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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,125 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

problem #4

Dec 282010

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 42,000 miles


My check engine light has come on in my 2008 Mazda cx-9. took the vehicle to the dealer and they advised the egr valve has to be replaced due to it being warn out. Mazda states this part does not fall under emissions warranty. After doing some research, this appears to be a common problem with Mazda's and I don't feel I should be paying $1200 to fix a vehicle that is only two years old. Mazda has been no help just trying extort money from consumers.

- Bowie, MD, USA

problem #3

Dec 162010


  • 60,000 miles
2008 Mazda cx 7 grand touring - purchased pre-owned vehicle from a certified Mazda dealer in October 2008, had a loud engine sound and dealer advised this was "normal", just before warranty expiration found that transmission seal was bad and replaced this as well as the recalled compressor. Now at 64K and noise in engine is getting worse and it is in fact the timing chain lapping. Found out that this is a common problem and that some people have been having the chain break leaving them stranded in the middle of the road. Also found that the entire casing and the tensioning belt/mechanism is failing. This is a huge safety concern and I am surprised that no one has recalled this, it is a very common problem in the 07 model as well. Will request old parts be kept. Currently being worked on.

- Allen, TX, USA

problem #2

May 012010


  • 40,000 miles
This narrative is about total engine failure in a Mazda Cx-7 2008. There were no indications leading up to the failure. I got regular oil changes well within the manual recommended 5000-7500 miles. One morning on my way to work, the car simply stopped accelerating when I hit a small hill. There was no check engine light, no warning, nothing. I drove the car immediately to Mazda service. As I was driving to the dealership, the check engine light did in fact come on. Upon looking into the problem, the dealership looked at it an determined that there was sludge in the engine and that the engine was destroyed. I had a warranty yet Mazda refused to cover it due to "lack of maintenance" from owner. I was forced to replace the engine and was told if I went the route of another engine from a different mechanic or manufacturer, that the engine would be branded. Therefore, I ended up paying $7600. Upon further investigation, I found story after story with the same plot line. This engine must be recalled. It is faulty and dangerous and Mazda refuses to acknowledge it for financial reasons.

- Bristol, PA, USA

problem #1

Jun 222010


  • 62,500 miles
I own a Mazda 2008 CX7 sport - purchased new on 11/28/2007. I have 62,500 miles on the vehicle. It was towed to the dealer on 6/22/2010 with loud whining noise and loss of power. Dealer said the turbo is malfunctioned. Over the next week the extended service company for Mazda requested maintenance records. I had the oil changed outside of the dealer some of the time. They looked at this and declined the warranty repairs. I kept calling and they agreed to send out an independent adjuster. He noted a "sludge" build up on the oil return hose bolt to the turbo. They declined my warranty coverage. I am having to pay $2500 to repair. I have been doing research online and this vehicle is having numerous issues with sludge buildup. This comes from the engine running to hot and breaking the oil down to create blockages that ultimately affect the turbo or other internal engine parts. If you look on edmunds website you can see their are others with the same issue. Mazda will not make the recall or assist the consumers. We follow their recommendations on oil change and are getting no assistance. I am afraid that I will have additional issues once this is repaired and they will decline future service. Hat can you do to help? I actually have the dealers printed copy of where they repaired the timing belt tensioner in April at 57K miles. According to the supervisor for customer service at the extended warranty office his computer records show they repaired the serpentine belt for less money that the dealer records I have in hand. What is going on this just does not seem honest. I need help and there are others with the same situation over the last year - some having to spend $7500 + out of pocket to repair their CX7. Please call me for help.

- Camp Hill, PA, USA

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