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2003 Mazda Protege repairs by problem area

Engine (35%)

Transmission and Drivetrain (2%)

Brakes and Traction Control (12%)

Suspension and Steering (25%)

Electrical and Air Conditioning (16%)

Paint, Rust, Leaks, Rattles, and Trim (8%)

Other (2%)

Chart based on 406 repairs.

2003 Mazda Protege repair cost distribution

$2500+ (2%)

$1000 - $2499 (8%)

$500 - $999 (19%)

$100 - $499 (54%)

< $100 (18%)

Chart based on 204 repair trips. The repair cost chart excludes repairs made under warranty, do-it-yourself repairs, and repair trips that include maintenance.
Non-members can see only ten 2003 Mazda Protege repair histories. Log in or join us to see them all.

2003 Mazda Protege5 4dr Wagon

130-horsepower 2.0L I4 5-speed manual FWD

Mazda Protege5 in Georgia, United States
Apr 2007 - Mar 2010
Jan 2007

80000 mi

US $2500
replaced motor with one that has 20000 miles on it., it was a cracked head that led to all this. 
May 2007

82000 mi

US $3300
Bought the car, found out that it had a blown head gasket. To replace the gasket was going to cost 1100 bucks. It also needed a new clutch and pressure plate. Which was going to be another 500 bucks plus parts on top of that leaving the totol cost around 
Jun 2007

84000 mi

US $169
3 Blown motor mounts, replaced them with upgraded ones from AWR 
Mazda Protege5 in Georgia, United States
Jan 2007 - Jun 2013
Jan 2007

75000 mi

US $40
RF wheel bearing howling loudly. Repladed DIY. 
Jun 2007

65000 mi

US $30
Both low beam halogen headlight bulbs burned out. Metal spring clip broke while changing bulb, replacement only available from dealer. 
Dec 2007

79000 mi

US $150
RF outer wheel bearing was making very loud noise. I removed carrier myself, but could not replace bearing as I do not own a press, so I took it to a shop where they replaced the bearing. I reinstalled carrier. 
Mar 2009

96000 mi

US $25
Replaced front brake pads. 
Feb 2010

112000 mi

US $120
Previously replaced front wheel saddle bearing repair did not last- either I did not properly tighten the spindle bolt (not likely, but could have happened) or the part was defective. 
Feb 2012

144000 mi

US $50
RF wheel bearing was very noisy. Had replaced it twice already; the real problem was the hub/bearing carrier had worn and allowed the bearing to become cocked slightly- which in turn caused the bearing to fail prematurely. Replaced hub. 
Dec 2012

169000 mi

US $10
Replace low-beam head light. Seems to be a problem area with these cars; I've replaced the head lights three times, and have heard of other owners having similar problems. 
Mazda Protege5 in Michigan, United States
Jul 2005 - Jun 2014
Sep 2005

24001 mi
Rear ABS sensor replaced under warranty. 
Dec 2006

38000 mi
Headlight out, replaced bulb. 
Oct 2007

48000 mi
Finish flaking off wheels. New wheels ordered. Wrong wheels ordered, so not installed. Will have to go back. 
Nov 2007

49000 mi
Wheels finally replaced. Extra trip required so Mazda could approve use of polished wheels like those that originally came on the car. I had these swapped for regular painted alloys at time of purchase. 
Jun 2008

58000 mi

US $80
One low-beam headlight went out, then a few days later the other one went out. Very difficult to access and remove the bulbs, which no parts shop seems to stock. So I had the dealer do it. 
Dec 2008

66000 mi

US $280
Front left wheel bearing replaced after started making a loud noise during even the slightest turns over 20 MPH. 
Sep 2009

76000 mi

US $440
Pads and rotors all four wheels. 
Oct 2009

77000 mi

US $5
Repaired rust around the rear wheel openings and along the lower inner seam of the driver's door. 
Mar 2010

83000 mi

US $80
Both headlights replaced, second time they've both failed within days of each other. 
Apr 2010

84000 mi

US $398
Another wheel bearing. Intake air tube developed a crack, perhaps when I replaced the air filter. Caused the engine to run lean, setting off the CEL. Shop suspected this was a common problem, since the part was readily available. 
Jun 2010

86000 mi

US $410
Alternator bearing seized up, snapping the accessory belt. Replaced alternator and belts. 
Nov 2010

92000 mi

US $575
Repaired rust around rear wheel openings and on the lower inside surface of the driver's door. 
Dec 2010

93000 mi

US $335
Front left wheel bearing replaced again after two years and 26,000 miles. 
Feb 2011

95000 mi

US $580
Right rear stabilizer bar link broke. Replaced both links. Shop found worn control arm bushings. Replaced both front control arms. But clunk I've been noticing in the front end is still there. 
Apr 2011

98300 mi

US $258
Replaced another wheel bearing, about a year old. Also replaced end links on front stabilizer bar. Clunk gone, handling tighter. 
Oct 2011

105000 mi

US $1000
Pulsation in brake pedal. Turned front rotors, replaced rear pads and rotors. 
Dec 2011

108000 mi

US $93
Pulled over by police because one headlight was out. They were last replaced about 20 months ago, and then 20 months before that. Originals lasted five years. What gives? And why now $30 a bulb? 
Apr 2012

111300 mi

US $15
Right rear power door lock hasn't worked in months. With the weather warmer, removed door panel, opened up lock actuator, and found broken plastic gear and travel slide. Purchased this piece on eBay for $14. 
Sep 2013

115000 mi
Removed rust from three fenders and welds under hood, treated areas with rust converter, touched-up. Had to remove a few inches of flange from the forward edge of the left rear wheel opening. Not a complete repair. 
Jun 2014

1 mi

US $400
Repaired deep rust on part of the underbody and inside rear wheel openings prior to sale. Right rear strut clunking, needed to be replaced when the car was sold. 
Mazda Protege5 in Massachusetts, United States
Sep 2006 - Mar 2010
Oct 2006

70000 mi

US $250
The A/C fan switch was malfunctioning. 

