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Mazda5 Owners Care & Maintenance



  • mdchachi,

    have you gotten this fixed or had mazda take a look at it? I seem to be having the same problem. It only happened to me a couple of times, so don't know if I could get mazda to fix it if they can't see it. I just adjusted the dimmer and the problem went away. :confuse:
  • mrbwa1mrbwa1 Posts: 42

    Sounds like 1 of 2 things:

    #1. Bad thermostat. My old Mercury Sable seemed to eat thermostats, ans 1 time I bought the cheapest thermostat and it was bad out of the box. You can test by boiling it in a pot on the kitchen stove to make sure it opens properly. Also, the more expensive thermostats have a small hole to supposedly help with air lock or something to that effect.

    #2. Air in the cooling system. My old Sable also tended to have this problem. I would get no heat unless I drove for like 20 minutes. This can usually be fixed by letting the car idle and squeezing a radiator hose to burp water out with the radiator cap off. You have to be careful, because you won't get all air out until the thermostat opens. Also, when it opens, you tend to get a surge that can overflow out of the radiator cap.

    I ended up having a water pump going bad, letting aid into the system. But I learned that most any car should put out heat in just a few blocks, and it not, there is either a bad thermostat or air in the system.
  • Hi,

    I am currently in the process of purchasing an '08 Mazda5 sport with MT. Since reading the previous threads about the complication in oil filter change, I am wondering if anybody here has sent their 5s to local shop for the services and any experiences on that.

    I have had luck doing that with my previous and current vehicles. So I only save the major maintenance for the dealer.

    By the way, I am located on the peninsula just south of San Francisco. If you happen to be in the same area, where will you go for your 5's autocare?

  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 180
    Ni Hao, nihao4587 (but that's about the limit of my Mandarin):
    I can't directly answer your question very well, but I have owned a 2006 5 since new, and I have done all the oil changes (7 so far) myself in the driveway. It isn't bad at all once you've seen it before. It helps a lot to remove the big plastic undershield. You are supposed to separately remove the little aluminum drain plug first, but I'm finding that this doesn't want to come out anymore and the whole filter wants to unscrew all at once. This is OK if you have a coffee can ready to catch all the filter oil that will come out. I believe that all current 2.3 Mazdas (6, 5, 3) have had this kind of cartridge filter for at least a few years, so you can be confident that experienced service shops have seen them many times before. Just maybe not the 17 year old they hired last week. It would be an easy question to check in advance, to ask and make sure they know. I am a picky customer, and I have other complaints about the 5, but I'm definitely not disappointed by the oil filter (note, I didn't say I'm not confused, just not disappointed).
  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 180
    Consider this, if you live in a windy climate. Last winter in a windstorm, my wife had the driver's door yanked out of her hand by a gust of wind, because the door pull hand-hold is slippery and does not allow you to wrap your fingers around it. We did $500 damage to a Honda Civic, smashing its side mirror.
    The hand-hold on the door of the 5 is just a vertical slot you have to pinch between your fingers and thumb, not something you can really grab. I fretted about this all year, and finally decided to do a modification that was suprisingly easy. First, I roughed-up the plastic inside the finger slot with a bit of sandpaper. Then I glued in (epoxy) a 3 inch length of half-round wood, that I made by sawing a dowel in half lengthwise. I used a one-half-inch diameter dowel. Be sure to try out the feel of the dowel in advance before glueing, so you place it at the best depth inside the slot.
    The other half goes in the passenger door, of course. Now, your fingers have something to grab onto, and can hold onto the door better. Because the wood is down in the slot, it is practically invisible. (And fooey on silly Mazda interior designers who didn't think this thru better to begin with!)
  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 180
    Our 5 is a manual transmission. I have been disappointed since day one (2 years, 26,000 miles ago) by the uneven, slightly delayed response I get from the first 1/8" of gas pedal travel, up above idle. Occasionally, there is an outright complete interruption of engine power for a split second, and it comes back with a lurch, snapping the passengers heads back and forth. I have been to the dealer (Everett WA) several times and on the last visit had a PCM reflash (new software for engine control computer I believe). This almost completely eliminated the big lurches, but there still is a squirrely feeling of uneven, delayed response to my right foot for the first little bit of throttle opening, for the first split second. It is especially noticeable in comparison to our other car, a 1997 Integra GS-R (also manual) which has a flawless, consistent and instantaneous engine response to all throttle openings, large and small. Note, I am talking about ordinary day-in day-out street driving, not wide open throttle. Is this something related to the throttle-by-wire system? The variable valve timing?? Any clues out there?
  • thugusthugus Posts: 3
    Howdy, I am first time poster and long time observer, and a new Mazda5 Grand Touring 2008 owner.

