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Mazda3 Maintenance & Repair



  • dridedride Posts: 139
    My low fuel light came on yesterday (I don't usually let it get down that low), so I went to get gas. It only took 11 gallons to fill. It is it right to get a warning when I have 3 gallons left? That's like 90 miles! BTW, my AC works great (orange hatch).
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    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

    Well, Bill, you're entitled to your personal opinion as are the rest of us. The value of Consumer Reports is that it collects individual opinions to propose a wider public evaluation. In the estimation of many (including myself), the Mazda3 is a reliable car. This is to be expected considering the Mazda3 is part of a long lineage going back several decades of reliable compact cars (GLC, 323, Protege) built by Mazda.

    A recent issue of Consumer Reports showed that reliability in the first and second year of many brands (including Honda and Toyota) is lower compared to succeeding years. That does not surprise me. Which leads me to the assertion that the latest Mazda3 is likely the best so far. That's not because the earlier ones were unreliable but because it takes a while to work out the initial bugs of any new model.

    Finally, going on a rant is a poor way of arguing one's case. In other words, keep cool. ;)
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
    If I refill when the needle is BELOW empty I still can only fit in 12.x gallons.

    I did have the misfortune of having the car not start on an incline when I was below the empty; it still only took 12.x gallons though…
  • The low fuel light usually is used to let you know you need to refuel asap. However, that doesn't mean you're about to run out of fuel. Typically it means you have 1-2 gallons left of gas, enough milege supposedly to find a gas station. The user manual states that the tank can hold 14.5 gallons of gas, so it seems that when that light turns on, you have about 2 gallons or so left. Everytime I hit that light, I usually hit about 12 gallons on the refill.

    The only reason I know this is because my old Protege'96 had the same statement in the manual. In the 1996 manual, it stated that I would have 1.5 gallons of gas left once that warning light turns on. I assumed it was the same with the Mazda3. The Protege would hold 11.5 gallons of gas, and I would typically need to refill 10 if I ever hit that light.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Bill, your opinion of Mazda, of course, is going to be based on your personal experience. Your personal experience, however, appears to be unusual compared to the vast majority of other consumers. When you say you don't care what Consumer Reports says, no doubt that is because they don't share your opinion; but how could they if the opinions from their 6 million subscribers say otherwise.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,338
    Please let's not have any "brand bashing" posts as these create conflich in the forums and also fill them up with posts which don't address the topic's main concerns.

    thank you

    Shifty the Host

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

  • daryldaryl Posts: 41
    I recently forgot to fill up the night before when the low fuel went on, and my daughter and I drive another 35 miles before she noticed it. Had 325 on the trip odometer, and took 13.8 gallons. My mileage for that tank was an all-time low of 23.8, so with the usual 24.5 I could go a little further, but won't push it past the 325. That's close enough.
    As for the too many A/C postings, many from the same guy, I have an '04 hatch built in May that year, Winning Blue with blue cloth, and the A/C is just fine.
    The bicycle topic. Fitting a bike in back was a huge consideration and with the front wheel off my bikes fit in easily.
  • On a side note, I've heard that running below E on the gas meter is bad for some fuel pumps, because they use the gas in the tank as a coolant. By setting up E to correspond with 1.5 to 2 gallons left in the tank, it keeps enough fuel in the tank to keep the pump from running hotter than intended.
  • then the possibility that someone from honda or nissan is coming in here under the guise of being a 3 owner and completely trashing the car and the dealer may exist as well....get over yourself..
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,338
    For a more enjoyable forum, try not to engage in "brand-bashing", crusades against a car company, and/or making repetitious posts on the same unresolved and/or unfixable issues.

    Problems without remedy suffered by profoundly dissastisfied owners should probably be taken up with an attorney/lemon lawyer, not here.

    Avoid spinning your wheels in other words.

    Thank you


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

  • gcar3gcar3 Posts: 2
    What exactly was your power steering doing (or not doing)? My teenage son has an '05 Mazda 3 with 6800 miles and it has had the power steering fail twice. The first time was when he had it about 2-3 months and when he turned the car off and back on, the steering "righted" itself. The second time, which was last month, it happened while he was driving in a residential area and resulted in an accident. It has cost us nearly $6,000 in repairs and Mazda can't find anything wrong with the steering. I am trying to track down anyone who has had any issues with their power steering, particularly, power steering failure while driving.
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    "My teenage son has an '05 Mazda 3 with 6800 miles and it has had the power steering fail twice."

