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Mazda CX-7 AC problems



  • satz24satz24 Posts: 10
    hi all

    could someone describe to me the type of heatshielding and where exactly you installed it, to prevent the heatsoak from turbo and exhaust?

    I tried some flat thin reflective ceramic heat shield directly over the turbo heat shield, but that seemed to make little or no difference at all...


  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    But my guess would be this...

    When "underway", traveling, the engine compartment airflow would make the radiant effects, insofar as heating the HVAC intake airflow, pretty much negligable. On the other hand when the vehicle is stopped I could well see that the resulting heat soaking of the firewall would contribute substantially to the overall heating of the intake cabin airflow.

    But I still stand by my solution, block the coolant flow to the water heater core and see if that doesn't alleviate the problem such that it is down to an acceptable level.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The CX-7's poor FE is a complete turnoff for me, as is the RDX's, but out of curiosity today I went by the dealer and test drove an '08 CX-7.

    Like the RDX I found the center dash/instrument panel too busy/complex.

    There was no fuel computer nor a boost guage, a bit puzzling, that.

    The salesman said that the fuel computer was likely a part of the nav package but the brochure doesn't indicate so.

    The '08 actually had two highly reflective heat shields, both mounted to the firewall. The higher one was clearly intended to reflect the turbo's radiant heat away from the firewall, and the second somewhat larger one was to reflect the catalytic converter's radiant heating effects.

    It didn't appear to me that anything more effective than what was already there would be viable. Maybe a thicker or more effective "panel" of insulation behind the existing highly reflective heat shield.

    I took the tim e
  • I was ready to buy a new CX-7 until I noticed the bad ac performance. I assumed that the one I drove was defective and told the salesperson that I would buy it as long as the AC was fixed. Then we got into a disagreement about payment (he wanted me to use their bank) and I walked away.

    One just never thinks that something so tried and true like AC can be an issue on a modern car. BTW my other 2 cars are same refrigerant and they cool much better, so it's not that.

    I found some threads about this issue with some post that mimic my experience of seeing air that is barely cool, luke cold. However, I must assume that mazda has sold many of these SUVs so if this was as bad a problem as I experienced there should be many times more posts, but there are not. Is the weak AC a normal thing on this car? Or is it something experienced only by some owners?

    Any Dallas owners want to chime in? I remember one year we had 100 days of over 100 deg it gets hot.
    My purchase is now on hold until I can learn more about this issue.

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    If you happened to test drive a car that had been previously driven, cabin already "acclimated" to the environment, and the engine coolant was up to operating temperature, most modern day HVAC systems will not supply very cold airflow (DISCOMFORTING airflow for many) absent "extreme" measures.

    To test just how cold, really COLD, the system airflow can be turn the temperature control to MAX cooling and the blower speed to one of the lower ranges.
  • vbbuiltvbbuilt Posts: 498
    It's a known problem. You'll find abundant comments on this issue, throughout these forums and others.

    I've had mine since June 2006, GT with auto climate controls and now have 51K miles on it. Temps in the DC area occasionally get up into the high 90s with high humidity. The 7, sitting in the blazing sun, under those conditions, will struggle to cool the cabin, PARTICULARLY, in stop n' go city traffic. Sometimes it's simply better to open the windows, as the A/C simply can't cool the vehicle. Even when the settings are set to recirc. I've had the system re-charged more than once. Doesn't make a difference. Here's a tip: If you can park in a garage, that makes the world of difference. A/C has no problem keeping the cabin cool, even when it's 100 degrees outside.

    If you do park in the sun, but you hit the freeway shortly after starting, the cabin does cool down in fairly short order.

    I consider the A/C mediocre, when compared to other comparable vehicles under similar circumstances.

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Most modern day automotive HVAC systems no longer have a engine coolant flow shutoff valve to prevent HOT coolant flow to the heater core, the reheat/remix vane/door is used exclusively for moderating the outflow temperature.

    The problem with this technique is that it does not "allow" for the radiant heating effects of the heater core being constantly at 190F. You could probably improve the cooling efficiency substantially via blocking the coolant flow.

