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Mazda MPV: Problems & Solutions



  • ryang4ryang4 Posts: 1
    We are looking into purchasing a 2000 MPV LX. We found one we like, but it doesn't have the 4 seasons pkg. We are concerned about not having heat in the rear because of our cold winters. Has anyone found this to be a problem?
  • brmudabrmuda Posts: 50
    Everyone I've talked to in Chgo area (a few dealers & Mazda cust relations in CA) has strongly suggested the 4-seasons pkg for anyone that plans on having rear passengers. It is NOT an expensive option (considering price for the vehicle itself).

    I've also read a few posts on this site from those that didn't get the 4-seasons pkg and are sorry they didn't. It seems as if some buyers weren't fully aware of its functionality when making their purchase.
  • I am thinking of purchasing a 2000 Mazda MPV LX with a towing package, to tow my small Dutchman popup camper. The hitch wt is around 120 lbs and the whole unit weighs 1200 lbs not loaded. I am a little worried since most reviews say the vehicle is way underpowered. I am currently towing the trailer, 4 bikes and a canoe with my 4 cylinder Toyota Corolla wagon (101 hp). I would appreciate any views people have on towing with this vehicle.
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    I don't think I'd tow with my new MPV, but that's just my opinion. Now, if they came out with a Cummins powered option, I'm all about towing (wink). I believe the new MPV is rated at 2,600# towing (properly equipped), according to Edmunds. Power-wise, towing 1,200 pounds will slow you down, but you will be okay, I should think. When towing, you are always better off using trailer brakes on the trailer. Safety first. Expect mileage to plummet (of course) when towing to about what you'd get if you owned a Ford Windstar.

    I towed quite a bit with my 1990 MPV. It was rated at 5,000#, and it only had about 150hp, but the frame was understandably more heavy duty on the earier model, and it weighed over 4,000 vs 3,600 for the new van. I had towed snowmachines, a power boat, jet skis, 21ft travel-trailer, and my race car (on a 20ft flatbed trailer), also building materials. No, not all at once.

    I would think (IMHO) that if you had the 4-Seasons package, you'd be better off towing than a van not so equipped. The reason I say this is because the 4-Seasons package includes a larger radiator AND (best feature...) a transmission cooler. This helps keep your tranny from cooking under the added load. Would that be covered under the warranty? Figure your Dutchman trailer will weigh a full ton when you put water, propane, clothes, dishes, kids' bikes, the canoe, your mother-in-law, all in it for a trip. You might feel like your van tows your trailer almost the same that your Corolla does, given similar p-t-w ratios. But, you'll have LOTS more room!


    --java (dispensing nonsense, and fighting crime!)
  • brantybranty Posts: 53
    Just got a "Hidden Hitch" installed on my ES (class 2 hitch). Have used it to tow a sail boat (small dingy and not a great deal of weight - no problem at all. Will be towing a Jayco tent trailer this weekend. The MPV manual indicates that the maximum trailer weight (plus baggage, food, etc.) is 3,000 lb (1,361kg) - that is with the Towing Package. The maximum weight for the van (hitch plus passengers and load) plus the loaded trailer is meant to be no more than 6,982 lb (3,167 kg). Will let you know how I fair with the towing upon my return.
  • Firestone is recalling 6.5 million tires for causing deaths and injuries. Are the Yokohamas (sp?) or Dunlaps part of Firestone?? And if so, what's Mazda/Ford doing about this?
  • auerbachauerbach Posts: 110
    Firestone is now owned by Bridgestone.
    I believe Yokohama and Dunlop are entirely separate companies.
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    The tires covered under the Firestone recall are for SUVs. Your MPVs Yokos or Dunlaps are not associated with these tires, except that they're all round. '-)

    Ford is reportedly doing everything they can to replace the tires for those effected, but Firestone/Bridgestone does not have the inventory to cover it. See the article at for more info.

  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    Question: Does the LX with the LX2 (Touring) package have this feature:

    Power locks automatically unlock the doors when the igition is turned off.

    Any knowledge on this? I was asked this question by a fellow MPV owner with a twin van to mine (LX, Touring Package, etc). His does not automatically unlock, but someone he knows w/ a DX w/power option does. Hmmmm.

    I have a Remote Starter on mine, so the van auto locks/unlocks depending on if the igition is on/off.

    Someone knows the answer to this, right? THX!

  • I have an LX with touring package. The doors do NOT automatically unlock when the ignition is turned off.

