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Discussion Starter #41 (Edited)
Yep. My advice... attach the Allen wrench to some string and wrap around your wrist. You'll lose it at least once.

Quick update - the Pioneer AVH-X8500BHS is in. First thought is why the HELL I didn't do this sooner. :)

 

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What's the mic for? Hands free or EQ?

And yea I figured out why I was confused about adjusting rebound... they sent me V1s not the V2s I paid for.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
The mic is for Bluetooth. Probably going to relocate to the driver dash console since I am getting too much feedback from the AC. Should have known better lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Update at 103K:

Had my first reliability issue involving a bad AC compressor. Apparently this is a common problem as Panasonic makes the compressor for the MS3/MS6. According to several folks, they generally only last 6 yrs/60K. A replacement through Mazda wholesale costs roughly $1500 which includes the compressor, clutch, coil, drier, expansion valve, and serpentine belt. Knowing I'm going to drive another 100K, I'm ruling out going with a used one.

2009 MAZDA 3 Parts - Online Mazda Parts


Now for the good news. A quick search netted me a company based in San Diego called Discount AC Parts. They've been around since '88 and have a fairly good track record for the volume they provide. A replacement kit costs $430 which includes the genuine Panasonic compressor/clutch/coil assembly, drier and expansion valve.

New Genuine A C AC Compressor Kit for Mazda 3 5 06 09 | eBay


For the price I am willing to risk the installation to see how this pans out. Total cost should be roughly $700 installed. I will update in a couple of weeks.
 

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Update at 103K:

Had my first reliability issue involving a bad AC compressor. Apparently this is a common problem as Panasonic makes the compressor for the MS3/MS6. According to several folks, they generally only last 6 yrs/60K. A replacement through Mazda wholesale costs roughly $1500 which includes the compressor, clutch, coil, drier, expansion valve, and serpentine belt. Knowing I'm going to drive another 100K, I'm ruling out going with a used one.

2009 MAZDA 3 Parts - Online Mazda Parts


Now for the good news. A quick search netted me a company based in San Diego called Discount AC Parts. They've been around since '88 and have a fairly good track record for the volume they provide. A replacement kit costs $430 which includes the genuine Panasonic compressor/clutch/coil assembly, drier and expansion valve.

New Genuine A C AC Compressor Kit for Mazda 3 5 06 09 | eBay


For the price I am willing to risk the installation to see how this pans out. Total cost should be roughly $700 installed. I will update in a couple of weeks.
Search the forum for a compressor how-to, and search for Phil's AC Hell Thread for info about condenser and expansion valve. I've been through all this, so let me know if I can lend some advice.


Sent from my iPhone with Tapatalk.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Sorry didn't get a notification that there was a reply. I have almost 10K on the new compressor and it's been awesome. Highly, HIGHLY recommend discountacparts.com. Just keep in mind that 07 Speeds have two versions of the AC Compressor that run different sized belts.




Quick update. I got my hands on a cheap Hypertech ECU flash and have been running it for just under a week. I understand now why people claim it doesn't provide a bump in power. It's MUCH more linear from 3-6.5K. And I gained 15 peak HP at the crank (11-12 at the wheels) according to the virtual dyno. Seems to be right in line with Hypertech's claims.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Just the MSCAI. After doing a few more pulls at higher RPMs, DashCommand is showing an 18 whp increase over the stock tune.

HU runs extremely well. Brief video of it in app mode:
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Update at 120K:

Thought I'd spend a little more time and give a proper update.



Maintenance


KW V2 Coilovers

I've now put 70K on the V2s and couldn't be happier. Just completed another inspection this weekend. No leaks, rust or noise. Damping has degraded slightly. But overall this system has held up well. I will probably have them serviced/resealed in another year or two.


Michelin Pilot Sport AS-3 Tires

After 5K miles I am still very happy with the Michelins. They continue to grip well and remain fairly compliant over most road environments. As most of us know, many companies use a harder compound to help reduce wear during the last 50% of an all-season tire's life. But unlike the Pirellis, the Michelins don't appear to be degrading as fast. I'll report back in another 5K.


Mazda FL22 Coolant

Last weekend I did the the coolant change at the recommended interval. Mazda recommends FL22 long life coolant for a couple of reasons. First, it extends service life of the typical coolant change from 30K to 60K. Second, unlike some aftermarket coolants that use silicates and/or phosphates, it is not as harsh on the rubber components. Probably worth the extra $6-8 to pick this up from the dealer.

