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Discussion Starter #1
Okay...sorry for the long post. I'm a bit concerned about some of the posts I've read about issues with the MS3 as of late. Squeeks and the like are troublesome and annoying but I'm not quite sure as to what that will really mean in the longer lifespan of the car. However, consistent/repeated CEL's are a bit concerning. Now, motor mount bolts failing...VERY troubling.

Questions for the more seasoned mazda owners here (especially current MS3 owners):

1) Is it me or do there seem be a a few issues with the MS3 compared to the MZ3's of recent years (last two) when it comes down to build qaulity. (I've been told that 05 was a pretty good year for the MZ3 and it appears that Mazda worked alot of kinks out).

2) Did the MS6 have "first year" issues? I've done some searching and seen reports but I'm not convinced that there were substantial build quality issues (or with mazda products in general for that matter).

3) Are these forums a good sampling? Assuming that Mazda made 5000 MS3's for the US, would it be safe to assume that we are looking at a 5% + sampling of MS3 owners? If this is the case then the overal number of reported issues would seem low.

Obviously we have to take into account several factors when trying to aggregate "data" from posts (especially when it comes to posting about issues with your car that you love and just paid a good deal of money for - I work in an industry where people post all time time on how they "should have caught this" etc):

A) This is a mazda enthusiast forum. We are looking a small subset of a larger group Said subset is what could be deemed a "vocal minority" compared to mazda owners in general. I would assume that's a safe assumption.

B) As per A above - being a more vocal and yet smaller sampling (even smaller yet when looking at MS3 owners in particular) would tend to sku not only perception but expectations. Do folks here hold their cars to a higher standard than a civic owner that couldn't tell you what "VTEC" means?

3) Is there any point in worrying about posts like these? Or am I reading too much into them?

http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=67891.0
http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=64632.0
http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=67373.0
http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=63178.0
http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=63578.0
http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=60760.0
 

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It seems hit and miss. I'm knocking on wood as I say this, but I haven't had any issues at all with my car. No squeeks or rattles, no CELs, and the one problem I did have wasn't really a problem, just an oversensitive weight scale in the front passenger seat. I hate the summer tires up here in Upstate NY as they are completely useless. I don't think the Bose system is anything to brag about (sub? what sub?). But with the overall car I'm actually pretty impressed with build quality.

.02
Carraig
 

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I traded in my 05 for this one and this one actually seems to be of better quality in most areas. There are less rattles, and it seems just a hair more solid. Now I won't say it's perfect, but damn good for the cashish.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It does seem to be off the charts when it comes to value. If anything, I think that if I could find a real stand up service department I'd be more than happy with any tradeoff.
 

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I traded a 99 bmw 323 for my ms3 and I'll tell ya, there are just about as much interior noise in my ms3 with 1000 miles that the bimmer had at 50,000, assuming the same temperatures outside. Don't get me wrong, the thing is well put together, but expect a few squeaks when it's under the freezing point. I'm sure a lot of the noises source from the firm suspension.

The 'clunkiness' of shifting is believed to be attributed to the read engine mount. I've got the AWR mount but waiting to install it.

All and all, I'd say the build is quite good for the price and class of the car.
 

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The first year of any model car is going to bring some isssues and surprises but overall this car is pretty solid so far. Mazda has given us a lot of car for what we paid. I haven't had any CEL problems but I do have the windshield rattle that is annoying. I think there wasn't a lot of cold weather testing done on this model due to its limited production.
I am concerned about the engine mount problem however and disappointed about the apparent lack of response from them on what could potentially be a major liabilty. At the very least they should issue a service bulletin regarding this.
That being said the car is a lot of fun to drive and there are lots of aftermarket products being developed to make it even better. I have no regrets about my decision to buy this car.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
[quote author=tuners link=topic=68474.msg1183973#msg1183973 date=1170466471]
The first year of any model car is going to bring some isssues and surprises[/quote]
Very true. If the speed6 is any indication I think that I'll be fine. The engine mount is a bummer if it turns out to be more widespread (which I'm beginning to doubt but I guess we'll see)

I test drove a second MS3 tonight and spent an hour in the showroom checking gaps in the body panels, uniformity of surfaces in the interior, electrical connections under the hood...every little single tiny thing I could think of and at a second glance I could find very little to fault. This time I drove it against the Civic si (the dealerships are literally 100 feet appart).

