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Mazda MPV: Problems & Solutions



  • windeyewindeye Posts: 9
    It would be great if you could share that
    sequence with us. Thanks.
  • windeyewindeye Posts: 9
    I was so eager to get you info so I posted the above message without reading through the posts
    followed. Thanks. Best wishes to you.
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    Yes, I do java programming, as well as html, and lan/wan admin. I work for a very large (for Alaska) ISP offering dial-up, cable, dsl, isdn (ack!), t1-t3 and fiber services. Probably should update my profile... javadoc has a double meaning for my handle: the java prog. reference, and the name of wife's coffee shop, Javadocs. Far cry from my old SCCA club racing days.

    Happy motoring! Hey, shouldn't MPV owners have a "wave" like VW vanagon and Eurovan owners? Hmmmm...
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Posts: 647
    don't always believe your mazda mechanic. If you look at the computer in the passenger footwell, just under/behind the glove box, you will find the standard ford EEC-V computer. The very same computer that is in the contour and many other fords. Now the engine managment calibration program running may be Mazda code. But I doubt the 'code' will make the hardware that much more reliable.

    That was not a big concern for me, as I believe the current generation Duratec is improved over the 95-97 model years. It certainly is not as stressed as the engine in the SVT.

    Unless your MPV is different from mine, its got a Ford computer, MAF and throttlebody. Who knows about O2 sensor, temp sensors and the like.

    I don't claim to know it all, but I'd ask your mechanic for a clarification. Especially if you do notice the ford computer under the dash.


  • gordobrgordobr Posts: 4
    It appears that my two month old ES MPV has developed some problems with the transmission. For the past few weeks my wife has been complaining that the car lurches when put in reverse and will sometimes do this in drive. After initially telling her that it is a matter of getting used to being gentle with the pedal as many prior posts have suggested (did not go over big with her)- this past weekend the car started going forward slightly when first put in reverse but only when the car has been running for about an hour and is hot. There is also a definite delay at other times in moving in drive when the gear is engaged most often when the car has been running for awhile. The dealer reproduced the problem, agrees that it is in the tranny with the gear not engaging right away and will be following some suggestions he got from Mazda about possible causes. He did not know what the problem was.Any suggestions since the members of this forum certainly seem to know more about the MPV than Mazda. Thanks.
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    Anyone know the Recall Number for the rumored bumper recall on 00 MPVs? My seemingly clueless dealer has not heard of it and I'd like to educate them.

    Thx for the info Tboner on the Ford/Mazda brains. Can't trust anyone anymore. Or, the mechanic was just blowing smoke up my #$%.

    Gordobr, I haven't had the problem you describe with your MPV on my '00 model. I have noticed that from time to time it isn't as smooth engaging Drive or Reverse from park. This is normally when cold tho, so I might attribute it to cold fluids. I did notice a significant improvement of the tranny performance after 6000 miles as opposed to the first 3000 miles.

    My two cents, but I don't know everything... ;-)

    Good Luck!

  • cyclerklmcyclerklm Posts: 26
    I haven't found the official recall number, but here are links concerning the issue and Mazda's response.
  • rjrerjre Posts: 3
    Does anybody have any suggestions on a product that can clean the rough surface on the lower part of the doors. It seems like there is something like a rubber coating there to protect the paint, and the detailer appears to have put too much black coating on the tires. As a result, the black sprayed on the lower doors and when I washed it off I believe it stained the coating with some small spots..nothing real major, but I want my beautiful MPV to be perfect, even if I am the only one to ever get down and notice them. The black washed right off the rear bumper with no problems. The detailer at my dealer was unable to remove the stains. I have tried a tar remover with not luck.
  • msgjvhmsgjvh Posts: 196
    Touchup Paint! It will cost less than any cleaner and should cover it on the rough coating. I know the best is to clean it, but I wouldn't want to risk scrubbing so hard something comes off or introducing a harmful chemical, when touchup paint should make it unnoticeable event to you. Its about $5 bucks at the dealer.
  • Hello to all, I just got an 00 MPV LX yesterday.

