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Mazda3 Maintenance & Repair

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  • saaksaak Posts: 9
    In the future you should test drive your next car before you buy it.

    Thank you, roadburner. You are quite right about the importance of test drives. Buyers cannot discover everything about a vehicle during a test drive, and unfortunately I did not notice the power steering noise during mine.

    If I may repeat, I would appreciate others sharing their reactions about the whiny power steering noise of the Mazda3, which goes back at least to 2004, according to Guskim.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I own a 2009 Mazda3 and I frequent a couple of different Mazda boards and this is the first I've heard of a noisy power steering system. Said another way, I seriously doubt this is a common problem.
  • First of all, I'm a female and trying to make a smart simple purchase. I'm a week away from buying a Mazda3 2010 Gunmetal Blue Mica. It appears that the Honda Civic has much better gas mileage and the reviews are better. However, I just don't like the body style. I have been flirting with the Mazda3 for almost 3 years.

    The common negative thread on this forum is gas mileage. But for the price, I think I'm sold on the Mazda. Do I need a rescue team or will I be happy next week and no buyers remorse? :shades:
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I drove both the Civic and the Mazda3 several times (along with a number of other cars), and I opted for a 2.0 liter Mazda3. Why? Two main reasons:

    - Bang for the buck: the Mazda3 can be had with goodies such as rear disc brakes and leather coverings for the steering wheel and shifter that can only be had on the full zoot (i.e. significantly more expensive) Civic. I reasoned that for the two to three thousand dollars difference in price between the two cars, I could buy LOTS of extra gasoline for the Mazda and still come out ahead financially.

    - Driving dynamics: folks have occasionally opined that the Mazda3 is a "Poor man's BMW 3-Series"; and while I certainly wouldn't go that far, as a former BMW owner who is now "poor", I feel qualified to say that of the cars in the Mazda3 & Civic market segment, the Mazda3 has by far the best driving dynamics.

    I hope this helps. ;)

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    First of all, I'm a female and trying to make a smart simple purchase. I'm a week away from buying a Mazda3 2010 Gunmetal Blue Mica. It appears that the Honda Civic has much better gas mileage and the reviews are better.

    Well, I'm not sure where you found that the Honda Civic gets "much better gas mileage". The 2010 Civic is rated at 25-36 and the Mazda3 i is rated at 24-33. Not too far off considering the Mazda has more power.

    As far as reviews go, the Civic will have an advantage is long term durability because the Civic has been around for over 20 years. The Mazda3 has been around since 2004. It was the Protege before that.

    The Mazda is a better "drivers" car. The reviews prove that. It is more fun to drive and does carry a very good reputation for reliability and longevity.

    It all depends on what you value. If the prices are very close, buy the car you like more. That is the most important factor. They are both great cars.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I don't think the fact that Honda has used the same model name over several redesigns, while Mazda has changed the name from 323 to Protege to Mazda3 has anything to do with any differences there may be in "long term durability". The 1980 Civic has essentially no connection to the 2010 Civic, just as the 1980 Mazda 323 has essentially no connection to the 2010 Mazda3.

    The ~2 mpg difference, based on EPA "combined" would amount to an operating cost difference of about $60 per 10,000 miles, based on ~$3 per gallon. I certainly would not choose one car over another based on a difference, that in my case, would amount to about $4 per month.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    For what it's worth our 2007 Mazda 3 has been bullet proof so far - not one problem and it still looks and drives like new. Have just done all of the recommended maintenance and have not noticed anything that would signify a problem.

    At the time we bought it I was also considering the Civic, but after driving both I much preferred the Mazda's handling, plus it just felt more substantial and less like an economy car than the Honda. For us it was a pretty easy decision and based on our experience so far I think it was the right decision.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I'm a week away from buying a Mazda3 2010 Gunmetal Blue Mica ... will I be happy next week and no buyers remorse?

