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Mazda MPV: Problems & Solutions



  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    August '04. Recall 2204H. You should be able to google it.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Isn't the MPV covered for 3 years/ 50k miles? Or did this come after 2002?
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    The MPV is covered for 4years/50k miles....which began in "02" I believe.
  • We have a 2000 mpv and have a new transmission. We bought the van on e-bay and the transmission needed replaced within a few days of purchasing the vehicle. We got three opinions and all said that the transmission was bad. The Service Engine light came on and stayed on and the codes said that the transmission was bad. The warranty did not cover it because they said it was a preexisting condition. The transmission was a rebuild and cost around $2000. The vehicle had gone through a 72 point check before we bought it and nothing was wrong. I don't understand how the transmission problem could have been there for a while. We have been very frustrated since we purchased it, and the transmission still doesn't seem quite right. The van only had 73,000 miles on it when we bought it. It also makes a clunking sound when you make right hand turns more sharply and apply the brakes. Any ideas?
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    I thought the '02 and '03 were still 3yr/50k miles on the warranty...

  • jims2jims2 Posts: 6
    Sound like exactly the same problem I had a few months ago with our 2000 MPV! Right before that happened (like a week), I had just paid almost $900 to have the exhaust manifold/catalytic converter replaced, so I was determined to fix the door problem myself. I began by removing the inside panel to see if I could find something that was jammed. I slowly began eliminating the problems one by one. I couldn't find anything loose, no kinked cables, nothing visibly wrong.

    I then began disconnecting levers and cables to see where the problem was. I finally tracked it down to the little box that houses the electric motor and circuit board that triggers the motor. It's located halfway down on the near side of the door (like behind where they put the stickers for tire inflation). After getting this unit out and taking it apart, I discovered a small broken printed circuit board that was jamming the mechanism. There are some small copper wipers that ride back and forth across this board and make contact with the metal strips on the board. When the board broke, the brass wiper were getting caught on the broken edge of the board instead of gliding across (if this makes any sense). I can't imagine what would make this board crack except poor design since it doesn't appear to be under any stress whatsoever.

    After finding it, I was still determined to fix this myself since I would probably have to pay a small fortune to have the whole motor unit replaced just to get a new circuit board that is probably worth less than twenty five cents! Basically, I ended up gluing the board together with super glue and soldering the broken joint in the board. After putting it all together, it worked perfectly! That was about five months ago and it's still fine. It's not a hard repair if you have any tools.

    I can't promise that it's the same problem, but it sure sounds similar! It's not all that hard to do if you can solder or have some experience with working on fairly small items. I'd sure try it myself or try to find someone to help me. I don't wanna know how much a dealer would charge for parts and labor! Thankfully, this repair didn't cost me a cent! (for a change)
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    O.K...looked it up. The 4 yr/50,000 mile warranty began in 2003.

    I was thinking that 2002 was the year it began because that is the year the MPV went up to a 200hp engine and the 5 speed auto trans.
  • Just saw your post and your problem sounds similar to the problem we encountered in our 02 LX, which was related to coils needing to be replaced. The dealer quoted a $1000 to do the job, but we had it done by local mechcanic for less than half of that some and the van now runs beautiful.{See post # 4187}
  • criledocriledo Posts: 27
    Just a short question to you jipster - I wrote a while back about terrible gas mileage on a 2003 LX with 38K miles. We couldn't be happier with the van except for the fact that getting more than 15 mpg seems impossible. A full tank of gas will not give us more than 240 miles to it, 260 at the most. Mazda checked it for three days in a row (they say they ran all sorts of tests on it) and says that that type of mileage is normal for that van. We hate to see it go, but with current gas prices the van is unaffordable. Could you comment? Thanks! :confuse:
  • jims2jims2 Posts: 6
    With so much talk about the transmission problems in MPVs, I'm wondering if there are many folks who have a high mileage on theirs without having any problems. We have a 2000 MPV with 86,000 without any transmission problems so far (although it has always shifted hard at times). Is it rare to have had no problems so far? Are there others with more miles?

