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Mazda3 Maintenance & Repair



  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    I suspect that *maybe* in different climates Mazda has "tweaked" their A/C to perform better than the rest in the country. I know this to be true in Taiwan, but they also make their Mazda's there. However, the dealer is using the Mazda3 Sport's good A/C as a tool in selling saying this one is better than the regular Mazda3 (which is a 1.6litre).

    Also, others have reported better results with their A/C if they have a cabin filter installed. I am trying to get one installed this weekend when I take my M3 in for servicing since mine doesnt come with a cabin filter.

    And personally, I feel dealers and manufactures should be fined for lying to their customers. Denying that there is no problem and shortly thereafter, admitting to it by issuing service bulletins.
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    Vehicle equipment is important for all of us. I rather have a oversized a/c unit or any other unit, if you will, rather than an undersized unit. Someone had mentioned that the evap may have grown in size for '06 models; probably just speculation. I believe you had stated that there didn't seem to be enough room to increase the size of the evap in the 3. Kind of sounded hopeless for the Mazda 3. But I think that was more of an attitude opinion than a realistic one.

    I dont think the increased evap size in the 06 is speculation. A dealer did mention it. But, only time will tell; however, as mentioned in a previous post of mine. In Taiwan (I have three different M3s as references) their AC is fine. In fact, too cold. Without telling the family members what to look for, I have no way of knowing the size of their evap. I think a larger evap in the 04 and 05 M3's is definitely do-able. And if Mazda pisses off the consumers in Taiwan, Mazda will surely suffer a huge loss as in Taiwan they have access to vehicles that are not available in North America. There is definitely more options for consumers over there. I think that North America isn't a large enough of a pie for Mazda to concern itself with, hence the problems that we have.

    Someone mentioned Mazda and about the logic of saving $10 in parts or something. I guess from a manufacturing stand-point, this $10 adds up. Take my VW TDI. VW had a super cheap LCD odometer. I couldn't believe how cheap it was. Manufacturers will do almost anything to save a buck or too.

    I think my next car will be a Honda Civic or Acura. Honda cares about their customers.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Thanks for information.

    On the topic of Overall ratings there are actually two: Overall Quality and Overall Appeal.

    As you noted the overall quality is 2 out of 5 stars (i.e. "the rest"). What is useful to remember is the definition of Overall Quality which according to JD Power is
    Taken from the Initial Quality Study (IQS), which looks at owner-reported problems in the first 90 days of ownership, this score is based on the Mechanical, Feature & Accessory, and Body and Interior problems reported by vehicle owners.

    On the other hand, the Mazda3 rates 4 out of 5 (i.e. "better than most") for Overall Appeal. JD Power defines this as "Taken from the most recent Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study (APEAL) study, which looks at the features that consumers like and dislike about their vehicles, this score is based on how consumers rated the overall appeal of their vehicle. The APEAL study is published in August of each year.
  • daryldaryl Posts: 41
    It's been years since I bought aftermarket stereo products. I'm curious where the amp fits and what kind you are installing.
    Thanks, Daryl
  • South of you, in Connecticut, Town Fair Tire seems pretty good with winter tire packages. Tire rack also seems good and I believe they ship wheel and tire packages direct so all you have to do is pop them on. Being cheap I bought 4 used Cooper snow tires for 200 bucks and mounted them on some used steel 16" rims from a Mitsubishi Galant which I bought for $70. The bolt pattern and offset matched nicely. I haven't run the Coopers in snow yet but they are rated pretty well. The OEM Goodyears on my 2004 5spd hatch were not good in snow despite their having M&S on the sidewall. I am approaching 11000 miles, have had no real problems and find this to be one of the most enjoyable cars I've owned in the last 50+ years
  • gib11gib11 Posts: 47
    It's strange that the 2004MZ3 rated better at 3/5
  • prdmprdm Posts: 145
    I have done this on the family's three cars. This prevents having to tear on/off tires every spring/fall and allows you to rotate position. For tools you could use what's in the trunk but you will be much happier with a real floor jack and lug nut wrench
  • Any tire brand that you guys would highly recommend? Also, I heard that I would need a torque wrench to properly put the tires on. Is that really true b/c I have the other materials after having to change tires on my old car in the middle of snowstorms?
  • prdmprdm Posts: 145
    Bridgestone Blizzak WS-50 are excellent. There are others but these are the ones I have experience with. Torque wrench can be helpful, but that said, I've been doing this for 25 years and have yet to use one. Most cars require between 75 to 100 ft. lbs. on the lug nuts. With a cross shaped lug nut wrench which are about 24 in across it is not hard to ballpark that figure. What is more important than torqueing it dead on is setting all lug nuts close to same tightness on each wheel to prevent rotor warping.
  • Check engine light came on last week Friday 10/28. Thought it could be a sensor with the gas cap so I set up the appt. yesterday. And I just had the car in for an oil change and tire rotation on the 10/25

