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Mazda3 Maintenance & Repair



  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    1. "But Mazda is simply "not" helping everyone in the way they helped him. Why? That is all I want to know."


    2. "Do me wrong once, shame on me. Do me wrong twice, shame on you."


    I have an alternative to your No. 2 quote that may shed some light on your No. 1 quote:


    "You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."




    Too many people in the world today want instant gratification. If they shell out their hard-earned money for something, then it darned well better work RIGHT -- or else! If the dealer can't (which is sometimes perceived as "won't") fix it right THE FIRST TIME, then it's gloves off!


    My dealer admitted that I had a mysterious problem that would take some time to identify. (Turned out, it never WAS identified.) When my service adviser assured me that they had documented the problem, and therefore they wouldn't turn their back on it, I felt better that this long-term "teamwork" would go much farther than slinging arrows at him. And while yes, I did take the truck in for the next "whack" at the problem probably 15 times during the course of ownership, it was over a four-year period, which equates to less than four times a year. That's really not that inconvenient, since I usually took the opportunity to give it an oil change and tire rotation at the same time! Over time, I started finding my truck being returned to me fully washed and prepped as if it were a new car too!


    Yes, some dealers may be easier to work with than others. Maybe my dealer was more willing to work with me since this truck was my third Mazda from them at the time, and I'd been a customer of that dealership for more than four years when my problem occurred.


    To this day, I firmly believe that staying with the same dealership for 14 years has really been a successful move for me. Case in point: Back in January 2002, when I went there with my wife to purchase her 2002 Protege5 (which would be my fifth vehicle from the dealership), I went there armed with her current car's trade-in value and all the "fair market prices" and everything else I could get my hands on, ready to negotiate.


    Their first offer beat everything I had in my hands, and we even got a few accessories (rear bumper step plate for one) thrown in at a 75 percent discount.


    My service manager, who always greets me by name (and who let me take a brand-new Mazda3 home to play with for a weekend last May), has already told me what he'll sell me a new 3 for, whenever I'm ready. He's also advised me how far ahead of that time to call him with exactly what I want on the car so he can order it and have it at the dealership when I'm ready to make my purchase. He urged me to do that so the car will be on the lot and in their current inventory, so he can apply any offers pertaining to "limited to stock on hand" to the exact vehicle I ordered.


    Sometimes it pays off in the long run to keep your temper in check and play the game in the short run.


  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    So I would expect more negative comments.


    When a Mazda3 owner posts about a problem and then someone responds with how great Mazda is it is an automatic conflict.


    Your -dealer competence- remark is on target.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Actually goes: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." As in, "How could I let these people take me twice?"
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Problem is, we're not paying attention to it.


    "Fool me once?" Twice?


    I think the operative term here is "fool." I was never hoodwinked by my dealer. They shared everything up front and I knew the hand they were playing from the first time I had the problem. Seems the other guy's less-than-trustworthy dealer tried to mess with him from day one. If mine had done that, I would've gone *dealership* shopping (for a new service department) long before I went *car* shopping for a replacement car. By opting for the latter, you take a big depreciation hit in the wallet -- and it should be the course of last resort.


    Short answer: Nothing says you have to take your Mazda back to the service department at the dealership you bought it from. If they're messing with you, take it elsewhere.


    (My truck did visit Quality Mazda in Petersburg a few times when I first thought I was getting the run-around from Whitten, but then I realized Quality was a misnomer! It wasn't long before I was back at Whitten with my truck problems. Maybe that's part of what made them extend the helping hand, because they knew I wasn't afraid to go shopping!)


  • cdnp5cdnp5 Posts: 163
    I have to say this has been interesting. I think the more you pay for something, the less patience you may have for problems. But I also believe this is sad the way that dealers are becoming. I have a very good dealer for support with my car like Meade does. They have given me the keys to their new cars for test drives (6-wagon, RX8) without me even asking. I only went into the showroom to look at the new models while I got my oil changed. At other dealers it can feel like you are asking Dad for the keys after you just smashed up his car, lol.

    I will say that these bad dealers are not helping Mazda at all with improving their brand image. I will also say that this is not just a Mazda issue. I hear stories everyday about car company X and how they will not fix somebody's car. I personally think that if there is something wrong with the car then any dealer in their network should fix it, no questions asked. I had one dealer refuse to fix my rear brakes (common P5 problem) but the dealer I use now (this is why I switched to them) did it no questions asked. Actually they warned me of the issue before working on my car. For that, they will get my service and if we buy another Mazda, they will get my sale.

