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Mazda6 Maintenance and Repair



  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    It's happened to me. The CEL went on because of a faulty gas cap on my '04. The gas cap was replaced and the light reset, and it's been fine ever since.

    You can reset the light by disconnecting the battery, but you'll lose all your radio presets as well. The bigger problems is that the CEL may not be a loose gas cap, but a bigger problem that should be diagnosed and fixed, instead of just tightening the cap.

    If the light activates again, take it to an Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. They've got equipment that'll find the code for you, and reset it if necessary. Just makes sure they have a CAN-compatible scanner.
  • krame00krame00 Posts: 21
    Hiya everyone!

    I was a regular of my forum in my early ownership of this car, and it was instrumental in getting Mazda to correct some very major issues with my car early on (clutch judder, squealing brakes, etc.). Now I am in a later stage of issues (beyond 50K miles), and I again turn to this forum for help. I love my Mazda 6, and I intend to keep it for a long time, however, now I seem to be experiencing some major issues again.

    My little 6 now will intermittently not start, and the headlights were flickering on and off. I had the battery checked, and it checked out fine at a local trusted retailer (who sells batteries!).

    I took it to the dealer (where "intermittent" means "crazy chick") who proceeded to spend 3 hours diagnosing with no answer other than that I had a burned out bulb, and that the battery was "bad". When I asked them why the battery was bad, when it had checked out fine in a shop that makes a living selling batteries, they said that according to the special Mazda test, it failed.

    Anyway, here I am with a new battery and $300 poorer, and the car still does not start intermittently, and one of the headlights is out again. If the car will not start, I just have to keep trying (take the key out, put it back in, sometimes rubbing it superstitiously on a piece of clothing) and it will turn over.

    Any thoughts? Does this sound familiar to anyone?

  • evaddaveevaddave Posts: 156
    I had a similar problem with a Bronco once. It turned out to be a bad negative battery cable.
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    I agree. It sounds like you have a loose connection in the electrical system, or have a faulty wire.

    You could either return it to the dealer, insisting that the problem isn't fixed, and hope that they find the short and refund you the price of an unnecessary battery, or take it to a shop that specializes in electrical work (or any good repair shop IMO), and explain them the problem in detail.

    Good luck.
  • kmaynkmayn Posts: 2

    When you say it will not start can you be more specific? Does it turn over and not start or does it not crank at all? You answer will dictate possible problems.
  • krame00krame00 Posts: 21

    When I turn the key, nothing happens...

  • kmaynkmayn Posts: 2
    Check this the next time it happens. Look at your dash where it shows park, neutral, reverse, drive, etc. If your is like mine (2006 model) it will light up to show which mode you are in. I had a similar problem and it turned out that my gear shift lever linkage (automatic) needed an adjustment so that it would fully engage in park. Since it was not fully engaging in park, the safety switch would not let the starter engage. I noticed this because one time when it would not turn over I had my key in the on position and looked at the dash. The P was not lit up even though I had the car in park. I hope this helps.
  • krame00krame00 Posts: 21
    Oooh! You got me excited there for a minute - but I have a manual transmission. The only kind of safety that is built in is that the clutch needs to be engaged before the car will start. Maybe I will try fiddling with that stuff (including the stick shift) and see if it makes a difference.


  • evaddaveevaddave Posts: 156
    Similar idea. There's a switch that tells your car when the clutch pedal is pushed in. If that switch is bad, it could keep your car from starting.
  • wak1wak1 Posts: 5
    i have just bought a mazda6 20l katano could anyone advise me on some rally good wash,wax kit so i can keep it in sparkling condition.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,758
    You might want to check over on the Maintenance & Repair board in the Store Bought Waxes Part II (No Zaino Posts) discussion. A lot of talk there about all kinds of car care products.

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  • Zaino is my recommendation. There is a board for it, where I learned all about it. Great stuff, easy to use, lasts for months.
  • We are picking up our 2005 6 tomorrow. Anyone out there do their own oil/filter changes? I found the oil filter on the front of the engine, looks to be accessible, except for the hot downpipe next to it. I did not find the drain plug during our eval. What about 5W-20 oil? Is that readily available? I've not looked for it yet, use 5W-30 on our other cars.
  • If the car is still under the warranty period, the dealer should replace the headlight. I would, and I work as a service tech at a mazda dealer. Nothing bugs me more than when a dealer wont warranty something on a car. I have absolutely NO problem warrantying anything on covered cars. We get paid by mazda to do the work, we make money, and we make a customer happy. End of story. Contact another dealer and ask them. The extended warrany MIGHT be different as to what it covers, but from my experiences the Mazda factory extended warranty covers the same things as the original bumper to bumper.
  • slickdogslickdog Posts: 225
    I've done all of my 04' wagon's oil/filter changes so far.

