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 1 of 2)

problem #27

Jan 242014


  • 70,000 miles


I had smoke coming from under the hood. Ac compressor was burning up, and entire ac system needed to be replaced, only for the ac to stop outputting cool air on hot days unless I'm driving over 55 mph.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #26

Apr 232014


  • 65,000 miles
The ac in this vehicle has always under performed. It did not get really cold and had to be run on the high setting constantly. Just last week the compressor failed completely.

- Mccordsville, IN, USA

problem #25

Apr 042014

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 47,500 miles
Egr valve failure on a 2008 Mazda Cx-7 with 47,500 miles. I had never heard of a egr valve before my check engine light came on and I took it to the local auto parts store to have them tell me the error code. Took it to the dealership and they told me that the warranty for the part was 60months/60,000 miles. While I was way under on the miles, I was 5 months over on the time. Since this was my 3rd trip into the dealership over the past 5 months dealing with problems/maintenance with my Cx-7, I asked why this particular part failed. I was told that it was due to the negative effects of ethanol. After some quick research, it is clear that 2007-2008 Mazda Cx-7 has serious problems with the egr valve. It will cost me $650 to fix. Mazda should have been forced to recall this part since it looks like it was defective from the start. Was told that a new replacement part for the egr valve would be put into the vehicle which will not break due to presence of ethanol in gas.

- Vero Beach, FL, USA

problem #24

Jan 082013


  • miles


Had to replace the A/C compressor that went bad, was a recall on them but my warranty was out. Then now 11/8/13 I am being told that my egr valve is bad and needs to be replaced and it so happens guess what the emissions warranty has ran out. I have seen a lot of complaints on line about the A/C compressor and now the egr valve.

- Foley, AL, USA

problem #23

Oct 172013


  • 35,000 miles
I was driving at about 25mph when I noticed a burning smell. I pulled over and popped the hood and saw smoke coming from the ac compressor. It turns out that this is common for this model. Mazda extended the warranty but of course mine expired this year. It's just a shame that my car has less then 40K miles and Mazda has acknowledged this is an inferior part, but wont help cover the cost. There are hundreds of reports of this part failing and breaking the serpentine belt causing the car to lose all power. This should absolutely be a recall. Imagine this happening while on a highway or turning at an intersection.

- Glen Burnie, MD, USA

problem #22

Jul 072013

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 28,600 miles
Air conditioning began blowing hot air. Many complaints logged online for this year vehicle having the same issue. Contacted the dealership to find the warranty has expired 3 weeks prior to this issue. Recommendation was to contact Mazda customer satisfaction. They provided a file number and informed I needed to have the dealership confirm the issue was the compressor. The dealership did confirm the compressor and belt need replaced. Contacted the customer satisfaction number back and the appeal/complain process began to see if they would provide financial assistance in replacing the compressor and belt since the warranty had just expired and only has 28,000 miles. Was informed 2 days later that the decision was that they would not provide any assistance since it is out of the warranty period. Very discouraged that a corporation would not stand behind they vehicle under these circumstances and the fact that they know this vehicle has these issues. I could understand if the vehicle had 60,000 miles but this is very disappointing.

- Enola, PA, USA

problem #21

Apr 252013

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 75,400 miles


The air conditioning unit on my 2008 Mazda Cx-7 cracked, causing the pulley assembly to freeze up. As a result, the pulley no longer turned on the serpentine belt and made a loud noise, and the air conditioner failed to work. The car was immediately brought to the nearest Mazda dealer who diagnosed the problem and advised me not to drive the car, out of concern that damage to the belt might occur. In reviewing my files later, I found an August 2010 notice from Mazda advising me that the model year of my car might have this problem, and that the warranty coverage would be extended to 5 years or 60,000 miles. It further stated that no action should be taken unless I was experiencing an issue with this component of my car, which I wasn't at that time. Unfortunately, my problem did not emerge until now, and is not covered by this warranty extension since I now have 75000 miles on my car. However, air conditioner units normally do not fail on cars of this age and the notice from Mazda makes it clear that they are aware of this problem. I feel that Mazda should do the right thing and cover the cost of replacing the air conditioning unit in my car.

- Salem, CT, USA

problem #20

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 #19

Aug 232012

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
On my way to work I glanced in my rearview mirror and noticed white smoke coming out from behind my car. I looked at my gauges and noticed that my battery light was on and my temperature gauge was all the way on hot. Pulled to the side of the road and, as I pulled over my engine light came on and my power steering went out. I shut off the car and called my husband (who owns a collision repair shop and a tow truck) and told him to come and get me and my disabled car. As I sat in my car waiting, a police officer came to check that I was O.K. the officer sat in his car behind me for about 10 minutes and then backed out and left. Within a few minutes of the officer leaving a gentleman and his wife pulled over a good way up in front of my car. The gentleman got out of his car and started running to me shouting get out, get out, your car is on fire!? the gentleman called 911 to summon the fire department. As we waited for the fire department a highway patrol assistance vehicle pulled over because they had a fire extinguisher. My husband arrived and took the car back to his place of business. Our insurance was company was called and they sent a claims adjuster out to assess the damage. Our claims adjuster determined that the fire had started with the air conditioner and had caused $3,900 in damage to the mechanicals of the car.

