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Mazda3 Maintenance & Repair



  • 68mpolo68mpolo Posts: 21
    I have a Mazda3 Hatch with automatic and I've only been averaging about 26 mpg recently. I drive 90% highway, 72 miles rountrip from home to work going about 70-80 mph. Once I get my car back I'll drive between 60-70 mph and see if that makes a hugh difference.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Under the circumstances you describe, burning winter-blend fuel, with an automatic hatch, it sounds to be that 26 mpg is well within the envelope of reasonable expectations.


    The combination of relatively short gearing, 75 mph average, and lower-energy winter fuel means less than optimal mileage. Same conditions in the summer would bring you up maybe 1-2 mpg, which again, would be well within my expectations for this car at these speeds.
  • I am currently shopping for a new car and was looking at the Mazda3. I am trying to find out if they have fixed the brake and AC problems in the 05 model? While I can find posts stating the 04 Mazada and Focus has thes problems, I have been unable to find any where that say's they have been fixed.


    The only info I have been able to find is on the 05 Focus, and it appears it has not been fixed in that platform.
  • I also live in Houston. Any feedback on the later '04 and 2005 Mazda3s? I'm considering a 5-door Manual model. Thanks!
  • Well, i'm glad it's not just me that is kind of nervous driving with the stock tires... I was beginning to feel real like a real wuss there for a while. I've only had 1 experience in the snow with my Mazda and I seriously saw my life flash before my eyes several times.


    My husband works for Bridgestone/Firestone and gets a discount so as soon as I can get to their store i'm getting something new.


    One question though, would it be better to just get 4 new all-season tires or just find 4 rims and get actual snow tires? We dont have a garage so I dont really know where I would store them. (I had 4 All-seasons on both of my previous cars and they were fine.)
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    FWIW, I only played with the stereo when checking out Mazda3 models a while ago, but I thought the stock stereo and speakers sounded pretty good, though I had to adjust the equalizer settings to get the sound I like. If you want to boost vocals, increase the mid-range boost. Of course, better speakers would greatly improve the sound.
  • runinrunin Posts: 30
    I bought some universal mudflaps at Autozone and put them on the front of my car myself. Didn't seem like the rear needed it. They cost me about $10 and a few extra dollars for the screws but much cheaper than the $50 or more you will pay for them through mazda. Go that way if you want them.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I don't really have any input on the 2005 model -

    I have 3 S sedan with the dreaded 10/2003 build date. So I have had more than my share of problems. The big problems that are still not resolved - grinding rear brakes, hard shifting (1st-2nd gear) automatic tranny and the biggest pain - a defective AC system.


    I had thought about taking a test drive in a 2005 model on a 95+ degree day - take my thermometer along and see if I get any colder air out of a 2005. Then see if I can get Mazda to also recognize the problem (if my air temp is like 10 degrees warmer) and fix my AC system. The second option would be to trade my lemon 2004 off on a 2005 Mazda3- but that just does not seem like a very bright solution. I have looked at almost every car on the market (under $30K anyway) and really don't see any that I would rather drive - but since Mazda has treated me so poorly it would be hard to jump into another Mazda. Kind of like - cheat me once shame on you - cheat me twice shame on ME. I now know for a fact that - once Mazda gets your money you are on your own - they could not care less if you have a good ownership experience.


    Since the temps are kind of cool - I will just have to wait.
  • taylor3taylor3 Posts: 16
    Well I was finally able to get rid of this disaster of a car. After only 10 1/2 months and 12,000 miles here is what i went through....


    14 different interior rattles affecting the dashboard, passenger seat, rear seat,clutch arm, sunroof glass, sunroof sunshade, headliner, rear hatch, rear cargo management system, door panels and all 4 windows...


    It went in (many times) mechanically to have....


    all rear brakes replaced, front brake calipers replaced, entire hydraulic system replaced on the clutch (and it was still messed up), replaced clutch switch,all rear shocks and springs replaced, rear hatch struts replaced, replacement of drive shaft bolts-they just "fell" off for no apparent reason according to the dealer, front suspension work, front left hub work, a/c work and more....


    When i sold it a few days ago(at a "loss" of course...I did not care, just wanted to get away from this piece of junk), the transmission was screwing up, the clutch was still nuts, and the power steering was acting erratic like it was "not" power steering and more groans and creaks and rattles out of the front end.....


    I dealt with two different Mazda dealers and they either would not or could not fix it and the Mazda 1-800 Customer Service Number Reps were absolutely "rude and nasty" to me....It is true about Mazda Reps,,,they dont care...They kept telling me..."you need to take it up with the dealer sir"....What a joke. What good is a warranty if they will not or cannot fix it? And what good is a 1-800 Customer Service number if all they do is rudely tell you to take it up with the dealer?