    They found 2 issues:
    1. Purge S Valve
    2. Leak Detection System

    There’s a TSB on the Purge S Valve. Knew this going in, but I was convinced it was the gas cap. This one particular individual (gas attendant) seemed to not have tightened my gas cap correctly a couple of days before (10/26) the engine light flashed. He hesitated after installing the gas cap, but he did a double take on it and gave it another effort. I still wasn’t convinced, but I decided to look at it when I got to work. Thirty miles later and I forgot; I have a bad habit of forgetting things which is probably why I live on Memory Lane (really, I do). This individual is approx. 45 years old, but is fairly new at this station that I’ve been going to in the last 6 years (1 mile from home and good price). He’s a stickler for OBEYING NEW JERSEY LAW. I think New Jersey and Oregon are the only states remaining where only the employees are permitted to pump gas and NO ONE ELSE. I wish it had only been the “Leak Detection System” so I could make a stink about it to him and his boss. I have no problem pumping my own gas in the state of New Jersey. But this guy reads me the riot act every time he’s on the job.


    BTW – The Purge S Valve has something to do with the engine running too lean or too rich. There are 2 codes, but which code is for lean and which for rich? Or should I just ask the service people? And would this be affected by the slow evaporation of gasoline (fumes) not reaching the engine?
  • Thanks everyone for the advice! So, I got my car back yesterday and they replaced a part in the emissions control system...the purge control valve. And it seems to be driving like its new again. Here's hoping all stays well! Thanks again!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,579
    The Mazda3 make the Edmunds Editors' Most Wanted list.

    You can check it out in the new BLOG section and add your comments too if you wish:

    The Most Wanted List is in the Blog called "Straightline". Have a look!

    Shifty the Host

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

  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    Yes, the overall appeal is higher. Even though I feel the overall reliability is VERY POOR and the JD Powers survey confirms this. I rate the appeal as very high, that's why I traded-in my 2002 Jetta TDi for the Mazda3. However....the quality is just not there. Unfortunately, I didnt know the quality was this bad with the Mazda. The Jetta is about the same, which doesn't say much. If I did know about the quality, I wouldve held off on my trade-in and waited for the 2006 Civic and quality is just as important as appeal. I couldnt see myself driving a Corolla as it looks today or an 05 Civic, but I came darn close to buying a Civic.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
    What types of quality problems have you experienced?

    What types of reliability problems? Similar to those on the “Probs” thread; AC, rear brakes (on 04) or different?

    I was very surprised by the quality and reliability of my 3…though I only have 3K miles on it now.

    I’m also VERY impressed with the build quality of my 3. When I purchased an 03 Accord I had about 12 items to address on my first visit, on my 3 I have absolutely none. No squeaks, rattles, misalignments, electrical glitches, nothing. When I got rid of my 03 Accord I still had water stains in my headliner that never got fixed from 3K – 41K it was put off, or forgotten, or rescheduled.

    Outside of a BMW 3 series, I haven’t driven a car that felt so solid; like it was constructed out of one large piece.

    It’s surprising to hear others have different experiences, perhaps I just got lucky.
  • mvs1mvs1 Posts: 462
    I'm also interested in more information. I'm looking at both the 06' Civic and Mazda3 5 door as a commuter vehicle. I drove both, along with owning an 00' Jetta. The Jetta IMO is built better than both. I remember when I bought that car, there were horror stories, yet I got the 1.8T engine and made one trip for a recall on window regulators that never gave me issue, great car overall.