    I guess buying a car today is more than picking the car you like but also finding the dealer that will support you. A lot of people are more interesting in getting the lowest price possible, I will pay a couple of bucks more to ensure I get good service. Should it have to be like this, no, but this is the world we are in today. Good luck to all of those with their new cars.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    So in your mind at the same time is -


    Mazda has great service - &


    If they don't fix my car - take them to court and hammer them with the lemon law- &


    Be nice - you can catch more flies with honey


    Actually if you really want to catch flies there is something better than honey - and this substance can also be used to describe Mazda's level of customer service.


    Your instant gratification remark is over the top - I have been dealing with these problems for OVER A YEAR NOW - Fix it right the first time you say - I have made 13 trips to the dealer for warranty problems in less that 12 months. Yes - I paid for a new car - but - shame on me for expecting a new car to - have an AC system that actually cools my car on a hot day - have a transmission that shifts smoothly - have brakes that don't make loud grinding noises.


    But of all your half baked comments one stands out. You say "And while yes, I did take the truck in for the next "whack" at the problem probably 15 times during the course of ownership, it was over a four-year period, which equates to less than four times a year. That's really not that inconvenient"


    Most people would see almost 4 trips to the dealer per year as a very bad thing - most would also see 4 trips to the dealer per year as VERY inconvenient. With your expectations for customer service so low I can now understand why you think Mazda provides good service. I on the other hand expect more and as far as Mazda customer service goes see nothing but flies!
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,574
    and you guys won't have a problems and solutions forum to discuss your car's problems...


    Disparaging remarks about each others posts will quickly shut this forum down..


    Just a little friendly advice..




    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I was attempting to shed an alternative light on taylor's troubles. Funny, you seemed to take the generalized statements I made personally, when they never were directed toward anyone in particular. I was not personally attacking you, but since your only way of responding during a healthy debate is personal, this is of no use. And since I don't yet have a Mazda3 and therefore am not contributing directly to the subject at hand, I'll go back to participating in the less stressful discussions on the Mazda3 and let you keep raving to the poor wretches struggling with this horrible nightmare of a car that's No. 1 in Consumer Reports right now. Bye!


  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    It all comes down to this:


    It's a car, and it's having problems. All car makers put out a lemon once in a while, and Mazda is no exception (I think we BOTH can agree with that!).


    How much you let it affect you is the decision you alone have to make.


    I hope you find something you enjoy, because after all, that's what's most important.


  • taylor3taylor3 Posts: 16
    "Wow" this is so hot now, cant touch it...LOL.


    I really feel everyone on here is right in their own way. I do. There have been good points made by everyone....yes, everyone! You have good, you have bad. That is life.


    I did take a major hit on getting rid of it, but only as the last resort as mentioned above.


    But when I mentioned "much" communication, It was with a cool head believe it or not. I know anger with cars and dealerships gets you absolutely zilch. I knew them all by first name and they knew me by first name as well. Heck, I even brought them a bakers dozen of bagels at one point when they did finally fix one of the nastier problems after 4 tries. But still, they (my purchasing dealership) and "YES" the SECOND dealership I dealt with still gave me hard times on most of the other issues. And it took many, many tries to get problems acknowledged and "maybe" solved. Some of the times, the car would not duplicate the problem while at the dealership...Not their fault I guess, but still eventually a lot of the issues showed their ugly heads when I was nowhere near a dealer. It made me wonder, did they try or was that the easy way out? That gets exhausting...I know all of you know what I mean who have been in that situation.


    I guess all in all, I ended up with two "haunted" Mazda cars that drove both them and me crazy. The only thing left to do, was get out. And I did. But I just cannot help the feeling that I was really and truly let down. And that is why I will not buy Mazda again. That is natural and that is life. But, on that note, I am glad to hear some of you have had a good time with your cars and dealers, that is good to hear that some of them are capable of it. But not all dealers are created equal no matter how much they may act like your buddy.


    Time to stop this you all. Cant we just all get along?......
  • big_guybig_guy Posts: 372
    taylor3, how are you enjoying your Scion? Isn't that what you got to replace your Mazda3?
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Brother Meadeball
  • doying5doying5 Posts: 83
    The technicians who work at repair shops and dealerships get paid by the work they do. They want to find something wrong with your car (which is why sometimes people get ripped off and fix things they didn't need to).