    - white
    - Touring pkg.
    - Rear A/C
    - GFX (I wouldn't have ordered this but... not so bad)
    - 6 disk in-dash
    - moonroof
    - MSRP 27,400 or so

    This minivan had been traded back in to our local Mazda dealer on a new 626. It was originally purchased in February, 00 and had 5200 miles. It was in virtually perfect "new" condition, the previous owner had come from a sports car and was dissatisfied with the idea of driving a minivan. They must have taken quite a hit on deciding to trade in so quickly. We will have 32 months/45000 miles remaining on the warranty. Funny thing, we had just this past Friday night researched new minivans to replace our 1993 Dodge Grand Caravan ES. When we went in for a test drive the "used" one caught our eye. It had been traded in just two days before - another customer had offered on the van and was declined on his credit application - and they had just returned the MVP to the front lot. We paid $19,900 +TTL (should probably have tried for lower but there were two other customers seriously looking at the van - one was going to test drive it, we liked it, so snapped it up). We are going through the same "WOW! What a great van" experiences that we see described on the various MPV boards. It is too early to tell for sure, but I estimate that we are going to get around 22 or 23 mpg on our first tankful check. The MPV is perfectly stable at all speeds (including the 75 to 85 mph that some find shaky) and it tracks perfectly (no pulling). I find the power adequate, though it is no racer from a standing start. Great fun to drive and best of all, my wife, the main driver, likes it A LOT. I have a few questions that maybe some of you more knowledgeable MPVers may know about.

    - When the car is warm (don't notice when cold) there is a sort of a small squeak/pop noise coming from either the steering assemblies or engine compartment/transaxle/front suspension areas. This is only noticed when accelerating from a standstill and it only does it two or three times each start. It sounds a bit like some sort of heavy spring loading - sort of a subtle "pop" (and I do mean subtle). Has anyone ever noticed anything like this or heard of it?

    - Our MPV was manufactured 7/99 and is due for the engine recalls. Does an orange tag on the drivers door mean that this has been performed? (I will check for sure with my dealer, just thought some here may know)

    - Has anyone removed the GFX package? Is it just a screw on affair (looks to be)? Is it likely that the four months of use has scratched or discolored the underlying finish in any way?

    Thank you in advance for any response that you may provide.
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    Any suggestions as to why my MPV is stalling on cold starts? I open up the garage, start the van, and it stalls, then stalls again as soon as I engage a gear. Doesn't do this once the engine's warmed up.

    I have to say, to anyone considering a Honda Odditty (oops!), the paint on the Mazda is far superior, which should make a difference in the long run. Look at any Honda that's a few years old. Rock chips and chips on the paint everywhere. I've seen 2000 Oddesseys with a myriad of chips in their hoods already.

    No, I won't say my wife is careless, but she won't park in the "no ding" zones at the mall. You know the ones, way out where no one will ding your doors, where I park my car. I've yet to see a ding, or scratch on the doors of the MPV, except on the rear bumper. So, Kudos to Mazda for not skimping on the paint like Honda seems to do.

  • dlncmaydlncmay Posts: 27
    WOW!!! Sounds like you got a great with the deal! I agree with your initial assessment of the van. I do not have the popping sound that you describe. Also, I don't have the GFX package. Our van has blue stickers on the door for recall work that has been performed. Join us on Topics 1179 and 1183, Cruisers Club and MPV IV, if you have not already.

    Take care.
  • Would like final thoughts on the following problems I've found in this forum relating to the MPV. Am wanting to purchase the LX with Security Package but am being reluctant considering the following re-occuring issues:

    * Vibrating - pulling to left ! (could the tire pressure actually be the fix?!)

    * bumper recall (must I buy an MPV manufactured after 4/00 ? Or is that even a help?)

    * AC not blowing

    * stalling! (A one time fix? If so, can this be fixed at the dealer BEFORE purchase?)

    * rear-bumper easily being chipped

    Seems like a line up of head-aches.