    Oh, and don't EVER buy a black or even a dark colored interior. And a more reflective, HEAT reflective, "light" exterior color wouldn't hurt either.
  • I have had the same issue with my Mazda CX-7. At 40k miles the ac compressor went out, it also went out on my friends car 4 days after her 36k miles warranty expired. We bith have 2007 models. I'm not going into detail about everything I have been through with Mazda, but I am going to fight this. After all the blogs and forums I have read, this should have been a recall! The reason it hasn't is b/c no one has reported it to the office of defects investigation. I made the first report on friday of this past week and I am begging other people to do so as well. Anyone who has had this problem with their cx-7, please report this. Mazda is getting away with something, and they know about the problem, and are not doing anything about it. I will take this to the media if I have to, because this is wrong in so many ways. Here is the the link to the the office of defects investigation
  • satz24satz24 Posts: 10
    hi all

    to those who had the compressor failure, did you have any symptoms leading up to that event?

    eg.. did the AC cooling get worse? Or was it always bad?

    Or did it work in some situations but not in others?


  • I didn't have any forewarnings. I was driving down the road when all of a sudden I heard this loud noise. I immediatly turned down the radio, because at first I wasn't sure where it was coming from. I soon realized it was coming from my car. I quickly pulled over, and when I turned off the AC to see if I could hear the sound better, it stopped. Thats when I realized it had to do with the A/C. Not to soon after I got a whiff of something burning. Fortunatly I caught it in time before anything actually melted or smoked.
  • The AC compressor on my 2007 Maxzda CX7 has fried twice, once at 30k miles and again at 60k miles. The trend is obvious. I have sent my info to the nhtsa investigation board. I would gladly participate in any kind of customer group challenging Mazda to address my financial implications of this defective system.
  • satz24satz24 Posts: 10
    They replaced my AC compressor (under warranty). Apparently with a newer-specification part.

    Unfortunately the hot weather has finished downunder, but from the few hot days since the new AC went in, it does seem to have improved....slightly.

    The median temp coming from the vent has cooled by perhaps 1.5 C to around 4.5C. However when the car has been parked and then driven again (when hot), the median temps are at least 3 degrees warmer, which is significant. Must have something to do with the built-up underbonnet heat, which also makes incoming fresh air at least 15 warmer than outside!

    still unhappy.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Turbocharged engine always require more care and "nursing".
  • sdbobo619sdbobo619 Posts: 13
    I have 2007 Cx-7 and had the exact same problem, no warning one day ac stops blowing cold (should have known there is a design flaw, always noticed that AC struggled to stay cool on hot summer days) next day car breaks down on highway (belt snapped)

    Tow car to dealer, think I am replacing a belt get phone call telling me compressor locked up and snapped it makes sense....

    did some digging and found out design change on the following year, so that basically proves Mazda is aware they have a major problem...

    the more of us complain the more likely for a recall and thus justice as I paid out 1400.00 ..... My car has 39K just passed thru warranty in March 2009.

    Otherwise I love the vehicle, only other problem I have had is the white smoke about once every six months which the dealer tells me they have never seen....

    I will be filling out the NHTSA info tonight...
  • sdbobo619sdbobo619 Posts: 13
    my ac stopped blowing cold air one day, then the car broke down since the belt snapped the next....

    Always noticed on hot days here in SO Cal that the AC struggled to stay cold...
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Many newer systems will disable the A/C compressor if the engine coolant temperature starts to approach a level of overheating. Since there is no actual overheating, and in most instances disabling the A/C prevents same, there is no indication to the driver other than the possibility that the A/C light extinguishes temporarily, if even that.

    Plus a turbocharged engine might eb a bit more prone to entering this "zone".

    If you discover that the above is what is happening and/or is happening to often for your comfort, you can use the max cooling mode (adjust the blower speed manually to control your comfort level) to dramatically increase the A/C system's efficiency and thus avoid the "zone".
  • bigmick1bigmick1 Posts: 4
    I have not had any problems with the A/C. (30,000mi) I've always had black cars with dark interiors - regardless of brand or style, so perhaps I am slightly more tolerant of high-interior temps and slower cool-down times; but I have no real problems with the A/C system.

    I have experienced the so called "smoke," but that is simply condensation being blown off when humidity is high or the fans are run on low for an extended period of time. That happens in all vehicles under those same circumstances (I've owned GM, VW, Nissan, Ford, BMW) and is a physics issue, not a car issue.

    Also, all cars cool down much faster in recirc mode. All cars that I've owned struggle with the high temp/high humidity/non-recirc combo. Some better with others but all within a range I'd consider reasonable for that circumstance. For the record I live in the Washington, DC area.

