Notes: The 2007 Mazda CX-7 has numerous reports filed with the NHTSA about engine & A/C problems.

Owners report problems with the 2007 CX-7's Variable Valve Timing (VVT) & timing chain failing, causing major damage to the engine — Mazda uses an interference design so typically the valves are bent & the entire engine needs to be replaced. Mazda dealers typically quote $9,000 for an engine replacement.

There is also a trend of the turbo failing at low mileage.

Finally for the 2007 CX-7 there is a clear pattern of A/C compressor failure at relatively low mileage. Owners report smoke & occasionally the serpentine belt catches fire when the A/C compressor clutch seizes while driving. Mazda extended the A/C warranty to 60,000 miles, however many owners report their A/C compressor failed very soon after the 60k mark.

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 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,021 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.

2007 Mazda CX-7 engine problems

engine problem

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2007 Mazda CX-7 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #29

Sep 092011

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 72,126 miles


I was driving my Mazda Cx-7 on the highway around 65 mph when my car starting making a loud noise from the engine and had a sudden loss in power. So I pulled over in the next town and stayed in a motel for the night. The next day I rented a trailer from uhaul to tow the car to a Mazda dealer who stated that my engine needed to be opened to properly diagnose the actual problem. Per the Mazda technician that inspected my car, the timing chain (vvt) was missing a pin and caused the engine to break. Therefore my engine needed to be replaced. At the price it was to replace the engine, I obtained a second opinion from a non-Mazda mechanic who stated that my engine also needed to be replaced. I replaced my engine at 72,127 miles, for approximately $6K, which is slightly over the 70,000 mile service notice that Mazda recently put out for reimbursement from repairs related to the vvt timing chain. After I submitted my claim to Mazda North american operations, my claim was denied because I was slightly over the mileage that they determined was appropriate. I would have expected Mazda to be a little more understanding as it was their dealership who initially diagnosed the problem. As such, I have currently hired a lawyer to pursue reimbursement of my engine replacement cost as this part has caused several other individuals to have to replace their entire engines. My lawyer would like to know if there are more cases of the Mazda Cx-7 engine breaking due to timing chain failure that was also near or above 70,000 miles. Please respond/comment to this post so that we may use your story/information as verification that the vvt timing chain is an issue on the Mazda Cx-7.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #28

Aug 152011

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
My 2007 Mazda Cx-7 broke down without warning. Found out the timing chain had snapped as a result of a piston blowing. I have been told the turbo seized and caused excess pressure causing the piston to blow and breaking the timing chain. Have found many people online complaining of same thing happening to their Cx-7.

- Hedgesville, WV, USA

problem #27

May 182010


  • 26,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Mazda Cx-7. the contact stated after the vehicle was parked and he restarted it the vehicle would not start. The vehicle was taken to the dealer three times and after a diagnostic test the dealer could not diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was notified and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 26,000.

- Lancaster, PA, USA

problem #26

Sep 012010


  • 34,000 miles


The contact owns a 2007 Mazda Cx-7. the contact stated that the engine would make a loud rattling noise after starting. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 34,000 and the current mileage was 65,164.

- Atlantic City, NJ, USA

problem #25

Jun 072011


  • 39,000 miles
2007 Mazda Cx-7 AWD grand touring with 39K miles. Car was being driven had sudden loss of power while traveling down road. In traffic car suddenly slowed to crawl at 20mph once car was navigated to shoulder and stopped it would not restart. The vehicle was towed to dealership where they have stated that the timing chain or vvt has failed resulting in timing chain failure thus total engine failure. Known problem reported numerous times and yet Mazda dealership has informed me that with the maintenance records provided they are refusing repair. These timing chains are failing on cars with 19K-60K miles, not within normal maintenance.

- Belcamp, MD, USA

problem #24

Jan 082011

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 146,000 miles
Turbo engine failure. Major problem #3 -2007 Cx-7 1. A/C conderson frozen - cost $1,225 2. timing chain broke-cracked gasket, bent valude, etc $3,025 3. turbo engine failure unknown at the Mazda dealer ship.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #23

Sep 012009

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 31,000 miles


2007 grand touring Mazda Cx-7 had bad A/C compressor as typical with model at 30K miles and was putting out black when car returned in a "fixed" condition. They sited that we had "dirty oil". timing chain went taking engine at 42K miles and we were first denied warranty work due to sludge engine with Mazda stating it was our lack of maintenance. After filing for BBB arbitration the agreed to replace engine and turbo if we paid the $900 labor bill. Car came back after a month with a rattle and putting out white smoke. Rattle I was told on phone at first was not repeatable then when addressed face to face was a loose engine bracket but went on paperwork as stabilizer bars front and rear. Engine with 2400 miles on it is still putting out white smoke and acting sluggish and transmission shifts hard and likes gears 2 and 4 for the most part. First was told they could not see smoke then when addressed face to face was told cause it was cold outside then second excuse was condensation.. was told by mechanic friend he thinks turbo is going bad after a whopping 2400 miles. Spouse wont let me operate car any longer in fear it will break down causing accident. As far as their service bulletin states that they don't have the turbo valve fix yet.. how am I to think I received a "fixed" car if I got a rebuilt engine a new but same brand etc turbo... not safe and sad to think someone will have to die before this is addressed.

