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Mazda3 Maintenance & Repair



  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Keep in mind that RoadBurner is running a MazdaSpeed3, and the Owner's Manual for that car recommends 5W-30.

    In my case I'm running 0W-30 in my 2009 Mazda3 i Touring (with the 2.0 liter engine) 5-Speed, and like your 2.3, the physical engine block, crank, pistons, heads and valve assemblies are identical to the ones sold in European Mazdas, and those engines call for 5W-30. For the U.S. market, the reason 5W-20 is recommended has nothing what-so-ever to do with tight tolerances and everything to do with getting the best fuel economy numbers.

    Best regards,
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,015
    The Aussie MPS(Mazdaspeed) say that their owners manuals list 5W-40 and higher viscosities as approved oils. Isn't CAFE wonderful? :sick:

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

  • drprdrpr Posts: 3
    2004 with 53K miles
    Power steering unit decided to function intermittently last year. Now it is completely dead. The dealer wants an arm and a leg and my first born child to replace it. Has anyone else been through the diagnosis and replacement of this unit? Any tips? Do you have to reset the computer after replacement? THANKS!
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Power steering unit decided to function intermittently last year. Now it is completely dead. The dealer wants an arm and a leg and my first born child to replace it.

    Have you checked the power steering fluid? Have you ever had it replaced? Do you see any leaks under the engine? Did the dealer quote a new unit or a replacement unit?

    I had to have mine replaced last year after I ran over a speed bump the wrong way and created a crack in the unit which slowly dripped out all the fluid. I had a replacement unit installed upon the dealer's recommendation at roughly 1/3 the cost of a new unit. Good luck!
  • drprdrpr Posts: 3
    Good questions all!

    No leaks, Good levels, Not replaced since I bought the vehicle a year and a half ago. The dealer didn't think replacement fluid would have any effect. They quoted me on a new unit and indicated that was the only option. I will have to recheck that. Was yours a rebuilt?

    Anyone out there replaced the unit themselves?

  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Was yours a rebuilt?
    Yes. If memory serves, the factory unit was approximately C$2000 and the rebuilt was C$800 (Canadian $ is currently worth about U$.80). In addtion to the unit, you will need to have new power steering fluid and a wheel alignment.
  • drprdrpr Posts: 3
    The one that went out is factory original. I will be putting in a rebuilt. I figured on the fluid. Has anyone done the work themselves? I am looking for any tips along the way.
  • sonnyrockersonnyrocker Posts: 126
    You might have a transmission problem there.
  • joem5joem5 Posts: 201
    Well, I'll be driving back from Vail Co to Maine and Colorado winters are easier on you than back east.
    In Maine at camp it gets 20 to 30 below so that the inside hinges on you're camp door frost up.In CO the the Rockies block out alot of bad weather and you have ten straight days of sun and the trees give off heat.
    The only thing I know is the Mazda dealer told me to always use semi syn oil 5w 20. The air is thin here and I feel that my Mazda 3 I touring is lagging due to thin air, and the Dunlop tires I put on for the snow.Now, I use 5W 30 in the snow blower.
    Maybe ,I should be driving a car such as Roadburner has. A natural aspirated car struggles here. The base lodge is 8000 feet above sea level. Alot of people have GTI's, WRX's and Subie Turbo's
    and a million 4x4 pick up trucks .I haven't seen A Mazda Speed here. :confuse:
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Semi-Synthetic oil is simply oil that has a mixture of conventional Group II oil and synthetic (sort of) Group III oil. The Ford/Motorcraft 5W-20 is a good example of this kind of oil. Personally, I prefer fully synthetic oils as well as oils that flow better in the winter when cold, and yet are a bit thicker when hot, hence the fact that I use 0W-30 in my Mazda3 i Touring.

    Best regards,
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    Has anyone found an adaptor to convert 2008 (I am sure other years as well) to take spin on kinf of filter instead of the cartridge?
  • moozmoozmoozmooz Posts: 3
    Mazda3 auto won't start in park because it doesn't know it is in park ie P light not on. Of course it is in park. I have to put it in neutral to start it. Can sometimes start in park if I wiggle the stick around enough to find the park "sweet spot". Is there an adjustment for this. I took apart the console and couldn't see anything obvious. Anybodt else with this type of problem. 2004 mazda3 auto
  • crowheartcrowheart Posts: 36
    My wife and I were test driving a 2009 Mazda 3s Touring tonight. This is how my experience went. The salesperson wanted us to do a test drive. The lot were they kept their inventory was about 2 miles from the dealership, the lot was secured. When we got there the salesperson brought with her a little battery jumper. When she got to the car we were supposed to drive she had to jump it, She said the cars sit to long and need to be jumped many times. Then we had to drive to a gas station with the car on empty so she could put in 10 bucks worth of gas. My wife who was driving the car was driving with the autostick in M instead of D (the selectors are so close together) I thought she had it in drive as well.The trans/engine was whinny all the way back to the dealership by the time we got there we could smell burning. The salesperson told us the burning smell was normal that it was from an oil coating on the engine from the manufacturer. I didn't believe this for a minute.

