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charging system warning light [Mar. 9th, 2009|09:43 am]
Mazda Owners & Enthusiasts

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[wildean]
So I know this community doesn't have much activity, but I'll post this anyway for any feedback:

my 2002 mazda protege charging system warning light came on when I went to start it this morning, along with a screeching sound that went on for about 10 seconds. The light remained on, after starting a couple more times (the screeching since stopped). The manuel tells me this indicates a malfunction with the alternator or charging system, and that the car shouldn't be driven. Paranoid about this, I begrudging called out work....anyone have trouble with their mazda alternators before?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: albaquerque
2009-03-09 02:36 pm (UTC)
The screeching noise when you start the car cerainly sounds like the alternator belt. Now I don't think that the belt alone should cause the light to go on - although my Protege was a 96 and it might be something new...

You should take the car in to get looked at ASAP. A car with a bad alternator will start, but since the battery is not being charged it will stall after a little while. Your stereo and speedometer will stop working, your interior and dash lights will dim and turn off and it will stall a minute later.

From my 3 experinces with bad alternators (all of them on 93 Mazda MX3's), the car made it about 5-7 km before stalling. If your shop is very close, maybe you could try driving. If you have a battery charger, you should hook that up and charge the battery fully before you attempt to drive it anywhere. That considerably improves the chances.
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From: future_texan
2009-03-09 04:14 pm (UTC)
I also have an '02 protege and had trouble with my charging system as well.

I was driving about 2 hours away and suddenly the interior lights dimmed, then the radio cut out, and eventually 2-3 minutes later the car just shut off. Had it towed to a shop, they said it was a dead battery. Replaced the battery, drove back home 2 more hours, then about a week later it did the same thing and died on me. No charging system indicator lights came on at all. Took it to an electrical repair shop, they couldn't find anything wrong with it but replaced the alternator/belts. The total cost was about ~500. That was last September.

My belts also started squealing a month or two later even though they were new. Turns out the alternator assembly worked itself loose and was causing the squealing.

Definitely try and get the battery charged somewhere - The new battery they installed was a NAPA and when it died again I brought it to the local NAPA store where they agreed to test/recharge my battery in order to make sure it wasn't a defect.

Best of luck
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