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Mazda3 Interior & Passenger Comfort Concerns



  • chacobleuchacobleu Posts: 228
    Compressor on/off time
    Some say their's is on for 15 seconds and off for 30+ Contributing factors could be overfill/underfill of refrig. or just a computer issue. Mine is on for 15 seconds and off for 5 or less and it works great.

    Normal fresh air vent temp is 8-12 degrees higher than outside temp.
    Insulation problem, perhaps? Hot/Cold air door not tracking correctly? Maybe stays open a bit and allows hot air to mix with cold air? Maybe the door is not well insulated or not insulated at all? Perhaps the black dash absorbs so much heat under direct sunlight that the entire dash area from door to door, from floor to windshield, and from fire wall to steering wheel retains and radiates the heat no matter how long the a/c air is on for or how cold the a/c unit emits? And what about the air ducts, are they well insulated or insulated at all from the rest of the dash? BTW - I don't have my window's tinted, but I do have and use the Mazda 3 sunshield for the front - makes a hell of a difference.
  • nifty56nifty56 Posts: 279
    What I do is roll the windows down, turn A/C to 4 and temp to cold and bring in outside air. If the air outside is cooler, the car is sun soaked so the temp inside will be higher than the outside air. As the car feels to cool down and vent temp feels some what cool turn to recirc to stop bringing in hotter air from outside.
    If you use the recirc to try and cool the car all you are doing is circulating the hot air in the car which will really mean you are taking a longer time to cool the interior. Of course with the windows down the air coming through the windows circulating in the interior will help cool the interior. So my theory to cool the car quicker use outside are mode first than switch to recirc.
    Hope this helps...
  • nifty56nifty56 Posts: 279
    What year is your Mazda? do you have manual or auto climate control?
    You are the first I have heard that has the compressor cycle 15secs. on and off 5 sec. and back on again.
    As for a sunshield, ya they work great when parked but is no use when it sits in your trunk or back seat and driving into the sun with the hot rays bouncing off the dash and hitting ones face and body.
    But a good observation on why most might have issues. If the dash plays a part in the poor A/C Mazda should have known this and built a kick a** A/C to compensate
  • vlipgyorevlipgyore Posts: 9
    I have noticed that the severe slope of the windshield and the large dash board cause what I consider a super heating effect of the dash. The dash super heats (mine's black)and works like a radiator and it takes a bit of time to cool the cabin off because of this. I live in southern California and it can get pretty hot but we have very little humidity so I don't know if that's a factor or not, perhaps I just got lucky with a good A/C. Just my 2 cents!
  • chacobleuchacobleu Posts: 228
    I have an 05 hatch built in May 05. That cycling was noted in the first 10-15 minutes of driving. The coldest middle vent temp I observed was 37 and the warmest was 46 using either fan speed 1 or 2, respectfully.

    tweaking a few things could improve things. sure a larger capacity a/c could improve things, but do u really want a radiating dash while sitting in commutter traffic under direct sunlight and 90+ temp and humidity? my previous vehicle had a silver tone dash; lighter color dashes to pose more relection in the windshield, but not enought to be nuisance when looking out. btw - coldest temp out from those middle vents was 31 degrees.

    home a/c duct runs through many attics, but they are/should be well insulated so that once the a/c air is able to reach it's coldest, the duck itself is cold and stays cold thanks to the insulation. If the ducts carrying the air are exposed (not insulated at all) to direct heat from a deeply radiating dash, what a waste of energy.
  • slate1slate1 Posts: 84
    I was posting here for a while a few months ago and just thought I'd chime back in to say that I've had absolutely no problems whatsoever with the level of performance of my A/C in my '06 GT Sedan.

    I'll qualify this by saying that I live in South Carolina where we've routinely had mid-90's and high humidity this summer. I commute about 10 minutes to and from work and it always cools off pretty quickly in the afternoon going home.

    I do keep a Mazda sun-shade the dealership gave me in the front window to keep the dash and steering wheel from getting too hot. The car typically bakes in the sun all day and is usually quite hot. I vent the heat by opening the window and sunroof for about a minute.

