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Mazda MPV

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  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    Anyone who has bothered to do even a little research on engine reliability would quickly find out the 3.0 Duratec is one the best engines ever built by any company. Don't let the fact that Ford builds this engine worry you.
  • lsinclsinc Posts: 270
    I would think that our discussions about the tranny shifting hard every so often would alert anybody to research a little further before making a purchase. But........having had a car with tranny issues (left it behind me on the road issues) I can honestly say, this feels different. My belief is that there is an adjustment that needs to be made. It's not as if my MPV is lurching or not shifing at all. It's more like it is thinking before going up to second gear and then when it does, it's a little rough. Other than that, it shifts smoothly and has awesome power. At 10k on the ODO (I bought my MPV new in April) I feel very confident that this is a reliable vehicle.

    As for the rotten egg smell. I am not concerned about it. My husband is not concerned about it. It comes and goes. We also don't smell it when we are driving it's only when we shut the car off and only once in a while.

    These are machines that are bound to have "quirks" and so far I'm pleased with my MPV and happy I bought it. I would buy another in a heart beat.

    Leslie
  • lsinclsinc Posts: 270
    The Duratec is an awesome engine. It's the only part of Ford that is in the MPV. My awful car with the tranny issues was a Ford. The engine was a Duratec. No issues with the engine, just the tranny and everything else. Fords influence in Mazda is about 34%. Mazda is not the only ones either.

    Leslie
  • tomj5tomj5 Posts: 209
    Dittos on the MPV. Best car we have ever owned. Our MPV shifts smooth as butter, no smells, runs great. We had a couple of EC lights for minor problems which the dealer quickly fixed. The engine will snap quickly over 100mph (saved our lives).. The engine/transaxle is a perfect match(unlike most cars).. If you read the stuff on the tranny hard shifts it looks like some contamnation has gotten into the tranny fluid. Probably a good backflush would take care of it... The tranny design is good as it works perfectly on our MPV. The car is a dream for long trips...
    Tj
  • dlmc4dlmc4 Posts: 26
    My local Mazda dealer decided that they wanted a van to try to come up with a solution locally with input from Mazda Hdqtrs. They had my MPV for 5 full days and the bottom line is that the issue is completely software related and the fix is on the way. (we have all heard that a few times by now) They had just gotten the 04's in, and decided to swap a TCM from the 04 into my 03 and they thought that might have worked but... better luck next time. They also ran a bunch of other tests. They tested pressure levels and other things that is basically over my head of mechanical knowledge. I guess I'm just happy that the Techs were able to keep duplicating the hard shifts based on the info that I provided them as to when it was happening, at what speeds, ect... I still love the van but this has been happening for 2 months now. Mazda and Jatco gurus have known about this even longer and still no fix. I've driven Windstars and Caravans in the past and didn't like either one for multiple reasons. I had much higher expectations for this van made in Japan. I didn't expect it to be problem free forever but a transmission issue with 3,000 miles on the odometer is unacceptable. And no fix after 2 plus months to figure it out is even more unacceptable. The service guys assured me that this would not affect the longevity of the tranny but I have my doubts. If they are that sure maybe a free extended warranty for our trouble is in order. Say 7/70 like a Dodge or maybe 10/100 like a Kia. My Mazda dealer said I would be the first to get the new fix when it comes in because they are so familiar with mine now. I will keep everyone posted when it does finally happen.
  • crissmancrissman Posts: 145
    Since the subject of reliability has come up I felt I needed to chime in here. My 2000 MPV has just passed 74,000 miles with no major problems. It has not needed any maintenence other than oil, filters, and tire rotations. The idle air control valve probably should be replaced (it makes "moosing noises" on cold mornings), but I've lived easily with it for a few winters now, and the CD changer makes a ticking/rubbing noise during play that's not too annoying yet. So far, this has probably been the most reliable and trouble-free vehicle I've owned. I'm sorry to hear there are transmission issues with the new models. This is, no doubt, a different unit than mine, but I can certainly recommend the MPV based on my experience
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,128
    Pretty good! Still on the original tires (surely not?) and battery?

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • crissmancrissman Posts: 145
    The original tires lasted about 34,000 mi. I replaced them with Michelin X-ones, which may go at least another 20K. The battery is still the original and has shown no sign of weakening.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    If going 100+ can save your life, would going 200+ make you immortal? Sorry, couldn't resist.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,128
    I hope I didn't just jinx your battery.... my last OEM one lasted 3 winters/52,000 miles. My OEM tires didn't do any better than yours.

