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  #1  
Old 02-18-2008, 12:52 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Default 2003 Mazda Protege Squealing Problem

Hi everyone,

I read through a number of posts by people here about Protege's squealing. Not being overly car-technical, I want to approach my problem a little differently.Most of the advice here tends to be that the squealing is belt-related. If anyone can answer, this would be a good reply for others to glean from.

When you hear a squealing from your engine, how do you determine what a belt squeal is, vs a water pump bearing problem squeal, vs an alternator squeal. Is there a loudness factor involved? A particular side of the engine that each is associated with?

I've been fighting mine for only about a month and a half. I have 70,000 mileson it and have never had to take it into the shop. It's been a great car. Out of nowhere the engine started making small squealing noises. It concerned me but not the way it does today. It now squeals so loud that if you open the engine while it is doing it, it is deafening, to the point thatthe thought actually crosses my mind that something is going to blow up in my face.

I hear it most pronounced starting up cold.I put it into reverse from myparking spot at my apartment, turn out and by the time I am in drive to go forward, the squeal begins.Usually driving it for a minute makes it stop. Also, sometimes braking and coming to a stop makes it stop, but since the noise occurs even when stopped at times, I'm not sure this is a clue. Itis sometimes brought onin my vivid imagination, by turning, as it has "activated" the sound when turning at stop lights, and obiously, turning out of my parking spot, but not all the time.It is quite happy to start the sound when driving straight, and even at high speeds on the highway, or when in drive and stopped, or when in park and idling.

Today I discovered something new about it, in that as I'm driving, if I take it outof gear, and put it in neutral, the squeal immediately stops.

Lastweekend, in an attempt to blamemy belts, I took it to PepBoys and had them replace the belts. I hadn't made it 2 blocks from Pep Boys following the repair job and the squeal returned. I went such a short distance, I can't see how it could be wet belts as a problem. I won't rule it out, but up through the time I had them replaced we had had a very dry spell here in Texas.

I apologize for silly questions, but again I'm not terribly car-technical. How do I find the water pump in the 2003 Protege, and what tests could someone do to rule out various possibilities for the noise?

I was impressed with the readership and responses I've seen in this group, and hope that any replies would both help me and future readers.


Thank you in advance,

Ben
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  #2  
Old 02-18-2008, 02:58 AM
 
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Default RE: 2003 Mazda Protege Squealing Problem

this might sound odd, or it might not. but after reading through... i think i may have figured it out.it could be 1 of 2 things.....when u say that the sqealing sound it all the time doesnt matter what u do.. but when u put in into nuetral it stops.. this makes me think that it could be the pump in the transmition making the noise. or 2. it could be a bearing on one of the pullies that could be doing it....

do u know what side of the enigne the niose is coming from? that would also help narrow down what it could be, if its on the drivers side then it could be the tranny, if its on the passenger side then its one of the pullies, like an idler pully or somthing like that



hope this helps
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  #3  
Old 02-18-2008, 07:37 AM
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Default RE: 2003 Mazda Protege Squealing Problem

What is the process for diagnosing a bad pulley? I know for the alternator it should spin smoothly is this the same for any other? Thank you.

My car also has the belt squeel in the cold. Once the motor is warm or the temp comes up outside it quits. It occurs for me at first start in the a.m. and then will stop and come back as I accellerate from a stop into a turn. I have a stick if that helps. The squeel also stops when i drop it into neutral and let out the clutch.

Thanks for your help.
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  #4  
Old 02-19-2008, 01:22 AM
 
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Default RE: 2003 Mazda Protege Squealing Problem

well usaid that u have a belt squeal... i would tighten up the belt a little more.

have someone get into the car and start it up and push in ont he cluch and put it into neutral while u are listening to see if the sound is coming from the drivers side of the engine. you may need to do this several times to track down which side its coming from. if it is comeing from the trans. area it may turn out to be either the throwout bearing for the cluch or the piolt bearing the is in the flywheel.


let me know what happens
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  #5  
Old 02-22-2008, 04:39 AM
 
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Default RE: 2003 Mazda Protege Squealing Problem

Quote:
ORIGINAL: benwilcox
....When you hear a squealing from your engine, how do you determine what a belt squeal is, vs a water pump bearing problem squeal, vs an alternator squeal. Is there a loudness factor involved? A particular side of the engine that each is associated with?.......
Thank you in advance,

Ben
To determine if it's the belts, do this: when it starts to squeal, turn off the ignition right away, pop the hood and feel the belts with your fingers, if one of which is hot (yes you'll know it) and usually one is hotter than the other, then it's your belt.
If not (considering at 70,000 miles), have you changed the water pump yet? Are there any small puddles of water leaks under you car while parked?
But from what you're describing, it sounded more like the alternator belt. Let's hope your 'pulley' aren't bent from excessive belt tension.