- Edwards, CA, USA

problem #22

Mar 012010


  • miles
An excess of white smoke emitted from exhaust upon acceleration after a brief period of idle. It was determined that a faulty turbo charger was to blame. So the car was in the shop for 7 days while they replaced the turbo. Several months later the car wouldn't start after sitting in a heated garage overnight. It sounded as though the cylinders weren't firing properly. Car was towed to mechanic who identified issue as fouled cylinder heads from prior failure of turbo. This time the entire engine was replaced. Again the car was in the shop for approximately seven days. Some months later an oppressive amount of road noise appeared at all speeds on all road surfaces. We were directed that the tires were to blame. After replacing all 4 tires at a cost of nearly $800 the sound persisted. Upon further inspection the technician found that the wheel speed sensors on the rear wheels had failed allowing water to seep in and rust rear wheel bearings. All four wheel bearings where replaced. Today the vehicle is again in for engine repair to replace the oxygen sensor and a dead battery. After owning the car for 18 months it is has been in the shop for a total of approximately 4 weeks.

- Laotto, IN, USA

problem #21

Dec 312010

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
End of summer service, I complained about a smell coming from the engine like burned breaks the technician told me it was nothing major and that they will monitor it on the next service call. I took it for service on mid December and they serviced the transmission, oil change and no mention of major problems. On December 31st on my way to silverthorne from denver the engine stopped running on a steep hill shutting down power steering and breaks, I was able to stop the car and tow the car back to denver, I was just informed that my three year old car needs a new engine worth $7,200 vvt actuator and timing chain were shot and the engine is dead. I took this car to the dealership for service regularly and nothing was mentioned. I have done research and there are hundreds of people with the same problem, please what can you do? I only have 93K miles and the car is three years old.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #20

Nov 092010

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Timing belt broke at 80,000 miles requiring a new engine.

- Trussville, AL, USA

problem #19

Oct 252010

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 16,000 miles


I bought my 2007 Mazda Cx-7 on November 2, 2008 from tustin Mazda. From day one I have experienced an intermittent metal knocking noise while accelerating. It sounds like 3 or 4 clicks and I experience a slight lose of power. I have taken the vehicle back to the dealer more than 4 times. Sometimes they have it for days; the last time for two weeks. The first few time they said they could not replicate the problem. About a month ago the dealer said they fixed it. They also said my oil was sludgy and suggested a oil flush. I did not op for the oil flush because my regular mechanic said they are over-rated and a few oil changes should clear it up and the oil the dealer used may be prone to slugging up. The noise returned almost the day I got the car back. I returned two to three weeks later and told the dealer service people the noise was back. They kept the vehicle for two weeks and charged me $252 to run tests. I was told I would not have to pay if the work was covered under warranty. They opened the engine up and said the engine was sludgy. They told me Mazda of America would not cover the work and I might need major work. I am supposedly losing compression on two of the four cylinders. Because I cannot prove I changed my oil and do have receipts beyond the oil changes I had at the dealer, they say it is not covered under warranty. The vehicle only has 36,000. I think it had about 15,000 miles when I bought it when I bought it. The dealer is trying to tell me they fixed the problem I had been bringing it in for and the noise I hear now is new. It is not, it's the same! in fact I heard it again the day after I brought it home. I have done research on the web and it appears Mazda uses the same excuse for a lot of similar issues and do not cover the work under warranty. They also refused to fix a recall issue I had in regards to a letter they sent me. They said I did not need the work even though the issues I have described are also described in the letter.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #18

Aug 032010


  • 79,124 miles
2007 Mazda Cx-7 begin making loud clicking noise in August 2010. Took vehicle to repair facility and was told the engine needed to be replaced soon, timing chain was loose, and two engine modules were giving faulty readings. Got a 2nd opinion from a Mazda certified tech with same advice. Have all repair and maintenance regards to show that it was not a result of vehicle neglect. Vehicle has 79,000 miles on it and has been used for primarily highway travel. Also had an issue with compressor which I had to replace at my own cost.

- Rock Hill, SC, USA

problem #17

Jun 272010


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Mazda Cx-7. while traveling 60 mph the contact noticed that the check engine light had appeared on the dashboard, seconds later the contact noticed that the vehicle had suddenly shut off without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealership where the contact had the engine replaced due to the timing chain breaking. There were no prior warnings. The current mileage was 61000 and the failure mileage was 58000.

