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Mazda 323



  • 5spd5spd Posts: 38
    140K is nothing for this car *IF* the car has been maintained. (I am assuming you are quoting kilometer since you have a Canadian flag) If you have doubt about the transmission spend some money and have a professional take a look at it.
    And btw i think the price is a bit steep.
  • I'm looking at a 91 Mazda 323 (AT, PS, PB) in one of the local lots here. It's got about 150k on it, and the record checks clean, but I'm wondering if this isn't a little much for a twelve year old car? I've checked TMV and the Blue, and they concur, but still...

    Also, as this will be my first car (I'm 28. I was a late bloomer.) I'm trying to figure out if they're really as low-maintenance as rumour has it. I understand the parts are a little dear, but oh well.

    Mostly the car is destined for city driving with a fair amount of time on freeways and the highway out of town. I'm capable of doing basic maintenance myself (filters, fluids) but I'm wondering what major items are prone to dying on these models so I know what to budget for a slush fund. :)

    Thanks in advance from the newbie!

  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Have you tried plugging this vehicle into Edmunds' Used Vehicle Appraiser? While you're waiting here for more feedback, you may also want to check out Edmunds' Maintenance Guide where you can look up recall, TSBs, as well as the manufacturer recommended service schedule for the 91 Mazda 323. This may give you an idea of what kind of issues to look out for. Good luck.

    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • Thanks, Revka

    Oh I did that already. I walked into the dealer's office with about 15 pages of Edmunds and Carpoint data, a Carfax report and a lengthy checklist of stuff to look at before I took her out. I demanded a safety, title documents... the whole enchilada.

    Car dealers hate girls like me. :) I know. I've been reading about how much they hate us in one of the sales person forums. *giggle*

    The asking price was in line with LemonAid and the Edmunds prices (after conversion) so I didn't haggle too hard, but I tried for the sake of appearances. The Forms Must Be Obeyed.

    Of course, I STILL managed to have problems. *lol* Apparently I have magical invisible power steering on my model - I can't find a resevoir, even with a Haynes manual. :) (And yes, it's supposed to have it, dammit, I PAID for it...) So I have to send her back to the doctor for a few days to get it reinstalled - they took it out when they were working on the engine. Bah. *G* I was really cheesed last night, but now I'm just laughing that I didn't notice it sooner. I only noticed her fighting when it got dark and the temp dropped below -20c... then I had to stand on the wheel to make her turn.

    At the moment, she's undergoing a vehicle check at Canadian Tire so that if anything ELSE is wrong, I can specifically ask that it be fixed. (She idles high, she whines a bit when changing gears, and the one that worries me - she wanders all over the damned place... I think the wheels need to be aligned.)

    I bought her, and she runs like a kitten when she's *warm*. It's mostly aggrivating little things. And for those who don't think little things matter, sleep through a leaky kitchen faucet sometime. :) Small drops, big irritable.

    I'll keep you posted. Thanks for the help.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    and thanks for sharing the details. Hope you get all the problems/issues... resolved soon, so you are able to enjoy your new vehicle. Good luck, and thanks for keeping us posted. We look forward to hearing more.... ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • 5spd5spd Posts: 38
    It would be unrealistic to expect no repair for a twelve year old car with 150k (km?) on it, agree ? So, here are some common problem areas of your car as far as I know :

    1. gas tank leak (~$300 canadian to replace with a brand new one)
    2. exhaust (cost varies depends on OEM or not)
    3. radiator leak from the plastic top (~$200 canadian to get a brand new metal one)
    4. timing belt water pump (maintanence item, $400 canadian parts and labour)

    Once these big items are taken care of you might have a few years of trouble free (well, almost) driving.

    Good luck.
  • I own a 1990 323 Hatchback 5-speed with about 210,000 miles. I've been the only owner. For about a year, when I step hard on the gas in fourth and fifth gear, the engine races but the car doesn't accelerate. Am I correct that this means the clutch is slipping? If so, I have several follow-up questions:

    A) Is this dangerous (i.e. am I risking my own or others' safety by not fixing it immediately) or merely annoying?
    B) What will eventually need to be replaced or repaired?
    C) How much will this type of repair cost (I live in Missouri, FWIW), and what's your experience with having it done at a dealer vs. at a private shop or transmission-only repair shop?

