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Mazda3 Maintenance & Repair

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  • psymnpsymn Posts: 5
    It is possible that EBD could redistribute the braking to the rear wheels, but I am still not convinced. I think that the dealer would have listed this on the sticker as a feature, and maybe even an option(more money).

    Also, the front wheels are clean, and I mean shiny. I'll try to post phots of the difference later. Even if EBD activated the rears more, wouldn't the wheels show about equal amounts of dust, since normal brakes have more front than rear?

    I did a check on the GA lemon law today. One major repair on the brakes or two minor repairs in 12,000 miles and I get a replacement or refund. Maybe that will be motivation for mazda to fix this problem. I have checked a couple of other owner forums and I don't think that I am the only persono with this problem.
  • guskimguskim Posts: 112
    "I have always said - I would never buy a 4 door car, never buy a car with 4 cylinder engine and would never buy a black car. Since I just bought a black Mazda 3 4 door sedan I guess I will need to rethink my position. "

    Hahaha. Sometimes your positions can change in that showroom, eh? Especially when the whole family is involved.

    Well, you picked a good one to "break" the rules on. And Houston doesn't salt its road very much either, so you should be fine with black
  • I just got my mazda 3 last week. I noticed the brake dust last night which is why I am researching today. I went out to the car just now after reading your post to check the rotors. The right rear brake rotor already has grooves in it and is NOT supposed to. Also the right left rotor has slight indents in it also. I have just under 500 miles on it. I'll be taking it in next week.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Anyone notice that the front and rear rotors are designed differently?

    The front is like two discs that have been welded together - they have a space between them. This is what I consider normal - it is the way all three of my other vehicles brakes (front and rear) are designed.

    The back is just one solid disc - no spacers. This may be normal - but I have never seen this design before. IMO - it would not handle heat as well as the front design - but in a normal situations I would think that more heat is generated in the front.

    I only have 180 miles on my car - so it may be to soon to see any problem.

    Brake dust on the wheels is normal - although it usually shows up more on the front than the rear. You will see more dust when the pads are new - but as the pads wear the dust must go somewhere.

    The rear brakes do make more noise - kind of a "scrubbing" sound - when I stop - but I expect that will go away once the pads and rotor get broken in.
  • The difference is that the front discs are vented, the rears are not. The "vents" are the airspaces in the fronts. This is a pretty popular configuration, but nevertheless, could explain why the rears are wearing so fast, if the EBD is applying too much force there.
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    Very few cars have ventilated discs in the rear, most are solid.
  • I am pretty sure they should not have grooves in the rotor surface brake dust or no brake dust.. That is not a good sign at all with under 500 miles on it.
  • jc106jc106 Posts: 8
    My wife and I picked up our Mazda 3, five door on wednesday night. This morning when she started the car the Tire Pressure warning light came on. After a visual inspection revealed no gross problems she drove to work (2 miles). As she arrived at work the light went off spontaneously.

    I have a feeling this system may be a service department money maker, but beyond that, any ideas why this would happen in a car with 50 miles on it? Also, it was cold overnight (0 degrees F).

    Thanks
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    Brake rotors with grooves after only a few hundred miles on a new car is very abnormal. I would take it to the dealer and ask for new rotors and pads. If they refuse, I would contact Mazda Customer Support.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    Looks to me like the rotor material is a bit too soft. What I've read indicates mfrs choose softer rotor material to 1) reduce cost as softer steel is cheaper than harder steel and 2) reduce the amount of noise (mostly squealing) from disc brakes. Used to be rotors would last practically the life of the car. Now many mfrs recommend changing the rotors with every other (or even with each) set of pads since they've been using softer steel.

    Looks like those rotors are too soft for the pads (composite materials, like semi-metallics, have harder bits surrounded by a softer binder). It could explain the premature pitting and grooving.
  • The cold weather could have contibuted to the low tire pressure. Which might also explain why the light went off after they warmed up. Keep in mind that a visual inspection is never sufficent to judge tire pressure. If it was, you wouldn't need a TPMS ;)
  • sftonysftony Posts: 7
    I've been driving my Mazda3 for over a month now, nearing 3000 miles. I'm a bit concerned about the brake issue, but I'm not sure what to look for when I look closely at the rotors. Can someone tell me what I should and should not be seeing?

