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Mazda3 Maintenance & Repair

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  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 273
    Many Mazda3 owners claim they have good A/C systems? I dont think so. Perhaps only the sickly, cold blooded, or the few lucky ones? Have a see here:

    http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=6183.new;topicseen#new

    http://www.autoacforum.com//messageview.cfm?catid=2&threadid=14994&forumid=1
  • lordpastylordpasty Posts: 11
    Many Mazda3 owners claim they have good A/C systems? I dont think so. Perhaps only the sickly, cold blooded, or the few lucky ones? Have a see here:

    http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=6183.new;topicseen#new

    http://www.autoacforum.com//messageview.cfm?catid=2&threadid=14994&forumid=1

    Man... I keep hearing about how awful the Mazda 3's A/C is, but so far (only 1100 Miles, tho) I haven't had a problem. I'm knocking on wood, cuz I live in Texas and it will get *hot*, but it's already been 90+ and I haven't had an issue. Is there a difference in the Mazdas with Climate Control?
  • lordpastylordpasty Posts: 11
    Just popping in here to say that A does not necessarily imply B.

    Are you calling me crazy? I think my a/c works, so I may be just that. :P
  • tim35tim35 Posts: 1
    I have an '04 5-dr. I have experienced the same problem. The CD player is clearly having trouble (the track time is advancing every two seconds instead of every second). Eventually, the CD player just shuts off. I've also had problems getting the CD player to recognize that CDs are loaded. I have noticed that if I just turn the ignition key to the accessory (?) position, it works fine. Have you figured anything out?

    Thanks.
  • m3fan3m3fan3 Posts: 27
    i know i am replying to something old. thx but i got it changed by the dealer. i just could stand it. no pay of course cause the dealer was supposed to change it after that player was replaced.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Since I am the all time record holder for negative posts (on Edmund's) concerning the weak AC system in the Mazda3. I bet I have had more posts about weak AC deleted by the host than others have posts! (maybe Pat would like to chime in here and confirm this!)

    I am not about to try and say the AC is GREAT. But it is a fact many people say the AC system is very good. Even a few in Texas and Florida -

    Go back to post #388 - dated April 03 2004 - I think this was my first post about possible weakness in the Mazda3 AC. Little did I know at that time the problems I would have -
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 273
    I dunno what to say, except that feeling hot or cold is very subjective. Some may have climate control. At level 2 the A/C is very loud and perhaps some people are saying their A/C is fine because they have it cranked up at or near the max which is not right.

    If one's A/C is cycling on for 10 seconds than there is no way there A/C is fine. The cycle needs to be longer a lot longer.

    Without getting into pressure tests of the A/C system, one would need to know how often their A/C compressor cycles on and how long after it stops, it starts or kicks-in again. The standard amongst those that are complaining is that it kicks in after a minute and only lasts 10 seconds even in the hottest conditions.

    I believe climate control is something new in the 2006 models. My 2005 does not have it, nor does it have 6 speakers either.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    The constant on off cycle of the AC compressor may be just a symptom of the real problem. Rather than the true defect.

    The compressor is controlled in part by a temperature sensor that is located right by the evaperator - when the sensor hits the set temp it sends a message to the compressor to shut off. I would guess the set point is right around 32 degrees - not much below because if the evaperator stays below 32 degrees for a while ice will form on the evaperator - the air flow will be reduced - this will kill the cooling capacity.

    It seems to me that the evaperator is too small (not enough surface area) - so the flow of refrigerant to it is able to quickly cool it down to the set point - and this shuts the compressor off. But there is one more thing going on here.

    Most AC systems also have a feature that - once the compressor shuts off - prevent it from turning back on until the pressure on the high side of the system (between the compressor and the condenser) drops to a safe level. The compressor is like a pump - you do not want it to try and start pumping into a line that is under high pressure. This is called "starting up under load" - and it can cause very bad things to happen.

    So IMO - this is what is causing the AC to cycle so quickly.
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 273
    I have been lurking in an A/C board (see post #3168 for the link) and the techs there say it's too speculative to say why the compressor is going on and off the way it is without actually performing pressure tests. This is the ONLY way we will know what is happening. It could be cycling when the pressure is too low or too high. Have a read at that link.

    The bottom line is that there is a defect or issue of some description. It was suggested that those owners effected send a letter to Jim O'Sullivan at Mazda International Operations in Irvine California to voice their concerns and how we're not getting anywhere. If they can't fix the problem, at least have them acknowledge there is one.
  • slate1slate1 Posts: 84
    well.... I'm about as hot natured as they come. It's a rare moment I'm out of short sleeves in the winter and I question the logic of me living in the south every summer.

