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Mazda6 Hatchback

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  • Okay, that helps a lot. Thanks! Now I just need to get time to mess with it in among everything else on my plate.
  • SNOW DAY! I got a chance to mess with the lights before it got too light to see what affect I was having. After finally locating the low beam lateral adjustment screw, I now have another question -- what genius designed this thing and how are you supposed to adjust the lights?

    With the airbox out so I can reach screw B (sort of), the airmass sensor and a few other emissions/engine management items are disconnected. I'm presuming it is not a good thing to run the engine with these things disconnected. Therefore, the light adjustments need to be done with engine off, except the lights stay on for only a few minutes without the ignition on.

    I don't know enough about the car yet. What harm will I do if I let it idle with the airmass sensor and other electrical bits around the air intake disconnected? Can you leave the ignition on without the engine running without doing harm to anything? Some cars get their computers screwed up when you do one or the other of these. Is there a way to bypass the auto lights off feature?

    Finally, and this is specifically about the photo posted by greyghost, is screw A the adjustment for the fog light height? It's the only one not indicated in your previous drawings, so by logic it must be what I'm after, but does anyone know for sure? It seems that moving the screw doesn't make much change, although I need to drive it to see how much difference I've made. The back wall of the garage isn't far enough away to properly aim lights. I always do final adjustments at night on a lonely back road, which we have a lot of around here.

    Thanks again for any and all assistance.
  • Let me attack this in pieces, so hopefully I can be of service.

    what genius designed this thing and how are you supposed to adjust the lights?

    Ahhh yes, I've cursed out the supposed headlight "designer" many times myself. I feel your pain. :)

    What harm will I do if I let it idle with the airmass sensor and other electrical bits around the air intake disconnected? Can you leave the ignition on without the engine running without doing harm to anything?

    Not 100% sure about this, but I'll bet you trip the "check engine" light if the motor is running. If you leave the key at "on" WITHOUT starting the engine, the headlights will not automatically turn off, and you'll be able to work on them without the engine running, and wasting gas. I've done this many times myself without any damage done.

    Is there a way to bypass the auto lights off feature?

    That? I don't know, but doing the above should make this a non-issue.

    is screw A the adjustment for the fog light height?...

    Here's a key to the photo I posted earlier, and I apologize for not posting this before.

    A: Adjusts the vertical aiming of both the low and high beams.

    B: Adjusts the horizontal aiming of the low beam only.

    C: Adjusts the vertical aiming of the low beam only.

    D: Adjusts the horizontal aiming of the high beam only.

    E: Adjusts the vertical aiming of the integrated fog light only.

    The "recommended" order of adjustment:
    1. Turn off all lights and remove the low beam fuses to isolate the fog lights and high beams (or cover the low beams with a towel or other object to block out the light).
    2. Turn on the high beams only.
    3. Adjust A to set the high beam at the desired height. This will affect the low beam’s aim too but that will be corrected later.
    4. Adjust D to set the left – right position of the high beam.
    5. Turn off the high beams and turn on the integrated fogs.
    6. Adjust E to set the integrated fogs at the desired height.
    7. Turn off all lights and replace the low beam fuses (or uncover low beams).
    8. Turn on the low beams only.
    9. Adjust C to set the low beam at the desired height.
    10. Adjust B to set the left-right position of the low beam.
    11. You may have to adjust C again if B required a lot of adjustment.

    I hope all this helps. Enjoy your snow day!
  • I guess I should have read this earlier. I just finished adjusting "A" on both lights. I was planning to take the car to town tonight, but I may find I'm blinding people, so we better plan on taking the wife's LaCrosse.

    Your pics were very helpful. The above post will help even more. I put a tarp over the open garage door to cut down the incident light and managed to accomplish something. At least now everything is the same height and the left high beam is hopefully aimed down the road instead of into the left ditch.

    I found the dustcovers on both sides loose due to the lower locating holes being broken out on both sides. I hope this is not an indication that I will be having light problems like some posters on another site allude to. I might be finding out how good my 4 month 6k mile warranty is. Having the covers off does a lot for being able to get a 13mm wrench on screw A, but I was thinking all it was doing was moving the fogs.

