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Mazda3 Interior & Passenger Comfort Concerns



  • I would have bought the 3 if the A/C was just so so. I loved the acceleration, the ride, contrary to what some say I thought it absorbed bumps better than a Corolla and as well as a Civic, through not quite as well as a Jetta. I have now test driven 3 Mazda 3s and the A/C was noticeably weak in all of them.

    Are your windows tinted? The cars I tested did not have tinted windows.
  • I don't know how you put up with the bad A/C. Oh by tewh way the car stalled on the test drive in traffic. The salesman had the audacity to tell me that Mazda is a fine qulaity product, it is not like a Ford. I guess I will have to wait to see the new 07 Sentra's.
  • chacobleuchacobleu Posts: 228
    U r a much braver soul than I to have test driving 5 vehicles in triple digit temps after they've been baking under the sun. I mean, I naturally assumed u test drove the civic, corolla, and jetta as well as the 2 Mazdas under the same extreme conditions. Did u?
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712

    When I was shopping for a car in June, I drove the 3 and 06 Civic EX (sedan) back to back (it was about 93 degrees) and I thought the A/C performance was very close..

    That said, you should definitely not buy a 3 if you have any reservations...
  • nifty56nifty56 Posts: 279
    Tested a Camry and found the A/C was like my, wouldn't buy one, also it had a 6 spped auto tranny that was not smooth, always hunting for gears.
    Also tested the Hyundai Sonata and the A/C was GREAT. Cold right from the start up, no need to roll windows down etc.
    Both tested with outside temp 30C and both cars sun soaked. The hyundia also had a moon roof that had the shade open but the window closed. Come on Mazda find out what Hyundia is doing right.
  • I tested 2 3's and the Jetta the same day although the Jetta was parked indoors. I first noticed the bad a/c when I tested a 3 when the temp was in the '70s and it took a while to cool the car. I tested the Corolla on the same day and it cooled the car in a block, plus I know someone who has a Corolla and the A/C is cold.

    I tested the Civic w/ temps in the '80s. Incidentally, a co-worker has an '03 Mazda MPV and his A/C sucks too.
  • Hello all,

    Bought a 2006 3i, Titanium Gray with black interior, a month ago. A/c in 80 degree weather works fine. I live in DC, so I just experienced the 100 degree hell. The air coming out of the vents was cold, but the dashboard was really hot, preventing the interior from getting cold, but it was still bearable. When the sun was out, took about 10 min for car to cool to a comfortable level. To keep it cool, I had to have it on recirc and on speed 3. Once a few clouds covered up the sun, it got really cold in my car, even with the thermometer showing 103degrees outside. On nights during that hot week, when the car's thermometer showed it was still 96degrees outside, the car got really cold.

    So from my experience, it seems that the black interior soaks up a lot of sun and heat, and the a/c struggles. But once that beating sun is gone, a/c works fine.
  • chacobleuchacobleu Posts: 228
    That is why tinting the side/rear window will result in a marginal improvement on the interior. It’s the front windshield and the black dash that the driver/passenger sits closest to, but over a period of several hours under direct sunlight, that absorption radiates and cooks the rest of the interior. The windshield screen helps a lot in this case. Someone on this forum disagreed in that once the screen is removed for driving purposes, the dash begins its task of heat absorption. Albeit true, at least with the sunscreen you get ahead of the curve instead of behind the eight ball on hot sunny days. This way, the ac is better able to keep up with the heat absorbing dash/interior.

    We had 100+ temps in NJ last week. I took that as the opportunity to do some digital vent temp testing. Here are some discoveries.

    First test: early morning (7:00am). Car has been sitting about 12 hours outside. Still in the shade as the sun has not made it over the trees. The rear of the vehicle is facing the sun. Turn on aux power and fan speed to 2. The car’s engine is off at this point. 20 minutes later, the middle vent temp is equal to outside ambient temp. Vent temp = 79.4

    Second test: still early morning (7:20am) Car has been sitting about 12 hours outside. Still in the shade as the sun has not made it over the trees. The rear of the vehicle is facing the sun. Turn the vehicle engine on and fans speed remains at 2 with ac off. Twenty minutes later the middle vent temp is reading between 1 and 2 degrees higher than the outside ambient temp (which is up a degree). Vent temp = 82.3

    Third test: the drive to work. Consists of a 4 mile highway stint eastbound. Sun is directly in front of me; no shade. Takes about 6 minutes cause of volume. Average speed 35 mph. The fans speed remains at 2 with the ac off. Before exiting towards another highway due north, the middle vent temp is read 11 degrees warmer than the outside ambient temp (up another degree). Vent temp = 92.7

    Fourth test: A 25 mile highway haul northbound. Sun is now to my right for the most part, at times directly in front of me and, at one point, to the left of me. There is partial shade from trees to the right of me. So it’s a good mix. The fans speed remains at 2 with the ac off. Cruising speed of 70+mph is reached quickly. In the first mile or two, the middle vent temp drops almost 4 degrees while the outside ambient temp is up 2 degrees to 83. Time: approx. 8:30a.

