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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to test drive a 2004 S Hatchback (autostick). Anything In particular I should look at when am doing my "once-over" of the vehicle. 57,000 miles. Thanks in advance for any input.
 

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Scratches, dents, condition of glass, look underneath for any leaks scuff marks on wheels. Make sure all 4 tires are the same.

Open the hood, look for any modifications, loose wires, how clean the motor is or did they just put alot of Armor all on everything.

Make sure all lights work, check signals, backup and headlights.

Make sure all the seats work, no tears in the carpet.

Start the car, how does it idle, run, look at cluster for any abnormal warning lights, Check engine lights.

Look at exhaust system, been altered ? sealed good ?

Drive it, does it pull to one side, is it noisy, turning smooth ?

List goes on forever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. That stuff, I'm familiar with. I just curious if there is ANYTHING specifically with the Mazda3's that I should look out for. I have a Turbo PT Cruiser and know there are certain thing to watch for, like crappy stock tranny with 225HP Turbo engine.

Is there anything in particular that these have issues with, or should I have no problems. I've visually seen it in and out and it's immaculate, but haven't driven yet. Obviously, going from 225hp down to 160hp will be different, but what about suspension......I'm assuming tight? Shifting is probably pretty damn good.
 

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All in all, pretty good cars. Night and day over the PT. You'll enjoy the fit, finish and quality of materials that's for sure. Owners have not reported any significant recurring big ticket items, just a few random issues. Probably the only thing worth mention is we've had issues with a failing passenger side motor mount but that's an inexpensive and easy fix.

Good luck with your decision and purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info. Test drove one 3 years ago. WOW!!! Forgot how this thing drives. Feel like I'm on rails. Hell of a lot better ride than the PT....and WAAAAY faster than the Corolla I used to own. Now if I get the price right, I'll be driving it home Thursday. Thing is awesome.
 

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Based on the number of threads here I'd say take a good look at the passenger side motor mount. That seems to be a weak link on these cars.

A 5 year old automatic is definitely getting to the age where problems can show up. Or, from another point of view, if an auto box has lasted 5 years chances are it isn't a lemon. Whatever school of thought you follow definitely check the condition of the transmission fluid, though any marginally clever dealer will put clean fluid in just in case someone does look at it or smell it. Still, if you do check it and it is burned you know to walk away. Assuming it passes the look/smell test, pay close attention to the transmission on the test drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks man. Tranny felt very smooth.....although I am comparing it to one that is, eh, so-so.

Here are a few pics...



 

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The A/C sucks. I drove a PT Cruiser rental & the A/C could turn the car into a freezer in minutes.
 

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My A/C is just fine :)
 

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[quote author=Jessman link=topic=135177.msg2915439#msg2915439 date=1233873466]
My A/C is just fine :)
[/quote]

because you have an 08.5.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the info guys. Obviously it's kinda difficult to check the air right now......it's about 7 degrees out. ALL of the air comming out at first is cold. lol. I am in the process of getting WHAT I WANT, price-wise, for the deal.....and with the market now, I think I'm gonna get it with the last phone call. Should pick it up either tonight or tomorrow.

Thanks again and see ya soon....hopefully.
 

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[quote author=danielj link=topic=135177.msg2915447#msg2915447 date=1233873592]
[quote author=Jessman link=topic=135177.msg2915439#msg2915439 date=1233873466]
My A/C is just fine :)
[/quote]

because you have an 08.5.
[/quote]
oh, they upgraded it in '08.5?
 

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[quote author=CoolMax link=topic=135177.msg2918219#msg2918219 date=1233957013]
[quote author=danielj link=topic=135177.msg2915447#msg2915447 date=1233873592]
[quote author=Jessman link=topic=135177.msg2915439#msg2915439 date=1233873466]
My A/C is just fine :)
[/quote]

because you have an 08.5.
[/quote]
oh, they upgraded it in '08.5?
[/quote]

No, 06+ models upgraded A/C.

An 04 driver above said their A/C sucks. An 08.5 driver said his A/C is fine, I said that's because you have an 08.5 (which has the upgraded A/C from 06).
 

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Rust! There are some problems in the wheel wells and around the doors on some models. Make sure your power steering is working good also. The mazdas use an electric system, instead of a belt driven system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all of the response, guys. Test drove this damn thing three times now. Even getting my brand new tires I just put on the PT put on the Mazda(That's ONE benefit with having the same size tires). Got what I wanted. I've looked this thing up and down. Other than for a bit of rash on two wheels, this thing is immaculate. One owner, with ALL of the maintenance checks done.

Pick it up tomorrow.
 

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Wow, 57K miles is good for a 5-yr. old car.

From 1998 to 2003 I drove a Nissan 200SX & I put 225K miles on it in that time period.
 

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[quote author=.JJ. link=topic=135177.msg2919424#msg2919424 date=1234015491]
Wow, 57K miles is good for a 5-yr. old car.

From 1998 to 2003 I drove a Nissan 200SX & I put 225K miles on it in that time period.
[/quote]

seems high to me. I've got 22k in 3 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
[quote author=.JJ. link=topic=135177.msg2919424#msg2919424 date=1234015491]
Wow, 57K miles is good for a 5-yr. old car.

From 1998 to 2003 I drove a Nissan 200SX & I put 225K miles on it in that time period.
[/quote]
No kidding! From 2001 to 2006 I drove a Nissan 200sx.

 

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[quote author=Filip link=topic=135177.msg2919668#msg2919668 date=1234026311]
[quote author=.JJ. link=topic=135177.msg2919424#msg2919424 date=1234015491]
Wow, 57K miles is good for a 5-yr. old car.

From 1998 to 2003 I drove a Nissan 200SX & I put 225K miles on it in that time period.
[/quote]
No kidding! From 2001 to 2006 I drove a Nissan 200sx.


[/quote]

Nice! :)

They're very fun cars...I miss mine but I drove her into the ground & we had to part ways.

danielj...a 130-mile round trip commute to school/work will cause you to rack up the mileage really quick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
[quote author=.JJ. link=topic=135177.msg2919857#msg2919857 date=1234033749]
I miss mine but I drove her into the ground & we had to part ways.

danielj...a 130-mile round trip commute to school/work will cause you to rack up the mileage really quick.
[/quote]
Yeah....two car seats are a b*tch to get to in the back of a two door that's lowered 1.5 inches. Kinda cramped.
 
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