- Paoli, IN, USA

problem #16

Jan 292010


  • 108,537 miles
Timing chain broke and damaged engine Mazda Cx-7 - 2007.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #15

May 152010


  • 70,000 miles
Without warning of any kind this car simply stopped and would never start again. We are currently repairing this vehicle. Oil chain failure which caused timing chain to jump the gearing, repairing the valves subsequently.

- Hendersonville, TN, USA

problem #14

Jul 162010


  • 70,000 miles
I have a 2007 Mazda cx 7. I bought it new in February of 2007, so the car is only 3 years old. Two major things have happened to my car within the past two months one of which seriously put my safety in jeopardy. I will start with, two months ago, my air conditioner went out completely. The air compressor had to be replaced. Then, about a week ago as I was driving down interstate 75 (going about 70 mph), the acceleration on my car completely went out. Luckily I was able to get over the 5 lanes of traffic and pull the car off to the side. After I turned my car off, it never cranked again after that. Long story short, I took my car into jim ellis Mazda in marietta, ga and they said there was internal damage to the engine and the engine would have to be replaced completely. They couldn?T even tell me what exactly went wrong or really diagnose the problem for me. They just said the engine needed to be replaced. The kicker to this story is, when I went in a couple months ago to get my air fixed, I asked them to take a look at the engine because I thought it sounded loud. The said it was completely fine and nothing was wrong with it. Well two months later this happened. I have talked to Mazda customer service and they will offer no assistance for fixing my car (which I have been quoted $8,000 to fix!). I was told that Mazda had reviewed my case and I was declined because there was sludge around the engine, which apparently gives then reason for no assistance. They said that is proof that my car is not maintenanced on a regular basis, however I have documented proof that it is maintenanced regularly. They just didn't seem to care.

- Woodstock, GA, USA

problem #13

Jul 102010


  • 33,000 miles
For quite awhile I had been hearing a "ticking" noise with my 2007 Mazda Cx-7..brought it to the dealership in lafayette, la. To have it checked out. They checked it out, updated recalls in affect, stated they found nothing. Continued to hear it off and on, had my oil changed regularly. On July 10, 2010 my car broke down (4 yrs old, 33,000 miles) had it towed to dealer in beaumont, close to where it had broken down. The service dept. Asked for my service records after it was determined that problem was with the engine.. did not have every receipt due to dealer in area closing with no records there, but provide the last few.. after taking an "image" and sending it to Mazda, it was determined they would not honor the warranty because I had excessive "sludge" and wanted me to pay full cost of a new engine/motor. No one wanted to listen to me..I do remember that when my oil was changed, the mechanic had told me in the past that it seemed to have "sludge", but that was only between 3,000 miles. I had taken care of my car, and they were telling that it had "poor maintenance" and would not honor the warranty!

- Lake Charles, LA, USA

problem #12

Jun 272010


  • 57,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Mazda CX7. While driving 60 mph the vehicle stalled and would not restart. The vehicle was towed to a Ford dealer who was unable to diagnose or duplicate the failure. The vehicle was later towed to a Mazda dealer who stated that the timing chain broke. The dealer refused to repair the vehicle unless the contact could provide an invoice listing each time the oil was changed. The vehicle was at the dealership when the complaint was filed. The failure and current mileages were 57,000.

- Paoli, IN, USA

problem #11

May 112010


  • 20,000 miles
From 4/14/10 thru 4/22/10 my well maintained Mazda Cx-7 with 19,767 miles was serviced at rohrich Mazda in pittsburgh, pa for a timing chain repair. On 5/11/10 with 20,000 on the vehicle, while driving to a local supermarket, my wife began to smell gasoline. After 1-2 miles of driving with this smell, there was a loud "pop" and the engine was on fire with flames shooting out from beneath the vehicle. The vehicle was completely destroyed. Erie insurance assigned a special investigator who determined the fire's cause to be "undetermined" due to the extensive physical damage to the components. However, his opinion was there was improper reassembly with the recent repair. Rohrich Mazda denies any responsibility claiming it had nothing to do with the repair & recommended we follow up with Mazda directly. Two other vehicles were also damaged in the process. Fortunately no other injuries occurred. This should have never happened to this car with only 20,000 miles on it!

- Bethel Park, PA, USA

problem #10

Jun 012010


  • 52,000 miles
I own a 2007 Mazda Cx-7 while driving down the road a 60 mph the motor shut down and lost all power. The car has 52,000 miles on it, and is still under manufactures warranty. I took it to a local Mazda dealer to have it fixed. After 2 weeks of waiting they informed me that Mazda Corp would not cover it under warranty due to engine sludge. The oil has been changed at intervals of 3000 to 3500 miles. Why will they not address this problem if so many other people have had the same issue with this year, make, and model? this is a serious safety issue and could cause an accident or fire.

- Santaquin, UT, USA

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