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Mazda3 Lighting & Electrical Questions

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  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    brand new Mazda 3 at an airport parking lot for two weeks and the battery was dead when we got back. Our dealer's explanation is that the 3 computers are talking to each other and you can expect a dead battery after leaving it just a week.

    I find that that statement by the dealer representative not only surprising but disturbing. You may want to write to MazdaUSA and inform them of the situation and see what they say. How old was the battery and in what condition was it? Also, it may be difficult to prove that the battery did not discharge for another reason (e.g. accidentally leaving on the overhead light switch).
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Yeah, that sounds nuts. I've left an old minvan with an old battery sit for two weeks in winter and had no problem with the battery having enough power to start the car. If it is true that Mazda designed this car to have a dead battery if it is not used for a week that is pretty pathetic.
  • redmazda3redmazda3 Posts: 28
    My parents had purchased a 2008 Toyota Avalon that would go dead after a couple of days of non use. The first dealer told them they just were not driving it enough to keep the battery charged. They were told the story of the multiple computers always draining the battery. We didn't buy that story. The second dealer took the time to get all the paper work on the car and found that the auto dimming mirror was put on at the port of entrance. He took it apart and found that it was wired backwards which caused a short and a serious power drain. After correcting the wiring their car works now as expected. They sometimes do not drive the car for four or five days and it always cranks now. Hope this helps.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    If it is true that Mazda designed this car to have a dead battery if it is not used for a week that is pretty pathetic.

    I don't think Mazda or any other car company would try that, it would qualify as a form of hari kari. Batteries are one of those items in the car that you know you have to replace; but not after two weeks sitting around. The dealer representative was being disingenous and not offering a helpful answer. There are lots of reasons for a battery draining. The good news is that a battery is cheap to replace.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I've never understood what a dealers motivation would be for doing that sort of thing. Why tell someone that a problem is not a problem, rather than charge them (or Mazda) to fix the problem. :confuse:
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,582
    I find that that statement by the dealer representative not only surprising but disturbing.

    I agree; I leave my Mazdaspeed 3 in the garage for weeks at a time and when I finally have to drive it it has never failed to start.

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

  • dudehaududehau Posts: 3
    Got a 2009 Mazda Speed3 2 months ago and having issue with battery draining within 24hr period.

    It started with the "Engine" light indicator coming on. Took it to the dealer and they couldn't figure out the problem. They concluded that it was a glitch and reset the code. The next week, I left the car sitting no more than 2 days and the battery was drained. Took it in and they replaced the battery, concluding that the battery had a faulty cell.

    Again, I left the car sitting for about 1 1/2 day while going out of town. Once again the battery was drained and I had to jumpstarted. My conclusion is that it is not the battery and the dealer have no clues what the issue is. Something is obviously being left on and is draining the battery.

    I'm taking the car in again and will give an update soon.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,582
    My conclusion is that it is not the battery and the dealer have no clues what the issue is.

    Has the dealer measured the current draw when everything is shut down(key out, all doors closed)? It shouldn't be hard to isolate the problem; it takes a lot to drain a battery in 24-36 hours. Simply just start pulling fuses and relays until the current draw disappears. My son left the door open on my MS3 one night and 12 hours later it fired right up.

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

  • dudehaududehau Posts: 3
    I've taken the car to the Houston Jeff Haas dealer 3 or 4 times already. Each time they hook the battery up to some kind of machine to track any draw from it and each time they tell the me the same thing which is there is no draw they can detect. They can't find the source of the drain and so they conclude it's a bad battery. I'm on my third battery with a car that only have 3000 miles on it. They try to tell me that the new battery they put in my car didn't have enough time to charge itselft because I only drove the car for 45mins and let it sit for 2 days. Sounds like BS. A new battery should not drain in 2 days.

    I've been patient but after the third battery and the problem is still there, I have to escalate the issue. I'm no auto genius but I new from the start it was not the battery. I didn't want to be a difficult customer, so I went along with their BS diagnostics. They were very relunctant about giving me a loaner car too.

    I decided to take my car to the Clearlake Mazda dealer and give them a chance to resolve the issue. I explained the history of the problem and my frustration with Jeff Haas Mazda. I told them quit focusing on the battery as the culprit and put the focus elsewhere. Basically do something different then just replace my battery.

    The rep. from the Clearlake dealer was very understanding and accomodating to my needs. She took the car in and offer me a loaner without any hesitations. They let the car sit for 2 days and they confirmed that it would not start.

    Initially, they thought maybe it was because my doors was not shutting tightly because of the Thule roof rack I installed. They make sure the doors were shut tightly and let the car sit at the dealer for 2 more days. Again the car would not start.

