Mazda MPV: Problems & Solutions

brajabraja Member Posts: 25
edited March 2014 in Mazda

I've been reading the MPV III and MPV IV lists,
and so far, there hasn't been any discussion of
problems people have observed in their vans.

I'm a 2000 MPV owner for about a couple of weeks
and I would like to ask others to share their
experiences on specific problems they are
observing with their 2000 MPV.

To start off, I would like to ask if anyone
has noticed the following:

1. Wind noise, on the excessive side. This
is very apparent in my MPV, especially if you
drive it after riding in a Siena or Venture.

2. I have a rattle on the driver's side, which
I believe is coming from the sliding door. Haven't
had it looked by the dealer yet.

3. The vent blows little of no air
to the face on the face/leg setting. Is this
something normal in an MPv? The leg heating
is also not so great in this setting.

4. The gear shifts rapidly from 2nd to 3rd.,
i.e., it doesn't stay very long in 2nd. This
shift is sometimes very jerky. Has anyone
noticed this?


  • blondemom1blondemom1 Member Posts: 90
    Although there has not been many major problems talked about with this van, you will find some minor ones similar to the ones you describe over in the MPV Tailgate Tales conference. The MPV sites you mention are more for things like buying questions, rebates and such, while the Tailgate site focuses more on the actual ownership experience. There has been reports of wind noise, but I only remember this being in conjunction with open moonroofs, and possibly roof racks.

    When I first got my van, the dealer told me how to drive it until it broke in. I kinda dismissed it since I figured in 2000 cars were too advanced to really require a break in. Well, for the first 800 miles or so, the van did shift roughly, and the engine did not seem to real smooth. I was a little concerned. But, after those early miles, the van smoothed out and has driven great since. You also have to sort of "baby" the gas pedal more so than in other vehicles. You really need to get used to driving this van, but it is worth it.

    I now have 9037 miles on my van, and it is driving really great. My gas mileage is even up to 20mpg around town. I don't know how this happened but I'll take it.
  • sc8sc8 Member Posts: 5
    I have a new MPV DX in Sand Mica. Here are my problems:

    1)Everybody stares at us when we roll down the side windows; no other van has this feature.

    2)From a distance my MPV looks like a Mercedes SUV. Darn.

    3)Big van owners get jealous because I can fit into parking spots that other vans can't. Plus I can back up and actually see where I'm going.

    4)I got pulled over by a cop for travelling 110 mph. The van is so darn quiet, I didn't realize. He let me off when I showed him that I just purchased the MPV and was unfamiliar with its power.

    5)My family wants to go driving all the time.

    I apologize for the cheekiness, but those are my problems so far.
  • blondemom1blondemom1 Member Posts: 90
    LOL!!! That sums up most of the problems reported so far.

    Seriously though, there have been reports of the van leaning a half inch to an inch to one side, the dash is painted (as is Ody and others) and the paint will scratch off, some van owners have reported the van pulling slightly one way or the other, and.... I can't at this moment think of others, although I'm sure I'm forgetting something. All in all, the problems reported so far have been very minor.
  • jarednathanjarednathan Member Posts: 1
    I had to bring my new ES MPV into the shop at 643 miles because the engine light was flashing. The cause: a cut in a spark plug wire. This is the second MPV my dealer has seen with the same problem so surely there will be others. The bad part was that they had to order the replacement wires because no one has them locally. They replaced all of mine just in case.
  • pd10pd10 Member Posts: 5
    I'm one of the folks with the 1/2 in. "lean" on the front drivers side of their '00MPV.
    I DO NOT consider it a PROBLEM though!
    (Only thought I'd mention it since the subject was posted here.) The "lean" has absolutely no effect on the handling or performance of my van. My MPV tracks perfectly straight and handles like a dream! I know some owners find the lean to be an annoyance but I figure it's just 1/2 inch less effort for me to get inside my van! :)

    The only REAL problem (albeit, minor) was glazing that developed on one of the brake pads recently.
    (98% of my driving is stop & go city and I've been doing an extreme amount of it the last 2 wks.)
    I must add that my Mazda dealership's Customer Service concerning this matter was superb! The Service Dept. mgr., (who, it turned out, lived only a couple of miles from me) drove my van to work, made the repair @ no charge, washed the van and returned it to me at the end of the day!

