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Common Mazda 3 Faults: Reliability, Breakdowns And Problems!

The Mazda 3 has always been one of the best sports sedans on the market. But even a compact car as capable as this one can develop problems over time. Read on to learn more about common Mazda 3 failures and to get an idea of ​​what repairs you may need in the future.

The Mazda 3 has scored highly in all major reliability indices. It earned a reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 from Repair-Pal, ranking ninth out of 36 compact cars.

How good is the Mazda 3?

The annual repair cost of the Mazda 3 is approximately $433, which is almost $220 less than other compact cars. It also has a below-average rate of major repairs, having just a 10% chance compared to 11% on average in the compact car segment.

The Mazda 3 also has great value retention. In 2019, its third generation (2014-2018) was awarded CarGurus’ “Best Used Car” award in the compact sedan/hatchback category. No wonder it is one of the most reliable Mazda models on the market along with the Mazda 2 and Mazda MX5.

Common failures of the Mazda 3

Despite being a popular pick in the compact car segment, the Mazda 3 has had its share of problems throughout the different model years. Below are the most common failures of the Mazda 3:

1. Problems with the lighting system

An auto lighting system malfunction is a common problem found on the 2019 redesign. Drivers of this model year have reported seeing the auto lighting system malfunction warning notification appear on the dashboard under heat. extreme, causing the auto lights to not work.

2. Malfunctions of the infotainment system

The new generations of the Mazda 3 have been equipped with a touchscreen infotainment system to improve its overall quality. Unfortunately, several owners of the model have experienced a couple of problems with this feature.

Owners of the 2015 Mazda 3 have complained that their infotainment systems change navigation, phone and radio settings on their own. The system also randomly dialed numbers from the phonebook and prevented drivers from entering an address . Some owners resolved this issue by replacing the CPU and screen, while others reinstalled the system to prevent it from randomly changing settings.

3. Problems with the brakes

Several 2004-2011, 2013 and 2015 Mazda 3 owners have complained of hearing rear brake squeal due to the brake pad contacting the rotor. It has been reported that most brake pads on affected vehicles have a burr on their support plate, which affects their alignment in the support.

Premature brake wear is also a common 2014 Mazda 3 problem . Some owners have complained of having to replace rear brake parts such as calipers, rotors, and pads multiple times despite having less than 100,000 miles on their odometer.

4. Problems with loose, bent or rusted stabilizer bar links

Some 2004-2012 and 2014-2015 Mazda 3 owners have complained of hearing rattling and screeching noises from the rear of their vehicle. The sounds were usually caused by loose, bent, or rusted sway bars. A replacement sway bar typically costs between $30 and $100 plus labor costs.

5. Problem with excessive vibration

There have been several reports of excessive vehicle vibration under acceleration in some 2004-2011, 2013, and 2015 Mazda 3s. Many owners have reported replacing the tires, brake rotors, and brake pads to resolve the issue. However, the problem was usually later traced to a faulty motor mount . A new motor mount can range from $30 to $100, plus labor costs.

6. Thermostat failures

Owners of some 2004-2010 and 2013 Mazda 3 facelifts have complained of a stuck thermostat, causing their engine temperature to drop. Fixing this problem usually involves replacing the thermostat, which can cost anywhere from $20 to $120, plus labor costs.

7. Problems with illuminated airbag warning light

There have also been several reports of an illuminated airbag warning light on some 2004-2009, 2011 and 2013 Mazda 3 facelifts. While this issue is primarily caused by damaged wiring in the seatbelt pretensioner sensor Some owners have also reported that a burnt-out bulb in the dash and a misaligned sensor spring caused the problem.

8. Transmission problems

The 2012 Mazda 3 is known to have quite a few transmission issues. Some owners have reported hearing their gears grinding when shifting from third to fourth gear due to worn bearings.

Some drivers lost all power to their vehicles while on the road, causing their check engine light and electronic stability control light to come on. Most of them ended up having to replace the entire transmission .

9. Clutch failure

Clutch failure is a common failure of 2010 and 2011 Mazda 3s that caused acceleration and stall issues. Many owners of these model years had to replace the clutch despite having only 50,000-70,000 miles on their odometer.

10. Control panel faults and broken seat lifter links

Many drivers of the 2010 Mazda 3 have experienced various issues with their interior, particularly the control panel and seat lift links.

Owners have complained that their control panel melted , producing black sludge that spread through other components like the steering wheel. The tar-like substance also limited visibility of the road by creating a glare on the windshield.

Another issue with the interior of the 2010 redesign is a broken seat riser linkage, which caused the driver’s seat to sway, causing it to rock back and forth under acceleration and braking.

This safety risk prompted Mazda to recall certain 2010 and 2011 Mazda 3 models in 2017. The automaker addressed this issue by installing stiffener brackets on the lift links or replacing the entire steering wheel adjuster unit. seat.

11. Lever slip problems

It has been reported that 2004, 2005 and 2007 Mazda 3s have a stick-slip condition between the CV axle and wheel hub, which is the production of sticking and slipping reciprocating motions.

This condition can cause clicking noises when driving direction is changed . To fix this, you typically have to install a washer between the two pieces, which can cost $10-20 plus labor costs.

In summary

Be aware that your Mazda 3 can develop problems over time. But by knowing its most common problems, proper handling and regular maintenance, you can keep your car in top condition and make the most of its useful life.

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