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Mazda MPV: Problems & Solutions



  • rotarykidrotarykid Posts: 191
    actually dunlop will be supplying the tires. they have a problem with the tires causing low speed shake/vibration. This problem has gone on for a while- knowing that the dealer is not responsible for tire warranty, and there typically is no satisfaction when complaining to a tire dealer because every tire problem to them is simply due to hitting a curb or road hazard. Once the dealer gets involved, it is easier to get things done as long as it is legit.the dealer note says it applies to 00-03's.
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    There is a notice regarding this, TSB 09-500/01, I believe. What happens is that water becomes trapped in the rear end panel, and then can seep up through the adhesive tape that's applied at the factory. Generally, the water is spotted (bad pun) in the front left area of the storage hole.

    The fix is to drill two small drain holes in the rear underbody panel, which should not allow the water to be trapped anymore.

    Hope that helps!
  • I'm seriously considering the MPV when my truck lease is up next year, but am a little concerned about the smelly exhaust stories I've heard here. In my market area (Seattle-Portland) Costco and Arco are generally the gas price leaders; has anyone experienced problems filling up their MPV at either of these vendors?
  • Hey Rotarykid,

    I would very much like to know more about that Dealer Note that points out a flaw in the Dunlop tires that cause a shake/vibration at slow speeds.
    Is the note created by the dealer, for you to take to a Dunlop Tire dealer for warranty?
    I believe I may have the same problem on my 2002 MPV..this steering wheel does shake/vibrate at low speeds but NOT all the time? Did yours?
    If I could even get a copy of that note or dealer reference for that note It may help me out.
  • jolly2jolly2 Posts: 17
    I'm back with an update on the sulfur smell at 11,500 miles. It smells as bad as ever and I've tried everything suggested and every brand of gas available to me (unfortunately no Sunoco here). I just saw the service bulletin today when I took my van in because the check engine light is on. The bulletin is basically BS - says to change brands of gas. I hate my van so much I won't drive it. My two children and I cram into our other car - a pick-up truck - which is crazy! Anybody know of a class action law suit in the works? If so please post. Beware potential MPV buyers.
  • big_guybig_guy Posts: 372
    It sounds like your situation is unique. I have heard of people having the sulfur smell but usually the gas brand change clears it up. We have had no problems with the smell since the initial dealer "fill-up" was depleted. Since then, our MPV has been odor free using either Chevron or Tesoro gasoline. I wish I could suggest another option for getting rid of the smell because the MPV is a really nice vehicle. I like driving our MPV almost as much as I like driving my Passat.
  • jolly2jolly2 Posts: 17
    Sidiggie- sounds like we have the worst two smelling vans in the country - I feel your pain. Please post if you hear of a "good" solution - one that works; or if you hear of a class action law suit.
  • crissmancrissman Posts: 145
    I wish I had a surefire solution to the problem, but what I can say is that I use almost exclusively Shell regular gas and have not noticed an odor problem in my 2000 MPV. Maybe a few tankfuls would help. Good luck.
  • tccmn1tccmn1 Posts: 278
    Since I have been watching over the other threads...especially the Dodge Caravan one; I can't say that the MPV has that many issues.
    Smell is bad, but having bad tranny's, door problems, hardware issues, and many other things that the so called KING OF THE MINI's has is much worse. I can't believe the list of problems that even late model DC's are having compared to smells and long shifter levers, they have really MAJOR DEALS over there! I have had a DC for 8 years and have an MPV coming soon from Japan. I've had the tranny replaced as well as other hardware issues. The quality in workmanship in the MPV is definitely a plus over the Dodges I've seen and test driven...and I did MANY drives in many vans....and why I went with the 'smaller' but sportier MPV. Of course, I hope 8 years down the road I will not be eating crow on this decision.
  • h109h109 Posts: 36
    Just for those who've not see it:

    Hope this helps,
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Thanks Hari - has that bulletin really been out a year today as the heading indicates?

    Steve, Host
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    The heading is read this way:
    01: Engine group
    29: Bulletin number in that group
    02: Calendar year of release

    This makes it the 29th engine related bulletin that Mazda released in 2002 for all models.