    I've been reading the MPV boards for 6 months now and I, too, can recall only MINOR problems such as those mentioned above. It seems to me, that many of the folks who complain about jerky shifting just haven't quite gotten the hang of "babying" the gas pedal yet. My husband doesn't drive the MPV often and when he does it's rough going until he hits 3rd gear because he has a tendency to stomp the pedal for power like he's accustomed to doing in his SUV.
    The more you drive the MPV- the smoother the ride!
  • bill124bill124 Member Posts: 246
    This weekend I noticed a very slow drip coming from my moonroof during a heavy rain. Not enough to qualify as a leak but instead just a slow drip coming from the passenger's side toward the rear of the moonroof. I wouldn't have even noticed it but we were driving around in a very heavy rainstorm and had the visor open. I was able to recreate the drip with a hose and a lot of water. I would encourage those of you with a moonroof to check it with a hose. If you are like me, you probably drive during a rain with the visor closed, which would mean you wouldn't have noticed it. I also never noticed it when I washed the car but since I was looking for it, I found it. Van made 8/99, picked up 2/00.
  • jbeck2jbeck2 Member Posts: 2
    Does anyone else get poor fuel economy? I get 14/15 miles to the gallon in town. I've had it to the dealer twice but he says there is nothing wrong. I don't race it, don't tow , no hills , and usually carry just two people. I have 3800 miles on it.
  • bobcat05bobcat05 Member Posts: 1
    Our gas mileage on our last tank of gas (3rd tankful) was about 14.5. We drove about 95% city during that tankfull.
  • blondemom1blondemom1 Member Posts: 90
    This exact topic is being discussed right now over in Tailgate Tales. Scroll back a bit so you can catch the beginning.
  • blondemom1blondemom1 Member Posts: 90
    I'm really worried about all the serious problems we seem to be having..... :)
  • julyarjulyar Member Posts: 35
    1. I miss the power door lock on the passenger side that can lock all doors.

    2. Power door locks don't lock open sliding doors, so you have to wait until both sliding doors are closed before you can lock up, or lock the sliding door manually. This works the same regardless of using the remote, or the driver's side lock button.

    3. About the only thing that the drawer under the passenger side is good for is a couple of maps. (Although I found a use for it this morning when I removed the ashtray and put it in the drawer!!)

    4. I still haven't gotten used to the wiper setup (neither has my wife who drives it all the time). I have to think about whether I am using the front or the back or twist or move up and down. I think they tried to do a little too much with one lever. My wife keeping squirting the back window trying to turn on the rear wipers.

    5. It seems like (I need to observe a little more) that when the sunroof is partially open, you can not move the interior cover to coverup the closed part of the glass. I probably did not describe it well, but if you want the sun roof to be half-open and the sun is shining on you through the glass on the closed half, you can not move the cover over to get out of the sun.

    As for other problems reported. There is no pulling to one side. No unnecessary downshifting, except maybe when you are on a hilly road going at relatively low speeds 40-50 in overdrive and push it a little (then again this is not unnecessary). Tranny is very smooth. Passing speed is great.

    OOOPs. Wait a minute, this is supposed to be a problems forum. Enough for now.
  • brajabraja Member Posts: 25
    got 22 mpg in mixed driving, first tank of gas
  • meerameera Member Posts: 50
    I posted this on the tailgate tales too, didn't realize this forum was here. First let me say, I LOVE MY VAN. I also consistantly get 20+ MPG. This is mostly just <10 mile stop and go trips around town with maybe one drive on the freeway. Which brings me to...

    Is anyone elses steering wheel shaking a lot in the 65-75 mph range? I already took it in and they blamed it on the tires being out of balance. They balanced them and I thought it helped, but now it seems to be doing it again a week later. I'd love to here if anyone else had this remedied.
  • stevecanuckstevecanuck Member Posts: 33
    I have the 6 CD player, and the button layout doesn't match the book. I have FM1, FM2, but no Scan button.

