One problem I’ve had with my Mazda Protege is that Mazda decided to use cheap plastic in their design for automatic door locks, door handles and window regulators. In fact, I’ve had to replace the driver side, front window regulator twice, the driver side, rear locking mechanism twice, the passenger side, rear locking mechanism once and the driver’s side, front interior door handle once. Perhaps it’s not so much cheap as it is poor engineering after all Southern Arizona does average over 100° for several months in the summer – not a good complement to plastic.
Whatever the reason, when the driver’s side window regulator went out again on my 2003 Mazda Protege I was faced with a decision:
- Take the car to the Mazda Dealer and have them repair the window regulator
- Order a new power window regulator and replace it myself
After weighing the cost in wasted time with the dealer and the remaining length of my extended warranty I decided to do it myself. I figured I’d be repairing the windows again in a few years so might as well learn how now; I’ve already had to have the dealer fix two power locks and three power window regulators on this vehicle.
The first step was to get the part. I was impatient, so I way overpaid by picking up the power window regulator from the dealer. Ironically just purchasing the part from the parts counter took over an hour. It was also shocking to see that for $160 the window regulator didn’t even come with a motor!
This tutorial is for the 2003 Mazda Protege driver’s side, front Power Window Regulator. The Passenger side is similar, but this tutorial will be more or less useless for the rear doors.
*Disclaimer – This tutorial is for general informational purposes; you break your door, it’s your own fault.
Update thanks to Russ’ Comment below: When removing the door panel, it is paramount to carefully detach the plastic retaining clip that attaches the metal rod to the door handle.
If your new regulator comes from the dealer, you will need to mount your existing motor on to the new Power Window Regulator.
1) Remove the three screws from the regulators metal tripod shaped base 2) Mount the motor on the new regulator’s tripod shaped base, in the same orientation as the motor was mounted on the original power window regulator.
Then reattach the switch console and test the window prior to doing steps 12-1 in reverse. And that’s all there is to changing a 2003 Mazda Protege Power Window Regulator.