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Mazda 3 Steering & Suspension Questions

Guys and gals, I was on my way back from my easter holiday and the steering wheel went really stiff and the power steering light went on. The owner's manual said to shut the car off and the light would go off. It actually did, but it went back on after a while. Do you guys have any idea what's going on? And how may I fix that problem. I live in Central America by the way, and drive a 2.3 Mazda 3.
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  • Ok, so this is our first year having our Mazda3 in the snow. It sucks. Don't know if it is the tires, or just the way the car handles in the winter. I would love to hear about others and their experiences with their 3 in the snow and ice. Thanks.
  • If you are using the stock tires, of course it sucks. You need snow tires. I have them on my Mazdaspeed3 and it goes about as well as my 4x4 Audi.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    I have stock tires on my M3 in minnesota and so far i havent had too many issues. My 3 is an 07 with the traction control and i think that helps alot. If its THAT bad in snow...get some snow tires and steel rims for it.
  • I have an '06 Mazda3. I put Nokian Hakkapelita RSIs on it this winter. I'm in Western Canada where the roads this year have been snowy, icy, slushy, just crap. The RSIs are supposed to be among the best winter tires you can get. But I've been sliding a little. Sometimes the car feels like it's floating. I get some scary torque steer too. Maybe the steering just needs a tune-up. The tire guy said his mom has the same car with the same tires and she is chugging along just fine. Sometimes I find the car is just too sensitive to steering input. Or maybe I'm being too cautious and not fully trusting it because I had a bad crash with a rental car last year, totalled it after losing control on black ice. I drove a Subaru Forester a week ago on the same crappy roads and I felt skittish with it too. So not sure if it's me or the car.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    maybe I'm being too cautious and not fully trusting it because I had a bad crash with a rental car last year, totalled it after losing control on black ice. I drove a Subaru Forester a week ago on the same crappy roads and I felt skittish with it too. So not sure if it's me or the car

    Give yourself time. If the tires/car still feel unsafe have someone take a look at it. I still cringe a bit when I go through the intersection where my previous car was struck.
  • Guys and gals, I was on my way back from my easter holiday and the steering wheel went really stiff and the power steering light went on. The owner's manual said to shut the car off and the light would go off. It actually did, but it went back on after a while. Do you guys have any idea what's going on? And how may I fix that problem. I live in Central America by the way, and drive a 2.3 Mazda 3.
  • stallionrestallionre Posts: 205
    Sounds like to me either two things, the pump is low on fluid or the pump is not working correctly. Is it still under warranty? I believe the pump is electronic, since this car is mostly electronic and hydraulic pumps. If the pump is belt driven, then maybe the belt is too lose and the pump is not working.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,947
    I'm going to rename this discussion to make it our main Mazda discussion for steering/suspension issues.

    This will be the spot to discuss any Mazda 3 steering/suspension problems or questions.

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  • stallionrestallionre Posts: 205
    Thanks, that sounds great. I would how Mazda owners have this issue. My issue is about the burning smell from the rear brakes after I drove for 8 miles. The car has 20 miles on it. Is this normal? :cry:
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,947
    What you probably are smelling is the protective coating burning off the new exhaust system. If the burning smell was coming from the rear brakes I would think you would have mentioned the feeling of the car not wanting to accelerate or dragging because the rear brakes are engaged. (Almost like you have the emergency brake on) And if your rear brakes WERE on, you should also feel some heat near the rear wheels because brakes dragging like that would get VERY hot fairly quickly.

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  • stallionrestallionre Posts: 205
    Thanks pd_flyer. Should I not worry about it then? What I smell was at the rear end of the vehicle. I can not pin point the exact location, however it smelt like the brakes, but maybe that is because it is close to the exhaust system at the rear. It smelt like plastic like you said. The smell was all at the rear end. I felt no drag at all while driving. Everything was normal. I did hear a noise at the rear when I stepped onto the brakes, but maybe because it is too new yet. What do you think? Have your heard of any of this before? Thanks for your help. :)
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Check your battery as well. The Mazda3 uses a hydro-electric motor. If you have a low battery, it does effect your power steering.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    good idea. I was going to suggest the samething.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,947
    If you felt no drag, I'd say it's the protective coating buring off the exhaust. Should all be gone after a day or two of driving. And not being able to pinpoint the location, but smelling it all at the rear end fits the profile.