    During this part of the ride, the middle vent temp held anywhere from 6 to 8 degrees higher than the ambient outside temp. Both temps creped up equally. At the end of the whole ride (only a couple of misc miles remained), the middle vent temp was reading 92.2 while the ambient outside temp recorded 84.

    With the car off, the difference was 0 degrees. With the motor running idle, the difference was a couple. But once the sun started baking the dash, that difference jumped. No doubt a colder ac would help, but like tinting windows, the difference would be marginal. Its like having the hot oven door and a cold refrigerator door open at the same time.

    One more thing I’d like to point out. I tested the ac on those hot days, as well as on the not so hot days (about 90). Car baked in the sun for about 8 hours with a windshield sun screen installed and the moon roof open to vent. Again, I tested the middle vent with fan speed on 3 and recirc all the time. These are the results while driving on the highway at 70+ mph. On the very hot days (99 and 100), the vent temp range was 43 to 51. The lowest temp of 43 was reached towards the end of my 30 mile drive home. On the not so hot days, the middle vent temp range was 39 to 49, again with the lowest temp reached towards the end of my 30 mile drive home. Closer to home, in stop and go conditions, the middle vent temp range would be higher by 6 to 8 degrees, regardless of how hot the ambient temp. Mind you, this was after the ac had been on for the better part of 40 minutes and had a chance to cool things down a bit.

    Even though the ac temp coming out of the middle vents was higher by 2 or 3 degrees on the hotter days vs. the not so hot days, it just felt colder the hotter the day. Go figure. Funny as this may sound, I had to turn the far left vent away from the steering wheel because it felt as if I was getting frost bite on my knuckles. And I know for a fact the temp coming out of the vent isn’t that cold.
  • That page is missing. Can somebody repost? I'm ready to actually order the MS3. My VW Passat's AC sucks, so I know a bad AC when I get in one. Thanks.
  • Living in San Francisco, my AC rarely has to work hard, even in summer.(For the record, my car is a 2006 5-door, 2.3L, without auto climate control, purchased 1/31/06). But I recently drove from SF to Los Angeles and back, through the central valley in 100-degree, baking sunshine. The car's AC did fine. It didn't make the car frigid, but did make it pleasantly cool -- enough that I had to turn down the fan speed after a while to keep it from getting too cold. Living where I do, I could cope with weak AC, but I'm glad I didn't experience what others have described.
  • I just had to post about my frustrations with my 3. I bought a used 3 w/ 11K miles, it now has 26K on it. A friend of mine had it on his lot and gave me a good deal. On August 10th, I was driving home from work in the rain so I had the de-fogger on (Compressor running). I heard a belt squeal as if it were slipping and then the AC stopped working. When I arrived at home, I popped the hood and noticed that the compressor smelt like it had burned up. Took it to the local dealership the next morning (on Friday, Aug. 11th). The service clerk said I'd have to make an apointment for Tuesday of the next week (Aug 15). I told him that the AC had burn up. I took the car in and dropped it off the morning of the 15th. I get a call later that day and he proceeds to tell me the AC compressor has burned up and he has to order a new one. Wow, I would think they could have taken 10 minutes to look at it the first day I took it in and made that decision especially since I told them what the problem was. So I wait and finally get a phone call around the 25th that the new compressor is in. I scheduled an appointment for Aug. 28th. Again, I dropped the car off in the morning and left it there. I get a call at work that day and the service clerk proceeds to tell me that they had ordered a compressor for a Mazda6 and not a 3. Arrrrghhh!!! Then, to top that off, he lets me know that the compressor for the 3 is on back order. Well, here it is a month later, and I still haven't heard from the dealership. Obviously, they have major problem. I've had some additional issues w/ the car including the trip meter / radio presets resetting. The battery is fine BTW. I did have the dealership check that out and they found nothing. Additionally, the washer fluid sprayer will not work. I'm not sure if it's the pump not working or if it's just not getting power as I haven't had time to check. I must say, I fell in love with the car when I bought it and my 16 yr. old daughter loves it also :-). I love the way the car drives, rides, and handles. But what gives with all of the small issues with the car? This is my 1st Mazda, and it very well may be my last. I'm considering getting rid of it based on the track record I've had with it so far. I also, currently :-), own a 99 Chevy Silverado, a 2000 Mercury Villager (aka Nissan Quest), a 79 CJ-7 (project vehicle), and a 92 Merc. Tracer (currently disabled).
  • It's possible you got a lemon, or just a few things wrong with your could be temporary. FWIW, Mazda has been rated poorly by JD Powers on reliability. Your experience with the service department is not uncommon. Of course, watch the Mazda advocates here or Consumer Reports luvers or those with a personal interest jump in and defend Mazda big time.

    If you continue to have problems with your Mazda, wait until the 3 year mark or before you trade it in.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I thought someone had determined that the compressor in the Mazda3 and the one in the Mazda6 (2.3L) were one in the same?