    I wonder if I can get my 1/4 inch drive ratchet on those puppies? That would sure be nice. Maybe even a cable style driver with replaceable bits would work, or one of those ratcheting box wrenches from Sears. -- Yes! Another tool I can justify!
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    According to a post in the 2009 Mazda6 discussion...Allocations are open until March for the 2008 Mazda6, sedan only. The 5-door allocations closed last month

    I'm not sure what that means, but it sounds to me like whatever hatchbacks are around now are all that there will be...so you may not want to wait too long.

    As for the V6...if that is anemic, what do you call my 2.3L I4? The V6 is a US only thing, in the rest of the world the 2.3L I4 is an upgrade and there is no V6. I think Americans would typically prefer a V6 to a 4 cyl turbo and that is why they sell a V6 here.
  • I have discovered a major part of the problem is that some ham-fisted person must have worked on these lights before I got the car. There are supposed to be nylon parts that let you adjust the screws from 90 degrees. Most of mine are missing. The two anchors for the high beam moisture/cover are broken on both sides. The screw that does the horizontal adjusting of the left high beam is non-functional. It turns, but the light doesn't move.

    I contacted the dealer (Mike Bass Ford, Sheffield Ohio) and they said to bring it in and they will take care of it. I would be absolutely blown away if they replace the light units free of charge, but I can hope. Pulling a headlamp unit apparently involves removing the bumper and a couple other things I really don't feel like getting into on my garage floor in this weather.

    Anyways, the design is not quite as demonic as I thought. Those little missing pieces make the whole thing seem almost logical. It's really a pain to try to get at the back of the adjusters when they're buried inside the fender. Even the one for the high beam left-right meant taking the airbox out. With those angle drives in place, you could probably work on the aim of the lights relatively easily.

    Thanks for all the help, mz6greyghost!
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    If they are going to charge you, you might save sone money by having this type of work done at a body shop. They have lower labor rates...of course, it may be that the dealer has a body shop that will do the work.
  • Yeah, they do. This dealer is a Ford/Mazda store on the west side of Cleveland. Just last year they sold more Fords than any other dealer in Ohio for the first time, unseating a huge megadealer in Columbus. They were eager to sell this car since they had on the lot since late September, and the manager seemed genuinely interested in cultivating me as a customer and reference from 60 or so miles away. I think they want to stay number 1and are willing to work some for that goal, a major step of which is expanding their geographic base.

    At least I hope so. Their price on this hatch was over $700 below the local Mazda dealer's price on a wagon that was a year and 16k miles older. I'm pretty happy with the deal I got and right now, at least, am expecting they will treat me right on the lights. We'll see.
  • Hi All,

    I'm between a few cars right now and was hoping to get some feedback about how this car does in snow and if you use snow tires. Thank you
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,047
    We have had a pretty substantial amount of snowfall in the Chicago area this winter and the 6 does very well with the stock tires. Obviously, the traction control kicks in a lot but it would be crazy without it. I was a little leary as we have the I4 and I thought it may be a little light and not track well in heavy snow but it has done very nicely. Better than expected but then again I grew up driving back roads in Michigan with rear wheel drive.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Very snowy this year in the Chicago area. Stock tires are very poor in the snow. Traction is less than average for an all season and as a result the car slide around more than expected. Snow tires are highly recommended.

    Here is an excerpt from a review on TireRack for the Michelin Pilot's "however these Michelin's have got to be the absolute worse tire I have ever driven on in rain, icy or snow. In the rain the tire just spins starting from a stop light even when it is lightly excellerated. I recently had a one inch snow fall and stopped in my driveway which has a very slight incline. When I stated again all the tires would do is spin. I had to back out of my driveway and get a running start to get it in the garage.
    Overall these tires are decent for dry weather and have low noise.
    However, beware if you drive in the midwest where rain, Icy and snow are common all year round. These tires are horrible and Michelin should be ashamed they ask the price they do for these tires.
    I can't wait to get rid of them even though they only have 5000 miles on them.".
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,047
    I really don't think the tires are bad in the snow. We have had the worst winter in probably 30 yrs(since the 78-79 debacle) and I have not had any problem getting around. I have a slight incline in my driveway but any car/truck I have had I just couldn't stop halfway up and expect to get started without some spinning. It depends alot on what is under the snow or temperature as to how much you might spin if at all. I drove a S-10 with two wheel drive for 8 years around Chicago and never got stuck or didn't get where I wanted to go. A lot depends on how you drive I guess. Now would snow tires enhance traction in any of these situations. Heck yeah, but I choose not to bother with storing and changing them. My humble opinion is that in comparison to a lot of other cars, the Mazda6 with stock tires does pretty well in the snow. I have driven it everyday this winter and up to Minneapolis in some treacherous conditions a couple of times and it did well.
  • If you believe the 6 does well with the OEM all-seasons, you'll be amazed at how well it goes with a decent set of snow tires!