    Does anyone know how to get the radio scan function on the six disc CD player?
  • blondemom1blondemom1 Member Posts: 90
    It's been 1 week and no posts! I don't have any problems, just thought I'd let you know! :)
  • landpilotlandpilot Member Posts: 1
    We're shopping for vans and the lack of problems in this topic is encouraging. Sounds like you all really like your vans. Do you feel there is enough space? Especially anyone with 3+ kids?
  • almasy1almasy1 Member Posts: 2
    America's best kept secret; the 2000 Mazda MPV.
    Don't tell too many people. Sh.
  • sfpaulsfpaul Member Posts: 1
    I understand that the radio/6-disk changer does not have a cassette player. Does the radio/one-disk changer? The only information I've found says that cassette player would be available late winter. And my salesman doesn't know offhand.
  • syjohnsyjohn Member Posts: 2
    While I've been happy overall with our Mazda MPV, I have had a couple of problems.

    1. Pulling to the left. We have under 2,000 miles on our MPV, have taken it in to be aligned once, and it's still pulling a great deal. However, it seems as if it pulls more at slower speeds (30-40 mph) as opposed to higher speeds. Has anyone else who has experienced the pulling noticed this? Maybe it's something more than alignment. Occasionally, my steering wheel shakes as well. I think it does have something to do with the alignment (typically, this is the problem - although I know when the rotors in my Volvo began to wear, I experienced a similar shake). It would seem that some of the vans are more susceptible to alignment problems than others.

    2. Leaking Crank Seal. I took my first road trip (of 400 miles) with just under 1,000 miles on the van and noticed a slight burning smell when I stopped during the trip. My temperature gage looked fine and no lights were on. I took it to the dealership and they indicated that I had a slight leak in the crank seal. They indicated that sometimes the seal is improperly installed at the factory at an angle such that the seal develops a crimp and leaks. I'm sure it only affects one in a large number, and we picked the lucky van.

    3. Weak paint. When I took delivery of the van, it had a very small scratch on the back door (in hind-sight, it's probably from someone's ring). However, I noticed a huge scratch that went all they way down the side of the vehicle one day. I called my husband who indicated that he had "barely brushed the van with the plastic garbage can." It was a pretty long "brush" if you ask me, but the damage is pretty intense. I think a lot of cars have this new paint (Infiniti's and Lexus's do I know from experience), but I was used to a Volvo (which has paint like nails).

    Again, though, overall, I've been pleased. I also love being able to maneuver as if I were driving a small vehicle. I've been a little disappointed in my gas mileage, but I've had to run the air conditioner and defroster quite a bit with this weather we've been having.
  • jeproxjeprox Member Posts: 466
    I was watching Dateline NBC last night and they had a report on bumper tests. Well, MPV were given a rating of "POOR". According to Dateline, MPV's sustained big damage during their low speed tests and this prompted Mazda to recall all 2000 MPV's to fix the bumpers for free!

    Visit and look at the details. Even the Mazda Protoge got a "POOR" rating for 1999 model and was just recently upgraded 1 level only for the 2000 models. They have the same problem as the MPV's.

    Go to the Dateline site, check it out and have your bumpers fixed.
  • jeproxjeprox Member Posts: 466
    Sorry, that was
  • blondemom1blondemom1 Member Posts: 90
    At this time, no Mazda van is available with a cassette player. There has been talk of one becoming available on next year's models, but the jury is still out on whether they can be added aftermarket.
  • bill124bill124 Member Posts: 246
    Please post the model and manufacture date of your van. Thanks.
  • syjohnsyjohn Member Posts: 2
    It is an ES MPV with a 4 seasons package. Is that what you mean by Model? Where do I find the manufacture date for the vehicle? Are you just curious or are there known problems with certain models and manufacture dates? (Sorry to ask such stupid questions.)
  • jeproxjeprox Member Posts: 466
    You can find the date your vehicle was manufactured by opening your driver side door and look either at the door beam or the edge of your door. There should be a plate stating the date and where your vehicle was assembled.

    Places to look for recalls, TSB's, complaints:

    I think to date, the only real problem is the bumper as reported by Dateline.

