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Mazda MPV: Problems & Solutions



  • I strongly agree, I posted earlier that they come in groups for me also. Not only that, but the van will be sluggish until the van gets it out of its system. Then it runs great again. I think I will post another question to mazda and see what they tell me. I think we have waited long enough.
  • To all of you who are concerned, I have emailed Mazda to look at the forums here, hopefully they will look in all the forums because they are all updated daily. I expressed what has been said here and hopefully they will know how upsetting the issues are. If they contact me, I will let you all know what they have to say about the issues
  • kolt1kolt1 Posts: 25
    I have been monitoring this discussion because I am considering purchasing a MPV (emphasis on 'considering'). The transmission issue is a real concern, to say the least. I've noticed that Mazda offers an option package with a transmission cooler. Do vans with this option experience the 2-3 hard-shift? (Sorry if this was discussed in earlier posts.)
  • My hard shifting 2004 does have the towing package with the trans oil cooler.
  • I also have the tranny cooler and mine just started doing the 2nd-3rd hard shift.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    kolt1: I'm in the same boat as you. I was going to ask the very same question. It seems odd that this has not surfaced earlier.
  • brajabraja Posts: 25
    I had a humming noise in my 2000 MPV LX,
    prominent at around 50-55 MPH. (I had hit
    a curb hard some months ago).

    Took the 2000 MPV LX to the dealer on friday.
    First, they said the wheel bearings need changing. Then, the mechanic said that as
    he put the car in drive, the right front
    axle broke. He said the axle was probably
    out of the joint and happend to break at
    that instant.

    Then today, the dealer said the control arm
    is bent! Overall, what started out as a $275
    job now has an estimate of $1000!.

    Wondering if these guys are just screwing
    me or if this is a plausible scenario. THe
    van has been running fine for several months
    now but for the low humming noise.
  • tomj5tomj5 Posts: 209
    I am not surprised. When you whack a curb hard enouth to bust a tire chances are high for other damage. The $1000 cost seems a little low. There must be a total realighnment check of both axles.
    Hope the struts are ok. Alighnment check will find that out. Just be thankful that you are alive and didn't hurt someone else in a crash....
    I would say if you can get it repaired under $2000 you are doing good...
    Good Luck
  • brajabraja Posts: 25
    Thanks. Fortunately it was within my development
    and nobody was around.
  • Well, I just called the dealership this morning to make an appointment for the 2nd-3rd hard shift we are feeling (5 times in 500 miles, started at 525 on the OD). He said that it is a common problem during break-in and that the TCM is trying to "learn" our driving habits and that is what's causing the hard shift. He said most of the time it straightens itself out and to give it until 3000 miles on the OD. He seemed pretty knowledgable about the problem and confident it wasn't a big deal. He said if it's still doing it then, bring it in and they will replace the TCM. He also said not to worry that the transmission will fall out of the car!

    So, we will see.

    Dan2004, I'm curious, I read back through a history of your posts and didn't see where you've posted about ever bringing yours in for service on the problem. Did you ever have them try to fix it before you started flushing the fluid?
  • Spoke to the service manager at my dealer today. He said that Mazda are not giving him any date for a fix, but are working it.

    FWIW, he has 5 MPVs showing the problem. He reckons to have about 300 MPVs in his database, but can't say how many are 2002+ models.

  • I just got a "new" 2003 MPV on Saturday, and I've got no hard-shift problems at all. I put "new" in quotation marks because the one I bought had 750 miles on the odometer when I picked it up. Mazda had had some "run off" days and the MPV was used as a shuttle bus. Anyways, while we haven't had the MPV very long, I've noticed absolutely no problems with the 2-3 shift, and I've driven it cold and hot. Just my $0.02.
  • Yes the dealer has told most of us that it is a learning period. Mine did too til he drove it himself. Mazda knows about the issue and has no time frame as to when it will be fixed. If your dealer needs to be educated, tell him to read the posts in all of the mpv conversations. Don't let them snowball you, I have driven many a car, the learning issue he gave you is just a polite way of saying "i dunno".
  • First time they wasted 3 hours and told me they couldn't find anything and that I should "try to chnage my driving habits." I was so upset I called Mazda corporate from the dealer and talked to the sales manager. The dealer arranged the corporate rep to meet me for a test drive.