    If it's still there or getting worse after like 5 days you might want to have your dealer take a look, but I'd bet it will fade away shortly.

    You're still getting used to the car and ANY noises it makes are going to seem strange at first. I just bought a new car in Feb, had the "new exhaust" smell and have learned most of the noises that it makes that are different from my past vehicles.

    Hope you're enjoying your new ride!

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  • stallionrestallionre Posts: 205
    Thanks. Awesome to know. You're the best!!! I was worried. I don't want a lemon like people who got one before.
  • coosamtncoosamtn Posts: 47
    Could be your rear tires are out of alignment.
  • stallionrestallionre Posts: 205
    I have a question about tires as you mention that. Did you notice that when you look at the rear tires from the back of the vehicle say about 20 feet away, do you notice that the tires are not really straight. they can of toe in at the top, is this normal? Mine is like this.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Yes, all vehicles do that.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    The burning smell is cosmoline. It is a petroleum product that is coating the exhaust system. Takes a few days to burn off. Smells nasty. Your car is working fine. No need to worry.
  • stallionrestallionre Posts: 205
    Awesome thanks. I thought that is was the brakes!! No need to worry now. :)
  • Stallionre,
    My mechanic says the pump was flooded with water. I have a problem. Here, in Honduras the only Mazda 3 2.3 are brought from the states as was mine. The dealership only brings 2.0 so the dealership wont go near it. What can I do? Where can i find Mazda 3 2.3 pumps on the internet? Any suggestions?
    Thanks in advance
  • stallionrestallionre Posts: 205
    Sagrarioluque7, That pump is an electric motor type, YIKES. They are hard to find. I was searching online for one for you and found one on ebay. This is for a 2006 Mazda 3. I don't know of anywhere else besides the dealer. Did you call the dealership where you bought the car from? I am out of suggestions sorry.

    How did you pump get flooded with water? :sick:
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    The steering pump is the same on both 2.0 and 2.3. A Mazda dealer down there should work on it, however, it will not be covered under warranty because it was purchased in the US.
  • stallionrestallionre Posts: 205
    I don't think that they have a Mazda dealer there. Maybe I am wrong. If so, then why did he buy the car in the USA? :confuse:
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    Find a Ford dealer. Im sure they can get all the inside scoop on Mazda parts and things since Ford owns Mazda.
  • stallionrestallionre Posts: 205
    I don't think Ford owns Mazda. Ford own's 33% of Mazda in total stock, but that is it. I say this because it was in another forum about this discussion, even this forum talked about it. Many people said that Ford does not own Mazda. Who knows?

    This is the statement that this forum made in March, 2007:

    "Does anyone feel that there is any difference, say an improvement or a degradation in any way with Mazda, whether it's customer service, management style or reliability because Ford owns Mazda?"

    Before we dive too far out on this topic, is everyone aware that Ford does NOT own Mazda?

    Ford owns a controlling stake (about 33%) of Mazda; that is a bit different from actually OWNING Mazda.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    Just thinking that if anyone could get the part they could.
  • stallionrestallionre Posts: 205
    That would be nice and is a great concept. I wonder if the dealers are listening. They could actually learn some thing from us. ;) :P
  • If anyone got the speed 3 suspension upgrades let me know what you think, i.e. handling improvements, rough ride, etc. :confuse:
  • trosetrose Posts: 3
    I bought my used 3 in the spring and found that the handling in the rain was awful. I was hydroplaning everywhere. I put 2 new tires on a few weeks ago and it rained - I was still all over the road. Is this something any of you have experienced? I live in Ohio so I'm afraid of the winter snow coming up!
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