Author Topic: Used Vehicle Review: Mazda3, 2004-2009  (Read 4461 times)

Offline Autos_Editor

  • Car Crazy
  • *****
  • Posts: 6384
  • Carma: +80/-426
  • member
    • View Profile
Used Vehicle Review: Mazda3, 2004-2009
« on: November 08, 2012, 06:05:52 am »


The Mazda3's reliability has been good, but 'the car has not proven as trouble-free as some of its Japanese competitors,' says Chris Chase.

Read More...

Offline mixmanmash

  • Drunk on Fuel
  • ****
  • Posts: 2672
  • Carma: +53/-169
  • member
    • View Profile
  • Cars: 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring; 1993 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo; 2009 Nissan Rogue S AWD (wife's); 2002 Mazda Protege ES-GT (retired)
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mazda3, 2004-2009
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2012, 09:05:49 am »
It is amazing how many Mazda3s I see in Alberta with rust issues.  They seem to rust just as quick as the Protégés, especially in the same rear wheel well area.

Offline aaronk

  • Drunk on Fuel
  • ****
  • Posts: 1508
  • Carma: +43/-36
    • View Profile
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mazda3, 2004-2009
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2012, 09:13:52 am »
It is amazing how many Mazda3s I see in Alberta with rust issues.  They seem to rust just as quick as the Protégés, especially in the same rear wheel well area.

I would really like to find some conclusive reports as to whether or not Mazda has addressed this. I love my Protege5 but I wouldn't buy another Mazda if it's going to be a rustbucket in 4-5 years. The internet is full of conflicting information - some saying it was corrected in 2006, then in 2010, but there are people who have posted pictures of their 2010's developing small spots of surface rust...you'd think Mazda would take this very seriously and address the issue with galvanized metal, factory rust-proofing, etc.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2012, 09:15:29 am by aaronk »

Offline chrischasescars

  • Drunk on Fuel
  • ****
  • Posts: 1094
  • Carma: +18/-25
  • Gender: Male
  • The Voice of Reason
    • View Profile
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mazda3, 2004-2009
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2012, 10:35:13 am »
A good friend of mine got Mazda to fix the rust on his 2007 Sport GT repaired for free, earlier this year. But he's the very definition of "squeaky wheel." I'm sure they did it just to get him to go away.  :rofl2:
I used to work here.

Offline vantage007

  • Auto Obsessed
  • ***
  • Posts: 786
  • Carma: +38/-47
  • The Stig
    • View Profile
    • Double Clutch Canada
  • Cars: 1990 MX-5 - 36K Miles
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mazda3, 2004-2009
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2012, 10:49:47 am »
Mazda extended the rust warranty on Mazda3 models from 2004-2006 to something like 7 years and unlimited mileage. I had my Mazda3's rear quarters replaced during the brief time I owned it.

If they don't rust or blow up, they're a hoot to drive and in my opinion the best of the class from 2004-2006.

Offline aaronk

  • Drunk on Fuel
  • ****
  • Posts: 1508
  • Carma: +43/-36
    • View Profile
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mazda3, 2004-2009
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2012, 10:54:06 am »
A good friend of mine got Mazda to fix the rust on his 2007 Sport GT repaired for free, earlier this year. But he's the very definition of "squeaky wheel." I'm sure they did it just to get him to go away.  :rofl2:

So if they fixed his '2007' for rust, it seems the corrosion issue wasn't remedied for 2006 after all. If there is a problem with the metal itself, a 'repair' (grind and paint) is only a bandaid and will come back within a year or two unless they're actually replacing fenders, doors, etc. If the metal is faulty corrosion will come back and rot from underneath, despite how many times you grind and paint the surface.

Offline mixmanmash

  • Drunk on Fuel
  • ****
  • Posts: 2672
  • Carma: +53/-169
  • member
    • View Profile
  • Cars: 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring; 1993 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo; 2009 Nissan Rogue S AWD (wife's); 2002 Mazda Protege ES-GT (retired)
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mazda3, 2004-2009
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2012, 11:19:36 am »
It is amazing how many Mazda3s I see in Alberta with rust issues.  They seem to rust just as quick as the Protégés, especially in the same rear wheel well area.

I would really like to find some conclusive reports as to whether or not Mazda has addressed this. I love my Protege5 but I wouldn't buy another Mazda if it's going to be a rustbucket in 4-5 years. The internet is full of conflicting information - some saying it was corrected in 2006, then in 2010, but there are people who have posted pictures of their 2010's developing small spots of surface rust...you'd think Mazda would take this very seriously and address the issue with galvanized metal, factory rust-proofing, etc.