    Please help.
  • gagpgagp Posts: 32
    * Vibrating - pulling to left:
    - None on mine.

    * bumper recall:
    - Still no recall in Canada (a bit annoying though...).

    * AC not blowing
    - Haven't experienced it too many times here North !

    * stalling:
    - No stalling problem but yes, the van is hesitating sometimes. Got used to it.

    * rear-bumper easily being chipped:
    - You will have to get the rear step plate. Looks and works great !

    Hope it helps a bit ...

    Silver Driver
  • msgjvhmsgjvh Posts: 196
    If you realllyyy want to read about a line of headaches go read the Odessey topics and the Caravans. I will take our minor problems compared to replacing trannys and wiping door sills with KY any day of the week.

    As for the vibrating or pulling,seems me that if one of the new ones has this, it has been fixed by an alignment, proper inflation, or balancing.
    Bumper recall will happen soon. Just be sure not hit anything. (Normal when you have a new car).

    AC not blowing, I think that is an isolated incidient. Ours will freeze you out after about 5 mins.

    Stalling, never happened to us. Had to teach the wife how to start it true, but that is operator head space and timing.

    Rear bumper paint chipping, true I would agree that the paint on the rear seems to chip easily. But the fix is the step plate and a $5.00 bottle of touchup paint.

    For those of us that are owners, this "line of headaches" is easily tolerated any time you are behind the wheel. It truly is a great vehicle, the sound system is awesome, the side windows roll down (exclusive feature) and the moonroof is great. I would seriously consider making the jump to the touring package you will find it is well worth it.

    Good luck on your reading.
  • kondokondo Posts: 9
    After reading all the posts I possibly could about the MPV I was also hesitant to purchase. (I started out shopping for an ODY but all the posts here led me right to the MPV! Thank God for that!!)

    I had concerns about the pulling to the left, the vibrating, the engine etc etc.... At the time I truly felt we had reason to pause.

    One month ago we bought our LX. We have rear a/c, sec pkg, roof rack, 3 in 1, cargo net and the rear bumper step plate.

    Our van was mfg 2/00. Overall I am extremely happy with the van! More so than I thought possible.

    We purchased the bumper step plate before we left the dealer. It is sharp looking and will keep our bumper from getting scratched. Without a doubt a great investment! (It was either 34 or 43 dollars)

    I only remember one complaint about someone's a/c not blowing properly. I believe they have a unique problem that needs dealer attention.

    We live in a very hot climate and some days we don't even need the rear a/c on! Yes, the van does cool off slower than our car, but when you compare the size there is no comparison. A larger vehicle takes longer to cool off - tinted windows or not. But, once it is cooled my a/c works great as I have read with most other MPV'ers.

    As for vibrating and pulling to the left. (After reading everything I also questioned whether the problem was related to tire pressure.) I have experienced none of those problems. We made sure to test drive our van on the interstate going over 75 mph. I think this is an old issue that is not happening in the 2000 mfg MPV's (IMO)

    I wish the bumper recall had taken place prior to our purchase as the damage that can happen without the reinforcements is scary. But, I don't plan on being in an accident : ) and I personally felt it was not worth the wait. If you can wait and it's important to you then you should.

    I really can't stress to you how pleased we are with this van. We have no issues related to the power! (Personally I am sick of the subject.) The MPV runs great in the city and on the hwy. We took an 1000 mile trip and we cruised at 76 mph and passed without a problem.

    We broke the van in for 600 miles prior to our trip and we did not use the cruise until then. Now there is over 2000 miles on the van and it is running extremely smooth. I can't believe how much nicer it runs than when we first got it. And it ran fantastic then.

    I love my van. If what you posted are the only things holding you back I really don't personally feel you have cause for concern.

    We test drove a few other MPV's and some we knew just weren't for us. We ended up waiting another month once we heard that 3 in 1 was available. Once we drove our current van we just knew in our hearts it was it.

    I think that dollar for dollar we made a great investment. Every other non MPV van owner that has seen our van has really been impressed with ours. The MPV truly has some great features and dollar for dollar it beats out the competition.