    I will "NEVER , EVER" buy a Mazda product again.


    Good riddance and anyone considering Mazda Products???....Run for your lives and do not even give them one penny for anything they sell. I obviously have gone with another manufacturer for my automotive needs.


    And also, when you look at this website and other owner websites, I am "not" the only one with issues on Mazdas.


    Good Luck''
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Sorry you got a lemon.


    My experience:


    1992 Protege LX: 28,000 miles, no problems

    (Until it was totaled, that is, LOL)

    1992 Protege LX: 83,000 miles, no problems

    2000 Protege ES: 87,700 miles, no problems

    2002 Protege5: 42,000 miles, no problems


    I did own a 1994 B2300 pickup which was plagued by engine pinging, BUT: (a) Mazda extended the bumper-to-bumper warranty for the life of the truck after not being able to diagnose the cause, and (b) I drove the truck 114,000 miles and it never had any problems other than a constantly pinging engine, which I later found out was a trait of the poorly designed 2.3-liter, 2-spark-plug-per-cylinder, SOHC piece-a-you-know-what Ford engine that was in it. (Same engine that was in the 1980s-1990s Tempos -- go do some research and you'll see!) Live and learn, but it never left me stranded in more than five years and 100K miles of driving.


    But as for the Japanese-built Mazdas I've owned, I've had zero problems with any of them in a combined quarter-million miles. Yep, I gave them another chance after the pickup, and I've had almost 130,000 miles of impeccable quality as a result.


    I'm sure everyone could tell you a "never again" story about one bad apple ruining the whole barrel. But there are lemons, and you kind of got what you asked for ... you purchased nearly the first off-the-line of a totally new vehicle with a totally new engine. I hate to say this, but go back and look at my postings from a year ago. OK, you ready? Here goes.






    P.S. BTW, what do you have now?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,730
    a re-badge of a Ford Ranger? I don't think there was a Mazda part in the whole truck... let alone, just the engine...


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  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I wanted to be completely and impartially fair with my list of Mazdas I've owned, so I included the B2300.


    But yes, the B2300 was a rebadged Ranger, right down to the 4x6-inch Blue Oval Ford logo embossed in the metal front suspension to the Ford part numbers on all the engine parts, to the MOTORCRAFT parts, hoses, wiring harnesses, battery, spark plugs, shocks, and nearly everything else in, on and under the vehicle! Heck, I even had to replace the oil filler cap once ... and I had to go to a Ford dealership to get it because Mazda wanted a couple of days to get one ... I guess an oil-filler cap ain't exactly a common replacement, but, er, well, when ya need one, ya really can't drive without one, ya know?




    Yep, for me, I guess it's "never another Ford product." But I will say that Mazda North America not only accommodated me; they sent a rep out to my dealership TWICE to meet me and talk with me about the problem, and once my warranty expired at 50K miles, they kept on meeting with me every few months to try yet another "fix" -- at one point keeping the truck for two weeks and spending more than $2,000 on a remachined head, all new sensors, new catalytic converter, etc. (I still have the receipt) -- all at no cost to me. (This was at about 65,000 miles.) And of course, every time they kept my truck, I got to test-drive another Mazda product as a loaner!


    Why did they not just give me a new truck? Well, for one thing, the symptom (pinging) was never enough to cause a driveability problem, and I was more satisfied with a "warranty for life" than with taking a chance on the same problem all over again. Besides, by the time I really got upset about it, I was already looking at a zoom-zoomy, Hiroshima-built, Japanese-all-the-way Protege ... and I didn't want to be in a Ford product for another five years!!!


    Would you?


  • eoghan1eoghan1 Posts: 58
    I bought some used tires to replace the original Goodyears because of my poor experience with them