    On a V6, the filter is in an awkward spot and angled forward. When you break the seal on it, oil tends to run down onto the block which can make quite a mess of that area. To avoid this, when I start loosening the filter by hand I push forward on the bottom of it while turning the filter several times quickly (to get some quick separation from the block), and sometimes I can succeed in getting the flow of oil to start down the filter instead of down the block, but this is difficult to achieve. To keep the exhaust pipe clean, I wrap a piece of tin foil over the top of it, and make the ends u-shaped so the spillage from the filter will run off the foil into my collection container. The filter also barely fits between the exhaust pipe and the radiator support, so you have to be careful there. On my car it needs to be tilted a bit so the lip at the top will fit through. It's easy to make a mess while changing the filter on this car, so you just have to be patient and careful.

    The drain plug is located just above the rear bottom edge of the oil pan, so it is oriented horizontally facing the rear of the car. Unfortunately it has an integrated rubber washer, which does not seal very well. I've always been careful not to over-torque it, but even so I find an oil stain around the plug every time I do a change. It has to be the plug, as nothing above it is leaking, and I have de-greased the entire area twice following changes only to find the stain return again. Personally, I like crush washers better - I've never had one leak on me.

    When I first bought my car, 5W-20 was not very common in my area, but now I am able to choose from a few different brands in some of the major parts store chains. I used to use Mobil1 as it was the only 5W-20 full synthetic available here at first (sometimes it was sold out), but switched to Pennzoil Platinum two changes ago. Both of those are full synthetics. Apparently Mazda uses (or at least they used to) a Motorcraft synthetic blend for this car, which many online say they have tried and like, but I have not used it myself.

    Enjoy your new toy!
  • I second all of the previous comments by Slickdog regarding the oil drain plug, oil filter removal, etc. I own a 2004 M6 5-door w/ the 3.0 liter V6 and also do all of my own oil changes. After the first change I began using Mobil 1 5W-30 (recommended by one of the service techs and a parts guy at my local Mazda dealer), and as of 36,000 miles the engine has shown absolutely no sign of burning or losing any oil between changes (5,000 mile intervals). I changed the oil every 4,000 miles until about 30,000 miles, but my dad convinced me Mobil 1 easily can go 5,000 miles between changes. Good luck, ...and zoom, zoom! :shades:
  • dannyrdannyr Posts: 12
    I have the exact same situation (2004 Automatic) that krame00 has so I hope this is the problem because it is beyond annoying. Occasional non starts where the electrical power is on but all I get is clicking noises and it's not turning over. The 1st time it happened I ended up getting it towed to the dealer and of course as soon as it got there it started no problem and they couldn't find the problem while charging me $50 to look. That was 2 weeks ago and every couple of days it does it but I just wait and try starting over and over again until it starts. It's pissing me off that I have to cross my fingers everytime I turn the key and hope that I don't get stranded somewhere. I love the car but I'm thinking of buying something else just because of this.

    I won't have a chance to go to the dealer until next week so what should I do in the meantime if it happens again so I don't get stuck somewhere. Is there a trick to get it started. Should you just toggle the shifter back and forth until it fully engages in park.
  • krame00krame00 Posts: 21
    Hi, there -

    I don't get the clicking noises - that almost sounds like a dead battery.

    With my problem, I definitely think it is the clutch (park) safety. Now whenever this happens to me, I disengage the clutch and engage it again, and it starts right up. I imagine that moving it from park to drive and back would essentially be the same thing.

  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Not that I know anything about this, but I would not think you would get a click-click-click, if it is one of those interlocks. I would think nothing at all would happen if the safety switch is preventing it from starting. That (nothing) is what happens if you turn the key while you have it in D or do not depress the clutch, right?
  • fredvufredvu Posts: 1
    Thanks for all the comments in previous posts.
    I have a 2007 Mazda6 2.3L automatic and just changed the oil to syn Valvoline 5/20 at 3k (yeah, I know it is a little late ..., $20.95 for 6 quarts at Kragen now) I also drained the ATF and refilled with Amsoil syn ATF. However, I was not able to figure out how to get to the cartridge. Can someone tell me how to open this "plastic" cover?
  • dannyrdannyr Posts: 12
    I replaced my battery last year and the dealership said that and the alternator were fine. What I do also get is all the needles on the dash going up or down like crazy while it is clicking. There's power on the instrument panel but nothing seems to be sparking the engine and since it does this like once a week I don't think it could be the starter because it's cranking over with no problem when it does start.

    Give me anything but an electrical problem because, unless it happens in front of a mechanic, it's almost impossible to diagnose snd the constant fear of being stranded makes me want to get rid of an enjoyable car.
  • wak1wak1 Posts: 5
    thanks very much for the link sorry i posted in the wrong column as i have only just joined and not sure how it all works just yet.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    You didn't post in the wrong place at all! Pf_flyer was just giving you an additional resource. You're doing fine - welcome to CarSpace! :)
  • raymartyraymarty Posts: 1
    I have 2004 Mazda 6 Automatic, this morning the car wouldn't start. When I put key in the ignition and turn it on, all the needles on dash go crazy while clicking but the engine wouldn't crank up. The radio works well, so do the lights.....
    Called the dealer and spoke to the service technician, he says the battery may be the problem, when I mentioned Radio and Lights work he comment was the battery may not have enough voltage to crank up the engine but still has some juice left in it.

