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Mazda Millenia



  • it is almost certainly tires.

    I has Dunlop Sport 4000 AS's (two sets) on my wifes' 99 S. The car suddenly began pulling to the side during neighborhood street rebuilding. I assumed alignment had been screwed up from pot-holes and such. Wrong.
    It was the tires.
    New Bridgestone Potenzas and the care is like new.
    Had the alignment checked and adjusted. It was still in spec. Now it is exactly on.
    I confirmed all this with my mechanic of 20 years. He said her forgot the last time he saw a new car where alignment was a primary problem. Secondary, yes.
    Diagnosing this is simple but a pain. Swap the tires and see if the symptom changes. BTW, a tire with a broken belt on the rear can still cause drift in the front. If you have a flat driveway, roll tires down it and look for severe wobble at a specific place. All tires wobble a bit. If you have a problem, it will look like a drunk missing a step. Hope that saves someone some money. And one last comment, if your roadways are not smooth, Dunlops (at least the 4000's) are terrible tires. Of the last four I checked, two were severely damaged and two were noticeably damaged. The Bridgestones are not as quiet, but they are (so far) impervious to bad roadways.
  • steevo2steevo2 Posts: 33
    Yes this is a strange problem with my 97 Mil S. Usually after the tires are rotated, it tracks dead-on straight. Then after a couple of weeks, it might pull to the right. A few days later, straight again. This is on the same stretch of roadway. It's like all the tires line up a certain way for a while, and then drift back out. However, I have noticed that the problem is compounded by VERY slight imbalances in air pressure on the front tires. I'm currently running Michelin MXV4's.
  • nmgridlnmgridl Posts: 12
    I have a '98 S. At 40k miles I had to replace both catalytic converters (thankfully under warranty). I am now at 65k miles and worry if I will have to replace the converters again at 80k. The exhaust has always had a sulfur smell. The dealer has checked the car for the sulfur smell twice, plus doing the catalytic work. They have never found anything. A guess would be that there is an O2 sensor problem, but as the O2 sensors would run $500, I hate to just replace them blindly.
  • steevo2steevo2 Posts: 33
    I always thought that a sulfur type smell was normal for a catalytic converter. Sometimes it is more noticeable than others, but whenever I do notice it, I don't think about something being wrong. Anyone else?
  • juliziojulizio Posts: 18
    I had my CC replaced a few months ago @ 53k mile, like yours, it was under warranty. My check engine light was on, that's what alerted me to the problem.

    Never noticed a sulfur smell.

    I did notice that the gas mileage went up after it was replaced, not sure why.
  • First I would like to thank you all, I have found this board very helpful in learning about the millenia.
    My question is I currently have a 2001 Prizm LSI and I am thing about geting a new, for me, car and i would like to know if you would recomend the millenia and if so the S or not, and a year 98-2001 that you think in good. I wnat a car that will be fun to drive and very reliable. Also would you recomend any opptions to look for.
    Than you so much for your help.
  • kcm8419kcm8419 Posts: 121
    I think that most people here would recommend the Mill. My questions are why not also look at the '02? What are you looking for in a car? How much are you looking at spending? I think that the 2.5L is a fine car. There are some differences between that and the S, I think that you will have to drive both and decide for yourself. If you have trouble with the Mill the S by far is going to be more expensive to fix. I guess the options are going to depend on what you deem as being important in a car. Since everybody has a difference of opinion on there likes and dislikes in a car.
  • Good to hear that you all still like your Mills, even if some have had a few problems, I will be going to drive both the Mill and the S on Mon. The only thing with the 02 is the $, they tend to be a bit more then I want to spend. I am looking in the 10-12000 area. I am a bit intimidated by the S's tendency for more problems and at a higher cost. I am looking to keep the repair bill down to a minimum. I have had no problems on my current car and am looking for a bit nicer car that will last me for about 5 years or more. As for speed I like it, but not at the cost of more repairs and more expensive ones, any way I think the 2.5 will be a bit faster then my car now so it should be fine. I will let you know what I think after my test drives. Thanks again kcm8419.
    I hope to hear the input from more of you.
    Thanks to all that reply.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    I'll pretty much ditto kcm's post. My '01 P has performed flawlessly on 87 octane gasoline for 2 years and 13000 miles, and Mazda has a TSB saying not to run 93 octane in the 2.5 engine now. I did have a check engine light caused by the knock sensor apparently getting moisture in it. That caused no problem and was replaced under warranty. Expect some unusual shifting of the automatic transmission expecially when accelerating from a near stop. It is not a malfunction, but you have to get used to it.