  • jleeyapjleeyap Member Posts: 4
    I have also been researching this topic for the past several months. Some dealers nearby have been installing the cassette player intended for the Protege (there is a separate one for this model) to the MPV. The cost is about $300. You may want to ask your dealer about this. I have been waiting for someone who has had this done to tell me how it works. I hope this helps.
  • ladererladerer Member Posts: 2
    After two weeks with an ES, the only problem to date has been that opening the driver's side door does not activate the interior lights or the warning that the headlights remain on. Other than that, everything is great! We'll get it corrected when we take it in for the bumper reinforcement. No pulling, leaning, or any other complaint.
  • cmm4cmm4 Member Posts: 7
    There is a thumb dial in-between the driver/passenger map lights. Make sure it is set to "DOOR". If it's set to "OFF" the the interior
    will not go on.
  • ladererladerer Member Posts: 2
    That fix was what I was hoping for but to no avail. When set to "door", only opening the passenger door signals "headlights on" or activates the dome light, opening the driver's side door elicits no response if the headlights are on and does not activate the overhead light. Still, not that big a deal.
  • shenoishenoi Member Posts: 1
    Hi, it's my first time posting to this forum... so be gentle :-). Anyway, we just took our 2000 LX trim with touring package, dual AC, roof rack and four-seasons package to our local Mazda dealer. We bought it at the end of January 2000 and it now has about 3100 miles. Problem? I haven't seen this one anywhere:

    I was out running an errand when the dashboard went crazy. The ABS and brake lights came on, the check engine light came on and the O/D off light was flashing on and off... hmmmm. The the Speedo died along with the digital odometer. Double hmmm... I drive it home with no seeming problems and then call the dealer. They are stumped and suggest I get it towed to them as theay don't want to risk any damage to the engine. It's been there two days now with no real hint at what the problem is. I'm guessing something electrical, a sensor issue, or perhaps a "computer issue". The dealer has finally called Mazda USA for help. Any comments or ideas out there? I guess this is the risk of buying a new vehicle... even the dealers don't know what to do!

    The van is beautiful and I would not hesitate to buy one again.... but let's hope this is the only "break-in" issue we're gonna have.
  • cmm4cmm4 Member Posts: 7
    It sounds like the drivers door switch is stuck or bad. On the inside of the door jam you'll see a little rubber boot, push it in and and let it spring back a couple of times and see if it has any effect on the lights, if not it's probably bad
    or the inside wiring became loose. Good luck
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Member Posts: 647
    When I hear about problems like these my first thought is a bad ground.

    The illumination of other lights is because some circuit is "searching" for a better ground path and finds it through the indicators on the dash.

    My 1966 Chevy (Yes 1966) did this in extreme cold weather. If it was zero or below, the dash lights would not come on, but both turn signal indicators on the dash would glow bright green. As the interior of the car warmed, the lights returned to normal.

    I guess I am saying this is not a new problem. The new part of it is most auto techs today put the vehicle on the computer first. Need to go back to basic trouble shooting.

    I suspect that if it were a computer issue, there would be trouble codes stored and your performance may suffer. Since you indicate drivability did not suffer, I doubt it is a computer or sensor related problem.

    My $0.02

  • mandamommandamom Member Posts: 2
    Last Thursday I took my LX in for its first oil change. At the time the dealer was also suppose to fix the emissions recall. They were waiting for response from Mazda (instructions how to) when I had to leave because it was taking sooo long. Has anyone else had this fixed yet? My dealer was suppose to call me when they had the instructions. I'm still waiting.
  • bvictorbvictor Member Posts: 4
    I am taking our 2000 MPV in tomorrow,Codirolli Mazda in Livermore, CA, they say it will take 4 hrs! California emissions recall, is this the same as the "PCM" recall? Anyway, I had the pulling to the left also and the tires were rotated..about 4 weeks ago, no more pulling so far. No other problem so far, we have about 2800 miles on it.
  • meerameera Member Posts: 50
    I've posted about this before, but here's an update. At 70+mph the steering wheel shakes and the van seems to vibrate too much. They balanced the tires a while back and that helped the problem at lower speeds, but it is still doing it at higher speeds. They can't find anything wrong. I'm going over there tomorrow. He seems to be implying it's a nonexistant problem- UGH! I know two others are experiencing this problem, have any of the newer owners on the forum seen this? Driving around town I love my van, on the highway that shaking is annoying. BTW- they did fix the emissions recall yesterday. I have no idea how long it took since they had it all day! It must've taken a while since they barely got to the shaking problem.
  • cmm4cmm4 Member Posts: 7
    When I went to buy my MPV the 1st one I test drove had a pull to the left but no vibration from 0-70 mph. The 2nd one (the one I bought) had no pull to the left and no vibration from 0 -70 mph.
    I'm sorry that I didn't get the mfr. date on the 1st one but the 2nd one is 10/99.
  • marbacmarbac Member Posts: 1
    I just sold my 91 MPV and am consiering the 2000. I've been monitoring the bulleting boards about the new MPV and am encouraged by the positive remarks I've read. However, one thing concerns me and that is the size of the engine (2.5). Can new 2000 owners tell me if they have encountered problems with pickup or cruising at high speeds. How does the transmission behave in going from slow mode to fast mode. i will test drive one this week. What should I look for?
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Member Posts: 647
    If you haven't read our experience on the MPV v Odyssey board you can by following this link:

    (One long string, the board may put spaces in there for ya!)
  • meerameera Member Posts: 50
    Before the 2000 I had a 91. The 2000 is a speed demon compared to the 91!
  • meerameera Member Posts: 50
    Cmm4, thanks for the feedback. Were these vans LX's and did they have the touring package? After keeping my van almost three days, the dealer is telling me it is normal vibration at high speeds and all front wheel drive vehicles have vibration like this! All my cars (except the 91 MPV) have been front wheel drive and I've never had this much shaking on the highway. Any other comments/ feedback appreciated. I guess I'll write a letter to Mazda, I'm not sure what else to do.
  • pd10pd10 Member Posts: 5
    The dealer is selling you a bill of goods. I have an LX model w/ Touring package and do not experience any vibration problems at high or low speeds. Any other dealerships in your area to take your van to?
  • meerameera Member Posts: 50
    pd10, Thanks for the feedback. My LX just has the security package. I'm wondering if the smaller tires effect the ride at high speeds. Any other LX/security owners out there? How does the steering wheel feel in the 75 mph range?
  • cmm4cmm4 Member Posts: 7
    Both vans were ES's with the Dunlop 16". It would be interesting to compare your van, model, pkg's. and mfr. date, with the other members having this problem. I've seen a few members that have the "pull to the left syndrome" but only one other person with the "65 mph + steering wheel vibration".
  • mandamommandamom Member Posts: 2
    I have LX with touring and security packages. I have not found the manufacture date. I have not experienced the shaking or the pulling to the left.
  • gordobrgordobr Member Posts: 4
    I have had a black ES for about one month and it drives like a dream. No issue at all with acceleration, great responsiveness etc. My only issue other than the dealers not knowing as much as they should about the van is that minor bumps to the bumper can easily chip and peel a small amount of paint. It is more noticeable in the black I would guess less so in silver. Any ideas other than being ultra careful?
  • meerameera Member Posts: 50
    Well, I got hubby to drive the van on the highway today. He had only driven it around town. He agreed that the dealer is full of it and the shaking is not acceptable. I think we will try the other dealer in town, before we compose a nice letter to Mazda. Oh, hubby thinks the van pulls to the left! UGH!

    I thought the bumper underneath was black. My rock chips from our trip are very noticable black, plus there's a big scrape on the front that also reveals black plastic. I'm not sure how the scrape got there, luckily it is very low under where the foglights would be. Our van is white. I've got to get some touch up paint!
  • auerbachauerbach Member Posts: 110
    A few months ago my wife and I test drove an LX. There was a very noticeable vibration at about 40 - 50 mph. When we mentioned it to the sales person, he said it was due to the rough highway in front of the dealership!!
    Sometimes I think these people don't give a you know what!!!
  • ann10ann10 Member Posts: 4
    I haven't had any pulling or vibration problems. My van is an LX w/sec. pkg (no touring pkg), manufactured Jan. 00. The drive is very smooth. Tell your dealer he is full of it! Vibrating is not normal. I would be persistent. They don't want to be bothered, but TOO BAD! Good luck and keep us posted. Knock on wood, but so far I haven't had any problems. What a fun van!
  • meerameera Member Posts: 50
    I have an appointment at the other dealer in town tomorrow. I'll let you all know. This is the dealer I prefer for service, but the day we were ready to buy the sales manager there was very rude. So we bought from the place where the sales department is nice, but the service department is rude.
This discussion has been closed.