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car question

November 10th, 2005, 10:41 AM
so, I took my car in for it's 80K check-up and they said they found a rad leak and I need a new rad. What I'm curious about is if it is leaking, why can't I see fluid under my car in my parking space? I know they changed the fluids during my check-up, could it have just spilt and they thought it was a leak?

I also understand that radiator fans can cause your transmission to be jerky, transmission has been a little jerky for the last week, could the coolant leak be why? The coolant level isn't going down, and my engine doesn't get hot or anything?

Should I get a second opinion?

Also, will worn tires make your "ride" more jerky? We got a discount on the car as it needed new tires, and we are getting them soon, but maybe the "jerky-ness" I feel with the transmission is tire related?

Sorry...this is the first car I have EVER driven that wasn't at least 15 years old. These newer cars are SOOOO much different than the boats I grew up with. It's a 2000 Mazda Protege. I'm not used to accelerating and the car loosing speed so quickly. My old car was so heavy it would stay at 100 km/h without barely touching the gas. With this little car it's so light I'm constantly using the gas!

November 10th, 2005, 12:04 PM
I would get your wheels and brakes checked out too.

It's not really normal for Mazdas to be that jerky or demanding, from what I know about them. Maybe one of your brakes is slightly stuck? Drive slowly in an empty parking lot and put it in neutral and coast till you stop and if you finally stop suddenly, like with a little backward action, your brakes are probably stuck... Otherwise, you could have a bearing that's loose or maybe you just need a good alignment...

Oh and watch how many kms you get on a full tank. If it's far under 400kms, there could be a host of trouble under the hood that could also be slowing you down.

November 10th, 2005, 12:08 PM
Go to Canadian Tire and buy something called Bars Leak (or something like that. It's in a blueish bottle). It is possible to have a small leak that you don't notice, but if that's the case, a rad shop would be able to fix it. Either way, this stuff will work. It's amazing! I had a rad that was so toast it was part of a complete breakfast. I put a bottle of this stuff in, and it worked so well, that my rad actually started falling a part one strip at a time until only half was left before I noticed. I've used it in a couple of cars, and I love that stuff.

As for tires, it depends how they are worn as to what effect you'll notice. Cupping, bulging, anything other than an even wear will definitely make a difference. But it also depends on the kind of tires. I've changed tires before and noticed the car handled different, and have noticed a difference in how "smooth" the ride is, and how noisy. If you go to a touring tire, you'll probably notice a more comforable ride, but you'll lose some handling. Also, if you're used to "land yachts", then the ride in the Protege definitely won't be cushy, it'll feel "tighter", which, in my opinion, is better. Of course, I used to drive an RX-7. ("You drive down the road, hit a bump, and you feel it so hard it shoves your spine up into your brain, and you are now paralysed for life, and THAT'S the way driving's meant to be!")

November 10th, 2005, 12:40 PM
I had the brakes tested during the check-up and I will probably need new ones in about 4 months, at least the two front one's I beleive. The back ones were fine probably until next summer.

I usually get about 500km or more on a tank (I can usually go to and from work mon-fri on a full tank if I don't drive anywhere else all week). Usually I do errands one night a week or on weekends. I get about 6 days on a full tank of driving 100km per day, and errands.

I have an appointment for the rad replacement on Saturday. I talked with a friend who is a mechanic and I'm at least getting a good price ($579 which is the total for parts and labour, then tax on that) and he says it would be better to replace it now than have an engine failure on the 401 somewhere during rushhour one night in the middle of winter. Better safe than sorry.

Schwinn, I swear we travel on the BUMPIEST roads to work which doesn't help! Queen street in Brampton in the old downtown is all old pavement and falling apart, steeles isn't in the best shape either. The 409 to the 401 is HORRIBLE. Martigrove is bad too, where I drop my BF for work.

I did some reading on the net and the fuel injection is prone to buildups on the mazda, and it could be some clogged part causing the RPM issue. Aparently what I have is common and actually reported on the Mazda website as a known issue that shouldn't cause any problems.