts just to replace with another 75K engine.
**/**/** **:**
k 33

my mazda 121 gx1 I have only had for 2 months sometimes cuts out when idling and sometimes feel power going when driving, sometimes its okay, but scared driving on motorways now in case car dies on me.
**/**/** **:**
Dahlia Chaudhery

HI i just purchased a 2000 mazda protege yesterday, my problem is the cheack engne light is on as well as the o/d light blinks you can not turn it off...

i drove it today after i put insurance on it and i feel the car jumping wen im driving at a normal pace like its not shifting properly also when i put the car in reverse it has..

a weird shakey feel can anybody help me?? What could this be?

im a single mom with a six month old so i need the car to be as safe as possible for my son.

thanku in advance for any responses

**/**/** **:**

I have a 2003 protege, the day before yesterday I had to replace the battery. Then yesterday the check engine light came on and there is a very slight hesitation and low idle when I stop. Is it something to do with the change in the battery or is it something else? Oh and last week I had the belts tightened cause she was squealing. But she seemed to be perfectly fine after that.



**/**/** **:**

change ignition coil for mazda protege there is 2, when its failing cause all problem describe above
**/**/** **:**

Hi, I have a 2000 Mazda Protege. The problem: The car will start fine & run perfect, but then in a couple of minutes the car will turn off by itself and then in a couple minutes or when the car is cooled off it will turn on again.

I have changed the fuel pump, maf sensor, oxygen sensor & crank sensor, and there used to be a "check engine" light, but i replaced all those things and I dont have the light anymore.

I really need help!!!.. Thank you

**/**/** **:**

We just rebuilt the engine in our 2003 Mazda Protege, replaced coil, spark plug wires, made sure the new spark plugs measured correctly, checked the EGR valve changed all gaskets and all, it`s a new car inside. The fuel delivery system works, no vacuum issues. Once it is started, it runs GREAT, but it`s getting it started. The starter turns over, but doesn`t start. We`ve narrowed it down to a weak spark, but don`t know where to go or how to improve the spark. HELP!
**/**/** **:**

To carlos reply #18. I had same thing happen to me. But I did nothing about it. It died finally while I was driving. It was the ignition coil. Took a volt meter touched it to coil it was dead. New coil costs about 100. Better check distributor cap might need to replace it also.idle low adjust the egr. Good luck

**/**/** **:**

I am a mazda protege 2OO2 with about 13OOOOkm on it. First well sometimes it starts just fine, sometimes it take a little more effort but the main problem is when i drive slowly of i'm stoped at a sign or something the car starts shaking and the rpm goes up and down (if i wouldn't hold on the breaks the car would go forward on it's own). I really need help, i live in a small town and no garage could find what was wrong, & i'm a college student I can't continue wasn't all this money for nothing. please HELP !!
**/**/** **:**

Hi i have a mazda protege 1998. My problem is a couple weeks ago the car was sputtering and bucking and losing power i changed the spark plugs and all was good for 9 days and them it started again bought it to a garage and they changed the spark plugs again and put new spark plug wires and flue filter a few hours later it back again i love my car but it nothing but a money pit and advice is welcome.
**/**/** **:**

2002 Mazda Protege LX. about 125K miles. Manual Transmission. I'm having a similar problem to everyone else here. Occasionally (not always, maybe 25% of the time) when I accelerate I get the engine rattle and sluggish acceleration. I took it to my mechanic and he told me it wasn't the catalytic converter, but he didn't know what it was otherwise. It's hard to have him reproduce it, as it only happens a quarter of the time (usually, it seems, in warmer weather). I'm changing my spark plugs, cables, and ignition coils this weekend to see if it helps. Any other suggestions?

It seems to me that the noise comes from under the car, but I don't know if I trust my ears to determine location. The car also sputters black exhaust when the rattling noise occurs.


**/**/** **:**

reply to Raymond :

Check for radiator leakage. After 20-30 mintes of driving the car will shut down, and when its cooled off, it will turn on again... one way to confirm radiator leakage is to check the engine temp... it should be between H - C indicator...

Hope that helps....

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    Archived Replies

    This post has a total of 45 replies. The most recent 25 were shown above, you can view the complete archive here: Hesitant Acceleration and rattle in engine archive. Your feedback, comments, opinions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

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    Mazda Protege 'Hesitant Acceleration and rattle in engine'