I must say that the interior quality of the Honda did stand out as being a bit firmer/tighter in terms of the door panels, center console, and dash but it feels sterile at times...uninspired.

The mazda "outclassed" the civic in interios looks (the red/amber lights remind me of older BMW interiors) and then blew its doors off on the road. No comparison, I just can't see myself in anything but the MS3, "quirks" or not.

Thanks for the feedback - this forum has been a HUGE HUGE source of knowledge for me and I hope to be part of the family after the tax man gives a bit back. Keep up the good work!
 

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Almost 5800 miles and nothing to complain about. There are some squeaks but I have to pay attention to hear them. I'm still slightly confused about the motor mount issue since no one seems certain of the cause. I'm hoping it really is the bolt being loose rather than weak. In either case, Mazda has to make their position clear regarding this issue. All in all I'm very happy, and the point made about first-year vehicles having issues is very valid. However, compared to the joy of the overall driving experience, it's a small price to pay.
 

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[quote author=gwood link=topic=68474.msg1183239#msg1183239 date=1170445322]
2) Did the MS6 have "first year" issues? I've done some searching and seen reports but I'm not convinced that there were substantial build quality issues (or with mazda products in general for that matter).
[/quote]

axle breakage and the limp mode/ecu reflash are the two defects i am aware of.
 

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when I got a cel at 1400 miles, my service manager couldn't believe it and said that is why you never buy a first year model. I expected the CEL so I wasn't too upset. You are aware of all the problems the ms3 has so you can make an educated decision about whether you can handle some annoying issues or not.
 

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Not "really" first year

Let's keep in mind that this is not the typical first year of production, and that many bugs have already been worked out. The chassis is 95% or more the one that's been around for 3 years. The engine was - with minor differences - in two other vehicles before the MS3. Yes, still some issues, but overall I'm quite pleased, and my last two cars were Audi and BMW....
 

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[quote author=carraig link=topic=68474.msg1183409#msg1183409 date=1170449841]
It seems hit and miss. I'm knocking on wood as I say this, but I haven't had any issues at all with my car. No squeeks or rattles, no CELs, and the one problem I did have wasn't really a problem, just an oversensitive weight scale in the front passenger seat. I hate the summer tires up here in Upstate NY as they are completely useless. I don't think the Bose system is anything to brag about (sub? what sub?). But with the overall car I'm actually pretty impressed with build quality.

.02
Carraig
[/quote]

scratch that. first CEL at 806 miles
 

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Everything started in 2003

except for the upgrades to engine:2005
and the 6sp:2005

The rest is just redesinged and devolped better then years before
 

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Discussion Starter #14
[quote author=dread link=topic=68474.msg1184389#msg1184389 date=1170493535]
when I got a cel at 1400 miles, my service manager couldn't believe it and said that is why you never buy a first year model. I expected the CEL so I wasn't too upset. You are aware of all the problems the ms3 has so you can make an educated decision about whether you can handle some annoying issues or not.
[/quote]

CELs are one thing. Motor mount failures are just plain terrifying TBH when thinking about putting my children into this car. That is the one issue that really needs to be addressed (as per MANY posts in the speed3 areas). Finding it odd that some folks have reported seeing loctite on the bolts from the factory (I believe the build date on the post was November) :screwy:
 

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Haven't read thru this thread but I'll post my opinion:

Not a single issue with creaks. Most quiet car I've ever owned interior wise. The only issue was notchy shifting from 1st-2nd but after my first oil changed it suddenly disappeared.

Motor mount wasn't an issue (so says the tech). Had them check it during oil change and they said all was well.

All in all, I'm happy with everything about the car except for the gross markup I paid, heh.

No first year issues have arose for me so far so I'd recommend it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The conclusion I've come to is that there just isn't another option in this price segment that has this kind of bang for the buck. I've respected mazda from a distance for a while and now I think it's time to buy in. I can get some twistys on the weekends and stop for groceries on the way home...can't beat it.

