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Mazda3 Maintenance & Repair



  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    I'll second that motion. Sandman, you're one of the sane voices around here. FWIW, I think you should stick around.
  • daryldaryl Posts: 41
    While surfing eBay for Mazda3 stuff just to kill time, I ordered a short antenna. It's about 3-4 inches long, compared to the OEM 18 inch one. I've had it about a week. Not only does it look a lot better, the reception is just as good.
  • hkb322hkb322 Posts: 4
    i picked up my mazda3s two days ago and i just noticed the brake pedal makes a small "thud" whenever i release it. other cars that i've driven have made a similar noise when i removed my foot really quickly, but my 3's doing it even when i release gently. don't get me wrong, the brakes are working, it's just an annoying noise right now. is anyone else having this problem? any solutions?

    i saw some posts in a toyota forum saying s/thing about greasing the driveshaft - is that what i should be doing too? lol, i don't even know what a driveshaft is!!
  • jmillsjmills Posts: 77
    While I agree that the manual transmission is preferable, the Mazda auto is a superb transmission and allows you to pick any gear you wish,similar to the manual.

    It is useful in hilly areas with the speed control cause you can lock in 2nd or third at low speeds if needed, or lock in 4th to keep it from downshifting on medium grades.
  • m3gtm3gt Posts: 8
    THE WIFE - although it may seem like a gimmick - for me, the SportShift Automatic is the ultimate compromise... my wife it would seem can succeed at University, but can't learn how to shift a manual transmission - and hence I have to buy an automatic... except with the M3 SportShift I can still retain some control. - That's why it's a great product for me in particular.....
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    my wife ... can't learn how to shift a manual transmission - and hence I have to buy an automatic... except with the M3 SportShift I can still retain some control. - That's why it's a great product

    Sounds like a new angle for marketing the 3. ;)
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    In my family, my wife has her car (2002 Protege5 automatic), and I have mine (2005 Mazda3 manual). No problems!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,349
    I rented an M3 and I found the sportshift or whatever you call it pretty handy for winding down fast hills here in Calif. I was rather disappointed in the handling, that would be my only real complaint of any signficance with the car....oh, and gas mileage wasn't all that great. Nice ride, comfortable cabin for big fellah. I may have overpowered the sound system however. :P

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  • chacobleuchacobleu Posts: 228
    Handling? :confuse: Didn't quite get it to G1? Mine doesn't either. :cry: Oh, well. Now where did I leave my Ferrari Enzo???
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,349
    Yeah, okay but there are minimum standards.

    Actually I think the problem is that it is under-tired from the factory. The chassis itself is pretty firm, but the tires squish and move around a lot on turns. I was getting all kinds of "don't DO that" signals. True my usual car handles very well, but I couldn't even keep up with traffic on the high speed turns without feeling a bit uncomfortable. If a Ford diesel truck in front of me can scoot through that turn at 50 mph without wiggling, why couldn't the M3?

    Tires, I think that's all it was.

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  • chacobleuchacobleu Posts: 228
    Whhoooossh! Thanks for clearing that up. BTW - still can't find that enzo.

    Another car magazine (that shall go nameless) compared the Volvo S4 to the Audi A4 (both with all wheel drive). The audi came on top for the overall fact that the suspension was more in tuned with the driver vs. the volvo (at least the way I interpreted the article). Now, there was a lot of praise for the way the volvo handled itself; its just that the testers felt the audi did it a notch better on a back to back comparison. Gee I wonder if the audi's shod with 235 tires vs. volvo's 205 tires had anything to do with it? I perused the article a few times to see if I missed that little tid bit, but it seemed that I hadn't. Judging from the pictures, it was my first reaction to check the tire size specs on both (if I remember correctly, the audi was just slightly smaller in profile).
  • jmillsjmills Posts: 77
    Our M3 handled and felt exactly as you describe.

    Got 32,000 miles out of OEM tires

    Replaced the 205/50-17 OEM RSA's with 225/45-17 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S.

    Car handles and steers superbly now.

    Probably would have gotten nearly the same handling with 50 series.
  • richmlrichml Posts: 156
    We have a similar arrangement - wife with the automatic Tribute, me with the MT 3.

    When we were in the finance office at the dealership, the finance guy said to me, "So, you don't want the wife driving the car, huh?!"
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    My wife's Protege5 has 55,000 miles on it and we've owned it since January 2002 ... and I've driven it twice (unless you count backing it up on the driveway to wash it).

