Engine Timing Chain Stretched

2007 Mazda CX-7

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Mazda dealer.

CarComplaints.com Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague

CarComplaints.com 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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
80,000 miles
Total Complaints:
20 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace timing chain (12 reports)
  2. not sure (5 reports)
  3. replaced vvt actuator (3 reports)
2007 Mazda CX-7 engine problems

engine problem

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2007 Mazda CX-7 Owner Comments

problem #20

Mar 042019


  • CVT transmission
  • 139,000 miles


My engine light keeps coming on and was told the problem is timing chain and possibly turbo charger. I just bought this car used a month ago. I am pissed as spent $6k on a car that ticks, loses oil, and hesitates. My 1st and last Mazda purchase. Mazda should be ashamed for not recalling this engine with it as number 1 complaint and number 2 with turbo charger.

- Tammy L., Allen Park, MI, US

problem #19

May 082017

CX-7 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,450 miles

I purchased my used 2007 Mazda CX-7 from a used car dealer/rip off artist. When I mentioned the engine sounded like a diesel he told me that was because it was a Turbo (I've never owned a Turbo nor a diesel so I didn't know any better). I became more concerned about the tapping sound & the hesitation of the engine while taking off so I called Mazda & described the problem. The tech knew exactly what was wrong as soon as I mentioned that the car sounded like a diesel. When I brought it in to have it looked at the tech verified that the tensioner & other parts keeping the timing chain taut had worn out & all needed to be replaced before the chain broke & caused the engine to fail.

Seeing all these same complaints online, I would think Mazda would take responsibility for an obvious flaw with their engine & repair all the vehicles experiencing this problem. I just purchased this vehicle - I don't have the money to fix it too.

- Nick C., Woodstock, GA, US

problem #18

Apr 272012

CX-7 Touring L4 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,626 miles

Totally sucked. It was like the engine locked up and luckily I was close to home and drove very slow. I think I would have had a bigger problem if farther from home. I had to replace the timing chain and VVT actuator. I read hundreds of reviews with CX-7 owners experiencing the same thing.

Mazda sucks for not repairing these vehicles or for not refunding people that paid for repairs. My car is 10 years old and I will not buy another Mazda.

- Victoria B., Jackson, MI, US

problem #17

Aug 012015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


Mazda should ashamed of themselves for selling CX 7 with a bad engine and ac. My 2007 CX7 engine has been making noise for years. Every time I took it to Mazda they informed me there wasn't anything wrong. Took car back to Mazda in August 2016 car had 93,000 mileages and now the diagnoses is my vvt actuator needs to be replace first before they can determine what is causing the engine noise. I am unemployed and do not have the money. NHTS should look into this recurrent problem with CX7 and make Mazda recall...

- pmosley, Riverdale, GA, US

problem #16

Jun 162016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

Timing chain started rattling and we had to have it replaced. It was such as a pain and took a lot of time to have fixed. Very expensive fix. Timing chain should have lasted longer.

- alpinecougar, Provo, UT, US

problem #15

Jan 012015

CX-7 Grand Touring V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,950 miles


- lucartay, Roswell, GA, US

problem #14

Feb 012016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles


This is a corporate scam. Timing chain is stretched. Called Mazda and quoted me $2200.

Unbelievable. This model is so full of problem now I heard that Mazda discontinued this model. Mazda needs to take responsibility for their poor quality and initiate a recall. This will be my last Mazda. Will never buy another one.

- Kay A., Bakersfield, CA, US

problem #13

Aug 012015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

Just bought a 2007 Mazda CX7 on 08/01/2015. I wasn't really thrilled with it but it met my needs. On the test drive I asked the salesman what the rattling noise was. His answer was "some newer cars are just noisy" this is not a Mazda dealership. I was able to pick the car up four days later, as it had just been taken in by the dealer and needed to be detailed.

Fast forward to that Friday 08/07/2015, I took the car to the local Mazda/Ford dealership to ask them what that rattle was and if it was normal. I got a very serious look from two mechanics there who said to return it and get my trade back and no the car should not sound like that. The problem is the timing chain and would cost at least $1,500 to fix.

I promptly went back to the dealership that sold me the car and told them about it and that I wanted my trade back and call it even. I was given loaner car (very nice one) and said once the Mazda mechanic looks at it we can sit down and discuss it. It has to go through proper channels. I threw a major fit in their showroom just tonight telling them I no longer trust the car and even if they offer to fix it I don't want it anymore as I don't believe it to be safe.