  • mazcrap1mazcrap1 Posts: 1
    to ihatemazda,
    I have had my POS CX-7 for 2 years. I bought used, it had only 4900 miles on it. We noticed a/c problems, took it in once and they adjusted, but never really fixed. Then in April of 2008 we were leaking oil and coolant. Turns out had blown seals on the transfer case. How many vehicles blow seals at 5500 miles? That should have been a wake up call then. Now, the wife and I were driving home from the store on 4/8/09 and same thing as you, heard the loud noise and car had to nearly crawl home. Had towed to the dealer on 4/12/09 and was told the very same thing, that turbo was blown, I didn't change my oil and now it needs a new engine. They want $9400.00 plus tax to drop a new engine. Hell with them if they think they are going to any more of my money. I still owe a buttload on the car.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Sorry, I forgot about, neglected to mention, the extra cooling load on the engine cooling radiator and coolant due to the need to provide cooling for the PTO, Power Take-Off.

    If you happened to have followed the year to year development of this "new" F/awd system, say on the Ford Escape, you will know that early on there was a serious over-heating problem. At one point Ford had a temperature sensor in the system and advised drivers to pull over and let the F/awd system cool down before proceeding.

    So I'm fairly sure the need to cool the PTO arose out of that issue and I doubt that the overall cooling system capacity was considered before adding the additional cooling load.

    Add a towing load and REALLY get into trouble, the A/C would likely be disabled continuously.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Go to Home Depot and purchase a water flow shut-off valve to insert in the water hose to the cabin heater. Close the flow during the summer when the A/C use is predomninatly for cooling and thereby increase the A/C operational efficiency dramatically. Much lower load on the engine cooling radiator with the A/C compressor not cycling on as often.

    But nothing will make up for ignoring the need for regular oil and filter changes, especially with a turbocharged motor. I would NEVER buy a used car with a turbocharger absent a discussion with the previous owner to make sure that the previous owners wasn't of the "boy-racer", or "like", mentality.
  • cdcampcdcamp Posts: 1
    First off I do not claim to know anything about auto's:

    With that said I am looking for some reassurance and advice:

    Yesterday (May 10th, 2009) my AC compressor clutch went out on my 2007 touring CX-7 Below I have listed the facts:

    1. I am 300 miles over warranty 36,300
    2. I had a full (top of the line) inspection at the top mazda dealer in Omaha before the warranty expired less than a month ago
    3. The dealership feels bad that this has happened and offered to pay for all labor costs
    4. I have to pay parts $1,200 for a new A/C compressor clutch

    My question are:

    1. Should they have foreseen this problem? (I understand not all things are able to be foreseen)
    2. Is $1,200 sound right for a new AC clutch?
    3. Would I be safe with a used AC clutch?

    Thanks in advance for the help!


    UPDATE: my A/C compressor went out at 36,300 miles (300 miles after warranty). Dealership said they would pay for labor because I had a full inspection 3 weeks ago on the vehicle. Below is service sequence of events:

    Before I go into the summary of conversation I first want to say that all the dealership and Mazda customer service personnel were highly professional and very kind. I too was professional (IMO) and was not trying to flame them but, trying to reach a reasonable solution to the problem:

    1. Dealership: Woodhouse Mazda - Omaha
    1. They acknowledge that this is one of the main problems on CX-7's
    2. They acknowledge that the old A/C unit is faulty (Because the new unit is a redesign)
    3. They acknowledge that they do not check this problem as a "preventative maintenance" check (prewarranty)
    4. They acknowledge that they have a significant markup on parts ($1,200) so "Free Labor" is just another tool used for customer service

    2. Called Mazda customer service
    1. They said that they might be able to file a "Post Warranty Claim"
    2. While on hold he spoke to the warranty and they said the "district manager" knew the situation and approved "Free Labor" as the best they could do.
    3. Mazda (Customer Service) then claimed that was the best they could do.

    So in conclusion, I am out $1,200 dollars because of a faulty (Poorly designed) A/C compressor. So not only was I on the side of busy highway switching my baby and baby's car seat into my surprisingly reliable BMW 5 series (with 75,000 miles) but, now I have to pay 30% margin on new parts.... But hey the Labor is Free!! Thanks MAZDA!!

    Be Warned: THIS PART WILL FAIL (Make sure it fails before your warranty is up)

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Make sure it fails before your warranty is up

    Exactly how would one go about doing that? :)

    But seriously, I'm not sure there's anything you can do at this point except try to talk them into giving you a bigger break on the cost. Even if they had inspected the clutch, anything they might have discovered would likely have been designated as "normal wear."

