Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Mazda Protege fixed!

For the past 6 months my wife’s 2002 Mazda Protege has been acting up whenever accelerating from a stop. When sitting at a stop light the car idles fine, but every once in a while when we hit the gas the engine would kind of bogg-down and the RPM would hover around 1000. Then out of nowhere the engine would finally kick in and we would dart off.

I always wondered if the other drivers thought we were in the racing spirit. Anyway, we tried fuel injector cleaner, changed the spark plugs, physically cleaned the injectors, had a new fuel pump and filter put in, but still was having problems.

Our mechanic then mentioned the “fuel pulsation damper”. It actually sits under the hood just before the fuel rail. That was it! The pulsation damper fixed our problem! For the last three weeks our Mazda is running just like new. Well, as new as a car with 84,000 miles on it can run.

Anybody with a Mazda with similar problems try and replace this part.

I greatly appreciate this report. Thank you. Had you posted about the problem before?

I’ve never heard of a “fuel pulsation damper” - I’m assuming it was what is more commonly called the “fuel pressure regulator?” Does that sound familiar?

This is the first time I have posted this problem.

Mazda’s parts department calls it a Pulsation Damper, but other online parts stores call it a Pressure Damper.

The part is a fuel PULSATION damper. It dampens the fuel pressure waves caused by the normal pumping action of the fuel pump.
There are strange causes and effects…not always predictable. Different affects are usually expected from a damper that doesn’t dampen. The expected results don’t swing as much as you experienced. I’ll keep this reaction as a note for future reference.

So does this car also have a pressure regulator? Or would a damper perform the same function? If anyone knows…

You better stick with that mechanic.

I would still like to know WHY your mechanic suspected the fuel pressure pulsation damper as the cause of the problems. It’s not on the usual suspects list.

I have been going to this mechanic about once a month for the past six months with the same problem. We would replace a part and the car would still have the same problem. He mentioned the pulsation damper after many hours of researching the internet and asking friends about people with simialar problems.

He is an excellent mechanic and I bring my 99 Ford Expedition to him for every oil change. 210,000 miles later on that vehicle and it starts up every time.

It has both. My Supra also has them. The dampener is on the side of the fuel rail the pump inlet is attached to, and the regulator is on the other end, and has the tank return attached to it. The dampener has no vacuum lines or other connections. It’s just a spring-loaded bladder, like a shock absorber. But, when it goes bad, it can cause fuel pressure drops like the OP experienced.

I have the same symptoms in my 2003 Protege5 (Very similar engine setup) and I’ve tried everything as well!.. except for this! Thanks for posting this​:yum::ok_hand::slight_smile:

I have an 03 Mazda Protege. Same problem. I replaced Mass Air Flow Sensor, Throttle Position Sensor, Fuel pressure Regulator and now also the Fuel Pressure Damper. Still no change. Any other ideas?

you could start your own thread that says i changed the FPD and it did not fix my problem.