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Mazda3 Engine Issues

mmitschmmitsch Posts: 7
We just got my daughter a used 2004 Mazda 3 4-door sedan. It has a 2.0 liter engine. The car has about 33,000 miles on it. I decided to change the plugs and took out it's old plugs (which were ITR6F13 - not sure which brand) and replaced them with Bosch 4211 Platinum Plugs with a gap = 0.052.

Please give me your input.

Thanks!

Mike
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Comments

  • Hi,

    I'm looking to buy a Mazda3. Can't stand the two-toned seats of the S-series, but also don't want to have a weak car in terms of power. Has anybody driven both the 2.0 and the 2.3L models and can attest if there's any difference? Thanks!

    ps.
  • maxidrivemaxidrive Posts: 70
    I test drove both. Yes, there's a difference and you can feel it when you step on the accelerator. The car springs forward much more lively and less noisy. It's definitely worth the price difference.
  • peteb2peteb2 Posts: 2
    I've driven both the 2.0 sedan and the 2.3 hatchback, and I couldn't tell much difference at all in terms of engine power. The hatchback is about 130 lbs. heavier than the 3i sedan, and that almost completely negates the power advantage. The 2.3 sedan is about 70 lbs. heavier than the 2.0 sedan, so I still don't see much advantage with the bigger engine. Furthermore, the 2.0 gets significantly better fuel economy.

    I think that the 2.3 may have made more sense for the 2004-2005 models since it was the only engine with variable valve timing, which gives you more power at lower engine speeds. Mazda added VVT to the 2.0 for 2006, so that's not an issue anymore.

    I just wish that the hatchback was available with the 2.0L engine.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I did not like the checker board square pattern of the seats at first - but after a few weeks you will not even notice them - my wife also though they looked strange - but my teenage daughter like them.

    I will say this - after 2+ years the seats still look new - the cloth has held up much better than I expected. I seem to recall telling my wife something like - Don't worry about the checkered seats - they look like they won't last very long - and then we can get after market leather put in. The factory leather (back in 2004 anyway) was the lowest quality I have ever seen in a vehicle - hard as a rock + slippery - it looked like it was coated with plastic.

    As far as engine power - go drive both and see for yourself!
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    There is a bit of difference between the 2.3 and the 2.0. Mostly in the sedan version. Not only is it definitely quicker, it is also quieter. There are cassette sized counter balances placed on the crank shaft that act to reduce engine vibration, hence less noise.

    I would not really say gas mileage is a huge issue, we are talking about 3mpg here...not 10mpg.

    I saw another poster talk about VV-T. The gain with the VV-T for 2006 is only 2hp over the previous 2 years. Not a big difference.

    I would buy the s model simply because it looks nicer, better resale value, and more power. It's worth the extra money, IMHO.
  • looks nicer? i thought they were the same in terms of body and styling ... no?
  • cephmecephme Posts: 26
    The S has the clear light clusters for the tail lights that really look nice. There may be some other cosmetic differences beyond those and the seats, but I am not sure.
  • slate1slate1 Posts: 84
    "The S has the clear light clusters for the tail lights that really look nice. There may be some other cosmetic differences beyond those and the seats, but I am not sure.

    The 3s also has alloy wheels, fog lights, a different grill/bumper and if you go up to the touring or Grand Touring model it also gets side sill extensions.

    I drove a base 3i and a 3s-GT back to back (both manual transmission) and found a noticeable difference between the engine performance.

    I don't know what the leather was like in '04 but I can attest that the '06 leather is every bit as nice or nicer than what is found in the VW's and the Acura RSX.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    The 2.3 has a sport grill, clear "euro" style tail lights, fog lights, electro luminescent gauges, leather wrapped steering wheel, leather wrapped shift knob, "carbon-fiber" look dash trim, and higher quality seat cloth.

