Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: The 2009 Mazda CX-7 appears to share the same engine & A/C defects as the two previous model years: VVT/timing chain failure, turbo failure, & the A/C compressor clutch seizing. The timing chain failure is especially bad with many cars requiring an engine replacement ($9,000+).

In 2011, Mazda began a "Special Service Program" that extended the warranty to 7 years/70,000 miles covering turbocharger oil leaks & excessive timing chain noise — an early sign of timing chain failure. However coverage under the program requires perfect documentation of all required maintenance with other stipulations. Buyer beware.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
178,663 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2009 Mazda CX-7 engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Mazda CX-7 Owner Comments

problem #7

Feb 282015

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


While driving down the interstate, vehicle lost much of it's acceleration, and began making a loud whining noise. Pulled off the highway and investigated the noise. It was a loud whining that only occurred in neutral and park over 2500 RPM and with any acceleration while in gear. Also noted yellow foamy oil on the dipstick which was 4.5 quarts low being very close to time to get a change. Towed to the shop to discover that the vehicle is burning oil and the turbo had gone bad. Mechanic suspects that the turbo going bad is what was most likely burning oil and retaining water in the crankcase.

- Weaverville, NC, USA

problem #6

May 232014

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 80,310 miles
Starting hearing a noise initially--not sure where it was coming from but thought it was internal to the engine. Took it to the dealer for inspection and they verified that the front of the engine would have to be removed to replace the defective part. I can not remember the part name but it was clear from the dealer rep that my car was one of many they have replaced. I spent $1244 in repairs on my vehicle that the Mazda dealership acknowledged was a factory defect on my car and many others. Just not right

- Pueblo West, CO, USA

problem #5

Nov 202013

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 78,120 miles
My 2009 Cx-7 has a major oil leak at the oil cooler. Upon learning this I turned to my mechanic and the internet only to find out this seems to be a very common issue. This defect is something that is on every Mazda forum and should be made a recall and fixed. This is a very well maintained vehicle that should not have this type of issue at this mileage.

- Wimberley, TX, USA

problem #4

Feb 182013

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 57,007 miles


I was driving on a highway. I heard a high pitched squealing sound then smoke started blowing out of my car. I could not see, and the other drivers behind me lost visability too. In the middle of this blinding smoke, surrounded by huge trucks, I lost aceleration. My instrumentation panel did not have any warning lights on. I was driving blind. I pulled off the highway as quickly as possible, and had my car towed to a dealership. The dealership said my turbo blew out, (which I guess sucked all the oil out of the car) I need a vvt valve and the timing chain is stretched. On a car with 57,000 miles! in checking on line, I found this has been a problem with the Cx-7 for 6 years and they are no longer making this model. I see that Mazda deals with these problems by stating the owner did not maintain the car properly, when in actuality, there is a serious problem with the turbo system and how the oil cools it. There is also a problem with "sludge buildup". I believe Mazda has been successfully avoiding a recall. But these issues are a real safety concern. I am very lucky that there was no accident as a result of this incident. These issues can be dangerous. When everything blew on my car, no one could see the road.

- Conifer, CO, USA

problem #3

Jan 152013

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 839,201 miles
Apparently the design of the turbo and the engine creates hot spots in the engine, especially in the turbo. These hot spot create sludge build up which eventually effects the performance and reliability of the engine. Research on the internet shows this to be a problem for a considerable amount of owners of this vehicle. Mazda has refused to correct these problems under their warranty. Also lacking by Mazda, since it is apparently a major cause of large build-ups of sludge, is the necessity to idle the engine for three minutes prior to turning off. This was never explained to us when the vehicle was purchased.

- Newport Beach, CA, USA

problem #2

Oct 172012

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
As I pulled out of my parking lot at work I lost power so I drove the car to the dealer. They called and told me the turbo was bad due to being clogged with sludge. And, that due to that sludge the entire engine would have to be replaced at a cost of $8,900. I've only owned the car 9 months, have receipts for multiple oil changes, and had an extended warranty - however, the extended warranty company (ameriplus) states that because the problem was caused by sludge, I'm not covered. I've researched and discovered that this is a huge problem with this vehicle, please help me!

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #1

Apr 272012


  • 36,000 miles
Around the end of April 2012 I noticed that my Mazda started making a loud noise - comparable to a semi or diesel truck. The noise was constant, regardless of speed, and maintained at the same level as long as the car was on. I took the car to Mazda on May 12th to determine the cause of the noise. Within a few hours of dropping the car off, the dealership called me back and advised that it was the vvt system that was causing the noise and it needed to be fixed. All they needed was my oil change receipts to cover this repair under warranty. I advised them that I don't keep all of my oil change receipts; that I go to various businesses each time I get an oil change based on who has a special, coupons, nearest location etc. I was then told without the receipts I would have to pay $4000 for the repair. After doing a lot of research on the internet, I've discovered that this problem is caused by faulty parts used by Mazda - and not by potential neglect from the consumer. There's case after case of people reporting similar problems in their CX7, Mazda requiring oil change history, and service being denied regardless if appropriate history is provided. Upon further inspection the technicians find "oil sludge" in the vehicle and quickly determine that it's the fault of the consumer. I've now been asked to bring my car back into the dealership for futher diagnosis. I told both the representative at the warranty desk as well as my service manager at the dealership that based on my research online, I already can predict what will be found and what will be said to me. I noted that Mazda recently issued a letter of January of this year extending the warranty of this very part because of the on going issues. So this isn't something they're unaware of - it's just something they are (wrongly) refusing to cover on their warranty. Something needs to be done about Mazda's neglect!

- Vienna , VA, USA

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