    Early on, I noticed the the rear brakes would squeal when was executing a slow turn, particularly when in reverse. I assumed it was just the new brakes settling in. They still do it occasionally, and this might explain why.
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    At 3000 miles you should see some wear on the rotors, but no significant grooves.
  • Brake rotors on most production cars are machined cast iron, not steel. They do come in quite a range of hardness grades, and finish quality. Some aftermarket replacement rotors are quite good, others are junk. The same is true of OEM rotors. The Brembo replacement rotors I installed on my vehicle still look like new after 5K miles - just faint wear lines that can't be felt with a fingernail. I think Mazda and other manufacturers look for all kinds of ways to squeeze pennies out of their production costs, and perhaps cheap rotors is one way they keep costs down. FWIW, my old Focus went through its original rotors in less than 7K miles - they were noticeably warped. Lots of folks on the WRX forum have gripes about OEM Subaru brake rotors too... it isn't unique to Mazda.
  • jc106jc106 Posts: 8
    I spoke to the service rep who says that they have seen the warning light activate with the combination of moisture and cold (both of which we saw last night). He said this is based mostly on their RX-8 experience which has a similiar/same system. We'll see....
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    All of my GM vehicles have vented disc brakes - both front and rear - 99 Silverado, 01 Tahoe and even my 81 T/A. Even if the rear is not vented I still think they are better than drums.
  • nne3jxcnne3jxc Posts: 134
    Anyone else getting crappy gas mileage?

    I've got a 4-door "S" with an Automatic. I've had it about a month and have put roughly 800 miles on it. I know that the initial break-in period may not deliver optimal gas mileage, but I seem to be only getting about 240-280 miles per tank. (approx 12 gallons at fill up.)
    That works out to 20-23 mpg. Most of my driving is on secondary roads with occasional highway, but very little city stop-and-go. I drive it sportingly, but I haven't been thrashing it because it's still under 1000 miles.

    I'm very dissapointed since my last car was a 4500lb full size land yacht with a V8 and it got 18mpg with the same commute.
  • guskimguskim Posts: 112
    I was getting 29mpg one month ago. Temperatures were warmer then 50F (10C)...but then they dropped to -4F (-20C), and fuel economy went to 21mpg..then when snow fell, it went to 19mpg.

    So some questions are:
    1) How cold has it been where you live, and what are the road conditions like (i.e. muddy, snowy)?

    Temperature is very crucial to fuel economy. So is snow/mud because it increases rolling resistance.

    2) Are you using your wipers, defrost, windshield fluid a lot;

    These all endup making your engine work harder (esp.defrost) and thus, use up gas.

    3) What is driving "sportingly"...hammer it to 55mph, but then don't exceed that...or continuous 65mph the whole way? Just trying to get an idea about your rpms.

    A difference of 800 rpm can mean 33% increase in gas consumption, depending on the car.

    Also, bottom line is I don't you think are going to get optimum fuel economy until at least 8000 miles or so. That's the case for most new 4 bangers. I would wait until the spring before getting worried. If your fuel economy hasn't improved significantly by then, then have the dealer check it out at the first oil change.
  • I think Guskim's numbers 1 and 3 above, combined with an engine that's not broken in are the likely culprits. Wipers and the defroster are going to have a pretty negligible impact on mileage. And the washer?? You gotta be kidding; maybe you should turn off your radio and drive at night with no headlights too ;)
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    If some Madza 3 owners don't mind getting a little dirty - maybe they could answer a question for me.

    When looking for the oil filter - I am a maintenance freak - but anyway - I was looking under my car from the front - it has a plastic rock / water shield under the engine. Mine has a hole in the middle - about 6 inches or so in diameter. It looks to me like it should have a cover over it - the way the hole is designed it has a place for locking tabs - like you would put the cover in place then rotate it to lock it in place.

    I assume everyone has the hole - anyone also have a cover?
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    z71bill, please send me an email, I'll forward you a picture of the bottom.
  • I just got my 3 this week, it only has like 150 miles on it, but I am noticing that the rear discs are starting to groove a little. The fronts are like glass. I do have the ABS/EBD package. The car stops great, but it looks like I'll have an issue similar to some of those here soon. Did someone mention that there was a TSB for this? What parts are involved, rotors, pads or both?
  • guskimguskim Posts: 112
    Put it this way. anything that drains the battery, will drain fuel economy. Motor has to work harder, because the car has to work to recharge the battery. This is especially true of:

    1) Constant Defrost Use. When you have rear defrost with no automatic shutoff, this can reduce reduce fuel economy by upto 15-20%. I found this effect when using seat warmers & defrost constantly in my previous Honda Accord.
    2) Constant windshield wiper and & fluid use also have an impact, even if only by 10%

    Air conditioning can reduce fuel economy by 33%, but not due to battery drainage, but rather the AC compressor belt running off the engine. As you know, many cars by default automatically engage the AC, even to defrost the front windshield. It's good to run the AC at least 15 minutes a month, but constant use in winter is overkill & wasteful on fuel.

