Mazda CX-7 Smoke

slw5slw5 Member Posts: 19
edited September 2014 in Mazda
I've owned my fully loaded CX-7 since July 06. About a month after I got it the car began giving me problems. (First the turbo which has been upgraded everytime I complain).

The most frustrating thing about this car besides the turbo and the ridiculous 14 mpg is:

When driving and giving a bit more acceleration, the car sometimes makes metal clanging noises along with blowing black smoke out the exhaust (the car sometimes has a flat spot feel to it at the time). I was told it was gas ping when I knew it wasn't and to make sure I buy the most expensive premium gas and at the same gas station which is bologne.

Of course, the service dept could never duplicate the problem. It would happen when I least expected it to and not if I tried to make it do it. I've taken it back over and over and one fine day it did it again and I quickly went to service mad as heck. Finally, as I was driving at about 45 and added a bit more gas the car clanged and the black smoke appeared. The serviceman witnessed it all and said it was definitely not gas ping.

Well, I am apparently "red lined" in the repair system and the Mazda engineers are diligently working on this problem but this has gone on for months and months now with no fix for the problem. (Oh and this definitely had nothing to do with the recall)

Right now the only positive thing I have to say about my CX7 is that it is the hottest looking little SUV out there.

I've been more than patient but haven't heard a word from Mazda on a fix and every time it does it I am very disappointed in my choice to purchase a CX-7.

Is this a lemon law issue or have any of you had the problem and it has been resolved? :lemon:

Appreciate any input!!!!!


  • vbbuiltvbbuilt Member Posts: 498
    Make sure you document every visit, keep all receipts, and try to jot down the discussions. I'd also find another dealership, not related to the one you normally use. Get in touch with your states attorney general office and inquire about the lemon laws - they're different in every state.

    I don't have any technical advice for ya. Suffice to say, I've had mine a bit longer, just turned over 40K miles, and not a problem. That isn't meant to make you feel any better about your situation, but only to show that you have an abnormal situation. Most CX-7's have a little bug here and there, but seldom do we hear about a major issue, like yours.

    If you don't mind, I for one, would be interested, in hearing more about your situation as time goes by.

    Take care, Vince.
  • slw5slw5 Member Posts: 19

    Thanks for the reply. Of course, at first I was excited about my new purchase and thought the turbo was an easy fix and didn't keep the receipts or document any discussion. I do have several receipts now.

    The CX7 was an impulse buy. I had a perfectly good Toyota Sequoia that got 15.2 mpg and I thought the little car would get better gas mileage, would be more my size, and I knew nothing about a turbo at all. . . just a great looking car caught my eye and being the first to own one from our local dealership was exciting.

    I've had to learn to drive more cautiously. I make sure I press lightly on the gas from a stop so it will go easy and the turbo will kick in. It's my car so I know how it works, but my hubby steps on the gas like any other car and he's furious as it just sits there and then takes off. Several times we've thought we would be hit by another car because it didn't move. The turbo has been upgraded several times and it's improved a tad with each upgrade.

    One day I had to stop because of a stalled vehicle, I had time to maneuver around it, stepped on the gas and it just sat there, by the time it kicked in another car had moved into place and mine leaped forward and I had to slamn on the brakes to keep from hitting the other car.

    In a similar situation I went to manuever around a car, stepped on the gas and that darned clanging and black smoke appeared. This was the moment I charged into Mazda Service.

    Just really ruins the enjoyment of a great looking car. Will definitely keep you posted.

    Do you happen to know who to write to at Mazda? Is there an address for the president or something? I'll check with the California Attorney General. Didn't think of that. When I looked up lemon law online it took me to attorney websites and really no information.

    Thanks again for your reply and I'll keep you posted.
  • vbbuiltvbbuilt Member Posts: 498
    Try this website for more info:

    As for Mazda, trying to reach anyone at Mazda USA is an exercise in futility. Time and again, members in this forum have contacted them for one issue or another, and are always greeted with a polite, yet nebulous response. They're basically non responsive. Bring your husband and talk to the GM at your dealership. Tell him/her your story. Tell him about your dissatisfaction. Tell him you're looking into the Lemon Laws. Then see how he responds. If you're still dissatisfied with his response, then go to the Chamber of Commerce to lodge a complaint. Try the BBB, too.