    I might be totaly out of line here, and I apologize in advance...but.... teenage son? Are you sure that the dealer isn't correct that there was nothing wrong with the steering? Perhaps it was something wrong behind the wheel? I have raised 3 kids thru the teenage driving years, and believe me, more fault can be usually placed with the kids lack of experience and not wanting to loose their driving privileges, rather than the car being at fault.
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    Ok, everyone....let's simmer down a bit. I can totally understand and empathize with everyone here on both sides. However, I would like to say a few more and final things about Mazda reliability and stats.

    First off, I don't know where some of you are saying that CR has the M3 as a reliable vehicle. Doing a quick search on Google, I found the following link and nowhere does it mention the Mazda3 being reliable car:

    To be recommended by CR, the vehicle must have performed well in Consumer Reports' tests, have at least average reliability based on CR's surveys of its subscribers, and have performed adequately if crash tested or included in government rollover tests.

    I recall reading somewhere that in 2004 the Mazda3 was recommended or reliable by CR. The info was in July or the summer. I say, "holy toledo batman", the Mazda3 has hardly been out and you recommend it without any reliabilty data? Hmmm.

    The JD Powers company is big, probably bigger than CR in terms of conducting surveys and as far as I am concerned is probably the most accurate in terms of sampling.

    All too often some people read into something that is not there. Just like one poster commented that he thought JD Powers had listed the Mazda3 as 4 stars or something like that in reliability when in fact he was looking at Mazda's appeal. That's understandable and can happen. When I provided the specific link he saw what I was refering to.

    Everyone is free to believe what they want. That's fine, but if someone tells me that the Mazda3 is reliable, I insist on knowing the source and for the person backing up that information with tangible objective and verifiable information that is relative. So, show me where. Maybe I got a lemom. However, information supplied on Mazda3's reliabity indicates that it's not the best. Driving a fun car or a car that gives you good bang for your buck does not make it a reliable car.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Look at p. 89 of CR's 2005 Annual Auto Issue (available at libraries, it's the April 2005 issue). They rate the 2004 Mazda3 with a red circle (meaning few problems, or much above average in reliability) in every category but one (brakes, which is above average) and rate the car much above average overall. The 2004 Mazda3 would have been out for its full model year before CR did its survey used to compile the scores in that 2005 issue.
  • jmillsjmills Posts: 77
    It is way past time for you to take the "Host's" advice and drop the subject!!!
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I insist on knowing ... information with tangible objective and verifiable information that is relative. So, show me where. Maybe I got a lemom. However, information supplied on Mazda3's reliabity ...
    Might want to get that spell checker working before your mom or one of your relatives complains. :surprise:

    p.s. Consumer Reports posts information about automobiles on their website for everyone to see; the Mazda3 is listed as "recommended".
  • bear7bear7 Posts: 10
    Hi All - I just bought a 2006 3i with AT at Whitten Bros Mazda in Richmond (my first experience with Whitten or a Mazda and I am happy so far.) I'm wondering what Mazda means by not driving at the same high or low speed for lengthy periods of time the first 600 miles. What constitutes a lengthy period? An hour? Five hours?

    And, secondly I noticed Mazda said not to use gasoline containing more than 10% ethanol or ANY methanol. How are we to know? What would happen to the engine?

    Thanks for any illumination you can provide.
  • I love my 2005 MAZDA2 sp23 but this clicking sound is driving me nuts!

    It seems to be coming from the passenger side dash, though one person I recruited to help locate the exact location thought it was from somewhere under the seat. Everyone else thought it was from somewhere inside the dash, higher up rather lower in the footwell.

    Its a uneven metallic clicking sound, and will even click on relatively smooth roads giving me the impression that its something like a suspended piece of metal shaking and hiting another anchored metallic piece.

    I have tried removing absolutely everything from the all the storage areas, and have even removed the stereo and the central part of the dashboard. Didn't find anything there.

    I am wary about taking the section with the airbags apart; besides I can't figure out how to do that. I would also like to take out the glove box and check behind that.

    Anybody have any ideas? Or help on how to remove the passenger side dash panels? I would really appreciate any help on this. Its driving me nuts and I really only want to take it to the dealer as a last resort. :mad: :confuse: :cry:

    Thanks in advance.
  • Maybe they've been hearing stories of people mixing the gasoline they put into their car to get my fuel mileage. The typical 87-octane gas at the pump should be okay for your car. I think it's only when you try to add in fuel additives like some fuel cleaners that might damage the engine parts. Typically you shouldn't need to use those for such a young car, and hopefully if the gas prices continue to drop, then a fill-up of premium or plus gasoline can help clean your fuel injectors as those grades of fuel have more cleaners built into them.
  • Just wanna say thanks to those of you who gave me some good ideas about snow tires and maintenance. I finally went through and got my car a set of dunlop sp m3 winter performance tires with 16' wheels. Already pushed them almost 200 miles this past weekend and they're a beauty to drive in, even though there isn't any snow around in Boston yet. These tires work well enough in dry conditions as long as the temp. outside isn't too high. Can't wait almost for our first winter nor'eastern to hit us... but then my sanity will kick in and ask am I nuts?!

