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Mazda3 Maintenance & Repair



  • Did you get a 4- or 5-door? I've had my 5-door a few days and have noticed road noise to be a slight annoyance. But I just turn up the radio!
  • I only have 400 miles on mine, so I'm definitely still breaking it in. I've not been driving it too hard, but most of the miles have been on the highway in the 75-80mph range. On the first two fill-ups, I've averaged about 24mpg. I'm sure it'll get a bit better with time.
  • I thought the Maz 3 cars used 4 brake discs not pads for all the wheels?
  • njeraldnjerald Posts: 688

    These posts are funnier than watching the Comedy channel!!
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Disc brakes use brake pads - drum brakes use brake shoes
  • My 2004 Mazda 3 has defective fabric on door panels, and the seats are fraying. The door panels are fading badly. They look like an old car, that someone sprayed the inside of with a super-soaker filled with coffee.The dealer tells me that mine is the only car with this problem. Are there others?
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Before purchase - I thought that the interior materials in the Mazda3 were pretty cheap - that in a short time the seats would be worn out - but to my surprise after almost 2 years - they still look like new.
  • I looked at several used '04s when I was shopping. The fabric equipped cars looked like brand new and the leather ones looked pretty good, too. The fabric seats in mine (red/black) were a selling point because they feel so durable. The whole interior seems like that.

    Are they going to replace yours under warranty?
  • everfebeverfeb Posts: 115
    Thanks z71bill. +2mpg is some improvement anyway. Hope I see the same when I get mine done. In nice weather, no A/C use, no hard driving, VERY stop/go stop/go I get around 22mpg/city. It would be nice to get up to 24. Hwy at 60-65mph I average 29mpg. I have 2.3ATX hatch-'04. Thanks again for replying.
  • Dealer took digital pics to send to factory 3 weeks ago, I called them a week ago, but haven't heard back. I expect all interior fabrics to be replaced - bur with fabrics that aren't defective.
  • I notice that the rear wheels are dirtier than the front. Do you mean the new brake pads could make them cleaner? Under what conditions can we get them? Do we have to wait until we have to replace them, i.e. they are not under warranty?

    My 2004 MZ3 also had creaking noise from the front passenger side half year ago when I turned left slowly or backed up. My dealer replaced the front shock mount, power steering bracket, front brake pads and rotors. The noise disappeared after that.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Many owners have posted about rear brake dust - I do not think Mazda will replace the pads because of the dust.

    There are a few TSB's about brake problems - grinding - squealing - defective rotors - you may be able to get the problem solved under one of these.

    I complained about grinding rear brakes in February of 2004 (purchased car in January 2004) Mazda said it was normal - then the came out with a TSB to fix grinding rear brakes - they did the "fix" it lasted about 2 weeks - then the grinding returned - they did the same TSB again - problem solved - for 2 weeks. Then they just said that it was normal for the rear brakes to grind. WHAT??

    How could this be normal?

    About a month ago I noticed my rear pads & rotors were almost worn out - 18,000 miles of GRINDING will do that - Mazda issued a new TSB about defective rear rotors - so since my rotors were so thin they could not be turned down - and my rear pads (on the inside) were almost gone - Mazda replaced the rear pads and rotors - no more GRINDING - the brake dust has even been reduced a little.

  • Since it turned colder here in NJ, the power steering whine became more pronounced and only at idle. Still, the noise is tolerable.

    The driver’s seat bottom squeak – a few months, now. It was fine until I decided to change the seating position (up/down) from what was set either at the factory or at the dealership. Now, I can’t get it to stop unless it’s either all the way up or all the way down.

    Air Bag light illum/Passenger side air bag OFF light illum. The wiring for the weight sensor for the passenger seat is a bit shoddy. Whether not long enough or not harnessed correctly, it’s a matter of opinion. IMO it should have been harnessed better. All kinds of goodies end up under the seats; the longer the wire the more chances of tangling. I was vacuuming my car and move the seat fore/aft. It wasn’t until aft that I noticed something unusual – the seat did not come to an abrupt stop; it felt like it jammed. I move it a bit forward and back again and then it did come to jolting stop. I repeated the procedure by move the seat all the way up and then all the way back and it jammed again. I looked under the seat with a flash light and observed one of the two loose black wires getting caught on the corner of the sensor unit bracket. A couple of procedures and the wire may have disconnected. Good thing I have an oil change coming up in a few hundred miles (last time, I had just gotten an oil change when the gas attendant didn’t fasten the gas cap correctly, causing the check engine light to illum.). This may be recall material. Has anyone else had the same problem???

