Mazda MPV: Care & Maintenance



  • oldmedicoldmedic Member Posts: 78
    Thanks for the quick come back. I've been reading the reviews on Really like the Kumho's. I've read reviews on several expensive tires only to find out price doesn't make a tire ride or last any better than some of the cheaper ones. Had a set of Yokohoma Avid Touring on the Chevy Astro I traded for the MPV. Smoothest quietest tire I've ever owned. Great on dry or wet, but they don't make 17" and don't plan to in the near future. I asked.
  • oldmedicoldmedic Member Posts: 78
    Does anyone know if the ES leather seats are natural leather or vinyl coated leather. Makes a big difference in how they're maintained. Mine appear very dry and stiff after sitting on the dealers lot for almost a year. Need some serious conditioning, but using expensive leather care on vinyl coated leather won't help and vinyl dressing on leather is a no no. I emailed Mazda but don't seriously expect a reply; they still haven't answered my question about hard shifting!
  • oldmedicoldmedic Member Posts: 78
    Mazda's Charlie Lee finally emailed me back with info that the seat bottom and back were the real thing. So on goes the Autoglym with the first warm day. I did finally pin him down on the tranny issue as well. He admitted that there was a problem and Mazda was working on a solution. If you have a question "tell'm Charlie sent you".
  • waterbabywaterbaby Member Posts: 9

    We purchased a 2002 es MPV today, and were wondering about the "timing belt." I know the new MPVs have a chain, and not a belt - anyone out there know what is in ours (no mention of either in the owner's manual) and when it needs changing?

  • subearusubearu Member Posts: 3,613
    has a chain as well.

  • davec6davec6 Member Posts: 6
    I have 44K on my 2000 and I'm thinking maybe its time to change the tranny, brake and power steering fluids. (Has anyone changed to synthetic ATF?) Does anyone know at what mileage these changes are reccomended?
  • dan2004dan2004 Member Posts: 86
    If you plan to keep your MPV for a long time (100K+) changing the fluid is a good idea at 44K. Otherwise the original fluid should be good for 100K+ assuming the tranny did not overheat.

    Mobil1 Synthetic works really well (do double check whatever fluid you use is Mercon III <not Mercon V!> compatible). If you are changing the fluid, make sure to drain the torque converter as well. Try to avoid *iffy Lube types with machines and go for a reputable transmission shop or dealer. You don't need backflushing machine for a complete change as it can be done through the AT cooler lines.

    Make sure you provide enough ATF for a complete change (appx 14 qts). Also check if your tranny pan needs to be pulled for a filter change. If you only have a screen (like the 2003+ MPVs) you can skip that.
  • oldmedicoldmedic Member Posts: 78
    After 44K if the tranny fluid is still clean and not discolored (heavy towing or a lot of mountain driving) I be more concerned about changing the brake fluid. Moisture in brake fluid can be the death of you. I think all this concern about MPV tranny problems has everyone running scared for miracle fluids and snake oil fixes. Give the computer reflash a chance before spending big bucks on synthetic fluid.
  • davec6davec6 Member Posts: 6
    Thanks for the advice, I noticed after reading your message today the brake fluid does look brown. How difficult is it to change? I'm no joe mechanic, but I do have quite a few oil changes and minor repairs under my belt. On the subject of oil, Would anyone reccomend changing over to synthetic? A dealer once told me if the vehicle does not get switched over when its new, then its best to keep it on regular oil. Any thoughts?

  • davec6davec6 Member Posts: 6
    My oil dipstick seems like its "twisted"? Is this normal or is it damaged

  • oldmedicoldmedic Member Posts: 78
    You can switch over to synthetic at any time or switch back for that matter. Synthetic and dino are completely compatiable. My personal preference is the synthetic/dino blend. I used to use 100% synthetic all the time but found that it tended to leak around gaskets. A little dino blend seems to keep the gaskets and seals from shrinking and leaking. Also a big factor is expense. Synthetic blends are way cheaper than 100%. I would suggest that in order to have some idea what percent synthetic you're getting or to adjust for temperature range that you change oil using one or more quarts of 100% synthetic and finish filling with dino. Most manufactures don't label their blended product with the percent of synthetic vs dino. Hope this helps. OM
  • mainsail2mainsail2 Member Posts: 77
    I just had them installed in my 2000 MPV @ 49000 miles. My local garage charged me around $150 labor to do this, and I thought that this sounded a little high. I provided the parts. Any comments out there? The mechanic told me that it's a difficult job on the MPV, as several things need to be removed and replaced in order to get to the back plugs.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Member Posts: 1,207
    In Edmunds's Mazda 3 section, I saw posts that Mazda said synthetic oil will void Mazda's B2B warranty.
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  • lazyfoxlazyfox Member Posts: 90
    Does Mazda recommend the use of synthetic oil?
    No. Mazda does not recommend the use of synthetic oil. To determine which oil should be used for your specific model, consult your Owner's Manual. contactCustomer#15
  • goldgary1goldgary1 Member Posts: 10
    Does anyone have the programing code to program a 1998-MPV keyless remote.

