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Mazda3 Maintenance & Repair



  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I have had a rattle for the last few months and can't figure out how to make it stop.

    It sounds like it may be coming from inside the pillar between the front and rear door - like maybe from the place where the drivers side seat belt hooks to the car. I have pulled the plastic trim off and everything looks tight - so I don't think its coming from the seat belt.

    I get the noise when I back out of my driveway - and other times when turning on a slope - also sometimes happens when I stop - its almost like the frame of the car is flexing and I am getting a clicking sound.

    At first I though it was just the rubber weather strip rubbing - so I put silicone on it - did nothing.

    Planned to having Mazda look at it at my last oil change - but the service department was backed up and it would have taken 2 days.

    Since I own a Chevy I am an expert at finding / killing rattles - but this one has me stumped.

    I also had a very hard time starting the Mazda3 this morning - took 3 tries - its almost like I have the fuel pump problem again! Anyone had to have their fuel pump replaced more than once?

    I pulled the spark plugs three looked good - one was a little dirty - not sure what that means - but it can't be good.
  • nifty56nifty56 Posts: 279
    Z71bill try over at the Mazda3 forum. Also hows your A/C been performing in the Texas heat?
  • chacobleuchacobleu Posts: 228
    My 05 hatch has had a rattle there as well since new. But the rattle is more of a buzzing sound (like a fly hovering near your left ear) when driving over certain unique pavement. Basically, I drive approx. 35 miles one way to work and about 1 mile of pavement (here and there put together) makes that seat belt area buzz. It's coming from the upper B pillar. I think it's the belt height position adjuster because the buzz changes slightly depending on the position of that adjuster. I also have curtain air bags around there so it could a piece of one interfering with the other. Not significant enough to be a nuisance; it's not even loud. As fast as it comes, it goes (just like a fly). And I'm so used to now that I don't notice it anymore.

    I've had this rattle (like a drum tap or making popcorn sound) in the rear of my hatch for a while (since October). Occurs under 40 mph. I've ripped out the entire rear of the hatch putting the jack and pieces up front, but leaving only the spare in tact (actually, I took that apart and re fastened it). I think I've narrowed it to the hatch door locking mechanism vs. the 2 bumpers. It seems that the door locking mechanism is seated about 3/8 inch or 1cm out of its unit. It may need to be seated to about a 1/4 inch. Though, slipping a dollar bill between each bumper with the hatch closed produces a significant compression. I also get the popping noise when closing the car doors with all the windows closed (pressure effect). One other thing I noticed is that the hatch door bumpers seem to stick to the sheet metal to the point that it leaves a black residue at contact.
  • richmlrichml Posts: 156 sells it. I contacted them when I was thinking about installing one, they E-mailed me the installation instructions. You should contact them.
  • chavis10chavis10 Posts: 166
    I installed my mirror about two months ago. It took me about 2 hours and wasn't that bad. Getting the A-pillar trim on and off was the most difficult part if you ask me. It feels like it's going to break, yet you have to keep applying more effort. Also, threading the temperature wire through the firewall can be intimidating since you can't really see what you're doing. You just have to take your time and make sure it's nice outside because I performed this procedure in the cold (not fun). BTW, I've never done REAL work on a car before other than changing light bulbs, oil, air filters and things of that nature. I also ordered and installed a LED brake light. Don't know why Mazda cheaped out with 3 because the Protege5 had an LED brake light integrated in the rear spoiler.

    I also have an annoying squeak/rattle somewhere in the floor/front left suspension area that comes and goes. My biggest fear is that it's suspension related because whenever I hear it, I feel it too. It pops up over broken pavement and feels like something is wrong. Dealer can't duplicate problem even though they claim they drive the car over rough surfaces.
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    A previous VW owner confident with doing repairs? That says it all. ;)

    Doing anything for 2 hours mechanical requires a lot of patience and not worth the hassle imo.

    Thanks for confirming that working on the car for 2 hours to install the mirror is not an easy DYI project. I'll stick with my magnetic compass and wal-mart thermometer, thank you. :P
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    Here is a link to the 2006 Mazda3 w/auto climate control. As I mentioned before this is the fix. God only knows why Mazda only introduced in the US for 2006 and in only GT models and in Canada in 2007. In virtually every other part of the world, it was available when the Mazda3 was first introduced back in 2004. The fan in the climate control also has 7 speeds (see page 6-7):
  • dridedride Posts: 139
    Sometimes it is just nice to know you can do things for yourself. The sense of accomplishment is nice, even for a minor project like a new mirror with a compass and temp, but you are correct, a compass velcroed to the dash does the same thing. I have thought about adding a cradle for my GPS unit, that may be something else for you to consider also, I am sure you could probably handle applying suction cups to a window :)
    Learning to operate hand held GPS, that's probably another story ;)
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    So you think the auto climate control somehow increases the capacity of the AC system? Not sure I understand why that would - by itself - change anything.