    It's gotten to the point where I'm almost expecting it to break down every time I drive it after reading so many horror stories! (and because of all the other problems we've had so far) I'd sure love to know if there are folks out there who have higher mileages without any transmission problems since we're not in a position to get rid of our MPV yet. It'd be nice to know that it COULD last a good bit longer!
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    hi criledo, I looked at a few of your past posts. You had a faulty tempeture sensor replaced Aug 25th when you took your van in due to sudden acceleration. When you got it back you wrote your mileage seemed to be up 50%. And now it is back down to around 15mpg combined? What does it get on the highway?
    I read a post on the Honda boards somewhere about a Corolla that got the mpg it was suppose to on the highway ...but poor city mileage dragged down the overall.
    I'll try to find it and report back here as I can't recall what solved the problem.

    Your Mazda mechanic wasn't able to find the problem so now he is saying it is normal for the van...hmmm. Well, it is certainly not normal. Normal is 19mpg combined....we got about 24 mpg(mostly highway) on a recent trip to Florida.
    If there are other Mazda dealers in your area I would try one of them...maybe a fresh brain can figure it out. If you would care to drop me an e-mail I could write back a possible solution that I am not allowed to suggest here on Edmunds. You still have 12k of warranty left on your at the very least I would keep it another 10k miles. Warranty will cover any repairs. Selling it with 2k left on warranty would make it more attractive to potential buyers. Gas is high....but purchasing another vehicle and paying sales taxes and fees will be much more expensive.
  • nlsnls Posts: 65
    My 2000 MPV LX is at the same mileage, and while there are no transmission problems so far (knock on wood!), there have been other issues - IAC valve, leaking rear heat coolant lines, alternator, and the most recent, and most expensive one - timing chain replacement because of bad tensioners.
  • bob57bob57 Posts: 302
    I think from all the past posts most of the transmission hiccups were on the 2002 models and above - that's when Mazda went to the higher horsepower and different transmission. (if it ain't broken - don't fix it..)
    My '01 with 83K miles runs fine - transmission and all. I'm getting about 22 on the road and around 17-18 in the city (I haven't changed plugs yet) and it's driven everyday on the freeways - avoiding the 18 wheelers....
  • tccmn1tccmn1 Posts: 278
    I know it's been a while since I've posted here, but I'm wondering if they have come up with a fix for the creaking or squeaking sound that comes from the steering mechanism on MPV's. I have a 2003 and have had it looked at several times, but they have not been able to find the problem. They say it's normal for these cars and even state that Chevrolets have this issue. They have greased it several times....once they even stated to turn the radio up louder and you won't hear it....nice!

    Anyone heard or a fix yet?

    Also, anyone heard of the creaking sound when going over things like speed bumps? My front end makes a squeaking/rubbing sound when going over a bump....

    Thanks, TCC
  • tccmn1tccmn1 Posts: 278
    You mentioned the noise coming from the steering column....being common.
    Have you had them check that noise out yet? I had my 03 MPV in for that noise last spring and they said it was normal too! Have you heard of fix for this noise yet?

    Tom C.
  • Regarding your 'clunking' sound when turning - sounds like the CV joint. I had the same thing with a Subaru. Make sure the boot isn't leaking the joint lube. CV joints are expensive to replace. Good luck. :)
  • nj1705nj1705 Posts: 1
    My rear wiper motor seems to have lost all of its power, as the slightest friction from the rubber against the windshield is enough to stop it. Has anyone replaced one of these? I'm looking to buy one on my own and pay the garage to put it in. I'm not sure if it's an easy enough job to do myself. Any advice appreciated!

  • Help - my 2000 MPV loses power intermittently - especially going up hills and inclines. It's been at the mechanics for a week and they have tested everything and can't find the problem. They are thinking possibly that it's the transmission but don't feel 100% about that. Anyone else have this problem??? It's got around 70,000. The manifold was replaced at the dealer at around 38,000 miles.
  • b3122b3122 Posts: 1

    This is my first post.