    Thanks, Gary
  • dhuntdhunt Member Posts: 1

    Can anyone tell me where you fill up the transmission fluid. I know my car is low but I'm not sure where to fill it. It's the 93 model but I assume later models would be fairly similar.

  • grubbsgrubbs Member Posts: 2
    We bought a 2004 ES in August after reading all the Consumer Digest ratings which included the 2004 MPV as "Recommended." Now, the latest Consumer Digest ratings have removed the MPV from "Recommended" status and rate the transmission as unreliable. Did Mazda change transmissions after apparently having years of good ratings? We previously had a Dodge 2000 Caravan which also had lousy transmission ratings. We changed the transmission fluid, as recommended, every 30K and never had a problem. Is the issue with the MPV transmission a similar one? Or, do we need to rethink purchasing the extended warranty? Thanks!
  • jipsterjipster Member Posts: 6,232
    Don't go underground on this one grubbs.Consumer Reports didn't rate the transmission unreliable. It was rated less reliable than the average new model.All the data collected by Consumer Reports was from April of 2002 until March of 2003.So, the reports on reliability are for the 2003 model. The transmission problem you are speaking of is a rough shift between 2nd and 3rd gear.Affected 2% to 5% of MPV's that were scored in the survey.Affected mostly 2003 and early 2004 models. Taking the van in to have the TCM "reflashed" or reprogrammed fixes the hardshift problem. are free to Zoom Zoom with an unincumbered mind.
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • grubbsgrubbs Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info. I also found some good info on the subject on the "Town Hall" site.
  • dcournoyeadcournoyea Member Posts: 2
    I want to purchase the rear bumper plate for my 2004 MPV. Can i easily install this myself or should i have the Dealer do it for me. What about the bug deflector, should i get the dealer to do that as well or can i do myself.
  • dcournoyeadcournoyea Member Posts: 2
    Just bought a 2004 MPV, 18,000 Kilometers. I have only had for 2 days. I have been reading all this talk about "hard shifting" between 2nd and 3rd gear. Not sure what i should be looking out for and at exactly what speeds. What will this hardshift feel like, will it be obvious that something is wrong or subtle?
  • steveeaststeveeast Member Posts: 158
    Don't worry, you'll recognise it if it happens...
  • mpvfromnjmpvfromnj Member Posts: 1
    We have a 2002 MPV with 62,000 miles. The transmission is now slipping into nuetral whenever it gets above 45 mph. What could have caused this and could anything have prevented it. And what will need to be done to repair it if anyone knows?
  • johnbullusjohnbullus Member Posts: 4

    here is my concern: I could not find any recommendation for transmission fluid change in owners manual. Went thru all the pages. Dont see it. So does it need to be changed? If so, why Mazda (as manufacturer) does not include this on maintenance schedule?
    Now, dealers recommend to change it every 30k if not even every 15k miles! Are they so much money driven?
    Please comment on this.
    Who is right? Who do you trust? What do you do?

    Just to add something, I have a Honda Civic, and a very good mechanic - a friend. Both him and owners manual for Honda suggest changing the transmission fluid at 90k miles. I understand this. Makes sense.

    But the difference on Mazda really puts me into trouble... :confuse:
  • jipsterjipster Member Posts: 6,232
    It is my understanding that unless you operate your Mazda under severe conditions(towing, a lot of driving in mountains etc) there is no need to change the transmission fluid. Though it still should be checked every so often.Despite this...some people still like to do a fluid change every 60,000...just to be on the safe side.
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • bobbyveebobbyvee Member Posts: 1
    Am about to replace my wore out dunlops w/ Yokohamas new AVID TRZ 22560TR17s. Research indicates good allround all season performance, w/ 80,000 mi. wear.Discount Tire quoted me 481.16 for 4,includes tax, lifetime rotations, flat repair. It is not a directional tire and looks pretty good too. Oh, I'm driving a 2003 MPV ES. Hope this helps.
  • subearusubearu Member Posts: 3,613
    The Yoko Avid's do seem to be becoming popular as replacements on the MPV. Keep us updated - let us know how they look on the van and how it drives/feels in varying conditions.