    Seems like if you set the manual system on max cooling - and do the same with the auto climate control system you would get the same amount of cold air. At least that is the way it works with my SUV that has an auto feature - I get the same amount of cold (or heat) even if I switch over to manual - the only advantage of the auto system is it turns itself on and off to keep the temperature within a set range. It actually slows down and speeds up the fan.

    I am not saying it is impossible that the cars equipped with the auto system have better AC -


    If the cars with the auto climate control do have better AC systems (vs the manual controlled cars) then there must be something else that is causing the change. Maybe a change in the control logic that keeps the system running longer.

    I also do not see why having 7 fan speeds would make much difference (in cooling capacity). If it is just more fan settings - assuming the max speed is still the same. My car actually cools better on speed 3 than it does on speed 4. Even though speed 3 gives less air volume - it is colder air.
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    My car actually cools better on speed 3 than it does on speed 4. Even though speed 3 gives less air volume - it is colder air

    This is almost always the case. It was once explained to me: The slower moving air at the lower fan speeds has more time to "get chilled" passing thru the evaporater. If you put a thermometer in the vent, you can see this right away as you increase the fan speed, the vent temp will also increase.

    On the issue of the auto climate control vs manual AC...I tend to agree with your premis...unless the cooling hardware is different, i doubt there will be any significant difference in the cooling capabilities of either system. Unless, as you mentioned, the sensors in the auto system somehow allow the compressor to stay on longer.

    My son had an 05 hatch titanium...(unfortunately totalled 2 months ago) and replaced it with an 06 GT red. (w/the auto climate controls) We live in Tucson, so we know about summer heat and AC....he states that the 06 cools better than the 05. Altho he admits that my Highlander cools down much faster, and blows colder...even with the much larger interior volume.

    It seems to me, as noted many many times here, that for some reason, the 3's compressor just doesn't stay on long enough to cool the car rapidly. z71bill...I feel your angst... :-(

    BTW, my son had both cars tinted, and said it made a big difference, but when the car has been sitting soaking in the sun in 95+ degrees all day, it takes a very long time to get comfortable. But so did his 2001 Civic....he states the 3 is the same as the Civic in that one regard...however he will not buy another Civic...the 3 being "so much better in every other way." :-)
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    "Better on speed 3 than it does on speed 4" - Although I agree that most systems will put out colder air when you slow down the fan - that is not exactly what I mean.

    With my other vehicles (ones I own now + prior) the inside of the car would cool down faster and become colder if the fan speed was set at its highest level. This is not true with my Mazda3.

    (Made up numbers - just an example!)
    With my other cars it was like 20 cubic feet/minute of 44 degree air (fan on high) made the car feel cooler than 15 cubic feet/minute of 38 degree air - fan on medium speed.

    I think the reason this is normally true is - if the fan is on high you have more air being forced through the evaperator - this larger volume of air keeps the evaperator from cooling down - once the evaperator cools to a set point (around 32 degrees) a signal goes to the compressor to shut down. By not allowing the evaperator to cool down to its set point (as fast) - makes the compressor run longer - so it is able to do more work.

    As far as the auto climate control making the system work better - I have not tried a Mazda3 with this feature so I don't know - but most cars with a auto climate control can be switched over to manual control. If the auto feature really is the reason the system works better then I would think if you switched over to manual mode the AC would not cool as well - but if it still works just as well in manual mode - which I assume is better than my car that only has manual mode - then there must be another reason for the improvement.

    I will take my Mazda3 into the dealer on Monday - I had a hard time starting it again this morning - engine turns over fine - but it just takes a long time to start up. After it finally does start it seems to run fine - so I am thinking its the fuel pump (again). I am going to try and get them to also replace my spark plugs with a hotter plug.
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    Actually, there may not be [much] difference in the hardware but there are differences, especially in the software. Have you downloaded the PDF I posted? If you have, you would see in page 6-15) 182 that are additional sensors inside the cabin to maintain desired temps. An additional AMB switch is also present. It's a completely different layout. This is the way it is and has been in Europe and Asia since 2004

    Eureka! problem found.
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    I already have a GPS, thank you.

    But, if you like to tinker and take things apart in your new car go ahead. Some people don't tinker and don't want to complicate things. Some people also like to do bungee jumping and do river-rafting, or swim with the sharks. Different strokes for different folks.