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I know things are often more expensive these days than I expect but even so $1200 seems more appropriate for the entire compressor/clutch assembly rather than the clutch only.

    Check with an aftermarket shop and you may get by with lower cost parts AND labor included.

    Just a quick check with Google indicates automotive A/C clutches sell for ~$100 and compressors for <&400.

    As the rabbit said as the combine approached "I'm about to be REAPED!"
  • sdbobo619sdbobo619 Posts: 13
    Call MAZDA customer service in IRVINE,CA and explain the situation, they know they have higher than acceptable failure rates with the 2007 CX7 AC system, as mysteriously the system was redesigned the following year. Tell them you expect them to take care of it and that you are aware of the issues with the CX7 AC system. And FYI 1200.00 for the parts only is ridiculous and is a scam, your dealer is trying to show he is helping but is just burying the cost of the labor in the PARTS..... I had my whole system replaced with labor and tax and the bill was 1400.00 but I called mazda and got them to split the bill as my car had 39.5K. So I saved 700.00 by doing some research and spending 15 minutes on the phone...
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706

    Not to be on Mazda's side, not by any means, but it was about this time period that many manufacturers began the switch to the new variable displacement compressors to improve FE.

    And God knows the CX-7 could use some FE improvment.
  • defreitasmdefreitasm Posts: 152
    Mine started making noise so I got it replaced before it actually went completely. Unfortunatly it happened at just under 38,000 miles so it cost me about 1200 to repair. I had no idea that this was a common failure.
  • runnernicrunnernic Posts: 15
    i have a 2008 grand touring cx-7 which i leased brand new in september... i have had nothing but problems... my truck is going in for the 3rd time tomorrow... i just had a new compressor and clutch put in because it was blowing out hot air.. now, if i leave the a/c on, the more i drive the warmer the a/c becomes.. it's crazy i'm so fed up about this... every time i accelerate, it blows out hot hot air... then, it doesn't return to even being somewhat cool... the 1st time i went in, they said there was absolutely nothing wrong with my truck and then i went back again because i knew i wasn't crazy... it's so ridiculous, i have to leave the car to get it checked pick it up then bring it in again for them to fix it... i had a honda before this and never had one problem with it! i'm so torn on what to do they said among cx-7's it's common for the compressor to stop working
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Almost all modern cars with AC will disable the compressor as a preventative/protective measure if the engine coolant temperature approaches the point of overheating, not ACTUAL overheating, just rising to a nearby level.

    Most of these vehicles, if not all, do not have any type of indication to the driver as to what or why this has happened. But in most vehicles this disabling of the AC compressor would be so temporary that the driver would take no notice.

    "..every time i accelerate..."


    TurboCharged engine...water cooled turbo....??

    Newer variable displacement AC compressor...??

    Lets suppose your engine is normally running slightly hot, on the hot side of the operational envelope. Then add the extra HEAT of cooling the turbo when you are accelerating and it could be entirely possible that the AC compressor will be disabled until the engine coolant temperature declines to something nearer to normal operating temperature.

    The old fixed displacement AC compressor systems always had a reservoir for temporary storage of liquid refrigerant. The compressor only ran if/when this "reserve" was exhausted. The new variable displacement compressor can be set to compress refrigerant ONLY as fast as it is being used up.

    So if the compressor is disabled even for a relatively short period the loss of cooling effects will noticed almost immediately.

    But it sounds as if your engine/turbo/coolant may be always running slightly HOT.
  • I found this forum as a result of searching for AC Compressor problems on my 2007 Mazda CX-7. I was about 250 miles from home when my vehicle became non-drive able. I would like to add the following information:

    1) The vehicle has just under 44,000 miles on it.
    2) Dealership tells me that the cost to repair just the compressor (which seized) is $1,400 (I do not know if this includes labor, but I suspect that it does NOT).
    3) Dealership tells me that there are NO parts available in the United States!
    4) Dealership tells me that there are over 300 orders a head of mine for AC Compressors. This tells me that this is a KNOW FAILURE!
    5) Dealership states that even if he gets my part prioritized (as my car is non-drive able) that I can't expect to be back on the road until at least the end of June.

    Oh yeah, let me mention that my battery cables have melted due to this problem.

    I'm going to report this to NHTSA and find any other forum that I can to air my complaints. I can NOT afford a repair that will cost over $2,000 for a vehicle that is just over 2 years old, especially when I'm learning that this is a KNOW FAILURE.
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