    Here in South Carolina we've already had some 90°F+ days and the A/C in my '06 is having no problem at all keeping the car cool. Car is an '06 3s-GT Sedan with BLACK leather interior - I've got the automatic climate control.

    On the hottest day we've had so far (91°F) and with the car baking in the sun for four hours, the fan ran on high for about 5 minutes or so and then gradually began to slow down over the next 30 minutes. I was never uncomfortable in the car after the initial 5 minute "cool-down".

    With the black interior I may go ahead and buy a sun-shade for the front window, which should help keep the interior from getting overly hot in the summer.

    I'll post how it handles our 95°F+ / 90%+ humidity July and August hell-fest this summer but I'm convinced at this point that it's going to be up for the task. They've either "fixed" the A/C problem or I got lucky! :shades:
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Its was over a year ago - so I can not quote the PSI readings.

    I had a friend - that is in the AC business - hook up his gauges and monitor the pressure while the compressor cycled on and off.

    He confirmed what Mazda was telling me - that the system seemed to be running at the correct pressures.

    Which means the compressor was shutting down when the system reached the correct pressure on the high side. The system was not low on refrigerant - which could cause the compressor to shut down because of a low pressure condition (on the LOW side) - when there is not enough refrigerant the compressor will be running "dry" so most systems have a safety shut off to prevent this condition.

    I have read a few posts that claim the Mazda3 had a weak AC when new - but after 10,000 or so miles the system seemed to get better - this was always hard to me to accept - these things don't heal themselves. But my AC seems to be a little better than it was last year - so I am keeping an open mind.

    There are a few things that could be causing the AC to get better over time. Remote - but possible.

    The evaperator could have a coating on it that reduces the efficiency - over time the constant flow of water (condensation) could be washing this coating off - making the system run better.

    I know some industrial evaperator come from the factory with a protective coating (sprayed on during the manufacturing process) - this coating is removed before the evaperator is installed. 1 in 100,000 chance!

    The second thing - the expansion valve could be too small - this would reduce the flow of refrigerant through the evaperator - although the pressure and temperature would still show the correct values. Over time - with use - this opening may be getting slightly larger - allowing a greater flow of refrigerant - allowing the system to cool better. 1 in 10,000 chance!

    The system could have a very small amount of contamination in the refrigerant. A very very very small amount of moisture in the system can plug the expansion valve reducing the ability of the system to cool. There is a dryer in the system - it is like a filter that removes moisture / contamination from the refrigerant. It is possible that over time the filter removes this problem and allows it to work correctly. 1 in 1,000 chance.

    Or - the darn thing is just too small / poor design. 1 in 10 chance.

    Or Mazda knows the real problem and they just don't want to spend the $ to fix it. 1 in 2 chance.
  • nifty56nifty56 Posts: 279
    Thanks z71bill for your input.
    Writing letters, phoning Mazda probably won't do us any good in getting a fix. Mazda has set its mind on doing nothing unless a large number of owners bug Mazda about this issue. I think alot won't bother.
    Is it possible for Mazda to replce the evaporator with a larger one? Is there room for a bigger one? If not than I think we are stuck with a poorly designed system. We shall see what the summer brings.
    Just one question. When driving with the A/C off and bring in air from outside the air feels warmer than the outside air. After I stop and park and restart after about 15 minutes the air from the vents feels very warm like the heater is on or the dial is set to hot, outside temp about 12C. It takes about 15 minutes of driving before it cools back down to something comfortable. I have a digital termometer which I will use to check the temps for a more accurate evaluation. Do I have a heater door not closing completely or is this normal for the car? I do not notice this on my other vehicles.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I lost track of the number of times I had Mazda dealership test my AC -

    I also noticed warm air coming from my vents - so even on a 50 degree day I would sometimes turn on the AC. I tested the air temp a few times - and the outside air temp VS the vent air temp there was about a 12 degree increase in the temp. (AC off - temp control knob all the way over to cold) - This seemed like a lot to me - but when I tested my other vehicles they also had an increase - can't recall the number - but something like 8-10 degrees. So I did not think that was the problem.

    I had my windows tinted - plus the invoice indicated they adjusted my MCC - which I think stands for mix control cable. When you turn the temperature control knob from hot to cold - or some where in between - it is moving a little trap door that separates the AC evaperator from the heater core.

    You may already know this - but the AC evaperator and heater core both look like little radiators - the difference is the evaperator has refrigerant pumped through it (lets not get too technical) and the heater core has hot anti-freeze/coolant pumped through it.

    The way Mazda (and others) designed the system they are right next to each other - if you turn on the defroster with the knob turned to hot/warm the air goes though both - evaperator and heater core.

