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Mazda MPV: Problems & Solutions



  • kinkokinko Posts: 48
    Here is my experience of my 04 MPV:
    1) hard shift, it's been "fixed" by dealer. But 1 to 2 shift, and 2 to 3 gear shift is kinda jerky.
    2) No clunking reverse from park or drive.
    3) passenger-side sliding door, and all front doors are hard to close, I have to slam it to fully close them. No fix I think.
    4) I agree with what you stated on the transmission logic, and problem 1 is the result of the wrong timing.
    5) I'd never used the cruise control. Try turning the OD off when you decide to to downshift and passing other car.
    6) You get all the HP and torque at @3000 rpm by the design since the 02 model. I wonder if it's the main cause of hard shift due to the trans. control module changes on the 03-04 models.
    7) The ride is kinda rough and I can always see and feel the shaking on newly paved freeway. It causes the interior rattlings that make me feel uncomfortable.
    The service station I use told me my MPV's drive and ride are normal. I am not good at arguing with them.
  • 1) It seems to be largely quiet now on the MPVClub about the hard shift, so it might be that the latest fix worked. Are you sure you got reflashed with the latest one?

    2) Haven't heard of the problem much, thought there was one or two posts on this.

    3) Sliders work OK for us (we have the powered ones). You can hear in posts now and than about quirks with sliders, but sure not more or leven a bit less than on other vehicle brands.

    4) I notticed lately on our 02, that sometimes the engine would rev too much before it shifts while trying to accelerate on HGHWY. I still didn't get the reflash for the hard shift which seems to disapeared for most of the time. I still plan to get it reflashed and perhaps it will also take care of this.

    5) It does downshifts, but I do not see it as a problem. Our Protege used to do it too. I see the "problem" in the engine being not as strong as one would wish, but it's adequate for most of the time I'd say.

    6) I do not have problem with that except ocassionaly as described in the point 4)
  • 1) hard shift hasn't been a problem since the "fix"

    2)Haven't experienced the klunking while shifting will have to pay more attention.

    3)I have a 2003ES and I open and close the doors with the remote. I do wish the side sliders would open wider as a lot of times I have to load the van from the back hatch becuase the sliders don't open far enough.

    4&6)I find the weak acceleration to happen when I'm trying to pass on the freeway. I almost have to floor the gas pedal to get any kind of response acceleration is almost an after thought before it finally kicks in. Very annoying.

    5)I've experienced the same thing while cruise is engaged and climbing hills. The van almost seems to be confused at what it is supposed to do and what gear to shift into.
  • Greetings,
    I have experienced the same problems with the 91 model. It may be a problem with the fuel pump getting old. The bearings get worn and it works when cool then shuts off as it gets weaker.
    It is located in the fuel tank. I think it is good to replace the fuel filter also.
    I spent a lot of time with a mechanic who replaced the computer in the van. In retrospect, it may have been the clogged filter/weak pump.
  • I do abosolutely love the MPV after the tranny hardshift fix (software problem, reflash TCM & reprogram PCM).

    2003 Mazda MPV
    NHTSA 10005737
    Service Bulletin (TSB) Number 0004180

    (copy from a previous thread)
  • Hi everyone--I'm new to the group and there are a lot of messages to go through--so I figured I'd ask for a friendly synopsis.

    We just bought a new 2004 MPV ES and have 1500 miles on it so far. I did that the tires were inflated to 50 psi, when the driver side sticker calls fro 32 psi--and I've heard that the sticker should really say 35 psi? Nevertheless, I deflated the tires to 42 psi and it rides much better. I like the tires inflated a little high, but not 50 psi!

    No complaints so far. Transmission doesn't shift roughly--something that I've been reading about.

    My question: what are things about the MPV that I need to know about? E.g. specific things about maintaining the vehicle (we usually get dealer service), things that go wrong early, etc.

  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Yet another missed tire pressure check in the PDI - happens almost all the time. 42psi is probably still a bit high. Try 36 or 37psi, the ride will be quite a bit smoother and you'll still promote a nice even wear on the tires. And yes, the sticker should read 35psi, there is a recall out there to replace the sticker with the correct one (I read about that at MPVClub).