    They finally narrow down the culprit to the junction box. It was explained to me that the Mazda 3 will go into a sleep mode after you shut off the engine for some set amount of time and my car was not doing that. They order and replace the junction box and let the car sit for 2 days. This time the car started. Problem solved. Thanks Phyllis and Clearlake Mazda.

    I'm glad I bought my car at the Clearlake Mazda dealer and not Jeff Haas.

    Peace,
  • HELP!!! second time this has happened. Dealer fixed it the first time. Maybe it's something I can do on my own. My digital readout of the instrument display (clock,temp,audio etc) has gone haywire. All I see are numbers continously looping. Does anyone know how to fix?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,582
    Now you know the difference between a true automotive technician and someone who just throws parts at the problem...

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

  • After 3 new batteries and a new electrical junction box, they figured the problem to be the radio. They sent a Mazda engineer out and found that the radio was coming on and drainning the battery. It took about six trips to the dealer for them to finally figure it out.
  • speed7speed7 Posts: 11
    I left my car in the garage for 3 weeks mainly cause I had some surgery and couldnt drive so I decided to start it and get it warmed up and it wouldnt start. The radio was flashing orange and the dash lights were going haywire too. I called Mazda and they said to get a boost cause the battery was bieng drained from the radio and other components. I found that explanation wierd. Why should this happen so soon after leaving the car off?
    I am going to follow up with the service manager again to find out why wont they test the electrical signals to see where this is really coming from and fix it! I can see this happening if you havent used your car for a month or two but not after 2 to 3 weeks? Obusurd.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    left my car in the garage for 3 weeks ... and it wouldnt start ... I can see this happening if you havent used your car for a month or two but not after 2 to 3 weeks?

    Actually, this may not be unrealistic depending on a few conditions. If your battery is older (e.g. more than a year) and you typically drive short distances (e.g. mainly city and not highway trips) and you have not driven the car for an extended period of time (e.g. three weeks), I can see the battery draining and going "haywire". A battery recharger might be a good idea to avoid this in the future.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,582
    My MS3 hasn't left the garage since 12/21/09, I've just assumed that I'll have to jump the battery when I finally have to drive it.

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

  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Maybe newer cars suck a lot more out of the battery when not operating? My son had a no-start problem with his 2001 Focus. He drove it on Dec 14 and it would not start on Dec 15. After several starting attempts, it was only cranking weakly so we charged it up and gave it one more try with no luck. Dec 23 got it to start in the garage and it idled badly for maybe 15-20 minutes. Over the next 3-1/2 weeks, until it was finally towed on Jan 18, he tried to start it several times and it never got going for more than maybe a minute or two. But over all this time of not just sitting in the cold WI winter weather, but also using batter power to crank the engine unsuccessfully many times, the battery never needed recharging.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    so we charged it up and gave it one more try with no luck .... tried to start it several times and it never got going for more than maybe a minute or two. But over all this time of not just sitting in the cold WI winter weather, but also using batter power to crank the engine unsuccessfully many times, the battery never needed recharging
    I'm not sure I understand, are you saying that the battery was charged up and failed or not? Also, how old is the battery? The bright side of the story is a failed battery is not as bad as a failed alternator (although one can lead to another).
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Yeah, I can see how that is confusing...

    Battery was fine, no idea how old it is as the car was bought used. The battery was recharged once because it had been run down from cranking the engine. What I meant where I said it failed to start was it cranked fine, but the engine did not start (the problem ended up being fuel pump and filter).

    So the battery was fully charged, the car ran for 15-20 minutes, the car then sat for nearly 4 weeks (Dec 23 - Jan 18) without running for more than perhaps a minute at any time and the battery had the additional drain of cranking the engine a number of times, yet the battery still seemed to have plenty of cranking power at the end of all of that...in the final attempt to start before calling for tow.

    Hope that is clearer :) .
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Hope that is clearer
    Yes!
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,582
    I needed to move my ZTR mower out of the garage so I was forced to start the MS3. Even though I hadn't touched the thing since 12/21/09 it fired right up. I let it idle for about five minutes, got the mower out, and pulled the heap back into the garage.

