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Old 08-10-2018, 12:56 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: California
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Default Just a couple repair questions

So I recently bought a 2000 Mazda Protege, DX or ES, I can't remember which but anyway, I've got a couple questions about it. When I bought it, the owner told me that the power steering belt needed replacement which would also fix the AC. I did but the belt still squeaks and while it turns fine while driving, at a stand still or under 4 mph, the wheel has no power steering. I'm wondering if the belt needs to be tightened or the pump replaced, and I'm not sure how much PS fluid it has since I didn't want to put any money into it until I had it in my name. Because what's the point of putting money into a car that's not yours? Anyway, I haven't checked the fluid levels which I'll do tomorrow and post that here. Second problem, the oil dipstick is broken off at the handle. I can't reach it with needle nose pliers and I was thinking a pick up claw would help which I'm going to try when I get the money for one. I have seen a way to remove it is to drill a hole into the remaining plastic casing and pull it out that way but I'm afraid slivers of plastic are gonna fall in the tube when it's pulled out. Is there a way to remove it? Third, the AC. It blows slightly cold air but only slightly cool, not cold. Should I try getting a can of coolant to refill it or have the AC checked? I can't really afford to have the AC serviced right now and I'd have to save for it so if it could be just a refill I'm all for it. Thanks for any help you guys can offer.
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Old 08-10-2018, 09:07 AM
Join Date: May 2017
Location: SoCal
Posts: 34

If you paid for it and have a bill of sale, it's yours. Depending on where you live in CA, DMV lines are pretty ridiculous these days. I just registered a used car I purchased a few weeks ago in OC.

Next Serpentine belts need to be crazy tight. New belts stretch a bit very quickly. A quick way to test the tension is to grab the belt with your fingers on the longest unsupported run (between the pulleys) and twist it. If you can't turn it about 90 degrees, it's too tight. If you can twist it 180 or more, it's too loose.

For the dipstick fix, as long as you don't drill too deep, remain centered and aligned, you should be ok. Remember, the remaining handle fills the tube and should prevent any chunks from falling in. Use a vacuum to pull any debris out before you remove the stick.

FIx the belt before you mess with the AC. Get a small thermometer, one with a probe you can stick inside the vent or an IR one and measure the temp of the air coming out the center vent.

Has it been smogged yet?
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:30 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: California
Posts: 4

It has. Had to replace the catalytic converter before it would pass. And PS fluid was at half so I'll have to add more of it soon as I get money to get fluids for it. Finding a drill shouldn't be too much of a problem, I'm sure someone in my family has one.
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