    What you described is exactly the difference between throttle-by-wire vs wire systems. Part of the solution to lower emission and fuel efficiency is to minimize sudden throttle change, and by golly, throttle-by-wire is a great place for manufacturer to do this. It happens in BMW, it happens in Mazda.

    There isn't much you can do other than adapt your driving style. Make sure your engine rpm dropes to the matching car speed before engaging your clutch should minimize upshift jerkiness. As for taking off, you can always try keeping a constant throttle and play with the clutch release to get a smooth start.

    Hope this helps.
  • Hi, whobodym

    Thanks for your greeting in mandarin.

    Since you have an integra, may I ask how would you rate the MT in your 5 against your GSR besides the throttle response inconsistence?

    I drove my friend's prelude (type SH) before only to get the feel of manual trans. Therefore, Mazda5 will be my first manual car, and probably my last one since I cannot afford to buy anything other than minivan due to increasing family size.

    I would really want to enjoy the zoom-zoom provide the 5's manual trans can deliver that.

  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 180
    comparing all aspects of Mazda 5 vs Integra manual transmissions,
    the Mazda clutch is better. engagement is smoother and less abrupt, and not any heavier pedal effort even though 5 has a bigger torquey-er engine. the Integra has a nicer shift linkage, smoother lighter and more precise. the 5 shift lever feels rubbery and vague in comparison. But overall, both are just fine as MT vehicles, no way would I want an auto, and I say that living in Seattle, a bad traffic hilly city. I think the MT is a good deal in terms of getting good performance out of the 5. Ours climbed I-90 Vantage grade in mid-WA-state last summer at 85mph in 5th with 5 people and cargo box. That sounds better than Consumer Reports saying the auto version "lacks reserve for passing and hills".
  • Thugus:

    I am thinking about buying a 2008 or 2009 Mazda5 Grand Touring, also (depending on how long either my car or my wife's car wants to keep running smoothly). I would be interested to know how your first year goes. Do you think you could provide some periodic updates with things you like or don't like about it? Thanks.
  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 180
    gladly. we bought in March 2006 and now have 26,000 miles. I like the handling, maneuverability, nimble driving feel, cheap price, lots of features and gadgets, quiet engine for a 4 cylinder. I don't like only black interior, small inside rear view mirror, small rear window, wiper lever works "upside down", key fob feels flimsy, cubby holes are the wrong shape and in the wrong places (need handier storage for long thin things like maps and sunglass cases). I wanted even more gadgets, like 6 speed MT, LH/RH separate hvac thermostats, heated mirrors, heated seats, stability control. I actually would have bought a Mazdaspeed5 were there such a thing and it had a sunroof.
  • mrbwa1mrbwa1 Posts: 42

    What do you mean by "the wiper lever works upside down"? Just curious, is it works exactly the same and the wiper lever in our Toyota ECHO. I definitely agree about the cubbies in the 5. Again, that ECHO has spoiled us, but it would be nicer to have a few more cubbies. At least the glover box is freakishly large; techinchally the space is in the dash behind the glovebox. We currently have the Gigantic Manual, a power inverter, pluse a few other things back there with room to spare.

    We have the Auto-Dimming/Compass mirror and it is nice and large, so perhaps that is a worthwhile options for others to consider.