    Good Luck! Vince.
  • gch523gch523 Member Posts: 2
    my wife and i got a cx-7 too. it was a dealer demo w/10k on it.back in June. then the black smoke started, back to Gorno Mazda (Michigan). when their mechanic finally showed up for work he looked at it. couldn't get it to smoke. tried to tell us we weren't using premium fuel. said that the clanging lifters and what smoke we (think we saw) is all normal. We then picked up the car. that was getting 18mpg . then started to only get 16mpg.why?? then the the black smoke showed back up.back to the dealer again. so then they can see the smoke now. so they order up a turbo. smoke now has stopped for now. but clanging noise is louder.. i could talk about it for hours butam not going to. not a happy customer.
  • vbbuiltvbbuilt Member Posts: 498
    About that clanging noise. Is it there ALL the time, or under certain conditions, such as acceleration, or turning. Does the noise stop and if so, when? Is it front or rear? Driver side or passenger?

    Reason I'm asking is that I took mine in for the 30K maintenance. Two days later, lots of nasty grinding and clanging from the front end. Took it back. Turns out the mechanic didn't put enough torque on the lug nuts on the front passenger wheel, after they had rotated the tires. The lug nuts started loosening and well, you get the picture. Told my shop adviser that was pretty poor on their part. They agreed. So, lesson learned. But I've never heard that noise before and no way of knowing it was for that cause.

  • slw5slw5 Member Posts: 19
    Thank God. I thought I was the only one and am tired of hearing that it's normal and I should buy the most expensive gas at the same station. Ridiculous!!!

    This is a great looking car but just a piece of XXXXX!!! My husband cusses at it everytime he gets in it. I've taken it back 4 times for this and the smoke and noise wasn't witnessed till October and I've been sitting here waiting for Mazda to figure out what wrong with it ever since.

    I can't duplicate the noise if I try and it doesn't happen all the time but I definitely feel it is related to the turbo because there is hesitation when it happens and then the clanging and then the smoke. It definitely is not predetonation ping.

    I too could go on for hours about this car. The dangerous situations we've been placed in because the car just sits there until it decides to move is ridiculous and now the clanging/smoke. I noticed there is another reply asking where I hear it. My noise seems to be from the rear. . . . it always startles me when it does it.

    We are thinking about pursuing the lemon law but we've never done anything like this before. I woke up this morning thinking I would write our General Manager at the Galpin Mazda here in Valencia, CA instead of my hubby marching in an complaining. He is trying to quit smoking so he should be just in the right frame of mind to blast them but not sure that is the approach we should take.

    It's a shame that such a great looking car has had trouble since about a month after we got it. I only have 12K on it and it's a year and half old.

    Has your dealership "red lined" you with Mazda corporate to find a fix for this? I think our guy said that there had been other complaints about this issue.

    All I can say is that I do not want this car. I shouldn't have to think about how my driving experience will be today. Will the noise happen and/or will I be put in a situation turning in front of traffic where my car will just sit there.

    Do you have really bad turbo lag with your car? They've upgraded my turbo many times via computer something and it improves a tad each time. We have been in several situations where we needed to react quickly and had just a dead spot and looked up to see cars barreling down on us thinking we would die. Oh, turbo lag is normal we were told.

    I too could go on for hours!!!!! Thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one.
  • gch523gch523 Member Posts: 2
    I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT MY CAR EXCEPT THE FACT THAT IT SOUNDS LIKE SOME OLD JALOPY !! It IDLES ROUGH !! and the gas mileage is very close to my YUKON XL !! , but with a lot LESS ROOM !!.
    They out right LIE about the gas mileage and its not fair that I am stuck with a 30k investment based on LIES , after all I was looking for better mileage at least I get 16.8 mpg ,about 270 miles to a 16 gallon tank , 160 miles are highway miles . Sorry but that is CRAP !! [ they claim 18 city and 24 freeway]
    The turbo lag is there, although I have never had a near death experience as you have thank GOD !! , and I hope I don't . I have made 4 trips back to the dealership since owning it , they have had my car for two months of the nine I have owned it ,always supplying me with a cheesy rental , and I am about feed up , I will be talking to an attorney about the lemon law .
  • slw5slw5 Member Posts: 19
    I love everything about it as well. I'm always so excited when I see it because it's an amazing looking vehicle, but then when it makes that darned noise or just sits there it makes me hate it.

    Thank God! There are others out there. I'd be happy with 16 mpg . . . .I get 14 mpg and buying premium gas sucks!!!

    Yesterday, I got on the California DMV website because I figured that was a more reputable website and emailed one of the lemon law attorneys they had listed and am awaiting an answer. I picked one that has an office in our town and had 20 years experience.

