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Mazda MAZDA3, Mazda MAZDASPEED MAZDA3, Lights, Electrical, Hatchback
#56 of 83 Mazda brake light electrical problems
Jun 28, 2011 (5:19 pm)
So I bought a used 08 Mazda3 in Dec 2010, and didn't have any problems with it until a couple of months ago. Randomly, my brake light will come on, the air conditioning stops being cold, the blue backlighting of the speedometer goes away as well as the orange backlighting for the radio, and the signal arrows will not come up or make the clicking sound inside (though I've found that they work outside).
I took it to the dealership to check it out on Monday, and they tried to say it was due to a broken foglight (which was broken when I bought the car, although I didn't notice before driving off the lot). So, they disconnected the foglight, claiming everything would be ok, but as soon as I got on the highway, the brake light returned with its host of other accompanying problems. They claimed that the brakes, etc. were ok, but it's about to be July and air conditioning is pretty important, as well as knowing if the brake light is really coming on because my brakes are not functioning.
Does anyone have any idea what could be going on with this? I honestly feel a little mistrusting of this Mazda shop now because they claimed it was such a simple fix....like, isn't there a computer you can hook up that tells you what is wrong? I would appreciate it if they didn't play "guess and check" with my multi-thousand dollar purchase, you know?
#57 of 83 Re: Mazda brake light electrical problems [carlsbad17]
by PFFlyer@Edmunds HOST
Jun 29, 2011 (1:32 pm)
Chasing down electrical gremlins can be downright frustrating, and sometimes it's surprising how one issue can cause electrical problems in some other area that seems completely unrelated.
Seems like the obvious place to start checking is the power supply to the dash. No back light on the speedo, radio, and turn signal indicator on the dash not showing would make me think that the root of the problem is in that neighborhood.
I'm not sure I'd mistrust the shop just yet. They tried something simple at first, which is better than starting at "complicated and expensive" and finding out later it could have been a simple fix.
#58 of 83 Re: Mazda brake light electrical problems [carlsbad17]
Jul 20, 2011 (9:55 am)
I bought an 08 Mazda3 in Oct of 2010 and my car is now doing the same thing as yours. It started a month ago with the blue dash lights flickering on and off as well as the orange radio lights. I took it into the shop to have the computerized electrical system checked for $45 and they couldn't find anything wrong. They said it was probably the alternator and would cost between $850-$900 to put in a new one. The car is out of warranty. They weren't sure that was the problem but that's what they GUESSED.
Now, a month later when I was leaving work at 5pm yesterday, my car did the same thing as yours. The AC was blowing hot air, the turn signals wouldn't work or make any noise, the brake warning light came on, the auto lock/unlock wouldn't work, the power windows wouldn't work, and the lights on warning sound didn't work when I turned off engine.
The car is at the dealer's again today but I really don't think this is an alternator problem. They said the battery will recharge itself after several hours. But it sat still for 9 hours yesterday and wouldn't work at 5pm but then at 8pm last night, everything worked fine again as well as this morning.
This is driving me nuts..no pun intended. Any ideas of what's going on?
#59 of 83 Re: electrical problems [lindalee2]
Jul 21, 2011 (1:14 pm)
I really don't think this is an alternator problem
My understanding is that for electrical problems, if your battery is fine then the alternator is an obvious suspect; not the only suspect but an obvious one.
took it into the shop ... They said it was probably the alternator ... cost between $850-$900
Is this shop a Mazda dealership? If you don't trust this shop, you may want to have a diagnostic done at another shop. At minimum, another shop could confirm the cost to install a new alternator. I would be reluctant also to invest nearly $1K on a repair of which I am unsure.
The car is out of warranty
How long out of warranty? When in 2008 was the car built? It is unusual for a three year old car to require a new alternator. Was the car involved in an accident, flood or some other problem? If not, I'd speak to a Mazda dealership about this and then send a letter of concern/complaint to Mazda USA. My ten year old Mazda Protege still has its original alternator.
#60 of 83 Re: electrical problems [autonomous]
Jul 25, 2011 (7:47 pm)
This isn't rocket science; the dealer needs to check the alternator output, load test the battery, and check for any excessive amperage draw when the car is totally shut down.
How hard can that be?
#61 of 83 Re: electrical problems [autonomous]
Sep 18, 2011 (1:43 pm)
I've had some experience - a lot, actually - with faulty Mazda 3 electrical systems.
I have a 2008 (and a half) Mazda 3 "S" Sport hatch (some Mazda sites call it an "RS"). I currently have about 39K miles on the car - I bought it new in May of 2008. I live in the Southern California desert area (Palm Springs) and have been having intermittent electrical issues since 2009.
First time, it happened in a parking lot, idling, AC on (pumping as much as the semi-anemic system could provide) during a really hot (over 110 degrees) day. The power steering failed. Resting and restarting the car a few hours later, no problems. It happened once again that summer.
Forward to summer, 2010. Having electrical issues - again - and trying to figure out how to get to Mazda and get it worked on - heard about the upcoming (at the time) power steering recall. Waited to do that - as that's what I figured was causing the electrical issues; I thought the power steering system was overheating and faulting the electrical system.
Welcome to summer 2011 - still having issues. Taken to the local dealership. First time - they replaced the alternator. A few weeks later, same issues, the replaced the alternator AGAIN. Another few weeks, and the same issues. This time, they replaced the power control module (PCM). Again, a few weeks later (yes, this it attempt #4), Mazda corporate service got involved and they found a potentially shorting wiring harness and the connector to the alternator from the PCM. I'll pick the car up this next week.
Hopefully, there will be no more issues with the electrical. Thank goodness for the MEPP Total Care warranty I bought when the car was new...! Not a cent out of My pocket.
#62 of 83 Re: electrical problems [roadburner]
Sep 18, 2011 (1:44 pm)
the dealer needs to check the alternator output, load test the battery, and check for any excessive amperage draw when the car is totally shut down.
How hard can that be?
See My reply in this thread - it can be pretty damn hard!
#63 of 83 2005 Mazda 3 Battery Cable replacement
May 03, 2011 (10:44 am)
Does anybody know what it takes to replace the battery cable on a 2005 Mazda 3, or find a the bttery cable diagram?
#64 of 83 Re: electrical problems [lmcdrm]
Sep 30, 2011 (5:22 pm)
it can be pretty damn hard!
Agreed- if the service department is totally incompetent. They were doing what I refer to as "flailing"- throwing parts at the problem in the hope that something might work.
#65 of 83 Problems with an '09 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring
Oct 19, 2011 (10:51 am)
My fiancee's car has had its fourth no-start in a year. Here is the outline of what has happened (posted in another thread that is unrelated to this). My fiancee does not drive much, however, it does get driven 2-3 times per week, at least one of which is a significant jaunt.
First time: December 2010 - car no starts after having sat for a day without being driven, in 3 degree weather. Car jumps fine, dealer says just to drive it, its probably the weather. Fine.
Second time: March 2011 - Car no starts again, no real explanation as to why. Dealer says bad battery, we buy a new battery, all seems fine.
Third time: July 2011 - car no starts AGAIN, throws a check engine light. Dealer says it has a negative ground wire cable, and replaces it under warranty.
Fourth time: October 2011 - car no starts after having been driven approximately 80 miles the day before without issue. Dealer says car is fine, battery is fine. They say the battery was completely dead and would have needed far more juice than a simple jump would have provided. They further tested the alternator, and said it was fine, as well as doing a parasitic load check which came back normal.
I don't buy it. I am thinking about filing a grievance with Mazda corporate, because this is not normal at all for a brand new battery.