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • kolt1kolt1 Posts: 25
    I appreciate all the feedback regarding the reliability of the MPV. It's quite obvious that most of you are very pleased with your vehicle. I recently read CR's report in which they evaluated the MPV, Oddy, Sienna, and the Caravan. One comment that was made is that the MPV's reliability has been "excellent". They did have some issues with the "jittery" ride and lack of leg room and thigh support for occupants in the second row of seats. They also classified the engine as only "adequate". In regards to their using the term "jittery", I believe a better description would be that the vehicle has a firm suspension. It was because of this suspension that the MPV averaged almost two mph faster than any of the other vehicles through their slalom course. Thanks again for the comments. I think it's time for me to take one out for a two hour spin and draw my own conclusions.
  • I would not sway you in your decision. Might I make one suggestion? The mazda is still a good vehicle from what I have read, but if you are going to try a caravan I would suggest the nissan quest. It is a big vehicle, but I think it shows better than the caravan. That is just my opinion though. I still like the size of my mpv, it suits me and it has a lot more to look at than the standard minivan. I like the classy lines of the mpv, that was a big seller for me. I did not want to look like all the others on the road. I just hope the reliability shows better than most of the others. Time can only tell with that one, even the big boys are having trouble nowadays. Happy hunting.
  • tomj5tomj5 Posts: 209
    Ok,,, If the issue is all software then why does my MPV shift perfectly all the time??? The randomness of the problem doesn't appear to be software(why take so long to find a soft fix?). Oil contamnation does explain the wide range of severity of the problem... Of course this is going to be more expensive to fix. Plus backflushing may not work if the passages are clogged tight only replacing the tranny will work... So you can see why the Company is stalling$$$$$ (Maybe tempt(cold) has something to do with it?)
    Bottogers:(good one) It is all relative.. (snicker)
    Tj
  • bill124bill124 Posts: 242
    At what point does the problem surface? I ask because as the owner of a new one, I'm not going to be pushing the engine hard for a few weeks and was wondering if it manifests itself in all shifting between 2nd and 3rd or just on rapid acceleration.
  • The reason it takes so long to find a software fix is that the software is bloody complicated. Every time you make a change you have to put it through an exhaustive series of regression tests to make sure you haven't broken something else. That's assuming you've managed to work out what the hell's wrong in the first place. And that aint easy. Finding some tranny fluid contamination is (comparatively) child's play.

    The reason it doesn't happen to all transmissions all the time is that it's probably caused by a very subtle combination of events. There aint gonna be a sequence of code that says "disengage 2nd, wait 0.5 secs, engage 3rd". Something as subtle as a slight difference in an operating temperature, allied to a different aggression level on the throttle, allied to some component being at the margin of tolerance, etc. etc.

    I did some work on engine management systems back in the 80s. They were pigs to debug then and I don't suppose they (or their tranny counterparts) have got any simpler.

    Steve.
  • The hard shift happens about at
    between (speedometer) 20 - 30 miles in
    2000 - 2500 rpm

    It is not all the time. Just about once or twice a day.
  • lsinclsinc Posts: 270
    A hard shifting tranny does not always spell trouble. My Ford shifted like butter all of the time. No warning at all and then one day I was heading north and the tranny went south. I had nothing, no drive, no reverse. For 10 months I had no car. It was in the shop more then in my driveway.

    The tranny in my MPV shifts hard once in a while too. Sometimes when it's cold and I haven't given it a chance to warm up. Too me that's like jumping into a car with a 5 speed when it's 28 degrees outside and you don't give the car a little time to warm up. It's hard to move the stick from one gear to the next. There is also one particular street that I drive on and it has a steep incline when you first pull onto it. I consider it a quirk. I haven't taken it to the dealership yet because I honestly don't feel it's a major issue. I'm not saying it's not going in, but again, I don't see it as a major "down the road" problem.