    Will you be changing the oil yourself? Who's the primary driver? What's your other vehicle (if you have one)? What kind of trips will the MPV be used for?

  • Right now the dealer's doing everything--oil changes are pretty inexpensive. I never bothered to invest in equipment to do it myself.

    The MPV is the family vehicle, mostly suburban driving and the occasional long distance trip. It replaced a very beloved '97 Honda CR-V that just didn't work with carpooling and two young kids. My wife is the primary driver and one specific reason we chose the MPV is because she didn't want an enormous minivan, which seems to be the norm today.

    My daily driver is a '99 Protege LX. We don't roll up many miles on our cars--maybe 7500 miles a year each.
  • For the second year in a row I have a problem with my car passing the emission inspection in New York state(CO is 18.25 gpm instead of 10gpm - a very significant difference).

    Last year, after failing an inspection at a local inspection station, the car was brought to NYC dealership and passed the tests. We were not told what was done - whether any adjustments/repairs were done in order for the car to pass the inspection.

    This year we have the same problem, which leads me to believe that the last year inspection was "helped".

    I visited a Mazda dealership in Nanuet, NY. After just contacting her technician and without even looking at the car, a service representative there told me that the car needs to have "fuel induction service done that cleans top part of engine" - $180 worth service. She further informed me that is is pretty common with MPVs. I have never heard that before. Why the car that is considerably new (4 years, 18K miles) would need this kind of service? The car is garaged and driven reasonably (it doesn't sit in the garage but is not driven excessively either) - highway miles mostly. Am I being taken for a ride here?

    Additionally, the dealership in NYC is reluctant to provide the information was was done to the car last year for it to pass the inspection. We called there several times and were given a run around.

    many thanks to whoever responds!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,023
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  • Starts fine but no power when you step on gas pedal. Also, there is a high pitch sound on the rt side on the engine. No problem on shifting. WE already cleaned the fuel injections parts but still no power. Can somebody be so kind to help me find the solutions, please? Thanks!!!
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    mpvmom: what state did you buy our MPV in? NY has very strict emmission standards, similar to California. if you did purchase it out of state, your vehicle may not meet NYC emmission standards. If you did purchase it in NY, check your manual. I believe there is an emmission warranty on your vehicle for 5 yrs/ 50k miles or something like that. It should state it in the manual.

    And do not have the fuel induction service done.

    Also I would call the Mazda consumer information (check your manual for a phone number)line and expalin your problem to them. They should be more helpful then the dealeship
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  • Hi, all! I'm a newbies (as a driver, MPV owner and member of this group). I bought the van last Saturday (77 mile on it, including the 5 or so of my test driving) and I found out the same day (after the deal was done) the rear AC was not working. I got it fixed on Monday, but found another huge problem: when I tried to drive it out of the dealer's parking lot, and put the gear on "D", it's not moving. The mechanics witnessed the problem and told me it's actually on "N" even though the screen showed it's "D". After he moved the gear a couple of time, it became normal again. He told me he saw that problem before and asked me to bring it in if it happened again. Has any of you experienced such a problem? I'm really quite disappointed and am a little bit scared (wondering whether something funny will happen on the road). Thanks for your input!
  • scott31scott31 Posts: 292
    Ours had the issue that if you went into 3 or 2 or 1 it didn't show properly. Dealer did a quick adjustment, works fine.
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Yes, there is a TSB for an adjustment to the shift inhibitor that sounds like the issue you're having. Don't sweat it. It's a warranty fix, and an easy adjustment. Take it in.

