Question about 2003 Mazda Protege

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2003 Mazda protege had rough idle and wants to stall when I stop.

I own a 2003 Mazdaspeed Protege (Turbo) and my car is acting really wierd. It has a rough idle and when I come to a stop, the car wants to stall. The RPM will drop to about 100-200 then bounce to 800-1000. I've done some research and noticed that the EGR is a problem on the MSP (MazdaSpeed Protege) so I replaced it with the updated EGR. It still does the same thing.

I took it to Mazda and they couldn't figure out what the problem was. They wanted more time with the car but at $98/hour and no clue what the problem was, I said no thank you. Mazda told me that they checked the fuel rail but that wasn't the issue.

Any ideas?

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  • Anonymous Jan 05, 2009

    I've been having this issue for the past 2 years with my 03 Mazda Protege 5. Just yesterday, it did it again and stalled completely and the check engine light came on. The AT light was flashing, too. It barely started and got to Pep Boys only a few blocks away. The codes read that it was the transmission and I'd have to go to another shop to repair the transmission. I haven't done that yet today, but have driven it without fault for the past 70 miles now again. Mazda just replaced the intake manifold, and did so poorly, but I don't think this is related. It is a transmission issue clearly to me now, and probably caused by the transmission not shifting back down to low gear properly when I stop swiftly. Do you have a manual or automatic transmission on yours?

  • nozoomzoom Jan 15, 2009

    I have the same problem with my 2003 Protege. It has completely stalled out twice in the past month and this problem started in October. It comes and goes and the check engine light goes off and on over the course of the week.

    Our company mechanic says he thinks its the Idle Sensor. You can try cleaning it (if you can find a manual that actually shows you where parts are... not common these days) and it that fails, replace it. Luckily for is, the sensor on the Protege is usually easy to reach meaning its cheaper to repair than most cars.

    If this sensor doesn't work, I'll look into the possibility of transmission issues, though I really don't want to believe its that. That can be pricey.

  • nozoomzoom Jan 15, 2009

    Extra info:
    My spark plugs were changed less than two years ago and mine is an automatic at about 120,000 miles.

  • Anonymous Feb 25, 2009

    I am having the same problem. Unfortunately, its the intake manifold which can get a bit costly.


  • Anonymous Mar 19, 2014

    took to emissions and this is what they told me, I recently had the alternator replaced. other than that nothings been done to the car, it seems to run ok, rough idle, and doesn't get up and go like I would want it to.

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The idle on my 2003 Mazda Protege started acting strange one day - it kinda surged forward a little bit. Then the RPM would drop and kept wanting to stall out. It stalled out at a stop sign. The check engine light came on. I drove it immediately to my Goodyear mechanic. It ended up being the Idle Air Control Valve. They had to order the part from Mazda which took 3 days to get there. The whole thing cost $700. Runs great now (again).

Posted on Apr 21, 2009

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I have a 1999 protege and it would stall and run rough at idle, also it would hesitate badly when trying to accelerate. I thought it was the egr - it turns out it is the snorkel (air hose). IThe rubber had hardened and cracked, once replaced the car ran perfectly.

Posted on Mar 04, 2010

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Hi everyone,

For everyone who is having this problem, I am not sure but hope that it is the same problem I had with my 2003 Mazda Protege, I found out and replaced the intake hose that goes to the filter and it solved my problem, yahoo. Cost $55.00 dealer, online $34.00.

I was frustrated for 2 weeks not knowing what the heck was wrong with my car after I had it at the Mazda service department for an oil smell which my husband fixed by tightening the screws. Apparently the mechanic leaned on the hose and broke it, they said he did not remove anything the second time I was there, but the first time they said he removed the valve cover and saw the the gasket needed to be replaced.

Do not take it back until you look at the hose first, or they will try and tell you it is the idle gasket, or the idle piece that cost about 485.00 to replace.

This is common with most dealers, and or mechanic departments, they know what is actually wrong with the car, and they will fix that problem, and they will tell you it was something else and charge you an arm and a leg.

They told me that my car was old and things ware out, bull dinky, I have an 88 Honda Accord in my back yard, and the hose is in great shape.

I called Mazda Corporation and told them all about my experience with the Mazda Service department, and they are sending me a 60.00 voucher for any repairs in the future to use at any Mazda Service Department.

I love my Mazda Protege, it is paid off and it runs great. I get the oil changed every 3000 miles.

Sincerely,
Problem Solved

Posted on Feb 19, 2009

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I had this problem too with mine. I would just touch the gas a little while coming to a stop. This is pretty common with this model car. Mazda will reprogram the fuel map to try to fix this. But I never did, I live too far from a "MazdaSpeed" dealership. When my car started misfiring I replaced the coil packs, and it fixed both problems instantly. Now it idles higher.

Posted on Nov 20, 2009

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Chek your intake hose is the probleme for mazda

Posted on Apr 21, 2013

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Sound like fuel tank pressure sensor check it

Posted on Mar 02, 2012

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Replacing the idle control valve would fix the problem.

Posted on Oct 30, 2009

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