    Anytime myself or anyone else including a certified mechanic worked on any car for more than an hour, something is always screwed up. It's the law of averages. Besides, if someone has 2+ hours to burn on installing a mirror, it's probably time to get a part-time job or do something else more practical with their time and life. :shades:
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Do these sensors do anything while in manual mode? I don't know - but my guess would be no. So if you turn the AC over to manual and turn it on Max cooling does it kick out more / less / or the same amount of cold air as when you have it over on auto pilot - with the setting turned to max cold?

    I am thinking it makes no difference - unless the sunlight sensor overrides the system and tells it to run longer between cycles when in auto mode.

    Its good if Mazda improved the AC for the 2006 model year - but shame on them for letting all the customers who took a chance on a 2004-2005 model just twist in the wind (or bake in the sun) It will be very hard for me to ever buy another Mazda - like their car - hate their service after the sale.
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    I look at things differently.

    It makes no difference to me if the A/C doesnt work well in manual mode. With the auto feature, it becomes redundant. The auto uses the interior sensors to climatize the interior properly. Analysing the manual component now becomes a moot issue.

    And your mistaken, Mazda did NOT improve the A/C in [some] 2006 and 2007 models in Canada. They only added the same features that's always been available in Mazda3 in other countries. It's totally insane why Mazda didnt even introduce climate control in any Mazda3's in Canada while in the US, it's available in 2006 GT. I guess they think the temps are around freezing and we all wear beaver pelts all year round. WTF?? :mad:

    Clearly, Mazda has heard the complaints (but won't admit they exist) about the poor A/C and finally decided to put back what they NEVER should not have removed when assembling the Mazda3 for North America.
  • lena3lena3 Posts: 1
    Had A/C repaired on '05 3s in July 2005 because it was not getting cold enough. After A/C was fixed, gas mileage became worse :confuse: . Before A/C was fixed, gas mileage was pretty good. Also having first-gear problem w/cold engine.
  • dridedride Posts: 139
    if someone has 2+ hours to burn on installing a mirror, it's probably time to get a part-time job or do something else more practical with their time and life.

    To be honest, I'm a physician so I am quite busy, and I have to work non-traditional hours. However, I do enjoy talking about cars with folks online when time permits. I also enjoy learning how to do new things. I am proud that I successfully modified my car with a new gadget. Your last post kind of torched me, calling me lazy? I hope it made you feel better. Nice place, you Canadians sure are a friendly lot...Next topic please, I consider the issue dead.
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    dride, my goodness. i think you're skimming (instead of reading). i hope you don't do that with your patients' medical reports...oh wait a minute, that's what physicians do. in now way did i imply you're lazy; rather, you have too much time on your hands and it would be better spent doing something more meaningful and beneficial instead of wasting 2 hours to install a mirror. if you don't want to read the posts, don't. you're not the moderator here.

    moontom, you say your say the dealer fixed your A/C? that's like saying you had cancer and now your're cured. can you elaborate what dealer did to fix your problem??
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I also enjoy learning how to do new things. I am proud that I successfully modified my car with a new gadget.

    Agreed. The more we pay attention to the maintenance and upgrade of our zoomobiles, the more we appreciate them. I'd encourage Mazda and its dealerships to consider offering "how to" sessions similar to the Saturday show n' tell improvement sessions offered by Home Depot and others. Here are a few examples: how to check engine fluids and do a monthly inspection; how to switch wheels in the winter; how to upgrade your wheels; how to change your battery; how to change your spark plugs. Some may think this counter to a dealership's interests, but I'd venture to say that a lot of good will would be created by these efforts with participating dealers receiving good references which hopefully would result in new and repeat business.

    p.s. Likely, once some of us see what's involved in the work, we'd gladly let the mechanics do it. ;)
  • slate1slate1 Posts: 84
    "you have too much time on your hands and it would be better spent doing something more meaningful and beneficial instead of wasting 2 hours to install a mirror. [ex_tdier]"

    hmmmmm - you mean as opposed to spending countless hours in online forums for example???

    I agree with autonomous - doing things yourself is an excellent way to learn more about the vehicle you own. That can't possibly be a bad thing.

    Interestingly, I believe I read somewhere that Saturn used to do those Saturday clinics autonomous is speaking of.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    Please try not to over-personalize your comments. This forum is supposed to be fun and informative and you are here to enjoy yourselves (hopefully).

    thank you for observing the rules of common courtesy!



    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Since I have a car with a weak manual AC it is not a MOOT POINT for me - I would like to determine what the REAL cause of the problem is - I would bet that is also true for all of the Mazda3 owners that have a weak AC.

    BTW - I dont' think the temperature sensors produce any cold air (do you?) - so they do not increase the system capacity one little bit. They just turn the system off and on - so - if the AC with auto control is better - they must have improved / changed something else - right?
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    Lol. Sure, whatever. As if we (the Mazda owners) will ever get Mazda to admit to anything.

