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Mazda3 Maintenance & Repair



  • rinebirdrinebird Posts: 83
    Congratulations.I have the AC problem too.
    I guess I have to recontact my dealer and Mazda.

    car manufactured date:3/04
  • rinebirdrinebird Posts: 83
    I have the Mazda 3i sedan.2.0 liter:I get 24-26 mpg local driving with the Ac on at times.I just got 29-30 HW.
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    You really can't compare Mazda customer service with that of the for the premium brands like Acura, Lexus and Infiniti. Then again, you pay for that kiss-your-butt service with higher prices. There are plenty of complaints about customer service from Toyota owners and others. In my opinion they all pretty much suck except for the luxury brands.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    With Saturn the notable exception.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,685
    I haven't noticed that customer service is anything but ordinary at any Acura dealer, other than the availability of loaner cars... My Honda dealer does a better job.


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    When I talk about Mazda customer service I mean Mazda Corporate. This includes both the (800) 222-5500 and E-mail. If I was complaining about a dealership service department I would say "Johnson's Mazda of Death Valley" or whatever.

    Every manufacturer has great, good, average, poor & horrible dealers - if the service department at your dealership is bad then you can almost always go to another one. If the car company has no level of commitment to customer satisfaction then if you have a problem you are just plain out of luck. Mazda is by far the worst company (car or other) I have ever done business with. I am not sure if they just don't care - or they care more about short term profit - or they are just incompetent fools that don't know any better. At times I think it must be all of the above!
  • rinebirdrinebird Posts: 83
    This is from a site mentioned in this thread on
    Mazda probloms and solutions

    2004 MAZDA3

    After car wash or when driving in the rain, some customers may notice the outer edge of the headlights and/or rear combination lights become foggy due to water entry.

    This symptom appears at the sealing location of the light unit. Water is not trapped inside the lights which does not affect its function. The water droplets will evaporate and will not damage the light unit.

    DO NOT perform any parts replacement for this symptom as this is considered normal."
  • conallconall West TexasPosts: 91
    At about 2500 miles my engine light came on and it ran rough under passenger loads with the A/C on. The problem was that the PCU needed to be "reflashed" to match the input from the thermostat. No stalling problems, though I have had some of those in the past with some beloved VW's (a '85 Jetta GLI & a '92 GTI 16V).

    No problems with the A/C out here in W. Texas, by the way. Temps have been up to 106F or about 41C. The point brought up about the matter being subjective was very good. I tolerate heat and cold better than most people. Build date of my Mz3 was 01/04.
  • roger341roger341 Posts: 59
    Am I maybe the only one who finds the center stack uncomfortable when your right leg is resting against it on a long trip?

    The way it juts out into the cabin and its hard edge makes for both a cramped and a sore leg, at least if you have long legs.

    Other than this fact and the weak a/c, I like the car but I do think my 01 Pro had a better designed (ergonomic) cabin.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Maybe too obvious - move the seat back a notch or two - it worked for me. But maybe you already have the seat all the way back.

    Around town and on short trips I never even noticed the center stack - then on a long trip - after a few hours it started to bug me.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    #971 of 985 A/C happiness by jsnschmasn Aug 13, 2004 (5:10 pm)

    Thank you again for contacting Mazda North American Operations. I appreciate the opportunity to respond to you.

    In regard to your inquiry, the Product Engineers in Japan have come up with a resolution for the A/C concern. However, we are waiting for parts to be available. We expect parts to be available in the next few weeks. I'm so sorry for the delay.

    I E-mailed Mazda sent them a copy of this post and ask them if this was correct information -

    this is what they sent me.

    Dear William,

    Thank you for contacting Mazda North American Operations. I appreciate the opportunity to respond to you.

    At this time we are working on a way to improve the air conditioning performance of the MAZDA3. However, we do not have any official changes
    that we would recommend at this time. In addition, I do not have a time frame of when we will have a recommendation to improve air conditioning performance. However, once something is released it will be released to
    the dealership directly and you will be able to go through them to obtain it.

