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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

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. 

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 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.

A defective mass air flow sensor can cause hesitation on acceleration, a lack of power or other drivability problems, all of which are usually accompanied by Check Engine Light illumination.

An electrically shorted air flow sensor can cause a crank-no start condition. Diagnosis may show that ignition spark is normal, and there are no trouble codes stored.

Various electrical issues may develop related to the body control module (BCM). There have been reports of water damage to the BCM caused by clogged or damaged sunroof drains. It is recommend to periodically inspect the sun roof drain for debris and clean as necessary.

If the engine is misfiring, it may be caused by a damaged wire(s) which connect the fuel injectors to the Powertrain Control Module (PCM). The damaged wire(s) can be repaired or the emission wire harness replaced. A misfire can result in a loss of engine performance and illumination of the Check Engine Light.

Hesitation and/or a lack of power can be caused by the secondary shutter valve (SSV) in the intake manifold becoming stuck open due to carbon build up around the SSV shaft. This may occur with no Check Engine light illumination but eventually the light will illuminate with code P2070 (Secondary Shutter Valve [SSV] stuck open). The cleaning procedure described under the service bulletin is a long process and it is recommended to install the updated SSV actuator and gaskets. The SSV is activated at higher RPM and the carbon accumulation can happen when it opens infrequently. The effects RX-8's built before April 18, 2007.