    They are Dunlop Graspic's and the improvement is noticeable. I was surprised when I took off the Goodyears and noticed there is a M&S designation.(mud and Snow) on them. I think that means they consider them all season tires. So based on this and various other comments I think the way to go is with genuine snows like Blizzaks. Good luck finding rims. Tire Rack is sold out for the season and won't get any until next winter.
  • eoghan1eoghan1 Posts: 58
    Did you put them on a Hatchback? If so, how much did you have to modify them. The ones available from specifically say they will not fit on a hatchback, just the sedan. I did not find any recommended for the hatchback.
  • I test drove a 3S hatch in the summer of 04' and I took a thermometer along to check the A/C and it didn't cool down but to 44degrees F which may sound ok but is not sufficent when driving in 90 plus degree weather. My old Accord has the old R12 system in it and it cools to 36-40 degrees and keeps me very comfortable in extremely hot weather. I also noted that the rotors were groved noticably on this brand new 3. Rust had built up on all the rotors of the 3's available that day. Previous to the 3 test drive I test drove a 6 and noticed hestation in it and it didn't impress me. I had the mechanic put the 6 on the rack so I could see where the oil filter waslocated and I noticed and showed the mech. the cv boot on the right side was oped and had expelled its grease all over the tire and wheel. THis was a brand new 6 with the v-6 engine so this was enough to tell me Mazda and Sad to say all the other major manufact. ARE NOT BUILDING QUALITY AND SAFE CARS!!!! i'VE SEARCHED FOR 3 YEARS FOR QUALITY IN AUTO. AND ITS NOT THERE ANYMORE!!! The newer cars are more powerful but they are not build with quality as the number 1 priority. Large number of customers complain of airbags that don't deploy as well as major eng. trans. ignition. etc. Dealers can't fix these problems because they only have defective parts to replace them with. They DONT CARE ABOUT THE PROBLEMS BECAUSE THEY ARE TOLD TO SAY " I cant replicate your complaint and That's normal. they know the cars are defective but there is no one to call their hand so they keep saying these things in hopes that yo9u will trade or get off their backs. The factory won't take the time from production to fix a prob. it means lost $$$$. and they only want to sell and could care less about righting their wrongs!!!!
  • Please let us know about your a/c when hot weather gets here. Mazda is losing big $$$ because of brake and A/C issues they apparently haven't fixed.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    About 3 months ago I had to replace the refrigerator in my home - I noticed that it used R-134A refrigerant - So BTW does my new refrigerator. This is the same refrigerant used in the Mazda3.


    I know that there are major differences between a refrigerator and an auto AC system - but the basics are the same. My new refrigerator keeps my freezer at 5 degrees - and it is not even at the lowest setting. Many times last summer when the temps in Houston were close to 100 degrees + very high humidity - the AC in my Mazda3 would be blowing 58 degree air - sure it felt cool - but no way are you going to cool a car - on a 100 degree day with 58 degree air.



    You are completely missing the point - again. Seems like we had the same conversation last summer. So you have had 4 Mazda car that gave you no problems - so back in 1994 Mazda tried many times to fix your lemon PU. This is 2005 and Mazda will not fix MY car. I don't care what they did 10 years ago and really no one buying a new car today should care much about what they did 10 years ago. What people should care about is what is Mazda doing to help its customers TODAY.


    Ford purchased a larger stake in Mazda back in 1996 - at the time I think Mazda was bleeding so much red ink that they almost did not survive - do you think that maybe they (Ford) changed a few things - like maybe trying to cut back on the expense of caring about your customers.


    One more thing - your comment about not buying a new first year model - in some strange way it sounds like even you accept the fact that Mazda will not stand behind the warranty on their cars - like - better wait until they get all the bugs worked out because once you buy it Mazda will not be giving you any support.
  • It's common knowledge that a first year model from ANY car maker is likely to have problems[bugs] that need to be corrected. It has nothing to do with whether the manufacturer will, or will not, stand behind the warrenty.
  • taylor3taylor3 Posts: 16
    Bill, I agree with you. Mdaffrons point about "first year models" and his "I told you so" does not hold any wax to the candle. I have bought first year models before and have had no problem. Guess he sticks up for Mazda and makes it like they are "allowed" to have first year problems. I even suspect he works for Mazda and is a "plant" on this website. "Oh", mine was not the "exact first" off the line (almost 6 months later off the first line) and do your homework mdaffron, the 2.3 had already been out over a year in the Mazda6....exact same engine as the Mazda3.


    Well "mdaffron", you really should know something; "first year model" or not, does not work if the company will "not" help you with "any" year they make and are robot-like in always saying "we cannot duplicate the problem" or it "is normal" or "take it up with your dealer sir". Also, when I traded my car in, there was a couple there trading their "second year production 05' Mazda3". They told me they have owned it only two months and it has been in the shop 9 times. They got the same treatment. They have "had it" with their "sub-par" product and they have "had it" with Mazda Customer Service. Luckily, they were in a financial position where they could afford the loss of value to get rid of it,,but what about all those other poor souls? So quit taking up for Mazda or people on here are really going to suspect that you "are a employee of Mazda".


    Regardless of "year made", Customer Service is Customer Service, and if you treat people rudely, you have to "pay the cost". "Thank-you" internet. Before, the car companies got away with it,,,not now thanks to websites where future owners can see the "real picture" and the car companies still have not realized it. They better because......