    Called Mazda Roadside Assistance waiting for the TOW truck to take the car to the dealer. As per the warranty manual Mazda pays for 15% of the replacement battery's suggested retail price for 37-48 months.
  • krame00krame00 Posts: 21
    OK folks - I am seeing a trend here. We are all the class of '04, and we are all having the same symptoms with our cars.

    I am almost certain now it is an issue with the safety mechanism that prevents the car from starting when the clutch is not engaged (or not in Park).

    Here is the deal - I know the group of us is a fairly small representation of the 2004s out there - but I would be willing to bet that this is another one of those first model year issues that us lucky Mazda 6 oldtimers get to face (like the squealing brakes, the clutch judder, condensation in the car, etc.. etc...).

    Mazda was more than willing to work with us at no cost on many of these issues, recognizing that they were design or parts issues.

    Hopefully we can get them to recognize that this is one of those issues, too - even though it happens at a later stage.

    One word of advice for anyone with this issue - Mazda techs will want to throw a battery at the problem, and that is definitely not the issue. It is wasted money.

  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I know the cars are not made by the same manufacturer but I know owners of the Oldsmobile Intrigue (of which I am an owner) have had problems like you described and the issue is with the ignition switch.
  • Just bought a 2005 6 V6 5 speed a few weeks ago. I notice that if I kick it into neutral when costing up to a stop, that the idle goes up to 1500 rpm. When the car comes to a complete stop, it will drop to 900 or so. It is still under warranty, and I have an appt at dealer for next week. Just wondering if anyone else has seen this. This car has had the throttle body replaced under warranty or a recall.
    I also notice it is hard to drive this car at a steady low speed. Even if the pedal is held steady, the engine hunts and surges abruptly. I'm thinking there is a vacuum leak or a sensor is bad causing both of these symptoms. Any ideas?
  • dannyrdannyr Posts: 12
    OK I have bee able to start my car with no problem for the last week or so. I also have been conscious of the fact that my car was firmly set in park after I turned it off. So I'm thinking that must be the problem. Like a previous poster mentioned, it is not the battery.

    I also have to go in to get it serviced for a constant squealing niose from one of the belts that is at it's loudest when idling which over time has gotten unbearable and this all started about a year ago. It makes the car sound like a 20 year old jalopy and actually quite embarassing. Mazda said last year that it was the serpentine belt which has a self adjusting tensioner and I have to live with it. Now that it has become louder they say I need the belt and tensioner replaced for $200+ dollars. Anybody have this problem and was this the proper fix?

    I've decided to sell this car this summer so I just want it sounding smooth and not like a winter beater. I love the driving dynamics of this car but I must have gotten a lemon because it's been one thing after another. Here's a list of my problems of my 4 year old car with 72K KM.

    -The aforementioned squealing belt and starting issues.

    -Fraying cloth seats- both the original and replaced ones. Funny thing is the seats that no one sits in are the most worn and won't last another 2 years.

    -Battery died after 3 years.

    -Gas tank leaking every time a filled it up. Besides making a permenent mess of my driveway, my car stunk like gas for weeks afterward. Had to get an entire new gas tank which was out of warrenty but the dealer, knowing my car's history, got head office to approve it under warranty, saved me $1000.

    -Air conditioner compressor replaced just before the 3 year warranty expired. would have been another costly repair, this was after a selector switch(?) was fixed when the AC broke down 6 months after I bought it.

    -the infamous rust spots along the doors. The doors are fine but now I discovered that thay forgot to seal the trunk right by the hinges and surface rust is now bubbling there. There is also surface rust appearing along the outside black borders framing the rear windows. I've always washed and waxed this car regularly so it wasn't because of owner neglect on my part.

    -the horrible downshifting issues where at low speeds it feels like you got rammed by a MAC truck because it is so rough.

    -the interior covers falling off door lights and fuse box.

    -Also the recalls for the cooling fan module and doors not closing in cold weather.

    I've spent so much time at the dealership I should be getting frequent flyer miles. Luckily my job is flexible and allows me to drop off my car at my convenience. I know my car was a launch model in Canada but to have this many different issues is inexcusable and I'm afraid to own this car any longer without a warranty. Mazda has really fallen off for reliablility. I had a 1990 MX 6 for years and the thing performed rock solid but this car is a joke and I will never buy another Mazda nor recommend one to someone else. It's a shame because they do make fun cars to drive.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Do you have a V6 or the 4 cyl?
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