2001 Mazda Protege check engine light problem that won't go

Tiny
MAZDADRIVER2003
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 MAZDA PROTEGE
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 90,000 MILES
For the past 8 months my car has been in and out of the stop and my mechanic just can't seem to fix the problem. I have been randomly getting a check engine light for the past 6 months. It used to just appear and stay solid. It didn't really affect the performance of the car, but would just remain on until the mechanic would clear it. When they would run the diagnostics they would get a generic po300 code (which he says is just a random misfire in a cylinder). I have new spark plugs and wires, I have changed my EGR valve, and nothing seems to work.

Now, I still get the check engine line, but its blinking. It always occurs on this certain stretch of the highway when I am accelerating up a hill. The car feels like its losing power. I am pushing on the accelerator, but it can only go about 50 mph. I exit the freeway and when I'm stopped at the light my car starts shaking as if it was sputtering. Once I restart my car, the light normally changes to a solid light and the car runs fine. The only changes I notice are that my car feels a bit sluggish when I'm driving it.

I don't know if it matters, but it seems like this problem occurs when my gas tank has been recently filled.

Thank you in advance for any help. I really appreciate it!
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Tuesday, January 13th, 2009 AT 1:57 PM

10 Replies

Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
A blinking check engine light means damage to the catalytic converter can be happening, Check the fuel pump and fuel type you ar using! May need higher octane.
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Tuesday, January 13th, 2009 AT 2:33 PM
Tiny
DEEMUNK
  • MEMBER
I'm having the exact same issue with my Mazda. I own a 2001 Protege manual transmission. The problem started as yours did. Now, several months later, it has gotten worse. The problem is not consistant, but happens more frequently and to a higher degree. My mechanic has cleaned the tubing to the catalytic converter, replaced the coils, spark plugs and wires all with no results.

When I first described the problem to him, he thought it was the catalytic converter as well. He cleaned the tubing running into the converter, but it didn't help. Finally, he happened to be driving it when the problem occured, so he was able to determine that two of the cylinders are not firing. After replacing the wires and coils it's still happening.

Please post something if you figure out how to make this stop! I'll do the same.

Good Luck!
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Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 AT 10:20 AM
Tiny
TNDYPWR
  • MEMBER
I have the same problem and it's cost me $1000 in repairs that haven't fixed it yet. Did anyone in this thread get to the bottom of this yet?
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Wednesday, July 8th, 2009 AT 7:24 AM
Tiny
KNOWTHYSELF
  • MEMBER
I have the same problem with my Mazda 2001 protege, I am not sure what else to do. This has been going on for about a few years now since I changed the timing belt, which did not really need changing. The same week the check engine light came up, and I took it back to the mechanic that mentioned I should change the plugs, the O2 sensors coils and all. Later changed the catalytic converter, this is the 5th change. I am really tired of working on the car now and just need some insight into this problem.
The engine still acts as if its trying to stall, and by pushing on the breaks I usually stop the car fro shacking soo much. This usually happens as I a stopping at a light or something.

Please please, if you have any ideas on how to resolve this let me know, and also I tried the higher octane for a few months and did not see any changes.

