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Mazda3 Maintenance & Repair



  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Ask your service guy for a printed copy of what's included in each service prior to having it performed. Then take the copy home and get out your owner's manual. Cross out any items that are not included in your owner's manual, take the sheet back and tell the guy to remove those items from the list, along with the labor charges that go with them.

  • jmillsjmills Posts: 77
    The Air Conditioning system on my 2004 Mazda 3 with automatic transmission has performed superbly for the 15 months and 35,000 miles we have owned the car.

    Since we purchased and drive the car throughout South Florida and Georgia I consider that proof that the system is in fact well engineered.

    During the 35,000 miles and 15 months of totally problem free ownership we have received superb service from three different Mazda dealers in Florida and Georgia.

    Perhaps you received a different Mazda in Canada because Consumer Reports and every other rating magazine and service in the US has given the Mazda3 and Mazda superb ratings.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Just scroll down to see who won (in a tie) the "small car" category: - - d421dbd

    Please note how these ratings were assigned:

    More than 40,793 buyers who bought 2005 models in October and November of 2004 supplied data. “We gather comprehensive data that reflects the breadth and depth of the ownership experience, including emotions. The information is used to calculate ‘Total Quality’ indices.

  • cinderycindery Posts: 14
    Does anyone know if there is an OFF button or an easy procedure to turn off the Navi system? If I enter a destination and later decide to go somewhere else, the navi keeps trying to take me to the original destination. I have read the manual and the 'cheat sheet' glossy book that comes with the navi - neither mention any method to quickly turn off the navigation.

    Any help here?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Mazda3 tied with the... Accent. Odd company. The Accent is a car I don't equate with an emotional response. Oh well.
  • jb03jb03 Posts: 31

    When in the Navigation Mode, press the Enter button down once. This will bring up an options menu. Scroll down to "Delete Destination." That will get rid of the original destination.

    As an alternate, you can enter in a new destination which will cancel the original destination as well.

    Hope this helps

  • jb03jb03 Posts: 31
    Well, it's been quite awhile since my last post here on Edmunds in the 2000 MPV forums (nearly five years ago). I bought a used 2004 Silver MZ3S Sedan in very good condition. The car looks and runs good. Here are my observations since purchase:

    1. My CEL is very sensitive and is specifically caused by not completely tightening the the gas cap. The cap has to be inserted just right and then turned to tighten. Failure to do this results in a CEL every time.

    2. No problems with AC. It blows cold (not frigid) and cools the car down even in bright sunny So. Cal.

    3. I get the rare wheel hop when accelerating hard while cornering. This is discussed on other forums for the MZ3 and is known to be caused by the soft durometer engine mounts. This is not a problem unless one likes to drive the car hard.

    4. I get an occasional flutter sound from the engine compartment when the engine is under load (not to be confused with engine knock). This too has been noted on other forums as possibly being caused by the vane in the air mass flow sensor.

    5. About 3 weeks ago, I began to notice a very slight almost imperceptible vibration through the steering wheel. It could be my nearly worn tires or a bad CV joint (a known issue on some MZ3s).

    Other than the above, I have had no other issues. I'm planning on having items 3, 4 & 5 looked at under warranty during my next visit to the dealership.

  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I bought a used 2004 Silver MZ3S Sedan
    Welcome back, JB.
    Could you let us know why you opted for a used rather than new MZ3? Was cost the only consideration? What mileage did the car have upon purchase? Any advice for others considering used versus new?
  • Sorry, this message was posted a long time ago but I seem to be having a similar problem.

    At high way speeds, I hear a 'rattling' from the grauges. When I hear the sound, I get the impression that it must be something related to the odometer.. it's not really a rattle, more of a 'clicking' sound.

    I think you have the solution for this noise, but can you explain what 'piece of plastic' you are referring to? I thought you were talking about the plastic that separates the odometer from the gas meter, etc. I tried to pull that out... doesn't seem to come off.

    My car is less than week old and I didn't notice this sound during the test drive (probably because the high way near the dealership is newly paved).
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I think he's actually talking about the little "hood" over the instrument cluster.

  • I bought a new 2005 Mazda 3 hatchback in Sept 05. About 2 days ago, the indicator light with the key on it, the one that tells you your key is still in the ignition and also lights up when the car is turned to ACC, started flashing when the car is completely off and the key is nowhere near the ignition.

    Any ideas what this could be from???

    I dropped it off at the dealer last night and this morning they tell me that the light is supposed to flash. Ummm.... NOOOOOO.... it's not, I tell them. They are going to look again.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    The light should keep flashing - the dealer is right.

    Look in your owners manual under security.

    It says - "the security indicator light flashes every 2 seconds until the system is DISARMED.