The MS3 reportedly uses 1.9 gallons of coolant in the system. The DIY below was the only reasonable one I could find, in case you decide to do yourself:
How to : Coolant flush + Install of new Radiator hoses - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum

Couple thoughts if you're just doing a drain and refill:
- Remove the lower radiator hose to drain the passenger side fluid. That will usually account for a quart.
- If it's been a while since your last service, and to ensure you're removing as many contaminants as possible, run the car a few minutes to circulate the system. Then drain/refill again. This method requires an extra gallon of coolant.


AC Compressor

The new compressor has about 15K miles so far. Seems to be holding strong despite the nasty heat wave we had in So Cal last week. No other issues to report at this time.


Mazdaspeed CAI and Hypertech

As I mentioned previously the car has responded very well to the addition of the Hypertech unit. What I did not expect is how much better it would react with a slightly cleaner air filter. Along with the fluid change I did a quick clean of the MSCAI. And according to DashCommand's virtual dyno afterwards, I averaged am 8.5% improvement in average power across the curve from 3K-6K (vs. stock tune w/MSCAI). Not a bad gain for $200.

Fuel economy continues to be good for a car of this age. 21 city, 25 hwy; no hypermilling.




Audio System and Android Integration

I've now put over a year on the Pioneer AVH-X8500BHS and thought it was time to share some additional impressions:

- I still find sound quality to be pretty good for a unit in this price range. Though I had to use the AutoEQ to tune out a nasty spike at 2.5 khtz. This suggests that Pioneer uses a much more complex logic compared to the standard 8 band graphic EQ.
- AllShareCast (miracast) continues to works pretty well with AppRadio on the Galaxy Note 2. Though most phones probably cannot leverage this setup without at least 2 GB RAM and a quad core processor. I occasionally have to disconnect/reconnect. And the phone gets a little hot with extended use. But overall still very happy with this setup.
- Waze continues to work very well with AppRadio. No issues with GPS antenna as reported by other Samsung users. But as mentioned above, I don't use MHL to connect the phone.
- DashCommand still works well with AppRadio. Lag is still roughly 1/2 second between the OBDII dongle and the HU display. But datalogging is fairly consistent. After using the custom tuxedo skins, track/GPS app, and skidpad, I'm convinced this is well worth the additional $5 over Torque.

Here are a couple of videos showing the connection process and navigation of a few apps. The second video is a more detailed look at DashCommand:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEhruQ45UVA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtA8tS7TLLA


That's it for now. Thanks for looking!

 

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Love to see me older 3's and Speeds going strong.

When I ran my RTA through my 3, I noticed some nasty spikes and valleys in the freq response as well. I'd have to look back through my EQ adjustments, but 2.5 khz sounds familiar. May be a resonance or something in the car itself since two of us have seen similar behavior. Regardless, I have a 13 band eq in my HU, and was able to get it mostly flattened out without attenuating anything too much.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
It's been a few months since I last updated this thread. A few things to report at 133K:




Michelin AS/3 Tire Update

After 9 months and 15K, I'm happy to report that these tires are wearing VERY well. Still approximately 7-8 mm of tread left. I expect I'll get 30-35K out of these easily.

As expected, there's a slight increase in noise as the harder compound is exposed. But they are continuing to hold up surprisingly well in both wet and dry conditions. By comparison, I experienced a bigger performance loss with the Pirellis (and every other tire for that matter) once I crossed 10K. Simply the best A/S tire I've owned to date.




KW Coilover Update

I've now crossed 80K with the KWs and couldn't be happier. They continue to be dead quiet and compliant over most reasonable roads. I am noticing a slight increase in harshness over moderate to poor road conditions. But I am unable to determine whether this is more to do with deterioration of the bushings vs. damping/coil integrity. No leaks, rust, peeling, or seizing.




Ambient Temp Sensor Issue

I had posted in another thread that I was having issues with my AC compressor engagement. Turned out that it was related to false readings within the ambient temp sensor. Whenever the sensor reads 31* or less, the AC compressor shuts off to prevent lockup.

The weird thing was that I only encountered false readings during rain or after a wash. That usually means a bad sensor or an exposed wire. So I took a spay bottle and began spraying down each section with water, starting with the sensor, until I was able to replicate the issue.

Turned out the ambient temp sensor wiring was resting against metal behind the driver side parking light, causing an open circuit each time it got wet. So I wrapped in electrical tape and tied down the wire away from the metal assembly. Seems to have resolved the issue.