    I wonder what is going on here - Could just be the normal Mazda incompetence shining through - again.
  • conallconall West TexasPosts: 91
    Not that you should have to do this, but - if you have long enough legs, drive with your knee mostly in front of the stack. This is my normal driving position, and it doesn't bother me on loooonng trips either.
  • What this means is that Mazda hasn't issued the service bulletin to the dealers yet. Toyota (I work in a toyota service dept) is the same way, won't give customers any definitive info before the dealers have been issued a bulletin.

    Chances are the modification's already being done in current production and they want to get some in the field feedback before issuing a bulletin.

    They will also need to get parts for the mod in the pipeline so that customers won't be taking their cars in and being told they have to wait 3 weeks for parts.

    I've read of the AC problem on earlier production cars but some with 5/04 and 6/04 production dates are happy with their ac.

    I'm in Fresno, 100+ most of the summer and my 6/04 MZ3's ac works better than most of the other small cars I've owned, so I suspect my car already has the modifications.

    As for incompetence, this is the first cooling season since the introduction of the 3, and it's only half over. In my experience with this sort of thing on Toyotas their response on this is actually fairly quick. I've seen as much as an entire year or 2 go by before a service bulletin gets issued on some fairly common problems on some Toyota models.

    Keep in mind that the lawyers are involved in these things almost as much as the product engineers.
  • qddaveqddave Posts: 164
    Same thing happened where I work. The recent recall that Chrysler unveiled for the '93-'99 Intrepid/Cirrus/Stratus/etc. for being able to get out of Park without pusing the release button took a long time. The issues that spurred the investigation were years ago. Safety Office (NHTSA) has to go through piles and piles of engineering documents and files to make sure the issue is properly idsentified and that the fix will actually solve the issue. Then, it took us 4 weeks to design the fix, 10 weeks to build tooling, and 11 weeks to fill MOPAR's pipeline.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    One E-mail says "the Product Engineers in Japan have come up with a resolution for the A/C concern" the E-mail I get today says "At this time we are working on a way to improve the air conditioning performance of the MAZDA3. However, we do not have any official changes"

    Am I the only one that thinks these two E-mails are in conflict?
  • sschaffer has given a very plausible explanation on the workings of TSBs. I am convinced that:
    1) there has to be a sufficient number of complaints to trigger a TSB investigation. Manufacturers do not have knee-jerk reaction to the first few complaints unless it definitely involves a safety issue.
    2) Their engineers have to work on the fix.
    3) their lawyers have to review the ramifications of the fix vis-a-vis NHTSA, among other things
    4) their suppliers have to be in a position to ramp up production of the replacement part so as not to cause unduly long waits for it.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Be glad Mazda is admitting there's a problem and taking steps to do something about it. Rest assured something will happen. It's nice to see them being proactive -- you know, they could have just said, "There are no problems with our A/C systems," even if they were working on a solution. They know there's a problem and they're probably pretty close to issuing a fix. I have faith -- I received a recall notice on the engine coil in my 2000 Protege ES about two years ago without ever having had any symptoms of a bad coil. Took the car in, waited an hour and had a new coil. I still don't know what the problem with the old one was, but whatever it was, Mazda took care of it proactively and with little hoopla.

  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I do not have as much patience as some. I have been sweating all summer long.

    I have been told on several occasions that there is NO problem with the AC system - it is working as designed. Mazda has not admitted they have a PROBLEM - they are calling it a CONCERN.

    I understand how a TSB is issued - I understand that the engineering department must come up with a fix - that parts must be produced - not sure about the need to get NHTSA involved since this is not a safety issue - but what I don't understand is the conflicting statements.

    Why tell one customer that they have a resolution to the concern and tell the next one that they have no resolution? That has nothing to do with any of the excuses that are being offered for Mazda's complete incompetence.

    At least pick a lie and stick with it.
  • qddaveqddave Posts: 164
    how is this conflicting? these two emails are saying two totally different things. the first one states that, yes, Mazda realizes there is a concern and they have come up with a fix. the second states that nothing the engineers have done is official yet, meaning it isn't released to the public/dealers yet.
  • oldmonkoldmonk Posts: 38
    This is the 3rd reply from Mazda...,

    Thanks for again contacting Mazda.