    I only wish I had saved all the receipts from when we first took it in about the turbo lag (I just thought it was a new car and they were working the bugs out of it . . . never dawned on me it was a real problem I would be dealing with for 18 months). The first near death experience was our introduction into turbo lag about a month after purchasing it (of course no one ever mentioned turbo lag during the sale). I drive only about 7 miles a day to and from work so it's not too bad but turning left in front of traffic causes me anxiety. I know how to lightly press on the gas so that it drives smoothly, but my hubby drives it like his truck and it just sits there. . . . no way can you just stomp on it to get out of the way of something or move fast if need be. But, why should I think about driving . . . it should be natural as it's always been. Step on the gas and it goes and we've never had a car that clangs like metal with black smoke blowing out the back.

    You'll have to keep me posted. I'll write more if, by some chance, I do have a lemon law case. Read all the info on lemon laws because the manufacturer pays the attorney fees. Apparently, a win is either getting the car replaced with the same model but the newer year or the price of the vehicle less a mileage differential.

    Not sure if it's important to keep your receipts proving that you use premium or not. Never dawned on me to do that but I plan on keeping them from now on just in case.

    We've never done anything like this before but it's worth a try. We've been sitting here since October waiting for Mazda to find a fix for our problem . . . meanwhile, I've put another 2,000 miles on it.

    I got to thinking that the Mazda 3 had more get up and go everytime I got it as a rental.

    Mazda uses turbos in all their Champ race cars and don't seem to have a problem with turbo lag . . . . . so I guess the new technology in an everyday car didn't work out so well. Obviously, there is something wrong with the turbo if they keep upgrading mine each time I take it in. It helps a tad at the time.

    I'll be checking back from time to time to see how your case is going and I'll continue to post my progress as well.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    "The" State of California DMV website is They don't maintain a list of lemon law attorneys that I can find. I suspect you went to an unofficial "California DMV" site - that's fine, but the attorneys listed in those sites often pay an ad or referral fee.

    Check out the Lemon Law Questions discussion too.
  • slw5slw5 Member Posts: 19
    You're right. I went to the Unofficial Guide to California DMV

    I received a call today indicating that I have a strong case for lemon law. We are reading the "retainer" paperwork tonight and my husband has a few questions before I sign anything since the car is in my name.

    Thanks! it's so easy to go to the wrong place. I picked an attorney that has an office in the town that we live in even though the main office is in San Diego.

    I'll keep you posted on the progress.
  • cx7lovercx7lover Member Posts: 90
    If you're talking about when the CX-7 starts, and it idles high, it's normal.

    How fast are you going on the freeway?
    Seriously! You must be going 85-90.
  • slw5slw5 Member Posts: 19
    No, not from a start. It does it while driving and at various speeds (fast or slow) and not all the time . . it will go for weeks without doing it and then several days in a row (sometimes after a new tank of gas, morning, afternoon, on the freeway or driving down the road or on an incline).

    I was driving down a very low grade hill, had to put my brakes on because someone pulled out into my lane, I stepped on the gas to maneuver around the vehicle and . . . .turbo lag to the max and then that darned clanging/smoke thing happened. I stormed into Mazda again and finally the serviceman drove with me and witnessed it when I was driving about 45 mpg and gave it a tad more gas and . .. . metal clanging noise and black smoke out the back. He told me it was definitely not predetonation ping (gas ping) and he didn't know what it was so he was "redlining my vehicle" and contacting Mazda try to find a fix for it. . . . that was October.

    The serviceman was able to duplicate the problem the next day (thank heavens). Something is definitely wrong with it and I am now pursuing the lemon law. :lemon:

    I've complained about the really strong turbo lag and this issue since the first month we got the car and all I ever heard was that it was normal or we can't duplicate the problem. . . come in when it does it.
  • slw5slw5 Member Posts: 19

    Just thought I would keep you posted on the lemon law for my CX7. I did contact an attorney and they asked Mazda to repurchase the vehicle, pay my prorated registration and take off $2K for my mileage.

    Mazda's response is that they will NOT repurchase the car but will send a specialist out with the "fix" for the clanging/black smoke problem but insist that the turbo lag is normal. I am now faced with 2 choices and don't which way to go.

    My husband feels that their tinkering with the turbo to improve the lag is what may have ultimately caused the clanging/black smoke and that their fix may be to return the car to the default settings which will alleviate the clanging/smoke but make the turbo lag worse as it was in the beginning. I've been instructed not to drive the car so sharing and driving my husband's Tundra Double-cab remiinds me why I got rid of my Sequoia in the first place . . . . to drive a smaller car.

    Anyway, here are my 2 choices:

    #1. I can accept Mazda's offer to fix the problem (not the turbo), accept some money for my trouble as well as an extended 5 yr, 100,000 mile warranty.

    #2. I can go through litigation which will take months.

