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Mazda MPV

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  • You've probably had your tire fixed by now, but for future reference, you should never use the MPV's spare on the front. The same is true for any FWD car due to the extra weight and the double duty that the front wheels do (steer and pull the car). It causes a misalignment while the spare is on the front, not to mention that the half shafts don't turn at the same speed. It's a pain, but you should take one of the full size wheels off the back and put the limited-service spare on the back.
  • I noticed mild "cupping" on the middle two tread lines on my rear tires @ 21,600 miles, so I took my 2000 LX in for its 3rd rotation and balance. I also asked for a four-wheel alignment due to the problem I was having. A Hunter "state of the art" alignment machine identified rear toe-in (left rear), as the culprit for the cupping problem, but unfortunately the problem was not correctable as there is no adjustment for rear toe-in. My rear tires have been situated in the rear for 14,000 of the 21,600 miles.

    Mazda's specified OK range for rear toe-in for both rear wheels is -5 degrees to +32 degrees.
    My left rear wheel is permanently set (again there is no adjustment possible) at +36 degrees; the right rear is at +5 degrees. The tire dealer who did the alignment said this situation is "rare" and that the only fix they knew of would be to install shims on the left rear. The tire dealer was not willing to do his, however, since my MPV is still under warranty and installing shims is certainly not an ideal fix on such a new vehicle.

    On Saturday, I stopped by the local Mazda dealer's service department with a printout of my alignment results, the Mazda specs., etc.The service manager said he had not encountered this condition before and said he would "call the factory" for guidance and get back to me. Anybody out there have any thoughts, advice, or comments?
  • for the posts regarding a TV/VCR combo. I know there is some post out there regarding a TV/VCR combo because I thought of buying one before we went on vacation last year. I remember one guy said he was planning on using his monitor on his camcorder. Someone posted back his concerns about it turning into a missile in the event of an accident. Anyhow, with Christmas approaching, I thought it might be a good gift for my sons to use in our basement gameroom (JUNKROOM). And do double duty as an Entertainment system in the MPV. So who out there has the combo that is usable in the MPV. What kind is it? Where to buy it. Advice about use, (securing it in the van). So on and so on. Thanks in advance for the best site on the web.
  • I've got a 9" Panasonic combo. Sitting on the floor at a slight angle, it'll force fit under the front arm rests. Haven't figured out a way to secure it better yet, but i've used it more in the house (it works on AC or DC power) than in the van.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    My concern was not with the camcorder. Rather I was concerned about somebody putting a 13" TV on top of the front armrests. I think J2K has the right idea for a cheap and safe alternative.

    If your kids can see the camcorder monitor, it may be easy enough to strap the tripod down for the perfect setup.
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    Now, that *would* be a missle. I was thinking of using a laptop to so the same thing...13" screen and all. At only 3lbs, it weighs less than the diaper bag, so I'd not be too worried about that thing reeking (pun INtended) havoc.

    /J
  • msgjvhmsgjvh Posts: 196
    I noticed that Target had the TV/VCR's in a bag for like $200 bucks. I was seriously going to get one but unfortunately they were sold out. They also had a TOTE bag for a 9' color TV/VCR combo that should work and strap safely to the seats. I know its not as good as the RSES, but for us cheapo's it may just do the trick.

    BTW, I did get the tire fixed. Another nail! As for the spare on the front, I guess I will have start carrying a set of jack stands to lift both wheels off the ground. That or the road side assistance is going to get used alot more!

    MSGJVH
  • Thanks for the quick response everybody. I was thinking of the lap top idea also. But to get a laptop with a DVD it was around $1500 (still cheaper and more versatile than the RSES, but out of the budget). Although I did see one this week for $995. But I am still leaning towards the TV/VCR directions for a few reasons ($$, VCR collection). So, what model Panasonic is it? Does it fit Okay? How much is it? Where did you buy it? Also, anyone out there with another brand, any comments? I am about 45 minutes from the closest Walmart. Does anybody know if Walmart has anything that works in the MPV? How about jacks for a playstation, does the Panasonic have the jacks on the front?
  • Not sure of the model number offhand, but it looks like this model, PV-C921, but without the FM tuner:


    http://www.prodcat.panasonic.com/shop/listmodels.asp?categoryid=231


    I paid around $300 for mine (Best Buy I think) and it does have A/V jacks on the front. We live in a mid-major metro area and we had a hard time finding a combo that works on AC and DC (most work on AC alone). Your best bet may be on-line to find what you want. Other models that I've seen include Emerson, Sanyo, and Samsung. Our Panasonic has served us well for almost three years now and it gets used everyday in the house.

  • otishotish Posts: 59
    We have had this TV/VCR combo for about 4 years now that came with the power cord, etc. for the car. It is a 9 inch Symphonic (from Sams) and does not fit in the MPV well. (We used it before when we had only 1 child and would strap it into the seat next to her with a seatbelt in a different car. That worked fairly well but still probably isn't the safest way). I have been trying to get it to work in the MPV somehow but it just seems too big. I too saw the thing at Target that is supposed to work with most 9 inch TVs to attach them to the seats with a belt. I bought one and the TV fit in it fine but I still found it just too big and bulky to work. It is hard to get an angle where the kids could actually see the screen and the TV would wedge in there. It also seemed like it would interfere (or just be annoying) for the driver. I did not try it out for use by the rear seat bench though since our car seat is installed with a tether in the captains chair and I like the kids in the middle row. Anyway, this probably isn't much help except to say that it is difficult to do. The best option seems to be those smaller units that strap on to the back of a seat (our neighbors have one). There are websites/companies that I have heard of that actually rent out those units to people for trips.
  • After lurking here forever wishing I too had an MPV, I bought an ES in time for the Thanksgiving drive to Tallahassee. What a great van! I was waiting for the 2002, but decided I'd take the deals available now. (Plus I was tired of waiting) I love the van, and so do my kids, husband and neighbors! I've never had a van and thought I wouldn't like driving a big vehicle. Not the case-- the handling was car-like and I haven't had any trouble fitting in parking places or the garage.

