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Mazda3 Lighting & Electrical Questions



  • I've had some experience - a lot, actually - with faulty Mazda 3 electrical systems.

    I have a 2008 (and a half) Mazda 3 "S" Sport hatch (some Mazda sites call it an "RS"). I currently have about 39K miles on the car - I bought it new in May of 2008. I live in the Southern California desert area (Palm Springs) and have been having intermittent electrical issues since 2009.

    First time, it happened in a parking lot, idling, AC on (pumping as much as the semi-anemic system could provide) during a really hot (over 110 degrees) day. The power steering failed. Resting and restarting the car a few hours later, no problems. It happened once again that summer.

    Forward to summer, 2010. Having electrical issues - again - and trying to figure out how to get to Mazda and get it worked on - heard about the upcoming (at the time) power steering recall. Waited to do that - as that's what I figured was causing the electrical issues; I thought the power steering system was overheating and faulting the electrical system.

    Welcome to summer 2011 - still having issues. Taken to the local dealership. First time - they replaced the alternator. A few weeks later, same issues, the replaced the alternator AGAIN. Another few weeks, and the same issues. This time, they replaced the power control module (PCM). Again, a few weeks later (yes, this it attempt #4), Mazda corporate service got involved and they found a potentially shorting wiring harness and the connector to the alternator from the PCM. I'll pick the car up this next week. :confuse:

    Hopefully, there will be no more issues with the electrical. Thank goodness for the MEPP Total Care warranty I bought when the car was new...! Not a cent out of My pocket. :shades:
  • 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?

    See My reply in this thread - it can be pretty damn hard! :sick:
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 7,331
    edited October 2011
    it can be pretty damn hard!

    Agreed- if the service department is totally incompetent. They were doing what I refer to as "flailing"- throwing parts at the problem in the hope that something might work.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport 1975 2002A 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 1999 Wrangler 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2009 328i Son's: 2004 X3 2.5

  • My fiancee's car has had its fourth no-start in a year. Here is the outline of what has happened (posted in another thread that is unrelated to this). My fiancee does not drive much, however, it does get driven 2-3 times per week, at least one of which is a significant jaunt.

    First time: December 2010 - car no starts after having sat for a day without being driven, in 3 degree weather. Car jumps fine, dealer says just to drive it, its probably the weather. Fine.

    Second time: March 2011 - Car no starts again, no real explanation as to why. Dealer says bad battery, we buy a new battery, all seems fine.

    Third time: July 2011 - car no starts AGAIN, throws a check engine light. Dealer says it has a negative ground wire cable, and replaces it under warranty.

    Fourth time: October 2011 - car no starts after having been driven approximately 80 miles the day before without issue. Dealer says car is fine, battery is fine. They say the battery was completely dead and would have needed far more juice than a simple jump would have provided. They further tested the alternator, and said it was fine, as well as doing a parasitic load check which came back normal.

    I don't buy it. I am thinking about filing a grievance with Mazda corporate, because this is not normal at all for a brand new battery.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited October 2011
    Based on your description, except for the fourth case, I don't find the problems unusual or their resolution unreasonable.

    In the fourth case, was the battery "fine" or "completely dead"?
    Fourth time: October 2011 - car no starts after having been driven approximately 80 miles the day before without issue. Dealer says car is fine, battery is fine. They say the battery was completely dead and would have needed far more juice than a simple jump would have provided. They further tested the alternator, and said it was fine, as well as doing a parasitic load check which came back normal.

    Finally, have you added any audio or electronic equipment to the car (e.g. additional speakers, remote starter, GPS)?
  • They said the battery itself was fine, just run down to completely dead (which happened in a period of 48 hours somehow following a 70 mile drive).

    No extra electronics of any kind.
  • Simular issue with my 2003 Mazda 3.

    I noticed that when I lock my doors with my remote and the lights don't flash the car won't start the next day due to a dead battery.

    Root Cause : Trunk switch issue. For some reason the light stays on in the trunk and drains the battery.

    So try to notice if the lights blink when you lock the doors with the remote. If they do not drop a rear seat and look inside the trunk to see if the light is on.

    The light switch is located in the trunk lock mechanism.
  • Okay so I have looked everywhere and not found any sort of solution or fix for my current problem.

    I have a 2008 Mazdaspeed 3, and currently I have been experiencing some on and off problems with my left side turn signals.

    Week 1: Left side markers do not light up when locking / unlocking car, then when driving and turn on the left blinker I get 1 quick dash light and click however the blinker never lights up.

    Week 2: No problems everything is normal

    Week 3: Same as Week 1, left side does not work (Checked all bulbs and fuses none have problems) Additionally if I used the hazard lights only the right side lights up on the dash and only right side blinks. Normal clicking noise heard during hazards and right blinker.

