Question about 2001 Mazda Protege

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2001 Mazda Protege DX 1.6l engine sluggish when turning and won't start.

I just changed the timing belt and water pump on my friend's 2001 Mazda Protege DX 1.6l. I made sure the timing marks were all aligned for each individual cam and the crankshaft gear. I even turned the engine with a breaker bar a couple of times to make sure the marks stayed lined up. Took out a spark plug in cylinder No. 1 to ensure TDC, everything is perfect. But when I go to fire it up, even with jumper cables hooked up to his battery, the engine is really sluggish to turn like it's struggling. But I'm able to use the breaker bar to turn the engine fairly easily, with the usual resistance of the cam lobes you feel when you turn it. We took off the starter, took it to the parts store and they bench tested it and said it was okay, I checked for continuity in the power and ground from the battery, we even changed the oil because it was overfilled (he took it to Pepboys for an oil change and started noticing problems ever since, go figure). I'm just at my wits end here with this one.

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It's possibly for the timing to be off even if you line up the marks. If it have variable timing the the marks only are a reference. You need special tools to properly set up timing

Posted on Nov 10, 2014

Testimonial: "But could that still cause the sluggish engine turning over?"

  • Peter Nov 10, 2014

    yes if timing is off then the starter is fighting ignition pushing the piston down before it reaches top of compression stroke



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2 Answers

Why no heat in 2001 mazda protege

Possible that the fan belt is not tensioned right or that the water pump is binding causing low flow through the heater.
If belt is not loose, release it more and try turning the water pump by hand to see if it is binding.

Nov 22, 2014 | 2001 Mazda Protege

1 Answer

2001 Mazda Protege DX 1.6l sluggish when cranking and won't start.

Pull the oil filter & take it apart

I would never go to pep boys,
seems their handy work is part
to blame there

You do your own timing belt,why would
you have someone change your oil?

Nov 10, 2014 | 2001 Mazda Protege

1 Answer

I let my 2001 Mazda protege sit for 1.5 months without starting it in warm or rainy weather outside. Started it today and it squealed and smoke came out of the engine. What would be causing this?

It sounds like you either have a very loose engine drive belt or belts (There are 2 on your car ) or more probably some component that is supposed to be rotated by the drive belts has seized up from sitting for so long. There are four different components that are rotated. The alternator, water pump, power steering pump, and air condioning compressor. Disable the ignition system by disconnecting the ignition coil connector and then have a helper crank the engine while you look at the pulleys to see which one is not turning with the rest.

May 19, 2011 | 2001 Mazda Protege

1 Answer

2001 mazda protege dx 5 spd dies, brakes are seized up?

It seems that one of the pulleys is bent, or you are using the wrong timing belt. I would suggest changing them. That would probably explain why the timing belt keeps breaking. The braking problem can be related, or you simply have a leak somewhere in the system and should try bleeding the brakes after thorough inspection.

Apr 12, 2010 | 2001 Mazda Protege

2 Answers

Need timing marks on dual cams for 2001 mazda protege dx 1.6L

Click on the following direct Link. It has the Tining Belt Diagrams that will match your specific engine. Included are instructions and directions.

Let me know if this helped, or if you have additional information or questions. Feel Free to contact me at!

Mar 18, 2010 | 2001 Mazda Protege

1 Answer

How do you replace the water pump on a 1992 Mazda Protege?


The water pump is driven by the timing belt, which is on the passenger side of your engine. You would need to remvoe all belts, and then the timing belt cover, and the timing belt to change your water pump.

Dec 02, 2009 | 1992 Mazda Protege

1 Answer

2001 mazda protege change the water pump, but can't set the timing belt car will now turn over but want stay crank

You have to align the timing marks on the timing gears. You should go to a parts store and purchase a haynes repair manual they cost about fifteen dollars and are very helpfull.

Nov 01, 2009 | 2002 Mazda Protege

2 Answers

My 2000 Mazda Protege DX has a tight steering. Can

Try turning the wheel when standing still with the engine running.
If it is tight check the obviouse, has the power steering belt come off. If not check if there is fluid in the steering pump resavour. If the belt is on and you have fluid you may have a bad pump.
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May 14, 2009 | 2000 Mazda Protege

1 Answer

Mazda Protege 2.0 Engine Problem

Thanks for update. That timing belt issue, was the first thing that came to mind, well let's hope they find problem. I'd make a point of showing the original mechanic the repair order/bill after to see what his response is, if it is the belt installed wrong. Keep me posted.

Apr 13, 2009 | 2003 Mazda Protege

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