    Turnabout is fair play, however ... I've had cars with manual transmissions since we MET in 1993 ... and she's never driven any of them!

  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I have about 16K miles on my Mazda3 - the last few weeks have been very hot - and my AC has actually WORKED PRETTY WELL. At first I thought it was just all in my head - but a few times I actually turned the fan speed down from 3 to 2 (3 actually cools better than 4). My wife also noticed - she ask me if I had done something to FIX IT.

    I recall reading a post from someone who claimed that after a year their AC started working better - I though they must have just gotten use to the weak system.

    Not sure why - or how - an AC system can actually get better over time - but I really think mine has. I would still not say that my AC is great - it still takes too long to cool off the car - but it is a BIG improvement over where it was at the start of the summer.

    I also found a new TSB on grinding brakes (6/17/2005) so things are looking up.

    If Mazda would just come out with a fix for the harsh 1-2 shift I could have all of my issues solved - before it is time to trade cars!
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    When there is a life and death problem, Mazda MUST solve it!! There is a difference.
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    z71bill, looks like you will be a happy camper soon. There is a fix for the harsh shifting. I have it. It's a software update. It smoothes it out big time. Almost 100% (depends how picky you are. ;) Unfortunately, not all dealers around town have it. The update is that new. I had mine done on Sep 23.

    I dont have 16,000 KM on mine. But here is some interesting info. My girlfriend is in Taiwan right now. Her brother has a 2005 Mazda3, bought in November 2004. I specifically asked her to check out the A/C. The temp over there is around 33C or 90F. The A/C apparently works just fine at speed 1. At speed 2, the fan is too loud . :surprise: Also, the compressor doesnt shut off and on as frequent as ours does. There is CONSTANT airflow unlike with ours
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I called my dealer last week - no TSB on the harsh shifting tranny yet -

    I will need an oil change in about a month and hope that they have an update by then.

    I have noticed that my radiator cooling fan seems to run more that it did before. This fan also pulls air through the AC condenser - so it can impact the AC performance.

    It is a little strange - after I shut off the engine & get out of the car - the fan is still running - for 10 seconds - or so. Last summer it did this a few times - but now it does this all the time. Not sure why the change - or if it even has anything to do with my AC improvement - but it sure is nice to have a car that actually blows some cool air. I just hope it lasts.
  • ikeedumikeedum Posts: 10
    I finally think I figured this out, though it's been a while since I posted my original question. I was wondering what sort of buzzing would keep clicking on and off every 30 seconds. My first thought, and one someone immediately brought up was : does it do it when you have the A/C on? Seeing as it was Feb/March time, the answer was no - it does it even without it, which confused me.

    It seemed intermittent, and I hadn't thought about it for a while, but I think what's now happening is that if you have the fan position in either of the window defrost settings, it automatically will turn the compressor on for you intermittently - but NOT light up the AC button. Can anyone else confirm this to be the case?
  • I don't know from experience but the owners manual does state on page 6-8 the following----"In the (symbol for the two defrost positions), air conditioning is automatically turned on to defrost the windshield quickly (however, the indicator light does not illuminate) and the (symbol for outside air intake) position is automatically selected. The air intake selector switch cannot be changed to the recirculate position."
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    It is a little strange - after I shut off the engine & get out of the car - the fan is still running - for 10 seconds - or so. Last summer it did this a few times - but now it does this all the time. Not sure why the change - or if it even has anything to do with my AC improvement - but it sure is nice to have a car that actually blows some cool air. I just hope it lasts.

    Hmmm! This may be a clue. My '05 has always done the 10-second run after engine shutdown ...

    (Don't hit that "delete" key too fast there, Mr. Host! Only trying to help here! After all, this is the "Problems & Solutions" discussion, FCOL!)

  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    The question is why?

    When the engine is "hot" the fan should turn on - so why is my engine running hotter now than it did last summer?

    The only thing I can come up with is -

    Since I seem to be getting more cool air than before I am guessing the AC is not cycling on & off as fast / so the compressor is running longer - the extra load on the engine is making it run hotter - so the fan runs more.

    So the radiator fan running more is not a solution to the problem - but the result of my AC (& engine) working harder.