    MM's have an excellent reliability record, but the S is more complicated by the supercharger and variable valve timing. That adds up to more maintenance and potentially more chance for failure. Also the 17 inch tires tend to be more expensive to replace than the 16's on the P model.

    S owners do seem to love their cars, but you don't seem willing to accept the extra care they need, so I'd stick with the P model. There are very few options because all Millenia's come basically loaded. Seat warmers are a part of a winter package you might want if you are up north.

    To put it simply, my MMP is by far the best assembled and finished of all 20 plus cars I have owned. Add a very nice driving experience and reliability, and I don't see how you can go wrong unless you get ahold of a mistreated car. I would have one checked by a trusted mechanic before buying to avoid that possibility.

    Good luck with your test driving, and enjoy your "new" MM.
  • nmgridlnmgridl Posts: 12
    My experience with the catalytic converters was exactly the same as "julizio". I knew about my converter problem because the check engine light went on. After the converters were replaced, my MPG went up too. Sometimes my sulfur smell is really noticeable, even when driving (in slow traffic).

    To " clayuofm", to help decide which Millennia to choose, look at the mileage. The car has a pretty pricy tune-up at 60K. So you don't want a car that has 50K on it. The 60K tune up cost me about $800. If the car has over 60K, check to make sure the 60K work was done.
  • I have a 99 P with no major problems. Bought it with 34k in March and have 58k right now. Only problem is my seat heater stopped working, and I havent felt like gettting that fixed. Other than that it has been great.

    That pricey 60k tune-up is only pricey on the S model. The timing belt on the P does not need to be changed until 105k, so it is nothing more than spark plugs and air filter at 60k. Nothing you couldnt do yourself pretty easily. There are some suspect shifts when gassing after a "rolling stop", but it is common on all Millenias and you will get used to it.

    The stereo system (Bose and Standard) are both great and the ride is even better. Gas mileage was about 25 in warmer months and closer to 22 in winter. Tires on the P are more expensive than normal because they are wider and lower profile than the average 16 inch tires, but the 17's are even more expensive. Just buy good ones and you wont have to worry about them for 50 or 60k miles. You should be able to get a 99 and maybe even a 2000 for 10-12 grand.

    The car is definitley put together well, there are no squeaks or rattles.

    Good luck.
  • I have a 1999 Millenia S. bought new, now with 52K miles. Happy with the car but recently noted a smell of burning oil, from the engine compartment, not the exhaust. When I check the oil, the level is OK.

    Curious if this could happen from over-filling the crankcase after an oil change? The level is definitely high on the dipstick, but just slightly so. Smells like oil leaking an exhaust manifold? Not real bad, any only after 1/2hr or so of driving. Any ideas?
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    I shouldn't comment on this being that my MM is not an S. But from what I have read here and a couple of other places, my guess is that your supercharger is leaking.

    I have no details for you, but you might proceed on that premise to check it out.
  • kcm8419kcm8419 Posts: 121
    When you say that the engine is slightly over filled how much are we talking about? When the oil was replaced how much was put in? If the oil and oil filter were both replaced the service manual says that it should take 4.3 quarts of oil. If just the oil was changed without changeing the filter then only 4 quarts should have been used. If 5 quarts was put in the excess oil has to go somewhere. Look for oil leaks in case a seal is going out. Also did you check the oil level while the car was warm? The car is supposed to be at normal operating temperature, and then allowed to cool for 5 minutes and then checked. It goes without saying that it should be on a level surface.

    For those of you who do not have the S model just changeing the oil it should take 3.9 quarts of oil. If you replace the oil and the oil filter it should take 4.2 quarts of oil.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    I change the oil and filter on my '01 P, exactly 4 qt puts it right on the full marker, and I use a longer filter than the OEM. It stays on the full mark for the usual 3000 or so miles between changes.

    I drain the oil completely after driving until the oil is hot, so it is not retaining any appreciable quantity of old oil.
  • Thanks for the posts concerning my problem. I did check the oil after afew minutes of cool down. The level was slightly above the upper full mark. I usually have a 'quick change' place do my oil changes. I know they work fast and could potentially over-fill the crankcase.