    I'm sure that the longer this plays out the more money the attorney makes off Mazda as they have to pay the attorney fees. It costs us nothing.

    Don't know if it's better to let them fix it and then turn around and sell it.

    I'll keep you posted on our decision. :lemon:
  • zoom49zoom49 Member Posts: 76

    I too have had the occasional noise and black smoke issue, mine happens only every other week on average. It does not seem related to fuel as I always use top tier (91 Cal) gas and if I let off the throttle and accelerate again I cannot reduplicate the issue. We do not have, nor never have had the issue with turbo lag. The swirl valve on ours was replaceed under recall, for our early 2007. It also happens in cool 60 degree as well as hot weather. Dealer has never been able to duplicate the problem, and neither can we as it happens so infrequently. Please let me know if Mazda finds out an answer.
    We love our CX-7 except for this occasional hickup.

  • slw5slw5 Member Posts: 19
    I'll keep you posted. My husband is out of town and wants to know what the fix actually is before we made a decision.

    Mine doesn't do it all the time either. There is no rhyme nor reason to it. The last time it did it, was able to duplicate it for the technician and he was able to duplicate it the next day I had just filled the tank with Techron Premium (I only use premium.) Was the type gas a factor, who knows!?!

    I think the CX7 is the greatest looking car on the market and it is totally fun to drive when it's behaving . . . . but in those instances where the margin of safety is compromised by the lag we hate it. This is the first car we purchased without me researching it to death so we had no clue about turbo lag and that it's normal and, of course, it was never mentioned during the sale.

    We are really in a quandry what to do. I'm afraid to make the wrong decision. Another thought is to just accept the deal with the money for my trouble and then turn around and sell it but that is such a losing proposition.
  • murfbearmurfbear Member Posts: 17
    Hi, I bought my wife a 2007 CX-7 brand new in 2006, Yesterday 17 Feb 2008 I was driving her car and I noticed black and white smoke from the exhaust and heard a chain like noise like the noise a bicycle makes when you change gears. The car has about 12K miles on it and this is the first time we noticed the noise and smoke, since my wife drives pretty much in the dark. I took it to the dealer we bought it from and they first said they, could not find any problems except a few computer updates to the engine. I wasn't happy happy with the assessment, so they let it idol for a while and then saw and heard the problem. So now they are going to replace the Turbo. But they say it is safe to drive as is and when the parts come in they will fix it. We'll see. If anyone has a "fix" for their CX-7 Please let me know.
  • rethwilmrethwilm Member Posts: 24
    I guess I am with Vince on this one. I just turned 33K on mine and have only a few issues. I got the PCM recall work completed and I noticed that my black smoke has increased even at low RPMS. Usually when I am wanting to "clean" out my injectors at night I would see some smoke in another cars lights, but I saw it during the day. I do know that my car does not like any gas with Ethanol in it. Poor mileage results. Since the PCM work, my mileage has increased slightly. I used to run it in manual mode all the times due to the revs on the hi-way. SInce the work, I am able to keep in full auto all the time. I never had the CEL issue with the gas cap like so many others. Turbo lag is there and I knew it was an issue when I bought it.
    I wish the mileage would be better, but I hit the 20mpg mark two tankfuls ago. My driving habits would be considered spirited at best. BTW the CX-7 turns about 3100RMS at 119mph, so I do consider that spirited.
    I have not had a single probem with my car in the 19 months that I have owned it and I have not regretted my purchase especially when I am going through the mountains and pushing it to the limit.
  • slw5slw5 Member Posts: 19
    WOW, the offer of replacing the turbo hasn't presented itself. I was told that they didn't know what it was and that my car was "red lined" for Mazda engineers to find a fix. That was October.

    So, I entered into a lemon law case. . . Mazda has offered to fix it but not sure if they have a fix, will find a fix, will replace the turbo or what. We will find that out tonight.

    I'll definitely let you know when we find out what the fix is.
  • slw5slw5 Member Posts: 19
    20 mpg . . . . I'm impressed!!

    I drive 3.5 miles to work and back so my "Speedy Gonzales" driving only gets me 13 mpg at best. I assumed wrongly that buying a smaller car would get better gas mileage than my Toyota Sequoia.

    I've never used the manual mode but have been told by numerous people to use that in those emergency situations. Guess I need to just bite the bullet and try it.