Best regards.
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Tuesday, September 29th, 2009 AT 6:36 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
MIATA & PROTEGE 1.6L Loosen CKP sensor bolt. Using feeler gauge, adjust air gap between sensor and crankshaft sensor plate projections to .020-0.59" (0.5-1.5 mm). See Fig. 10 . Tighten CKP sensor bolt. If clearance is still not within specification, replace CKP sensor or sensor plate behind crankshaft pulley. Fig. 10: Identifying Crankshaft Position Sensor Air Gap Courtesy of MAZDA MOTORS CORP. IGNITION TIMING B2300, B2500, B3000, B4000 & TRIBUTE Engine is equipped with an electronic distributorless ignition system. Base (initial) timing is preset and is not adjustable. Inspection of timing is done through World Diagnostic System (WDS) scan tool or equivalent. Information is not available for this procedure from manufacturer. MIATA, MILLENIA, MPV & PROTEGE 1. Connect NGS scan tool to DLC-2 located under left side of instrument panel, right of steering column. See Fig. 12 . Connect a jumper wire between terminals TEN and GND at DLC-1 in engine compartment. See Fig. 13 . 2. Ensure idle speed is correct. See IDLE SPEED under IDLE SPEED & MIXTURE. On all models except Millenia 2.3L, connect timing light to high-tension lead No. 1. On Millenia 2.3L, connect Inductive Timing Light (49-T018-002) lead to ignition timing checking harness (Black/White wire) located next to engine compartment relay box. See Fig. 11 . Start engine and allow it to idle. Check timing. See IGNITION TIMING SPECIFICATIONS table. See Fig. 14 . Fig. 11: Identifying Ignition Timing Checking Harness
NOTE: Before adjusting or inspecting ignition timing, warm engine to normal operating temperature. Turn off all accessories. Place transmission in Neutral (M/T) or Park (A/T). Wait for cooling fan to stop. Ensure idle speed is correct. See IDLE SPEED under IDLE SPEED & MIXTURE. NOTE: New Generation Star (NGS) scan tool is used to perform following procedures. NOTE: On Millenia 2.3L, ignition timing is not adjustable. NOTE: Standard inductive timing light may not work on ignition timing checking harness. Recommend using manufacturers Inductive Timing Light (49-T018-002) or equivalent. 3. On all models except Millenia 2.5L, if ignition timing is not within specification, check CMP sensor, CKP sensor, TP sensor, ECT sensor and transmission range switch. See appropriate SYSTEM & COMPONENT TESTING article. If all sensors and switches are okay, replace PCM. 4. On Millenia 2.5L, if ignition timing is not within specification, loosen distributor lock bolt. Rotate distributor until timing marks align. Tighten lock bolt. Recheck timing. 626 1. Connect NGS scan tool to DLC-2 located under left side of instrument panel, left of steering column. See Fig. 12 . Ensure idle speed is correct. See IDLE SPEED & MIXTURE . 2. Connect timing light to high-tension lead No. 1 and check timing. See Fig. 14 . See IGNITION TIMING SPECIFICATIONS table. If ignition timing is not within specification, check CMP sensor, CKP sensor, TP sensor, ECT sensor, neutral switch, clutch switch and transmission range switch. See SYSTEM & COMPONENT TESTING - MIATA, MILLENIA, MPV, PROTEGE & 626 article. If all sensors and switches are okay, replace PCM.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/62217_gap_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/62217_dlc_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/62217_ten_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/62217_marks_2.jpg

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Wednesday, September 30th, 2009 AT 3:02 AM
Tiny
SUBURBIA
  • MEMBER
Did anyone try Merlin2021 diagnostic tess and fix this problem with their Mazda Proteges?
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Monday, February 1st, 2010 AT 4:55 PM
Tiny
THE_FIRSTMAN_84
  • MEMBER
I had the exact same problem. No power, rough idle, blinking CEL. I changed the timing belt, tensioner and idler, pluggs, wires, and o2 sensors before I found this site and the info on the crank position sensor. I cleaned mine and started my car and it ran great. I'll replace it now that I know it's been causing my problems. I almost put a used engine in or a new head. Glad I did some research!
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Sunday, September 18th, 2011 AT 12:11 AM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
Remove the catalytic converter from the exhaust. If you can, insert a temporary section of pipe and test drive the vehicle. If the problem goes away, you have a plugged catalytic converter. If not, perform Merlin's repair and test.
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Friday, October 7th, 2011 AT 12:00 AM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the info the_firstman_84
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Friday, October 7th, 2011 AT 12:05 AM
Tiny
RICHMONDHILLGUY
  • MEMBER
The_firstman_84,
How did you clean your crank position sensor?
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Saturday, April 25th, 2015 AT 6:43 PM

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