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2000 Mazda Protege Noise

My car just started making a wheezing kind of noise when accelerating. Reminds me of wind being forced through a small hole, or the sound of a balloon being aired up. I don’t trust mechanics not to “put the screws to me” since I am a female. Any ideas of what I am dealing with before I take it in for a consult?

It Sounds Like It’s Time To Have The Winter Weight Air Let Out Of Your Tires And Summer Weight Air Put In. Just Joking With You ! You Knew That, Right ? Not Funny, Is It ?

Anyhow since nobody has responded, I’ll just bump this up to the top of the list for you.

You’ve done a great job with your description of the problem. I’m just not coming up with anything, maybe a vacuum leak.

Let’s have some “experts” take a shot at this.


Until it becomes a problem, by which I mean until there is a problem with how the car is running, reduced MPG, or the check engine light comes on, it is just a noise. It probably is a vacuum leak. It is a meaningless noise unless it makes a difference in how the car is running.
You can make a quick diagnostic scan visually to detect a vacuum leak, look for a disconnected open vacuum hose. Or you can buy a can of aerosal starter fluid and spray around the engine with the engine running (don’t go crazy, a little bit here and there) and listen for a surge in rpm (how fast the engine is running).

You might have a leaking intake manifold as well. Again, until the CEL comes on or you notice a loss of power or gas mileage, it’s just a noise.

Since the noise occurs on acceleration, it is unlikely that it is a vacuum leak. A vacuum leak would make noise on deceleration. Have you replaced your air filter recently. This kinda sounds like an air filter thats overdue or something has come loose in the hose between the air filter box and the throttle body.

If the sound could be described as an “irate vacuum cleaner” and if you notice any decrease in power or performance the problem may be a restricted exhaust system. Just something to think about.

Do you have a regular mechanic, a “corner garage” where someone can take 3 minutes and ride around the block with you to just listen?

Thanks. Yes, it only makes the sound when I accelerate…not backing up or in neutral. My idle is way off now and the car lunges when I first take off (5 speed) so I try putting it in 2nd gear to stop the lunging. Kind of like when someone doesn’t know how to drive a stick. I do. SEARS said it wasn’t a vacuum leak. They sent me to a clutch shop nearby who was going to charge me $80.00 just to look at it. But was nice enough (?) to say it didn’t seem like the clutch. I won’t pay for a diagnostic because I have been totally screwed that way before by Jo-Bob’s in Fort Worth on Vickery. It’s not just a noise, there is something going on. I am beginning to think it is the Timing Belt,due to the idle, but not certain.

The IDLE is way off and erratic now. It is not just a noise. It’s something. Thanks.

It probably is vacuum related. Don’t try to find a good mechanic at a Sears location. Find a good local, independent shop - the kind where the guy who works on the car is the same guy whose name is on the sign for the business.

Is the check engine light on?

NO it is not. The last good local mechanic with their name on the sign “screwed me over big time.” thanks.

OKAY - MAYBE its not. But I’m wondering why you are so darned certain. Vacuum issues are not easy to detect, and explain everything about your symptoms better than anything else. I’d be tearing into your intake tube/snorkel looking for a razor thin crack/slice somewhere hidden in the creases that sucks in air when you accelerate making the wheezing, and allows unmetered air in at idle.