    I haven't driven my CX7 in about 3 weeks as instructed so today was the first day back on the road since I had no other way to get to work. WOW, I forgot how zippy it is (spirited I guess). And, so much more fun driving than my husband's truck.
  • rethwilmrethwilm Member Posts: 24
    What emergency situations? I do know that the system might not be as good as a Ferrari, but would they tell that person not to use it? I did take my car down a steep hill and kept it in manual first gear so I would not lose control. As far as I am concerned the manual mode is there to still have a chance to pretend your driving a sports car. 3.5 miles is not a good test. I am lucky that I have a commute of 20 miles and 18 of that is on the highway so I am sure that helps my mileage considerably. I am sorry about the problems you are having with your car. It truly is a joy to drive on an everyday basis. My wife has an '07 Acura TSX that is fun to drive, but if I have a choice, we take the CX-7 on the road.
  • slw5slw5 Member Posts: 19
    First, what is PCM work that improved gas mileage?

    Emergency situations: when my margin of safety has been compromised due to the turbo lag.

    I do have to admit that the turbo lag has improved since they upgraded it but at first it was a scary situation I had never been placed in before. My husband has been in a few, what he calls "near death experiences" driving it and gets absolutely furious. Perhaps his non-enjoyment of the car is intensified because I got rid of a perfectly good paid off vehicle that he loved. I wanted something smaller and the Liquid Platinum CX7 is just the most amazing looking vehicles parked or on the road so I just purchased it without an ounce of research on it whatsoever (which is so unlike me).

    I was told not to drive it because I have been in a lemon law discussion which is still not resolved. Either take the offer Mazda put on the table or go to litigation. I'm hoping to resolve this within the next few days and get the clanging/knocking/smoke issue addressed. Then I'll be more happy with the car I'm sure.
  • rethwilmrethwilm Member Posts: 24
    The PCM work is a recall on some models. I am not exactly sure what it entailed. Yours might not be included due to the newness. I guess I have never put myuself into a "near death experience" situation. Your husband most likely did not drive the car all the time and would not know that there is a delay and expected when he hit the throttle it would go immediately.It doesn't, but when it does it is a true rush.

    I hope that you are happy with any situation that occurs with Mazda and please keep all of us informed.
  • bcwyatt26bcwyatt26 Member Posts: 1
    Does anybody know if there was a determination on this issue? I just bought an '08 CX-7, it has 1,200 miles on it. I love the car, everything is great about it, except I have these issues. My wife was following me home one night and said it puffed out some smoke, and I noticed on the bottom of the mufflers some soot that wiped off really easily. I wondered why the car was smoking, figured maybe the turbo blows out extra exhaust when it engages. It was when I gunned the car that my wife saw the smoke.

    I've also heard a little mechanical noise from the car, sounds like it is under the hood to me. Nothing too alarming, sort of a rattling noise. I have no problems with turbo lag, performance is always great. I've only put 91 octane in it, always from Shell or 76 or Chevron.

    I thought it might have been a problem on the '07s, maybe not. Anybody have any info?
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    It's Tuesday so that means mazda chat time again. Stop in and meet and greet with your fellow Mazda lovers. Or just stop by for a little fun and car problem chat diagnosis. (One of our favorite games..heh)

    The Mazda Club Chat is on tonight. The chat room opens at 8:45PM ET Hope to see YOU there! Check out the schedule
  • slw5slw5 Member Posts: 19
    Mazda corporate, the dealership service manager, and the service person has been in touch with me making sure that I am aware of my appointment on Thursday and that they'll have a rental car ready for me . . . .Apparently, a Mazda Technician will inspect and fix my car. It continues to rattle/clang and blow black smoke out the back when I least expect it but always under acceleration at various speeds and could be on flat ground or an incline . . . no rhyme or reason and the smoke doesn't always happen or maybe I miss seeing it.

    I'll definitely let you know what the "fix" is. They didn't tell me if they had a fix or were going to try to fix it. Mazda is doing everything they can to make me happy with Mazda at this point. I will definitely let everyone know what they do to repair my car and if it worked. :sick:
  • slw5slw5 Member Posts: 19
    For those of you out there that responded regarding the awful clanging/rattle noise in the engine that resulted in black smoke that blows out the back on my CX7 . . . . I finally got it fixed by the Mazda Specialist that came to our local dealership.

    Keep in mind I was involved in the PCM recall that had to do with the light on the dash but that never fixed the problem.

    The special Mazda engineer had my car for 2 days. He had trouble duplicating the issue at first but our local dealership serviceman showed him what he did to make it to happen and HOORAY, they both got to experience it more than once. They put 50 miles on the car in their effort to duplicate it and some reprogramming.

    I had to bring all my keys for the repair which I thought was odd but now I understand they go hand in hand with the programming of the PCM. They put all new 2008 parts on it: Replaced the PCM and the Variable Timing Actuator, did reprograming of the PCM, decarb of the intake, and changed my oil.