    Actual issue date of the bulletin is 11/22/02.
  • My MPV has 12,500 miles. The sulfur smell has gotten much worse since Christmas! We've had very cold weather in Connecticut lately and there is nothing like being stopped at a red light with the heater and defroster on in 0 degree weather and having the van fill up with a nauseating stench!! I've switched from Shell to Mobil to Sunoco and nothing seems to help. I'd tell potential buyers to look at the Sienna which has a nice rebate now!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Thanks Maltb. I notice that neither the NHTSA or our Maintenance Guide have that one up yet.

    Steve, Host
  • I have a 91 MPV with 140,000 miles the timing belt broke while on the freeway at 70 mph . the shop has put a new belt and waterpump on it but cant get it to run right they say the computer pulls the timing out 60 degrees once it starts and they cant figure it out has anyone else ever had or heard of this problem? other than this we have totally love this van .
  • tccmn1tccmn1 Posts: 278
    Why is it that such a publicized problem is only affecting Mazda MPV's? Why not the Tribute which has the same engine? Or Ford cars that use this engine? Why don't other cars have the smell problem with gases?
    Is this smell deal happening in the upper midwest? I don't hear a lot of talk around the TC's about it.
    I have mine coming in a couple weeks and want to understand this thing more. It's been talked about for a year or more here.
  • bob57bob57 Posts: 302
    Yech! If the timing belt broke at 70MPH you could have more problems than imagined. All sorts of engine destruction could have taken place with valves, pistons, etc.
    60 degrees out of wack? Whoaa....
    Better pull the heads and take a peek. The belt was replaced correctly - right?
  • jolly2jolly2 Posts: 17
    I know the sulfur smell exists in North Carolina. I talked to other people around here who have the same problem with their MPV's.
  • Hi fellow MPV'ers!

    It's been a while since I posted here. I'm a proud owner of a '01 MPV LX that my wife mainly drives, which keeps the miles low (13k since July 01). We love our van, and mechanically, have had a flawless record with it -- until tonight.

    I took my 6-year-old shopping for T-ball gear, at a shopping center about 10 minutes from home. When I started up the van to come home, the Battery charging light came on, and I'd lost power steering. I decided to drive home rather than wait for the tow truck, and noticed that console lights were dimming. At this point, I was guessing failed alternator.

    I got home, and discovered the alternator belt (it used to be called a v-belt in older cars, though it's not really v-shaped) had come off -- this prevented the alternator, power steering and water pump from working properly.

    It seems to me to be one of those fluke things that happened, rather than a problem with the Duratec engine or something of that sort. But I thought I'd float this out to the list to see if anyone else had a similar occurrence.

    I think I'll just bring it in Monday A.M. and have my local mechanic (rather than the closest Mazda dealer) take a look at it first, and tell me what he thinks caused the belt to come off. If it's just a matter of putting the belt back on, then I'll just ask him to do it. He can usually get things turned around by lunchtime. If it seems more serious, then I'll have the Mazda dealership (who I haven't seen but have been told to avoid) look at it and insist that it be covered by warranty.

    This episode does not sour me on the MPV -- it's still a great van and perfect family vehicle for us.
  • mass3mass3 Posts: 6
    I own a 2001 MPV, I had the smell for a long time I think a year. it has nothing to do with the gas. It did eventually go away. The problem I do have on going is that sometimes I can not disengage my shifter. The dealer said they could not find anything wrong. Anybody else have this problem.
  • tbonertboner Posts: 402
    I'll put your mind at ease about one thing, the waterpump is at the other end of the engine and driven from one of the camshafts, so at least you don't need to worry about possibly overheating the engine.

    So at the very least, you may have taxed your battery.

    I would have your mechanic check the belt tensioner. I find it hard to believe the belt would just come off unless the tensioner was marginal or faulty. Hopefully if it is a tensioner, it is still under warranty.