    As far as our first year goes ('07 Sport, Auto), thing are very nice.


    -Plastic "metallic" trim around the controls and shifter. scratched and gouges too easiy

    -Can be a little loud on the Highway with the OEM tires. Ironically our Snow tires seem quieter

    -A little more storage space would be nice. I have prescription sunglasses and need a spot to hold my glasses case in case a switchover is needed.


    -Quiet, Strong 4-cyl Engine (prenty of pull on a 2-lane highway with 4 adults onboad

    -Flexible Interior. Easy to reconfigure for people/stuff. Enough room for a real person, esp with a child in the middle. Car seats are fairly easy to install as well.

    -Respectable Fuel Economy. Returning 25-25.5 MPG in 50/50 driving in the middle of winter. My 30+ MPG ECHO is only giving 26MPG this winter, wheras the 5 seems unaffected. (well I secretly hope that summer will bring more like 30MPG in the 5 as well.

    -Responsive handling. She really drives like a sports sedan, albeit a tall one. I've driven a 3 and the 5 isn't quite as sharp, but handles nearly as well if you push. It'll lean a bit into a corner, but still turn in nicely if you keep going.
  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 180
    Re the wiper lever, I'm a Honda loyalist so I expect a downwards push on the lever to give one swipe of wipers then off. Mazda does this going upwards instead, and down gives the always-on positions. I suppose I can get used to it, but it still annoys after 2 years.
  • mrbwa1mrbwa1 Posts: 42
    Ahhh... sorry to hear about the wiper lever. I guess I haven't driven enough Hondas. I used to work for Enterprise Rental and drove a lot of cars (no Hondas though) and all the wipers always used up for the swipe (if available). That is one of those annoying little quirks that I wish car manufacturers would agree on.
  • mdchachimdchachi Posts: 275
    The problem seemed to go away for a while so I didn't follow up. However it seems to be back. I should take it in to look at that as well as the cold suspension noise.
  • Since we are on the subject of wipers, it seems that when the wiper is going, it sweeps a tad too fast, so the left wiper would *squirt* water to the right side. I checked on a Honda and BMW, and both sweeps slower, and also without the overspray action. Has anyone else notice this issue?

    On a separate note, went to the dealership yesturday, and we got new black plastic tabs on the door, replaced the cargo cover (the first one never retracted). After 1.5hrs of fiddling around, the service manager reported that the heated seat switch part is not available, so we would have to come back when they have the part.

    Other than that, the car is in great shape, and it is the prefered car for the whole family.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    The wipers need to move faster to cover the enormous windsheild. Are you comparing it to an Odyssey or a Civic?
  • I compared to the Civic, though I don't think there is a rule that from start to end of sweep that it needs to complete in ~1 sec. I rather have it sweep slower and not splatter the right side of the windshield with view distorting overspray. I suspect that by design, there is only 1 sweep rate, with varied time interval in between, whereas Honda has variable interval and sweep rate.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    You might want to take a look at FMVSS 104.

    Here are a couple lines that specify wiper frequency:

    S4.1.1.1 Each windshield wiping system shall have at least two
    frequencies or speeds.
    S4.1.1.2 One frequency or speed shall be at least 45 cycles per
    minute regardless of engine load and engine speed.
    S4.1.1.3 Regardless of engine speed and engine load, the highest and
    one lower frequency or speed shall differ by at least 15 cycles per
    minute. Such lower frequency or speed shall be at least 20 cycles per
    minute regardless of engine speed and engine load.