    That's my opinion. I am going to hide this response since I got so long winded! : )
  • bigdipperbigdipper Posts: 8
    We have owned our LX for a little over 3 weeks with just over 600 miles and have not experienced any problems with our van except with the AC blowing. I believe it was my post that sparked that conversation and from the comments generated it does not seem that many people are experiencing this problem. It is not so much a problem with cooling the car, the AC works great and we have the rear air which we have not really used yet with only three people in the family. The problem was with the setting for top and bottom vents, the air flow seemed to get weaker. I spoke to our dealer and he said (don't know if he was blowing smoke)that for running the AC, the top vent-only should be selected since hot air rises. Unless we really need to cool our feet off, the top vent-only setting produces a very strong flow of air which cools the van quickly and the fan setting then need only be set to 1 or 2.

    Can't emphasize enough how much we enjoy our MPV.
    I strongly agree that the rolldown windows are a great and unique feature - only found on the MPV.
    It's great for the kids. We drove by our neighbors while they were taking a stroll with their kids. When we stop to say hello, I was able to rolldown the side window so my daughter could look out and say hi as well. My neighbor was amazed at this feature and said that they would be looking at the MPV to replace their older model Dodge Caravan in the next few weeks.
    Good luck with your decision making!
  • julyarjulyar Posts: 35
    I haven't had any of the above problems for what its worth. No pulling or vibrating at all at any speed, no stalling. A/C hasn't really gotten stressed here in CA, but we have had a few days over 90 and close to 100, but cooled the car off pretty quickly. I don't have many chips on the bumper, but I am also very careful, the $34 rear bumper step plate should take care of that. On the bumper, you just have to be careful not to rear end anything until the recall work is done. We love the van, and there have not been any problems worth mentioning yet, well... except maybe for my wife driving it all the time instead of me!!!!
  • meerameera Posts: 50
    I'm one of the few with a vibrating/ pull to the left problem. After finally going to another dealer for service it turns out it was the alignment which subsequently ruined the front tires. Anyhow, if you test drive a lot and on the highway, you will know if the van has the problem. I purchased ours based on options I wanted and just drove it around the block a little. My long test drives were in other vans at another dealer, that didn't have the options I wanted. Just make sure you go at least 75mph and you'll know if it's got the problem. I have an LX/Security and feel it is an exellent car now that it is smooth on the highway also. GOOD LUCK!
  • dlncmaydlncmay Posts: 27
    Wow!!! Several responses, but I will still add my typical 2.5 cents;)

    We have an LX w/ rear a/c, sec. pkg., & 4 seasons:

    No problems w/ vibrating and I think those that have experienced it have gotten to the root of the problem.

    Bumper Recall - patiently waiting for the recall

    AC - works great!

    Stalling - no problems!

    Rear bumper chips - bought step plate asap (looks good)! BTW $35

    Bottom line - No headaches, only pleasure driving a great looking, nice handling, full featured minivan, at a reasonable price.

    Take care.
  • blondemom1blondemom1 Posts: 90
    .... the topic just south of this one on the topic board? It was frozen since it had over 500 posts (holding hand over mouth while snickering).

    Trussmonkey: Don't worry! As you can see, we all are extremely happy with our vans. Even the people who have had some minor problems still love their vans. I've had my ES with moonroof, 4-seasons, CD changer for almost 7 months, and have driven almost 16,000 miles. I have experienced none of the problems you mention, nor any others. The van runs great, looks great, sounds great (awesome stereo system) and you'll look great driving one!! :)
  • pd10pd10 Posts: 5
    I had a problem @ approx. 4500 mi with screeching/squealling brakes on my '00MPV LX w/ Touring Pkg. The noise was awful.