    The auto-climate control will run full blast on recirculate for probably 4 minutes and by the time I'm home it's running on Level 2-3 and the car is comfortable. I'd say within 4-5 minutes the car is comfortable.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I had convinced myself that the AC in my Mazda3 was working better than it did last summer. Then my wife buys a new car - it blows ICE CUBES out of the vents - you must turn it down (or is it up?) after driving only a block - even on a 97 degree - high humidity day (like yesterday in Houston) - it will just plain freeze you.

    Then I jump in the Mazda3 and its like - why doesn't this thing cool better?

    I added a little R-134a to my old truck - it only took part of a can of refrigerant - so I though what the heck - lets hook up to the Mazda3 and see what we can see.

    I drove the Mazda3 around the block a few times to get the AC working -per the gauge the refrigerant level was good - low side right at 45 PSI - my vent temp was running between 55 and 59 degrees - recirc on - fan speed 4. So I add a little R-134a - vent temp drops to 52-56 - I wait a few minutes - vent temp still 52-56 - so I add a little more - vent temp drops again to 50-53 - add more 48-52 - add more still 48-52 add a little more 50-54. So I bled a little gas out of the low side - as I did the vent temp started dropping - after a few tries I got the vent temp down to 48-52 again - so I figured I must be at the exact sweet spot.

    Just a few of the fine points & things that seem strange.

    The reading on my gauge started at 45 PSI and even though I added R-134a several times - and then took gas out several times - the reading stayed right at 45 PSI. Its not a very fancy gauge - but when I added refrigerant to my truck the PSI went from under 40 up to about 50 PSI. So I think the gauge does work. I have no explaination why the PSI reading on the Mazda3 did not change.

    Its hard to quantify how much R-134a I added (or took out) each time I adjusted. I started with a new 12 ounce can (on my truck) I guess it was a little over 1/2 gone when I hooked up to the Mazda3. Think I added less than 1/2 of an ounce each time - just a few seconds with the valve open. In total I added 2 ounces - then took out maybe 1/2 an ounce. So the net amount I added was very small. Could be why the PSI reading did not change!

    It is strange that such a small adjustment can make this much difference.

    Although 48 - 52 is not great - (my 7 year old truck was kicking out mass quantities of 42 degree air) - the few degrees improvement from the 55-59 starting point is very significant.

    I am not recommending making these or any adjustments to your AC system - its dangerous - it could damage your car & even kill you - it could possible void the warranty on your AC system - which IMO means little or nothing since Mazda has not exactly honored it so far anyway.
  • nifty56nifty56 Posts: 279
    Bill what car did your wife buy.
    I tried a Camry 2007 V6 and the A/C was not very good, at idle with the car sun soaked it never really got cold..I thought I am still in my Mazda, waited and waited to see how long it would take to cool, gave up, after some average speed the A/C started to cool down the car, not impressed. noisey fan also. Also tried the Hyundai Sonata, V6 same day, car was sun soak, moonroof open, the A/C was cold right from the start up. No waiting, no need to lower the windows and open the door etc, start and go..After a few minutes turned the fan to almost 1. Fan was very quiet even at max.speed. outside temp 30C+
  • nifty56nifty56 Posts: 279
    also forgot to mention, The center vents on the Camry are located the same place as the mazda 3, top of the center console. While the Sonata is in the middle. Is it because where the vents are located that could cause a weak A/C. Vents closer to the top of the dash which is hot, vent piping not insulated.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    After an extensive search she decided on the Acura TL - the IS 250 was my first choice - but I could never find a car (250 or 350) that was close to what we wanted (option wise) plus most had black interiors - even though the AC seemed to work well we just did not want that color.

    We did test the Camry - something I said I would never buy - but the 2007 SE looks good - the AC in the Camry was not great - it took a while to cool off - but eventually did - if we had not just experienced the AC system from hell (thanks Mazda) maybe we would have not been so sensitive.
  • nifty56nifty56 Posts: 279
    The 2007 Camry V6 with the 6 speed tranny are having some serious issues.
  • richmlrichml Posts: 156
    Probably over a year ago, on a site with Asian 3 owners, an owner had posted pics of his install - he'd taken the dash apart and wrapped the AC ducts in a foil covered insulation, probably about 1/4" thick.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    Our '05 3s sedan is working pretty well. I did take it back to the dealer last month while getting the oil changed, asked the service writer to check the a/c. All working according to specs and I notice I keep the dial at 2 and I have no problem. The wife prefers 3 at first, then 2.
    My new ride is a '06 Civic LX and the a/c works just great. I think that some people are having a/c issues, but the majority of folks probaly aren't. We're happy with ours & having the dealer recheck the system made us feel better about it. But I do think that all the bickering is tedious already. If anyone has had a successful fix for their "problem", that should be shared by all. But when it starts to get personal & a bit nasty, that person looses all credibility in my eyes. We're all adults here & are looking for the greater good with the a/c issues. We should try to remember this and act accordingly.
    As Pat Benetar said..."take your best shot"...let's just keep things simple & agree to disagree!!!!

