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2001 Mazda Protege

Hi, my name is Fred. I have a 2001 Mazda Protege with a manual transmission that has about 115,000 miles on it. I have a problem when starting from a dead stop.

When I release the clutch and start moving, the car tends to bog and jerk, regardless of whether the car is hot or cold. Once I get it into 2nd gear, it is fine, and there are no problems in 3rd, 4th, or 5th. It is only in first gear.

If I give it more gas, it tends to smooth out, or if I can get the perfect combination of releasing the clutch and giving it enough gas, but most of the time as I’m easing out the clutch and pressing the gas, the jerking gets bad enough so that it seems like it is going to stall, so I put it in 2nd gear ASAP.

Otherwise the car runs fine.

Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks for any advice and have a nice day.


There could be several problems here but I suggest that you let a friend who can drive a stick shift test drive your vehicle. The Protege uses a 4 cylinder engine and from time to time I see people who release the clutch too fast or do not use enough accelerator pedal when starting out. From your comments…I think that’s what’s happening. If it was an ignition or fuel problem the symptoms would be there in the higher gears as well.

Hi Fred,

How long have you owned the car? Have you had this problem all along, or is it something that has recently developed?

Does anyone else drive the car? Do they experience the same problem?