Last post on Aug 10, 2008 at 10:23 AM
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Mazda MAZDA5, Engine, Van
#1 of 17 Engine Stumble New Feb 2008 Service Bulletin
Apr 12, 2008 (9:23 am)
There is a new Mazda Service Bulletin, #01-008/08 dated Feb 13, 2008 which applies to all 2006-07 Mazda5s, manual and automatic, all of USA and Mexico (also Canada if they get "Fed Spec" too). The title is "Engine Stumble While Driving with Light Acceleration at 1500-2500 rpm". I have just had the procedure done to our 2006 Touring 5MT, and it is a definite improvement.
The most dramatic symptom this SB addresses has for us been a very rare one, but a very noticeable and annoying one when it does happen. This was, approx 1/2 second after applying pressure to the gas pedal from a state of coasting, in the 1500-2500 rmp range, getting one (only one) sudden, brief, complete loss of power. This was felt as a big jerk, something all passengers would notice. The power loss would always be over with in a split second and the engine would begin to pull normally. I have no experience with automatic transmission 5s but I would guess that if the same symptom were to occur it would be more damped out by the torque converter and possibly more subtle.
So far so good on the new SB stopping the above obnoxious behavior -- but it will be months before I'm really convinced it's totally gone.
However, I think there's another much more frequent, much more subtle behavior that is also affected by the SB in a good way. I always used to think our 5 had poor throttle response compared to our other car, and Acura Integra. I don't mean absolute amount of power -- I mean instantaneousness of response to small applications of throttle. The Integra's engine always responds immediately, no waiting, to a nudge of the pedal. The Mazda always seemed to hesitate for a split second before starting to pull. I am pretty sure this has now changed for the better with the SB and I like it a lot.
It's important to note the date of the SB -- the solution to the problem was not invented until 6 weeks ago. I've been trying to complain to Mazda since almost Day One when we bought our car in March 2006. The first dealer service call that year produced no effective result at all. They didn't know what I was talking about and I don't think they did anything to the car except check it over. Then last year sometime we tried again, and at that time there had been published an official Mazda Service Bulletin (not the same one as the one I cite above), and we got a download of new PCM ("Power Control Module"? I think??) software. This fix in 2007 was an improvement but did not make the problem totally go away.
Being a compulsive and geeky car nut, I had all along been hoping to hear more scuttlebutt, and I finally struck paydirt last week at the Kirkland WA Mazda dealer (not my regular service spot). Although the Service Advisor did not have any new knowledge at first, I was persistent enough and he was patient enough, that he finally discovered that SB 01-008/08 now exists. I had the work done at Everett (WA) Mazda day before yesterday, and once I was able to cite the SB # they were totally ready and it was easy. (The work allocation time is only 20 minutes to do the new software download).
Anyway, my recommendation is to do this SB on your 2006-07 Mazda5, whether or not you realize your car has the symptoms I described here, or not, and whether or not you've tried complaining prior to Feb 2008 or not. The software engineers in Hiroshima (or wherever) have been at work and have something good for you. You'll like the feel you get -- and what the heck, I bet it even improves gas mileage (but I can't say it's any more than 0.01 mpg).
#2 of 17 Re: Engine Stumble New Feb 2008 Service Bulletin [whobodym]
Apr 12, 2008 (10:43 am)
My 06 was purchased on July 2005 and my 08 purchased on December 2007. I've not experienced the 06 stumble mentioned above but regardless, if you are already scheduled for a service, just do it.
On a side note, I have not noted any change in throttle from the 06 to the 08, except that subtle non-uniform accel while very cold on the 06, which no longer happens on the 08, but that is a different thing I guess
#3 of 17 Re: Engine Stumble New Feb 2008 Service Bulletin [whobodym]
Apr 12, 2008 (4:35 pm)
Hi, Thanks for the very informative post.
I have experienced something similar with my GT automatic. There is a slight hesitation from a stop and a vibration as well from the engine, which gives me a mild vibration massage while idling. I also experienced an "almost stall" when switching from idle to a go. The vehicle has never stalled but it gives me a start when it happens. I also found that after washing the car or driving in wet weather, the hesitation is more pronounced.
Further searching has produced a few TSBs related to the hesitation and the vibrations - both will be addressed this week at servicing.
#4 of 17 Re: Engine Stumble New Feb 2008 Service Bulletin [whobodym]
Apr 30, 2008 (7:00 pm)
I wonder if this will fix the time lag they put in the auto transmission they put in after the fire issue. It was still in the new cars when I went into the dealer last year to see if they had fixed it yet. It is easy to replicate bring the car up to 3rd gear and then let off the gas and make sure it is still in 3rd(do not put it in manual mode) then apply the brake ever so slightly as if you are slowing down for a red light then take foot off the brake then press the gas as you would to accelerate as if the light had turned green you the transmission will hesitate a bit as if trying to figure out if it should down shift which it would at that speed then the engine will rev and then kick into gear and depending how much you had pressed the gas the harshness you will feel when it engages the gear. I showed this to the deal and he said yes they know about it but Mazda does not feel that it is an issue to spend man hours to resolve as people describe it as many things from hesitation to a weird feeling to maybe that was just me. Let me know if you can still create the issue if so I will take my car in to get it updated. I do not like to get stuff done unless it will resolve the issue. i.e. the whole crunch thing the seat loose fiber thing on the passenger seat.