    If your car is under the manufacturer warranty, the shop gets paid from the manufacturer. If you have a service agreement, they get paid by your carrier. If you have nothing, they get paid by you.


    I mention this because a common thread I glean from some of these posts is that Mazda refuses to fix the problem you are having. It really doesn't work like that. There isn't a guy on the other end of the phone saying "no, no, no" like the commercial.


    Generally speaking, the technician will call Mazda because it is an issue they haven't had at their store and the on board computer (black box) isn't registering a problem and they haven't been able to get the car to reproduce the problem. Please don't be surprised that they don't fix a problem they can't identify. If he doesn't fix your car...he/she does not get paid.


    On the flip side I hear the frustration of those that have an issue not being resolved. It is a pain in the @*($^&;#*. I agree. But to blame Mazda for poor customer service is not a logical conclusion.


    The tech understands that if he cannot find something to fix, he does get paid.


    The dealer understands that if they don't fix a customers problem, they don't make money, they lose the customer and they get a bad reputation.


    The manufacturer understands that if they don't fix a problem, they get a bad rep and they don't sell cars. They don't get endorsements from consumer reports (and the like).


    Put yourself if their shoes for just a moment and see how frustrating it must be to be given a problem to solve at your job, but every where you turn you can't figure out why the problem occurs. You can't fix it and thus you don't get paid.


    Techs put their heads under the hood as a profession because they enjoy working independently and sadly aren't usually the best people to deal with customer service issues on a personal level.


    My suggestion to anyone who is having an issue that cannot be replicated is to ask your shop to drive your car for a few days.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    ... and for more than a week on two other occasions. They said they could not replicate the problem, and I said it occurred more on damp mornings. After having had our fill of leaving the truck there overnight so they'd have it nice and cold and dewy, to no avail, they finally asked me to give them the truck for a few weeks so it could become the head mechanics "primary vehicle." Sure enough, he drove it home and to work for three weeks. And he found enough evidence to order a complete engine rebuild.


    BTW, I was provided a nice, shiny, brand-new 626 ES to drive while my truck was there. Sure, it wasn't a Mazda6 (der, they didn't HAVE Mazda6's back then), but it was definitely a step up from my $10,500 B2300 5-speed!


    Oh -- and I was about 15K miles out of warranty at this point.


    Hmmm folks, maybe I found a real oddity in the Mazda dealership network. If you'd like directions to Whitten or a phone number, just ask! :)


  • waygrabowwaygrabow Posts: 214
    So what do you do when you have two cars of the same brand and one gives you flawless service for over 150,000 miles (mine) and the other one (my wife's) was constantly at the dealership (i.e., five water pumps in less than a year)? We went to 3-4 different dealerships. All were happy to work on the car, but the problems kept recurring. Should I demonize this manufacturer to all potential customers, or praise the performance of the reliable car?


    We elected not to buy another of that brand for a while. Plenty of nice looking cars from other manufacturer's to try. Perhaps someday their reliability will return.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I agree with most of what you are saying - but you are leaving out an important fact.


    The manufacturer (Mazda in this case) must authorize the dealer to make the repair - if no authorization is given then the dealer will not get paid. The dealership does not have a blank check to make whatever repairs they want.


    The Mazda3 had (maybe still has) problems with its rear brakes - so I will use this as an example. (IMO the AC system defect is in the same boat). I would bet Mazda authorized some repairs when the car first started being sold - brake pads and rotors were being replaced - but the problem returned. So Mazda stopped authorizing replacement of these parts. During this time - dealers would tell customers that the car is operating as designed and that the condition was normal. Mazda was working on a solution to the problem - but did not want to tell customers that - because they were not sure what they wanted to do about it. They did come out with a procedure to "FIX" the grinding brakes - I had it done to my car - the noise went away for a few weeks - but has now returned. The strange part is - I have been told that grinding brakes are normal - then told they had a fix for the PROBLEM - now I am told that the grinding noise is normal again. The fix did not solve the problem - Mazda has made a decision to NOT fix this condition - so if a dealer replaces these items on my car - there is a good chance Mazda will not pay for the work.