    I can not tell if the improvement in my AC was from the tinting or the cable adjustment - or both - I still get warm air coming from my air vents - even on cold day (45 degrees is cold in Houston) - so I can't tell. I had these both done at the end of last summer - so I have not had many 90+ degree days to test it out yet - but time will tell.
  • malakmalak Posts: 4
    I am looking to buy a Mazda 3 next week but heard that there were significant problems with tire wear. Have any of you 2006 owners experienced tire wear problems?
  • cephmecephme Posts: 26
    I drove a 3 5 door last night. It only had 4 miles on it before I drove it, but I did feel some vibration in the steering wheel. I told the dealer if I were to to take that car I wanted him to rebalance the wheels first. That should solve the problem. I drove a few other 3s (at other dealerships) and did not experience the issue so am hoping it is only a minor thing. :confuse:
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 273
    nifty56 wrote:

    Thanks z71bill for your input.
    Writing letters, phoning Mazda probably won't do us any good in getting a fix. Mazda has set its mind on doing nothing unless a large number of owners bug Mazda about this issue. I think alot won't bother.


    So we shouldn't bother? That's not the right kind of attitude. Is that the kind of attitude one should take when it comes to voting?

    If all of us just give up at the first road block, then we are destined for failure. We can't expect those like me who will pursue this matter to fight everyone's battles. Mazda believes the problem effects only a small number of Mazda3 owners. It's perseverance that can and will make a difference, not negative attitude. So, write that letter and make that call, the power is in the numbers and we can make a difference if all of us take a few minutes of our time from the internet and write Mazda CEO Jim Sullivan and call Mazda Customer Service.
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 273
    According to the A/C link I posted, the posters there said that the readings, whatever they may be, under the specified RPM load will say a lot and it will say much more than if the A/C pressures are within spec or not.

    That's why those techs need the exact pressures to have a better insight what the real problem is. Right now, we are all guessing. So, we need some actual data to troubleshoot this A/C issue. Can anyone provide this?

    Also, someone wrote that the compressor will cycle off less when the coolant is low. So, this may be why after 10,000 miles or so it is cooler because there would be less coolant.
  • yu203964yu203964 Posts: 35
    ex:
    Do you have the email addresses of those high level people such as CEO, VP, President of Mazda Canada? I meet the road block at the customer service level. I think email is more fast and effective than mail or fax.
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 273
    I dunno if I am allowed to post personal info here, but check out this link. Personal email addy's though are not available for the execs, the best we can do is fax or mail. But, it's still worth it. Checkout post 599/600: http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=6183.570

    Remember, we got power in numbers; united we stand, divided we fall.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I assume by coolant you mean refrigerant?

    If you ever see ice build up on an evaperator - it normally means that the system is low on refrigerant.

    I have seen this on cars, my home AC system and on a refrigerator.

    The compressor just keeps on running because there is not enough refrigerant to allow it to reach the point where the high side pressure differential switch reaches its set point & send a signal to the compressor to shut down -

    The Mazda3 system is set up a little different - it also has a temperature sensor in front of the evaperator - it shuts the compressor down based on the evaperator hitting a set temperature - so in theory anyway - it should not change the compressor cycle -

    Unless - maybe the Mazda3 system - with both a temp sensor and a pressure differential switch is not perfectly balanced - so you have two different sensors telling the compressor to shut down. If the system is set up correctly the pressure switch and the temp switch would both reach the set point at about the same time - because the pressure & temp are directly correlated.

    As far as writing Mazda letters - not a bad idea - can't hurt. I still have a flat spot on the top of my head from running into a Mazda brick wall a few times.

    I sent Mazda a few e-mails about the AC problems I was having.

    The first E-mail - I got the auto reply and then a follow up e-mail from a person - some standard customer service form letter saying how sorry they were about my problems - but no solution was offered. My next e-mail I listed the exact things that I had done so far - something like 3 dealer visits, 2 calls to 1-800 Mazda customer service - plus 1 E-mail to customer service - I told them I had done everything that I could think of to get my issue resolved - and really wanted some advise about what I could do next to get my problem solved - I got the auto reply and then I got a letter that said - THEY RECOMMENDED I TAKE MY PROBLEM TO MY STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL. Really - cross my heart - that was their advise.

    Hard to understand how any company would actually put this in a written communication to a customer - but they did.

    I sent a follow up e-mail and it was returned to sender - could not be delivered - BLOCKED BY MAZDA.

    Now before anyone says I must have been rude or nasty in my e-mails please save it - I was direct but nice. I tried to send additional E-mails - they all came back blocked - return to sender - after about 3 months I was able to send an e-mail that actually went through - I got the auto reply and a letter from a person telling me that Mazda had a TSB out on the AC issue - (it was the diffusser plate fix) - I was told to take this information to my dealer and they would install it.

    The diffusser did nothing to help my AC -
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