3rd Gen Protege/MazdaSpeed/P5/MP3 General/Maintenance Discussion for 1999-2003.5 Models Only (BJ Chassis)

Question about Check Engine light on a 2001 ES

Old May-16th-2007, 04:45 PM
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Question about Check Engine light on a 2001 ES

Hi everyone.

I'm driving a Protege 2001 ES with abou 125,000km on it.

Recently the check engine light started coming on sporadically, usually while at highway speed. It would come on, flash for about 2 minutes and then stay solid. During the flashing period I would experience a noticeable decrease in power and it felt rough. Eventually (a few days) it would go off. I ignored it for a while until finally it came on and the flashing didn't stop - I got into the dealer same day.

They told me they pulled two codes - one for the EGR valve and one for a cylinder misfire. They replaced the EGR valve for free and also replaced the plugs (they were originals).

Picked the car up, the engine light was off and the car ran great. By the end of the day it had come on again (solid). I didn't noticed the loss of power or the roughness. The car seems to run fine. I've been ignoring it now for about 2 weeks but am thinking I should take it back in.

The only thing stopping me is that I've been hearing horror stories of people trying to endlessly deal with this issue (with little success) and replacing all kinds of parts. Many people are saying to just live with it.

Anybody have any advice?Is this worth trying to fix?

Last edited by RedWolf; May-16th-2007 at 04:49 PM.
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Old May-16th-2007, 04:55 PM
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Ignition coils.

Is it a random misfire or does the code specify which cylinder. That will make the difference if you have to replace one or both of them.
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Old May-16th-2007, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by diehonda View Post
Ignition coils.

Is it a random misfire or does the code specify which cylinder. That will make the difference if you have to replace one or both of them.
Thanks for the awnser.

Well I haven't had it back in since it came back on so I'm not even sure it's the same misfire code.

The dealership gave me the impression that the EGR valve was being replaced to address the one code and the nasty plugs were being changed to address the misfire (It did specify the cylinder but I forget which it was).

Are you implying that changing the plugs probably didn't fix anything (they needed to be changed anyway) and that I'm likely still experiencing the misfire?

Any idea what it costs to replace a coil?
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Old May-16th-2007, 07:25 PM
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Could be plugs, igntion coils, a vacuum leak, or a plugged up EGR valve. I'm guessing it's the EGR valve more than anything, then possibly the ignition coils. But prior to checking either of those take out and replace the plugs if you haven't done that in a while and make sure all your vacuum lines are connected nice and snug.
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Old May-16th-2007, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by KrayzieFox View Post
Could be plugs, igntion coils, a vacuum leak, or a plugged up EGR valve. I'm guessing it's the EGR valve more than anything, then possibly the ignition coils. But prior to checking either of those take out and replace the plugs if you haven't done that in a while and make sure all your vacuum lines are connected nice and snug.
Well they've changed the plugs and the EGR valve.. So you're also thinking the coils?
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Old May-16th-2007, 10:22 PM
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Hmm .. I dunno for sure. But I would say that would be a good guess.

If the CEL (check engine light) is still one at this time, at least take it to AutoZone and have them pull the CEL code. Once you get the code, report back to us and let us know what it is. That should help us a lot in diagnosing your problem.
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Old May-16th-2007, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by KrayzieFox View Post
If the CEL (check engine light) is still one at this time, at least take it to AutoZone and have them pull the CEL code. Once you get the code, report back to us and let us know what it is. That should help us a lot in diagnosing your problem.
Yeah I've been reading that autozone pulls the code for free but I don't think we have any in Canada. Mazda dealers charge $50 . So if I take it back into those guys I'm probably going to go ahead and fix it. Just trying to get an idea as to whether it's worth chasing this ghost.
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Old May-17th-2007, 01:37 AM
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EGR valves run for about $250 CND brand new. The dealer most likely cleaned yours, since it's no where near warranty anymore. Stealerships don't give too much stuff away.
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Old May-17th-2007, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by J-Protege View Post
EGR valves run for about $250 CND brand new. The dealer most likely cleaned yours, since it's no where near warranty anymore. Stealerships don't give too much stuff away.
I thought the same thing when I read how many miles he had.


Call a few local parts places like Advanced Autoparts or something similar. Most will run your codes for free and give you a print out of the code. Some codes stand for more than one thing so it is important to have the actual code number vs. what the guy at the place tells you what it stands for. They will normally only tell you what the top choice is whent he code comes up.

Then, as said before, report back here with the code. Many people have chased that ghost before. I got fed up with it and got a 1.8 ignition coil and spark plug wires. If you end up needing two new coils I can post the intructions on how to switch if you want.
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Old May-17th-2007, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by J-Protege View Post
EGR valves run for about $250 CND brand new. The dealer most likely cleaned yours, since it's no where near warranty anymore. Stealerships don't give too much stuff away.
Well the service rep told me they were replacing it as part of a "Mazda Goodwill Offer". When I asked why, he told me that Mada realizes there's a problem with them. He said, "It's not warranty work, it's not a recall - but you're not going to be paying for it". They waived the part cost (if they did indeed replace it), the labour and even the computer diagnostic charge.

All I payed for was the cost of four plugs and that labour ($67 total) so needless to say I was pretty happy about the experience - until the light came on again the same day.
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Old May-19th-2007, 10:31 PM
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From my experience, a flashing 'check engine' light is a catalyst damaging misfire.

I imagine a coil or plug wires or something.
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Old May-19th-2007, 10:32 PM
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Flashing CEL means "OMG PULL OVER RIGHT NOW DON'T YOU DARE DRIVE THAT CAR"
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Old May-20th-2007, 09:24 AM
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If you decide to replace the wires or coils let me know. I can get you a good price on quality NGK parts and coils that exceed OE spec.

To me all of this diagnostic chat is worthless unless we know what the code is. I bought a simple OBDII code scanner for $35 and use it all the time. It's not the best but it keeps me from having to find parts stores with free scanners.
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Old May-20th-2007, 09:40 AM
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Wait you can actually get those NAPA coils? I tried ordering them a while back and was told they were no longer available. I picked up a pair of very lightly used OEM coils from bazooka joe because he had a couple sets laying around.
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Old May-20th-2007, 03:02 PM
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ignition coil IC527 $15/each+shipping. Lifetime warranty and exceeds OEM quality.

burn.
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