Daughters P5 bite the dust?


2003 Protege5
ok, it is Thanksgiving, so I am working with limited information right now...

The car:
stock (as far as we know...have not owned it long)
<140k miles

Over the summer check engine light came on, it was some kind of misfire code. Car was not near me for a few months...by the time she got it back home, code was gone.

Last week got a check engine light again. I can not find my bluetooth code puller....ordered one on Amazon, will be here Tuesday. We live 25 miles from town, so When I was in Tulsa (about an hour away...NOT with her car) I decided to buy 4 spark plugs (autolight irridium or something) and 1 new coil (that was what they had in stock) Replaced plugs, replaced the coil on the right side (as I am looking at the car from the front) and she drove it to town and back....seemed all good.

Yesterday she was driving to town, and when she got to town and downshifted...car stalled. She restarted it, ran fine...but whenever she downshifted...it would die.
Car made NO odd noises and the CEL was not on until that happened. After that...it has developed a loud knock. Not noticible at an idle...but when you give it gas only she says.

She managed to get home with the car...Checked oil (because of the noise)....was low...I added 2 quarts brought it to totally full.
Started the car ...and noise is still there when you get RPMs much above an idle...more RPMS...louder it gets.
I gave it about a minute or two...get the oil around in case it was starved (I dont know these little cars much) and made no difference. Turned it off...and asking for help.

Bluetooth code reader will not be here till Tuesday...too far away to take it to a parts store to pull codes before that.
I have thought about moving coil to other side...see if that does anything....or am I better to not touch anything without codes?

I have never had a car with truly catastrophic issues...I dont know if this could sound like a rod or something and engine is toast?
Any thoughts?


The Diagram Dude
2002 MP5

She managed to get home with the car...Checked oil (because of the noise)....was low...I added 2 quarts brought it to totally full.

I have never had a car with truly catastrophic issues...I dont know if this could sound like a rod or something and engine is toast?
Any thoughts?

Your car was running at only 1.5 quarts before the refill.

You may have catastrophic engine damage.

Your oil sump may have sucked bubbles.



02 protege5 manual 5 speed
The following is for information purposes. If you do not feel confident working on your own vehicle, then I recommend you have the vehicle sent or towed to a licensed repair facility.
I am not responsible if you brake or damage your vehicle, yourself, or anything or anyone else.
So thats outoftheway.

You may want to wait to get your scanner and check codes before trying this, but if in a rush to attempt to fix it (never rush) then you may try this.

Pull the plugs again. If they are bent or smashed at the end, then wrong or too long plugs (hopefully you still have the old ones.) Also with all the plugs out and the coils completely DISCONNECTED at the harness, try cranking it (starting) a few times.
(If there is still a loud noise with the plugs out, then the engine is toast, have the car towed. Otherwise continue reading.)

If plugs are ok then put them back in (about 5ftlbs weak torque, snug not tight, then give 1/8 to 1/4 turn more to seat the crush rings,) and try reconnecting the coils a few times.

Do a relearn.
(This may erase some or all codes, again if you want to wait for a scanner before doing the relearn that is okay.)

The relearn process takes about an hour and a half or 2, you may want to bring something to read for the first hour. During the relearn do not touch the gas pedal (accelerator) at all during the first hour or the whole process has to go back to the beginning of battery disconnect.

Disconnect the negative battery connector (minus or usually black side) and wait for 30 solid minutes minimum and then reconnect the battery.

(After the battery reconnect and everything back together, before attempting to drive or start);
Turn off all accessories (headlights, ac heater inside blower fan, radio, defrost, gps, dashcam, uberlyft sign, radar, unplug the phone charger from the cig lighter port, seat warmers, windshield wipers all off).
Hood closed fully.
Set the parking brake, start the car and sit in the drivers seat for 30 minutes with the car idling (Do not push the gas for these 30 minutes), during this time do not open or close the doors, do not turn on any accessories (heater, windows, radio, whatever), it is ok to press the brake pedal if needed.
The car has to idle and warm up from cold on its own. It should (though not always) cycle its front cooling fans twice during the 30 minutes. Then without turning it off, buckle up, then follow the correct normal process of driving around for 5 miles (also before that, with your foot on brake pedal, unset the parking brake as needed, reason cuz just some other people need that info. 'Sigh'.)
(And after the 30 minutes of idling, yes its ok to turn on accessories as needed.)

If it is still making the loud knock continuously during idle or within the first half mile of driving, then park it and turn it off and have it towed to a repair shop. (If there are some problems, a check engine light may have appeared at this point, usually but not always.)

Otherwise if ok for the 5 miles, then park where you started the drive. Shut it off. Exit the vehicle. Let it sit off for 15 to 19 minutes. Get back in, buckle up, start it and immediately go for another 5 mile drive, and when in neutral if possible tap the gas fully a few times. Again, if there is noise, return back to the place the drive started, park it and turn it off. And tow.
This may or may not help.
Thats the quick check list.

(My knowledge is based off of ASEs and my personal vehicles, and other stuff.)
My current vehicle of 3 years,
02 Protege5, 5 speed manual, stock, 306000 plus miles, daily driver, I drive the bleep out of it daily to merge onto the California freeways, ( low oil is definitely not recommended as its really bad for the engine, though my mp5 usually runs on less than 2 qts of oil because it eats a quart of oil a month before I add 1 each month between oil changes (no oil on ground, see valve stem seals leaks on google (me being lazy about my personal vehicles only )) (3.9qts with filter at 10w30, per the book). Also I wish cali allowed turbos on all road driven cars, but thats a different topic though.)

MP5s are tough amazing little cars, i.m.o.


2003 Protege5
I went ahead and pulled all the spark plugs....all 4 looked like they should.
Tried to start it, and no knock....that being said, we only really notice the knock with RPMs a little higher than idle...2k or more....so not sure how much info that gives us.
When I put it back together, I swaped the new and old coil....same sound...Can not tell if its moved or not with just that.
I did go ahead and buy a code reader...wont work with Torque...but was able to get something at least.
It pulled stored codes of p0300 and p0304 and a "pending" code of p0660

close as I can tell, the p0660 is not something I need to worry about right now???
The other two is why I changed plugs and the one coil.
I know I should change both coils...but 1 was all there was in stock at the local Oriely's
They did not have wires in stock, so I have not touched those, although I am a little worried about #3 because when I pulled the plug wire off to remove the plug today, there was part of the metal that was pulled out past the rubber boot...so to me that makes me worried that the plug wire might be bad (although I did not get a p0303 code)

I took a little video I will try to upload.

I took the cable off the battery, and I will try the relearn thing tomorrow.
I dont know if I should try and throw more parts at it without knowing if there is something REALLY bad or not.


The Diagram Dude
2002 MP5
That sounds really wrong to me.

I don't think you should spend any more money on it except a mechanic to verify that it's dead.

Maybe someone else here can tell you how to check it out yourself.
Shes done. Needs a new motor or a rebuild. That's rod knock, no bueno. If you added 2 qts oil then i was run too low... way too low. If it was that low on oil and didnt leak, chances are it was due for a rebuild anyway.