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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everybody, I'm new to this forum so nice to meet you all.

I'm planning on buying a Mazda 3 soon in the future. After reading a few comparison on this forum, I just need a few more things cleared up. My current major is automotive technician, and need a car where I could easily work on at home. I currently drive a 2005 Lexus IS300. After watching the technician struggling to do an oil change on the car, I've decided that a IS300 won't be the car for me to work on at home. So my first question to all you 3 owner is, do you consider this car to be easy to work on (Such as oil Change).
The next question I like to ask you all is, which body style is better? The 4-door or 5-door. I'm currently 18, so I plan to modify the car a bit. (By the way, I'm planning to get the automatic transmission. Or Mazda like to called it "Activematic" <--- Not sure if that is the actual name that Mazda called it but something close to that.).

Thanks you all. And hopefully I will join the Mazda 3 club with my very own Mazda 3 by the end of April.
 

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If you really want something to work on, I'd say don't get a car made in the last 20 years or so... I don't think there's a whole that's customer serviceable on the Mazda3 outside of changing the fluids unless you have inside info or a service manual. Computers, computers, computers, sensors, sensors, sensors. I doubt you can go into NAPA and buy many parts for these cars beyond perhaps brake pads and oil filters. I can't comment on the oil change because I haven't tried it yet, though there are DIY guides on this forum about it. (Note the 2.0l engine has a screw on oil filter while the 2.3l engine has a cartridge type.)

In my opinion, if you're 18, in school, and you already have a car that's only 2 years old, I'd say hold off on the new car purchase for a while...
 

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Oil changes are easy, they just take a little while longer to do thanks to the splash guard and cartridge style filter. Routine maintenance is all pretty simple, but I have no clue as to major work or mods. Body style is all subjective, but I like the hatch for its versatility.

But my real comment here is, if you have an IS300, why on earth would you want to trade down to a Mazda3? And why would you want a car you can work on? Wouldn't you rather have a faster, more luxurious car with better residual value and reliability? I mean, I love my Mazda, but I'd trade for a Lex any day of the week.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The only reason for trading in my Lexus IS300, is because I need to make one car into two car. And Mazda has the promotion of having 2xx per month lease I believe. That way, it will ease the stress level on my mom for car payment. Because she is planning to get a Toyota RAV4. So with the lease on a new RAV4 n my currently lease on the IS300, I could see monthly payment of about $800. BTW, I only live with my mom and she is divorce. So, being a good kid I am, I try to find ways to ease the stress on her financially, especially she is limited in what kind of work she can do. So by getting a Mazda 3 and using their promotion offers, instead of monthly payment of $800 towards car, I could see about $600. From my current part time job, my monthly paycheck could cover a little more than half of that.
I really don't want to trade in my IS300, but I can't think selfishly and not care about my mom. Especially after having raise me single handledly for 15 years. I have to repay the debt in some sort of way or another. And this is a good start.
 

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From what I understand, when you get used to all the regular maintanance items on the car, it's pretty easy to live with. Hexedit, a forum staff member and friend of mine, is currently working on turbo charging his hatch. From what he's told me, working on the transmission on the 3 is as easy as it gets. He does all his own maintanence and is pretty familiar with breaking down everything. I would PM him your questions. He's a really nice guy - I'm sure he'd love to help you out.

Wait.. I just realized you're a new member - you can't send PM's until you reach 10 posts. I'll tell you what, I'll ask him to check out this thread!
 

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:tgm3:
 

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[quote author=hoo8myryce link=topic=71010.msg1247459#msg1247459 date=1173001463]
I really don't want to trade in my IS300, but I can't think selfishly and not care about my mom. Especially after having raise me single handledly for 15 years. I have to repay the debt in some sort of way or another. And this is a good start.
[/quote]

You're ok in my book dude :goodjob:

Don't concern yourself with how easy a car may be to work on for normal maintenance. They all are pretty much the same, all a PIA, every car has their idiosyncrasies. It boils down to time. Compared to others, the Mz3 may take 5-10 minutes more for an oil change with the bottom shroud & cannister filter. No big deal. The smaller a car is, the tighter the engine bay is, making you remove things just to get to the part you need to replace/repair. As an auto tech, get used to it. If you truly want an easy car to work on, get a full size pickup truck with a small engine. Tons of room to get to things, very simple layouts.

Hatch or sedan is just a personal preference, they both look great stock, even better with some well chosen mods. Go to a dealer & look around, one car on the lot will speak to you and say ME ME ME ME.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks MetalCord. Appreciate the help. And of course thanks everyone who help me out. Off to the dealer I go on Wednesday to scout out my car.

^^
 

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Well metalcord sent me a PM telling me to check out this thread so I figure I'll chime in.

First off, I don't get why you are trading in an IS300 for a mazda3. I find it very hard to believe an IS300 would be any harder to work on than a 3...but then again I've never touched an IS300. As far as the 3 goes, I do all my own maintenance and I am a home garage mechanic. I do most my work on jack stands and with regular ratchets and what not. I only recently got access to a garage and it has spoiled me, but thats not to say that the work is not capable of being done by yourself at home. I've done a ton of bolt on mods, I've completely redone the suspension, I've taken off the bottom half of the engine, and I've done all the routine maintenance on the car by myself and I find it very easy to work on. The only thing I have yet to do really at this point is tear down the engine and rebuild it. Anyways, the car can be finnicky to work on, but thats not to say that it isnt possible, there are a bunch of threads around here with tricks on how to do certain mods. As far as body style, I love the sedan and I love the hatch, it is really up to you and there is almost no difference as far as working on them goes....the hatch may be a bit easier...i'm not sure really. The one thing I do like about the hatch is the placement of the jackstand which allowed me and others to build a somewhat stealth subwoofer box. Beyond that, i don't really know what else there is to say. Turbo is going in my car in the next 2 weeks and I've already gone standalone which was not hard at all.

If you have any questions let me know, I hope this post helped...I'm somewhat drunk as I write this cause I am on spring break but oh well. Shit happens.
 
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