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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,402 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Mazda CX-7 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #7

Jul 072010


  • 36,800 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Mazda Cx-7. the contact was driving approximately 45 mph when the engine began to exhibit an unusual squealing noise and stalled. The dealer advised there was excessive engine oil sludge buildup and the engine would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The current and failure mileage was 36,800.

- Lavonia , MI, USA

problem #6

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 #5

Nov 072009


  • 29,000 miles
Sudden ac clutch/compressor failure with 29000 miles on vehicle. Didn't notice until we stopped at a scenic overlook off I 75 in tn and had heavy white smoke from under the hood w/ a grinding bearing noise. Repaired under warranty, but not sure if w/ an updated part(s). Research shows that this is a very common problem w/ this vehicle.

- Kingston , TN, USA

problem #4

Oct 212009


  • 42,000 miles


2008 Mazda Cx-7 A/C compressor failure sending sparks out from unit, inside engine bay.

- Palm Harbor, FL, USA

problem #3

Oct 142009


  • 17,500 miles
Mazda using the wrong oil. Recently had the oil changed in my 2008 Mazda Cx-7. when I drove it off the lot the car smoked like crazy. They said they were using the wrong oil so they replaced it with 5W-30 instead of 5W-20. Then car continued to smoke. So next day they put 5W-40 in it. The oil is leaking into the turbo creating a fire hazard.

- Richlands, NC, USA

problem #2

Jul 242009


  • 14,586 miles
2008 Mazda CX7, A/C compressor locked up, bought it brand new from dealer and only at 14,500 miles it locks up on me.

- Seagoville, TX, USA

problem #1

May 182009


  • 10,408 miles
Purchased vehicle in 1/2008. 2008 Mazda Cx-7 we took a trip from salt lake city, ut to las vegas, nv the weekend of May 1-3, 208. Check engine light came on, along with the at light when we climbed any sort of a hill on I-15 I made an appointment on May 4th the Mazda dealership (D. dahle Mazda salt lake city) did the repairs when I picked up the vehicle, transmission was reprogrammed because the shift points were not correct. Mileage out was 10408 on 5/18/09 my wife was driving South on I-15 when the check engine and at lights came on again just North of mile marker 185. Smoke was coming out of the vents when she pulledover. Witnesses ran up to the car yelling for her to get out, the car was on fire. Drivers area was fully engulfed. Although she was not injured (thank god) it was a narrow escape according to witnesses contacted Mazda road side service they contacted steele towing. Flagged down two semi drivers, they got out there fire extinguishers and discharged them the vehicle became fully engulfed, and ended up having an explosion uhp arrived on scene (trooper derek spencer badge # 341 ) local fire arrived. Two fire trucks attempted to extinguish, vehicle was totally destroyed. Vehicle was towed to steele towing in nephi, ut met steele towing at 8:00 a.M. next morning before the vehicle was taken to D. dahle Mazda in salt lake city close to 200 photographs of the vehicle and spoke with the towing company. Contacted rob meyer general manager during our drive home. All he would say to us is ¿to contact our insurance company¿. this is not an insurance issue. This is a faulty vehicle, a dealership, and auto manufacturer that will not honor the warranty and keeps directing us to contact our insurance company. I do not want to see this happen to another person.. this is of great concern towards consumers, vehicle safety and the unwillingness of the manufacturer in regard the safety of the public. Much more documentation, photographs.

- South Jordan, UT, USA

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