    The Sandman :) :)
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    As posted on another Mazda forum, there is a change in the airflow of the Mazda3 (2006) could be only for the 2.3L or not, have no info there. But, driving an 06 with a production date of 12/05 had very good A/C at level 1. If you have to have your A/C at level 2 or higher at temps below 90F, you have an A/C issue. And of course, the dealer will always tell you it's performing within the specs or as designed. It doesn't mean the design is NOT faulty just because it's within specs.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    ex tdier,

    I think this explains alot. In my 06 3i (I think the build date is May/06) the car is cold if the temps are in the mid to high 80's and the setting is on 1.

    I also park my car in a parking garage at work during the day, and on the days where it has been in the direct sun for prolonged periods of time it can take awhile to cool down (sometimes as much as 10 minutes). My 3i is Titanium Grey with black interior. Once it is cooled down it is fine (if it is between 92-100 degrees I have to leave the A/C blower on at least 2).

    I have noticed that having tinted windows has helped as well with keeping the car cooler.

    I hope that they are able to fix the A/C that many others are experiencing. It has been friggin hot here lately...

    BTW, I went to lunch with a co-worker who just bought an 06 Civic LX sedan. It took just as long for his car to cool down and I did not think his Civic A/C worked any better than my 3.
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    I am very surprised that there is absolutely no mention of this anywhere. But, at least I am happy that Mazda has made an improvement with their A/C in the mid to late production models of the 2006's; however, having just done a TSB mod from the dealer, where there is suppose to be some improvement when recycling the air, I am extremely disappointed at the outcome. The mod has not made any difference.

    I think it may go down in car history that the A/C is poor in the 2004 and 2005 Mazda3's without climate control. I have a feeling that this TSB was Mazda's last attempt to address this A/C issue.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    My AC has been working much better - I even used fan speed 2 a few times - and the outside temp was over 90 degrees. The minor adjustment I made (explained back in post 74) has really made a difference - yesterday I was getting 46 degree air!

    I am at a loss to explain why the AC cools so much better - all I did was add a very small amount of refrigerant -

    Since I have a written a few posts (OK maybe even more than 10!) about how bad the AC is - it feels strange saying something good about it - but good is how it has been working.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    I highly doubt that. If a significant amount of owners complained, then I think you might be right. Your sample size is just to small to logically prove such a statement!

    The Sandman :) :)
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    Bill, is what you're saying that you had it at level 1 and only a few times at level 2?

    Also, my friend now has an 06 Mazda3. Today, the temps (amb) was 84 and Level 1 was just fine. No way on this earth is Level 1 fine in really thinking about trading in my 05 for an 06 or 07.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    The only time I have ever used fan speed 1 is with the heater. The heater works GREAT - but the low temp in the winter here is normally only around 40 degrees - so that would be like saying the AC works great when its 65 degrees outside.

    I always ran the AC on fan speed 3 - it seemed to work best on this speed - the air would be colder than level 4. Less colder air seemed better than more barely cool air.

    A few times last week the car actually got cold running on fan speed 3 (recirc always on) so I would kick it down to level 2 for a 4-5 minutes - the car would start to warm up a little - so I would turn it back up to 3.

    The strange thing is it was 90 degrees outside and the sun was bright - the inside of the car actually got cold - this is a first - By cold I mean too cold - like its too cold in here!

    Even though the AC is still not as good as any of my other vehicles it does seem to cool the car off now after driving 10 or so minutes. Last summer I could drive for an hour down the freeway with the AC on max and the car would never really cool off - sure cool air was coming out of the vents - but the inside of the car never got cold - the back seat would stay hot. But per Mazda this was within spec.

