Any advice for a 02 Protege5, Automatic?

V
2002 Protege5
Hi all!

I have a 02 Protege5, auto transmission, with about 181k miles on it.

Any advice anyone has for making it more fun to drive?

Also, how did everyone become knowledgeable on what to do with your P5?

I've got no knowledge on car "stuff" so I'm open to read/watch anything useful that will educate me.

A friend of mine helped me to install my cold air intake and Mazdaspeed exhaust so that's all that has been done to it.

Also, thoughts on those of you who switched your automatic into a manual? Was it worth it? What were all the steps you had to take?

Thanks!
 
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V
2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
Well, that depends upon what you consider to be "fun to drive"! I lowered my Mazda3's ride with Eibach springs and had adjustable Koni shocks installed. Then I swapped out the OEM wheels with Enkei Racing wheels that are each 10 pounds lighter. The car handles much better, accelerates faster, and brakes shorter distances. On the bad side, the ride is noticeably stiffer and the higher density/lighter wheels tend to transmit more noise through the suspension.
If you have high aspect ratio tires, you can upsize the wheels and tires to obtain sharper steering response.
 
V
2002 Protege5
Well, that depends upon what you consider to be "fun to drive"! I lowered my Mazda3's ride with Eibach springs and had adjustable Koni shocks installed. Then I swapped out the OEM wheels with Enkei Racing wheels that are each 10 pounds lighter. The car handles much better, accelerates faster, and brakes shorter distances. On the bad side, the ride is noticeably stiffer and the higher density/lighter wheels tend to transmit more noise through the suspension.
If you have high aspect ratio tires, you can upsize the wheels and tires to obtain sharper steering response.
Thanks @concept! It seems that the common answer for an automatic P5 is to improve the handling. I purchased Megan coils a while ago from a part out, but still need to get the shocks for that. They're currently still sitting in the garage in the box I received it in. Never thought about lighter tires either, thank you for the suggestion! I think my current goal is to improve the handling. My P5 is currently my daily car so I'll be putting more miles on it for a while, which is why I'm looking to see what I can do that won't break the bank.

Thanks again.
 

i12drivemyMP5

___ 323F ___
Contributor
It's fun not getting tickets or blowing up the motor from turboing it. This is not a fast and furious need for speed car unless you have more money to dump into it than it would take to buy a car that is already like that to begin with. Practical and fun yes, street dominator nope. Make peace with what it is what i've done and not regretted it......not to say it doesn't have a "few" mods, lol.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
V
2002 mazda protege 5
If you get too carried away the car will rattle the filling out of your head.
That's not fun when it's your daily driver.
 
i bought a manual P5 from my hs buddy... i suggest putting in new VGK V powered sparkplugs and using the mazda 626 V6 oil filter. its a little bigger so the filtration is better. i also switched to valvoline semisynthetic high milage oil... will be using full syn in the upcoming winter
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
V
2002 mazda protege 5
Change your oil every 3,000 miles.
You're better off with cheap oil changed frequently that expensive oil changed less regularly.

You don't want this to happen to your pistons.
The oil rings seize up with crap then you start burning more oil than gasoline. Lol

 
V
2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
Consumer Reports did an extensive test of taxi cab engines and the effects of oil change intervals, many years ago. They found that:
a) No engine oil needed to be changed at 3000 miles.
b) The non-synthetic oil in the taxis lasted about 7500 miles before losing the protective compounds.

I use full synthetic oil and change it every 12 months (5000 to 7500 miles). Add some Chevron Techron injector cleaner to your full gas tank at every oil change.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
V
2002 mazda protege 5
In our case, with the FS engine and its tendency to get seized oil rings, I want to keep my oil as clean as possible to help prevent ring seizure.

It's all the crap that builds up in the oil (not its lubricating ability) that gets baked onto the oil rings and plugs up the tiny oil drain holes in the piston.

The oil filter doesn't filter out much of the dissolved lacquer type stuff.
 
V
2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
I owned a 2002 Protégé ES up until I sold it with 145,000 miles on it. The Mobil 1 5W-30 oil was always still clean when I changed it, every year and 5000-7000 miles. Synthetic oil tends to have fewer additives and hence, far less of "buildups" than does conventional oil. I also changed the transmission fluid every 10,000 to 14,000 miles.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
V
2002 mazda protege 5
I took a few pictures of a piston from my parts car. (which was burning a lot of oil)

The three parts of the oil ring are black with baked-on crap.




Two of the four oil drain holes were plugged.





 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
V
2002 mazda protege 5
" The Mobil 1 5W-30 oil was always still clean when I changed it, "

That makes sense to me. My daily driver is the same way.

It's that dissolved black crap that condenses on the oil rings and drain holes.

When an engine starts to wear, you get blow-by gases that put exhaust gasses and some semi-burnt oil into the engine oil as well as some condensed water the doesn't boil off until the engine is hot.

Frequent short trips in your car accelerate the process.

As soon as all that starts, it begins to snowball until you fog out your entire neighborhood at startup and people are phoning the fire department and you're burning as much as a quart of oil every 250 miles.

(That's not BS, it has happened. Lol)
 
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