My biggest regret after taking delivery of my 2006 Mazda 3 Sport GS (Canada) was the lack of cruise control. I simply could not afford the 1500$ premium for the GT model. I originally thought I could later add an aftermarket cruise control until I realized the Mazda 3 featured a "Throttle-by-wire" system. Therefore the 'cruise control' is mostly operated by software (ECU).
I am not aware of any aftermarket system readily available for 'throttle-by-wire' applications, although in theory it would be very simple: the aftermarket module would simply need to monitor few sensors and then intercept and modify the signal going from the throttle pedal position sensor to the ECU when in 'cruise' condition. No mechanical parts would be required.
My Mazda dealer told me it was not possible to add the factory cruise control on a non-equipped model. However, upon additional research, I found few guys on http://www.mazda3quebec.com/
that had their local dealership successfully add the factory cruise control. According to those reports, the software and cables are all in place already. The only things required are:
- The module with the cruise control buttons on the steering wheel (comes attached to the module with the radio buttons on the same wires/connector);
- A "cruise control" compatible brake 'stoplight switch'.
Those users had the system installed at the dealership for around $300-$350. Parts alone can be found new at discounted price online for about $125 and the installation seems quite easy. I went one step further and actually found a complete used steering wheel with cruise controls for $35+$10 shipping. At that price, it was worth the try! Total investment for me, including the new stoplight switch: about $50.
I can now confirm that the information was accurate: I successfully added the factory cruise on my 2006 Hatchback (Canadian Model). The installation was really quick and easy. Find all the information required and installation procedure below.
Confirmed success (compatibility):
- 2006 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback GS (Canadian Model) <- MINE
- 04-05 Mazda 3 Sedan and Hatchback (Canadian Models) <- www.mazda3quebec.com
* ** * (PM me if you have additional compatibility reports for me)
I do not have the credentials to offer automotive advice.* The modification procedure that follows explains how I chose to approach a modification I wanted to make to my personal car.* I am not suggesting that anyone else make this modification to his or her vehicle.* In the event anyone chooses to accept the responsibility of initiating a similar vehicle modification, they should do so with the understanding it could result in undesired damage to their vehicle and could void the warrantee provided by the vehicle manufacturer.* In addition, I wish to point out that undertaking any vehicle modification without proper knowledge, experience, tools, and safety equipment can result in personal injury and/or death.* This is especially true here, where the Airbag module on the driver side has to be temporarily removed in order to install some of the parts. I highly recommend that you have a dealership or competent garage install the parts.
Also, I don’t claim to be the originator of this modification. The following is a summary of the information required to perform the modification. The idea is to have the convenience of having all the required information located in one place. The original information was found on http://www.mazda3quebec.com/
.* This procedure is a combination of those indications, helpful hints and pictures resulting from my own personal experience. Special thanks to 'charlano'
for answering all my questions...
- BN7N-66-490 Brake switch for vehicles with cruise ~$6
- BN8P-66-4M0 Steering switches for vehicles with cruise ~$119
* * *
Where to buy the parts:
- used: http://www.car-part.com
($40 to $100?, mostly interesting for the cruise steering switches)
- Small flat hear screwdriver
- Phillips screwdriver
- 10mm socket (battery, airbag)
- 13/16" socket to remove the steering wheel
1. Orient the steering wheel so that the wheels of the vehicle are positioned to move in straight line.
2. Disconnect the negative terminal of the car Battery using a 10mm socket;
3. Open the headlight switch and pump the brake pedal a few times to help drain any power left in the circuit.
4. Wait enough to make sure that any capacitive load in the electrical circuit had some time to be drained out before removing the airbag (2-3 hours? maybe not necessary, but why take a chance??)* Use that time to swap the brake switch:
5. Brake Switch Replacement
* * *a. Locate the switch right above the brake pedal as shown.
* * *b. Disconnect the electrical connector by pressing on the release tab;
* * *c. To remove the switch, twist it like an 1/8 of a turn as shown, then pull it out;
* * *
* * *d. Apply reverse procedure to install the new switch.
6. Airbag Removal (Please read disclaimer above!!! Again, I higly recomment you have a dealership or a competent garage do the part of the install involving the airbag. Improper handling or a static discharge could set it off resulting in expensive damage, injury or even death.
I do not pretend that the procedure explained here is adequate or complete to remove & re-install the airbag.):
* * *a. Remove the 2 rubber plugs on each side of the steering wheel body, as shown below;
* * *
* * *b. Using a 10mm socket, remove the 2 bolts holding the airbag in place;
* * *c. Pull the airbag assembly out carefully;
* * *d. Disconnect the electrical connectors of the airbag assembly: there are 2 connectors to disconnect. Pull the black locking tab using a small flathead screwdriver then pull the connector as shown;
* * *
* * *e. Safely store away (face up) the airbag until you ready for re-assembly.
7. Steering Wheel Removal
* * *a. Disconnect the wires of the steering switches;
* * *b. Using a 13/16" socket, remove the bolt clamping the steering wheel;
* * *c. Once the bolt removed, the steering wheel should pull out easily (I did not need a puller).
8. To replace the switch panels, you need to remove the back cover of the steering wheel. 2 screws must be removed from the back, then release the 2 tabs from the front side.
* * *
9. Remove the old switch panels on either sides of the steering wheel and replace them with the new switch modules. They are held by a screw from the back side of the steering wheel. Pay attention to how the wires are routed and use the same approach for the new switches.
* * *
10. Carefully re-assemble everything using reverse procedure, re-connect the battery and go for a test drive to verify that everything is working properly.