    Turned out the problem was glazing on the brake pads.
    My local Mazda dealership picked up my van... repaired the problem at no charge...
    and returned the van to me cleaner than I sent it!
    No more squealling and I'm @ 8400 mi. now.
  • superbondosuperbondo Posts: 29
    My van still pulls to the left since it's back from service a month ago. The service statement said the air was set and front and rear tires were rotated, no alignment was performed, and no more pulling when he test drove it, and if any more pulling I should go back to the tire manufacturer instead of going back to the dealer. Yet it's still pulling since the first day it came back, and I am not going back to them because they told me not to. I don't think pulling is because of alignment because the van didn't hit any pavement, unless the alignment was defective to begin with.

    The AC is also not cold enough compared to other cars' AC (new and old). I don't know if it's the new freon or just my van since some of the posts refer to AC not blowing.

    Also has anyone noticed a persistent ticking sound emitting from the engine compartment? It seems like valve ticking noise similiar to my old car.
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    My MPV's @ the dealer right now actually. Glazing on the rear drums was the culprit, just as you say. Van has 9000 miles on it right now. The dealer's replacing broken locking lug nuts w/ regular ones.

    They're also trying to trace my ghost cold start issue, but it didn't present itself to them. Ho hum.

    Gas mileage is still good, and increasing. Looks like we're getting 19mpg with all in-town driving. Still love it.

    We're looking at an 86 Volvo 850R Turbo for me right now. Conveniently, the Mazda and Volvo dealers are one and the same in our two-horse town (Anchorage, AK, pop 325,000), so service is doubly convenient.

    Speaking of service, I have to say that my Mazda service experience is far and away better than that which I have experienced with the Ford POS I own, and am trading in for the Volvo.

    Happy trails!

  • dlncmaydlncmay Posts: 27
    Perhaps it is the tires. It seems like some past reading in one of MPV forums indicated that some owners traced the pulling problem to a bad batch of tires??? I believe it was the 16 inchers rather than the 15 inchers. Perhaps someone else has a better memory than me.

    I also think you need to get your AC checked. Too many other people are getting good performance from their AC in warm climates for it to be a systemic problem. Have the dealer check the AC.

    Take care.
  • meerameera Posts: 50
    The dealer that finally fixed my shaking/pulling believes it was out of alignment from day one. Was your van manufactured 7/99? Have you called Mazda? Does the steering wheel shake when you drive on the highway? Go to another dealer, that's what I finally did. The first dealer told me three times they had balanced it and everything was normal! Finally at 6000 miles the other dealer aligned it. By this time the front tires had worn very unevenly. Good luck!
  • hmo2000hmo2000 Posts: 1
    Just a note to be carefull with the vanity mirrors. My 3 year old bent the door too far and broke it. It won't stay up anymore. At first I thought I could live with it but then I realized that you really need that door to stay up if you use the mirror while driving! They will have to replace the whole visor......$83!!!!!
  • dlncmaydlncmay Posts: 27
    Ouch!!! Thanks for the tip.
  • roktmanroktman Posts: 4
    Tire pressure and alignment are the obvious things to have checked. If pressure and alignment are OK, then the problem is very likely a tire defect -- probably an off-center belt in the tire. I experienced this problem on another vehicle I once owned. If the belts in the tire (i.e. "steel belted" radials) are not laid up properly, this will cause the vehicle to pull to one side If the tire is on the front). A way to check this is to exchange the front tires and see if the vehicle now pulls to the opposite side. If it does, it's the tire. If the dealer rotates the tires and puts the bad tire on the rear, you'll think the problem is solved until the tire ends up back up front on a subsequent tire rotation. That's what happened to me before I figured out I had a bad tire!
  • rrbhokiesrrbhokies Posts: 108
    Going back to the dealer again this morning. We'll try it one more time.

    Pulling seems to have stopped after an alignment and balancing, but there is still a very noticable vibration beginning at 65-70 mph. So much so, that my hand vibrates violently on the steering wheel and my wife's hand will go numb after about 15 minutes of driving in this condition.

    We keep the tires inflated to 35PSI or so, just like the manual states, so I'm pretty sure it's not the tire pressure. I'm reluctant to tell the dealer what to do, but it just seems it has to be either the alignment, the rotors, or the tires. I just hope they can finally figure it out, because it is ruining what is otherwise a very fun vehicle to drive.
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