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Mazda MPV Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Mazda MPV 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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11
Known Problems

The cooling fan module can fail causing the fan to either run constantly, or not operate at all. If the fan runs continuously, the engine may not warm up properly, and if the fan does not run, the engine may overheat. Mazda has a voluntary recall on model years 2002-2003 to address this concern. Please click here to find a Mazda dealer near you.

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. 

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.

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.

The PCV valve can crack open and create a vacuum leak and lean fuel mixture, which can result in surging and/or engine misfires.

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.

If a rumbling noise is heard from the engine, along with a possible loss in power, it may be caused by a collapsed hydraulic timing belt tensioner creating excessive cam backlash. Our technicians recommend replacing the timing belt and water pump at the same time, if they have not been recently replaced.

A leaking coolant pump can leak onto the timing belt and cause it to tear. Our technicians recommend replacing the coolant pump and timing belt every 60,000 miles to help avoid this problem. It is also important to follow the fill procedure for coolant on this engine to avoid problems.

Some MPV's may experience Check Engine light illumination with specific trouble codes stored in memory. If the two codes are stored, there are updated parts for the evaporative emissions (EVAP) system, and updated software for the Powertrain Control Module (PCM).

If the engine will not crank when the vehicle is parked on an incline, the transmission linkage may need adjustment. Some diagnosis is required because this may also be caused by inhibitor switch failure. The inhibitor switch tells the computer that the transmission is in "Park" or "Neutral", and allows the engine to start. If the inhibitor switch has failed, it will need to be replaced along with the "manual plate". Our technicians recommend checking with Mazda for updated parts.