    My suspicion is that you'll be very pleased. :) Are you planning to buy the sedan or hatchback? The 2.0 litre engine is better on gas than the 2.5 litre engine.
  • This is my second Mazda 3s 5 door. The first was a 2005. This one is fully loaded, Mazda allows you to get the goodies in a small car, unlike so many of the others. Bose stereo, push button start, dual zone climate, adaptive HID lighting, leather with 5 range heat, Nav, trip computer, and luxury interior. Hard to find it anywhere for @25K. This car is sometimes known as a smiley face, no wonder it smiles. I have driven a lot of vehicles. In the small car segment there are very few that can keep up with a 3s on a mountain winding road. Gas mileage, I get 32 when cruising on the interstate at controlled 71mph. In city as low as 25, even when I get on it. Yeah I'm a young kid that loves to drive my 6 speed manual; trouble is I'm 60.
  • Bought mazda 3 2010 in June'09 from Guiffre Mazda of Brooklyn. It's January'10 now. My meticulous record shows 15 mpg in city and 19 on highway. This is worse than my previous 2000 Protege. Called them - they said "Try Super + fuel injector cleaner". Did twice - no change at all. What to be done?! Is it a lemon?
    Val - Brooklyn
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    For 4 cyl cars, CR typically get around 15 or 16 mpg in their city test...which must be designed to be a very severe test, simulating NYC or something. So since you indicate you are in Brooklyn, I don't know that your 15 is so surprising.

    But 19 hwy??? Is that for cruising on non-congested freeway at reasonable speeds, say, 75 mph or less?
  • Thanks, Jiffy, for the reassurance. Although the dealer didn't argue that 15 is unusually low.
    As far as hwy mpg, I actually haven't done a strictly hwy measurement. 19 mpg it is actually when a half of my 10-gallon fill goes for about 80 miles a round trip by IS-80 via GW bridge and the other half a week or so here in Brooklyn. Will see.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    If you mean 1/2 your miles are highway when you get 19, then that seems like it could be about right, given the 15 mpg for the other miles. If you get 30 mpg for 1/2 of your miles and 15 for the other half, the combined would be 20 mpg.

    Did you get low mpg in whatever you drove before also? If so, that would indicate that the "problem" is lkely the type of driving you do, rather than the car.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 796
    Not to be nit-picking, but if half of the miles driven are at 15mpg and the other half at 30mpg, wouldn't that average out to 22.5mpg overall? To hit an average of 20mpg, with half @ 15mpg, the other half would be @ 25mpg....

    Anyway, I drove my '06 Mazda3 s (manual) in Atlanta gridlock for the first three years I had it (around 55k miles). During my weekly slog thru traffic, I was lucky to average 20mpg overall! But on highway trips with the cruise set at 75mph (or 80), I had no problem getting 26-27mpg for miles on end....
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    No, half the miles at 30 and the other half at 15 yields 20 mpg. Consider the following:

    100 miles @ 30 mpg consumes 3.333 gallons of fuel
    100 miles @ 15 mpg consumes 6.667 gallons of fuel

    What that means is that 10 gallons of fuel was consumed for a distance of 200 miles, and that in turn means that the "Average" MPG was 20.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    How many miles do you have on the Mazda3 with the low mpg? If it is still pretty low, it may improve some. It is a different engine (the 2.3), but I got a 2007 Mazda6 in winter of 2007 and it was getting 22-24 mpg in my commute, initially. After it got up to about 10,000 miles, it had improved to more like 27-29 in summer and 25-26 in winter for the same driving.

    BTW, what was your mpg with the protege? Depending on which engines each car has, it does look like the mpg should be either about the same or better in the 3, based on fueleconomy.gov numbers.

    (thanks for stepping in with the mpg math, Shipo :) )
  • Yes, my milage since June'09 is only 1,600. You're probably right on both your points - that the milage is too low to judge and the pattern of my driving may cause a low MPG.
    With my Protege 2002 (not 2000!) it was 17 city and 24 hwy, although until this year I'd driven much longer distances and mostly hwy.
    Many thanks
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    my milage since June'09 is only 1,600
    Wow! That's incredibly low mileage (approx. 3000 miles per year). Is it cost-effective to own a car if you drive so infrequently? I'm thinking of insurance, parking, licensing fees as well as required vehicle maintenance.

    I agree with you when you say: that the milage is too low to judge and the pattern of my driving may cause a low MPG.
  • You're right. But it is more than money. Car is an essential part of my life style. And besides, it's a first year in my life when I don't work - retired, that's why the milage is so low.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Car is an essential part of my life style. And besides, it's a first year in my life when I don't work - retired, that's why the milage is so low.

    Understood. When I switched jobs, I no longer needed to commute to work because I could walk it. In one way, I regretted that because I love driving.