    The system is disarmed when the ignition switch is turned to the ON position with the correct key. If your light flashes with the key switched on then you have a problem.
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    I think everyone's preferences vary on what's hot or cold....or perhaps you are one of the lucky ones.

    There are NUMEROUS Mazda boards both in Canada and USA that mention the inadequate A/C has an ongoing issue with unsatisfactory cooling. When people say their A/C is fine in their Mazda3, I get frustrated because they don't mention what setting they use (level 1,2, or3). Not one of my many [4 cylinder economy] cars that I have leased in the last 8 years did I ever encounter such a weak and feeble A/C system. I wish I had my 1.8 L, 89 HP TDI for that reason alone.

    Just today, I visited another Mazda board and it was mentioned that one particular dealer [in the USA] indicated that the 2004/2005 Mazda3 and 2006 Mazda5 have an evapator that is too small. In the 2006 Mazda3 and Tribute, the size has increased and therefore, the cooling is much better. The dealer also mentioned that Mazda won't replace the evaporator on the 04/05's. But, at least the problem is RECOGNIZED by some dealers! :surprise:
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277

    I have no idea how Consumer Reports actually comes up with some of this info. I can say for sure, I totally disagree with the 2005 Mazda3 and VW Jetta as being up there (I owned both).

    I have always agreed with JD Powers, which I feel is more objective and accurate: You may have to select the 2005 Mazda3 in the above link or try this link instead:

    The bottom line is that the 2005 Mazda3 is rated in OVERALL QUALITY a 2 out of 5!! ;)
    For those that are not clear on how JD Powers does their research, see:

    This other company's info is questionable:

    The Total Quality Index is: Satisfaction with complete ownership experience
    Perception of quality, Emotional attachment to vehicle yields a high score of 859

    The Total Value Index is: Delight with the deal, Belief in getting a smart buy,
    Likelihood to repurchase, based on value is 767

    And, the biggest one, Problem Impact Measure
    (lower number is better), have NO DATA (No data available) !! :confuse:

    You decide which one you believe.
  • I tried to take the hood off but I couldn't. Now it seems a bit flimsy.


    Today I realized that the sound is very minor but it's still noticeable. The sound isn't a
    click', after all. Sounds like a liquid dripping? Tick tick tick tick tick, more like. And it appears to be coming from under the dashboard.

    I wish this sound would go away. :sick:
  • You know what.. after driving it again

    I think basically my whole dashboard seems to squeak here and there when I'm in a rough road.
    Most prominantly behind the steering wheel and near the center console.
    I think the area around the information display appears weak. it definitely squeaks when i press the area surrounding it (the black plastic in the i model)
    it's not noticeable (that much), but i tend to be anal with these things.
    should i tell this to the dealer?
    the dealer is very, very far away so i can't be traveling back and forth a lot so i don't want it to be in for repairs and such.

    as for the 'clicking noise in dash' - i still don't get how to repair that so more directions should be much appreciated.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    As you suggested I checked the JD Power Initial Quality & Appeal Ratings for the 2005 Mazda3 and found the information below. Based on this it appears that the Mazda3 overall rates close to 4 stars (better than most). I did not find your assertion that "the 2005 Mazda3 is rated in OVERALL QUALITY a 2 out of 5" Could you clarify where you found that rating?

    Initial Quality Ratings
    - Mechanical Quality : The rest (2 stars)
    - Feature and Accessory Quality : Better than Most (4 stars)
    - Body & Interior Quality : About Average (3 stars)

    Appeal Ratings
    - Performance : Better than Most (4 stars)
    - Comfort : Better than Most (4 stars)
    - Style : Better than Most (4 stars)

  • pmc255pmc255 Posts: 15
    Hi all. I just drove home with a new 2006 Mazda3 i Touring (with AT and ABS) yesterday. It had 400 miles on it when I picked it up, since it was a trade-in from a dealership that was pretty far away. But driving it home, I noticed a slight squeal whenever I turned the steering wheel. I think I noticed this mainly in the parking lot, since it was a very faint noise. Even if the car wasn't moving, just turning the steering wheel would produce the same squeaking/squealing sound. It seems to be coming from the dashboard. Has anyone else run into this? Is this some kind of mechanical problem, or is the steering wheel just squeaky and needs to be oiled or something?
  • pmc255pmc255 Posts: 15
    Come to think of it, when dealers trade for cars from another dealership, do they really drive the car all the way to the other dealership? According to the original windows sticker, the car was shipped to a dealership that is about 270 miles away from the original one. If they really drove it all the way to my dealership, then I could see how it might reach 400. But 400 miles is still pretty high.... I'd think for long distances, the car would just be loaded up on a truck and hauled over.
  • Did you finally get your black mica 3? (from mazda3forums, btw)
    Mine was also a dealer trade but it only had 20 miles on it. I've never experienced the squealing, but I am having problems with rattling.
  • pmc255pmc255 Posts: 15
    Yup, finally got my Black Mica. I love it so far, minus that slight squeal. The more I think of it, the more I think it's just the steering wheel making a weird noise and not a mechanical problem. I just called the dealership the car was listed under on MazdaUSA, and the other dealership on the original sticker. Both of them said the 400+ odometer reading is not unusual, since they drive the car manually when they do dealer trades. I'd think if there was some kind of mechnical problem, they would've noticed and fixed it.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
    When i bought a Honda Accord a few years ago they didn't have the one I wanted. They found the one I wanted form another dealer...300 miles away. They paid someone (they said an old retired person) to drive it here.
  • jb03jb03 Posts: 31
    Hi Auto,

