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Mazda3 Maintenance & Repair



  • Did you get a 4- or 5-door? I've had my 5-door a few days and have noticed road noise to be a slight annoyance. But I just turn up the radio!
  • I only have 400 miles on mine, so I'm definitely still breaking it in. I've not been driving it too hard, but most of the miles have been on the highway in the 75-80mph range. On the first two fill-ups, I've averaged about 24mpg. I'm sure it'll get a bit better with time.
  • I thought the Maz 3 cars used 4 brake discs not pads for all the wheels?
  • njeraldnjerald Posts: 688

    These posts are funnier than watching the Comedy channel!!
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Disc brakes use brake pads - drum brakes use brake shoes
  • My 2004 Mazda 3 has defective fabric on door panels, and the seats are fraying. The door panels are fading badly. They look like an old car, that someone sprayed the inside of with a super-soaker filled with coffee.The dealer tells me that mine is the only car with this problem. Are there others?
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Before purchase - I thought that the interior materials in the Mazda3 were pretty cheap - that in a short time the seats would be worn out - but to my surprise after almost 2 years - they still look like new.
  • I looked at several used '04s when I was shopping. The fabric equipped cars looked like brand new and the leather ones looked pretty good, too. The fabric seats in mine (red/black) were a selling point because they feel so durable. The whole interior seems like that.

    Are they going to replace yours under warranty?
  • Thanks z71bill. +2mpg is some improvement anyway. Hope I see the same when I get mine done. In nice weather, no A/C use, no hard driving, VERY stop/go stop/go I get around 22mpg/city. It would be nice to get up to 24. Hwy at 60-65mph I average 29mpg. I have 2.3ATX hatch-'04. Thanks again for replying.
  • Dealer took digital pics to send to factory 3 weeks ago, I called them a week ago, but haven't heard back. I expect all interior fabrics to be replaced - bur with fabrics that aren't defective.
  • I notice that the rear wheels are dirtier than the front. Do you mean the new brake pads could make them cleaner? Under what conditions can we get them? Do we have to wait until we have to replace them, i.e. they are not under warranty?

    My 2004 MZ3 also had creaking noise from the front passenger side half year ago when I turned left slowly or backed up. My dealer replaced the front shock mount, power steering bracket, front brake pads and rotors. The noise disappeared after that.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Many owners have posted about rear brake dust - I do not think Mazda will replace the pads because of the dust.

    There are a few TSB's about brake problems - grinding - squealing - defective rotors - you may be able to get the problem solved under one of these.

    I complained about grinding rear brakes in February of 2004 (purchased car in January 2004) Mazda said it was normal - then the came out with a TSB to fix grinding rear brakes - they did the "fix" it lasted about 2 weeks - then the grinding returned - they did the same TSB again - problem solved - for 2 weeks. Then they just said that it was normal for the rear brakes to grind. WHAT??

    How could this be normal?

    About a month ago I noticed my rear pads & rotors were almost worn out - 18,000 miles of GRINDING will do that - Mazda issued a new TSB about defective rear rotors - so since my rotors were so thin they could not be turned down - and my rear pads (on the inside) were almost gone - Mazda replaced the rear pads and rotors - no more GRINDING - the brake dust has even been reduced a little.

  • Since it turned colder here in NJ, the power steering whine became more pronounced and only at idle. Still, the noise is tolerable.

    The driver’s seat bottom squeak – a few months, now. It was fine until I decided to change the seating position (up/down) from what was set either at the factory or at the dealership. Now, I can’t get it to stop unless it’s either all the way up or all the way down.

    Air Bag light illum/Passenger side air bag OFF light illum. The wiring for the weight sensor for the passenger seat is a bit shoddy. Whether not long enough or not harnessed correctly, it’s a matter of opinion. IMO it should have been harnessed better. All kinds of goodies end up under the seats; the longer the wire the more chances of tangling. I was vacuuming my car and move the seat fore/aft. It wasn’t until aft that I noticed something unusual – the seat did not come to an abrupt stop; it felt like it jammed. I move it a bit forward and back again and then it did come to jolting stop. I repeated the procedure by move the seat all the way up and then all the way back and it jammed again. I looked under the seat with a flash light and observed one of the two loose black wires getting caught on the corner of the sensor unit bracket. A couple of procedures and the wire may have disconnected. Good thing I have an oil change coming up in a few hundred miles (last time, I had just gotten an oil change when the gas attendant didn’t fasten the gas cap correctly, causing the check engine light to illum.). This may be recall material. Has anyone else had the same problem???

