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Mazda3 Maintenance & Repair

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  • Ive had to replace my driver side wiper arm twice and they are pricey! Everything with my Mazda seems to have to come from the dealership which sucks. My brother was able to tighten the arm once and that helped for a while.
  • Sounds like it just needs a tune up (spark plugs and plug wires), no big deal. You've already done the plugs, you should also replace the spark plug wires. Also ask your brother if he gapped the spark plugs, that's also something to check if you are still having a random misfire (a misfire is the same as what you described as "lost power then recovered and repeat" & "on the highway it jerked a little bit").
  • ecoganecogan Posts: 26
    I am new to the Mazda world, and just bought my first Mazda3 (2009 Grand Touring HB). Noticed that the owner's manual recommends oil changes every 7,500 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first. Because of the long intervals, I suspect synthetic will be used. But I am not 100% on that, since I got mixed messages from 2 salesmen.

    I know lots has been written about synthetic v. conventional, but I am curious to see what most new (2009) owners are doing in terms of type of oil. Parallel to the regular 36K / 3 yr bumper-to-bumper, I have an extended (came with the purchase) warranty of 100K miles or 8 years, that requires all servicing be done at the dealer or the warranty is voided.

    I want to hold on to the car for a long time. Love the looks and the way it rides. What oil type is everyone using?

    Thank you for your feedback/input.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I bought a 2009 Mazda3 sedan a little over two months ago and I'll be hitting 7,500 miles in the next two or three weeks. After spending some time on the bobistheoilguy.com web site, it seems that 7,500 miles is very doable on the factory oil (which is a 5W-20 conventional by the way). That said, my plan is to switch to Mobil 1 0W-20 at the first oil change and use that every 7,500 miles, at least through the warranty period. In addition, I will send in an oil sample from each of the first three or four oil changes for Used Oil Analysis (UOA), just to make sure all is well with the oil selection and the engine break-in.

    A brief note on extended warranties... The last one that I bought was on a car I purchased in October of 1988, and when all was said and done, even after 100,000 miles I hadn't made back even half of the initial cost of the warranty. Said another way, that was the first and last extended warranty I've ever bought. Since 1993 my wife and I have bought eight new cars and driven them an average of about 100,000 miles per (the high was 170,000 and the low was 30,000 due to the fact that I bought a sports car one day before we found out we were expecting our first child, and car seats and that car didn't mix).

    Had I purchased the extended warranties that were offered for those eight cars I would have spent something over $16,000 plus the various deductibles (typically $100 per visit). Against that I've had to pay about $5,500 in unscheduled maintenance (including one transmission), so on the surface, I'm over $10,000 ahead in sixteen years. But wait, there's more! The transmission that I mentioned failed at 109,000 on that vehicle, some 9,000 miles after the extended warranty would have expired, and as such, it would not have been covered. Said another way, by my math, I'm some $14,000 ahead of where I would have been had I bought the extended warranties.

    Granted, on any one car an extended warranty might well pay off, however, over the driving/car ownership lifetime of you, me, and virtually everybody else, the bet is that "self-insuring" will be way-way less expensive than buying extended warranties.

    Long story short, my advice to you would be to ask for your money back on that warranty and then invest it in a CD or something. Should you be faced with an extraordinary maintenance item at some point after the standard warranty expires, simply use the money that you've saved to pay for the repair.

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • First off they don't drop the pan and change the filter anymore, most dealers and shops will use a flush machine that will push fluid through the entire transmission under pressure, and in doing so remove the old fluid and leave new in. If you inspect your fluid every 60K miles (or watch the old fluid flush out versus what is goingin) it will not look the same, the old fluid is dirty, used, and broken down.

    Granted you could run a car for a long while and never change it and it will run, will it run top notch? I seriously doubt it. I also agree that a 30K change is a bit overkill, 60K should be just fine. However I tend to overkill many things I do on my cars, then again my cars last 250K miles plus. To each his own I suppose, if you never want to change your tranny fluid then good luck. All fluid breaks down after continued heat, friction, and pressure. Never changing it... I for one think that is the bad idea.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "First off they don't drop the pan and change the filter anymore, most dealers and shops will use a flush machine that will push fluid through the entire transmission under pressure, and in doing so remove the old fluid and leave new in."

    Granted that a number of dealerships use the transmission flush scam to increase their profits, however, in the grand scheme of things, dealerships that screw their customers in this manner are still no where near a majority much less "most dealerships and shops".

    "Granted you could run a car for a long while and never change it and it will run, will it run top notch? I seriously doubt it."

