Now that the MS3 has been in use for several years, are there any common problems with the car and the turbocharged engine? How long can I expect the turbo and motor to last with regular use (spirited driving, short trips, etc...)?
Im at 34k and havent had a single engine problem. I change my oil very 5k, and I dont drive like a baby, but I also do not drag launch the car or do alot of things to shock the drivetrain and engine. I also will not be modding excessive, only in the suspension department. Im starting alot of track weekends this summer, and keeping the car closer to stock will save me alot of headaches. I will still be using the car as a daily driver, so im hoping a for a few years of good service.
I bought my 2007 MS3 to use as a daily driver as well as my primary HPDE instructor car. At 25,000 miles and only one HPDE the car required a new front strut. Less than 1000 miles later the turbo began smoking and it had to be replaced as well. I don't baby the car, but I don't thrash it nearly as hard as my Club Sport, which spends most of its life with the engine spinning from 3000 rpm to 7000 rpm. My MS3 is dead stock and has received 5000 mile oil changes using Mobil 1 5W-30. Road and Track had a MS3 as a long-term test car and it also blew a strut. More than a few MS3 owners have required a new turbo; the replacement turbo has a new part number but no one has been able to find out what-if anything-has been changed to prevent the smoking problem from returning. These two problems have cooled my enthusiasm for the car considerably, and I will probably unload it in the very near future. Having said all that, there are a lot of people who have not experienced any significant problems with their MS3s. I'd say that if you don't drive it that hard, keep it stock, and keep it off the track you'll be fine.
[quote author=metroplex link=topic=134713.msg2897653#msg2897653 date=1233222939]
How durable is the stock clutch and gearbox on the MS3?
Was the smoke caused by anything in particular or was it specifically the turbo?
Like smakdown said, the clutch and gearbox are pretty stout. The few failures I've read about have almost always involved modded cars that were drag raced.
The smoke is caused by bad turbo seals. In my case the smoke would start to pour out of the exhaust after the motor idled for 3-5 minutes.
I have one of the first 07's to land in Canada. Thus far, 34K klicks on it, oil change ever 5k KM and I drive in a most spirited manner 90% of the time. No probs with either struts or turbo blowing smoke. When driving in said spirited manner I flat foot shift, ie no lifting on the throttle. The car is not babied in any manner (none of my cars ever are
People have made it to 75K with very few problems. Most of the issues such as the loose trans mount and bad turbo seals were fixed by mid 08. I'm expecting at least 120K out of this car with routine maintenance and moderate driving habits.
I was very skeptical getting a turbo'd daily driver. But after 18 months of research and countless hours sifting through the Mazda forums, the MS3 has done fairly well in stock form. And while the boost limit can get annoying at high RPM's, it will certainly add to the life of the car in the long run.
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