    For what it's worth, I think this is a good thing.
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    I I paid mega-clams for a remote-start system on our LX last winter (pamper the wife...), and I forgot if the power locks had this feature or not as standard equip.

    Anyway, the remote start we had installed (for those interested) is by DEI (Directed Electronics Inc.) and they make Viper car alarms. Very good systems, BTW. The unit we have will lock the doors when you turn the ignition on, and unlock when you turn it off. Also, it rolls up the windows when you lock/arm and will crack windows open if you use the remote start in warm weather. Hey, why doesn't my car have one of these?!?

    Thanks Cyclerklm!

  • julyarjulyar Posts: 35
    Just FYI, my ES does not auto lock/unlock either.
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Posts: 647
    cut and past, most browsers have one..

    Side questions for this message board: is there a was to copy an individual message to another town hall conference so i don't have to re-type this in again to the MPV Cruisers II club??

    Thanks..a newcomer


  • kgvan...

    You mentioned that you were considering seat covers. Remember however that if you get side airbags, they are built into the edge of the front seats. You cannot use a seat cover that would interfere with the airbags on the front seats.

    You might be able to cover the cushions only, but not the seatbacks.
  • laurietlauriet Posts: 2
    I hope some of you knowledgeable people can help me! I have a silver LX (manufactured 6/99, purchased 9/99)with 4-Seasons, security pkg,15" Yokohama tires and 14,000 miles. It replaces our 94 silver MPV. I have had the clicking/popping noise at the front end when parking/backing, but didn't find it bothersome enough to do anything about. I have not had any high speed vibration and any left pulling we have is so slight we can't be sure if it's there or not. Yesterday I pulled into a local shop for an oil change & tire rotation before we drive from Chicago to Colorado next week and noticed that my left front tire was low. I'm so glad I was there and not on the tollway as I had been the night before! It was flat within 5 minutes, just sitting there. Imagine my surprise when they showed me that the steel belts had separated & the same thing is happening on the right as well. Their first thought was defective tire, but having it on 2 leads them to believe it may be an alignment problem. I stopped at the dealer who suggested a tire shop because of the separate tire warranty. I went to NTB, which I believe is owned by Sears, and they had the nerve to tell me that it was rim damage from driving on a flat & stuck to that theory even when I explained that it had never been driven flat. They also said there was no damage on the other tire. I then went to an actual Sears auto shop where a very, very nice man called Yokohama & explained the problem. They offered a 50% replacement cost on 2 new tires & the Sears guy offered me another 25% & ordered the tires for me. They should be in 1-2 days before we leave for vacation. My problem is that if the tires are indeed ruined because of an alignment problem, I find that to be the dealer or manufacturer's responsibility. I have an appointment at the dealer on Monday 8-14 for the emission thingy recall & to check the other things I learned about on this site. Has anyone gotten Mazda to pay for an alignment and/or tires? What information do I need to give them to get this taken care of? Would the glazing problem on the brakes cause intermittent squealing, cuz I have that. I mentioned the popping noise being attributed to inner tie rod ends and the dealer service guy looked at me like I was stupid and told me that, gee, they almost never have to replace those. And they, also, have no information yet on the bumper recall. Also, when I needed an anchor installed for a tether strap, I was the only person in the building who had ever heard of them. I finally convinced them to order the part kit & wow, it only took 5 minutes to do it. And thank you for the tip on the bumper step thing - I think I'll get one. My husband has been accusing me of being careless loading & unloading. And thanks also for the pool noodle tip on carseat installation. I'm a safety fanatic & I'll be passing that on to many people. Sorry everyone that this is so long & has no form - I left my brain at the NTB shop in a cloud of steam. If anyone has any ideas that could help me in my impending fight with the dealer and you could possibly post them this weekend I will be eternally grateful. I'll check back Saturday night and again late Sunday. Thank you, thank you.
  • vtac1vtac1 Posts: 18
    Seems to me that their have been enough people with the"popping" problem that Mazda should be addressing it.Maybe its time for us owners to start flooding Mazda with complaints.Takling about here is good for info,but will not get it fixed.
  • meerameera Posts: 50
    It seems if the tire thing was an alignment problem you would have had some shaking/vibrating or pulling. Mine sure jumped all over the place. Mazda did the alignment, but I've had no luck getting them to replace my tires that have uneven wear due to the bad alignment. When you go to have the emission recall done tell them you want the alignment checked. It should be under the warranty. Sorry I'm not really much help, but I know how frustrated you are. Also, I believe glazed brakes cause squealing. Tell them you want that fixed too. If they give you hassles, go to another dealer until you find one that takes you seriously, that's what I had to do with the alignment thing- they kept telling me the shaking was normal. GOOD LUCK at the dealer Monday!
  • marcbmarcb Posts: 152
    check on previous post on this topic. there has been a lot of complaints on that front popping sound.

