1996 Mazda Protege Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1996 Mazda Protege as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

An electrically shorted air flow sensor can cause a crank-no start condition. Diagnosis may show that ignition spark is normal, and there are no trouble codes stored.

If the engine cranks but does not start, and diagnosis shows no fuel pressure, the fuel pump relay is frequently the problem. If the fuel pump relay is defective, the fuel pump will not energize and therefore, not generate fuel pressure so the engine can run.

If the engine stalls when coming to a stop, check the automatic transmission fluid (ATF) level. Low ATF fluid level can cause the torque converter lock-up to stay on, stalling the engine.

A loose or corroded ground terminal on the driver's side of the cylinder head can cause a rough idle, misfires, and there may be trouble codes. Restore the ground to the cylinder head.

If the Check Engine Light comes on, and diagnosis finds a trouble code, or codes, for misfires, it might be caused by insufficient valve clearance for the affected cylinder. The valve clearances should be inspected and adjusted where needed.

Misfires under load (acceleration) can be caused by leaky spark plug boots. When a spark plug boot leaks, it allows the spark to arc, or jump, to the cylinder head. New spark plug wires will be needed.

The timing belt tensioner pulley may make a squealing noise from the timing cover area on cold startup. An updated tensioner with a thicker mounting bracket to eliminate vibration may be needed to solve the problem.

The passages for the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system can become restricted or clogged causing the Check Engine Light to illuminate. The EGR valve will need to be inspected and the passages cleaned.