    In reality (for most people) the difference between being hot and cold is only a few degrees.

    Like in my house - if I have the thermostat set at 78 it feels a little warm, 75-76-77 is about right, but at 74 it starts to feel too cold.
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    Thanks, that's my experience too. The other day when it was close to 90, I had it on 4 for serveral minutes because the car was so hot, I then lowered it to 3 and noticed it was colder at level 3 than at level 4; however, in the new late production 2006 Mazda3 (2.3L) the A/C is be fine at level **1** up to 85-90F. This is withOUT auto climate control.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    "really thinking about trading in my 05 for an 06 or 07."

    I guess you have to ask yourself, if you have been this unhappy with the Mazda3 and Mazda customer support/service, would you really want to buy another Mazda3? Obviously that is a personal choice, but I had horrible experiences with VW and Saturn and have stayed away.. As much as I like the Saturn Sky roadster, I would not consider buying another Saturn...
  • waygrabowwaygrabow Posts: 214
    My dealer did that for me, added some refrigerant, and it also made a significant difference. Before, the car might as well not have had an A/C since it did no good. Now at max. settings and under moderate temp. conditions it actually can keep the car comfortable.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    My dealer checked the AC (refrigerant level)many times - I also had a friend (in the home AC business) check it - per the gauge readings it always had the correct amount of refrigerant.

    On one dealer visit - they actually took all the R134-a out - and then filled it back up - this seemed strange to me - freon does not wear out or need to be changed - so I ask them WHY? The answer was - they wanted to be sure they had the correct amount of freon in the system. I took this statement as just another example of a dealership making stuff up / telling a customer something that they know is not right - just to get rid of them. Now I am not so sure.

    Since I added / then took out some freon - and the PSI on my gauge did not change - I am thinking maybe the dealership was being straight with me. The small amount of freon I added has made a big difference.
  • I test drove 2 3s today in NYC, it was close to 100 degrees. The first was an S. At the end of a 13 minute minute test drive the A/C was blowing out slightly cool air. The salesman said it was probably low on freon and was baked in the sun so I went to another dealer and drove a Grand Touring for a 21 minute test drive. The A/C was slightly better. I realize that in such heat the car may not be as coll as one would like after 21 minutes but shouldn't the air coming out of the vents be cold? In both cases at the end of the test drive the salesmen said we should gte out of the car to go into th air conditioned show room. I loved the pick up and the ride but this A/C is s bad I think I will have to scrath this car off my list. I have a 96 Altima now and I have test driven a Civic, Corrolla and Jetta and and found the A/Cs in those cars to be comparable to my Altima.
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    I have test driven a Civic
    You should head on over to the 2006 Civic AC forum before you make any assumptions on the Civic AC
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    Did that model come with auto climate control? Were they 2006 models? What was the production dates? The later 2006 models have decent A/C and those with auto climate have even better.
  • The S had manual AC the Grand Touring had climate control. Both were new 06's. I would imagine they were late models as the supply of Mazda 3s with automatic transmissions is infinitesimal in NYC now.

    No matter how well the cars handle how can they sell them with AC that bad? I know some cars have better A/C then others but I have never seen a car w/ A/C as bad as these Mazda3s.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    And the past few days have been triple-digits with dewpoints in the 70s! Funny thing is, it seems to be getting colder as the car ages. I actually have to back the fan speed off to 2 now, and on all but the hottest days I have to turn the thermostat up to 9 or 10 o'clock to keep from freezing.

    Keep in mind this is coming from a 275-pound guy who's always hot!

  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Some Mazda3's have good AC

    Some have OK AC

    Some have weak AC

    Some have HORRIBLE AC

    Its the luck of the draw which one you will get - the real problem is if you get a car with a weak or even a HORRIBLE AC system Mazda will not fix it. They will just claim its operating as designed.

    Actually now is the best time to buy a Mazda3 - the heat wave across most of the country gives you a chance to test the AC system. Only a fool would buy a Mazda3 on a cool / cold day.

    I have had so many problems with my Mazda3 (2004 S sedan) that if I list them all my post will get deleted. The host considers it brand bashing!

    Mazda really does make some fun cars - they just do not stand behind the cars they sell.
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