    I've owned a 1990 MPV since '99. Bought it with 75k on it. It now has 195k miles. Great car!

    Getting ready to sell it - empty nest syndrom - kids grown don't need to be toted around any more.

    Went to start it yesterday - someone's interested in buying it - to my horror nothing. Not even a click. Of course, checked the battery - even charged it up some. Tried jumping too.

    In the past this car has had an issue with what I think is either a starter relay or the starter itself. First turn of the key all you would get is a click. Then after a couple of attempts the starter would go and the engine starts - every time. Never had a problem. Suspected the neutral safety switch but was never actually able to do any good moving the shifter around. It always simply seemed that the relay/starter needed just a couple of go's before deciding to work. I'm convinced this is my problem.

    So - is it:
    1. Starter?
    2. Relay?

    Or what?


    Thanks from Oxford, Maine
  • bob57bob57 Posts: 302
    edwyer22: Fuel pump, clogged fuel injector, and/or air filter come to mind.

    b3122: Your starter problem on the 1990 - had the same problem on my old '92. It was the starter.
    Good luck - and start your engines.....
  • lg2207lg2207 Posts: 28
    The dealer ran scanner: they claim two codes: 1) #2 Coil= $360 parts/labor & 2) Transfer Range Switch= $400 parts/labor--- dont think I have a choice: will ask for a print out of the codes when I pick up the car
  • lg2207lg2207 Posts: 28
    After hearing the noise for over 1year on our '02 LX; all of sudden after new tires on fronts; the car was completely out of alignment; three trips to dealer tying to align vehiclet; they decided to replace the steering rack and voila!!!---- no more squeaking andno more alignment issues.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    Even MPV owner's manual does not mention about transmission oil change, my mazda dealer service manager advises flush the transmission and change the oil every 30,000 mile.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    "my service manager advises....every 30,000 miles"

    I'm sure he does. ;) But, it's my understanding that unless you are towing or engaging in other similar strenuous driving conditions a fluid change is not necessary. A visual inspection of fluid every 6 months should be fine.

    My dealer recommends an oil change every 3,000 miles. The owner manual recommends to change it every 7,500 miles.I change ours between every 4,000- 5,000 miles.
  • Hey all. I have a 2003 MPV with the single CD player/radio deck. My 3 year old dropped in 2 quarters into the CD slot... ah, the joys of kids! We got one out, but the other is in there and from what it looks like it's interfereing with the loading/unloading mechanism. Does anyone have an directions on how to remove the player/dashboard bezels so I can get in there and take a good look? Thanks!
  • I believe it is the same as my 2000 MPV. Take the two screws out above the speedometer. Then, there are about 9 clips that just pull out w/a little tug. What I did was put a rag over a screwdriver and started a the driver's side of the dashboard bezel and worked my way around. It was very easy. In order to get it all the way off, you will have to pull the transmission down to 1. Hope this helps.
  • Hey thanks. I saw those 2 screws that you mentioned and thought that those couldn't be the only things holding that bezel down. Knowing there are clips helps. Will let you know what I find.
  • stu17stu17 Posts: 3
    I am having the same problem. I got it to start and the engine light stayed on, so took it to my mechanic who read an air flow sensor error in the computer. Took it to Mazda where they replaced it (free, it's part of pollution control system, so under longer warranty than the rest of the car). A week later, same problem starting the car, even worse than before. Had it towed in and they have spent two days trying to find the problem. They reprogrammed the ignition but that didn't fix anything.
    Did your problem get resolved?
  • stu17stu17 Posts: 3
    I forgot to mention, I have a 2000 MPV LX with 65000 miles.
    The starting problem (cranks but won't stay running) showed up once months ago, but has gotten bad in the last month. Like others who have posted, I can keep it running by stepping on the gas. Also noticed the exhaust smells a little strong.
  • I had the same problem; had the Idle Air Control Valve replaced ($95 part at NAPA and $45 labor). Now it starts and stays running. Still having a "chugging" sensation when accelerating, though. Not sure what that one is.
This discussion has been closed.