Oh yea, it also had a smoke trail for 2 1/2 miles the very day I had it looked at by the Mazda mechanics. Had I known about this site and the problem being a known I would've never bought it!

- Brenda B., Bend, OR, US

problem #12

Oct 062014

CX-7 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,700 miles

At around 68,000 miles I noticed that my Mazda had started losing oil. It was acting up a bit with starting in the morning and I didn't think much about it thinking my battery was getting a little old (it was original) so I went out and got a new one. This didn't seem to help and I started to hear a rattle in the engine when I started. I was a little overdue for a tune up so I made an appointment with the closest Mazda dealership (about 60 miles away) to have it looked at. They couldn't get me in for a couple of weeks and when I finally made it there I was told that the rattle was a loose timing chain. By that time my mileage was about 71,500. He never mentioned the fact that this is an issue on this model car and that there was a recall for this issue. I never received notice from Mazda for this issue although my address never changed for the car and I purchased it new off of the lot.

I am frustrated at the quoted $1800 price for something that they know is an issue with this model. I can fix the timing chain but what is next? Overall the car was fine until a few months ago and I had almost no issue but I never expected that it would start falling apart at 70,000 miles. That is when most cars just get broken in.

I had them change the spark plugs hoping that the car would idle better but it seems that it is acting worse than ever now. Just frustrated at a dealership that acts ignorant to the issues. If you can, avoid Reliable Mazda in Springfield, MO.

- Joel H., Joplin, MO, US

problem #11

Sep 262014

CX-7 Touring AWD 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,814 miles

I have not yet had the car repaired as it just was diagnosed and they have to order parts. It seemed terribly soon to have this problem which it appears will require both the timing chain and the "ACTR, VARIABLE V" along with smaller cost items replaced. They said it is not yet stretched too much and only makes a sound on starting. I was planning on trading the car in next year and have been trying to pay down bills so this repair is very upsetting. I am on a fixed income so budget is a big item. A friend who knows cars was surprised this problem was happening so soon and did the research to find this web site and the unique problems of the 2007 CX-7. I have had two other Mazdas with which I was happy and the actions of the company in denying this problem and not warning owners disappoints me greatly. I was thinking my next car would be a Mazda3 but am now going to research other options as I have lost a lot of trust in Mazda.

I want to add my situation and will add more as the situation progresses. I intend to discuss what I have learned with my dealer to hear what their response will be.

- jets mama, Sedona, AZ, US

problem #10

May 292014

CX-7 Sport

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles


I've had this car 4 years, it has less than 60,000 miles. It was almost paid for......With no warning, the car quit on the side of the road. We had it towed to 2 seperate locations to get an estimate. It turns out the timing chain stretched and took out all the valves in the engine. It was suggested to me to call around to different dealerships to see, "what you can get for the car." 60 plus man hours, a new timing chain, new valves, an unrelated CV boot oil leak fix and $8,000 later. We have the car back. We are trading it in tomorrow! I will never own another Mazda.

- Kaitlin F., Athens, GA, US

problem #9

Jun 202014

CX-7 Grand Touring 2.3L V4 Turbocharged

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

I've been having issues after issues with this car.

It started with the turbo engine just less than a year after I bought it. It was fixed under warranty.

Then there were 2-3 recalls since 2006.

Then I had my AC engine blew. It was again fixed under the extended warranty I bought (7 years, 100K miles)

Last year 2013, there was another major issue that was fixed under extended warranty just before it expired.

This time (June 2014), the timing chain has to be replaced.

This car has been giving me nothing but gripes since I bought it. I will never buy another Mazda car except Mazda Miata. I had 2003 Miata that never once (literally) gave me a problem until I got into an accident and the car got totaled.

- Barman S., Hoffman Estates, Il, US

problem #8

Oct 262011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

we always had premium gas in the vehicle as well as synthetic lof's every 5k. First the turbo blew, then shortly after that we got a knock. Replaced engine components and couldnt get it timed. We took it to dealer they then said they would need an additional 6k to fix the timing issues????/ WTF So since i still owe on it, it has sat. Looks perfect from the outside, interior also great. THis is the worst car to buy.