    I personally work for a major university on the East coast. I have sent out a massive group email about my problems with Mazda to staff, faculty and students. It worked! I have received dozens and dozens of e-mails back "thanking" me for the information and now I (last time I counted) have stopped two-dozen Mazda sales and have prevented many of them from even considering Mazda now. And the number of sales I have stopped continues to climb. Mazda owes me an apology, and until they give me one, I will continue to tell my story and stop future sales.


    I am glad you like your Mazda, I liked one I owned a few years back as well(and it "was" a first year model). But they have changed and we can all probably thank big money and greed for that.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Why is it that you are allowed to bash Mazda because of your problems with one vehicle, but when someone (me) comes in to defend Mazda because they've had four really good ones, that person gets beaten up verbally?


    Isn't the Town Hall allowed to present both sides, or are we only allowed to present the negative?


    All I'm saying is, it's hard to believe that Mazda is slamming the door on one owner when they opened it wide to help another with his problems.


    No, my friends, I don't work for Mazda. (I wish I did.) I'm just a lowly management-level employee at a business in Central Virginia. I happened to fall in love with the Protege back when I left college and needed a small "econobox," and was about to settle for a Civic when I happened to pass by a Mazda dealership. I'd driven everything else and couldn't believe the features and performance the Protege had for the price. It's still a leader in those categories, and I'm sorry some of you have had problems with the 3. I don't forgive Mazda for its first-year woes, but I have seen Mazda make things right and I do believe they are capable.


    Just don't think the grass is greener everywhere else. We had a 1995 Chevrolet Cavalier with a known, published head gasket problem that was acknowledged by GM with a recall. Little did we know it wasn't the head gasket that was the problem, but a poorly designed head that didn't seat correctly on the block. Yes, GM replaced the first head gasket (a $600 job), but when the car started leaking coolant like a sieve another 8,000 miles later, GM Customer Service flat out told me, "The warranty was good for ONE head gasket replacement." We paid for the next one. Another 5,000 miles went by and the car blew its THIRD head gasket in less than 50,000 miles. We decided to trade the car for the Protege5 at that point.


    If anyone else is having these kinds of unresolved problems with their Mazda3s, I wouldn't give up so easily. I would've taken Mazda to court with a Lemon Law case back in 1995 had the troubles with my old pickup started within my state's lemon law time criteria. They didn't, and so the lemon law was no option for me. (In Virginia you have to have had the same problem at least three times in the first 18 months of ownership -- mine's problems didn't surface until it had 8,000 miles on it, and its third visit for the same problem didn't happen until it was almost two years old.) If your 3 has had the same problems repeatedly since Day One, you've got a textbook Lemon Law case in any state.


    I would highly recommend visiting:




    Taylor, it sounds like you may have had a lemon-law case that you should have pursued. I actually talked to a lemon law attorney way back in 1995 about my Mazda, at length -- to the point that we explored taking Mazda to court on a Magnuson-Moss Breach of Warranty Act case. (Still sound like I work for Mazda, btw?) But unlike a lemon-law case, that kind of case would've cost me more than I had in the truck and the outcome was uncertain. So I decided to take Mazda up on their "Till Kingdom Come Warranty" offer.


    Did you talk to a lawywer before you gave up? You might have wound up with a problem-free 2005 model and a refund of the payments on your 2004 up to this point.


    Ooops! Guess I sound like I work for a law firm now.

  • guestguest Posts: 770
    This topic is about the vehicle, not the people who love/hate it. Please drop the personal assessments of others that are based on their opinions/comments.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I have purchased several new model year vehicles - sure they all had some bugs - but so did most of the new vehicles I have purchased - first model year or not. Most of the bugs were fixed at my first oil change.


    But even if I agree that all new model year cars do have bugs - I must totally disagree with you -it has EVERYTHING to do with the manufacturer standing behind the vehicle. Isn't that a main reason most people buy new cars in the first place? You expect less problems with a new car - and if problems do show up - the manufacturer will fix them at no additional charge.



    mdaffron - So on one hand you are trying to say Mazda has great customer service - but then you go on to recommend taking Mazda to court and FORCE them to FIX or REPLACE a lemon car.


    It seems to me that if Mazda has such great service after the sale no one would need to use the lemon law to get their car fixed.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    You know what? You're right. I'm just plain stupid. All Mazdas are horrible cars. I'm going to go home tonight and drive my cars into a lake and file a false insurance claim so I can get out of these time bombs. And I was SO stupid to accept a lifetime warranty on a vehicle from a company that never stopped trying to fix a problem long after its legal responsibility to do so ended.


    As Forrest Gump said, "Stupid is as stupid does."


