Performance declining

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  #1  
Old 12-12-05, 06:51 PM
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Performance declining

Hi all,

I can't imagine this not being addressed on this forum before but where do I start specifically. I drive a Mazda Protege5, 2003 with 29,500 miles. 2.0L, 4 cyl. Automatic transmission. About a month and a half ago the car's been real sluggish. The transmission seems to lag almost. Even after the car's been warmed. There's also a clatter that I hear. The engine just seems like it's working harder than usual. To date all I've done was switch to a higher octane with no marked improvements. I'm thinking I should have the dealer do a fuel injector cleaning (simply because the forecast for tomorrow, for example, is under the freezing point and I don't think I could reasonably tolerate working on my vehicle in this weather). Maybe I should consider changing the fuel filter? Where would you all start?

If this info helps, I live in Brooklyn, NY and drive in unimaginable stop and go traffic. My poor, poor Mazda. Help me to avoid the real expensive repairs down the road and keep peak performance. Thanks all!
 
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  #2  
Old 12-12-05, 09:44 PM
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whens the last the air filters been changed? injectors may be self cleaning, and dealers overcharge for a simple cleaning. what visc oil? have you kept the oil up, what oil filter are you using? transmission been serviced good? make sure fluids full. as for fuel filter, can't tell you exactly, some are inline, before fuel pump, others are in the gas tank.
 
  #3  
Old 12-12-05, 10:17 PM
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Wow, lots of good stuff there. The air filter was changed not too long ago. Right before Katrina and the gas prices plateaued at over $3 per gallon I replaced my stock air filter with a K&N filter. I'll pull it out and check to see how it's doing tomorrow some time. I have a hard time remembering the viscosity oil I use. Generally in the summer months I use 10W40 and in the winter I mess with 5W30. I haven't changed the oil as yet for this cycle (I'll get to it this weekend most likely). As it is I was supposed to change it about 500 miles ago. I've only gone this far pass 3000 miles maybe twice before. I use whatever oil filter I can get my hands on, usually purolator or fram. The tranny thing bothers me. The car was left parked in a driveway for a 3 month period a year ago and when I got it back I drained the transmission oil and replaced it (Mercon V as specified in the manual). I don't know that the transmission's oil level is right. I asked a mechanic to check it for me when I went to get my inspection's sticker and he said it was good. Personally, the dipstick is saying to me that there's too much oil in it. For the longest I've been wanting to go back under there and drain a little of it out. I think I just may have to. Would changing the fuel filter do me any good? Thanks for the ideas. Anything else? More suggestions?
 
  #4  
Old 12-13-05, 05:48 AM
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A few thoughts...

I don't think a little overfill in the transmission is anything to worry about. Is the color of the fluid okay?

Definitely change the fuel filter. Hopefully it's not the in-tank design.

Also check all other tune-up items such as spark plugs, ignition wires.

Another thing that can cause poor performance is restricted exhaust, usually a catalytic converter that has broken up on the inside.

Track down the clatter noise. It may be key to your problem.
 
  #5  
Old 12-13-05, 06:37 AM
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Check for vacuum leaks.

Check to see if the EGR valve is working properly.

If it has a MAF sensor, check it to see if it's dirty. A very small amount of dirt can do what you described. It shouldn't be given the mileage, but you never know.
 
  #6  
Old 12-13-05, 07:58 AM
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Good point -- overoiled K&N filters can foul a MAF sensor.
 
  #7  
Old 12-13-05, 12:22 PM
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yeah, over-oiled k&n's can cause problems, is a fram on it right now? saying this because.....well they are cheap filters for a higher price. sometimes the bypass won't work in them. i'd stick with purolators, or use wix filters (napa gold). little but overfilled trans fluid, or underfilled..... overfilled by some won't hurt, under by a little won't hurt. does it have a tranny filter? would go ahead, given its mileage if it hasn't been done in quite some time, new plugs and wires...etc. old cracked wires can short out to anything metal causing firing problems, or even to other wires, make sure the plugs are gapped right of course.
 
  #8  
Old 12-13-05, 01:24 PM
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alright, the exhaust issues sound valid to me. Vacuum line leaks sound interesting too. I think I'll have to go ahead and get these checked by a pro (I don't have the tools to do these checks). I figured I'd wait another 10K miles for a full on tune-up, but if after getting the exhaust and vacuum lines checked, that'll be next. Thanks everyone!!!!
 