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2003 Mazda Protege5 4dr Wagon

130-horsepower 2.0L I4 4-speed shiftable automatic FWD

Mazda Protege5 in Virginia, United States
Jul 2006 - Mar 2010
Dec 2006

34000 mi
Both coil packs were failing, causing rough idle and severe hesitation. Dealer also replaced all four sparkplugs and both ignition wires as a precaution. Failing coil packs are a known problem that affects a small but measurable number of Proteges/Protege 
May 2007

39000 mi
Rattling from engine bay before engine warmed up. The heat shield had come loose. Dealer reattached under owarranty. Car died while idling at a stoplight. CEL stayed on and then turned off when car restarted. Dealer unable to diagnose and no code recorded. No charge. 

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2003 Mazda Protege 4dr Sedan

turbocharged 170hp 2.0L I4 5-speed manual FWD

Mazda Protege in Alabama, United States
Sep 2006 - Mar 2010
Sep 2007

30187 mi
replace rear sway bar, end links, and bushings 
Jul 2009

54000 mi

US $250
replaced bushing and brackets for rear sway bar 
Jan 2010

63000 mi

US $612
replaced leaking rear struts 

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2003 Mazda Protege 4dr Sedan

130-horsepower 2.0L I4 5-speed manual FWD

Mazda Protege in New Mexico, United States
Feb 2007 - Nov 2011
Sep 2007

30000 mi

US $120
Door lock actuator had internal break 

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2003 Mazda Protege 4-door

4-cylinder automatic 2WD

Mazda Protege5 in Massachusetts, United States
Feb 2007 - Mar 2010
Mar 2007

69000 mi
Driving to work, car went into first gear and wouldn't shift. Had it towed to used car dealer; they installed (used/junkyard) tranny. Paid by them because it was under warranty that was offered when purchased car. 

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2002.5 Mazda Protege5 4dr Wagon

130-horsepower 2.0L I4 5-speed manual FWD

Mazda Protege5 in New York, United States
Feb 2006 - Apr 2011
Oct 2006

52500 mi

US $225
Had loose front tie rod ends replaced because of noise. 
Mar 2007

55000 mi

US $385
Replaced the EGR valve for the third time, first out of warranty. also diagnosed creaking noise in rear as worn/loose sway bar end links. Need to be replaced at next visit. 
Apr 2007

57000 mi

US $85
Buzzing/creaking noise noticed in the front when turning steering wheel. Worn end links on front sway bar diagnosed. Also power steering pump may be at end of life. Not fixed this trip because of cost and not an immediate safety issue. 
Feb 2008

65000 mi

US $300
Replaced broken rear sway bar end links. Also flushed power steering fluid system due to unknown contaminant. Regularly required brake service and lube also performed. 
Jun 2008

67000 mi
Mechanic noticed that front end links are worn/loose and causing front end clunk/creak. Will repair in the future, not a safety issue. 
Feb 2009

73000 mi

US $390
Replaced rear disc brake rotors and pads. This set only had 15k miles on them. The pad slides rust on this car causing excessive wear on rear brakes. This is 4th set of pads/rotors on rear of this car in 70k miles. 
May 2009

75000 mi

US $475
Had scraping noise in rear of car after new pads and rotors installed in February. Mechanic discovered that the rear calipers were faulty and had to be replaced. Also had to replace the 3 month old rotors and pads because of premature deterioration.  
Jun 2009

75000 mi

US $225
had to replace front pipe, completely rotted, needed new part, not just a welded repair 
Mar 2010

80000 mi

US $1400
replaced front brake pads and rotors for 2nd time, first was around 60k mi. Front struts replaced - they were badly leaking and had lost most of their rebound capabilities. Was cause severe tire wear. Had car in for tire wear and 2 alignments over past year, but they didn't figure it out til now. Shop performed rear brake maintenance. The rear brake pad/caliper slides had frozen again. Probably top problem with this car. Significant thru the panel rust on both rear wheel arches, causing the rear bumper to lose its connection points to the body. The connector has rusted away, leaving bumper to rattle in the wind. Also other rust ie bottom of all doors 
Jun 2010

82000 mi

US $500
egr valve problem is back,car stalling and running rough. Cel was egr flow insuficient. Cleared that then threw multiple cylinder misfire. 
Mar 2011

89000 mi

US $350
Front outer tie rods replaced, were significantly loose. Also complained of loud whining/gear noise, was diagnosed as bad driver front wheel bearing. I think it is the gear box whining. also had rust check, alignment. 
Apr 2011

89000 mi
Sold with substantial rust. 

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2003 Mazda Protege Repair Histories

See our lemon odds and nada odds page to see vehicles with no repairs or vehicles with more than three repairs. To see how frequently 2003 Mazda Protege problems occur, check out our car reliability stats.