    As you know, we can not inspect, diagnose nor perform repairs from this
    office. For those purposes, we rely on Mazda dealerships. I am
    confident that your dealership has advised correctly that there is no
    defect with your A/C system and that it is operating normally.
    but as
    I've mentioned on several occasions, if there are ever any
    countermeasures to change the NORMAL design of the climate control
    feature, your dealership would be the party to receive AND complete any
    such technical developments.

    Continue to keep in contact with them periodically about your concern,
    perhaps during your regular maintenance services. If ever there is a
    Service Program or bulletin regarding this matter, your dealership will
    have full access to it or your will be notified directly.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    In Canada it is not conflicting to say two totally different things - in other words - give two completely different answers to the same question? So for a conflict to exist they must tell everyone the same thing?

    Even John Kerry would see this (Mazda E-mails) as a flip flop.

    Some have stated that the AC in the Mazda3 is "OK for the class of car" - if you want a better system you will need to pay much more.

    Well today I went to lunch with a friend that just bought a Kia Rio - payed $11,500 out the door including TT&L - By any measure the Mazda is a better car - except that the AC system in this $11.5K car blows ice cold air. From a car sitting in the hot sun - within 2 blocks we turned the fan speed down to low - the car was cool.

    I never have my fan speed less than 3 and even after 20 miles my Mazda3 is still warmer inside.
  • drywalldrywall Posts: 18
    I agree that the two responses from Mazda weren't entirely consistent, but I don't think they were contradictory.

    If I ask 2 people to describe what's happening at a given moment, and one says, "The Red Sox are losing bad" and the other says, "The Red Sox are starting to make a comeback," I have received two answers to the same question: very different, but not conflicting, answers.

    The two answers from Mazda definitely leave two different impressions of what exactly the situation is, and I wouldn't be happy to have gotten those responses. But, truth be told, I didn't see anything in them that conflicted directly. There's no need to rip on Canada about this, z71bill.

    And we get that your Mazda's AC is unacceptably bad for you -- though thanks for reminding us with the Kia comparison.

    I don't feel a need to apologize for Mazda, as some people (particularly z71bill) have gotten a raw deal. But there are also a lot of us out here who by virue of geography, comfort standards, or luck feel the AC is either a) working perfectly, or b) subpar but livable. For thousands of owners the Mazda3 is most definitely not a fundamentally flawed car with a major defect.

    Being behind several months on a fix for something classified as a convenience feature (even if it's a necessity for some) is far from praiseworthy. But it's not the end of the world.

    For some perspective: GM took a year and a half to recall my previous car for suddenly inexplicably dying on a regular basis, leaving me stranded on several occassions. I'll take Mazda's service over GM's any day.
  • No car company assigns caseworkers to any single given customer--the e-mails get answered by any number of individuals, just as when you call your cable company or DirecTV you don't get the same customer service rep every time. For this reason it's highly unlikely that you're going to get the exact same answer to your question every time you send an e-mail.

    So far you've gotten 2 answers affirming that Mazda is aware of the problem and is working on a solution, and one stonewall. My guess is that the first two are more accurate than the third, that the third was from someone ignorant of Mazda's working on the problem or too lazy to research it as the first two did.

    Why not just keep sending essentially the same e-mail every day, maybe 6 or 8 a day and see if you start getting the same person answering so you get the exact same answer?

    I have to call Toyota's tech assistance line for help a couple of times a month and even these engineers don't all give the same exact advice on the same problem, until a tsb is issued.

    I remember a time when car owners were allowed to subscribe with mfgs to be sent all relevant service bulletins on their particular car, but I don't think this exists anymore.

    Hopefully when/if Mazda issues a bulletin someone wil post the tsb number or it might become available on the NTSA site.
  • You can still get info on TSBs by going to a certain web site posted by someone else on this forum (sorry I forget it).

    Also you can subscribe ($$) to a private organization that tracks recalls and TSBs.

    I'm sorry that z71 is frustrated with Mazda service and PR, but as sschaffer said, evne Toyota can take a long time to respond to fixes.