    I actually like the Mazda more than the Civic yet personal opinion leads me toward the Civic since I've owned Hondas in the past....decisions...decisions
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    What quality issues have I had? Well, fortunately, for the most part, they have been nuisances.

    1. The hard shifting (automatic) when cold from 1st to 2nd. Took Mazda almost a year to come up with a software fix for that. This was NOT a nuisance but a definite concern. Dunno what damage my tranny has as a result
    2. Rear brakes (noisey and clunking). TSB on that.
    3. Console Trim panel (loose)
    4. Poor A/C
    5. Door rattle
    6. Window regulator and noisey operating of power windows (TSB on that one)
    7. Wiper Blades defective after only 6000 km
    8. Trunk latch came apart (not by forcing)

    I don't have 10 yet on my list, but I am sure I will ;-)

    Take comfort though, the 2006's HAVE a better or different A/C. I am hearing more and more people test driving the 2005 and 2006's and they are saying the A/C is great in the 06's but the [non-permissible content removed] in the 05's that they have tested!

    I owned a 2002 Jetta TDi and my gf owns a 2000. The Jetta is built in many ways better than the Mazda, but worse in others.
  • kagedudekagedude Posts: 407
    For my 2005 Mazda 3i, the glovebox rattle is back. It seems to be coming from inside the lock cylinder or the lock hooks. Wanted to know if anyone else is experiencing this with their 3 and if there was an actual fix by the dealer? Thanks.
  • I don't put any stock into JDP's ratings of cars. It seems they rate alot of American cars higher than foreign cars and I just dont see it. I value Edmunds or Consumer Reports much more than JDP. I dont think JDP is a very scientific rater. Consumer Reports is non-profit, has to purchase every car it tests right from a dealer lot, has nothing to gain or lose depending on its ratings, and doesn't let companies use it's name in advertising. On the other hand, JDP is a private company where I can see a company paying extra for a good rating so it can film a bunch of commercials with the JDP trophy.

    That's just my .02, but if JDP rates it poor, and just about every other source rates it well.....

    Also, it is unfair to use ratings/reliability from a 2004 model. First model year ALWAYS has issues, no matter who the manufacturer.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    You say "First model year ALWAYS has issues, no matter who the manufacturer"

    The question is - what does the manufacturer do to solve the problems that come up with a first year model?

    Do they jump on the issue right away - let the customer with the problem know they are working on a solution - and then fix the problem in a reasonable amount of time - (That is what Toyota, Honda & EVEN CRUMMY OLD GM did when I had problems with a first year model)

    Or do they take the MAZDA route- which is tell the customer its normal - maybe come out with a fix in a year or so.

    Take my grinding brakes - first Mazda says its normal - then they come out with a TSB to fix the grinding - so it must be a problem - the grinding goes away for a few weeks but then returns - now its considered normal again - 1 1/2 years later - Mazda has a new TSB - so it must now be considered a problem again. (I plan on trying to get the dealer to do this TSB next week when I get my oil changed)

    Its not just the car - its the service after the sale that is important. This is where Mazda falls short -

    I like to buy new models - have done so many times - have always had some level of bugs - a rattle / a clunk some minor issue - all have been fixed - only with Mazda am I still waiting almost 2 years after purchase to get the first year model issues fixed.
  • My glovebox rattle turned out to be the air duct underneath the glovebox. Try putting some padding around it. You will have to lie on your back with a bright light to see what you are doing.
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    That's what I am talking about and so is JD Powers. They have ALWAYS been dead-on. Unfortunately, I am a slow learner. :blush:

    I have some MORE issues right now...the intermittent rough idle (mazda says's it's normal) it's worse now, the creaking brakes (mazda says's it's normal), the noisy window (supposedly fixed according to TSB but it's not), and now they creaking over speed bumps (mazda says's it's normal).

    Mazda is LOW in the reliability department. For those that are lucky and dont have much problems, count your blessings as your experiences are NOT typical.