    I've seen some helpful posts on this forum and would like to thank those who've helped keep it going. Good job, everyone.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Yes, it sounds like your clutch is slipping. At 210k, I would say your clutch has about had it. For the most part, the slipping is an annoyance, but it can get dangerous if you pull out in front of someone and need to get going quickly. Eventually, the slipping will get so bad, you might not be able to get the car moving and then you are left stranded (worst case scenario). You will need to replace the clutch disk, pressure plate, throwout release bearing, and possibly the flywheel (only if the clutch has damaged the flywheel). While you are in there, you might as well have the rear main crankshaft oil seal replaced, as I'm sure it's leaking from there or going to very soon. Total repair costs should range between $400-600. I would have a private shop that you trust do it rather then the dealer. They will be cheaper and probably know what they are doing more. Hope this helps you some.
  • 5spd5spd Posts: 38
    Wow. 210 k miles on your 323. Very impressive. It is even more impressive that your clutch just started showing signs of giving out. You must have been a good driver. Mind if I ask whether those are mainly highway miles ?

    If is quite amazing how durable these small mazdas are. Too bad this kind of quality are not shown in the 626 or MX6.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Anyway, anyone have to clean out the ventilation system? I think I've got mold or something in mine. How difficult was it? If you had a garage do it, how much did they charge?
  • 210K on a 323 - cool! I have 130K on my 323(No a/c, has a manual drive, baught for $1000 in 1997 at 95K miles) and thought enough is enough (though the car is alright except clutch probably slips a bit). Anyway, I went out and baught a mercedes thinking I earned it for driving this "shopping cart with engine" for 5 years! But you guys reporting 200K plus on this little trouper are spoiling my party ;-)
  • Yea I have a 1991 323. I bought it from my dad last yea at 180k, he bought it new. Now its at 211k, I swear these cars just keep going. I have noticed the clutch slipping, same as with Johnbigboote. Other than that its running good considering the abuse, having 4 kids learn to drive a stick on it can't help too much. I'm not really expecting it to last much more after this winter. I've been putting off replacing the timing belt for 10k or so, I'm hoping it will hold together a few more months.
  • mx5mx5 Posts: 2
    We bought our daughter a '94 323 2 years ago. Had 107,000 kms., now has 152,000. Mostly normal maintenance (brakes, exhaust, plugs etc.) but also had to replace the distributor (~$400). Strut replacement wasn't cheap but really tightened the handling.
    We just put snow tires mounted on Miata rims on the car. Looks great.
  • I'm just posting this out there to see if anyone has any information about the next generation of 323(94-98 323F), this car does not get imported to the USA. i saw it in Bermuda when i went on vacation there but could never seem to find any info about this car. i know one thing though this car has much more style then the old 323 ever could have. its also a Four door. if anyone has anything, let me know....thanks -AKD
  • lawman1967lawman1967 Posts: 314
    I miss my 94 323 Hatchback. Despite the automatic, it was the best car I've ever had. Not the nicest, but certainly the best.
  • I'm considering buying a 1990 323 hatchback without air conditioning. How difficult and expensive would it be to add to this car. Should I try to find a factory unit at a wrecking yard, or take the car to an aftermarket air conditioning shop?
  • I have a '94 323 with 200,000 kms on it. The heat hardly works, last winter I froze!! It also needs around 1,700 Canadian dollars to fix a bunch of leaks, brakes, and broken axle. My brother says the dealer is trying to rip me off so I might take it to a private repair shop so it may not cost as much as 1,700. Resale is not much it has a couple dents.

    Should I get rid of it?? Or is it worth keeping??
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    I would not fix it - not for anything more than $400 - the car has 200K kms on it and it won't last forever (although if you fix it it could very well run to 250-280Kms). Resale is $1500 - $2500 max. However, whatever ppl say here, it ALL depends on your financial situation - don;t get a new car if you can't afford it. 48mths is a LONG commitment to $500+/mth (car+ins)

    If you have some spare change (like $20-25K CAD), you can get a new PRO LX/ES for 48mths/0% interest and get a great new car. The PRO is turning into the 3 next year so I think dealers will be glad to sell you one for a good price.

    If you can't you gotta look at used cars...