    With the S Touring you get 17" wheels, and side sill extensions (side skirts)
  • i have driven both w/ 4 spd auto trans and as some of the others have mentioned, the 2.0 engine isn't quite as smooth as the 2.3. there is a power difference, but it's not huge. i could live w/ either, but the additional refinement in terms of engine smoothness is nice.
  • ronald711ronald711 Posts: 44
    I was looking at the 2.9i touring sedan, and I am about getting good gas mileage, been looking at the Toyota's for their reliability, how is the 2.0 sedan engine inthe Mazda's? have they been used in other cars with good sucess, how about transmission? my friend had a 96 Mazda 626 that had transmission problems. Im looking for a car that will be pretty trouble free, and low maintenenace besides routine maintenance. The mazda had the sporty look I like, but Im am not an aggresive driver I drive for gas mileage.
  • ronald711ronald711 Posts: 44
    I was looking at the Mazda 3i touring sedan, and I am about getting good gas mileage, been looking at the Toyota's for their reliability, how is the 2.0 sedan engine inthe Mazda's? have they been used in other cars with good sucess, how about transmission? my friend had a 96 Mazda 626 that had transmission problems. Im looking for a car that will be pretty trouble free, and low maintenenace besides routine maintenance. The mazda had the sporty look I like, but Im am not an aggresive driver I drive for gas mileage.
  • the 2.0 engine has been used with great success in the Miata now called the MX-5. the miata has been one of the most reliable cars according to CR.

    the 626's were built in Flatrock, MI while the Miata and 3s are being built in Japan. according to the latest CR ratings, the Mazda 3 highly rated.
  • samtheman1samtheman1 Posts: 10
    Recently did a test drive in 2.0 and 2.3 manual and auto trannys. If you are getting the auto, I'd really suggest the 2.3 as it has 5 speed tranny and the auto tranny sucks considerable power from the engine. 2.0 seemed underpowered in the auto.

    I liked both of the manuals much better. You could feel the improved low end torque in the 2.3 (snappier feel), but the 2.0 was not bad. If you don't know how to drive a manual, this is good car to learn on. Clutch and shifter smooth and easy to use. Go test drive them.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    The stock plugs were NGK

    At a discount auto parts store they are about $10 each

    I just replaced my plugs (same ITR6F13) but went with the ITR5F13 which is one heat range hotter than stock.

    I had some black gunk on my old plugs (22K miles). Hope the hotter plug keeps this burned off. I do alot of short trip / heavy traffic driving.

    So far no real change in how the engine runs & I am still getting around 20 MPG - so I wasted my $40 - no real surprise - I did not expect a miracle!
  • certainly, peak 2hp gain isn't much.

    however, peak is only part of the story.

    if we had Q and HP curves for '06 and '05, we could numerically integrate the Q and HP curves (separately, of course) and see the quantitative effect of the VVT over the entire usable rev range (this, coupled with gear ratios, is why power-to-weight ratios, though valuable, aren't always the best predictor of acceleration). this would give us a better picture of the "numbers". of course, various standing and rolling acceleration times at different speeds and gears would give us an even better idea of the difference (if any).
  • We have a 2005 Mazda 3 that about a month ago wouldn't start. We had it towed to the dealer and the next day it started fine. The dealer couldn't recreate the problem. Since then, about once a week, the car decides not to start. The lights and radio work fine, but nothing happens when you turn the ignition. No noise, nothing. It's been at the dealer now for a week! and they say it's been working fine. Does anyone have any ideas? How do I handle this with the dealer?
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    This is not a common Mazda3 problem -

    My neighbor had a similar problem with a Pontiac. It would not start - acted like a dead battery - but the lights - horn - radio still worked - tried jump starting but still nothing - not even a click out of the starter.

    So she had it towed - as soon as it got to the shop it would start right up - a dozen or more times with no problem.

    She went though this a second time - and then the mechanic determined it was a starter problem -

    The starter had a "bad spot" on the commutator, the electrical section of the armature that contacts the brushes. When the starter motor was at one spot in its rotation the electrical connection was bad - so no flow of electricity. The motion when the car was towed into the shop was enough to move the parts so that the electrical connection was good enough to work.

    As far as handling it with the dealer that could be tough - has the car ever not started while at the dealer?
  • Thanks for your reply. The car has never not started when it's been with the dealer. Just letting it sit overnight has been enough to let it start again. The dealer told us today that they're replacing the starter relay. I hope it works.
  • My 2004 Mazda 3 has been great for 40K miles. About 6 weeks ago and 2 visits to Mazda service/repair the problem has yet to be resoloved. When stopping for a red light (car in drive and brake on) a vibration with a rattle starts and stops as soon as foot lifted off brake. Has anyone had this problem? If so please advise. Thank you, CM in Chicago
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