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

  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 151
    Anyone know if it's possible to do the "personal preference" settings yourself? (example, length of time dome light will stay on, etc.) I went for dealer setting yesterday, and got told my car can't do the "3 blink" turn signal option even though the leaflet and my owners manual say it can. Also, I asked for 1-touch-unlocks all doors (instead of 1 for drivers, 2 for all), and the car doesn't seem to do that even though my signed checklist said I wanted it and they didn't say they couldn't do it. There's a nagging doubt they just didn't read my list carefully...
  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 151
    and I also asked for "automatically lock when you walk far enough away from the car" (I have advanced stays-in-pocket key). This feature seems to work correctly, but it's taking a while to puzzle out how the car beeps at me now. There are many more single beeps when doors are opened now, but without flashers flashing. What's the exact interpretation of these new beeps? It's clear that single-beep-no-flashers is NOT locking doors.
  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 151
    after 10 days getting used to them, in drizzly northwest climate, I am not sure I understand or like them. behavior is very erratic in light rain, sometimes going way too long with no wipes, sometimes practically running continuously in exactly the same amount of spray. The +/- sensitivity rotating ring does not seem to make any difference, to me. What does "+" mean anyway, more wiping, or more waiting? Are there any steps to take to make performance more consistent, such as washing or polishing the windshield at the sensor? I don't have much experience with auto wipers on any other cars, except one 2-week period with a 1999 Peugeot 406 in the UK. Its auto wipers worked MUCH more consistently than my new MZ3. Advice or generalized rants welcome...
  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 151
    Success -- I tried a second dealer (University of Seattle) to set my 2010 MZ3 personalization features. The "one touch unlocks all doors" and "one push of signal level gives 3 blinks" both work perfectly now. I have no idea why this was difficult for Mazda of Everett WA back in February.
  • angel1955angel1955 Posts: 2
    Does anybody know what it takes to replace the battery cable on a 2005 Mazda 3, or find a the bttery cable diagram?
  • So I bought a used 08 Mazda3 in Dec 2010, and didn't have any problems with it until a couple of months ago. Randomly, my brake light will come on, the air conditioning stops being cold, the blue backlighting of the speedometer goes away as well as the orange backlighting for the radio, and the signal arrows will not come up or make the clicking sound inside (though I've found that they work outside).

    I took it to the dealership to check it out on Monday, and they tried to say it was due to a broken foglight (which was broken when I bought the car, although I didn't notice before driving off the lot). So, they disconnected the foglight, claiming everything would be ok, but as soon as I got on the highway, the brake light returned with its host of other accompanying problems. They claimed that the brakes, etc. were ok, but it's about to be July and air conditioning is pretty important, as well as knowing if the brake light is really coming on because my brakes are not functioning.

    Does anyone have any idea what could be going on with this? I honestly feel a little mistrusting of this Mazda shop now because they claimed it was such a simple fix....like, isn't there a computer you can hook up that tells you what is wrong? I would appreciate it if they didn't play "guess and check" with my multi-thousand dollar purchase, you know?
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,893
    Chasing down electrical gremlins can be downright frustrating, and sometimes it's surprising how one issue can cause electrical problems in some other area that seems completely unrelated.

    Seems like the obvious place to start checking is the power supply to the dash. No back light on the speedo, radio, and turn signal indicator on the dash not showing would make me think that the root of the problem is in that neighborhood.

    I'm not sure I'd mistrust the shop just yet. They tried something simple at first, which is better than starting at "complicated and expensive" and finding out later it could have been a simple fix.

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  • lindalee2lindalee2 Posts: 1
    I bought an 08 Mazda3 in Oct of 2010 and my car is now doing the same thing as yours. It started a month ago with the blue dash lights flickering on and off as well as the orange radio lights. I took it into the shop to have the computerized electrical system checked for $45 and they couldn't find anything wrong. They said it was probably the alternator and would cost between $850-$900 to put in a new one. The car is out of warranty. They weren't sure that was the problem but that's what they GUESSED.

    Now, a month later when I was leaving work at 5pm yesterday, my car did the same thing as yours. The AC was blowing hot air, the turn signals wouldn't work or make any noise, the brake warning light came on, the auto lock/unlock wouldn't work, the power windows wouldn't work, and the lights on warning sound didn't work when I turned off engine.

    The car is at the dealer's again today but I really don't think this is an alternator problem. They said the battery will recharge itself after several hours. But it sat still for 9 hours yesterday and wouldn't work at 5pm but then at 8pm last night, everything worked fine again as well as this morning.

    This is driving me nuts..no pun intended. Any ideas of what's going on?

    lindalee
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited July 2011
    I really don't think this is an alternator problem
    My understanding is that for electrical problems, if your battery is fine then the alternator is an obvious suspect; not the only suspect but an obvious one.
    took it into the shop ... They said it was probably the alternator ... cost between $850-$900
    Is this shop a Mazda dealership? If you don't trust this shop, you may want to have a diagnostic done at another shop. At minimum, another shop could confirm the cost to install a new alternator. I would be reluctant also to invest nearly $1K on a repair of which I am unsure.

    The car is out of warranty
    How long out of warranty? When in 2008 was the car built? It is unusual for a three year old car to require a new alternator. Was the car involved in an accident, flood or some other problem? If not, I'd speak to a Mazda dealership about this and then send a letter of concern/complaint to Mazda USA. My ten year old Mazda Protege still has its original alternator.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,582
    This isn't rocket science; the dealer needs to check the alternator output, load test the battery, and check for any excessive amperage draw when the car is totally shut down.
    How hard can that be?

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

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