    Now, that you're retired and have the time, you should plan on taking that cross-country car trip that we all dream about!
  • berbelberbel Posts: 167
    Hi:

    I used to be a pretty active poster when I was last here a few years ago. Since
    I bought a new 3s Grand Touring Hatchback about 3-4 months ago I thought
    I'd jump back in the saddle and join all the fine folks on these forums.

    Edmunds has changed some of the formats and I'm trying to get used to
    navigating around. Maybe I overlooked it, but........is there a forum DEDICATED
    to the 2010 Mazda 3 in its various trimlines but more specifically the HATCHBACK?

    Thanks for any help!!

    berbel
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,914
    Welcome back! And this IS the hatchback forum, although some non-hatch 3 owners do sneak in now and then ;)

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? pf_flyer@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • I just found out that my Mazda 3 2004 (with less than 50,000 miles) needs major engine repair as a result of a tiny crack in the oil filter cap. I took the car in for minor service repair (per manufacturer) less than 5,000 miles ago and the leak wasn't detected. I had started to hear some muffled ticking sounds then, but they didn't hear it. So I continued to drive it for the past 6 months. The oil light never went on. Since I park on the street, I never noticed an oil leak. But the noises got louder so I took it back in. Is the mechanic at fault for not noticing the issue during the service 6 months ago? Based on other posts, it seems the cap used in 2004s is faulty, so can I get Mazda to pay for the rebuild/repair?
  • halserhalser Posts: 20
    Who changed the oil?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I just found out that my Mazda 3 2004 (with less than 50,000 miles) needs major engine repair as a result of a tiny crack in the oil filter cap.

    Interesting and tricky.

    Who determined that the cause was the "tiny crack in the oil filter cap"?
    And, did they determine that the crack was caused by negligence by someone (e.g. mechanic overtightening the cap) or was the part defective or are there other possible reasons? This could prove to be a classic case of finger pointing.

    Based on other posts, it seems the cap used in 2004s is faulty, so can I get Mazda to pay for the rebuild/repair?
    If these posts are similar to your situation, then definitely use them as part of your case. In those posts, it would be interesting to see how the resolution was made, for example, did Mazda issue a notice to its dealerships about the cap being faulty and in need of replacement. You may also want to consider arguing that based on their position, Mazda may lose you as a future customer if you are not satisfied with the service. If you have had your car serviced regularly at a Mazda dealership, you can argue that you have been a good customer and expect them to resolve this problem fairly. You may be able to negotiate a "deal" so that the cost of the repair is shared by you and Mazda.

    This is a sad story, especially considering that the broken oil filter costs a few dollars and caused thousands in engine repairs.

    Best of luck and keep posting your progress.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,691
    The only problem with the plastic filter caps is that many so-called mechanics over-tighten them. The cap is sealed by an o-ring and thus doesn't need to be tightened down like a spin-on filter. The filter cap on my 1995 BMW 3 Series only requires 25 Nm to seal properly, and it's remained crack free for 15 years and 121,000 miles.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 796
    Is there another body style other than the Hatchback/5-door??? :P ;)
  • Thanks for all of the feedback!

    The guys that found the leak were the same guys who changed the oil previously. And they are at an independent, well-regarded garage--not the dealership, but they're not jiffy lube, either. Their explanation for the crack is that as I was driving something must have hit it from beneath the car.

    The thing is when I took it in back in June, they detected that the oil was pretty low. Part of the reason I brought it in was I had started to hear a bit of noise in low gears. They couldn't detect the sound and they didn't detect the leak. And sent me away saying the car was in excellent condition and I really didn't need to have brought it in for such thorough service, yet given the mileage.

    I'll do more research to see if there were any notices about the caps. As I've looked around, it seems a good number of folks have posted about oil leaks in "young" Mazdas.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Their explanation for the crack is that as I was driving something must have hit it from beneath the car. ... I'll do more research to see if there were any notices about the caps. As I've looked around, it seems a good number of folks have posted about oil leaks in "young" Mazdas.

    Interesting. It sounds like we are talking about the oil filter at the bottom of the engine and not the oil filler cap on top of it. My recollection is that Mazda switched their oil filters to a canister in 2004 which was an issue for some owners. In your case, it appears more like an accident or negligence (on the part of a technician).

    You may want to contact your local AAA for some advice or to have the car inspected by a reputable garage.

    We feel for you!
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    If the damage happened the way the mechanic claims might your insurance coverage pay, after you cover the deductible? If it would be covered, then you can let your insurance company and the garage fight over who is responsible :) .
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