    mazda actually replaced some front tie rods because of this. i'm not mechanically knowledgeable enough but maybe your tire problem was caused bye this.

    click the "see all responses" on top and do a search on "tie rod" and also on popping sounds (maybe try "pop sound" or just "pop"). and when you have learned all you can call mazda on their 1-800 number and discuss it with them. based on previous posts here mazda seems reasonable in listening to customers complaints.
  • gneaglegneagle Posts: 2
    I also had to replace the two front Yokohama tires last week due to abnormal wear caused by an alignment problem. 18,000 miles on the van, purchased in Aug 99. I had noticed the wear a few days prior, and then one morning the front left tire was flat. Tire shop told me the tire warranty would not apply due to the alignment problem. Mazda dealer said alignment wouldn't be covered under the service adjustment since it was past 12000 miles. So I ended up eating the whole cost.
    Moral: check your tires for wear and get the alignement checked before the warranty period expires.
  • laurietlauriet Posts: 2
    Thanks for your input on my van's problems. I left it at the dealer today & the only thing they could find to do was the emission thing recall. They were unable to hear the popping sound, and decided the brakes & alignment are just fine. I feel lucky to be getting a nice discount on the tires (no thanks to Mazda), but I am worried that the alignment is actually a problem and my new tires will soon be ruined too. I think when I go to Sears (you know, the day before we leave for vacation) to get the tires I'll just pay them to do an alignment. It really burns me up to be paying for this because I'm quite sure the problem existed when I bought the van. If I wasn't leaving in 4 days I'd be putting up a giant fuss, but I just don't have time.

    I have never felt the van was sluggish as some auto writers have said & I'll let you know if I still feel that way when we get back from Colorado!

    Thanks again!
  • bill124bill124 Posts: 242
    For those of you that have had the problem, was it constant? The only time that I heard any such sound was in heavy traffic over the Fourth of July weekend. I haven't been in such traffic since then and have tried to recreate the sound by way of short stop and go movements without success. I apologize for my lack of knowledge of things mechanical in advance but could such a sound have been the brakes pads clicking? My guess is probably not because I'd then be able to hear it doing my short stop and go movements.
  • I saw an earlier post from someone who had heard of a way to get power to the lighter and 12V plug when the key is out of the ignition. It's a real pain when my cell phone powers down every time I shut off the vehicle. I believe this person mentioned a relay switch. Anyone with some feedback?
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    Yes this can be done. I remember seeing the post yesterday, probably one of the other forums. You can do this either with a jumper (with an in-line fuse), or use a relay. Using the relay is more complicated. I've done it on my cars before and it's a nice mod. Haven't done it on the MPV, yet.

    You'd be essentially changing that circuit from "keyed" to constant, like your horn, dome light, head lights, etc. It's not terribly difficult, if you aren't skittish about monkeying with electricity (zap). It's only 12 volts though.

    Let me know if you want a diagram...

    --java (sshockkedd one too mmany tttimes, zzztt!)
  • Here is my 2 cents...

    When we first got our van it had a BAD alignment, took it back the same week for an alignment (no charge) and it still was not aligned. So I brought it back again and and they replaced both front tires (no charge), did an alignment and it fixed the problem. I have Yokohamas. I NEVER had vibrating problems though.

    I also had the popping sound, it only happens when the van is warm and usually does it on turning, braking and accelerating. Dealer replaced the struts and outter tie-rods, with no success. So I called Mazda and complained, so brought it back in and the dealer said that the "Mazda Engineers" told them to replace the inner tie-rods and heck it worked! No more popping sounds. If ANYONE is getting this front-end popping sound, I would call Mazda Corp and complain, that is the only way for them to take serious action.

    Other than these, no problems. Roswell Mazda in Rowell, GA is the BEST. Nothing but A+ service. When they found out I called Mazda Corp to complained (about the problem, not them) they practically laid down rose petals when I walked in the door the next time! They even rented a car for us while the van was there.

  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    Woops. I misunderstood. Did someone post that you could just change out a relay and your 12v plugs would be constant hot? That I've not heard of. From my experiences, the fact that a wire is hot or keyed depends on the fuse block and whether that circuit in the car's wiring harness is hot or keyed. You can always change that wire's status, and that's what I mentioned in post #426. I don't know how you could merely change a relay and achieve this. Unless...