Good to hear you haven't had any issues. All in all I'm WAY less concerned then I was just a couple of weeks ago. Now all I have to do is choose between cosmic and silver - that is going to be the hardest choice!
 

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All things considered, for a first year, this is pretty good for a car with the performance capabilities of the MS3. Lots more to go wrong on it IMO.

If you look at the Mini Cooper and the 350Z/G35C, for example, both of them have had far worse problems than we're experiencing. Yes, the motor mount problem is worrisome but can be easily fixed with different motor mounts. The CELs and such are hopefully easily fixed with a few parts or new software.

Imagine getting a Mini Cooper back in the day when it had very serious electrical issues. Or the transmission problems it's had. The 350Z/G35C had suspension issues that caused tire feathering bad enough to wear out tires unevenly in 10k miles. The 350Z's power window actuators didn't work all the time.

Acura's 2000-2003 CL/TL had such bad problems with their 5-speed transmissions that people were going through 2 or 3 of them under warranty.

All things considered, I think we're doing better than average despite our problems. Plus, to our benefit, the base of the MS3 (the Mazda3) is a DAMN fine car.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
[quote author=Mazda3inDC link=topic=68474.msg1249285#msg1249285 date=1173107674]
All things considered, I think we're doing better than average despite our problems. Plus, to our benefit, the base of the MS3 (the Mazda3) is a DAMN fine car.
[/quote]

This is exactly the conclusion that I've come to over the last couple of weeks. The car has me sold...now comes a bit of a wait.
 

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[quote author=tuners link=topic=68474.msg1183973#msg1183973 date=1170466471]
The first year of any model car is going to bring some isssues and surprises but overall this car is pretty solid so far. Mazda has given us a lot of car for what we paid. I haven't had any CEL problems but I do have the windshield rattle that is annoying. I think there wasn't a lot of cold weather testing done on this model due to its limited production.
I am concerned about the engine mount problem however and disappointed about the apparent lack of response from them on what could potentially be a major liabilty. At the very least they should issue a service bulletin regarding this.
That being said the car is a lot of fun to drive and there are lots of aftermarket products being developed to make it even better. I have no regrets about my decision to buy this car.
[/quote]

I agree the engien mount problem is a big concearn to me as well. IT is such a serious item and we have seen at least 4 cars from people that use this board that have had failures. I would bet there are others out there as well. I hope that it does not take somebody getting seriously injured or a death for them to do something about it. At the very least a TSB should be issued but in reality a recall would be more in line with what should be done.

From what I have read it is not a bolt failure in the sense that the bolt can't take the load it is that the bolt is vibrating and workign itself loose. Either they are not torquing it properly at the factory and/or there is nothing to prevent it from backign out (no locktite). But in reality if the bolt is torqued properly it should nto need locktite. Still I would rather rhave it and have the bolt torqued right. (I don't remember my stress class but I wonder why they can't just use a longer bolt and put a nut on the other end to hold it in???)

awdturbo - Check out your bill from the dealer. I asked my dealer to check the bolt like you did and they told me they looked at it and it was fine and in the proper torque setting but when I reviewed my bill it said they took the car for a test drive and did not feel or hear anthing thing so that was all they did. I have no proof the bolt was examined and I really doubt anybody looked at it. Heck just takign the battery box off is a pain in the ass.

Let's just keep our fingers crossed and hope that Mazda steps up to the plate. I have been whining about a lot of these issues but I am upset to see so many people with so many issues. I can understand a few items being an issue with a new car but this just seems like too many. Especially for a car that is based on a platform that has been out for a few years with only modifications.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
[quote author=jasno999 link=topic=68474.msg1250503#msg1250503 date=1173141424]
Let's just keep our fingers crossed and hope that Mazda steps up to the plate. I have been whining about a lot of these issues but I am upset to see so many people with so many issues. I can understand a few items being an issue with a new car but this just seems like too many. Especially for a car that is based on a platform that has been out for a few years with only modifications.
[/quote]

Mazda: Step up to the plate on the mounts! Be a man, err, or a corporation with a conscience, err, well...do something :bitching:
 
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