    And Mazda has had over a year to iron out the kinks in their new models. The 05's are only negligibly better than the 04's. I suspect the 06's may be much better, but only time will tell.
  • nifty56nifty56 Posts: 279
    Response to message #2569 Sometimes I think manufactures come into these message boards disguised as an owner and post a VERY positive review trying to counter numerous negative comments and concerns, but I could be wrong. I live in Canada, southern Ontario, and during the summer it often gets to 90+, humid and sunny and I can tell you the A/C in my car sucks during those hot days. The dealer says it is up to Mazda's specs. I don't think a temp out the vents in the shade of 51F is cold enough to cool the car. Mazda sets the spec to match the output and says it's ok. Mazda interior, large black dash and if I didn't have tints, untinted windows.
    With a black interior you would think they would make a kick [non-permissible content removed] A/C system.
    2005, GT, 2.3, Sedan, Tinted windows
  • Mazda is LOW in the reliability department. For those that are lucky and dont have much problems, count your blessings as your experiences are NOT typical. <<

    Not according to Consumer Reports. Above average reliability for the 3, including the first year
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Consumer Reports - maybe they were rating the Mazda3's ability to make toast - the dash does get pretty hot!

    I don't really cares what CR - JP Power or any of the car rags say - WHEN I KNOW FIRST HAND - because I have been fighting defects for almost 2 years now - that the Mazda3 has many many many issues -

    Please don't try and use the excuse that my problems are a very small % of the cars sold because that means nothing to me or anyone that has a defective car. The way I look at it 100% of the people who bought a Mazada3 with a weak AC system have NOT had the defect fixed.

    Would Mazda come out with a TSB if a very small number of cars have a problem? Hard to believe Mazda would say - two cars have a grinding brake problem - we need to issue a TSB ASAP! I don't know what the number of cars must be effected before Mazda issues a TSB - but it seems reasonable it would be in the thousands.

    The Mazda3 is a nice little car - of all the econo boxes I tested it was the most fun to drive - by a wide margin - but please don't confuse fun to drive with reliability and good customer service after the sale.

    Want a fun to drive car that doesn't cost a fortune - the Mazda3 should be on your short list - NEED a reliable car from a company that stands behind what they sell - then you should be looking some place else.
  • jmillsjmills Posts: 77
    No I am not a Manufacturer or in any way associated with Mazda.

    In addition I do not appreciate complainers from Canada who suggest that I am.

    It is certainly much warmer and more humid in Florida where I purchased my Mazda, and in Georgia where we live.

    Our Mazda 3 5 door - Lava Orange - Automatic - with Black interior- cools very well and the AC does NOT suck.

    Mazda has provided superb service and clearly produced an outstanding car, and Consumer Reports and Edmunds tests and evaluations support this.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Several months ago when I was at the dealership the manager of the service / parts department told me that complaints (about the weak AC system) were common in sedan - but he did not see any problems with the hatchback. He felt it had something to do with the rear window area of the sedan allowing more direct sun light into the car. Which means a greater heat load.

    I wonder if he could be right about this - most of the AC complaints on this board seem to be on the sedan - a few people who own the hatch are always piping up with how great their AC is. Always helpful to hear about cars that don't have any problems - so they don't need any solutions. Because if it wasn't for theses posts all we would ever see on this problems and solutions board would be problems and solutions.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,724
    Does the hatchback have SUV type tinting standard on the rear windows and hatch?

    Because, if not, he has this backwards... Wagons, hatches, SUVs, etc... ... get much hotter inside than sedans, if windows are tinted the same... You have a much larger glass area, and more inside space to cool...

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    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Don't know about the tinting - but what he was talking about was the angle of the rear glass - the slope of the sedan's rear glass catches more sun - the hatch is more vertical.

    Since we have several sedan owners who seem to have AC problems - and no HB owners complaining (actually the HB owners seem VERY happy) it would seem like there may be something to this theory.
  • jmillsjmills Posts: 77
    Our Mazda3 hatchback does not appear to have any different tinting on the windows than the sedans I have seen in this area. I suppose that the slightly more vertical rear window could reduce the heatload.
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