Question about 2003 Mazda Protege

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Dimming lights and slowing wipers ????

I could really use some help here and it is probably a very simple problem... when driving or even when idling, it seems as though something 'kicks' on like a fan or something, but i am not sure... and the headlights dim a little, the wipers (if they are on) slow down.... then, it seems to 'kick off' and the lights are back to normal brightness again...wipers at normal speed...i would like to get this fixed asap but i don't want some mechanic telling me that it is something that it isn't... can anyone give me a few ideas as to what you think this may be...also, after i had the thermostat changed last summer, there is a squeaking in the engine, i am assuming a belt... it stops squeaking after driving for a out 20 minutes... again, have NO idea...thank you so much for any insight you can provide!

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  • jai Feb 25, 2009

    thank you...I will get that checked this week and let you know! the mechanic that put the thermostat in last summer did tell me that i would need a new 'belt' in a few months because he got them wet .... would that be the same 'belt' you are speaking of? it is strange how the lights dim as i am driving...it feels like a 'fan' or something has turned on in the engine, although, i am not sure if it is a fan...it just feels as though something turns on and 'drains' the power from the electrical system, like the lights and the wipers....then, in a few seconds, 30 or 45...it stops and the 'juice' is flowing again! the lights do not completely go out, just have a noticable dimming effect to them...and the wipers, they slow down to about half speed.... again, thank you for any assistance you can give me! jai

  • jai Feb 25, 2009

    i am embarassed to say that i haven't had the belts changed since i bought the car new, my car is at 80k now! i will get that done this week. now, do you think that the belts have something to do with the lights going dim periodically when driving/idling....or is that something else completely? jai

  • carhob May 11, 2010

    could be just your drive belt that needs to be checked

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The squeak noise is probably a belt. Most likely it has moisture underneath it that evaporates once the engine gets warm. Its a good idea to change your belts every couple of years, just make sure you use a Gates brand belt. Mazda engines are particular about their belts. May be a good idea to change the timing belt too, about every 60,000 miles.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009

  • IAFixItGirl Feb 25, 2009

    Sounds like your alternator belt may be loose or glazed and that would be causing the issue. Your alternator is basically the powerhouse that charges your battery and runs the rest of your electrical systems. Either that or your alternator is going out. On proteges the alternator is down near the bottom left of the engine and is easy to get wet when driving in hard rain.

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