    Thanks for the welcome. I opted for used primarily due to price. i was looking for a loaded 3S 5sp with navi which was difficult to come by at the dealership without ordering. While searching used, one became available in my second color choice. Mileage was at about 28,000. I researched the MZ3 prior to buying so I new what to look for and what problems might be prevalent.

    The person I bought the car from needed a larger vehicle to tow his recently purchased motorcycle. I utilized my credit union to purchase the car and they were able to handle everything including DMV transfer, title and registration. So the transaction was very smooth.

    All in all, I probably saved about $4,500 over purchasing new and I got all of the features I wanted. Hope this helps someone who may be making the decision between purchasing new and used.

  • jb03jb03 Posts: 31
    Hi Ex,

    I certainly agree that what is considered hot or cold is certainly subjective. Personally, I find that the AC when set on fan setting 2 blows "comfortably" cold. It is by no means frigid as I noted in an earlier post, and it as not as cold as my MPV.

    What I have noticed about the MZ3 is that the AC seems to be governed by some sort of thermostat in the passenger cabin that begins to automatically cut the compressor in and out once the interior reaches a certain temperature. What that temperature is I cannot say since I have not felt the need to measure it. :)

    For those who don't think the AC is cold enough, one suggestion would be to have the dealer check the adjustment of the linkage to the heat valve. It is possible that a small amount of hot water is being circulated through the heater core even though the temperature control knob is turned to the coldest setting. Just a thought.

    Hopefully, for those not satisfied with the AC, a solution can be found.

  • Well to be honest I cant complain about the A/C. When I get in the car at 1 pm parked under the sun at 97 degrees outside I turn it on full power for about 3-4 mins then lower it to 2. In here the temperature doesnt change all that much from winter to summer so I use the a/c under high temperatures all year round. All i have to say it peforms well. If you wants an incredibly cold a/c in Mazda go buy the 6, believe me that one will freeze you even if you set the temp at 75 and is 100 outside ;)
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    another dealer...300 miles away. They paid someone (they said an old retired person) to drive it here.
    This type of service sounds very likely if the distance to the other dealer is not great and the customer is anxious to get the vehicle. Prior to accepting the car, I would check it carefully for dings and other blemishes; one easy way of doing this is to run your hand across the surface.
  • maxpwrmaxpwr Posts: 1
    Hello all. I recently found this site and thought I would share my experiences with my M3 GS sedan over the last 18 months. I too have a weak A/C as others have mentioned...but in Vancouver it's not a big deal..wouldn't mind my $1000 back though. Of concern to me are the brakes, the fronts which squeel often, and back brakes that grind. Of bigger concern is the suspension in my car which creaks going over speed bumps from all four corners. The dealer has supposedly tried to fix this on two occassions with no luck. Has anyone else had this problem? I've also had problems with a rough idle that developed right after my 8000km service. Dealer says it's on par with other M3's. Is an idle speed of just 600 rpm about right for a manual 2.0? A higher idle seems to smooth things out but they won't adjust it. Any advice would be appreciated. Thx :confuse:
  • chacobleuchacobleu Posts: 228
    My $0.02

    The idle should be set to 650 for manuals and 700 for auto transmissions, per Mazda specs for my region. The tachometer is just an approx.; any legit garage should have equip for correctly guaging the idle. If your idle is in fact 600 rpm, it's low, but not by any extreme; just enough to cause more of a rough idle. BTW - the rough idle may have something to do with one of the engine mounts (rubber being too soft). There's a tsb on this issue (I think mount 3?).

    This site will better explain the range at which the idle is set. You may be able to convince the dealership to increase it to the higher end of the spectrum, especially if its proven that the idle smooths out at that new spec.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Try this site - it lists TSB's for the Mazda3

    Several on brake noise (rear grinding) & suspension noises - I have had the grinding brakes fixed 2 times - but using the "old" TSB - I plan on trying to get the dealer to try the new fix at my next oil change - also waiting for the TSB on harsh tranny shift.
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    Yes, "new" TSBs are always preferable to "old" TSBs. :shades:
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