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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,029 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 Mazda CX-7 Owner Comments

problem #7

Nov 222015


  • miles


* engine issues when the A/C compressor locked up. This is a known issue in this make and model. This happened around 36K miles while I was driving on a freeway. We had to coast into the next exit. * engine knocking issues. They still persist and started around 50K miles. * engine resistance. Alongside the knocking there seems to be a good amount of resistance when taking your foot off of the pedal for acceleration. * they added a factory extension to the radio for the ipod. Ever since they installed this, the rest of the electrical components have been overloaded. - headlights go out frequently. This concerns me as my wife drives the car and I wouldn't want both to go out at the same time. - the battery won't hold a charge if not driven for a few days. The dealership acknowledged that the radio has a 'parasitic draw' on the battery causing these issues, but refuses to take responsibility for their installation. Their solution is to charge $800+ for a new head unit, which is outrageous since I never did anything to the factory head unit.

- Dover, OH, USA

problem #6

Feb 172013

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
I purchased the 2008 Mazda CX7 about 2 weeks ago and already replaced the compressor I first had white smoke coming out the tail pipe well I didn't think anything of it until someone told me that is not normal so a week later I started hearing noises like a diesel truck and a knocking noise so the next day I went to the dealership that sold me the vehicle and we drove the vehicle and he stated it was fine he then drove again and the vehicle locked up and they told me the compressor locked up now I'm hearing a ticking noise from the engine and they stated it was normal but it still concerns me cause reading other statement have me worried that the engine valve will be next and I don't have money to repair a vehicle I'm a single parent of 4 kids.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #5

Jun 292012

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 19,002 miles
Mazda Cx-7 2008; I purchased the car in September 2007 and it currently has 19,908 miles. The ac is breaking down. While I'm driving on the highway at 65mph, the pressure or high ac air pressure drops and hot air comes out. I also experienced burning smoke coming through the vents. I had the car inspected by the dealer back on August 3, 2012 and they replaced the valve cover. On September 1, 2012 I was driving again on the highway with my family and we experienced the same problem. The ac pressure dropped, hot air was flowing out of the ac and we smelled burning smoke. I took the car to the dealer this morning and they are now advising me that I have to replace the blower fan which is out of warranty (3 years/36K miles) and will cost $500. I have no problems paying for a part, but the valve cover, blower fan, or ac items shouldn't be breaking down at 19K original miles. I asked wayne Mazda service consultant: Anthony cunha if the blower fan was part of the ac compressor and he said, "no". I strongly feel that Mazda installed faulty ac compressor/units on the 2008 Cx-7. this issue has to be investigated before a car catches on fire and people get burned alive or worse, a multiple car crash on the road resulting in deaths.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #4

Feb 012012

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 62,501 miles


This Mazda Cx-7 is at a Mazda dealer's service center right now getting the timing chain replaced, vvt issue corrected, a new turbo system to keep it from dumping tons of blue smoke from the exhaust, A/C system fixed, and there is an intermittent electrical issue as well. Not happy obviously, as these are all know issues with the vehicle. Mazda has agreed to pay for the timing chain, but the rest comes out of my pocket.

- Orion, IL, USA

problem #3

Nov 072011

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
I was driving my car close to home and I was traveling at a speed of about 30 mph. I heard a few taps and then turned off the heating/air conditioning. As I pulled into my driveway, the noise resumed and a burning electrical smell started and actually the smell remained the entire night. I had it towed the next day to my local automotive repair place and as it currently stands the clutch burned up in the compressor and the car is not drivable. I called the dealership, russel, in baltimore and asked if there had been these problems and I was told no. I have since read many stories that are about the same.

- Mount Airy, MD, USA

problem #2

Jun 092010


  • 17,000 miles
The oil light and engine light on my car came on the evening of June 8, 2010, and stalled immediately. That night I poured 5 quarts of oil into my engine. The fault was eventually discovered to be a missing gasket at the oil filter cap which allowed oil to seep out of the car nonstop since my last oil change. I do not understand why the oil light only came on after there was virtually no oil left in the car. If I had been on a highway at the time, I would have had almost no warning before my engine died out on me. Now, the entire engine has to be replaced because it ran for 2 miles with oil.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #1

Jul 262008

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 700 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mazda Cx-7. the contact stopped the vehicle and turned off the ignition. When he placed the gear into park, it would not engage. The dealer stated that all of the vehicles do not lock in park after turning off the ignition switch. The gear shift moves while the engine is on and the vehicle is in park. The contact has owned the vehicle for three weeks. Another driver exited their vehicle and thought that the vehicle was in park after she turned off the vehicle. The gear failed to lock into place and the vehicle crashed into a tree. The service manager at the dealer stated that this was abnormal, but all of the vehicles operate in that manner and there may be a potential safety hazard. The contact and service manager also observed several vehicles that were designed in that manner. The contact is also waiting on a district service manager to call him back. The insurance company was liable for the repairs. The owner's manual did not indicate that there may be difficulty with the gear shift. There was damage to the rear end bumper and tailgate of the vehicle. The failure mileage was approximately 700 and current mileage was 760. Updated 09/10/08. Updated 09/11/08.

- Naperville, IL, USA

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