  • Well, I'm glad to hear most everybody's MPV's have been fixed since the latest TSB. Mine hasn't. Mine was doing the 2-3 hard shift (the violent one) almost every time. The recall in January was done and that's completely gone. Then it was fine for about 2-3 months. We took it in for an oil change, our regular service manager was out of town and some brilliant service manager taking his place saw that it didn't have the latest TSB update to the TCM, so they performed it without asking us if anything was wrong with the van. It's been all screwed up again ever since. Our regular service manager was p.o.'d and he even had a "lock" on our service account to prevent any more updates to be done to the van since it was working fine. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?? Well somehow the sub got around it and did this update. Now, it never seems to be in the right gear for the conditions. It's like it's "confused"! It spontaneously downshifts going down hills, and does an occasional violent hard shift from 1-2. It hesitates something awful from a stop and doesn't downshift when you ask it to unless you "floor" it. Then it downshifts TOO hard and lurches forward. It's in the shop for the 3RD time since then for another reflash, and we told them if it's not fixed, they've had strike 3 and we are pursuing the lemon law. I am so disraught over this whole thing because other than the transmission problems, we LOVE the van and have had no other problems except for 2 very minor ones that have been easily fixed. Once for the airbag recall, and once for the airflow of the dashboard vents. I don't know what I'd replace it with if they did take it back.......They said they are going to probably put in a new TCM this time and see if that helps. Thank goodness we have an AWSOME dealership service department and he always takes my word for it when I tell him something ain't right, even if they can't reproduce the problem.
  • Dear ZoomZoomfan,

    I also have the problem of clunking (from R to D).
    Dealer told me it was the brakes so I will bring it in for a brake check (BrakeMasters - they do it for free).

    Otherwise, the only problem I had was the PCV valve (fixed by recall).
    My van is in the shop right now for the PCV and fan control module recalls.

    I have a 2002 LX - with 53,000 miles.
  • Under ther right rear tire wheel well, you should see a black hard plastic over the tire. This might be loose.
    My left one is loose and is causing a noise.
    Go check this out.
  • My 04 transmission had been reflashed since April. I'd been told that it's the latest TCM update. It has NOT been shifted smoothly than how I expected it should since then. It feels kinda jerky when the gear shifted from first to second(@3000 RPM) and then from seceond to third. I am not sure if that is what you're experiencing. The transmission reacts even worse when driving in slow traffic. Also it will upshift instead of holding onto the lower gear when I drive uphill. I am think about taking it to a transmission shop and ask for some expert advise.
  • Mine behaves a lot like you described, especially in stop and go traffic. Except occasionally from 1st-2nd I get the same hard shift I used to get from 2nd-3rd, where it sticks in 1st gear then "clunks" into second. A friend of mine was in the van with me when it happened one time and she said "Gosh! What was that!", so it's definitely noticeable even to someone in the passenger seat. Mine doesn't upshift going up a hill like yours does, it stays in the lower gear. Sometimes though it should upshift, because it gets to revving so high that it really should go to the next gear up but instead it revs really high and sticks there until I reach the top of the hill. Other cars I've driven up the same steep hill usually upshift at a certain point to relieve the torque on the engine. It also downshifts when coasting down a hill with the accelerator not depressed. It really should just go into neutral or overdrive when your foot's off the gas in my experience with other cars. I got it back tonight with a brand new TCM installed. My service manager said even though the old one was being reflashed, there is still some memory in the TCM that doesn't "reset" with a reflash. He really thinks this should do the trick. We also recently bought a Mazda3 that behaves completely normally, but it's a 4-speed auto without the adaptive learning tranny. I like it much better but my husband won't give it up.....!! I guess we weren't too unhappy with Mazda since we bought another one. It was really just the best choice in it's class and more car for the money, just like the MPV was.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    I've read about this adaptive learning transmission the MPV has. It learns the drivers habits and adjusts accordingly. Well, what if more than 1 person drives the thing? No wonder the transmission is going psycho. Every time it thinks it has it figured out...somebody new hops in to drive gets some type of transmission anuryisum and has to start all over again. These 5 speed auto transmissions all seem to be having problems.Doesn't seem to be that much of a difference between a 4 and 5 speed...why fix what isn't broke?
  • I completely agree, I'd be much happer with just a plain ol' transmission, thank you very much. This thing's more trouble than it's worth. And we do both drive the van. I drive it to work every day, and my husband drives it on the weekends when we all go out with the kids. It's so much easier to get the toddler in and out of the van than the Mazda3. Lots of families do this sort of thing, so the van should be able to be driven by more than one person!!
  • When you refer to your transmission issues, are you talking about a jerking feeling when you drive the car at a slow speed? I love my MPV, but on occasion, my car jerks when I'm accelerating slowly and then take my foot off the gas pedal slightly. I'm worried that I have a transmission problem (only 6000 miles on my MPV), but maybe it's a result of the issue you're discussing. My husband does drive my car on the weekend. What has your experience been?
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    stacks, my transmission problem on July 1,2004 MPV has happened on one occasion. Last week my wife was driving in slow stop and go traffic. She was accelerating gradually up to around 20 mph when she had a hard shift(jerk),then the van lunging forward to where she had to apply brake.After talking to dealer they said they could not duplicate problem and their were no codes or problems when they ran diagnostics test.Said they couldnt do anything and if it happened near dealer to bring it back in. I'll bring it back in if it happens again whether its near the dealer or not. These type of problems are difficult to diagnois and fix.But hey, thats their problem not mine. Have you taken your van in to be looked at? It may need the updated reflashing program to the transmission (TCM)
  • tccmn1tccmn1 Posts: 278
    I've been monitoring the problems here for the past two years and hadn't heard about THIS one yet. Mine is a 2003 LX bought in 3/03. I have taken very good care of this unit. Recently, I was wiping under the doors (with them open) and noticed RUST coming thru a weld seem on the passenger door! The paint is bubbling up and I could pop the bubbles with my finger. I took it into the only "St. Paul" MN. dealer we have and the manager said: "How much did you pay for this? I stated alot. He said, there is no such thing as a perfect vehicle. Every year they come out with better ones, but not perfect ones. That lit me up! I chirped about the tranny, fog lamp recall, pcv, fan, etc. recalls and he just said- there ya go." What an attitude! He is to let the 'regional' Mazda rep know of my problem. He said he has seen it all when I asked him if he had seen this problem before...what an evasive tactic. No remorse about rust on a vehicle that is 1.5 years old with 35K miles on it! Just a 'whatever' attitude.