    I like the car and after my wifes debacle I drove the car in the proper gear and it drove nicely. The salesperson wanted us to take the car home for the night. We agreed but when we got back out to the lot the battery was low and the car would not start. She was going to jump it again. We left, but agreed to come back tomorrow.

    What a bad first experience with Mazda!
    Did my wife screw up the trans? If we actually bought the car would the trans later act up.
    What about the battery situation has anyone heard or experienced anything like that at a dealership?

    Am I crazy for still wanting to buy this car? Any and all advice would be appreciated...Thanks
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    It is not uncommon for lead acid batteries to discharge over time.

    Look on the door jamb for the manufacture date. It will tell you approximately how long the car has been sitting.

    If the battery is completly discharged, it will take a few long highway drives to charge it up completly, or the dealer should put it on a charger to fully charge.

    A typical lead acid car battery that has been discharged beyond the safety threshold will not charge ever again, since the PbSO4 pellets fall out of the Pb mesh. It will need to be replaced. Luckily, it will be covered by the warranty and will probably be done before delivery.

    As to trans, didn't the high revs alert anyone in the car that it was in the wrong gear?
  • halserhalser Posts: 20
    I have a 2006 Mazda 3s, with the 2.3 and a 5 spd. Its a great car! I think the whole thing sounds fishy, You are looking for a new car. You would expect problems with used ones. When I was looking there were a lot of dealers here in NJ. I would look for a new dealer with a quality car!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,623
    The part about the "oil coating" is probably true. Cars shipped from overseas typically have a protective coating to fight corrosion during the sea voyage. It does take awhile to wear off, and it can be smelled during that time, especially if any has been sprayed on the exhaust system. It usually wears off in a week or two of daily driving.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 790
    The hot/oily smell is probably legit. I've test driven new cars and noticed a smell similar to how it smells after you have an oil change and the mechanic spills some oil on the outer parts of the engine and it has to burn off. Driving a brand new car at a constant, higher rpm (in Manual mode) could exacerbate the smell.

    So, while the situation was less than ideal, the car was probably not faulty....That said, you should NEVER buy a car if you don't feel confident and secure in the purchase! Go drive another Mazda3 at a different dealership. Actually, you could drive the 2009 and 2010 models back-to-back. Hopefully, you'll have a much better experience.

    The only potential harm done to your test vehicle is driving the car at a constant speed/rpm for a prolonged period of time. During the first 250-500 miles (the "break-in" period), you should not drive at a constant speed and/or rpm for any extended period of time. I had a 200 mile trip back home when I purchased my '06 Mazda3 back in 12/05. It was all highway and I alternated driving speeed limit, 10mph above and 20mph above speed limit in 10 minute increments....probably overkill.

    For your peace of mind, DON'T buy the specific car that you test drove. Tell them you want a different one or go to a different dealer.
  • nsbio1nsbio1 Posts: 47
    My Mazda developed shaking during braking at 18K miles. Brought it to the dealer - charged me $150 for resurfacing the front rotors. I used to have a 96 Protege and over the life of that car I had pads and rotors replaced more than once, but never did that car have its rotors warped to the point of shaking...

    Also, at 18.5K miles, while creeping in construction traffic on I-95 I suddenly heard a scratching/scraping sound and a lamp on the panel went off. Scared crepes out of me at first, but after a couple of seconds I realized it was power steering light. Power steering indeed stopped working. Pulled the owners manual and it suggested trying to restart the car. Thankfully, the traffic had come to a full stop so I did not even have to pull over. After restarting, the light went away and power steering was restored. The car has been good for the last week or so, but this was not the most encouraging experience of owning a car that is barely over a year old...
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    heard a scratching/scraping sound and a lamp on the panel went off ... I realized it was power steering light ...After restarting, the light went away and power steering was restored.
    Check under the car for any sign of damage. Once I ran over a speed bump a little too quickly and that bump damaged the underside of the car which became evident by a slow leak of the power steering fluid. You could also mention it the next time you bring the car in for service.
  • nsbio1nsbio1 Posts: 47
    Thanks, autonomous. I will definitely bring that up the next time I am at the dealer.

    I did check the PS fluid and it has stayed at MAX all the time, so I do not think there is a leak. In my amateur opinion, this must have been an electrical and perhaps not unusual glitch in the system, since troubleshooting of this exact situation is even mentioned in the owner's manual... Hopefully, this will be a one-time occurrence.
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