    In my opinion, z71's A/C is not really defective, just inadequate for his comfort level (probably can be improved and should be) There are some who find the A/C satisfactory.
  • oldmonkoldmonk Posts: 38
    I have been excahnging emails with Mazda customer service on this AC problem, after a couple of email exchanges, I am told:

    Any further correspondence from you regarding this concern will be
    documented for our corporate record, but please understand that this
    will be our last response to this matter. Direct any further inquiries
    to your Mazda dealership.

    It would have been nice to hear a assurance from them - something like "we are aware of it and working on a fix..." instead they just keep asking me to contact the dealers many of who pretend to know nothing about the AC problem.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Let's compare Mazda's customer service to, say, GM's.

    My wife's last car was a 1995 Chevrolet Cavalier. At about 30,000 miles, my wife started having to add coolant every week, and a green puddle had formed in the driveway and it was growing. Its head gasket was leaking. We were advised that GM was aware of a head gasket problem and had extended the warranty on the head gasket to 100,000 miles. So it was fixed for free.

    Six thousand miles later, we found a new puddle of green coolant in the driveway. The new head gasket was leaking. We took the car in, confident that the warranty would cover it. We found out, however, that the "extended head gasket warranty" only covered ONE replacement. (A car should never need even ONE replacement head gasket in 36,000 miles -- heck, I've owned several cars to more than 115,000 miles, and NONE have EVER needed a new head gasket.)

    Oh -- and never mind the fact that we were still within the car's warranty when the second one went -- head gaskets, like all gaskets, we were told -- are a "wear item." So no help there! $40 for the gasket and $560 for tearing the engine down to install it, please! (Yep, $600!)

    It gets worse. At 48,000 miles the THIRD head gasket was leaking.

    It appears, my friends, that it wasn't the head gaskets at all -- GM had designed too thin an aluminum head on the engine, and after a lot of warmup and cool-down cycles, gaps started appearing between the aluminum head and the cast-iron block. GM would never admit this, and seeing that replacing a head gasket once was a lot cheaper than replacing the entire head, they went the easy route at the expense of countless tens of thousands of owners. This problem persisted through the 1995 to 1999 model years.

    We saw that this was a no-win situation, even after lots of correspondence with GM "Customer Service". GM flatly refused to help us any further, when obviously there was a design flaw. Head gaskets last a hundred thousand miles, not six thousand miles. But they stonewalled us everywhere, from the dealership (we tried three) to the corporate level. They simply refused to stand by their product, even though Internet research and talking with the dealership's service writer revealed that this problem plagued all Cavaliers with this engine.

    We traded the car, still leaking like a sieve and in need of its fourth head gasket, at the ripe old (for a GM product) age of 52,000 miles, for a 2002 Mazda Protege5 which now has 36,000 miles on it (three head gaskets by GM standards) and has had zero problems. I will never, ever buy another GM product. If something goes wrong, you're on your own, I've learned.

    Now enter Mazda. Having purchased five new Mazda products over the last 13 years, I was unfortunate to buy one lemon -- a 1994 Mazda B2300 pickup -- in December 1994. For those who don't know, Mazda pickups are rebadged Ford Rangers, and I got one of Ford's lemons with its notorious 2.3-liter, 8-plug 4-banger. I didn't know any better at the time, but this engine is plagued by lean driveability problems (it pinged ALL THE TIME). (It's the same engine in the late 80s - early 90s Ford Tempo -- and you can find LOTS of complaints on those engines.)

    Anyway, my troubles began at about 8,000 miles. The thing had never gotten even close to its EPA gas-mileage ratings (19 on the highway; it was rated at 26), and the engine started sounding like a Coke can full of marbles all the time. I had it back at the dealership many times under warranty while they checked and adjusted things. I was confident they were making progress, and I trusted them as they made one change after another in an effort to get to the root of the problem. Alas, they didn't -- but they never stopped trying, and they never charged me anything even though the truck never stopped running as a result of this. By the time someone told me I might have a lemon-law case, it was too late for my state's lemon-law requirements -- the truck had too many miles on it. So I did all I could do -- I kept complaining to my dealership.