    Anyhows, cheerio and good day. :D
  • A couple of links that may help and prove helpful for the future of your vehicle (and your sanity). The first is about your problem; the second is a general list of TSB's on the 3. You can also access TSB's for vechicls on the NHTSA website and/or Edmunds. Usefull tools for the "after purchase experience."

    BTW - Is your vehicle a stick or automatic???
  • Thanks for the links chacobleu!

    Automatic; I would have loved to get a stick but a incomplete knee injury recovery has permanently put a damper on that.

    Regarding TSB0035, I am pretty sure this isn't what I am experiencing since a) my VIN is higher than JM1 BK**** 51 271699 and b) its not one-time, it will occur with even mild rocking or uneven road surface; even at constant speed (no gear changes).

    On more thing I should mention is that I have an XM receiver installed, but as part of my efforts to locate the source of the noise, I removed it entirely. No dice.

    Any other ideas? Can anyboady tell me how to remove the glovebox? And how about removing the dash panel above the glovebox where the passenger airbags are? Like I was saying in the earlier post, I completely removed the stereo and the dash panel above that (where the hazard lights button is) and determined that the clicking is not from there. Sounds defintitely like from the glovebox area (glovebox 100% emptied).
  • I've had my 2006 Grand Touring A/T for 5 weeks now. I love the car. The only thing which bothers me at the moment is the quite awful gas mileage I've been getting. I've filled up the car about 4 times now, and have gotten no better than 19mpg in mostly city driving. Now, when the break-on period (600 miles) was still in effect I made sure that no heavy acceleration was being done (easier said than done!).

    Should I start to expect better gas mileage soon?
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
    Should I start to expect better gas mileage soon?

    I would.

    My first tank of gas, 2.3 MT, was in the low 30’s.

    The lowest I’ve attained was 26mpg and that was driving like a maniac (WOT, 5000+rpm).

    If I driving conservatively I can achieve low 30’s, normal driving I usually get 28-30mpg; 70% highway 30% rural/suburbs.
  • I hate to be redundant, but back on Nov. 9 I mentioned that I traced my rattle to an air duct running under the glovebox. It was loose enough to rattle against a bracket particularly when the hot air was blowing. Try stuffing enough padding around it to keep it from moving.
  • Thanks for the tip bluetail. Yeah, I found that duct, its just where the glovebox ends. I had someone hold onto it while I drove but I could still hear the clicking rattle. Never-the-less, I will try to anchor it, maybe temporarily just use some duct tape or painters tape. BTW, was your rattle metallic\metal-on-metal sounding?
  • My click was not a distinctly metallic sound. I had my son drive the car while I tried pushing and pulling all the structures around the glovebox. My guess is that one of the joints in the duct is loose enough to creak at certain temperatures. On a cold day I wouldn't get any clicking until the heater started blowing warm air. I still occasionally get some clicking on bumpy roads, but it is not as annoying as it was.
  • You appear to have the same, exact rattle or metallic clicking sound that my '04 sedan has. Unfortunately, I've been unsuccessful at getting to the source of the noise. The clicking, for me, appears to be under my driver side's dash area though but you've described it perfectly.

    Has anyone else had this clicking/rattle noise? Help us out!
  • I had a friend drive while I sat first in the front passenger seat and then in the rear. Its definately up front but now I am totally confused since at times I could swear it was from the area of the passenger side airbag while at other times it sounded like it was from the driver side!! So you may have something there kmh2468. :confuse:

    I have finally given up and decided to pay the dealer his ound of flesh! I am scheduled to drop the car off tomorrow. I'll post as to the outcome.
  • Does anyone know how good or bad Mazda dealerships are in regards to parts/service? I purchased my Mazda 3 about 2 1/2 weeks ago and they had promised me a rear wing spoiler which they said they had to order... They said it was on back order and estimated it to be in on Nov. 11th... it's 4 days later and still no spoiler... They said they'd call me when they knew the date of arrival... Why can't they giver me a date if they ordered it already...???
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