    Of course, this is only a few days into the repair but it truly drives like brand new and is more responsive with less turbo lag.

    They gave me the Sport version of the CX7 for my rental and I felt so deprived of all my amenities. Can't tell you what a chore it was to use that switchblade key . . . just the mere fact of getting it out of my purse when I am so used to walking up to my car and just getting in was an effort). Gosh, and no back up camera or heated seats. I am so happy to have my very own car back . . . and gosh, it is such a great looking car!!!!!

    Anyway, I am a very happy CX7 owner now!!!!! :)
  • slw5slw5 Member Posts: 19

    I posted the outcome of my situation with Mazda but not sure if I replied to the thread so I thought I would email you separately since you were the first to contact me and you wanted to know the outcome :) . I am very happy with my outcome with Mazda and my car drives like a totally different car. Amazing!

    I finally got it fixed by the Mazda Specialist that came to our local dealership.

    Keep in mind I was involved in the PCM recall that had to do with the light on the dash but that never fixed the problem.

    The special Mazda engineer had my car for 2 days. He had trouble duplicating the issue at first but our local dealership serviceman showed him what he did to make it to happen and HOORAY, they both got to experience it more than once. They put 50 miles on the car in their effort to duplicate it and some reprogramming.

    I had to bring all my keys for the repair which I thought was odd but now I understand they go hand in hand with the programming of the PCM. They put all new 2008 parts on it: Replaced the PCM and the Variable Timing Actuator, did reprograming of the PCM, decarb of the intake, and changed my oil.

    Of course, this is only a few days into the repair but it truly drives like brand new and is more responsive with less turbo lag.

    They gave me the Sport version of the CX7 for my rental and I felt so deprived of all my amenities. Can't tell you what a chore it was to use that switchblade key . . . just the mere fact of getting it out of my purse when I am so used to walking up to my car and just getting in was an effort). Gosh, and no back up camera or heated seats. I am so happy to have my very own car back . . . and gosh, it is such a great looking car!!!!!

    Anyway, I am a very happy CX7 owner now!!!!! :)
  • dmele426dmele426 Member Posts: 33
    i have not heard the noise from the engine that most people describe. However, i just started to realize that my tail pipes are black. I cleaned them for the 1st time yesterday and I am keeping tabs on how long before they get black.
    is too much of the black stuff mean that my gas is not being burnt efficiently??
    do i need to mention it to the dealer?
    i have 5k miles on my car, 2nd oil change was done today. any adivse?
  • slw5slw5 Member Posts: 19
    I never checked my pipes.

    My biggest complaint was the rattle/clanging noise which resulted in black smoke blowing out the pipes and, of course, the turbo lag. My car was purchased June 2006 so it was one of the early ones sold and I complained about it since the first month I owned it. I now have all new 2008 parts and it runs great. New PCM, actuator, and they did a decarb of the intake I think and an oil change. They never told me what was really wrong with it but I assume my gas was not being burnt efficiently either.

    I did notice that the noise/smoke was worst if I used Techron gas during the issue but I've put it in since and the car continues to run amazing. It has a tighter feel if that makes sense and it shifts smoother and I haven't heard the noise once

    It is like driving a completely different car now. I am so happy to get in it every morning and zip around town to work. Not very far but I'm having fun again. :)

    Have they done a PCM reflash? They did that to mine months ago and it didn't help but since yours in newer maybe it would help.

    good luck!
  • zoom_utezoom_ute Member Posts: 13
    glad they fixed the variable timing actuator, I was going to suggest that (or the wastegate actuator for the turbo). These can be common defects on turbo cars.

    Sooty tailpipes are also common on turbo cars, when under boost they run richer air-fuel mixtures than non-turbo design, they use excess fuel to cool the combustion process to prevent pinging/detonation.
  • wc524wc524 Member Posts: 2

    I'm having the same problem less the black smoke, but then again I never paid attention to the back of my car. It's always upon acceleration and from the same spot. Same deal as yours, bought the car back in '06 so it's one of the first, took it in for the PCM reflash back in 07. Taken it to the dealership before and car is sitting there as we speak. They've tried to re-produce the problem and of course it won't do it when they drive it or when I go on the test drives with them. Anyhow was hoping you could provide some insight on how the tech was able to re-produce the clanking noise or better yet provide the contact for the dealership who dealt with the issue so I can refer my dealership to call them to avoid having to go through the same ordeal you did.

