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Old 01-20-2009, 11:15 AM   #11 (permalink)
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[SOLD] Highway Warrior - '00 Mazda Protege LX 1.6L Manual
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sohl,

Where did you get the plastic?

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Old 01-20-2009, 11:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Agreed, very nice.
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Old 07-05-2009, 10:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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LilRed - '03 Mazda Protege LX
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Well, that didn't end well...

Hey, long time since I've posted, but I've been lurking occasionally.

A few weeks back I was driving a short stretch of freeway when I noticed my temp gauge pegged at the max! I was able to exit in a couple of miles and checked my coolant resevoir and found it empty... boiled over! I filled it with some cool water and made it the rest of the way home.

The next morning I needed even more water and I took it (a bit slowly) to a Mazda dealership for service. They told me my radiator was rusted and leaking near the cap. After they switched that out and ran a test, they saw the temp starting to elevate again. They kept it for another day. They suspected a gasket leak, but their diagnostic machine showed that was ok. They checked the thermostat again (which had passed some tests on the first day in the shop) and found it to be sticking intermittantly. So now I have a new radiator and a new thermostat. Looking back, I probably did have at least a small leak. A week earlier I topped up the coolant fluid.

Now, I don't know for sure that my little grille block caused or contributed significantly to needing these repairs, but I have to wonder. The confusing thing is that for all this time, I did not notice a higher coolant temp on my dashboard gauge, and I did not notice the fan coming on much more frequently that it did before (but I do admit that I can't easily hear it except in my garage). But, in any case, I'm not going back to using a grille block on this car. I didn't see much benefit in the milage, and once bitten, I'm twice shy. I hope none of you using a grille block meet the same fate.
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Last edited by sohl; 07-07-2009 at 01:21 PM.. Reason: Spelling fixes
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Old 07-05-2009, 11:48 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm sorry to hear about your troubles.

Sounds like the real problems here were the leak, and the sticking thermostat. The grill block wouldn't cause these problems. However, they might aggravate them.

However, I understand the caution. It's not worth worrying about it for a .5 MPG gain. I ran a block for a time too, and also removed it because it was interfering with AC performance.
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Old 07-06-2009, 02:27 AM   #15 (permalink)
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sohl -

Quote:
Originally Posted by sohl View Post
...

Now, I don't know for sure that my little grille block caused or contributed significantly to needing these repairs, but I have to wonder. The confusing thing is that for all this time, I did not notice a higher coolant temp on my dashboard guage, and I did not notice the fan coming on much more frequently that it did before (but I do admit that I can't easily hear it except in my garage). But, in any case, I'm not going back to using a grille block on this car. I didn't see much benefit in the milage, and once bitten, I'm twice shy. I hope none of you using a grille block meet the same fate.
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I'm also sorry to hear about your problem. I've replaced my radiator and my water pump in the last year :

New Radiator at 154K Miles ... - SaturnFans Forums
Classic water pump coolant leak? - SaturnFans Forums (175K miles)

However, no one at saturnfans was surprised at the mileage of these failures, so it's hard to make a definitive statement that my grille block was the culprit. S-Series Saturns like mine are known to overheat, so I have a manual fan radiator switch and I tend to be paranoid about the coolant temp (i.e. I watch it like a hawk on my ScanGauge in traffic jams).

How many miles do you have on your Protege? Would you classify this as a premature failure?

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Last edited by cfg83; 07-06-2009 at 04:57 AM..
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Old 07-06-2009, 04:54 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Tough luck! As others have said, this might not have been caused by the grille block, but it likely aggravated the problem.

I'm running with 3/4 of my upper grille blocked now, and the car is fine (knocks on wood) even with a hyper-sensitive engine computer that kicks in the high-speed fans with just a slight rise in engine temperature.
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Old 07-07-2009, 01:19 PM   #17 (permalink)
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@cfg84: My Protege has about 55K miles... so I would definitely consider it premature, although it is about 6 years old now. This part of Michigan uses a lot of salt on the roads, so maybe corrosion helped to create a leak, but I don't hear many others having this kind of problem this early. Maybe I just had an abnormally weak radiator to begin with. I am surprised that I didn't see earlier warning signs in the dashboard temp gauge. Anyway, life goes on.
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