- Kristine J., Hamburg, MI, US

problem #7

Mar 272014

CX-7 4 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 103,000 miles

well everyone knows these chains have a problem, so i bought the timing chain parts from mazda and did it myself. it seems they all have this problem and now changing my front hub bearings. also it hums down the road so loud

- John R., Hazleton, PA, US

problem #6

May 012010

CX-7 Grand Touring 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

Hello all,

I am posting to make users of this site aware of a site that I have created to assist current and previous owners of Mazda CX-7 vehicles with serious mechanical issues such as timing chain, VVT, engine sludge buildup, and turbo issues.

Please visit here: http://www.cx7problems.com

Our Story:

My wife and I purchased a new CX-7 in May of 2007 during it's initial launch. We wanted a crossover SUV and decided that CX-7 was our first choice. We purchased at Kings Mazda in Mason, OH and had a relatively average buying experience. I say average as our sales guy was cocky and very difficult to work with. We both drove it for the first 3 years and had no issues with vehicle. We took advantage of the free oil changes offered with our purchased and took excellent care of the vehicle.

In May of 2010, I was driving the vehicle on a short trip around town. On the way home, the vehicle shut down on a major road with no warning and was towed to a local Mazda dealership, Jake Sweeney Mazda, for inspection. The next day, I was told the timing chain had skipped time and there was damage to the cylinder head (valves) and I "needed a new engine". Mazda provided me with an $8000 quote for a re-manufactured engine and labor.

I immediately begin getting the corporate offices, Mazda North America, involved. Because I was 2000 miles over my power train warranty, I was denied any assistance from Mazda. I continued the fight through the Better Business Bureau and through the Attorney General's Office of my state which both turned out to be joke. Mazda refused to work with either and then simply left me by the wayside.

Fast forward two years and countless letters and phone calls later - I was surprised to receive a letter from Mazda North American admitting to the VVT problem in relation to timing. I was excited and I fell within the requirements specified by the SSP. I immediately contacted Mazda again to discuss the option of having my vehicle repaired at their cost. I was told, based on my previous conversations with them, that their decision stood and they could not help me. It was extremely disappointing and led me to take further action by creating this site.

Please join my fight and signup on the website. Our site is rapidly gaining popularity and has several hundred individuals signed up at the present date. We are close to reaching our goal to create a class-action suit against Mazda. Feel free to email me directly with questions or comments. I also welcome you to share your story with me.


Jamie Hurley jamie.hurley@gmail.com

- Jamie H., Hamilton, OH, US

problem #5

Jun 012010

CX-7 Touring

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,787 miles

This was the beginning of a true nightmare. I am a single Mom who thought she was getting a great crossover SUV. Not the case!! I purchased the car from a dealer in S.C. and basically paid $35,000. It was the end of 2007 and the vehicle had 200 miles on it. I paid the vehicle off last year. Two turbos ,in which Mazda didn't cover, an engine light that would not go off car rentals to boot, a service guy who recommended I go purchase another vehicle, because Mazda couldn't be fixed the problem after the final attempt $1000 deeper, basically code after code would appear.Yes I know its a run on sentence, but I was tired of sinking into the code abyss, so how appropriate. I finally gave up! Its 2013 and many headaches later. I just sold the piece of junk to buyanycar.com for $5300. Its so unfair that Mazda is not being held accountable. I am praying for a judgement against Mazda.They need to zoom zoom zoom and stand up to their faults, engine problems turbos ect. Its time to make them zoom zoom zoom reimburse the owners.

- Sheryl D., Pittsburgh, PA, US

problem #4

Feb 182012

CX-7 Sport 2.5L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,312 miles

“When it comes to their advanced designs, meticulous craftsmanship, and quality factory parts, all Mazdas are created equal.” –Mazda

In March of 2011, my now wife and I were in the market for a new vehicle. With the thought of a family not too far off in the distance, we decided that it was time to sell her 2002 Ford F-150 that she had owned since college and look for a pre-owned crossover SUV. After doing some general searching, she found that she liked the Mazda CX-7s. We did some exhaustive searching online and found a reasonably priced CX-7 being sold by a private seller in San Antonio. We received a pre-approval for financing through my employer, so that weekend, they made contact, worked out a place to meet, and on March 18, 2011, we became the owners of a 2007 Mazda CX-7 Sport. And that is where the honeymoon ended.