  • I suspect my van is aligned just fine. However, I DO have the popping noise. So far, dealership has been nice about problems (minor, thank heavens) but not all that effective. I have wind noise on passenger side and technician twice confirmed this. Second time they paid for a rental while noise was investigated and they said district service manager rode in car with the service manager and proclaimed noise "normal." And then they had me ride in a demonstrator to hear that there WAS some cabin noise (but theirs seemed to come from both sides, which to me was far less irritating). Anyway, I took van home, since it was clear they were not going to fix it. They HAVE fixed some trim problems, but it was done one piece at a time and with numerous trips to dealer. I am tempted to try to take it to a much more conveniently located dealer to see if results are any better. I have not even mentioned the popping noises as they were so few/far between at first oil change that I didn't know if I could get car to do them for them. Now I am more confident they can hear them, though, since I hear them every time I take car out. What's the best course of action here? Give the dealer I bought from yet another chance to fix something? Or can the service department at a competing dealership help? Car is well within bumper-to-bumper warranty (3,500 miles). And I could first call the dealership I'd like to try and order step plate there and then see if THEY could take a shot at fixing wind noise and popping. Or should I call Mazda first?? Also, how long did it take to replace inner tie rods? Is it something I could wait for (up to 7 hours) while my kids are in school?
    Thanks for any help. Other than those problems, which are fairly minor in my opinion, van is great. It's been on vacation and it's extremely popular for carpool... A dream to drive.
  • You have nothing to lose, and if anything, they might earn your biz in future visits. Might make them try harder. (Maybe not, but....again, you have nothing to lose by doing so).

    Since you mentioned it, I just installed the step plate myself. $32 at my dealer. Don't know how much they'd charge for the install, since I took the 3 minutes to install it myself. Looks great.
  • Thanks Meera and Adamhut for your responses. Hope you enjoy your vacations. I was away briefly too. Just saw Lauriet's problem with her tires and totally agrees with her.

    I visited the dealer twice, and got nothing but cold shoulders. When asked about the bumper recall, the service writer said no such recall took place and never heard of it. I showed him a Yahoo printout concerning the recall, he dismissed it as internet information was not to be trusted. I was dumbfounded, as I saw the crash report on MSNBC.

    Now an update on my pulling problems, first time they didn't bother to check alignment and only changed driver's side tire back to front (a waste of my time); second time after I insisted on an alignment check they said alignment was ok and told me to go to tire shop and if I ever went back with same problem they would charge me. OK! Then I just won't ever go back to you. Called Big-O and the guy said nowhere in the SF bay area any YOKO athorized tire dealer would do on the spot tire replacement, and I would have to pay for tires up front and they would then ship my defective tires back to YOKO to be checked out. Called Sears they said the same thing because tire manufacturer often don't reimburse their costs, but commented that the dealer should have taken care of the problem because they also sell tires now. However, called YOKO they said tire dealer should be able to do it in the store. What a run around! Now I understand why you left that SOB tire shop in a cloud of hot steam.

    I am in the process of looking to buy a small sedans or small SUV for my wife, do like the Protege and Tribute, but will not buy a Mazda again because:
    1) poor dealer service, I didn't even return the survey as if anybody would care;
    2) hard to find parts as I read a post about the odd-size fuses and what the mechanic told me;
    3) Ford took over Mazda and mess up the quality control and put in their own engine and defective tires (in my case)

    If you don't agree, it's ok, maybe you get lucky with your van and dealer. As for me, when I have time, I will go to Big-O and demand my all four tires be exchanged because Ford blew up big on the SUV thing. Quilty by association, my own four tires probably won't fare any better and may one day blow up on the freeway and I'll be dead.
  • Hi- I posted the original message about changing a relay to make the outlets hot all the time (as opposed to just when the key is in) over in the Cruisers Club. I swear I remember seeing the instructions to do this on paper while we were purchasing the MPV last week, but now I can't find it. It had to be in something the dealer gave me. So far no other owners have responded about seeing these instructions. I swear I saw it somewhere and it looked trivial to do- just pop out one relay and put in another.
  • Just got my first problem, thankfully it's minor.
    The passenger side speaker on the door is making static sounds intermittently - annoying as hell.

    I'll have my dealer replace that speaker, but I do find it strange that the same speaker on another car also crapped out after a couple of months of ownership. Go figure.

This discussion has been closed.