    I may be able to help a few people who have claimed that their hatch doors rattle. I started to observe a rattle in the back several weeks ago. The rattle could only be heard driving less than 25 mph over road imperfections. So, I started to remove and check everything in the rear of the vehicle – removed all non OEM items; check or tightened down the spare tire, jack (and accessories), rear seat belt buckles. (BTW – my dealership doesn’t read TSB’s - found the radio antenna from the factory besides the spare tire).Yet, the rattle persisted. Through process of elimination, I found it was the hatch cover. Even though it has a couple of rubber tabs, the tabs are not substantial enough. Only on driver’s side does it not make contact with the hatch door interior cover allowing the cover to bounce and rattle. The passenger side rubber tab barely makes contact, but enough to hold it in place.
  • About the air bag sensor wire...

    I think with the colder weather, the wires may have shrunk enough to cause this issue. Perhaps Mazda needs to take a few pointers from the utility companies on how they hang wires depending the ambient temps.
  • Interesting that others have noticed the brake dust on the rear wheels being much greater than the front. I have noticed that as well and will keep an ear tuned for squeaking or grinding. So far, so good but I have a 2006 with only 1800 miles. The only issue (so far) is a rattling glove box. Well, the clock lost about 20 minutes overnight and this happened twice. But no sense taking it in for that until it is a consistent problem. I am getting about 28 mpg in a mix of highway/city driving.
  • Hey chacobleu,

    What do you suggest needs to be done in order to stop the hatch rattle? I have some of your symptoms...
  • We are talking about the hatch cargo cover, correct?

    I thought about reversing those tabs. Almost impossible without the proper tool.

    Then I thought about making them more solid or substantial by stuffing cotton balls in the center.

    Finally, I thought about applying a couple of adhesive backed coasters (inch or less in width and about an 1/8 inch thick), like the ones placed under vases or furniture to prevent scratches on floors or furniture.

    I will try a couple of these ideas these this weekend. I'll probably forgo trying to pull the tabs out to reverse them. If I knew the tabs were replaceable without having to replace the hole cargo cover, I would do it.
  • Rear Brake Pads: Great to hear that Mazda is making alternative rear pads available for the M3 since rear brake dust has been a major problem for my 2004 M3-hatchback. Are these new rear pads ceramics? My assumption has been that the front pads have always been ceramics (therefore less dust) but the rear pads have been semi-metallics (therefore more dust). I have not yet had the rear brake grinding issue (after 16 mos & 11,000 mi). For those who had the rear brake grinding, did it start when the car was new or did it develop much later (say after the first 10,000 mi)? Also is there a TSB reference for the rear brake grinding - pad/rotor replacement fix?

    Splash guards (mud flaps): Another pet peeve of mine is that Mazda does not make a splash guard set to fit the M3- hatchback. The low profile tires (especially fronts) throw up a lot of rocks / road grime on my yellow M3 and I would really like to avoid that. The modified side sills on the hatchback are not enough to combat this. I hear that the front splash guards available for the M3-"i" version will definitely not fit the hatchback (or the "S" sedan) due to the different side sills. Since the rear bumpers on the M3-hatchback and M3-"i" do not look that different to me, I would think that the rear splash guards available for the M3-"i" might also work on the hatchback -- but of course getting front splash guards is more important for me than getting rears. Has anybody found a solution to this problem of front/rear splash guards, even to the extent of using aftermarket splash guards that they could recommend?

    Thanks for your help.
  • This seems to be a problem mainly with '06 models from everything I've read online, but my clock keeps losing time. It has happened twice now in the two weeks I've had my car, both times overnight. The first time it lost 15 minutes, second time it lost 27 minutes.

    Over at the discussion board, there are about 20 other folks with the same exact problem. I called the dealer and they have no clue.

    It isn't a huge deal, but annoying on a brand new car. My fear is that it's a sign of other future electronic/electrical problems. I'm sure I'm just being paranoid about that...

    Anyone else have anything happen like this?
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