    With the Mazda rep (second visit) we drove around for about 1 hour and it happened twice, though mild versions.

    The rep will now take the car again this week for several hours drive.

    Part of my frustration is getting the Mazda organization to just acknowledge this happening!
  • tomj5tomj5 Posts: 209
    So you are not training the tranny properly....

    That is a good one.... Which means that Mazda doesn't want to pay to fix problem... They are hoping that you will go away and live with it... When the tranny hammers itself long enough it will self destruct (aluminum doesn't hammer without cracking).
    Has anyone demanded a Flush and fill and new filter????
    This is SOP for hard shifting new trannies...
    Mazda knows what is wrong. We are getting a song and dance routine....
    PS My Mpv has always shifted perfectly(10K miles) Hard shifting is NOT NORMAL......
  • Yes, I thought it was a bit strange that I had to "train" my tranny--LOL! I've never heard of such a thing and I've had about 10 new cars in my lifetime.

    I'll definitely be hammering them when that OD hits 3K, and it won't be long, we rack up the miles on our cars very fast. We'll be going back to IL for Christmas and that's 600 miles round trip right there.
  • Hi guys, LT since I have been on. Question regarding 2000 MPV. Does this baby have a timing belt or a timing chain? I have 82,000 miles on it and if it's a belt, I am pass due for a new one. If It's a chain, I am okay, right?
  • So that I don't have to retype, please see mazda mpv discussion for return letter from mazda to me, this is information for all who wanted to know.
  • <<He said most of the time it straightens itself out and to give it until 3000 miles on the OD. He seemed pretty knowledgable about the problem and confident it wasn't a big deal.>>

    My peevee is at about 5000 miles and the shifting still hasn't "straightened itself out." It seems to have gotten worse. I was in the car yesterday and the phantom shifing banged into gear 5 times. I have started keeping a record and from what I'm seeing it tends to happen when the engine is cold. It's very irritating and I've been to the dealer with it since they are unable to "duplicate it" so that means there's nothing wrong....grrrrrrrr
  • This Hard Shift will slow MPV sales. Tranny problem is not a small isuue. The sooner Mazda finds a solution to it the better. This also affect MPV pre-owned market value. I guess I'll dump PeeVee before the warranty expires if Mazda keeps asking me to bear with the hard-Shift and I won't buy another Mazda again.

    Mazda, are you listening?
  • It slipped 3 times yesterday! I called my father who's a mechanical engineer and rebuilds cars for a hobby and he said it needs to go in NOW. We're not waiting until it has 3k miles on it like the service mgr told me. He said every time it does that (and I described what it's doing exactly) it's damaging the transmission. My younger brother blew out his trans in his Grand Prix by putting it in neutral, revving it and slamming it into drive, and that's exactly what this car is doing to itself right now. I called the dealership and I'm getting a call back from the service manager to make an appointment. Even if all they do is replace the TCM and it doesn't solve the problem, at least I'm getting it in there and it's being documented for lemon law purposes. There must be some good TCM's out there because not every van is doing this.
  • tomj5tomj5 Posts: 209
    Yep, listen to Dad he is right on.. Get it documented and when MPV is towed back with a hole in the tranny you have it on paper.....
    My MPV has always shifted perfectly.. Bet problem is metal particle contamnation not the TCM... Dealer should do a flush and change filter....
  • Our 2002 van is so bad with this problem that it actually causes the van to slip when it's on wet pavement. Dealer has swapped out the TCM twice. Mazda svc has said they can't fix it. I am driving a loaner car for over a week because the Van is dangerous in slippery conditions. I filed a complaint with the NTSB. Regional service manager is more interested in blowing people off than helping. If Mazda was a stand up company it would extend the warranty to 100K miles for all the people that have had to use their van when it slams from gear to gear, but I don't think they really care. They've had automatic transmissions for 50 years (?) and they can't make one that shifts smooth?
  • tomj5tomj5 Posts: 209
    Take the MPV to a good tranny shop(not dealer) and have a flush and change filter... You have to pay for it but it might work and you would have your car back.... Otherwise only a rebuilt tranny installed is only option left.... Looks like Ford has taken over Mazda. Ford doesn't honor warranties... Keep us informed...
    Good Luck....
  • So I took the MPV to the dealer having made an appointment with a factory tech rep to test drive the van. I wrote a detailed desciption of my observations with the tranny and printed comments from this discussion board.