  • just1mnboundjust1mnbound Member Posts: 2
    The rattling noise started for me about a month and a half ago. My CX-7 is at the shop this morning to find out why. I couldn't find the "why" it is happening on here from other user posts. I'll post how Mazda fixed it once I get my car back.
  • slw5slw5 Member Posts: 19
    My dealership could not produce the issue either each time I took it in till the last time when I drove for them and they witnessed it. I had been speaking to someone else on this form who wouldn't get it reproduced/verified either. He contacted the attorney I used and since there is a Service Bulletin now his dealership still wanted to verify it or they wouldn't do the work. My attorney suggested that he go to another Mazda dealership and tell them he wanted a new service dealership and to explain what was happening with the vehicle and that dealership performed the fix for him.

    My suggestion would be for you to drive it for your dealership; however, if your CX7 is like mine I had the worst trouble causing it to shudder but it did it all the time when I least expected it. I was just lucky to go in totally pissed at the end of the day and my technician road with me and it did it again. The corporate technician couldn't make it do it but my tech guy got in the car and did what he saw me do and it did it otherwise I would still be here complaining.

    My car runs great now with no shudder/clanging noise. I have no black smoke now unless I stomp on the gas but there is no noise at all. I am a very happy camper now. Good luck in your effort to get it fixed.

  • slw5slw5 Member Posts: 19
    suggest Service bulletin #01-041/08 ENGINE PINGING AND/OR LACK OF POWER UNDER ACCELERATION

    Replacing the PCM and variable Valve Timing Actuator etc. has made my car like a brand new one. Love it now!!
  • wc524wc524 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks! Shortly after my post back in Sept the technician magically made the noise come up. It's fixed and I do have to agree it's driving like new...there's a noticeable difference in the torque lag (or lack thereof now). Still loving my car as well!
  • zoom49zoom49 Member Posts: 76
    Hey slw5,

    Good to see you are still around. I am the other owner you were referring to.
    It seems this issue only affects the 2007 model year using California's lower 91 octane fuel. The service bulletin has the dealer replace the Variable Valve Timing actuator and install a new ECU form a 2008 model. In 2008 Mazda changed the ECU to enable the engine to use lower octane fuel. I had always used premium
    but here in Cali it was only 91 octane. Our car no longer has this issue and is running great. The problem is getting the dealer to acknowledge the issue.
  • slw5slw5 Member Posts: 19
    Good to see you as well!

    I am so thankful they were able to verify my issue and yours. I would have sat there till hell froze over before they actually would have done anything with my name at the top of the list for the specialist. McGee did a great job on my behalf and my car is like a completely different car. I love it now!!!

    Our tech guy at work is a Mazda enthusiast & he drove it probably the way it was meant to be driven using the gears and all and came back smiling!!! Of course, he told me the reason I don't get good gas mileage is because I'm a lead foot, but how could I be anything other than that driving a CX-7?!?!?! :)
  • sdbobo619sdbobo619 Member Posts: 13
    I have had a weird white smoke when idling the vehicle cold, has only happened about 3 times in the 2 years I have owned the vehicle....

    Never had black smoke and dont notice turbo lag....
  • smokingmazdasmokingmazda Member Posts: 1
    edited March 2010
    Mazda CX7 Smoke After Idle Like this? Been having the same smoke problem for about a year now, and they're finally approved for a turbo replacement next week.">link title
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    1-2 second re-acceleration downshift delay...YES!!


    abolition hesitation wwest -dfg
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    edited August 2010
    Turbocharged engines MUST be designed to run in detuned/derated mode, "off-boost", 99% of the time. Intercooled turbo boost on a DFI engine must NOT cause the effective compression ratio to rise to the point of detonation. There are two reasons why a turbocharged engine is handicapped for use during idle or constant speed cruising, resulting in HORRID FE in comparison to a N/A engine.

    1) You cannot take advantage of intercooled boost pressure if the base/native compression ratio is already near the point of the onset of detonation, knock/ping due to dieseling. A normally aspirated DFI engine can easily accommodate a base/native CR or ~12:1. Throw in a turbo and you'll consider yourself lucky to have a base/native CR of 8:1, maybe even as high as 9.8:1 if you're really lucky.

    2) In order to reduce turbo lag the CR is lowered even moreso in order to put more of the energy of A/F mixture combustion into the exhaust manifold where it can be, is used, to spin the turbine up most quickly.

    An Atkinson cycle DFI engine can have a base/native CR as high as 15:1, but can NEVER be turboed due to the unusually high efficiency compared to the standard "Otto" mode engine. With an Atkinson cycle engine virtually ALL of the energy of the A/F mixture combustion is used to push the piston downward. Typically only enough energy left in the exhaust to keep the catalyst heated to operational temperature, >800F.
  • fonefixerfonefixer Member Posts: 247
    Does this mean that 4 cylinder DISI direct injection spark ignition engines with single turbos like the cx-7 are inherently weaker engines with noticeably less of a service life than naturally aspirated engines even with regular oil changes?