    My dealership threw up its hands after trying everything they could do by making engine adjustments and checking sensors -- so I contacted Mazda NA. Now, instead of stonewalling me like GM did, they arranged a meeting with me, my truck and a Mazda NA rep at my dealership. He rode in the truck with me (on two occasions), heard the noise and ordered that the entire engine be torn apart, if need be, to find a fix. They kept my truck for almost three weeks, sending the block out for remanufacturing, replacing the head and the intake and exhaust manifolds, the catalytic converter, and a wealth of sensors and other parts. I saw the bill -- over $4,000. I didn't pay a cent. This was at 54,000 miles, by the way -- 4,000 miles past when my warranty expired.

    Mazda obviously did not want to admit that they had gone with a bad Ford engine in this truck. But I think they admitted it indirectly by redesigning the engine in only its second year -- ooops, there's where I learned NOT to buy any vehicle in its first year of production!!!

    But I have nothing but praise for Mazda's customer service and doing everything short of eating the truck -- which I think they might have done if I pursued it further. They did offer me several pretty fabulous buy-back deals, but I was too upside-down to take them up on them at the time. When it finally did come time to trade the truck, they gave me nearly $1,000 more than it was worth toward my 2000 Protege, and they gave me the "college grad" discount (which is only good for first-time car buyers) even though they knew well that this was my FIFTH new car from them.

    My Protege has 80,300 miles on it this morning, and it has never been in the shop for anything other than maintenance. After my experience with the truck, Mazda and this dealership (Whitten Brothers Mazda in Richmond, Virginia) have my business.

  • everfebeverfeb Posts: 115
    Have you had a new fuel pump installed??? Did you see an improvement in your gas mileage and or crank times once the new pump was put in????? Have you had any subsequent problems related to the installation of the new pump????

    I've been getting sickeningly poor mileage (trust me) and crank times to start have been getting longer and longer and longer. Mazda service says "fuel pressure drops slightly over a 5 minute period" and have ordered a new pump for my 3.

    I hope-almost pray this solves the problem. Comments???

    Thanks for the help!!!

  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Even an earth worm can tell the difference between cool and hot - You may not agree with what I have to say about the Mazda3 AC defect / or anything else - but please give me the benefit of the doubt - I can tell when I am sweating.

    mdaffron - so when did Mazda change to the GM method of handling customer problems?
  • rinebirdrinebird Posts: 83
    Here is a NTSA web site for vehicle complaints etc .I see where Mazda bulletins are on there for 2004.Also anyone can search for a bulletin and or file their own complaint.
    I have the other site you mentioned that another owner put in this thread. That is where I got my mazda brake problem(grooves in rotors) TSB.I went back to my dealer and they fixed it.( first time they said nothing was wrong with my brakes).
  • drywalldrywall Posts: 18
    I just had an extraordinarily unpleasant experience with my Mazda 3, made possible by poor, thoughtless design. What caused it? I left my lights on while I was at work.

    Came out of the office to find my car dead, which was odd. Eventually figured out I left the lights on which must have drained the battery -- something that never happened in my 1996 Sunfire, which was smart enough to just turn off the lights after a while if I forgot. And really -- if my eight-year-old, $16k GM car is smart enough to not let the battery drain when the lights are left on, why isn't my brand new, $18k Mazda 3? Kind of annoyed about this, but then again, it was my fault for leaving the lights on.

    But that's only the beginning.

    I flag down a co-worker, ask him if he has time to give me a jump. He drives his car over next to mine, and we discover he has no cables... no problem, because I do.

    Except that my cables are under the floor in the hatch. And the hatch can't be opened if the battery is dead: no remote release, no keyhole in the back, nothing. The only way to open it is to fold down the rear seat, and reach/crawl inside, pop open a cover and use the "emergency release."

    I didn't actually bother to do this (instead I just emptied out the back and removed the floor piece), because my owner's manual tells me that after using the emergency release, I should bring the car in for service at a dealer. For using an emergency release? Are you kidding me?

    The car is fine now - although I need to reset the clock as well as re-program all my radio presets - but I'm amazed at the sheer thoughtlessness of the design that A) lets headlights kill the battery (I thought we'd gotten past this problem years ago), and B) prevents easy access to the obvious place to store emergency materials, e.g. jumper cables, in case of emergency.

    Just thought I'd share. Now, back to the radio re-programming...
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