    I may be able to help a few people who have claimed that their hatch doors rattle. I started to observe a rattle in the back several weeks ago. The rattle could only be heard driving less than 25 mph over road imperfections. So, I started to remove and check everything in the rear of the vehicle – removed all non OEM items; check or tightened down the spare tire, jack (and accessories), rear seat belt buckles. (BTW – my dealership doesn’t read TSB’s - found the radio antenna from the factory besides the spare tire).Yet, the rattle persisted. Through process of elimination, I found it was the hatch cover. Even though it has a couple of rubber tabs, the tabs are not substantial enough. Only on driver’s side does it not make contact with the hatch door interior cover allowing the cover to bounce and rattle. The passenger side rubber tab barely makes contact, but enough to hold it in place.
  • About the air bag sensor wire...

    I think with the colder weather, the wires may have shrunk enough to cause this issue. Perhaps Mazda needs to take a few pointers from the utility companies on how they hang wires depending the ambient temps.
  • Interesting that others have noticed the brake dust on the rear wheels being much greater than the front. I have noticed that as well and will keep an ear tuned for squeaking or grinding. So far, so good but I have a 2006 with only 1800 miles. The only issue (so far) is a rattling glove box. Well, the clock lost about 20 minutes overnight and this happened twice. But no sense taking it in for that until it is a consistent problem. I am getting about 28 mpg in a mix of highway/city driving.
  • Hey chacobleu,

    What do you suggest needs to be done in order to stop the hatch rattle? I have some of your symptoms...
  • We are talking about the hatch cargo cover, correct?

    I thought about reversing those tabs. Almost impossible without the proper tool.

    Then I thought about making them more solid or substantial by stuffing cotton balls in the center.

    Finally, I thought about applying a couple of adhesive backed coasters (inch or less in width and about an 1/8 inch thick), like the ones placed under vases or furniture to prevent scratches on floors or furniture.

    I will try a couple of these ideas these this weekend. I'll probably forgo trying to pull the tabs out to reverse them. If I knew the tabs were replaceable without having to replace the hole cargo cover, I would do it.
  • Rear Brake Pads: Great to hear that Mazda is making alternative rear pads available for the M3 since rear brake dust has been a major problem for my 2004 M3-hatchback. Are these new rear pads ceramics? My assumption has been that the front pads have always been ceramics (therefore less dust) but the rear pads have been semi-metallics (therefore more dust). I have not yet had the rear brake grinding issue (after 16 mos & 11,000 mi). For those who had the rear brake grinding, did it start when the car was new or did it develop much later (say after the first 10,000 mi)? Also is there a TSB reference for the rear brake grinding - pad/rotor replacement fix?

    Splash guards (mud flaps): Another pet peeve of mine is that Mazda does not make a splash guard set to fit the M3- hatchback. The low profile tires (especially fronts) throw up a lot of rocks / road grime on my yellow M3 and I would really like to avoid that. The modified side sills on the hatchback are not enough to combat this. I hear that the front splash guards available for the M3-"i" version will definitely not fit the hatchback (or the "S" sedan) due to the different side sills. Since the rear bumpers on the M3-hatchback and M3-"i" do not look that different to me, I would think that the rear splash guards available for the M3-"i" might also work on the hatchback -- but of course getting front splash guards is more important for me than getting rears. Has anybody found a solution to this problem of front/rear splash guards, even to the extent of using aftermarket splash guards that they could recommend?

    Thanks for your help.
  • This seems to be a problem mainly with '06 models from everything I've read online, but my clock keeps losing time. It has happened twice now in the two weeks I've had my car, both times overnight. The first time it lost 15 minutes, second time it lost 27 minutes.

    Over at the discussion board, there are about 20 other folks with the same exact problem. I called the dealer and they have no clue.

    It isn't a huge deal, but annoying on a brand new car. My fear is that it's a sign of other future electronic/electrical problems. I'm sure I'm just being paranoid about that...