    Driving the turbo 4 cx-7 com pared to a naturally aspirated 4 cylinder competitor is amazing. Manually shifting through the 6 speeds really blows the others away, but of course the mpg is probably less. Achieving about 21.5 mpg in town using premium fuel.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    "..inherently weaker engines.."

    In the sense that it needs the turbo to produce a reasonable level of HP/torque, then yes. But in the sense of reliability the turbo engine is likely to be a bit more robust mechanically. Remove the turbo or wire the wastegate fully open, and this engine's reliability would probably be extended substantially over an equal displacement engine that wasn't turbo "prepped".
  • blaketeeblaketee Member Posts: 2
    My parents currently have a 2007 Mazda CX-7 with a little over 40K miles on it. They just received a letter about the recall on their A/C compressor. The letter aparently stated that it was safe to drive the vehicle as long as you don't use the A/C. Less than a week later, my folks were driving back to Visalia, CA from Pismo Beach, CA and my mom said that she heard a loud knocking noise under the hood, so they pulled over, popped the hood and didn't notice anything... Then they got back in the car, started it up and heard a loud whining noise. The car also lacked acceleration.. (sounds like the turbo.) Now let me add that my father also complained about seeing black smoke come out of the tailpipes on more than one occassion. At this point they decided the car was undrivable and had it towed to the Mazda dealership in Selma, CA.
    Selma had the car for 3 days and aparently couldn't figure out what was wrong with it. They just called my folks back and said that the Turbo is shot and possibly the entire engine. They also mentioned that it was out of warranty, since it has 40K miles on it. When my parents told me this, I asked, "what about the Powertrain Warranty?" I looked it up again and realized that it's 5yr/60K miles.. We should be covered. I even called Mazda Corp in Irvine and spoke to a rep. He said that it would be covered, but the dealership is going to want to see the Service Records for it. If they are not all available, they might want to do an inspection on the vehicle and make sure it's not full of "sludge" or anything. Welp.. My parents had some of their records, but not for all the oil changes.. and guess what? "They aparently found sludge in the engine and will not honor the Powertrain Warrnanty. Now my parents are stuck with some ungodly Service Bill, that I'm afraid to hear about... This is where we're at.. They haven't okay'd the work to be done yet and I'm just trying to help them out.. IF ANYONE HAS ANY ADVICE FOR US.. PLEASE LET ME KNOW.
  • epoagepoag Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 CX-7 with 70,000 miles. I have had the compressor replaced before the warranty situation but did respond for reimbursement. Anyway, recently the vehicle started making a loud tapping noise and vehicle will not accelerate as it did before. After taking the vehicle to Precision Tune (BBB rating is high and have used them since the dealer ship in my city has closed) they determined that there was slack in the timing chain and two of the engine modules were giving bad codes. I took to a friend who is a Mazda certified tech and he told me the same plus there is ludge in the engine. I feel dooped on a vehicle that I thought would be a quality vehicle not to mention previous issues when we first bought like sensors etc. Please someone guide me through this ordeal.
  • dmedlindmedlin Member Posts: 2
    My CX-7 just started smoking yesterday I had driven to supermarket, came home, started somewhere else. I had idled it a short time, then started down the the street. Huge amount of smoke! Does it hurt to drive it (this is weekend)?
    Thanks for any info.
  • fonefixerfonefixer Member Posts: 247
    First--I would check all fluid levels--oil or coolant levels low? If your critical fluids are normal it sounds like the turbo has /or is going out. Wouldn't drive the vehilcle until consulting with a shop/mechanic familiar with the cx-7 engine.
  • dmedlindmedlin Member Posts: 2
    Thanks, Will consult with a mechanic.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Member Posts: 3,159
    If your critical fluids are normal it sounds like the turbo has /or is going out

    It most likley is not the turbo. If the smoke is white, it's due to the PCV system, in which there is no fix for. Initially, Mazda was replacing turbos and testing them only to see they were fine, and Mazda discovered an issue with the PCV system. I believe the white smoke is built up carbon of some sort, according to my Mazda techs. When they take off the intake manifold, they have noticed a heavy build up on the valves, which is not common with non-DI engines.

    If you are blowing blue smoke, than it could be the turbo, but, I'm betting it's white smoke, since I have seen many blow white smoke.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    And then again the A/C compressor could be stalled/locked and it is the compressor drive belt generating all the smoke.
This discussion has been closed.