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Mazda Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems for 31 Mazda models based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

Some vehicles may experience Check Engine Light illumination with a trouble code indicating the thermostat is stuck open. The thermostat will need to be replaced with a modified one and there is a software update for the Powertrain Control Module (PCM).

The Mazda CX-9 is known to have issues with hard shifts and transmission slippage on models equipped with the six speed automatic transmission. When the transmission gets warm, the issues is most noticeable as a hesitation to shift, followed by jerking or jolting into the next gear. These issues are not typically observed in combination with the check engine light

The hard shifting and transmission slipping is commonly a result of software inadequacies, which do not account for all variables as the transmission heats to normal operating conditions. In some cases, the automatic transmission may be suffering from a damaged valve body or faulty shift solenoids.

Software updates from the manufacturer of this transmission have solved many reported complaints, but not all. In cases where software updates to the transmission controller have failed, the transmission will likely need valve body replacement, shift solenoid testing and replacement, or even a complete rebuild. Since the transmission is sealed for life, the fluid is not normally considered a suspected cause, but many technicians recommend changing the transmission specific automatic transmission fluid at normal intervals. 

 

Model years 2007-2012 of the Mazda CX-7 using the 6-speed automatic transmission have been known to produce hard shifting and transmission slippage between gears. This is most noticeable when the transmission is hot, but can happen at any time. Note, this transmission is designed to be ‘sealed for life’ meaning the transmission fluid is never meant to be changed.

As many drivers and owners have learned, the issues are caused by problematic software for the transmission or mechanical failures associated with the transmission valve body or shift solenoids.

In order to restore transmission performance while shifting, the manufacturer of the transmission has issued several software updates that should correct the shifting issues. If hard shifts and slippage still exist after the software updates are completed, the transmission must be removed, disassembled, inspected and repaired.

Some technicians have advised replacing transmission fluid at normal intervals, but the manufacturer guidance is to use the original transmission fluid for the entire service life of the vehicle. 

 

A well-documented and well-known issue with the Mazda 6 built between 2005-2012 is harsh shifting from the 6-speed automatic transmission, and slight slippage between gears. This has been noted as hesitation to accelerate, especially from a stop.

Mainly, software issues have been to blame for these mishaps, but mechanical malfunctions related to shift solenoids and the valve body have also been major causes. Finally, the automatic transmissions in these models are sold as ‘sealed for life’, yet the transmission fluid does not seem to last the complete service life of the vehicle.

Correction of these issues often requires a simple software update, meaning the vehicle only needs to be plugged in, and the transmission controller receives new programming meant to fix these drivability concerns. In cases where this does not correct concerns, the transmission must be removed, inspected, and repaired, possibly requiring a complete rebuild.

To mitigate these issues from escalating to a full transmission rebuild, many technicians recommend replacing the transmission fluid at regular intervals, yet the manufacturer has never offered this guidance. 

While driving the Mazda MPV, operators may notice harsh shifting or slippage of the transmission. It is important to note that the check engine warning light will likely not illuminate. 

This is caused by software issues in many cases, however, internal transmission failure may be the culprit as well. In some instances, the failure has been attributed to the ‘sealed-for-life’ nature of the transmission, as the transmission fluid may break down before the transmission is taken out of service.

 

The manufacturer of the transmission, which is a third party, has issued many software updates, but when these updates fail to correct concerns, the transmission must be removed, disassembled, inspected, and repaired. 

The AC compressor may fail causing the AC system to blow warm air, smoke may also appear from the engine. A failed AC compressor will require replacement. Mazda has extended the warranty on these compressors to 5 year or 60K mikes. If these conditions are noted our technicians recommend to turn the AC system off and have it inspected as soon as possible.

Premature automatic transmission failure is common. Diagnoses of the fault will be necessary to determine if repair or replacement is the proper repair.

Some models may have a problem where the Check Engine light illuminates indicating an improperly tightened fuel cap. Due to improperly manufactured threads on the fuel filler pipe, the filler pipe may need to be replaced.

Defective or worn out ignition coils can cause engine misfires and Check Engine Light illumination. If the problem is severe enough engine performance will suffer and the Check Engine light will flash on and off.

The engine may overheat due to erratic engine cooling fan operation as a result of a faulty cooling fan control module. Replacement of the fan control module would be necessary to correct this condition. Our technicians tell us the Mazda may provide assistance with the cost of this repair.

If the engine cranks but does not start, it may be caused by a tripped inertia switch. Switch the key to "ON" and the fuel pump should be heard running for a second or two. Listen at the gas filler if necessary. If you do not hear the pump the inertia switch should be reset, it will "click" when it is reset.

If the engine cranks but won't start, the fault may be internal to the distributor. Diagnosis will show no spark and trouble codes for the crankshaft position sensor (CKP) or the camshaft position sensor (CMP). Our technicians recommend replacement of the complete distributor assembly if these conditions occur.

A loud ticking noise (hydraulic valve lifter noise) may be heard from the top of the engine, particularly when the engine is still cold. The noise may occur more frequently on higher mileage vehicles; Hydraulic valve lash adjusters may need to be replaced to correct this issue. Following the maintenance schedule for oil changes will also help prevent a recurrence of the noise.

Rattling noises from the front suspension while driving over rough roads can be caused by defective front sway bar bushings. Replacing the bushings with the updated design is a common repair.

Damaged wiring to the seat belt pre-tensioner sensor may cause the Airbag Warning Light to illuminate.