    Do you have any scientific data to back that up or are you just guessing?

    "If you inspect your fluid every 60K miles (or watch the old fluid flush out versus what is goingin) it will not look the same, the old fluid is dirty, used, and broken down."

    Back in the days of conventional oil based transmission fluid this was true; however, the color of modern synthetic oil based transmission fluid is a very poor indicator of the fluid's fitness to continue serving the needs of your transmission.

    "I also agree that a 30K change is a bit overkill, 60K should be just fine. However I tend to overkill many things I do on my cars, then again my cars last 250K miles plus. To each his own I suppose, if you never want to change your tranny fluid then good luck. All fluid breaks down after continued heat, friction, and pressure. Never changing it... I for one think that is the bad idea."

    Believe it or not, like it or not, synthetic transmission fluid has been shown time and time again to be very much up to the task of lasting the life of the vehicle (in applications where a "lifetime fill" has been installed at the factory). At this point we only have one vehicle with an automatic transmission, and yes, it came from the factory with a "lifetime fill" of tranny fluid. It had been my intention to run that vehicle until it dropped without ever changing the fluid or the filter, however, at about the 112,000 mile mark, the pan gasket started slowly weeping out fluid, forcing me to do a pan drop (and filter change while I was at it), and a top-off of fluid.

    Just for kicks and giggles, I sent off a sample of the factory ATF to Blackstone labs for a UOA, and guess what; the report came back showing that the ATF was still well within the spec range for new fluid.

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • ecoganecogan Posts: 26
    Shipo - I fully agree with you on extended warranties. This one was "free" but the hook is that I have to do all service at the dealer. I am very skeptical of dealers, and think that they will try to gouge you at every opportunity. In fact, just today I called the service dept. and asked about the 7,500 miles or 6 months oil change intervals. (Those are free as part of a "Customer Care Program".) The service manager suggested that I still change the oil (regular oil) every 3K or 3 months, because of the "stop and go that we do around here." (That one, of course, is on me...) The skeptic in me kicked in. What do you think? Think I need it? My wife and I are gentle drivers, and will probably do about 15k miles per year, and about 50/50 highway/city.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    EGC
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The problem with any predetermined Oil Change Intervals (OCIs), such as 7,500 miles per the engineers that designed our cars, or the lucrative 3,000 mile intervals that your dealership and Jiffy Boob suggest, is that YOUR driving environment may or may not call for either of those intervals. To eliminate any guess work I typically send my oil out for analysis a few times early in a car's life, and every year or two thereafter.

    FWIW, my last two cars came with a factory recommended 15,000 mile OCI, however, both cars also came with Oil Life Monitors (OLMs) that measured the amount of fuel consumed since the last reset, and were very accurate at determining when the oil should be changed (confirmed by UOAs), and as such, oil changes were performed in as few as 12,500 miles, and after as many as 18,000 miles. That said, the last two cars that we bought for my wife came with 7,500 and 6,000 mile OCI recommendations respectively, and on conventional oil they were just about right. That said, the UOA results showed that when both vehicles were run on Mobil 1 0W-40, an OCI of ~12,000 miles was optimal. As I was only having UOAs run every two years, I targeted 10,000 miles for the oil changes on both vehicles, just to leave a reasonable margin of error.

    If you want to take advantage of such services, here is a link to the company that I use: http://www.blackstone-labs.com/

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • ecoganecogan Posts: 26
    Thanks, Shipo! Great information. I will take a look at it, and arrange for the testing. My goal is to keep the car as long as possible, and at the same time not be gouged by the dealer/other facilities.

    Be well,
    ecogan
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,673
    FWIW, I've been running Mobil 1 5W-30 with a 5000 mile OCI in my MS3 and the UOAs indicate that it could easily go another one or two thousand miles. I'd bet that the NA 2.3 could run an OCI of 7500-10000 miles. In any case, the reason I change the oil at 5000 miles is because the dealer gave me free 5000 mile changes for as long as I own the car(which hopefully won't be much longer, but I digress). All I have to do is provide the Mobil 1.

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

  • ecoganecogan Posts: 26
    Thanks - good chatting with you. Excellent info.

    EGC
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    then again my cars last 250K miles plus

    I'd have to keep a car about 33 years to get that many miles on it, so in my case I am pretty sure no matter how often I were to change transmission fluid, I'd not get to 250K mi. :)
  • You sent off a sample to the lab for analysis, and they were saying my work is overkill? As far as my statements I am speaking from experience, time in the forums, and friends/mechanics. This thread is helpful but I am not going to perform research to satiate your obvious desire to always be right about everything, we all love a know it all :) . A question was posted, and many experienced answers and “best guesses” were posted in response which is the nature of informal online forums. If scientific proof is part of your criteria to validate a statement made here, then the burden of proof is on you, as it was your unsolicited response that initiated this little fracas. I am sure the other users on this forum would rather not click through any further pointless posturing, on this site if information is useful you take it, if not you leave it.