What is really interesting is that I haven't seen a Mazda 6 from the same generation with any rust?  Is it something with their source of metals for Japanese built cars vs. US Built?

The rust on my Protege is to the point where the rear fascia attachment points no longer exist (so I got very creative to hold it tight).  There is a small hole somewhere behind the rear mud flap because it has kicked up some water into the area where the jack is kept, effectively rusting out the jack and rendering it useless.  I have over 310,000 kms on my car and it's really sad that rust is what will kill an otherwise great, reliable car.  I'll just drive it till the rust gets structural (suspension towers, etc.)

Offline hemusbull

  • Auto Obsessed
  • ***
  • Posts: 685
  • Carma: +11/-129
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mazda3, 2004-2009
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2012, 11:34:15 am »
Even after '06 'till '12 Mazda3 has two major issues: rust and bad gas mileage. Otherwise beautiful car to own, pleasurable to drive. The problems must be addressed at least in this year's SkyActiv...Although Mazda is just pulling up from tough times I don't want them to follow US Suzuki.

Online Rupert

  • Drunk on Fuel
  • ****
  • Posts: 2101
  • Carma: +20/-97
  • member
    • View Profile
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mazda3, 2004-2009
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2012, 12:04:10 pm »
Tires wear on one side of tread...inside of tread. Nice car though and yeah rusting rear wheel arches. I think the first ones were best style. It seemed to be a nice compact strong design. Latterly not so great.

Offline libraman

  • Enthusiast
  • **
  • Posts: 301
  • Carma: +1/-3
    • View Profile
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mazda3, 2004-2009
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2012, 12:09:55 pm »
Even after '06 'till '12 Mazda3 has two major issues: rust and bad gas mileage. Otherwise beautiful car to own, pleasurable to drive. The problems must be addressed at least in this year's SkyActiv...Although Mazda is just pulling up from tough times I don't want them to follow US Suzuki.

Test after test has shown that the mileage is just as good as most competitors when talking about the 2.0 litre engine. And with the introduction of partial skyactive the current 3 bests almost all in that regard.

The 2.3/2.5 of course is not as good.

Offline 810

  • Learner's Permit
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • Carma: +2/-1
    • View Profile
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mazda3, 2004-2009
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2012, 12:26:24 pm »
It is amazing how many Mazda3s I see in Alberta with rust issues.  They seem to rust just as quick as the Protégés, especially in the same rear wheel well area.

I would really like to find some conclusive reports as to whether or not Mazda has addressed this. I love my Protege5 but I wouldn't buy another Mazda if it's going to be a rustbucket in 4-5 years. The internet is full of conflicting information - some saying it was corrected in 2006, then in 2010, but there are people who have posted pictures of their 2010's developing small spots of surface rust...you'd think Mazda would take this very seriously and address the issue with galvanized metal, factory rust-proofing, etc.

What is really interesting is that I haven't seen a Mazda 6 from the same generation with any rust?  Is it something with their source of metals for Japanese built cars vs. US Built?

The rust on my Protege is to the point where the rear fascia attachment points no longer exist (so I got very creative to hold it tight).  There is a small hole somewhere behind the rear mud flap because it has kicked up some water into the area where the jack is kept, effectively rusting out the jack and rendering it useless.  I have over 310,000 kms on my car and it's really sad that rust is what will kill an otherwise great, reliable car.  I'll just drive it till the rust gets structural (suspension towers, etc.)

I had a Protege 5 for 7 years (2003-2010). Has it rust proofed (oil spray) every year. No major rust issues. Just some separation of sheet metal crease in rear wheelwells, and a weird rust spot in front passenger door jamb (on the roof side). Weird because I had no sunroof. Car was driven in GTA (the salt belt) all year. I did not religiously wash it. As for the jack cavity - yes I actually had that on BOTH sides in the hatchback. In my case though, those cavities were oil-sprayed, and I regularly soaked the water out with rags. Otherwise - your jack sits horizontally in the cavity, mine sat semi-vertically ABOVE it, which might have helped.

Offline LoveToDrive

  • Learner's Permit
  • *
  • Posts: 27
  • Carma: +2/-3
  • member
    • View Profile
  • Cars: 2010 Mazda 3, 2014 Acura RDX
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mazda3, 2004-2009
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2012, 12:28:20 pm »
I own a 2010 Mazda 3 (no signs of rust) but I am otherwise concerned about the whole Mazda Rust problem.

