Reader Question Hi, I have a 1994 Mazda Protege. It has a 1.8 Liter 4 Cylinder and the engine has been knocking really bad. The clutch has about 300 miles on it and it will shift fine, but after the knocking I’m scared to drive it.
I checked the transmission fluid and it is full. The oil is new and the weight is correct. It will start but it knocks so bad that the battery dies and it stalls. If you have any idea what the problem is, it would be greatly appreciated if you could diagnose the engine problem.
I think you should have a mechanic in your area look and listen to it. It could be something as simple as a bad spark plug or spark plug wire causing an engine misfire…so your 4 cylinder engine is now a 3 cylinder! With the engine running, open the hood and take a look at the spark plug wires, do you see one of them hanging off a spark plug or the distributor cap?
I have seen spark plug wires just fall off the spark plug and the wire is just laying on the engine sparking. You can sometimes hear the spark “snap” as it comes out of the spark plug wire and hits the metal on the engine. With the engine off….try to re-install the plug wire to the spark plug and restart the engine.
Since you say the clutch is fairly new, it could be something that has come loose in the clutch or transmission.
Then it could also be something seriously wrong internally in the engine. In any case I would call your mechanic and see if they will make a house call to your home to hear the problem or have them pick it up with a tow truck. You don’t want to make the problem worse than it is, and driving it in this situation could do just that.
Keep me posted,
Austin C. Davis