    I wonder why the backorder?
  • Hey z71bill. I'm not sure. I do have the 2.3. But that's what I was told by the service dept. :confuse:
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    There seems to be a lot of hostility in these Mazda 3 forums from the same people. Face it guys, some of us got cars without all the drama that some others have. You demonize the company and then have to use snide comments about others that don't agree with you or don't have the same problems as you.
    The point is, y'all have lost alot of your credibility with your attitudes. You get snide and nasty with people who dare don't agree with much for an adult discussion in any Mazda 3 forums. A real shame to...all that negativity makes most of us loose any patience or sympathy for you guys. Pity to, if this is how y'all react to your transportation problems, I'd hate to see how y'all deal with something really life or death.
    Please, try to turn that negative energy into something's way to short!

    Zoom Zoom!

    The Sandman :)
  • nifty56nifty56 Posts: 279
    Since you have been waiting a very long time for a fix tell the dealer to take a compressor off another car. Of course they might not do that because they will now have to recharge two systems but if Mazda cared for you as a valued customer they would do it. OK sandman46 shooooot me down...
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    you guys??

    When I first moved to Texas (from Minnesota) I had several people tell me I sounded like I was from UP NORTH. When I would ask what does someone from up north sound like - I always got the same thing - They would say - What do "you guys" want to do for lunch or what do "you guys" want to do tonight.

    I still say it sometimes - even after being a Texan for almost 20 years - last year while back up north some of my old buds gave me all kinds of crap when I said what are y'all doing tonight.

    Nothing to do with the defective Mazda3 AC - or the crummy Mazda customer service - but I do see both sides of these issues - just like I am from up north - but sometimes sound like I am from down south.
  • That's the correct procedure (remove/replace refigerant) to check the a/c charge. The machine that does that also filters out any air or water. While the stuff doesn't wear out, it does leak a little bit and can get contaminated, usually on old sytems where there's a leak. The dealer is not BSing you with this test.
  • poe1poe1 Posts: 8
    i know the 2004s had an AC issue, so i purposesly waited for the 05s.

    My AC has been ok. It's not near as good as my 95 ford F250s power stroke's AC, but that things AC is TOO cold.

    Anways, I live in houston and during the summers i keep the recirculate on and at level 2 for standard driving around. Oh course, levels 3 and 4 are used for initial cooling, but after that 2 does fine.

    ALso, tinted windows obviously help a ton.
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    poe1, u neglected to mention if your 3 has auto climate control?
  • I seriously wonder if the mandatory black interior on most models is a big part of the problem?

    I live in Atlanta and I'm very hot natured. I hate the summer heat here and every day when I got in my car to go home from work it was sweltering. Far worse than the gray interior on the Accord I had before it.

    But within minutes, it is always cool and comfortable. Never had any passenger complaints either. Maybe I'm just lucky so far?
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    NO, the black interior is not a BIG part of the problem, it does make it a little warmer because black absorbs light. Other car companies have a black dash and they don't necessarily have A/C issues.

    Ever wonder what that little dome thing on the dash is? It's light sensor for vehicles equiped with auto climate control and those with 2004/2005 models with auto climate don't have a problem.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    I thought the dome thing was for the automatic headlights? Read in my manual that there is something right around where the ignition is that was supposed to sense the auto temp controls? Granted mine is an 07 but they shouldnt be that different should they?
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    I thought the same, but no. Try covering it up with a black cloth or another dark object during daylight hours. Mine doesn't go on. I think it was in the Mazda3 online Shop manual that said it was a A/C Light Sensor. There is ANOTHER sensor by the ignition, it's a round oval grill shaped on the console.
  • newbee7newbee7 Posts: 30
    I was checking a Mazda 04 3i at an auction site. The car has both the AC and the heater buttons. When I press on the heater button, the small light on the button is turned on. But, when I press on the AC button, the small light on the button is not turned on. Does this mazda has an AC? I don't notice anything else is blowing through the fans, but it could be due to the cold outside temperature.

    A huge draw back with auction cars is that I can't test drive them.

    The car has cruise control, power windows, power door locks.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Look under the hood - if it has a compressor then it has AC. If you don't know what a compressor looks like - then look for the condensor - its right in front of the radiator - sort of looks like a small radiator.

    Or look under the hood at the firewall - if you see two silver colored metal lines (tubes) one with a cap market with an H (high side) - the other with a cap market with an L (low side) then the car has AC.
  • newbee7newbee7 Posts: 30
    Thanks. Now I know what to look for.
  • stallionrestallionre Posts: 205
    Ouch!! I think your shoes are too large for this type of set up. The mazda's do have the pedals close together, but it has never been a problem for me, but then again, my shoe size is a 8.5-9. This probably makes a difference. ;)

    Sorry for your problems with the pedals. :(
  • mtbmikemtbmike Posts: 2
    i'm with you. size 10 here. I find that if i put the seat
    further back (i Prefer :( :( it close, i have a bad left knee and
    it makes clutching easier) i have less tangle up's with my
    feet and the pedals.
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