hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,133 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 exhaust system problems

exhaust system problem

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2003 Mazda Protege Owner Comments

problem #6

May 182007


  • 114,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Mazda Protege 5. the contact stated that when driving approximately 45 mph, he noticed a loud rumbling sound coming from the engine motor. He turned off the vehicle and pulled over. The vehicle was towed to a dealership and the dealer replaced the intake manifold shutter because the valve broke off and fell into the engine. He called the manufacturer and was told that they could not assist him. He had no problems with his vehicle since the repair. The current mileage was approximately 214,000. The failure mileage was approximately 114,000.

- San Rafael, CA, USA

problem #5

Dec 202007

Protege 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,000 miles
While driving to work my car began to shudder and hiccup. Then the engine light cam on so I pulled off the highway. I started it back up and the car had a more serious shudder. I got it to a local service station and they ran a computer diagnostic and said it was a misfire in the #4 cylinder. The sparkplug was smashed. Nothing was found in the cylinder so the sparkplug was replaced and temporarily fixed the problem. Two weeks later the same shudder problem and again the engine light came on. This time the #1 cylinder was the problem and again with the same smashed sparkplug. My mechanic thought it was a very odd occurrence and checked and found the recall #3005C. My local Mazda dealer then said my VIN# did not fall within the range of the recall and yet there seems to be many people with this problem. It looks like Mazda is trying to avoid this problem.

- Tiburon, CA, USA

problem #4

Aug 012007

Protege 4-cyl

  • miles
2003 Mazda Protege 5 with rough idling and other engine issues. Consumer states the vehicle had a rough idle and that it would have trouble starting. When the mechanic inspected the engine, he found the screws had passed through the engine and were found in the catalytic converter. The consumer discovered there was an intake manifold shutter and variable tumble control valve emission recall for Mazda Protege's, however the consumers vehicle identification number did not fall within the range.

- Citrus Heights, CA, USA

problem #3

Jun 152007

Protege 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles


Purchased a pre owned 2003 Mazda Protege with approximately 50,000 miles on it. I drove the vehicle for about 4000 miles before there was an engine failure. There were no events that lead up to this incident. The engine began to make a loud knocking noise. I had it towed to the dealer of purchase. A screw on an the intake came loose and went into the engine cylinder. Damage caused the engine to need to be replaced. Mazda has recall 3005C for this problem for the exact year, model, and engine as the one I purchased. However, the VIN number was a few thousand numbers outside of the recall range. Im stuck with a 15,000 piece of junk.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #2

Sep 252006

Protege 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles
: the contact stated the check engine light illuminated and the vehicle began hesitating. The vehicle was taken to an independent repair shop, who determined the computer gave a code stating a misfire in the first cylinder. The spark plug was taken off and the gap was closed. The air intake manifold was then taken off and the screw had come off, this closed the gap on the spark plug. The intake manifold was being replaced.

- Concord, CA, USA

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problem #1

Mar 152006

Protege 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,800 miles
: the contact stated while driving 30mph, there was a rattling noise from the engine compartment followed by the engine stalling. The vehicle was towed to an independent repair shop for inspection. The mechanic determined the screws used for mounting the intake manifold shutter valve broke and fell into the catalytic converter as well as the oil pan and pistons. The vehicle is scheduled for replacement of those screws. There is an emission recall, #3005C, regarding the exhaust system. The vehicle has the same problems as indicated in the recall; however it is not included in the recall due to the VIN.

- Maple Rapids, MI, USA

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