I have heat when the car is idling, but when I drive it the gauge goes to cold and I lose the heat. I changed the thermostat, flushed the heater core and still have the same problem. Could it be that the heater core is not working under pressure?
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I believe the mazda protege has a separate thermoswitch to activate the radiator's fan. Perhaps the fan keeps blowing until the temperature is too low. Try replacing the fan thermoswitch. Just take care to put in tis place a thermoswitch of the same temperature range.
Well sounds like first start your car record where the temp needle reads, then let the engine warm up (with out driving) then rev the engine to about 3500-4000rpm a couple times does your needle move at all record then hold your rpm at 3500 for about 5-10 sec does this get the gauge to drop? sounds like you may "if not over heating at all and coolant level and circulation is good" have a circuit problem, you can test this by going to auto zone and ask for a scan to be done on your car when the plug into your OBD 2 ask them to go into DATA STREAM and then check to see what temp your ECM thinks the engine coolant is at does it match your gauge at idle and at 3500rpm if not its a faulty circuit
Could be the Mass Air Flow sensor. But I would check the cold air intake tube first, they are subject to cracking and any hole in it will cause the MAF to give false readings which will trigger the light and cause rough idle, stalling and hesitation.
is the coolant reservoir bubbling while engine is running??? if so, two things may be going on, 1st, one of the 2 cooling fans may not be working properly, usually the a/c condenser fan goes bad causing an intermediate over-heat and if the bubbling in the reservoir is happening then you now have a external leak in the cylinder head gasket from the over-heating causing a rough idle at times...you will need to have the head gasket replaced hope this helps.
your heater core or the hoses going to it are bad. get them replaced and i gaurantee this will solve your problem. if the antifreeze is coming from the very front of the car than you have a bad radiator or hoses in the front of the car.