  • rickyd1rickyd1 Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone changed there own transmission oil? I can't find the oil drain plug. Help.
  • itchyitchy Member Posts: 2
    The check engine light on my 2003 MPV just turned on yesterday while driving. The mileage is around 28,500 miles. It has had no problems to this point except for the harsh shifting I read about on these forums. I plan to take it in next week, but was hoping someone could clue me in on possible reasons for it to turn on. I am going to have the software upgrade at the same time :P
  • subearusubearu Member Posts: 3,613
    I replied to your other thread.

  • mpvguympvguy Member Posts: 2
    You do not say whether you have had the PCV recall work done yet. My 2003 had its check engine light come on just before 30,000 miles. A few days after (though not immediately after[?]) having the recall work done, the light went off.

  • daddioof4daddioof4 Member Posts: 50
    I need to remove the back door panel on the driver side. The inside door handle has me stuck. How do you remove the door handle in order to remove the door panel?
    Thanks in advance for any advice!!!
  • daleinncdaleinnc Member Posts: 7
    Hello all. I am the proud new owner of a 2003 MPV ES Mazda. Expanding family recently has moved us into this vehicle. So far we love it. I have a couple of questions though. Our MPV has 30k miles and needs a couple of things....

    1) Tires need replacing...seems odd at 30k, but the fronts are pretty worn.
    any suggestions on replacements that have a great ride?

    2) we have noticed the sulphur like smell a couple of times. I have read in some forums that this problem seems to come from the gas we use, not neccesarily the Cat Converter...any thoughts?

    3) where is the easiest place for me to get an owners manual?
    4) how in the [email protected] do you remove the spare tire? I am sure when i get the owners manual i might have an explanation!

    5) How do i get bulletins to see what recalls have been sent out and if i need to have anything done..

    Thanks for all your help. will check back soon.

    Dale in asheville NC!!
  • jc9799jc9799 Member Posts: 70
    Dale, congrats on the new ride. I may not be of much help, but here goes...

    1. Not surprising, if you got the Dunlop 4000's. According to the consumer reviews at Tire Rack, they seem to wear out pretty fast. As far as replacements, sorry, the MPV is my first minivan and it's only got 1000 miles on it.

    2. Can't help you there.

    3. Did you buy from a dealership? I would guess they would have one.

    4. I haven't even checked my manual on the how to.

    5. I believe that Edmunds has that info if you go to the specific make, model and year.

    Told ya I wouldn't be much help.
    Good luck.
  • jipsterjipster Member Posts: 6,232
    1)yeah, the OEM Dunlops wear out pretty quickly. 30k isn't to bad. The Michelin Hydroedge or Harmony would be a good bet. Try for suggestions and ideas...don't know what your price range is. Hydroedges are expensive $130.
    2) pass
    3)google mazda owners manual,,,or call e-mail Corp Mazda
    5)ask your dealer, google Mazda mpv recalls and tsb(technical service bulletin)

    Congrats and good luck on your MPV
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • nlsnls Member Posts: 65
    3. I bought one from E-Bay.

    4. The spare tire is underneath the vehicle, below the middle row passenger side seat. There should be a small opening in the carpet to operate a winch mechanism to lower the spare tire.
  • daleinncdaleinnc Member Posts: 7
    thanks to all the post to my questions. I did find that winch tool of a thing hidden in the rear seat. will see if i can figure it out myself. I will ebay or go thru local dealer to get me a book though.

    the tires that came on it are the Dunlops so i guess the wear on them is common.

    thanks again..
  • nlsnls Member Posts: 65
    Some folks have had the winch mechanism becoming inoperable because of rust from road salt, or because of a plastic part in it breaking. So you might have to exercise some caution. One recommendation is to grease it occasionally so that it doesn't get stuck.
  • daleinncdaleinnc Member Posts: 7
    thanks again for the info. will check on the winch thingy.

