10 Steps to Replace a Mazda Protege Timing Belt

The timing belt in your Mazda Protege may be malfunctioning. Likely problems could be the belt broke or stripped the teeth. This causes the engine to run improperly or not function at all. The belt will need to be replaced to ensure no further damage or mishaps are caused. Replacing this with a new timing belt is simple with these ten steps.



Tools You Need

In order to make this repair certain tools are needed. A jack and jack stand to lift and secure the vehicle. A 1/4 inch drive socket and ratchet set for the passenger-side splash shield and the timing belt covers. You will also need a 1/2 inch drive ratchet and socket set for removal of the crankshaft pulley and a set of various sized wrenches for loosening and tightening bolts.


Securely Raise the Vehicle and Remove the Initial Components to Acces the Timing Belt

Raise the vehicle with the jack and place the jack stands securely on a flat surface. Remove the passenger side wheel with the 1/2 inch ratchet and socket set in order to be able to reach the timing belt area. Use the 1/4 inch set to remove the passenger-side splash shield and then remove the valve cover in order to be able to reach the timing belt area.


Remove the Accessory Belt, Crankshaft Pulley Bolt, and Timing Belt Guide Washer

Loosen the tension and remove the accessory belts that power the radiator blade, alternator, and air conditioning unit. Unscrew the crankshaft pulley bolt using the 1/2 inch ratchet and socket set. Loosen and remove the crankshaft pulley bolt and timing belt guide washer from the crankshaft.


Remove the Timing Belt Covers

Remove the bolts located on the top and bottom of the timing belt cover using the 1/4 inch ratchet and socket set. You will need to remove the top cover and then remove the bottom cover.


Remove the Cranshaft Pulley

Turn crankshaft pulley clockwise until the mark on top of the camshaft sprocket matches up with the pointer on top of the rear sprocket. Line the semi-circle mark with the pointer on the block. Once all marks are aligned and point straight up, pull the crankshaft pulley from the vehicle.


Remove the Timing Belt

Loosen the tensioner bolt with a wrench and pull the tensioner away from the belt. Slightly tighten the tensioner bolt to hold the tensioner in place and remove the timing belt.


Install the New Timing Belt

Place the new timing belt counterclockwise from the crankshaft pulley to the the outside of the water pump, inside of the guide pulley, and over the camshaft. This will place the timing belt on the inside of the tensioner.


Apply Pressure to The Belt Using the Tensioner Adjuster

Loosen the tensioner bolt and apply pressure towards the timing belt. Make sure you do not over or under tighten the bolt. Refer to the specifications on the box the new timing belt came in. Make sure the parts stay aligned properly by checking the markings and teeth to sprocket alignment.


Reinstall the Crankshaft Pulley

Put the crankshaft pulley back in place and turn it two complete revolutions until every part is aligned again. The timing mark and the crankshaft mark need to remain aligned when complete. If they are not, repeat this process until they are aligned.


Finalize The Repair

Finalize the repair by reinstalling everything removed, including covers, shields, and the wheel. Do this by reversing the steps taken to remove them from the vehicle.

With a little bit of time, effort, and patience, the Mazda Protege timing belt can be replaced with a new one. The only money you will be out is the cost of the part and the work is simple enough to avoid taking the vehicle into the shop for a costly repair. Replacing the timing belt can be done by an individual with little to no experience, if these ten easy steps are followed.