    The other reason for the AC improvement could be I am getting low on refrigerant - a system that is a little bit low can actually produce colder air than one that is fully charged - sounds backwards - but its true.

    Now that the "cold" front has hit Houston (temp at 7:30 AM today was a frigid 68 degrees) my AC really kicks out the cold air - its fun to drive again!
  • kmh2468kmh2468 Posts: 62
    My '04 3 sedan is coming up to 15,000 miles so I called to a few dealerships in the area to get price quotes for the service. I was surprised to see a high end of over $300 being quoted. The lowest was about $130. When I check the online maintenance schedule at Mazda's website, all it called for, it seemed, was basically an oil change and the other stuff was merely inspections. So I thought I wouldn't be paying more than $30 for service. Not the case apparently.

    The dealerships were quoting me prices that included the oil change but also things like tire rotation and fuel injector cleaning as well.

    What experience and pricing did you have for the 15,000-mile service? Should I go ahead or merely get an oil change? BTW, the car's running fine with no glaring issues.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Get a bottle of fuel injector cleaner, $3 every 3,000 miles.

    Just do the services spelled out in the owner's manual for 15,000 miles--no more. Tire rotation is up to you. I do it every 7k or so, but some owners just let the front tires wear out and buy new ones.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    The dealers 15K service schedule is something they came up with to make extra $ - an oil change is all you need to do to keep your warranty valid.

    I know some people (on front drive cars) just skip the rotation - let the front tires wear out - then replace them and leave the original tires on the rear.

    My front tires wear out about 3 times faster than the rear.

    Many tire experts advise to NOT do this - the reason is having better traction on the front tires (on a front wheel drive car) than the rear has a negative impact on handling.

    So - if you have 2 tires than are 1/2 way worn out and 2 new tires - you should put the new tires on the rear.

    Most cars have a built in tendency to UNDERSTEER - if you have more traction on the front than the rear it can change the handling of your car from understeer to oversteer. Which means if you take a corner a little to fast the back of your car will skid around and you will going backwards.
  • chacobleuchacobleu Posts: 228
    What have you done? Now, everyone will try to drift at home. You should have written a disclaimer.

    As far as the fuel injector cleaning goes, most if not all just pour that bottle of injector cleaner into your vehicle's gas tank. The cost is not only for the bottle of cleaner (anywhere from $3-$15), but the cleaner specifically calls for a full tank of gas, which could translate into additional $50 bill (depending on how much gas is already in the tank). Though I doubt the dealerships will fill your tank up let alone tell you to fill up when the car is ready or when picking up the car . That bit of info would 'rat' them out as to the the actual work done on the car.
  • rhesterrhester Posts: 29
    I've had my 2006 Grand Touring edition for almost two weeks now and have had zero problems other than an odd issue when the car starts up.

    We've been getting our usual 80 degree daytime/40 degree nighttime temperatures here, so it's been pretty cold in the mornings. I've noticed a couple of times upon firing her up that there's a knocking sound from the engine compartment. It usually lasts about 10 seconds during which time the rpm dial hits almost 2k before "calming down" to it's usual 800 rpm level. That can take about a minute.

    Has anyone else had this problem? From owning a Miata for 4+ years before trading it in for this 3 I'm used to Mazda's "problems" that mysteriously disappear after a while with no work being done on my part to "fix" them. I'm hoping this is another one of those instances!
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    As far as the fuel injector cleaning goes, most if not all just pour that bottle of injector cleaner into your vehicle's gas tank.
    Here's an excellent article on the topic
  • kmh2468kmh2468 Posts: 62
    Thanks for the responses. I took my 3 in at the dealership which charged $125. About an hour later my car was ready. I look at the bill and besides the oil change material, I see a charge for air filter @ $19 and a can of 44K @ $26. The rest was for labor. Oh and they did rotate my tires and slapped or sprayed (messily) lubricant on the hinges and locks. In the future, I believe I'll stick to just oil changes unless necessary. Lesson learned.
  • kagedudekagedude Posts: 407
    I just took my 3i to the dealership too but just for a $29 oil change. Its 8 mos old and 15K miles and the dealer wanted me to do the 15K mile service. I told them that what can they possibly think the car needs at 7mos old? All the new cars I've owned, 2 years is the minimum before I start replacing parts which is normally just the front brake pads and maybe an alighment. At 10K miles, I had the oil change and rotation for $49.99. The Mazda website usually has the car care coupons.
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