    I've driven just about every type of vehicle through the worst of what central New York can throw at you (including lake-effect snow that dumps up to 6 inches PER HOUR). This ranges from a 4WD SUV with snow tires, to an empty full-size van with bald all-seasons. In fall of '04, I thought I'd be able to get away with the OEM 17" all-seasons for one year, then get a set of snow tires after that. The first major snowstorm changed all that. The Michelins are terrible in ANY snow, let alone 4-6 inches worth. Even light acceleration turned on the TCS light, and after a few close calls when braking, even on slush, I called Tirerack.

    I'm currently on my 4th winter with the 16" snow tires (Michelin Pilot Alpin PA2s) and steelies, and I've never regretted my decision. I've never gotten stuck in a parking lot, or drifted off into a ditch, even on snow-packed interstates. The PA2s are considered "performance winter" tires, which mean they give up a slight amount of extreme snow traction for better handling and control in dry traction (without feeling "squirmy" like other winter tires do in dry weather, especially above 40 degrees F). Despite that, snow traction has never been an issue. I can pass SUVs on snow-covered highways with confidence, with the advantages that FWD and a lower center of gravity that the 6 enjoys, and still have some fun carving corners when the weather is dry and the snow begins to melt.

    To answer your question: The OEM tires are not very good in snow compared to other all-seasons, but they'll manage if you live in areas that only see snow once in a while. If you live where you get more than 8 feet of snow per year (which is only 1/3 of what some areas AVERAGE here upstate), get the snow tires.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,047
    If you live where you get more than 8 feet of snow per year (which is only 1/3 of what some areas AVERAGE here upstate), get the snow tires.

    If I lived in that type of country I would honestly be driving a Suburu. I agree with you though that snow tires would be better but for Chicagoland winters and driving conditions the OEMs do an adequate job.
  • If I lived in that type of country I would honestly be driving a Suburu.

    Naahh, the supposed benefits of full-time AWD doesn't outweigh the 3-5 MPG penalty compared to FWD. That adds up quickly if you drive 25K+ miles per year.

    Snow tires and FWD works well for about 95% of winter driving. If it's REALLY bad, you probably shouldn't be out in it anyway. :)

    I'll agree, if Chicago roads are kept in decent shape, all-seasons will work.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    but for Chicagoland winters and driving conditions the OEMs do an adequate job.

    I strongly disagree. The OEM's are not adequate for Chicago winters.
    Good all season tires would be adequate, the Michelin's are poor for traction.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,047
    Do you drive a Mazda6? Tires will handle a little differently on different cars. It could have something to do with how one drives as well. They may not be the greatest winter tire, but to say they are "inadequate" is, IMO, an exaggeration. The fact that I haven't been slipping and sliding all over the place in Chicago this year and haven't gotten stuck anywhere indicates they are at least adequate.