  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
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  • Just thought I would chime in here mine has 163,000 and is still going strong. Man these baby's are built!
  • It was the great memories from my dead-reliable 1994 323 automatic that led to my purchase last week of a brand-new 2003 Protege DX automatic. I wish they still had the 1.6 for the better fuel economy, but I'm really enjoying the poewr of the 2.0. Of course, the handling is phenominal and the car seems just as well put together as my old 323 was. I really hope it stays that way.
  • 323323 Posts: 1
    My 1992 Mazda 323 AT has a transmission problem. It lasted 10 months with gentle prodding at start-up when it wasn't driven for a day or two. Now, after I pushed a bit harder, it wouldn't move at all and the Hold light starts flashing after a few seconds in gear. The manual suggests it could be just an electrical problem. Switching gears does not produce any noise or knocks. It seems like it's stuck somewhere. I'm afraid to change fluid as it is not recommended after it gets old and dirty. Also, the fluid was and still is overfilled. It could be solenoid. Every mechanic I tried sees $$ signs when a woman walks in so they all say I need to replace it, but here these cars are not in demand and it's not worth the expense. It has 150K and some minor body damage. Any advice? Any inexpensive trick to get it moving again? I hate to trash my second 323 in less than a year (the first was destroyed in a hit-and-run)Thanks
  • Haven't gotten through reading all posts yet but wanted to say hi, just joined. Have a 92 323SE with 170,000 miles on it and it's still going every single time...never failed even when I accidently flooded the engine with high pressure water not knowing the distributor cap was cracked. My only clue was the car began to sputter a bit after about 5 miles of driving flooded. When I went to replace it...I found the wiring and all that good stuff completely submerged in water...and the thing was still running!!! I'm sold!!! It needs some serious tlc, so I'm hoping to learn from you all etc. as we go along. I'm also proud to say that at 170,000 miles (all original engine parts) and in bad bad need of a tune up my 323 still takes me from my hometown to Seattle WA (about a hour and half drive) and is reliable enough that I use it to deliver animal blood from our blood bank to a laboratory and critical care in Seattle...and by the way...I'm still getting 30 miles to the gallon on the freeway! Thanks Mazda. wish they still made em'
  • HI,
    I am a happy owner of 1992 Mazda 323 SE w/Auto box. I am really happy with it as it handles like no other econo-box out there - just like a mini go-kart.

    I have one big problem with it - the overdrive on automatic tranny is triggered by a temperature sensor - during cold Canadian winters it takes time for the car to warm up fully and sometimes travelling on the highway the overdrive does not kick in for a while (this causes very high rpm and poor mileage).
    Is there a way to override this temperature triggering sensor for the overdrive - I would like to make it so from the time I start the car the overdrive will work.

    Please help, thank you.
  • plittleplittle Posts: 1
    you know you might not even need to replace the clutch because some times if oil or something gets on the clutch disc or anything then it will cause it to slip also so you should take it apart and see first before you spend money on a new one but also if the clutch disk is wore out you will have to replace it anyways and if has never been replaced before. now would be a good time. oh and 210 000 ks good work.
  • nikgreynikgrey Posts: 1
    I have a 1989 323 1.8 Gti - 75000 miles.

    My combination Switch needs attention, when I indicate left (with lights on) my full beam is activated - I find that this annoys other road users.
    Also (this problem has been present for many years) when trying to turn the lights off I find that I need to indicate right in order to do this.

    Obviously the switch is getting old, I have had a quote from a Mazda dealer - £125.00
    Before I take the plunge and purchase this new switch I think it is worth asking forum viewers if there is any point in inspecting the switch and looking for any obvious problems which I will be able to repair myself..
    The switch seems fairly easy to remove, but I haven't attempted to take the actual switch apart yet..

    Any help would be appreciated, Thanks in advance.
  • hi3cmzhi3cmz Posts: 1
    Hi, Here in Taiwan we still see lots of Ford Laser (which is Mazda 323) runing, they are taxi here.. and your combination switch might be cheaper, if you want to provide a picture of your steeling wheel maybe I can ask my dealer for pricing.

    BTW, I drive a 1992 Ford Laser GLX 1.6, AUTO tranny, gas millage is impresive, 14 km/litre in heavy asia city traffic, my tranny shifting is kicking from 1 to 2 gear, so I am going to do a rework on hope plate soon.
  • Hi! I have a 1990 323 LX sedan with manual steering. I wonder if its possible to install power steering if I'm able to find (used) parts anywhere. Which parts are needed, which other models have the necessary parts, is it necessary to change the steering gear, etc? I realize that its probably money out the window, I'm just interested in what it takes :)
  • baz666baz666 Posts: 3
    I own a 1991 323 with the 1.5 litre engine and believe it or not it's got 375,000kms on it. So yes, it's a bit beat up but the little bugger starts and goes everyday. The problem I'm having is that the heater fan started cutting out once in a while then one day the wipers stopped working, both the front and rear wipers. Now I can't get the wipers or the heater fan to work. I've changed fuses, taken the dash off and looked for split wires or similar and can find nothing. I've heard people on this forum mention a "combination switch". Could this be the cause of my problem or is it something else?
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