    But perhaps more importantly, he also said:


    "That's all I have to say about that."


    I'm dropping this thread of discussion. Now.


  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    And they should reap what they sow. So spread the word to your friends and family, good or ill. Good dealerships deserve more business. Poor ones don't deserve any. Our nearby Mazda dealerships vary from mediocre to good. The mediocre one was good at one point, then dipped to poor for a few years before rising up to mediocre. Unfortunately, it's the closest one (but luckily, the others are only a few to several miles further).


    So, if you're around Cincinnati, here's my ranking (best first) in terms of service: Jeff Wyler, Kings, Jake Sweeney. I've no experience with Kerry or Florence, though I've heard of some bad experiences with Kerry second-hand.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,730
    I've heard good things about Kings.. The sales experience at Wyler really turns me off, though..


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  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I've had experience with all three dealers in the Richmond area (Capitol, Quality and Whitten) and the dealer in Lynchburg (Amherst Motors). By far, sales and service ...


    Whitten Mazda.


  • runinrunin Posts: 30
    Mine are on a sedan with no side sills. I'm not sure what you would do with a hatchback that has the side sills. With mine I had to make no alterations. Here are some pics of my car. I have no closeups on the mudflaps but I think you can see them in most of the pics. Front set only.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    You left one out -


    Mazda is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you are going to get!
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...and that is it seems to be easier and more socially acceptable to complain in these forums than to praise the product. I've been following the Honda Accord Hybrid board, along with about 30 others at Edmunds, and it is simply amazing how many people take the time to put down the product and the company, and at the same time, shout down anybody with anything positive to say.


    Personally, based on some seat time in a 3, I was impressed with the car as a big improvement over its predecessor, but not as a necessarily more desireable alternative to the current Corolla, nor the likely-much-improved Civic that will be out this fall. But I also believe that ownership experience is very much colored by dealer competence - if you have a good one, a car with solvable problems is still going to seem satisfactory, and if you have an incompetent dealer, nothing is going to make the car seem right.


    It's both fair and reasonable for everyone with relevant experience to give the rest of us the benefit of their experience, both positive and negative. It's unclear to me why someone with positive views has to automatically be a "shill" who works for the company. Ease up.
  • taylor3taylor3 Posts: 16
    This section is called "problems and solutions", there is another area for people to praise their cars. I have done that on here before. I give praise where praise is due. I give information when I have been treated poorly.


    I agree, and apologize to call him an employee of Mazda (actually I would feel very sorry for him if he was). Anyway, this was the 3rd Mazda in my family and my second. The second one a "second" year production Protege5', gave me trouble too, mainly in A/C and Transmission woes. I traded it even after Mazda Corp gave me a hard time with that one, because I did like Mazda Products and that car and felt I may have gotten a bad one. When this Mazda3 went down hill from the beginning, I ''did'' look into lemon laws, but they are very tricky in this state. The dealers after much "communication" would finally get it fixed on the 3rd or 4th try. And also, it was never in the shop for "consistent" days, they always managed to get it back to me on the 3rd or 4th day. And sometimes they would leave the ticket "open" so as to not have another repair 'logged' telling me to drive it for a week or so and bring it back. Long story, I did not qualify for "lemon" status because they always found a way around it because they knew I was looking into it. My lawyer said I really had no case because all of the problems were different from each other and the consistent days factor never came into play. Also, lemon laws do not cover rattles, noises and thuds in this state either.


    And I would not even want an O5' model like he thought I should get after I met that couple trying to get rid of their problematic ''second year'' 2005 Mazda3. I am a busy guy, have to make a living and do not have the "time" to have to constantly haul a troubled car back and forth to the dealer to get things right. It was really ticking my boss off and it wears you out after awhile.


    Look, I am sure there are good Mazdas out there, right now, I dont know where (at least for me). But to have two different models go bad on me and the company not back them up was more than I could stand. I had to tell the new-car seekers what is going on. I am in an area where I guess the dealers do not care. Our friend was in an area where they do care, hence why they worked so hard for him on that B2300 truck. But Mazda is simply "not" helping everyone in the way they helped him. Why? That is all I want to know. That "does" make a massive difference in the ownership experience. And if I had gotten service like that, I would not even be on here writing in this section. I would be in the other section sending worlds of praise.


    But we have all said enough, let it rest. I am just living with the old saying...."Do me wrong once, shame on me. Do me wrong twice, shame on you." I sincerely hope everyone else loves their Mazdas, will keep them for years and years, buy em' again and again and never go through 'anything', not even a 'fraction' of what I went through. Trust me, if anyone has or does, then they will fully understand where I am coming from.


    Take Care.



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