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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone noticed the paint chips that are resident on the side extensions of the "Mazda 3 Hatchback"? I'm not sure if they are on the sedan version or not.

I think it's a design flaw on the Mazda 3 hatchback because it lacks splash guards. Here in Lake Tahoe there are a lot of dirt and gravel that's used to melt the snow kicks up from the front wheels and repels the rocks to the back...and hitting the bottom side extensions. If you've noticed a lot of rocks clanking against the car lately, check it out.

Has anyone else experienced this problem?

Spencer
 

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With the sideskirt, the car will not come with splashguards. You're pretty much left with an option of getting some put on aftermarket but that would be difficult. There are 2 holes around the wheelbase, wither for side stills or mudflaps. You have to choose either or, can't have both. By no means is that a design flaw whatsoever. The Mazda Protege 5, Protege Speed did not have splashgaurds. BMW M3s do not have splashguards.
 

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Could someone get the 3M film put on the side sills to help prevent chips from salt, gravel etc. ? It would seem pretty easy to have done, probably easier than the curves of a bumper.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
neomonkey said:
With the sideskirt, the car will not come with splashguards. You're pretty much left with an option of getting some put on aftermarket but that would be difficult. There are 2 holes around the wheelbase, wither for side stills or mudflaps. You have to choose either or, can't have both. By no means is that a design flaw whatsoever. The Mazda Protege 5, Protege Speed did not have splashgaurds. BMW M3s do not have splashguards.
Hey neomonkey,

I agree with you partially, but I still think there is a design flaw on Mazda's behalf. If Mazda can provide you with the option of putting on side sills to make your car look sporty, I think that they could have sought out the fact that neglecting to attach splash guards...it could quickly ruin the side sills like its doing now in my situation. I love my hatchback, but the side sills are standard...there's nothing I can do about that. I just think that Mazda should have consider integrating splash guards with the side sills to prevent the damage that I'm getting, or flare out the wheel wells to allow the rocks and gravel to hit against the interior...IMHO.

I know it might be easier said than done, but they are the OEM's...they can do anything :roll:

Spencer
 

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overkast said:
neomonkey said:
With the sideskirt, the car will not come with splashguards. You're pretty much left with an option of getting some put on aftermarket but that would be difficult. There are 2 holes around the wheelbase, wither for side stills or mudflaps. You have to choose either or, can't have both. By no means is that a design flaw whatsoever. The Mazda Protege 5, Protege Speed did not have splashgaurds. BMW M3s do not have splashguards.
Hey neomonkey,

I agree with you partially, but I still think there is a design flaw on Mazda's behalf. If Mazda can provide you with the option of putting on side sills to make your car look sporty, I think that they could have sought out the fact that neglecting to attach splash guards...it could quickly ruin the side sills like its doing now in my situation. I love my hatchback, but the side sills are standard...there's nothing I can do about that. I just think that Mazda should have consider integrating splash guards with the side sills to prevent the damage that I'm getting, or flare out the wheel wells to allow the rocks and gravel to hit against the interior...IMHO.

I know it might be easier said than done, but they are the OEM's...they can do anything :roll:

Spencer
WEll, its been like that eversince side sills were invented. It's not a design flaw. Look at all the cars with side skirts, they have no splashguards. Next time, pay attention to cars like BMWs which cost ~3 times more than the Mz3 (the M3), they don't come withe splashguards. Imagine what an M3 owner is going through. Look at the 2003 Acura EL with Aero Kit. You cannot put on mudflaps with aero kit installed. You can see with the pattern, that its not a design flaw.

Now I've had a brief discussion with the dealer at Sunridge Mazda and was told that you can have 3M film behind the side sill. But that's about it. The side sill is there to act as a partial splashguard while looking good.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
neomonkey said:
overkast said:
neomonkey said:
With the sideskirt, the car will not come with splashguards. You're pretty much left with an option of getting some put on aftermarket but that would be difficult. There are 2 holes around the wheelbase, wither for side stills or mudflaps. You have to choose either or, can't have both. By no means is that a design flaw whatsoever. The Mazda Protege 5, Protege Speed did not have splashgaurds. BMW M3s do not have splashguards.
Hey neomonkey,

I agree with you partially, but I still think there is a design flaw on Mazda's behalf. If Mazda can provide you with the option of putting on side sills to make your car look sporty, I think that they could have sought out the fact that neglecting to attach splash guards...it could quickly ruin the side sills like its doing now in my situation. I love my hatchback, but the side sills are standard...there's nothing I can do about that. I just think that Mazda should have consider integrating splash guards with the side sills to prevent the damage that I'm getting, or flare out the wheel wells to allow the rocks and gravel to hit against the interior...IMHO.

I know it might be easier said than done, but they are the OEM's...they can do anything :roll:

Spencer
WEll, its been like that eversince side sills were invented. It's not a design flaw. Look at all the cars with side skirts, they have no splashguards. Next time, pay attention to cars like BMWs which cost ~3 times more than the Mz3 (the M3), they don't come withe splashguards. Imagine what an M3 owner is going through. Look at the 2003 Acura EL with Aero Kit. You cannot put on mudflaps with aero kit installed. You can see with the pattern, that its not a design flaw.

Now I've had a brief discussion with the dealer at Sunridge Mazda and was told that you can have 3M film behind the side sill. But that's about it. The side sill is there to act as a partial splashguard while looking good.
NeoMonkey,

Do you think the M3 and Acura's have the same problem? Maybe their wheels are more recessed into the wheel well therefore preventing the gravel and rocks from shooting out?? Do you know how much the 3M film guard is for the side sills? Seriously, I'm not exaggerating about the paint chips...it's bad and can only get worst throughout this winter :( .

I'm jealous and confused why the sedan with the sport package can accomodate splash guards, but the hatch cannot...or is also one feature or the other?

Thanks,
Spencer
 

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overkast,
The sedan with side sills cannot have the splash guards as well. If you get a base model w/o the GT pakcage, then you can get splashguards As for wheel recession, i think the wheels are the same. rocks fly up while driving, thats a reality. Look at the Protege5 and the MazdaSpeed, they do not have splashguards either. I'm not sure how much it will cost, you might want to ask your dealer.
 
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