    I'd have them put a new belt on (at your cost of course) in any case, while they are doing the work, you might as well get a new belt instead of paying the labor again later to replace the belt.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I just happened to run across this discussion and it sounds like you guys have company with the Camry and Saab owners, among others:

    Unrepairable Foul Emission Oder In New Camry

    Steve, Host
  • Hey TB,

    Thanks for the tip -- I was worried about the overheating issue. It looks like I'll just go to the dealer after all -- and yes, I was already thinking about asking them to go ahead and put on a new belt. I'd rather not have to go through this again, if the current belt is stretched.

    Then again, I could get lucky and they'll replace the belt under warranty . . .

  • tccmn1tccmn1 Posts: 278
    Wow! Reading the Toyota thread really opened my eyes to how wide spread this smell issue really is. I had not heard about it from friends around here or others in the local market of the TC's of MN. We own a 98 Camry, and had not had the stink...but sounds like the latest models are. Rather sad that something like this has to start happening to otherwise well built and thought of vehicles.
    My questions still stands on the Ford engine; I had not seen the stink issue with the Tributes....has anyone else heard if this engine is causing problems in the other vehicles that use it? Tributes use this same engine and have been notorious for OTHER problems...but not a smell to my knowledge. Or is the stench nothing to do with the engine, but the emission system...?

    I am going to do more investigating locally to see if this problem is widespread in the Twin City area. Maybe our gas is processed different here.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    There are similar posts in the Mazda Tribute/ Ford Escape problems discussion that you can find with the Advanced Search tool, but they seem to be talking more about a "fuel smell" in the cabin rather than a "stink." Not sure if it's quite the same problem.

    Steve, Host
  • tccmn1tccmn1 Posts: 278
    Thanks Steve for the info. Let's call it a stinking smelly issue.
    Still wanting to hear of folks related to this problem and parts of the country. I still have not heard much on it locally here in the upper midwest. Sounds like it's out east, southeast and maybe west coast. Refineries/gas providers, etc. may have impact on this issue the way it sounds...I may get a bunch of those 'evergreen' air freshners for the new machine when it arrives or buy a gas mask;-)

    Seriously, how can such a wide spread issue be kept under wraps by so many auto makers?? There must be a solution besides buying certain gas. Cars had smell/rotten egg problems back in the 70's when the catalytic converters first came out...but nothing is that new on the machines now to cause this 30 years later.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Check the label - most of those are pure formaldehyde :-)

    Steve, Host
  • The Drive belt problem was caused by a broken belt tensioner, which also caused damage to the belt itself. I drove to the dealer (15 minutes away, about 6 mi. down the freeway) early this morning, and by the time I got there, the belt was dragging on the ground under the van. (Thankfully, it didn't get caught on anything).

    The service at the dealer was superb -- I was the second vehicle in queue, and they had the work done in less than 2 hours -- all covered under warranty. So much for the rumors!!

    So all's well with my MPV again, just in time for T-ball season!!!

  • tccmn1tccmn1 Posts: 278
    I know this isn't funny to those experiencing it, but it does SOUND funny.

    Went to my 'home' dealer tonight to check on my ever so closer yet elusive, MPV (to delivery that is). ETA is now 2/11! The slow boat only took 2 weeks. Oct.20 - Feb.11. That's how long MINE took to get to MN. from Japan.

    I asked him about the smell and he shriveled has nose up and looked at me like I was crazy. Never heard of it, he cried. He told me to call the techs during the day and ask them about the smell. This should be fun...not!

    Aw, what the heck. I guess I'll just get use to it.
  • My wife complained to me our 2000 MPV with 56K miles on it is making a buzzing sound. With the weather in the mid 20 degree F range for a high, I figured it was a belt whinning. This past weekend I took it for a trip to Slippery Rock University for a track meet with my kids. When we left, I only went about a half mile and it started. I pulled over and to my surpise, it wasn't coming from where the belts are, but rather from the air cleaner housing. Now I am befuddled. Any ideas out there as to what this may be. I think I changed the air filter at 30k. I had the throttle plate cleaned at 50K. Any ideas welcomed PS I am a DIY first.
This discussion has been closed.