Symptoms of a Bad Transmission in a Mazda Protege

by Jonathan Lister
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The Mazda Protege was built to accommodate both automatic and manual transmissions. This gives a driver versatility in purchasing a vehicle that meets his automotive needs and the style of transportation he desires. The symptoms of a bad transmission can be subtle at first, such as slipping gears or small noises when idling, but can quickly balloon out of control into a failed transmission and damaged engine. Careful drivers will pay attention to these symptoms to avoid expensive repair costs.

Transmission Slippage

Slippage is often the first symptom of transmission failure in a Protege with an automatic transmission. The driver will experience a temporary loss of engine acceleration as the transmission slips into a lower gear, which may cause a lag in the normal shifting of gears. When the vehicle experiences transmission lag, the car will seem to idle in neutral before the on-board computer properly relays the correct gear. The driver may even feel the gear "kick in" through a jolt in the engine block or a popping noise.

Clutch Failure

A Mazda Protege with a manual transmission shares some symptoms of transmission failure with automatics. The clutch is the driver's tool for manually shifting gears with the transmission and often shows the first signs of a larger problem. The driver may notice the clutch begin to slip gears by either physically noticing the clutch disengaging or failing to engage at higher gears such as fourth or fifth. These symptoms can be potentially dangerous for drivers of vehicles with manual transmissions, as the inability to engage a higher gear while on a highway could result in a serious accident.

Noise When Idle

Gears and clutch components that come loose over time will start banging around in the engine when the vehicle is idling. Drivers will hear clanging or clanking noises while the car is stopped but still in first gear or drive (for automatics). Loose transmission parts may come undone at any time, resulting in vehicle shutdown or further engine damage which may end up costing the consumer a great deal more than an already expensive-to-replace transmission.

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