    Anyone else have anything happen like this?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    ... happened twice now in the two weeks I've had my car, both times overnight

    Curious. A poor battery leaps to mind, but then wouldn't it do the same during the day? Have you looked at it to see if there's something awry? Condensation or dirty posts may be possible culprits.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    This is not a new problem - some of the 2004 models experienced the same issue. Mazda even has a standard to determine if the clock is defective - something like - it must be off by more than 30 seconds per hour before they consider it a problem.(Thats 12 minutes in a 24 hour period!) They make you leave the car over night to check it.

    I know this sounds crazy - how can they consider the clock to be WITHIN SPEC if it is this far off - but this was posted by several people with the problem (back in 2004 anyway)

    After almost 2 years of fighting with Mazda about defective AC, brakes, tranny, suspension .... it does sound like something Mazda (& Ford) would do.
  • If they try to get away with not fixing it, I may have to activate my b*tch superpowers! It isn't a big problem, but it drives me crazy on a brand new car.
  • Will Mazda loan you a car when you bring your Mazda for repair under warranty? This will help me decide to buy the Mazda 3. I was looking at the Honda Civic but I know for sure they do not loan out cars for warranty repairs and their warranty is good for three years only while Mazda is for 4 years. That fourth year could make all the difference in cost when something goes wrong. Thanks in advance for any help on this.
  • The dealer I use will give you a loaner whether it is warranty OR service work. I'm not 100% if this is the dealer policy or Mazda policy, though. I remember discussing this with the salesguy and I know Mazda will offer one for at least warranty repairs, the service loaner may just be my particular dealer.

    I was very seriously ocnsidering the Civic when I was shopping. I just found the handling of the Mazda and the more conventional interior to suit me better. The extra power doesn't hurt either, but the tradeoff is the less than great fuel economy. I average about 24mpg with the manual transmission, mostly city driving, though.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Civic warranty is 5 years 60K on power train (engine tranny) 3years 36K on every thing else.

    Mazda is 4 years /50K - so take your pick.

    My Mazda3 had problems within my first month of ownership - Mazda just said they were all normal - FINALLY after 23 months all my issues have been fixed - but it took 16 trips to the dealer. So the way I look at it Mazda does not stand behind there cars very well - unless they have a TSB issued they just say - its operating as designed. They take their time issuing TSB's - even for OBVIOUS defects - like grinding brakes and poor shifting auto tranny.

    BTW I have been to 3 different dealerships - they all had differences in their loaner car program. One would give a loaner if the car was in the shop over 24 hours - so the first day you were on your own. One would give a car if they were keeping the car over night - one would give you a car if they thought the car was going to be in the shop more than 24 hours.

    These may all sound about the same - but in reality they give very different results.

    I never took the loaner car - my auto insurance does not cover it (saved me $75 on my premium) so I would need to buy the CDW which is $20+ per day -

    I would check with someone in the service department - in other words NOT JUST THE SALES GUY - to find out how the loaner car program REALLY works. I would also ask about insurance coverage - the dealership normally has liability - but if you crash the car you would be responsible - out of your pocket or under your insurance (if you have this coverage).
  • In Canada the warranty is 3 years 80,000 km.

    On page 13 of the warranty information book, it says the following are not covered:

    Extra Expenses and Damages
    Any financial loss, for example: payment made for loss of use of the Mazda Vehicle, lodging, car rentals, travel costs, loss of pay and any other expenses or damages.

    I am not sure whether it's the same as in the States.

    However, based on Bill's experience and my experience I would avoid this car.

    BTW, some credit cards in Canada cover rental insurance. I don't know if similar cards are available in your country.
  • "However, based on Bill's experience and my experience I would avoid this car. "

    And based on thousands of other completely happy owners with smiles when they drive, you should get it. This is a place to come with problems. So it will seem like the problems are more widespread than they really are. There is one of these "probles and solutions" forums for every single model - and they ALL have posts in them. Consumer Reports gives the 3 high marks for reliability
  • mcapmcap Posts: 49
    Honda loaners are dealer specific. My dealer offers a loaner for all service except oil changes. You have to reserve one - it isn't guaranteed but they have always had one for me. Of course, I am not in the shop except for routine maintenance but it was nice to have.

  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
    This is a place to come with problems.

    True, the essence of this board is to bring forth unhappy people that have problems…and hopefully a resolution that others with similar problems can use.

    I don’t think it, the problems board, can be uses as some sort of statistical measurement of the reliability of any make/model.

    Everyone of vehicle that I’ve been interested in, and that would be many, has many items in the problem board that you would hope wouldn’t occur on a new vehicle…but still does.
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