While I was having my car serviced the other day, I mentioned to the service manager that I'm very interested in replacing my other car for a cx-5, but the whole rust issue is holding me back and thats too bad ... it must be hurting Mazda sales.

He did not act surprised in the least when I mentioned "rust issue" and quickly mentioned that as of 2013, all new Mazda vehicles have an 8 year Rust perforation warranty (previously 5 year I believe).   

So hopefully that means they have taken the required steps to correct the problem ... but it doesn't necessarily mean that I guess

Offline TerryB

  • Learner's Permit
  • *
  • Posts: 29
  • Carma: +0/-3
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Cars: Hyundai Genesis Sedan, Mazda MX5, Mazda3, Mercury Villager, Nissan Altima, Acura Integra (x4)
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mazda3, 2004-2009
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2012, 12:45:48 pm »
AHH THE MAZDA3 RUST PROBLEM!!

I just picked up my '05 from the repair shop for that the same issue TODAY. 
The Rear wheel wells had surface rust under the paint.   The rest of the car is absolutely clean.
Luckily for me I've had it Krown sprayed every year and it was just bubbling surface rust under the lip.

Supposedly this "extended rust program" was for 6 years from date of purchase.   
I just found out this week that the program even existed, and then the dealer tells me it's too late for me.

My surface rust started well before my time limit was up, but did the dealer tell me about this coverage when I was in for service??
"NO" I did not even think to complain because I was outside the 5 year warranty anyways. 
I guess only the people who COMPLAINED were helped.  That's just not right.  We should have been informed of this program and the cars should have been inspected.

So I picked up my car today from the body shopw and my wallet is almost $700 lighter.


Offline tortoise

  • Car Crazy
  • *****
  • Posts: 4128
  • Carma: +54/-62
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mazda3, 2004-2009
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2012, 01:10:58 pm »


What is really interesting is that I haven't seen a Mazda 6 from the same generation with any rust?  Is it something with their source of metals for Japanese built cars vs. US Built?

I test drove 2 6 wagons before buying my Mazda5.  Both had rust starting to show up in the door creases and rear wheel arches.
Only the slow and dim know where they're going in life, and seldom is it worth the trip. - Tom Robbins.

Offline 810

  • Learner's Permit
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • Carma: +2/-1
    • View Profile
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mazda3, 2004-2009
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2012, 01:13:49 pm »
AHH THE MAZDA3 RUST PROBLEM!!

I just picked up my '05 from the repair shop for that the same issue TODAY. 
The Rear wheel wells had surface rust under the paint.   The rest of the car is absolutely clean.
Luckily for me I've had it Krown sprayed every year and it was just bubbling surface rust under the lip.

Supposedly this "extended rust program" was for 6 years from date of purchase.   
I just found out this week that the program even existed, and then the dealer tells me it's too late for me.

My surface rust started well before my time limit was up, but did the dealer tell me about this coverage when I was in for service??
"NO" I did not even think to complain because I was outside the 5 year warranty anyways. 
I guess only the people who COMPLAINED were helped.  That's just not right.  We should have been informed of this program and the cars should have been inspected.

So I picked up my car today from the body shopw and my wallet is almost $700 lighter.

Actually, I would warn all to watch how Krown applies their oil. Might be the method, might be the shop I had mine done in.

1. You do NOT have to allow them to drill holes. Manufacturer drain and vent holes are enough. Any additional hole is a pre-defined rust source, especially those on running boards etc.
2. Do not allow them to spray rubber components, as oil soak expands them (this is why you lube the rubber seal of a new oil filter with oil before installing). I had the hood leading edge rubber seals replaced, also those rubber seals around side turn signals. Worse - I now believe that the reason my protege was eating rear brake pads was due to the fact that the dust boots on the caliper got deformed by oil-soak from Krown underspray - hence constantly dry slider pins and new pads every 20K.
3. Rear bumper guard 3M adhesive separated and the plastic guard got deformed because of oil seepage from drain holes in the tailgate (they are towards the sides of the bottom edge of the gate.

Bottom line, their method works, but you need to carefully watch where they spray it.

Offline marcus_go

  • Learner's Permit
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Carma: +1/-2
  • member
    • View Profile
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mazda3, 2004-2009
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2012, 02:16:21 pm »
Just curious, did they ever offer stability control as option or standard on certain trims?