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  #6  
Old 03-02-2008, 01:04 PM
 
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Default RE: 2003 Mazda Protege Squealing Problem

I bit the bullet and went into PepBoys with the car and had them replace the belts. I got no farther than 1 mile before the squeal came back. I took the car back in where they tightened the belts. No squeaks. Next morning, lots of noise. I took it back the next weekend and had them redo the belts. The squeal is still there, but it is not as boisterous. Mostlyl happens during driving now vs the set-your-clock-by-it pulling out of the driveway.

So, now I'm feeling that it must be belt related, but not feeling confident that this will be resolved. If I take it in another time, they will likely replace the belt with another new one. I'm a little concerned that it isn't tighted so much that the idea of bending any pullies becomes a reality.
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  #7  
Old 04-02-2008, 02:19 AM
 
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Default RE: 2003 Mazda Protege Squealing Problem

Well to start off I myself own a 2003 Mazda protege non-turbo with over 100,000 miles on it, ive never had a problem with it other than the alternator, until a few months ago when i would hear a slight sqeel every once in a while. Now it sqeels almost every time i turn it on. My method to stop this is to rev it up until it stops.I know its my belt because ive opened my hood when i hear a slight sqeel and i give the car some gas and i hear the sqeel accelerate and even smell some rubber burning so i think ima lube the belt and see if that helps if not then ima replace them both.

Does anyone know how to change the belts. Is it a do-it-yourself kinda job or something better left to a professional.



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  #8  
Old 04-09-2008, 06:46 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Default RE: 2003 Mazda Protege Squealing Problem

Bet you this: Squealing ribbed belts = too loose belts
in almost all cases--so don't overthink this one. The spec is for about 1/4" of deflection in middle of belt span with firm thumb pressure, so these belts are set up with quite a lot of tension.

We fixed ours after suspecting alternator bearings and taking the alt to a shop for eval. The thing is that when the alternator is putting out lots of power, it takes lots of power (like 3-4 HP)to turn the pulley! So if it's loose on the pulley, it slips. The way the belt squeals sometimes and sometimes not refers to when the alternator is putting out more power and at what RPMs we're asking it to do so.

When a belt has slipped for a while, it get's a glazed surface, so might need to install a fresh rubbery one even if it looks okay. Ease of doing this varied by year--on our 2000 1.6l it's a tight fit and took a while to ease in and out. Cheers, Em's 2000
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  #9  
Old 01-04-2011, 06:30 PM
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Default

I have the same problem on my 2003 Protege ES, i've changed the belts to the new Gatorback belts and the problem remains. Then i had a smart mechanic finally diagnose that it's not a belt problem at all it's the bearings in the alternater that are shot, he say's it's frequently missed diagnosed by lazy mechanics. Here's how you tell, when you start your Mazda turn off every switch that draws power forcing the alternater to come on and charge such as the lights, heater, AC, and rear window defogger. You will hear no noise and then turn on the rear window defogger as it draws the most amprege and the heater as well and you should be hearing that squealing starting up, relace the alternator as i did and life will return to normal, Scoeman.
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  #10  
Old 04-09-2011, 12:52 AM
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Default same prob

i have the same prob seems like at night when the headlights are on i hear a squeaking noise then i turn them off it goes away, but when its anyother time it does it then after the car "warms up" or i drive it for a while it sometimes goes away or doesent any ideas?? o it can also squeal when im in drive then it gets quieter when im in neutral or park, just sounds like a mulitude of things or another if i hit the gas when it park or drive it goes away so is the belt or the alternator or the bearings lol :P

Last edited by alex44; 04-09-2011 at 01:02 AM.
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:52 AM
 
 
 
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belt, belts, car, clutch, cold, mazda, noise, protege, replace, sound, sqeels, squealing, squeals, started, wet


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