    I'd still buy another MPV and actually my husband and I have considered buying one for him. The down side to that is, he really needs a car with excellent gas mileage. He's looking at the Prius.
  • It is true that it has a hard shift, but when you get jolted like you were lightly hit from behind just going into 3rd, that is a little un-nerving. Now I have to say, that as I have racked up the miles it seems to only do it from time to time, I still think it cannot be good on the tranny. If they don't get the fix soon, I will most certainly un load it before the warrenty runs out. Mazda called today (callback) and asked how I felt about the whole buying deal. I told them simply" The dealer was great, however you guys are still in question with me. We will see how I rate you when I know I have been taken care of". I still get lots of looks when I drive it, stylish and all, but when it hiccups on a busy street I get embarrassed cause here is an 04' fresh off the lot and it bucks like an un-rode horse.
  • mbs7mbs7 Posts: 28
    It seems like I've also heard that hard shifts do not necessarily mean trouble. It even seems like I've even heard that the really soft shifts are done in the name of comfort over funtionality. Can anyone corroborate this?
  • I think it's sometimes confusing for those who haven't experienced it to call the problem a hard shift. It's a lot worse than that. As rumor24 said, it's like taking a light (5 mph) hit from behind. That's more than just a hard shift. And there's no way you can keep thumping the tranny into gear several times a day for a couple of months without increasing the risk of long-term damage.

    Those of you who have the problem can try doing what I've been doing for several weeks. First I now recognise the times when I'm more at risk for the problem: later in the day after several trips; following a freeway run; stop/start driving. Then if I feel the revs suddenly climb as the shift starts, I ease right back off the throttle so the revs drop down and the shift is done relatively smoothly. It's getting pretty close to being an automatic reaction, which is kind of sad (and not meant to be a pun).

    I'm going to start floating the idea with my dealer of an extended warrenty on the transmission.

    Steve.
  • I think you are right, if Mazda cannot come up with a fix then they should throw in an extended warrantee. That would be coverage with the loner car as we have now. If not then I will be seeing the toyota dealers again in 4 years or sooner and go back to toyota or nissan. I will give mazda the chance to prove they want to be up there with the big boys and honor their customers. That would give me faith in their service. Like I said before, I like my mpv, just hope she lasts.
  • Is your quick fix like extending your left arm out, right leg up and lifting the tv antenna with your other hand to watch a good tv show? lol sorry couldn't resist. Shouldn't have to resort to such things to enjoy driving.
  • tomj5tomj5 Posts: 209
    I know why my MPV shifts perfectly... The car had 20 miles on it when I ran it to 115 mph three times. Must have blew the junk out of the tranny... We used to do this on military vehicles we tested. Max the throttle... If she blows she blows... Interesting, what bugs crawl out...

    Steve: yeah, 20 years ago software simulators were primitive. Today you can quickly simulate a wide range of parameters to test system software... It would be interesting to run an contamination test on the tranny oil.
    Tj
  • The DW has 20,400 miles on her 02 LX. It has been flawless since the day we picked it up. The Dunlops only have another 5,000 or so left on them. She averages around 21 mpg. I run Mobil 1 5w-30. Absolutely love it. We would purchase another in a heart beat.

    Mark. : )
  • dlmc4dlmc4 Posts: 26
    What I'm experiencing is not what you've described. It's much more severe than hard shifts on a cold morning when you don't have time to properly warm the engine. It happens to me when the van is at normal operating temp. and at light to moderate acceleration. It causes all passengers in the van to pause and say "what was that". It is like others have now described as almost getting rear ended at 5 mph. The term "hard shift" does not do it justice. Since I'm from MA, I'm going to start calling it a "wicked hard shift".
  • ...is what I'd call it, being from the UK.

    Tom, I have a very strong feeling that Mazda will have checked for contamination a long time ago. That would have saved them a lot of money. I saw the invoice for reflashing the TCM and changing the Control Valve Body Assembly; it came to just over $2000, most of which was the CVBA cost. You can flush a lot of trannies for that. FWIW, I write automated test software for a living...

    Steve.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    If the problem with hard shifting is a software/firmware problem, why doesn't it affect all MPVs that use that version of the software/firmware?
  • In the same way that a bug in Windows doesn't affect every PC using Windows, a bug in the ECM/TCM software wont affect every vehicle using it. The one causing our problems is probably caused by a combination of circumstances that are only true on a certain percentage of vehicles. That's what makes this type of problem so difficult to fix. Not that that's any excuse for Mazda not to get it fixed damn soon.

    Steve.
  • Did I forget to mention that in addition to easing off the throttle you have to be singing the Ride of the Valkyrie and sitting with your back to the steering wheel as well?

    Steve.
  • Oh now that is just too funny! I hope that mazda sees our sense of humor and takes pitty on us all. I tried to calculate my gas milage and right now it is about 14 per. I have heard it takes several gas ups to get a true reading so I will give it a few weeks. Dealer said they would pay for my gas til the fix comes since it is probably causing poor performance but I can't blame them for what is a mazda issue. The thought crossed my mind, but no, I will buck up and take it like a trooper....for now.
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