  #9  
Old 12-30-05, 04:45 AM
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Okay, so I brought the car in for its annual NY Inspection sticker renewal. I figured I'd take it to the dealer because a couple days before I got a notice from Mazda alerting me to a recall of the Intake Manifold Shutter Valve. Apparently, there is some undertorquing issues with some screws on the unit that lead to vibration and emission issues. "Bingo!" I thought. Wrong. They refused to do the repair because Mazda won't authorize it until March or something here in the Northeast. Anyway, they looked at my complaint and decided it may be the K&N aftermarket engine air filter I installed (although the issues didn't start when I installed the filter, but long after instead). So they said I should switch it out for the OEM filter. I thought that I'd look into that a little later. In the meanwhile, I figured they adjusted the filter or something because the engine sounded louder in a more productive way. I drove for 500 miles (1 week) with it this way before I realized my gas mileage was dropping something serious. This morning I decided to check the K&N filter and noticed that the jerks at the dealership left the air filter compartment open! So, in your opinions, did this do any harm to my car? Should I take the car back to them and raise hell that they did this or does it make little difference and is not worth the effort? After fastening the compartment properly, the engine's noise went back to the way it was when I brought it in, which is a lot better I now realize. Thanks for your opinions in advance!
 
  #10  
Old 12-30-05, 07:11 AM
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as long as the filter was still attached properly to the base of the intake you are fine.
 
  #11  
Old 12-30-05, 07:51 AM
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Don't expect the problem to go away with just a new paper air filter. You may still have to deal with an oil-fouled MAF sensor.
 
  #12  
Old 12-30-05, 09:15 AM
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This might be a stupid question but what about your warranty? This car is only 2 years old with less than 30K on it. I thought these came with a 3 YR/50,000 mile warranty.
 
  #13  
Old 12-30-05, 01:38 PM
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It came with a 5 year/50K mile warranty. I don't know about getting anything done under warranty though, they always attribute things after a year or two to maintainance (you know, once you're outside of the bumper to bumper thing, that's why I never get extended warranties). I'll ask, but most likely it's a egr valve or MAF sensor or something I have to do on my own no doubt. Thanks all for your help.
 
  #14  
Old 12-30-05, 02:47 PM
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clean MAF

Clean the MAF sensor use some contact cleaner be carefull with it do not touch the wires inside they are very thin,Spray till it is clean,I am sure dealer will not touch it since you have installed the K&N.
Do not over oil the filter because it coats the sensors with oil.
 
  #15  
Old 12-30-05, 06:07 PM
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Some manufacturers will void warranty on related issues if oiled filters such as K&N are used.
 
  #16  
Old 12-31-05, 01:13 AM
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That sounds easy. I'll go get some contact cleaner today and see what shakes! Thanks. Because today's New Year's Eve, if you don't hear from me today it's because by the time I got around to it the auto parts stores were closed.
 
  #17  
Old 01-02-06, 02:03 PM
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Okay, I did the cleaning this afternoon. I leaned on the filter and dented up the metal meshing a little something while being careless but no harm. Anyway, the filament in the MAF sensor looked immmaculate before I did the cleaning but I sprayed the cleaner on anyway. Gave it a couple minutes to dry and assembled everything back. Haven't taken it out for a spin yet. I'll report back after I do.
 
  #18  
Old 02-09-06, 04:08 PM
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my car is falling apart

So my next recourse is to have the dealership look at it in regards to their recall to fix the intake manifold screw torque problem. They've so far refuse to do the recall for various reasons. But now I'm provoked further because a headlight bulb I just replaced in August blew again. So I'm worried that there's a wiring problem... maybe from the time the dealer installed the alarm a little over a year ago? I hope it was just a bad bulb, but the other headlight has yet to blow since I bought the car. Why do I have an eerie feeling like things are about to go from bad to worse?
 
  #19  
Old 02-10-06, 04:48 PM
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our442

Originally Posted by seancashmere
So my next recourse is to have the dealership look at it in regards to their recall to fix the intake manifold screw torque problem. They've so far refuse to do the recall for various reasons. But now I'm provoked further because a headlight bulb I just replaced in August blew again. So I'm worried that there's a wiring problem... maybe from the time the dealer installed the alarm a little over a year ago? I hope it was just a bad bulb, but the other headlight has yet to blow since I bought the car. Why do I have an eerie feeling like things are about to go from bad to worse?
Have pcv valve replaced .
 
  #20  
Old 02-10-06, 05:08 PM
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Have you considered that your brakes may be hung up from sitting so long?
Just a thought.
 
  #21  
Old 02-10-06, 05:43 PM
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What do you mean by "hung up"? My brakes haven't been sitting long either. What gave you that idea?
 
  #22  
Old 02-11-06, 07:07 AM
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You stated earlier that the car had sat for 3 mos. about a yr. ago!
 
  #23  
Old 02-11-06, 01:18 PM
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ahhh yes, but I've recently changed my brake pads.... unless you mean I should service other parts of the braking system?
 
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