    Trying to find out why the manual A/C is inadequate is an exercise in that we know that the everywhere else in the world the Mazda3's had climate control going back to the production years of 2004 and have had no complaints. So, no. I dont think Mazda North America changed anything, they only neglected to add the auto climate control in Mazda3's until recently and only in 06's GT's in the USA.

    Basic common sense tells us that are car with interior A/C sensor(s) will have more of a constant temperature than one without. Even an inferior system can be made to work well as long as the sensors tell the PCM to keep running the compressor. And this is the problem, if you havent figured it out by now.

    I can now move on knowing that auto-climate control is the answer and always has been. However, I do wonder why those dumb [non-permissible content removed]'s at Mazda North America didnt want the auto climate in their Mazda3s and people like us are suffering as a result.

    All I care about it is how can I get auto climate in my Mazda3 installed and working because believe it or not, Mazda has left us to dry on this one.

    If you want to become knowlegable on how auto climate control works, I suggest visiting that A/C forum link I previously posted.
  • vonnyvoncevonnyvonce Posts: 129
    Doubt the auto climate control has anything to do with any perceived improvement. The inside sensors tell the climate control system when to add or not add a bit of heat to keep the car inside temperature where you want it. You do the same thing with a manual climate control with the temperature knob.

    This should have nothing to do with how long the ac compressor works. My understanding is the ac system compressor comes on until a certain temp is achieved then the compressor cycles off until a high limit temp is reached and this cycle continues. If you add heat to the air coming into the car has nothing to do with this cycling. These high and low temps are monitored inside the ac system itself not in the interior of the car per se.
  • slate1slate1 Posts: 84
    I think the whole point ex_tdier is trying to make is that the Mazda3 equipped with Automatic Climate Control works and works well.

    I can attest to this - as I've stated here before, we've had several 90°F+ days here in balmy South Carolina and the automatic A/C in my '06 3GT has had no problem quickly cooling off the car. Even after it has sat with its black leather interior baking in the sun for four hours.

    If you search on other forums, you'll find others too with automatic A/C in their '06 3's that are getting satisfactory results.

    The bottom line is - it works. We could spend 100 postings speculating as to why this is - but it will still be speculation. As for those with sub-par systems, I feel for you - I'm miserable in the summer heat and it's a pity that Mazda hasn't satisfactorily addressed the problem in your cars.

    They do have a solution however - the proof is in these '06's with auto-A/C that work exceptionally well.
  • slate1slate1 Posts: 84
    I was wondering if anyone else had noticed that the MPG reading on the GT's trip computer is consistently about 1-1.5MPG low.

    Maybe I'm expecting too much from it - not sure at all how it's calculating it. All I know is that every time I check it against my calculations it's about 1-1.5MPG low.

    For example - last night the trip computer was showing 21.9MPG. When I filled up - I calculated it at 23.2MPG based on my mileage and the amount of fuel I put in. It's read consistently low like this since purchase 2200 miles ago.

    Incidentaly - this was all city driving with lots of stop and go... hence the 23.2 MPG - I got around 33MPG on a longer highway trip recently.
  • vonnyvoncevonnyvonce Posts: 129
    I think an accurate reason about why it works or does not work better is important. Only that way can it be decided how the sub par systems may be fixed.

    Antedoctal evidence about how well any one system (automatic climate control or not) works is just that. Only a side by side comparision yields anything. Just like in medicine.

    Love to see someone measure some air temps in both versions and give us something we can hang our hat on.
  • lizzysunlizzysun Posts: 1
    I can't remember how to change my ambient temp setting back to fahrenheit. Took in for stereo work and now it is set on celsius. I have done this one time in past--I know it is something about pressing media and power(while power is on) for 5 secs. I did this-turned car off and restarted but still celsius setting. Tried several times. Help!!
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I agree - there is no basis to conclude that the auto climate control fixed the weak AC -

    Since not all 2006 Mazda3's have auto climate control - are the cars with manual control still having AC issues?

    Has anyone with an auto climate control experienced poor AC performance?

    (Again) - Anyone with auto control experience a big drop in the cooling performance if they switch their AC over to manual control (set AC to max cooling)?
  • nifty56nifty56 Posts: 279
    I think the point here is with Climate control how often does the conpressor stay on to keep the cabin cool if it is really hot. With mine, 05, no mater the temp the compressor cycles 10 to 12 seconds on than about 1 minute off. With climate control does it cycle on more than 12 seconds at any one time. Can the compressor stay on for 30sec, 45 sec., or as long as 1 minute or longer to keep the cabin at the temp you set it at???? Those with 06 with climate control might want to confirm this.
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