    Here is the result:

    1) The tech rep completely dismissed comments--couldn't care less
    2) He was able to reproduce two instances of "different shifts" during his test drive, appx 40 miles.
    3) He recited what seemed to me a Mazda script that went something like "Mazda MPVs are experiencing occasional hard shifts and we are working on a solution. There is no current solution"
    4)He said he downloaded data from my van to a disk and would send it to Mazda in CA for evaluation
    5) I asked what the time frame would be for a solution--and this is were it got kinda strange--he started to say how the transmission was shifting normally and that he was going out of his way to accomodate me....
    6) The dealer refused to give a summary of their findings to me in writing

    Well what can I say, having the hard shift "thing" is one thing but dealing with Orwellian language from Mazda is another.

    I am quite frustrated at this point.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    If I were you, I'd write a letter to the dealer's service manager that summarizes your visit today, including the fact that they duplicated the hard shifts twice, and ask him to respond in writing if he has any disagreement with your summary. That way at least you have some sort of written documentation.
  • Each State's Attorney General's office should have a consumer affairs division. At the very least I would send a courtesy copy of the letter to the dealership to the AG's office, and make sure the dealer knows that a copy has been sent. You may also want to send a copy to your BBB. In fact, I would recommend that any of you who feel like you're getting the runaround from Mazda and/or your dealer contact your AG's office.
  • Well here's my 2c for what it's worth. I was driving our 2002 MPV (24kmi) and it shifted so hard that I swore somebody hit us in the rear. So naturally I slammed on the brakes as a knee jerk reaction and somebody NEARLY did run into us. Are you listening MAZDA?

    If that's not a safety issue then I'm a moron. I know that I'm not a moron because I've met plenty on the road and I've also been driving for 25+ yrs in nearly every make of car. After that event the wife said, "Oh, I was going to tell you about that. It's been doing that for about 2 months now." AHHHHH. She almost had to walk. I can&#146;t bear to imagine what the inside of the tranny looks like. I don't believe a word of the TCM needing to &#147;learn&#148; unless somehow ours got retarded after 10 months of flawless driving.

    Now for the smell. I don't believe previous posts about the smell not getting inside the vehicle. I also don&#146;t believe the gas as the problem. I don&#146;t know what&#146;s changed but I remember that cars smelled during the 70&#146;s, but didn&#146;t in the 80&#146;s & 90&#146;s. Now we&#146;re back to the sink in the 00+. Mazda isn&#146;t the only one, I&#146;ve smelt a few others.

    I&#146;ve definitely noticed the smell more in our MPV when I drive than when she drives. So, I believe it&#146;s partially dependent on how you drive. I also had somebody follow me one day for 50 miles and my buddy said he&#146;d never follow an MPV ever again. His wife looked GREEN when she got out. We didn&#146;t even notice the smell that day. If that&#146;s not a rolling stinking billboard not to buy a Mazda nothing is (are you still listening MAZDA). Personally, I think it stinks all the time and it&#146;s just how the fumes come out the back and how you drive on any given day. None the less back to the shop it goes.

    I have to leave on a positive note: I do really like our MPV despite the current problems. It handles great and the engine is smooth. It's one of the 20+ vehicles I've owned that has a personality. Much cooler than a Honda.
    Happy Holidays
  • First time in this forum and 1st time Mazda owner. We just purchased (Nov 03) a new 2003 MPV ES with Towing Package replacing a 1997 Dodge Caravan Sport, also purchased new (problem free except a/c compressor needed replacing just 30 days after expiry of warranty, urrghh! The odometer now reads 1,200 kilometers and we are experiencing an intermittent HARD SHIFTING (possibly 2-3 shift) with an audible "CLUNK" noise in the transmission both during acceleration and deceleration.

    Having read some of your postings here, I plan to take it in to Signature Mazda, Richmond, BC, Canada (Selling Dealer) very soon. Post-servicing result to follow.

    I glad I am not alone! :-)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    On the Sienna Problems board there's news that a TSB involving a software update seems to have solved a hard-shift problem on that van. Interesting...
This discussion has been closed.