Secondly I used to find the service bulletins on a dealer web site but they stopped showing them. Where can I find them?
#5 of 17 Re: Engine Stumble New Feb 2008 Service Bulletin [athenasius]
May 01, 2008 (6:08 am)
That's interesting to read, but sorry, my 5 is a stick shift so I can't tell you anything for sure about the behavior post-Feb08 Service Bulletin with automatics. However, since the SB has to do with engine behavior during throttle transients I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it helped or even eliminated your problem entirely. I just can't prove it.
It is certainly clear to me that Mazda skimped on software development and testing back during the time the US model 5 was being readied.
Re Service Bulletins in general, I also don't know for sure. I got my copy of the Feb08 SB on paper from a dealer, but persisting in a conversation with a Service Advisor. I mean, persisting in describing just exactly how my car had a problem that past work had not eliminated. I was only fishing for a SB, I didn't yet know whether or not any new SB had been published. If I were you, I would directly ask for this SB by number at a dealer. It would be pretty sleazy of them not to give you a copy. It would only take them 5 seconds on a computer and a dime's worth of paper.
#6 of 17 Re: Engine Stumble New Feb 2008 Service Bulletin [whobodym]
May 01, 2008 (8:31 am)
Yes I will do that try and get the sb from them. As for the whole software development the transmission was fantastic before they did the patch job after the whole mentally challenged people who left the manualmode auto in 2nd gear for hours on end. it was after that that they were getting so much bad publicity that they were desperate to get the cars back out and did not actually look properly into the whole thing before updating the software. It was funny when I got it back i said right away there was huge difference ie the initial take off was much more aggressive etc. the shop guy said that they had put fuel injector and premium gas and set the timing forward a bit (knowing well that it would return to normal automatically after a few tanks of gas) but that they were doing it to make everyone think wow this is much better when in fact the transmission had been 'dumbed' down and they called it.
It is funny that Mazda treats us as idiots in a lot of respects like 'oh not there is not issue we have heard about with the suspension' It just goes to show how far behind the times the higher ups at mazda are living in the past. Do they not realise that this is the age of information. It takes only seconds to find out issues with thing and someone having a similar item.
Mazda i know was only interested in making as much profit in the last few years but that is very short sited.
#7 of 17 Cold Acceleration
May 21, 2008 (7:50 am)
I have a 2007 Mazda 5 GT 5 speed manual (that, in general, I am very happy with) and have experienced the engine stumble mentioned in this forum. It is on my to-do list to go get the issue addressed.
I have also experienced cold acceleration issues that may be unrelated to the engine stumble TSB. It feels to me like I am driving a carbureted car instead of a fuel-injected car for about the first five minutes after starting the car when the engine is not hot. Acceleration is rough and slow at low RPMs and then abruptly kicks in smoother and more powerful (feels like a turbo kicking in after winding up) at around ~3000 RPM. This is a problem in both winter and summer driving. Once the engine is warmed up, the acceleration problem goes away.
Has anyone else experienced these cold acceleration issues? Is there a known fix? Does having the engine stumble TSB fix (reprogramming the PCM) done on the car also fix this issue?
Thanks for your help.
#8 of 17 Re: Cold Acceleration [dr_who]
May 23, 2008 (11:26 am)
I own a 2006 and a 2008 and I have felt the weird accel while cold in the 2006. I'm sure the latest TSB that updates the PCM will fix it. I say this because the 2008 does not have it (although basically it is the same car). I have not taken them for service, but will do in the next opp.
#9 of 17 Re: Engine Stumble New Feb 2008 Service Bulletin [whobodym]
May 24, 2008 (10:19 am)
to update you all on my experience, 6 weeks after having had the Feb 2008 Mazda SB work done to our 2006 5 Touring 5MT -- I remain completely satisfied that the service bulletin solves our previous problems. To be clearer about other guys' discussions of cold-start behavior, I live and drive in the USA Pacific Northwest, essentially at sea level almost all of the time. Our winter time low temperatures are typically no colder than 35-40F ( 0 to +5 celsius ). I have never ever started and driven our 5 after being parked overnight, any colder than 25-30F (-5 to -1 celsius). If some of the commenters are talking about the behavior of their cars in conditions much colder than what I'm talking about, that would be conditions I have no idea how our car would have behaved in, prior to the SB. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the SB changes engine behavior for the better, in extreme cold conditions. But I have no such experience myself.
Remember of course, the SB is zero cost, and takes almost no time to install. Just go do it!!
#10 of 17 Is this engine stumble or Turbo Kicking In
Jun 12, 2008 (1:40 pm)
I have a UK spec Mazda 5 '07 model bought from new.
When driving around 60mph a shudder happens and a sort-of feeling of a very temporary loss of power, almost as if it is being held at that speed for a second despite trying to accelerate.
Is this just like the engine stumble or could it be the Turbo kicking in??
The car is going in for a service recall tomorrow, so could someone offer an opinion rather quick, please.