    Nobody's saying don't use these things. You gotta do what you gotta do. I'm just saying that there are certain things about winter driving that make fuel economy plunge.
  • sftonysftony Posts: 7
    I had a chance to examine the rotors on my M3 with 3000 miles on it (seems like most folks here have fewer miles).

    The front rotors are smooth as glass - no grooves can be felt with a fingernail.

    The rear rotors are not so smooth. Visually, they look more worn, though I haven't got enough knowledge of disc brakes to know if they are too worn for their age. Running a fingernail across the rear rotors reveals quiet a few grooves. In fact, just a finger tip is enough to feel that they are rough when compared to the front discs. Again, though, I don't know if they are more than normal wear. I mean, what is a "significant groove?"

    I wouldn't expect the rear rotors to be in such a different state than the front rotors. Even if the OEM rotors are cheap metal, wouldn't one expect to find crappy material on both the front and rear rotors?
  • nne3jxcnne3jxc Posts: 134
    Thanks all for your input. Based on Guskim's economy, mine sounds about right too. I live in New Hampshire and we've been experiencing some unusually cold weather. I generally try to not use the defroster when it's not needed as I know the a/c compressor (which kicks in automatically in defrost mode) adds significant drag to the motor.
    As far as driving "sportingly" -- I will toy with the manual shift mode of the Automatic and jack-rabbit start from a stop occasionally, but I've been keeping it below 4500 rpm during break-in.
    I haven't had a 4 cylinder car since the mid 1980s, so I wasn't sure how long it takes to break them in these days. As someone on one of the other Mazda3 Owners boards said, I always said I'd never have a small, foreign 4-cylinder, again. Look waht happens when you go sit in one at a dealer.....
  • stokkesstokkes Posts: 81
    Not to question you guskim, but a 10% drop in gas mileage by using your wiper fluid?

    I'd really like to see evidence of this, because I honestly can't see how spraying your windows, which barely uses the battery at all, would result in a 10% drop in gas mileage.

    Again, I'm not questioning you, because this is the first time I've heard something like this, but I would like to know where you got this figure.

    -- stokkes
  • guskimguskim Posts: 112
    Hey stokkes, not just from the wiper fluid, but using wipers constantly.

    Of course, when I am using wipers constantly, this often means I am going through snow (which means increased rolling resistance).

    But there is an effect from the wiper. Check your fuel economy next spring during a week of constant rain. Then check it, during a week of sunshine. For me, with my 2000 Camry, rain meant the car would go about 550KM as opposed to 600km.
    (or now that I think about it, perhaps the rain increased the rolling resistance somewhat as well)
  • steveflstevefl Posts: 62
    By this reasoning I should get terrible fuel economy in summer. In the Sunbelt we don't have real winters, but from Apr-Sep we run the A/C constantly. For the record, during those years when I scrupulously kept track of fuel use, there was no appreciable difference between summer and winter fuel economy.

    But I know how real winters can drastically drop mileage. It's not really in running the accessories. Certainly not the washer/wipers! It's mostly in (a) greater warm-up time, (b) more traffic jams, (c) slower, more cautious driving that requires more use of the lower gears, (d) more frequent short trips,(e) leaving the engine idling during brief stops rather than shutting it off, (f) increased tire resistance on snowy roads, and even (g) increased use of headlights in winter months. The break-in period alone (varying speeds) contributes heavily to low figures.

    We will be seeing better fuel economy figures reported when folks return from their driving vacations.
  • Well...

    It seems my air bag light went on tonight and keeps on coming back on...?

    Maybe it's the cold...? Maybe something else...?

    No aftermarket electronics installed. I'll leave it for the weekend to see if it clears itself up and have the car checked on Monday if it doesn't.

    Anybody have any light to shed on this one?
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