    We broke it in right away on a 7 hour trip for the holiday. Power was never an issue. Everyone was comfortable, and the 3 kids were amazed at the number of cupholders everywhere. (our old car only had 2...) I always laughed at all the reviews that mention cupholders, but it turned out to be something we didn't know we cared about! The cargo space easily held stuff for the 5 of us, thanks to the deep well. Now I just need to figure out the best deal/fit for a TV/VCR combo. I'd love the ceiling one, but the price hurts.

    Thanks to all - this site is the reason I finallly got the van. I can see why there are so many happy owners!
  • We bought a 9" Sylvania TV/VCR from Sam's for $180 about a year ago. I found I could not put it on the floor because then my 2 boys could not see it over the restraining bars on their car seats. So I built a board to bridge the gap between the seats and set on top of the armrests folded down. This works perfect and I use a black luggage strap to tie it down. It goes ac/dc so I don't have to deal with an inverter.
  • Congratulations on your ES, and welcome to the club and board! So give us the gory details--what kind of a deal did you get? How was the dealer to work with? What kind of mileage did you get on your trip?

    I'm glad you're happy with your van now, and I think you'll continue to be happy with it. As you can tell by these forums, reliability isn't much of an issue with this thing. You'll have your share of problems, but if you're like the majority, those problems will be more annoying than threatening. And if you're like me, every time you whip that thing around a corner or into a parking space, you'll be delighted and amazed at its touring-car-like handling. Its power isn't the best, though as you found out, it's not an issue, either. And you'll probably grow to love-hate its quirky transmission; but on balance, the "MPV President McKinley" is one of the most competent of the 17 cars I've owned over the years.

    Happy Miles, kellyanne!

    RJ
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    Shucks, RJ beat me to the welcome wagon. Welcome to our happy clan of owners Kellyanne. Just like RJ, please share your buying experience with us. Cruise thru all the MPV threads here in the Club, post a picture if you like, in the Gallery!

    I'm glad you're satisfied with a 2001, knowing you were waiting for a 2002 (and all of its changes). You'll likely find very few folks that are dissatisfied with their MPVs around here, but it's an informative bunch (if not entertaining).

    Happy Motoring!

    /Java
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    Okay, now I'm worried with this talk of ballistic TV missles, and I'm no safety nut. I would be worried with the mass of a 13" tube tv mounted for viewing pleasure, but I think I would also be worried about a 9" TV. Wow, the carnage if one of those ever got loose during a (God forbid) accident would be devastating.


    I strongly vote for an LCD setup, which really isn't too expensive, as I've been checking. There's lots of stuff at Tundra Electronics to shop thru and their prices seem pretty good. I'm not familiar with them service-wise though. I think you can get a 6" screen, VCP and two sets of wireless headphones for around $500, a bit more if you went w/ DVD. This is more expensive, but you could go with dual LCD screens in the headrests (looks rather simple) and a VCP or DVD for around $1000. There are drop-down systems out there as well for around $600.


    For my money, I'd go for a 300mhz laptop from ebay (easily less than $500), get a dvd drive for it (just got one for $64 on ebay) and buy a power inverter. There you've got a 13" screen and a total package weighing about 3lbs, for around $500.


    Sorry, just thought of those TVs hurtling around like cannonballs if they were loose.


    /java

  • msgjvhmsgjvh Posts: 196
    Please be sure and sign in for the MPV yahoo groups mailing list. There is always alot of fun banter on the emails too.


    Here is the link: http://www.vakcer.com/mpv


    Welcome aboard!!!!


    MSGJVH


    p.s. We would love to see you on the Friday or Tuesday Edmunds chats also! You may even point to the mouse and show the hubby how to use it. He may learn something.

  • Java,

    I understand your concerns completely. Just want to make sure I don't misrepresent myself. I bought the TV/VCR combo before we had the MPV. I built a "console" for lack of a better term that could safely contain the combo and be secured with tie down straps in the back of our previous car (a Subaru Outback). I was more than confident in the setup, even in a roll-over. Unfortunately, the same setup won't work in the MPV. I haven't had the time to figure out a way to over-engineer a fastening system in the MPV yet. That said, the 9" combo weighs about 10 lbs. and is a very snug fit (mine is at least) between the front and middle seats when set at an angle. The angle allows my oldest to see fine (he's three), but the youngest (8 weeks) is of course facing the wrong way and doesn't watch TV yet anyway :O) Only in a rollover would I be concerned. I do like that console unit you mentioned over on the yahoo groups though. Keep us posted.
  • Congratulations on you new MPV! We recently purchased ours as well and, like you, we never had a van before. My wife was definitely concerned about driving a big vehicle, but she has no problems whipping that van around like an Indy driver and getting it into the garage with room to spare!

    Enjoy !!
  • Gameboy Advance seems to work OK for us now .... and it's a lot cheaper!
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    ... same place, usual time kids.

    /j
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