    So, set your timer for one minute and start counting.
  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 180
    Further discovery! A new Mazda Service Bulletin, #01-008/08, was published in Feb 2008. The subject is "Engine Stumble while driving with light acceleration at 1500-2500 rpm" and it applies to all 2006-2007 Mazda5s, manual and automatic, federal, California, and Mexico. The symptom description is exactly my problem, "some vehicles may experience an intermittent engine stumble... caused by the camshaft position sensor picking up [electrical] noise from the nearby ignition coil harness, which the PCM detects as an abnormal signal." I haven't had the fix done to our 5 yet but I'm finally very hopeful that the software engineers have understood the problem and found a fix.
  • gsupstategsupstate Posts: 6
    I noticed this somewhat on my '06 Touring, but even more on my new '08: if you touch the black dash in any way, or use normal paper towel to wipe/clean the dash, it leaves smudges and "lint" behind. Which, by the way, is next to impossible to remove. BTW-I'm talking about the upper black parts of the dash, not the center stack.

    What can be done to remove these spots? I haven't had my car a month yet, and the dash looks awful! Help! :confuse:
  • athenasiusathenasius Posts: 118
    Not sure if this helps but i just use a damp very clean dish cloth if it is really bad I put a drop of dish soap on it. i never use armourall or anything on the dash. i know what you mean re the paper towels bits. the benifits of the cotton dish towel is that it cleans well and does not leave any glossy surfaces and no VOC's
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Use micro-fiber detailing towels and make sure the dash is not hot from the sun.
  • gsupstategsupstate Posts: 6
    Bought a new '08 5, GT a few wks ago. LOVE IT. I say this, coming from an '06 Mazda5 Touring w/5 spd manual. In comparison, the '08 GT feels much more substantial, smoother, even qieter. I love my new car!!
  • Purchased a 2008 5 GT three weeks ago and have gone 1,000 miles. I called the dealer to schedule the first oil change. After reading the manual, it appears that Mazda does not require or recommend an oil change until after the first 7,500 miles. I have typically had my oil changed after the first 1,000 miles and every 4,000 - 5,000 miles afterwards. Is there a school of thought as to why one would wait for the 7,500 mile mark to perform the first oil change in a brand new engine?

  • On new vehicles the first oil change usually occurs at an "elongated" amount of time (usually 5000-10,000 miles) because engine manufacturers add a special additive that helps the "break-in" period of the engine and the overall reliability and longebility of the engine life. This is why the first oil change is not until 5k mikes or perhaps in computer controlled service minder vehicles (e.g. Hondas, etc...) somewhere in the 7500 mile region. My sister's 335i does not get her first oil change per BMW specs until 10k miles. with this in mind it is way better for you to leave the oil mixture the car came in from the factory as long as possible or reccomended by the manual. If after the first oil change you want to go back to the "old " mentality of "change your oil every 3k miles" then by all means go right ahead. the only thing you will hurt by doing so is your wallet, and not by much usually. As far as me I am sticking to the reccomended every 5k mile. Hope this helps.
  • According to the book you need to replace the Air Filter at 37,500. My local service station guy told me that I will be burning gas if I don't replace the Air Filter sooner. What's your opinion?
  • IMHO, the more often you can afford to to replace the air filter the better. I personally went with a "Drop-in" K&N filter and I benefit from a tiny bit better acceleration, 1-2 MPG increase and the ease of pulling it out and cleaning it and re-using it. Best $35 spent. Here is the link
  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 180
    or, for a more conservative approach, take out the air filter yourself and look at it. Yes a plugged up air filter is bad, but it entirely depends how dusty the environment of your usual driving has been. I replace mine on time, not early, and while they always look a little dirty, they aren't dramatically packed with volumes of dust -- you can tell what color the original new filter element was. My driving is ordinary urban/suburban Pacific Northwest, not very dry or dusty. I'd guess the midwest / south / eastern seaboard cities and suburbs would be similar, but the southwest, dry mountain west, and farming regions would be worse. Frequent dirt roads would obviously be bad. And I also advise, don't take mileage / power claims too seriously.
  • Well, to each its own. My claims of MPG increase and little pep is subjective. I also offered the K&N option because in the long run it last longer and pays itself off, rather then spending $15 or so on a replacement filter every 15K miles. Plus I live in sunny and dry SoCal, so for me that was my best choice. Just my $0.02
This discussion has been closed.