    I'm sure that there are other all-season tires that may be better and snow tires even better than that. However, my comment was only that I thought the tires were adequate based on my personal experience.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Yes I do have a Mazda6. I'm not an aggressive driver.
    Do you have the OEM Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 tires?
    If you think I'm misrepresenting these tires in any way I suggest reading the horrible reviews contributed by other owners of this tire, I don't think it is the WORST tire I've ever driven in snow though others do, however, it is very poor.
    One of the reviews I particularly found interesting was where the owners were traveling in Chicago area during in snow and stopped and purchased new tires due to complete lack of confidence in the Michelins.
    My opinion is my opinion, however, having driven for over 20 years in snow and never had an accident I speak with some credibility.
    Right now I'm driving my truck until the potholes are under control.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,047
    Just checked and, yes I do have the same tires. I have the I4 which I think helps in regard to less wheel spin at take-off possibly. The other vehicle I drive is a 2 wheel drive 03 Tundra getting close to needing new tires. Taking that out in the snow IS an adventure. I grew up in rural Michigan and have been driving in snow 41 years which I believe is twice as long as you so I guess I should be afforded some credibility as well. Regardless, I think it may come down to personal preference or how much sliding around you feel comfortable with. My adequate might be totally inadequate or even scary maybe to someone else. I still like to do dougnuts in empty parking lots sometimes in the snow.

    If so many people aren't comfortable with the tires, I guess I have admit that they aren't adequate for the average driver.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    >57 and still doing donuts? I can only hope that I have the same mentality when I get there. :shades:
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    I also have the I4. It is a Grand Touring with automatic. I have no need nor use for the V6.
    I also learned to drive in rural area as I started driving at age 12 on the farm in Iowa.
    You certainly have more years on me and that counts for something.

    Sounds like the hatch will not be offered in 2009 for the new 6, that is a shame as it is the best 6.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,047
    I don't have the 5-dr but can certainly appreciate the styling and practicality. I think aviboy mentioned that it's been Mazda MO to bring out just one or two body styles when a major revision takes place and then add body styles after the first year.

    Speaking of time on the farm. I spent a lot of my youth abusing the heck out of old black 57 Chevy PU in the cornfields right after harvest when the ground was hard and dry. Would love to have that PU today.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I seem to have gotten used to these tires over time. I bought my Mazda6 at the end of last Jan, and thought the tires were particularly bad in snow then and the early part of this winter in Wisconsin. I had no confidence driving in snow or even when it was cold and wet. But, now the last few times I drove in snow, I felt more confident in the tires.

    Since our roads are plowed, I'm not willing to deal with the hassle of switching to snow tires, but when I do need new tires I'll be looking for something a bit more all-season-ish. There was no way I was going to buy the OEM tires at $200 each, anyway.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,047
    Maybe I didn't mind the tires because I bought mine in August and just started out the winter with them. Maybe I've always had crappy "winter" tires and just didn't know it. Like I said though, they seem to get me where I'm going without getting stuck, sliding around too much or causing an accident.

    I know they handle real sporty and everything but why does Mazda use such an expensive tire when, IMO, the vast majority of people that buy the 6 would probably be happier with something, as you say, more all-seasonish?
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    I know they handle real sporty and everything but why does Mazda use such an expensive tire when, IMO, the vast majority of people that buy the 6 would probably be happier with something, as you say, more all-seasonish?

    Mazda uses an expensive tire for us, but not expensive for them.

    Michelin has a history of supplying tires to car manufacturers for a VERY low rate, which actually benefits Michelin in the long run. Not only do they get their name brand as OEM equipment for a car, but most consumers (not all, but most) mistakenly think that they need the EXACT make and model tire as replacements (which isn't the case 95% of the time). So consumers pay the close-to-$200 PER TIRE replacements (for the Mazda6) without even thinking, while there are plenty of alternative all-season tires that start, stop, and steer better, are quieter, and have a longer treadlife and a more comfortable ride for HALF the price (if that).
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,047
    Thanks for the very informative info if I may be redundant. Do you (or anyone else listening) happen to know what OEM tires Hyundai uses on the Sonata? I know this is Mazda6 land but am curious.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    I'd prefer 16" tires/wheels instead of the 17"s.
    The minor improvement in handling is not worth the added tire expense, harsher ride and increased possibility of damage in potholes.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Perhaps this forum would help: Sonata Tires and Wheels
  • exit123exit123 Posts: 136
    I found a red 2005 Mazda6 5-door MT for sale. It has 64000 miles and looks in good shape. I'm going back tomorrow to take another look. The dealer is asking $13999. I ran the CarFax report and it's a clean 1-owner car. What should I offer? What problems should I look for?
  • exit123exit123 Posts: 136
    Oh, I forgot to mention that it's a V6.
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