Looking for good mechanic LA<->SD areas

V
Mazda Protege5
Hey guys. So some backstory on my car and I. I've had this car about 1yr now. The guy who sold it to me, I feel like cleared the CEL codes and me being excited to getting a new car, didn't think about it at the time. It took me a while to get those cleared and finally get the tags. It's been fun though learning more about my car and working on it. I feel like it's all been maintenance work. I replaced both of my cats, hoses, rotors and brakes, spark plugs, motor mounts, front and rear endlinks, outer tie rods, probably other small stuff. Needless to say, I love my car and it's super fun to drive but I'm trying to get it to its former glory or at least at a point where I'm satisfied with it. Anywho lol, I've yet to find a reputable mechanic to work on my car for the harder much more complicated stuff. I used an acquaintance of the family and he's helped me with a few things but for the most part, he's super busy and isn't really enthusiastic when I try to get him to look at the car. So I'm really trying to find someone as my go-to guy. That's one thing I'm hoping you Californians can help me with.

So the issue I'm having now is a slight hesitation in acceleration. It happened to me like 4x. Back to back in succession on the freeway and it felt like if you shift into a lower gear and there's that jolt if you didn't rev match. It later occurred while picking up a friend and as I was pulling up my car just slowed down on its on even though I was stepping on the gas pedal. I came to a stop and pulled away just fine. It also has turned off in my driveway like twice just after turning it on as I'm warming it up gathering things before I leave my house. I've noticed the rpm needle move ever so slightly up and down when idling at about 200rpms. It used to feel like it would turn off if I didn't rev it from time to time at a light/stop. I haven't done that since but that needle still moves. Every now and then I feel like the car doesn't move when coming out of first. Like the rpms are going up but it's taking the rest of the car to catch up if that makes sense. I tried searching and I did read a few posts and came across the possibly thing of it being the fuel pump or coil packs. I've taken it to 2 shops an neither could pin point what could be causing the problem. As I stated to them, because it is MY car, any little change in it; I notice it right away. So I was hoping for some wisdom from you all as this forum has helped me a lot in getting my ride running as smoothly as possible. I would appreciate some feedback and thank you.
 
V
2003 protege 5
Im sorry i cant help with the mechanic recommendation. I can offer some suggestions though. First off Id say to start with some cleaning. The throttle body, the egr valve and the IAC. My car would get a slight hesitation and when I did this I found carbon build up in all 3 of these. After a thorough cleaning of these components it ran much better. Im not sure of the extent of your maintenance but new plugs and coil packs might be needed. Lastly is the fuel pump. I replaced mine at 120k just to be safe. the filter sock is attached to the bottom of the pump. and theres a fiber type filter on the actual pump housing itself. easy insurance is to replace the whole assembly giving you years of trouble free worry free operation. being in cali no worries about the screws being rusted either. all of these can be done with time and except for the fuel pump- minimal monies . It should run smoother and the rpms should stay around 650ish. 200 rpms is way too low.
 
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pcb

The Diagram Dude
V
2002 mazda protege 5
^^^ +2 on the IAC especially...
Once the car is warmed up enough, the ECU sends control of the idle to the IAC (Idle Air Control valve).
If the IAC valve is dirty it can stick causing a bouncing idle or a stall.
The ECU monitors the clutch switch and the neutral switch to know when to give idle control to the IAC.

I think you should do a Seafoam treatment too.
Half a can in the gas and half a can up the the brake booster vacuum line.

Acceleration hesitation could be caused by dirty injectors. The Seafoam should help clean them.
 
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V
Mazda Protege5
The spark plugs are fairly new as when I started doing the tune up on it, i started with the small stuff. although i didn't replace the coil packs or wires as I didn't have the monies at the time.

I can't for the life of me remember the mileage of the car when I got it as the owner said he had the engine swapped with one that had 90k and the odometer reads around 259k right now.


Not to take advantage of the diagram dude, but do you have one so I can locate the IAC and EGR much easier? I do believe the last mechanic who looked at it said he cleaned the throttle body so that's one thing out of the way.

I did a seafoam treatment before my older cats died on me. Would you recommend to do it again or a fuel system clean? I'm honestly scared of that treatment bottle as the last time I did it, it so happened the next day, it threw a CEL.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
V
2002 mazda protege 5
I did a seafoam treatment before my older cats died on me. Would you recommend to do it again or a fuel system clean? I'm honestly scared of that treatment bottle as the last time I did it, it so happened the next day, it threw a CEL.
I guess I could see that happening... You could release a lot of crap that lands on the cat, burns on the cat and burns it out...
Perhaps a fuel treatment would be safer.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
V
2002 mazda protege 5
I sticky EGR can cause idle stalling and acceleration problems...