    Probably just wishful thinking that the problem is that simple. Any other fix most likely means big $$. I'll double check the oil level. That dipstick is a hassle to read accurately and maybe it's way over the full mark.
  • kcm8419kcm8419 Posts: 121
    Since you had a quick oil change place do the oil check your receipt, sometimes they will put the amount of oil that they put in to the car. If nothing else take the car back to them and let them check it. If they did put too much in they can take some out for you. Also if they did over fill it they then should be liable for any damages that they may have caused by over filling it. Make sure that you know for sure before you let them touch it. I know that these dip sticks can be a headache reading them with new oil in the car.
  • I'll check out any receipt, which I may not have. I'll also check the oil afew different times to get an average reading. You're right, new oil is real tough to read on the dipstick.
  • sdasda Indian Land, SCPosts: 1,954
    Could be a valve cover seeping oil and dripping on and then burning off an exhaust manifold. One drop leaked causes quite a stink. Not really a problem, unless it leaks a lot. Just annoying. Early 2.5 V-6 were noted for this, I don't know if this is the case with later models. Ofcourse when you had the oil changed, they may have been sloppy and spilled oil which is burning off.

    2010 Pilot EXL-RES, 2013 Accord EX

  • I have the same symptoms you describe on a '98 Millenia S model with 75k miles. I change the oil myself with around 4.3 qts of synthetic per change. I suspect that it is either the valve cover gaskets leaking or perhaps the supercharger itself, but everything is too crammed in the engine for a casual inspection. It burns a little oil on startup on really cold days which some people have attributed to seepage from oil seals in the supercharger. I do not notice any excessive oil consumption between changes and performance is exceptional, so I suspect this may be normal for these engines and am not too concerned.
  • rpdrpdrpdrpd Posts: 36
    After searching and searching, bouncing from I30s to Lincoln LSs to ES300s to whatever else caught my eye, the search is over. Last night I drove home my 2001 Millenia S, black with gray underneath, 4800 miles (yes, 4800 miles), certified preowned from Mazda, for $17,500. Dealer also agreed to call me when he got a Millenia in with chromes, and for labor cost he will swap my rims with the chromes.

    My final decision last night was between my new Millenia and a 2003 Mazda 6, 8500 miles, $19,995, 6 cyl sport, leather, heated seats, sunroof, etc. I liked the way the 6 drove, liked the interior layout, the overall "new", contempoary design of the car. But I couldn't stop looking at the Millenia. I've always wanted an S, love the color, really love the miles, satisfied with the price.

    I look forward to many years of satsified ownership and will be checking in with progress and any questions. And I do have a question. It seems as if the driver's sideview mirror is slightly distorted. Not like the designed "distortion" of the passenger side mirror, but distorted all the same. I was wondering if this is common, correct, or I have a problem. I also thought the sideview mirrors were heated with the cold weather package, but can't figure out if they are.

    And yes, a minor complaint. Unless I am missing it somewhere, there is no light or anything indiciating when the fog lights are on. This is very annoying and very bizarre. The master cruise control switch has a little amber light, but the fog light switch does not.

    In any case, I love the car already. An Infiniti dealer wanted to sell me a 2000 I30t with 45,000 miles for $18995, and would not budge on price. When I told the salesman that I purchased the Millenia, he sneered. They just have no clue.

    I have enjoyed reading this discussion area, and have learned a lot.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    I can only answer a couple of your questions.

    First, I have had no distortion in the sideview mirror.

    The other concerns the fog lights. They only operate when you have the main headlights on in "low beam" position. I too had a problem getting used to whether they were on or not, and resorted to turning them on/off reflecting in someone elses bumper. I found out that once turned on they stayed on and operated when the low headlights were activated. I agree, it is a strange situation as is the position of the main cruise control switch.

    These are very minor though and you get used to it. You will also have to get used to the transmission shifting at very low speeds.

    Congratulations on your new MMS.

    erinsquared, I hope that supercharger is OK, because it is about a $5000 problem if it goes out.
  • rpdrpdrpdrpd Posts: 36
    I did notice the transmission shifting at low speeds. I had the cruise set on 60 mph going through a hilly, up and down, slightly twisty county road and noticed the cruise flucuating quite a bite, especially going down hill, with numerous up and down shifts. I guess that relates to the transmission.

    Yes, the cruise and fog light switches are strange. I just don't get why no amber light like the cruise control switch. Oh well, can't have everything.
  • rpdrpdrpdrpd Posts: 36
    I got the impression that the car had heated sideview mirrors from Edmunds. Pricing out the car, one of the options to select was "heated sideview mirrors". I assumed I had them since the car has the 4 seasons package, but I saw no mention of them in the owners manual.