    Week 4: New issue, no turn signal lights on dash for either left or right and no clicking (tic-toc)noise heard when blinker blinks. The right side blinker works when used however no notification on dash nor any noise. Left side now is completly dead, no noise or lights.

    Week 5: Driving to work started with nothing working (just as Week 4). When I arrived at work right blinker works as normal including noise and dash lights, left blinker completely dead.

    I am so lost as I believed it was a relay or flasher unit however everything I have read states the car does not have either of those rather the ECU controls the blinker and the noise. I am really hoping it is not the computer as this would be a very expensive repair at a very hard time (Just informed my job will be elimated due to downsizing in March.)

    Any thoughts, suggestions, or insight on this problem will be great as I have so much on my plate at the moment hard to try and imagine everything.
  • I will check this out!

  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    so I have looked everywhere
    Could you be specific? For example, have you checked the fuses?

    p.s. has your car been in an incident recently? I mention this only because in a former vehicle, someone bumped the front which affected the lighting.
  • Car died again, but dealer is unable to reproduce the problem and says the car is perfectly fine.

    At a complete loss as to what to do here.
  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 162
    I apologize that this sounds so snarky -- but you have a clear-cut case of "Find Another Dealer" and/or "Insist they keep the car until the problem manifests itself to them too". You might ask around, which is the smartest dealer in your area. I should too, actually; I've been underwhelmed at the Seattle-area dealers so far. Luckily my 2 Mazdas have no issues right now.
  • 28firefighter28firefighter Posts: 661
    edited December 2011
    It has been to two other dealers since I posted. No resolution - they recognize that there is a probable issue, but will not throw parts at it unless they have a clear issue to throw them at. So far all we have is an electrical gremlin that will not reproduce itself consistently.

    I have no doubt that bringing the car home tonight (which I am) it will be fine, but that 3 weeks from now I'll go out to start it and it'll be dead with no apparent reasoning.

    The problem with leaving it with them is that we do need a second car, and they will not give us a loaner car because to them, there is nothing apparently wrong. Right now, the problem manifests itself once every month to two months - I can't and won't leave a car with them for a month or two until a problem shows itself. Not to mention, I shouldn't have to.
  • So I guess the issue is not with the trunk light staying on ?
  • Not that I can tell. Seems to be turning off properly.
  • Put my mazda 3 in garage three nights ago, tried to start it in AM and nothing. It has not been in shop since then and they are pulling pieces one at a time. Whole thing appears to be on one fuse and they have no idea what is causing drain.
  • Consider yourself lucky they they have been able to pinpoint a fuse. Ours has done this 4 times in a year, and they can't trace it to anything.
  • Could you be specific? For example, have you checked the fuses?
    I have checked every fuse (both under the hood and in the passanger footwell) Seriously I checked every fuse to make sure they were all good. I also tried every connector under the hood to see if there was a loose wire and nothing helped. I am still without my entire left side blinkers. (Now I will say it is a safety concern, and wish I could find the issue!)

    -No the car has not been in any accident, nor hit anywhere.
  • dj_floresdj_flores Posts: 1
    edited January 2012
    We recently purchased a brand new 2011 Mazda3 hatchback from a dealer back in July. The car is only driven on weekends as we use mass transit to commute to work. In November, the traction control and power steering failure light came on after turning the car on and remained on through several restarts. Upon taking to the dealer that sold us the vehicle, it was determined to be caused by a faulty steering sensor. Replacing this sensor resolved the issue until January of this year.

    The lights returned, and upon further investigation, it was determine that the issue was due to interference from the headlight switch. While all under warranty at this point, our concern is the level of work needed to make the repair. The dealer stated the entire dash is to be removed and have the wiring re-routed to correct the issue.

    Has anyone experienced a similar issue? The vehicle only has about 5,000 miles at this point. Our biggest concern is that by re-routing the wiring in the dash, other potential issues could arise, even after our standard warranty expries. Any recommendations on what we should discuss with the sales and service department once the repair is completed?

    All help is appreciated!!
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    If the work is being done by a Mazda dealership I would not worry too much. Just make sure to keep the documentation in case something untoward occurs.
  • stackman1stackman1 Posts: 54
    My niece's Mazda 3 hatchback couple of years old (sorry don't know actually). Is sitting too much and while we try to drive it - we don't do it enough apparently. Battery goes dead. Normally we can jump it but couldn't get it going over the weekend. She has been away since December. I checked the voltage on the battery and it was show ~9.3V after letting the battery get charged for about 20 minutes from my subaru and it its battery.

    Here are my questions:
    1. How bad is 9.3?
    2. To just make sure it is only the battery - is there any reason I couldn't (for the sake of the test) - pull my battery out and attached it to hers - just to see if it turns over?

    Thanks All
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