hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,916 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Mazda Protege engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Mazda Protege Owner Comments

problem #4

Aug 012013


  • 13,200 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Mazda Protege. The contact attempted to start the vehicle but the engine failed to start accompanied by an abnormal knocking from the engine. The contact also mentioned that the failure occurred more often when the engine was cold. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 13,200.

- Angier, NC, USA

problem #3

Mar 262013

Protege 4-cyl

  • 109,687 miles
I recently purchased a '03 Mazda protege5. While driving down the road yesterday at 65 mph, I heard a loud bang and heard something hit the bottom of the car. The car exhaust suddenly became much louder. I immediately pulled off the road. I looked under the car, and the exhaust had come apart. The piece of the exhaust after the cat was hanging about 1 inch from the ground. This piece is after the catalytic converter, near one of the hanging points of the exhaust system. Two bolts, which hold this piece together, and the exhaust gasket were missing. Luckily, there was no damage whatsoever. This problem could have ended tragically.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #2

Jul 162013


  • 114,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Mazda Protege. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph, the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis where it was stated that the intake manifold needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 114,000.

- St Augustine , FL, USA

problem #1

Jun 212010

Protege 4-cyl

  • 102,778 miles
On at least 3-5 occasions this 2.0L engine has suffered the exact same fate as NHTSA id# 10422484. Check engine light on, misfiring, associated noise sounding like a bolt / screw bouncing around in the engine for maybe 15 seconds, then would return to normal. Each time there has been a different cylinder misfire, upon spark plug removal it was found the gap was closed causing no spark. Each time, a new plug was installed and corrected the immediate problem. After seeing these complaints and a recall regarding this issue I realized I've had the same issue. Don't know if my VIN # is in the effected range or not. Car now has 123105 miles. Would hope that Mazda would cover any vehicle with this problem.

- Columbia Heights, MN, USA

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