    UPDATE ON TIRE INFO.....after reviewing due to the suggestions from many of you...i believe i have found another great option in tires for the MPV. rates the Goodyear Assurance Tripleedge as the number 1 tire overall and the Michelin Hydroedge as the number 2...only problem is that it didnt list on that the Goodyear comes in a 17 inch rim size...which my MPV has (225/60/17). So....after calling a couple of local dealers, one of them found that they could get the Tripleedge in the 17 size....of course...they are expensive...about $165 a tire...but they appear to be the top ranked tire.

    Just thought I would share in case some of you were like me and thought that you only had a couple of options with size 17's (and a couple of them werent very good options either....more Dunlops or the Continentals!!)
  • jipsterjipster Member Posts: 6,232
    Have never heard of the Goodyear Assurance Tripleedge.Let us know how you like them after they're installed.
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • nlsnls Member Posts: 65
    I think it is TripleTread. There is also a ComforTread, which is slightly lower in cost.
  • daleinncdaleinnc Member Posts: 7 are right...triple tread....anyway...getting them on friday...will give an update soon after...
  • vrmvrm Member Posts: 310
    I plan to buy a brand new 2005 MPV for the *sole* reason that Mazda would have corrected all the bugs and fixed all the recall problems.

    Does this reasoning make any sense? Or is the reliability of the 2004 and 2005 model on par? Will I be "wasting" my money by buying a new 2005 when I can get the same reliability and features by buying a used 2004?

    Thanks in advance! I am eager for your feedback.
  • jipsterjipster Member Posts: 6,232
    Yes, I would say generally speaking your therory is correct. Though the Mazda MPV has always done very well in the area of reliability.You can look at an MPV and tell there is a lot of quality built in. Fit and finish are great. No squeaks,rattles, or other annoying problems. I haven't had any problems with my 2004.

    If I bought a 2004 I would make sure the manufacture date is later than say June 2004. As the first quarter of 2004 the transmission TCM reflash hadn't been addressed yet. Either way you should be able to get a really good deal.
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • daleinncdaleinnc Member Posts: 7 i put on those expensive goodyears...and i must say they are great. I have the 2003 MPV Es....great trip...had them put on over the past weekend and immediately took a trip from Asheville NC over to Gatlinburg the way...27.5 mpg on the trip. alot of hills and such in our neck of the woods too!!

    These tires are least to me they are....150 each plus....but Tirerack has them rated as the number 1 tire. they do come in a 17 which tirerack didnt list.
  • jc9799jc9799 Member Posts: 70
    Depends of what the prices on an 04 would be. With many ads for 05's up to $7-8K off sticker, they are, at this time, quite a bargain. Plus, you get the full warrenty.
  • argrdiargrdi Member Posts: 4
    I have an older 6cyl MPV ('96). About 2 weeks ago I had to jump start the battery 3 times because something in the switch was faulty and the headlights would randomly come on while the car was parked (jiggling the switch would fix that issue). Then last week, we had a hard time starting the car after I filled up the tank. I did notice a strong smell (kind of like burning brakes) but that went away after a mile or so (don't even know if it was my car - we were in heavy traffic). That night I did notice that (with headlights and AC on) the "fuel" & "check engine" lights would come on (though very, very dim) at every stop light . Reving the engine seemed to turn these lights out. The following morning the battery was dead (not due to the headlights coming on). After jumping the battery I drove about 10 miles to a store, came back and again nothing (not even the slightest click. About 3 minutes later, I pumped the pedal about 15 times and eventually the car turned over. After another 5 mile drive to get something to eat I stopped and immediately tried starting the car - again, not even a click - as if there was no battery. Half an hour later we went back to the car, pumped the pedal about 5 times and it started right up. The day after the battery was totally dead. I replaced the battery tonight, car starts just fine - no pumping - just turn the key. However, if I turn the headlights and AC on, I can see the faint lights of the "fuel" & check engine" coming on. They do go off at about 1100rpm. Can anyone offer some advise on what might be going on?
  • exit56exit56 Member Posts: 9
    Anyone else have this problem: sand, dirt, potato chips etc. collect under the back seat (the one that slides from side-to-side) and get into the grease on the seat rails.

    Once you take the seat out, you'll see the channel that the seat slides in. How do you get in there to clean it? What do you use to re-grease the rails after you clean it?

  • guitarguitar Member Posts: 32
    I'm wondering whether the 2000 MPV ES works on a timing belt or a timing chain? I'm about to purchase one second hand (at 65000 miles) as I need a vehicle for 18 months while I am in LA. But I'm not sure whether I have to factor in the costs of replacing the timing belt, if there is one. Thanks so so much.
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