Some people have to clean their EGR every year.




You'll need to buy a 1/4" stubby socket drive to get in there to get at the bolts.

I couldn't find a location picture of the IAC but found this.

The IAC has screws that like to seize and strip their heads when you open it up.

 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
V
2002 mazda protege 5
I found this...
The IAC is connected to the throttle body.
(I've never cleaned mine,... or my EGR... my car runs great)



 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
V
2002 mazda protege 5
I don't know if you have to remove everything listed or drain the rad fluid ???

Maybe someone who cleaned their IAC can chime in.
 
V
protege5
I found this...
The IAC is connected to the throttle body.
(I've never cleaned mine,... or my EGR... my car runs great)

lol i thought i was the only one! MY car runs great... if it's dirty it is gonna stay that way. The second i clean something it will undoubtedly snowball into a myriad of other repairs now necessary because i touched something. 250k miles here, original clutch, engine, and everything. All i do is change the oil every 5k miles and add washer fluid. I'll need an alternator belt here eventually, it occasionally squeals at me on cold mornings at first start when i have the AC, headlights, defroster, etc on (lot of electrical load), but it still goes away after about 5 seconds. so i got some time lol
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
V
2002 mazda protege 5
... The second i clean something it will undoubtedly snowball into a myriad of other repairs now necessary because i touched something....
My dad used to say "If it ain't broke, don't fix it !!"

I said "Don't worry,.. I'm sure I'll break something while I'm fixing it..."
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
V
2002 mazda protege 5
...I'm honestly scared of that treatment bottle as the last time I did it, it so happened the next day, it threw a CEL.
I was wondering what CEL you threw ???

Was it the one saying your pre-cat was toast??

P0421Warm-up catalyst system efficiency below threshold
 
V
Mazda Protege5
I was wondering what CEL you threw ???

Was it the one saying your pre-cat was toast??

P0421Warm-up catalyst system efficiency below threshold
yeah i think so. also didn't help i went over a nasty pothole and shattered what remained of it.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
V
2002 mazda protege 5
I guess I could see that happening... You could release a lot of crap that lands on the cat, burns on the cat and burns it out...
Perhaps a fuel treatment would be safer.
If you did wreck your cats due to the Seafoam treatment, you'd be the first one I've heard of to do so.

I've done it to my car many times and lots of people on this forum have done it too... Some say it's snake oil and doesn't work but no one said they wrecked their car.

However,... Apparently, it only takes a few seconds of misfiring (unburnt fuel on the pre-cat) to burn it out.
Even bump starting your car can put enough fuel on the pre-cat to burn it out.



I haven't done a full treatment in a long time. I put half a can in with my new oil at every oil change and leave it in... And I put a single shot in with my gas at every fill up.

I haven't had a bouncing idle in a long time.
 
V
Mazda Protege5
If you did wreck your cats due to the Seafoam treatment, you'd be the first one I've heard of to do so.

I've done it to my car many times and lots of people on this forum have done it too... Some say it's snake oil and doesn't work but no one said they wrecked their car.

However,... Apparently, it only takes a few seconds of misfiring (unburnt fuel on the pre-cat) to burn it out.
Even bump starting your car can put enough fuel on the pre-cat to burn it out.


I haven't done a full treatment in a long time. I put half a can in with my new oil at every oil change and leave it in... And I put a single shot in with my gas at every fill up.

I haven't had a bouncing idle in a long time.
I feel like I'm terrible at explaining myself. So it wasn't the seafoam specifically but the chevron fuel system cleaner. It could've been a pretty big coincidence that it threw the CEL the next day.
 
V
protege5
I've done it to my car many times and lots of people on this forum have done it too... Some say it's snake oil and doesn't work but no one said they wrecked their car.
search for a guy on youtube called "projectfarm". he does all sorts of abusive stuff to small engines and other stuff to see how well things work. Always takes it apart before and after so you can see for yourself, not just claiming "it gave me 20hp".

you'd be surprised at how well seafoam really does work! I don't subscribe to anything on youtube but his videos are awesome. Very unbiased scientific approach to put a lot of stuff like that to the test.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
V
2002 mazda protege 5
I feel like I'm terrible at explaining myself. So it wasn't the seafoam specifically but the chevron fuel system cleaner. It could've been a pretty big coincidence that it threw the CEL the next day.
I don't want to give any bad advice, but I think Seafoam is safe to use...
 
V
Mazda Protege5
I don't want to give any bad advice, but I think Seafoam is safe to use...
No worries. I did take off the IAC and cleaned the gold spring looking thing that had a black layer on it. Nothing odd under where it was bolted. The EGR though was hard to take off as the second screw was hard to reach. I need a shorter phillips head
 

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