    Good Day Sir
  • Ha, yes I suppose that is true for many. I put on 20K miles in a year easy :) .
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I see, so you make an unsubstantiated (and technically incorrect) response to a question, and then when someone challenges your statements, you get ticked off and attack.

    MazdaZoom = zero credibility
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,913
    Let's back off making this about each other and stick to the cars please. Thanks

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,673
    I'm hurt; I thought I was "Mr. Know-It-All"
    :cry:

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

  • Ha! yes yes, I prostrate myself before you and beg forgiveness :).
  • mazdrvrmazdrvr Posts: 103
    Is the 30,000 mi maintenance service really necessary? If you skip the service, what do you do for maintenance instead? Honestly, i'm trying to hopefully save $ (dealership charges $365). I do know besides oil change, tire rotation the transmission fluid and air filter should be changed. Does the service include changing the cabin air filter? (I could not find the list of services online)
  • ecoganecogan Posts: 26
    Mazdrvr - I would not skip the 30K mile service. My brother-in-law has owned Mazdas for the past 20 years, and is convinced that Mazda has a very "honest" service schedule and does not try to sell unnecessary services. If your car has the usual 36K mile warranty, you definitely want to do the service, so as to not void the warranty. One thing you may want to do, is consult a local trusted auto place (I know, they are tough to find sometimes...) and see what they would charge for you for that service.

    Although dealers can be more expensive than local chain-type auto places, it may be worth the extra bucks to make sure a Mazda-certified tech worked on the car.

    Good luck.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,673
    I'd get the 30K service; just make sure that the dealer doesn't perform any more work than the Mazda schedule calls for.

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

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,261
    You have to do it but you don't have to do it at the dealer, as long as you have a detailed repair order stating what was done. If you skip it entirely, that gives Mazda an excellent loophole to deny you warranty coverage on any item included in the 30K service.

    You can also discuss with the dealer which items on the 30K list are "mandatory" and which are in fact "optional".

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  • mazdrvrmazdrvr Posts: 103
    Thank you very much to all who replied!
  • ylzylz Posts: 45
    Hello all. Just purchased a 2009 Mazda 3 GT Hatch this week and it's a great car. But I did notice that the transmission seems to be guessing as to which gear it should be in. I mean there are times when I'm at 30 miles an hour and it's at 4th or 5th gear already. That's weird isn't it? Should I take it back to the dealer? I'm hoping that this is because the car is still new (not even 200 miles on it yet) and it will figure it out over the course of time. And also, I noticed that you feel every bump on the road with my car. I knew that the suspension was stiff but didn't realize you would feel EVERYTHING. Again, I'm hoping that this is because it's new and will smooth out later. Let me know what you guys think. Thanks.
  • ecoganecogan Posts: 26
    I'd call the manufacturer first and see if that is normal.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,673
    That's a problem with many modern slushboxes; they are calibrated to upshift as early as possible in order to generate good fuel economy numbers. In your case it is probably normal. As for the ride, I have a Mazdaspeed 3 which is fitted with a somewhat stiffer suspension than a Mazda 3 and I don't find it harsh at all. I will note that I prefer a car that lets me know what the steering and suspension are doing. Maybe I'll want a rolling marshmallow when I turn 80, but at the ripe old age of 52 I want a car that is entertaining to drive.

    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
    In my mazda6, it'll upshift early under light acceleration, but under hard acceleration it won't shift until redline. I see this variation as an advantage, not a problem...it could stand to be a little less "aggresive" on the early upshifts, though.
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 502
    Why not use the "manu-matic" mode if you don't like the automatic's performance?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,673
    Why not use the "manu-matic" mode if you don't like the automatic's performance?

    My Mazdaheap 3 isn't a slushbox; I was simply pointing out how modern automatics often perform.

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

  • any updates on the new software and have you found out of what glitches the computer to send the engine light on?
    Mazda gave me the same story. The engine light appears and I take it in, they say it's the thermostat. But the car rides fine.
    They have ordered me the thermostat and it cost 75 for the part and 75 for labor.
    Then I read your forum and after you've replaced it the engine light re appears!
    If you have any new info to pass on of this problem.
    Pls. inform, that would be great
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