    Has anyone else seen this rust problem yet? If not, it sounds like it's not going to be a big deal...right! I had a DC Van and had similar issues AFTER 5 YEARS though and Chrysler stood behind it and REPLACED the door! Mazda will probably put duck tape on it and spray paint it with some rustolium stuff...whatever!
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    The Mazda 6 had some rust (I believe Mazda referred to it as a "stain".) issues also, but this is the first I recall hearing about it with the MPV. You might want to search the 6 P&S topic for "rust".

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  • Yes, the transmission "jerk" is a hard shift between gears, and it is definitely a BIG issue with these vans. If the dealership told you they couldn't reproduce the problem and gave you back the van unrepaired, demand that they review their TSB's (tech service bulletins), they should see that this is a common problem and do a TCM reflash. I don't think this problem would show up on diagnostics, my dealership never even bothered to try to reproduce the problem or run diags. They knew right away what I was talking about and didn't doubt me for a second. The reflash was done 3 times on mine and didn't fix the problem however. The "shift shock" as they call it is sporadic and hard to reproduce, but it's still a problem that really exists. They finally went ahead and completely replaced my TCM last week, and so far so good, but it's always perfect the 1st week after I get it back. I'm not holding my breath, we'll see how it is after it "learns" my driving habits again. I'm not letting my husband drive it for 2 weeks so it doesn't get "confused" and can adjust to just my driving habits for now. I'll keep everyone posted.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    They(the dealer)said it had the latest reflash. The van was bought new in July.I didn't really care for the service managers attitude though. That since they couldn't duplicate the problem there was "nothing they could do" Stated if I was in close proximity to the dealership to bring it in to see if they could duplicate it. They wish they would be able to get rid of me that easily. The slightest hickup and it goes back in.If you don't mind write back in about a month and let us know how the new TCM is doing.I think instead of having a smart transmission that learns...I would rather have an older dumb one that just shifts when it is suppose to. :)
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    tccmn1, I read a post in the MPV club a while back. It also had a problem as you described. The van was only a couple years old. Can't really recall where the rust was located. He took it into the dealer and had it fixed. I believe the MPV has the rust proof warranty for 10 years/100,000 miles. So, take it in and tell them to fix the rust and hold the duck tape and rustolium.
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