Notes: The 2008 Mazda CX-7 has numerous reports filed with the NHTSA about engine & A/C problems, continuing these defect trends from the 2007 model year.

Owners report problems with the 2008 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 2008 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:
46,827 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.

2008 Mazda CX-7 cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2008 Mazda CX-7 Owner Comments

problem #6

Nov 262010

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles


I have a 2008 Mazda CX7 with 60,000 miles. My ac compressor just went out. First noticed a slight squealing noise which I thought might be a loose belt. The next day I noticed a strong smell like burning rubber. Car seemed to drive fine. Two days later I finally got it checked out and was told it was the compressor and needed to be replaced. I didn't get it fixed right away but they did tell me I shouldn't wait too long cause of possible lock up and belt breaking. Later that night when I turned on the car there was a squealing sound and lights went crazy and didn't want to start. I turned it off then tried again. It barely started that time. The very next morning it did the same thing and I drove it straight to be fixed. Went he mechanic turned the car on to move it finally locked up and wouldn't start. I did not have it repaired at the dealership because everyone says it's more expensive. The place that fixed it gave me two options of fixing. Just the ac compressor or the compressor, expansion valve and receiver dryer. They told me I could just do the compressor which is what I did.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #5

Aug 012010


  • 35,960 miles
I'm mexican woman. The first of August 2010 to go on the road (towards the city of queretaro, Mexico, in a van Mazda cx 7 2008 model first and let the air conditioning running, then started to smoke the driver's side, suddenly the short time stopped the car and when we got off shore and we saw that was on fire, stopped the fire and water damage, according to the Agency are of 46 thousand pesos as two months ago that ended our warranty does not want to be responsible for the incident. We were all family, including my sun of four years, I think that could had passed if the car had exploded, we took gasoline 30 minutes previous to the fire. I've gotten a number of forums to investigate complaints and there are scores equal to that of the same model. There are others in the cx 9 that even if you already acknowledged that the Agency is also a risk of fire trucks were summoned ac. In our case say it is for use and is not factory defect nothing, not even now deny that the problem is in the air conditioning compressor and this was what we had said now say it's pulleys. Honestly I'm desperate, I want to help, see qe many people have had this problem and is not fair is very expensive and especially djando the money was really terrible, I was shocked muchisimo feared for our lives and I think that is a very serious matter and are not taking well. Please I need help. The only thing I'm told by phone Mazda customer service in Mexico is that there is nothing to do and there is no instance where to turn, this scares me a lot I can not believe it.

- Distrito Federal, 00, USA

problem #4

Aug 202010


  • 42,000 miles
2008 Mazda Cx-7 air compressor failed at 42,000 miles while driving down the road a few days ago. Appears to be a well known issue with the 2007 and the 2008 Mazda Cx-7 models that were built in '07 (as is the case with my '08). Mazda needs to take responsibility and recall the 2007 and 2008 Mazda Cx-7 and replace the air compressor. Luckily, I was able to turn the A/C off and drive my car to safety. Not everyone has been that fortunate. This could have been a horrific issue had I been traveling at a high rate of speed with small children in the car. This is not just an A/C issue. Once the compressor on the Mazda Cx-7 fails, there are a limited # of miles the car can travel until there are engine issues - even with the A/C turned off - will still cause engine problems if not fixed immediately.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #3

May 242010


  • 39,203 miles


I was driving to my destination when the A/C stopped working and I smelled/saw smoke coming from underneath my vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the nearest mechanic and I was told that the air compressor was locked up and that we would have to wait a few days for a replacement part or drive home without the A/C in 90+ degree heat. Remedy, replaced air compressor at a cost of $957.43 and by the way the vehicle had only 39203 miles on it.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #2

Feb 122010


  • 47,800 miles
I was driving my 2008 Mazda Cx-7 from baytown, Texas to killeen, Texas when I noticed that the air conditioning stopped working. Approximately 3-5 miles later white smoke billowed from under the hood and my steering locked. Because there was no suitable terrain on the right and because I was steering around a right-turn, I was forced to pull to the left. Because of the smoke and the distraction caused by the incident, I did not realize that there was a semi-truck heading towards me in the other lane. If it wasn't for the adept handling of the truck drive, I would have surely gone head on and I would have been killed. I was towed to bryan, Texas where the vehicle was repaired after a whole day in the shop. They repaired the air conditioning compressor, an engine mount, a pulley I believe and some other miscellaneous items to the tune of over $1,400. I was extremely upset when I found out it was a common that nearly caused me my life. I have two small children that drive with me extremely frequently and I find it hard to believe that nothing S being done about Mazda placing people in danger like this.

- Baytown, TX, USA

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problem #1

Jun 172009


  • 56,000 miles
On 6/17/09, my 2008 Mazda Cx-7 erupted in smoke while I was driving with my 1 & 3 year old. I was terrified it would catch on fire & luckily was able to get my boys and I out safely off the freeway. Herzog meier Mazda in beaverton, or confirmed it was the ac compressor that caused the vehicle to break down. The estimate to fix was $2400. I decided to go online & do research. I was outraged by what I discovered. There are endless amounts of CX7 owners who also had issues with the A/C compressor most with less mileage than my vehicle. I called Mazda to file a complaint today. Mazda should acknowledge this error & do a recall.

- Kalama, WA, USA

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