    Now sometimes a dealership will agree to fix something even though the manufacturer will not agree to pay for it. It is - like you posted - a good business decision to keep a customer happy.
  • I purchased a set of 4 snow tires for my Mazda3GS, with rims, balancing, valve stems, was about 850 total including tax, were hercules polar trac...good winter tire, very quiet on the highway, good dry grip as well..

    not as good as blizzak on ice but still acceptable and a lot less cash.
  • Just wondering if anyone else has been shafted with this. I called to get an oil change at the 24k mark, plus get the faulty airbag sensor replaced. He asked if I had had the 24k service and I said no, and he explained its just the oil change with a few extra checks.


    When I called they said I would have a loaner car and it would take 2.5 hrs including the sensor.

    I showed up at OS Mazda in Ontario, Canada..

    They told me it would be an entire day job as they were backlogged and were not sure they could give me a loaner.

    I finally got one and spent the day in this city as I live an hour from it, and came back at the end of the day. Usually they make you sign a work order before going ahead, in this case they did not. They rang up the final bill for...285 dollars???

    They had added a 116 dollar brake job plus 35 bucks for the kit...and when I had my snow tires installed less than 2 months ago the tire company had said my brakes looked brand new.


    They proceeded at the mazda dealership to "clean and sand" my brakes that looked and worked like new anyways, and it drove the bill from 77.50 to 283.50...

    Unless you are having any serious issues with your 3, i would suggest not agreeing to their 24k/12month service...

    Total RIP.

    I am mailing Mazda Canada a complaint as to them not going over the service order or having me sign it ahead of time or I would never have had this service done in the first place.
  • Sorry to interrupt your discussion, but it seems my 3 has come down with z7Bill's famous dash rattle. it clicks over bumps, just behind the stering wheel. sound familiar? i wanna pull the part off, and put foam in the slot, but am a little afraid of breaking something. am i supposed to pull the part that sticks out above the gauges directly towards the stearing wheel? how much effort should it take? thank you...
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Correct - straight back towards the steering wheel.


    It should not take very much effort to pull it apart - I never took the part all the way off only moved it back a few inches.
  • waygrabowwaygrabow Posts: 214
    My 15,000 mile (24K) cost $89.95 USD. That included oil & oil filter, top off washer fluid, lub all locks & hinges, check lights, rotate tires, replace air filter, visual overall inspection, replace crash zone sensor, service A/C system (repair leak, recharge, install special order part), and replace purge control solenoid valve. I drive 50 miles to this dealership because, so far, they have treated me fairly.
  • 68mpolo68mpolo Posts: 21

    just wondering...why did you have to get the purge control solenoid valve replaced? I will be approaching the 15K service soon.


  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I think replacement of the purge control solenoid valve has something to do with the CEL problem - Mazda replaced mine on 1 of the 4 trips to solve this defect. It has nothing to do with maintenance.


    waygrabow - The AC leak - did they tell you where it was leaking? Was the special order part the defuser?


    I have noticed if I take the protective caps off (both high and low side) I get a small PSSST sound (just when I take the caps off - not continuously) - my valves have slight leaks - IMO the valve should not leak - the cap is in place to keep dirt out - not keep the refrigerant in. At one point I though this was the cause of my AC problems - but the refrigerant level is not low.
  • waygrabowwaygrabow Posts: 214
    I had the purge control solenoid valve replaced because the CEL came on about 3-4 days prior to my service appointment. The car was still running fine; I just had them check why the CEL was on.


    Never was told where the A/C was leaking. The special part was the difuser plate. The A/C has been my only disappointment on this car. I almost never use A/C here where we live. We don't have A/C in our home either. But if we go on a trip to lower altitudes, that could change.
  • Has anyone found an aftermarket air filter for the 2.3? Fram apparently doesnt make one yet...

    I don't want to use K&N..
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    When I go over expansion joints in the road or hit a small pot hole I am getting a large clunking sound - mostly on the drivers side.


    I noticed it for the first time about a month ago - but now I can hear it on ever bump.


    Anyone else having any noise from the front suspension? Sounds like a bad strut - but if I push on the front of the car - making in rock up and down - it seems solid.
  • big_guybig_guy Posts: 372
    I replied to something similar to this a while back ... I had the same sound on my MPV. The problem was that the front suspension was rubbing against the plastic shield material they use to line the wheel well. To fix it on my MPV they just trimmed a little bit off the plastic shield and the sound went away. I think there was even a TSB about this. I may be the same issue you are having with your Mazda3.
  • daryldaryl Posts: 41
    Just curious why you don't want to get a K&N air filter? I'm considering one along with the cold air intake system.

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