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Discussion Starter #1
Am I going to be the first to tow in the 3?

According to the owners manual I'm not supposed to tow but that's pretty silly.

I read that in Europe the 3 can tow 550kg (~1200lbs), without trailer brakes with the 2.0 gas engine and 600kg (~1300lbs) with the 1.6 diesel.

http://www.mazda3.co.uk/sycomax/uploadpool/documents_UK/brochures/308959_18547_UK.pdf

Presumably with the 2.3 I can tow at least as much as the 2.0 (the 2.3 doesn't have as much torque as the 1.6 diesel) I'm only planmning on towing <500lbs anyways)

As for traler hitches, they don't seem to exist yet, I'm going to have a custom one put on this week so I can tow my sons go-kart to autocross next weekend.
 

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Yeah you can....as long as it's not really heavy but the 3 can handle it. I used to travel with my seadoo on a trailer and it was attached to a nissan sentra so I think you are fine with your son's Go-Kart. <500 is not a problem at all. You have 4 disc brakes and what you are carrying is not heavy.

Yes you will have to have one custom made...like most cars.
 

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So why does Mazda USA/Canada not recommend towing while it's accepted in Europe?

Could it be b.c they want us to buy trucks or is there a legitimate reason?
 

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Nah, not cause they want you to buy trucks - Mazda barely makes trucks, and they know people looking at a MZ3 aren't going to be cross shopping trucks anyway.

I'd guess they just don't like the added strain it puts on a car.
 

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you may want to double check with Mazda that putting a trailer hitch on doesn't void your warranty. I can't see why it would but they may make a fit if your tranny goes or something.
 

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raitchison said:
I'm sure Mazda would rather see you in a Tribute, much more profit.

Plus, unlike the rest of the world, the US is predominnantly Automatic Transmissions, which aren't nearly as good at towing.
dont think the transmission is an issue... autos can handle more towing weight than a manual... look at the towing spec differences on pickup trucks with auto vs manual
for example:
http://www.fordvehicles.com/Trucks/f150heritage/features/spectowing/
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That's just the way those trucks are specced. In cars generally auto transmissions are less robust than manuals. This is an issue with lots of compact cars where an auto tranny will fail if you add too much power.

Example is the Focus, the auto in the Focus is only good for about 160Hp but the manual is good for up to 300Hp.

Also, trucks and pretty much anything else thas is designed for towing usually has transmission oil collers, something the 3 doesn't (and probably can't) have.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I just got a quote, it's going to cost me $350 complete for a custom hitch. The guy says once he makes it he sould be able to replicate it and ship it out as a kit, they sell online. So concievably anyone could order my hitch from him (prolly cheaper) and get it welded on at any car shop.

I'll post pictures when it's done.
 

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Most cars have screw holes on the bottom of the chassis below the trunk for mounting a hitch. The Mazda3 has no such provisions?

Even my cousin's old '92 Tercel had such screw holes. I even helped him install his hitch.

You should have seen the face of the hitch shop guy when we said we wanted a tow kit for a '92 Tercel.

"What are you going to try to tow with that?"

"A bicycle, it's for a hitch-mount bike rack."

"Oh..."
 

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It isn't surprising that there are no holes for a trailer hitch if the owner's manual specifically states one should not use the 3 for towing.
 

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Bombadil said:
It isn't surprising that there are no holes for a trailer hitch if the owner's manual specifically states one should not use the 3 for towing.
Well, I kind of expected that the holes would be there. For example, the LCD in the US-spec Mazda3 has the display for the Euro-spec automatic climate control system, and there is that bubble on the dash for what I assume is provisions for a daylight sensor.
 

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Of course they all may have the holes. But it wouldn't surprise me if Mazda took care to make sure that Mz3's bound for NA didn't have them, as it would give them a stronger case against any warranty claims. If they have holes and someone installs a trailer hitch, Mazda's defense is much weaker than if the person had to drill the holes and thus make a modification to the car to make a hitch fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That would be very expensive for Mazda to do and most definitely not worth the money for them. Most people aren;t going to try to tow and those who do will do so regardless of bolt holes.

As for denying warranty claims, anyone who they accuse of towing as a way to deny a warranty claim can just say it's for a bike rack.
 

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It wouldn't be very expensive for Mazda to not drill holes on some cars. After all, they are already putting in different engines and several different options. Granted it would require some management of which frames are where, but that would not be all that hard. After all, they already manage lots of other parts that go to different countries.

As to claiming a bike rack, one had better hope that there is no evidence from the frame or tow gear that shows there was far higher stress on those parts than a bike frame would ever put on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well I towed a rental trailer yesterday (see the thread on my custom trailer hitch here)

Here it is with the trailer





Sorry I don't have any pictures with the go-kart loaded, the battery on my digital camera died.

The car had no issues whatsoever pulling the trailer, even when I went up and down a 6% grade twice (once loaded, once not) In fact even in 5th @50mph the car had enough torque to accellerate without downshifting going uphill.


Not this trailer was probably 650lbs max loaded so who knows if your towing closer to 1000lbs.

One thing I did notice was that the ramp on the rental trailer aced as a drag chute at >55Mph (I kept it at 65 or below), not enough to give the car any problems but definitely enough to notice.
 

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That's pretty sweet!!

U-Haul should buy a Lava Orange and rent them with trailers... :)

I commented in the other thread.
 
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