Offline Careener

  • Car Crazy
  • *****
  • Posts: 4695
  • Carma: +50/-24
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Cars: 2012 Mustang | 2006 Mazda6 Wagon - sold
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mazda3, 2004-2009
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2012, 03:42:32 pm »


What is really interesting is that I haven't seen a Mazda 6 from the same generation with any rust?  Is it something with their source of metals for Japanese built cars vs. US Built?

I test drove 2 6 wagons before buying my Mazda5.  Both had rust starting to show up in the door creases and rear wheel arches.

My 6 wagon has rust in the driver's side rear wheel arch.

For the 3 owners there are two fixes for the major issues.

1)Upper wheel arch replacement. Cut out and weld in new. This is the only rust fix.
2)Rear camber kit to eliminate premature inner tire wear.

Other than that they are great cars.
The seat didn't go far enough back for me so I had a sore hip after long drives. That and the rust are why I sold mine (severely discounted).
Former Rust Enthusiast

Offline aaronk

  • Drunk on Fuel
  • ****
  • Posts: 1508
  • Carma: +43/-36
    • View Profile
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mazda3, 2004-2009
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2012, 03:58:40 pm »
I'm not trying to sell anything here, but I've done some of my own rust removal/paint work on my white Protege5 and have had decent results for very little money. I'm not skilled enough to cut out and weld new sheetmetal, and I'm not willing to invest in the car, so here's what I did for about $30:

1) Grind down the surface rust until bare metal is showing, either with an angle grinder or dremmel if it's a small spot.

2) I actually used a bondo body kit from Canadian Tire (about $15) when I found that the rust had actually perforated through the fender. There was nothing left to paint so I had to rebuild the surface. It was a simple process - mix the putty and the hardener, slap it on, shape it and let it dry. Sand by hand with a coarse grit sandpaper, then refine with a fine grit, and repeat the process untill the surface is rebuilt smoothly.

3) Last step is prime/paint. I used this product as a primer:

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/4/Auto/AutoRepairAccessories/SpecialtyRepair/PRD~0477956P/Rust+Check+Rust+Killer.jsp?locale=en

I covered up the wheels and windows and stood back a ways and took short, light sprays with the primer. After about 2-3 coats I used the Rust Check Gloss White paint from Canadian Tire, very similar in colour to my Mazda paint.

About 18 months later the paint is starting to bubble again, so it's not a long-term solution, but it's still white. For about $30 it looks a lot better than having big brown crumbly spots all over the car. Mine was on the doors, hood, and all 4 fenders.

Also, to remove the rust 'stains',  use a product called Spray 9 and a kitchen cloth. It's a multi-use cleaner that costs about $4/bottle and it removes the brown stains on the paint very well. This was one of the worst parts about having a white car that is rusty - it stands out like a sore thumb.

Hope this helps!

Offline PhiDelt

  • Learner's Permit
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Carma: +4/-6
    • View Profile
  • Cars: 2013 Ford Taurus, 2014 Scion FRS
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mazda3, 2004-2009
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2012, 04:12:21 pm »
We have had a 2004 Mazda 6 since it was new (190,000 kms) and not 1 issue with rust.  We got it Rust Checked within the 1st week of owning it and will do it on every vehicle we own .  Ya its 250 to 300 bucks to get the Rust Check done but well worth it in the long term.

Offline mixmanmash

  • Drunk on Fuel
  • ****
  • Posts: 2672
  • Carma: +53/-169
  • member
    • View Profile
  • Cars: 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring; 1993 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo; 2009 Nissan Rogue S AWD (wife's); 2002 Mazda Protege ES-GT (retired)
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mazda3, 2004-2009
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2012, 04:26:47 pm »
He did not act surprised in the least when I mentioned "rust issue" and quickly mentioned that as of 2013, all new Mazda vehicles have an 8 year Rust perforation warranty (previously 5 year I believe).   

So hopefully that means they have taken the required steps to correct the problem ... but it doesn't necessarily mean that I guess

I certainly hope so.  Why can Audi and BMW offer 144 months (12 years) / unlimited mileage of rust perforation warranty?  Real simple.  They use double sided galvanized panels and after welding they hot dip galvanize the assembly.  That's what Mazda needs to do to earn the trust back.

I love Mazda, but the rust problems have me keeping my distance from purchasing another one.