    Second, the owners manual discusses a "mid-range" adjustment on the radio, along with the bass, treble, etc. I have the bose radio, six cd in-dash, and I thought that was the top of the line. But I do not have the "mid-range" adjustment feature. So I don't have the top of the line stereo?
  • Hi, everyone. This is my first post.
    Purchased a 2001 Mill S demo with 4000 miles in Oct 2001, I have 30,000 miles on it now. I’m running out of warrantee and am a bit desperate.
    In black and silver with chrome wheels ($590+ to replace) and a timeless design it is one of the most beautiful cars now and for a long time to come, and I would like to keep it.
    BUT, since day one I've had a problem with the ride. It seems under certain road conditions, i.e., wavy road surface, sharp bumps or pot holes, and certain speed bumps, it feels like the suspension leaves the frame for a brief second. Sometimes the front end crashes (very hard metal to metal sound). Very disconcerting. Sometimes the front end overreact to bumps. At other times, again on certain road surfaces at speeds more than 40 mph, I feel an oscillation. Sometimes, I feel as the temperature drops, lets say, below 32 degrees the ride improves. I feel there is something definitely not right with the struts/shocks.
     I’ve contacted Mazda in California by phone early on, and they tell me that the low profile tires with a sports suspension is the way it is supposed to feel. I say, baloney. I’ve been driving cars for 40 years, all makes and models, and I can feel if something is not right. I’ve been to four different dealers over the last two years and they claim they cannot duplicate. They look at me like I’m a head case. I just don’t trust them. Wheel weights have fallen off after they tried to balance the wheels within a hundred feet of their service bay. Another dealer wrote it up as a model 626. Where does a dealer in Manhattan, NY test drive the car? On the 6th floor of their garage? I think the dealers just don’t see enough of this model car.
      One reason I’ve been so long with this is - I had a chrome wheel that could not be balanced early on. I thought this could be the problem. Mazda said I did it by hitting a pothole or something. I said no, it just a bad wheel. Finally, 18 months later, after much discussion, they agreed to replace the wheel, gratis. Naturally, the ride improved, but did not solve the problem.
    BTW this bad wheel masked a bad rotor problem, which was discovered at the 18,000 mile mark. I paid $468 (ridiculous) to cut the rotors and replace the front brake pads. Too late they said, I have to pay.
    I’ve had this car at several local mechanics also, and they said everything is normal. I’m beginning to feel that it is truly all in my head and nothing is wrong. So posting here is my last hope of discovering what if anything is wrong.
    I’m hoping someone out there may have comments or suggestions that point to a nut, a bolt, a spring, or something I can use to help the dealer figure it out next time I visit.

    PS. If it helps - The car tracks straight and true. Tire wear is even. Ride is very good when not being tested by bumps or holes. No shake in the steering wheel. About 5-8 thousand miles of tread left on the Dunlop 5000's ($290 at Sears to replace).
    A mechanic on the radio said, “poor shocks, replace them with Koni, Bilsteins, KYB, or the like”. But, I can’t find any after market shocks/struts for this car and I am willing to buy.
    If I can't resolve with Mazda,does anyone know where to buy? I don’t want Mazda replacements. I might have the same problem and the dealer just over charges. Thanks
  • tomekktomekk Posts: 310
    Heated mirrors are turned on with the rear defrost switch. I think if you have heated seats (easy to check that!), then you have the 4 seasons package with heated mirrors.
    Anyway, you'll see they work once ice starts melting off the mirrors...

    Bose does not have mid-rage tone control, only bass and treble.

    Tomek ('01 S w/Bose and 4 seasons)
  • lammy1lammy1 Posts: 1
    Hey Millenia Owners - looking for some suggestions or indications that anyone else has experienced this problem. When I go to fill-up on gas in my 1999 Milennia S, lately it will not take a full tank. The gas stops pumping, when I get in the car, it shows that it is only 3/4 full on the guage, was wondering if this was common, and suggestions as to what the problem may be. Friends suggest that the float inside the gas tank is no longer working. Any suggestions???

  • tomekktomekk Posts: 310
    After the pump stops for the first time, I can get usually 2 more gallons in. It shows full either way, but if I get those 2 gallons in the fuel gauge needle is pegged on the top rather than merely showing full.
    It seems that with some nozzles on certain gas pumps it is more difficult to top it off. I had exactly same issue with Nissan Stanza years ago and was told by the Nissan service that "it's how Japanese cars are" and never really contested that (Nissan Stanza, built in Smyrna, Tennessee...). So, I never really questioned the same behavior in Millenia.
    Hope this helps,
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    problem I have not had. But a word of advice from what I have read. Don't force fill your fuel tank. These cars have a pressurized fuel system, and when the pump shuts off, you should too.

    It it actually does not fill, try a different station. If it still won't fill you have a problem with the fuel system that needs repaired.
  • My 18 yr old son is considering trading his 2000 Ford Exployer Sport (106k mi) for 1996 Mazda Mellenia (90k mi). We have no experience with "foreign cars" looking for any suggestions/advise.
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