After six months, we began to have mechanical issues with the vehicle. A diesel-sounding chug coming from the engine seemed off for an unleaded four-cylinder SUV. The vehicle had less than 60,000 miles when we purchased it and by the time we began to notice the issues, the drivetrain warranty had expired. I began to do some in-depth research into this year/make/model and the results I unearthed were astounding. The 2007 CX-7 has been plagued with poor craftsmanship direct from the factory. The horror stories about this vehicle are anywhere and everywhere. I even saw one to where the consumer experienced full engine failure before 30,000 miles. The common issue seemed to be a part called a VVT actuator. No recalls or service advisories had been issued for engine parts at this time. However, in January 2012, an entire half-decade after the vehicle rolled off the assembly line, we received a ‘Variable Valve Timing Noise and Timing Chain Noise Warranty Extension’ notice by mail from Mazda.

A month or so after we received the notice, the vehicle began leaking oil. We took our vehicle into a Roger Beasley Mazda Center and had it examined. The oil cooler on the vehicle was beginning to fail. We explained the notice that we received in the mail and they were already well aware of these issues. We were told the engine had engine sludge and with it being a second-owner vehicle, we did not have the documentation to prove that regular oil changes had been performed. Instead, all repairs and replacements would come from our own pockets. The result ended up being a need to replace the VVT actuator, the timing chain, the oil cooler, and replacing all of the gaskets. The technician showed us a side-by-side of the current timing chain and the new replacement – the used chain had literally stretched to be about half-an-inch longer than the replacement. We drove off the lot and hoped that the problems had been solved.

Within two months of the repairs, the engine began making a high-pitched whining noise. My wife contacted the dealership that day while at work and they said to bring it in. On the way to the dealership, which is less than ten miles away, the vehicle died on the freeway. This ended up being the result of a blown turbocharger. Again, we had to take money from our nest egg to replace yet another part on this vehicle.

Mazda Corporate has been overwhelming uncooperative with patrons regarding this matter and has repeatedly declined to take ownership of their poor engineering of this particular model and instead continuously places the blame on the purchasers of their vehicles, claiming poor maintenance has resulted in the failure of its parts. We are now hoping we can sell the vehicle to avoid the fate of so many other CX-7 owners. That of owning a giant paper weight with a $300 per month payment. This experience will lead us to never purchase a Mazda ever again and to encourage those around us to do the same.

- Cody V., Leander, TX, US

problem #3

Jul 212011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

Mazda claims to extend the warranty & fix the problem for free but the warranty ends just before most of these vehicles develop the problem. If you own one, sell it!!

- M M., Fort Smith, AR, US

problem #2

Dec 202011

CX-7 Grand Touring L3t

  • CVT transmission
  • 87,000 miles

Ok, First let me say when I bought my 2007 CX-7 I reported a compliment to Mazdsa about how much I loved my car. Now, I am telling anyone who will listen to NEVER BUY A MAZDA and if you have one get rid of it. The timing chain, VVT acutator, bearing, etc. broke on this car all at the same time. And being as I didn't have the money to send it to the Mazda dealer, we bought the parts ourselves, and my mechanic husband did the work. Now the stupid thing still doesn't run right. I am paying 400 a month for a yard ornament and am having to drive my husbands toyota with 200,000 miles on it and still running.

Then today, I get a letter from Mazda telling me they realize the VVT actuator is a problem and will fix it, only if your vehicle has 70,000 miles or less on it, only if you have all your maintenance records, etc. Being as everyone I have talked to has told me they had the same problem at about 80,000 miles, I feel Mazda is trying to act like they are doing something when they are not. They know it doesn't break until after 70,000 miles so I am screwed, yet again by Mazda.

- hstacy73, Pleasant Plains, AR, US

problem #1

May 192011

CX-7 4 cyl Turbo

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,100 miles

Mazda CX-7 2007, mileage 62k, engine making clicking noise, towed to dealer in WY, front engine cover pulled, and found timing chain jumped several gear teeth because chain was stretched. Chain tensioner unable to compensate for amount of stretch. Waiting on repairs, dealership needs special tooling. Possible head removal to check for bent valves, chain needs replacing, Mazda Dealership knows timing chains are a problem with this model, but there is NO RECALL on this issue at this time! Of course warranty just expired on this vehicle. Quoted $4,000 for repairs, car still in shop after 4 weeks; do not know final repair issues. If you have this model buy an extended warranty, or better yet DO NOT BY A MAZDA. See all the previous posts on this issue that Mazda still has not addressed.

- tulnick, Cheyenne, WY, US

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