Oil Cooler Issue

I noticed a very slow leak coming from the oil cooler a few weeks ago. Turned out to be the gasket that seals the cooler and oil filter assembly together. Unfortunately, Mazda only offers this part with the oil cooler assembly. And buying a new one costs around $400 wholesale.

Somewhere along the way, Mazda recognized their mistake and redesigned the oil cooler in '08. But unfortunately for Gen 1 MS3 and MS6 owners, the original cooler "should" be replaced once the gasket fails. And that didn't sit well with me.

Fortunately, there are a couple options to service the Gen 1 Oil Cooler gasket:
- 1. Remove the rubber liner along the gasket and replace with high temp gasket sealant (i.e. Permatex Ultra Black 82180).
- 2. Purchase an aftermarket gasket from Dorman for around $30.

I chose to go with option 2, using the vendor below:
Mazda 3 5 6 CX 7 Oil Cooler Seal Gasket 14700 New Replacement Clean | eBay

There are several ways to access the oil cooler without draining anything but the oil from the filter assembly. You will need a box wrench to access the 15 mm bolt that sandwiches the cooler to the filter assembly. I chose to drain both the oil and coolant while I was there; here are the instructions I used:
- Removal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3Yx3rFnMuc
- Dis-assembly and inspection: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glhk_RQTH8k
- Service, reseal and re-install: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YO9mgpotcik

The inner ring of the aftermarket gasket is a TIGHT fit on the oil cooler. I had to sand the inner ring approximately 1/4 mm in order to fit. Otherwise the gasket seems to be holding up well. I'll report back after my next oil change.



One installation note; this method ONLY applies to Gen 1 coolers that are painted black, as per the photos below.

Gen 1:


Gen 2 with serviceable gasket:
 

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Discussion Starter #55
Quick update at 139K.

I am currently tracking down an oil consumption issue which has become more noticeable the last month. I cleaned up the engine bay due to oil residue from November's oil cooler leak. Engine area continues to be mostly bone dry, which tells me I'm burning it through the turbo, the rings, or the intake/PCV.

I will say this now. This type of issue is exactly why a typical owner will blow right through the motor or turbo. This issue resulted in a sudden oil loss with 0 evidence of leaking, smoking or smell. And if the average owner isn't checking the level regularly (which many don't), it's a guaranteed rebuild shortly thereafter.

I'm fairly confident this is a PCV issue as I am noticing some mild oil seepage behind the alternator. I suspect the valve is stuck open causing crank case pressure to build; thereby forcing oil out the seals (and sucking out/burning the rest). If left unchecked, I imagine this can become a significant issue to the seals and downpipe/02 sensor. I'll have to pull the intercooler, intake and plugs to see where oil is pooling. I will also probably inspect the turbo for shaft play. From there I will likely swap the PCV valve, clean the entire intake and cold/hot pipes, then evaluate any further oil consumption. If that doesn't fix it, I will take it in for compression and leakdown.

More to come.
 

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I've been noticing oil loss as well and I'm totally clean underneath. Looking forward to seeing the PCV process.
 

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Hey bud get you an ultragauge or something to see your fuel trims if you dont already.

I use the ultragauge. I have seen from my fuel trims how they act up from my PCV being clogged, 02 sensor acting up, and purge solenoid valve acting up.

Never replaced my PCV yet but from pumping my OCC line I cleared it and the line. Fuel trims increased when it was clogged up. When I got the car the fuel trims were already a little high. After mazda did the vvt and valve cover fix I still had slightly high fuel trims. After pumping my lines I got the fuel trims to decrease.

02 sensors replaced before a couple times. Fuel trims go crazy when 02 sensors go out. I use unicorn blood so they go out quick :)
When driving and a 02 sensor is bad the fuel trims are terrible...scary actually.

Have replaced my purge solenoid a few times. Fuel trims go up when purge goes out.

My fuel trims at idle are around 0 fully warmed up. They will fluctuate +-1.5 when fully warmed up idling. During driving different. But if my fuel trims are off at idle I am on the hunt for the issue. Can tell a lot by the fuel trims.

Oh also remembered. I had fuel trim issues one time and it was my wires on my damn MAF sensor.Guess from removing it so much they just were out of place. I just cleaned the connections and made sure the connections were secure. Got my fuel trims to come back to normal. I chased this one for a bit until only messing with those wires and saw the fuel trims drop.

Very interesting to see the amount of stuff act up and not throw a code. The threshold is set high it seems. With a turbo sports car I want to have tighter thresholds. Or I just watch my ultragauge way to damn much...ha!
 
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