- Millersport, OH, USA

problem #18

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 #17

Jan 182012

CX-7 4-cyl

  • miles


Mazda has a bulletin out to mechanics about Cx-7'd timing chain. The timing chain problem could cease an engine on a highway and cause saftey hazards. Mazda is also refusing repairs on my timing chain because I cannot produce the paperwork for my oil changes. I even have a 70,000 mile warranty which was extended because of the timing chain problems. I even called my bank to get statements proving payment in the same amount for the place I get my oil changes done, which Mazda has a couple copies of, but they refused bank statements. This is horrible business practice and us, consumers should be protected against this. My car has 65,000 miles and I'm still making car payments. I can guarentee I will never buy another Mazda and will tell everyone I knnow and post it on every site I can.

- Tabernacle, NJ, USA

problem #16

Jan 022012

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 62,636 miles
One morning the check engine light turn on, the computer code came back as egr val, I have had this vehicle for over 3yrs this is a pricey part, I have read about this and a lot of people have experience this as soon as they reach the 62K miles this is ridiculous. I hope this has nothing to do with a noise that the engine have ever since O bought it which the said it was normal... as per the tires I had to replace them as soon as I reached the 1 yr, never will I buy a Mazda again....

- Pharr, TX, USA

problem #15

Nov 282011

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 37,437 miles
The check engine light came on so I took it to the dealership. Turns out the timing chain, gaskets, lock, and bolt, oil pan gasket, and egr valve need to be replaced. The car only has 37,437 miles on it. To have major engine problems is ridiculously unsafe. Mazda has many cases with these same issues and yet has not issued a recall. Even with the warranty covering engine parts/labor it's absurd! they need to be held responsible for selling lemons to the public.

- Frisco, TX, USA

problem #14

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 #13

Oct 272011

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 59,600 miles
I was traveling in valencia on the 5 freeway and the interior of my 2008 Mazda Cx-7 filled with smoke to the point where I found it difficult to drive. I pulled to the exit (magic mountain pkwy) and pulled to the side turning off the engine. After several minutes I lifted the hood to find that the engine was still smoking around the belt area. I was able to get the car to Firestone newhall, ca where they are still looking at it. Very dangerous situation. The ac compressor seized causing the belt to fire and almost catch fire. After further research I have found that this is a common and dangerous problem with this make and model.

- Highland, CA, USA

problem #12

Sep 222011

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 61,996 miles
On September 22, 2011 our 2008 Mazda Cx-7 experienced a complete engine failure. This failure occurred without any warning while driving on a freeway: The engine had not previously experienced any problems or made any unusual noises, no indicator lights had signaled a problem, and we had made oil and oil filter changes in accordance with the maintenance schedule. The failure created an extremely dangerous situation, as the car lost power and this meant that several critical functions, most notably, the steering, were severely compromised; the driver only just managed to bring the car to a safe stop. The Mazda service center examined the engine of the car on September 26 and reported that the piston in the number 2 cylinder had failed damaging the engine beyond repair. The service manager verified our maintenance records and indicated that the engine was free of sludge or other build up.

- Pleasantville, NY, USA

problem #11

Oct 212009

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 11,000 miles
Purchased my 2008 Mazda CX7 brand new 12/08/2008. Started noticing white smoke coming out of the tail pipes while idling and I lived in South Florida at the time. Dealership stated that the car was leaking oil and they wanted to fix the problem by putting in oil that would cost over $100 per oil change. After putting in the oil the problem continued. Took the car to the dealership again and they then stated that the only fix would be to replace the turbo and that I had to contact corporate to get it fixed. After speaking with corporate the turbo was replaced, but I am now having white smoke coming from the back of the car again and I am at 45,500 miles. This is a problem that I see listed often on this site and with some cars starting on fire. I hope that would not happen, but if Mazda has changed the turbo due to this problem in newer models a recall should be looked at to keep the problem from occurring.

- North Charleston, SC, USA

problem #10

Sep 062011


  • 45,900 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mazda Cx-7. the contact stated that the check engine warning lamp was illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who diagnosed that the egr valve was defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was no longer under warranty. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 45,900 and the current mileage was 46,000.

- Suffolk, VA, USA

problem #9

Dec 292010

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
I purchased a Mazda Cx-7 new in 2008. I recently experience total engine failure while riding on the highway with my daughter. The Mazda dealer looked at the vehicle and contacted the warranty company and Mazda on this issue, Mazda stated there was "sludge" in the engine and that was not covered by the warranty. They stated this must've been caused by owner maintenance, however, I have maintained the car as stated in the manual. The company stated we need to produce copies of all of our oil changes since purchase of the vehicle and the dates/mileage at the oil change. We did not have this information, however many complainants who have produced the oil change history are still denied warranty claims. This issue of sludge is not only causes by the owner, but also caused by manufactured defects as in the Toyota case. Many other Mazda owners and mechanics have stated the turbo charging in the new Mazda Cx-7 has started to "cook" the oil too fast and this causes the sludge in the engine, however Mazda will not own up to this defect and honor the warranty and this vehicle. There have also been sited issues of the timing chain causing engine failure however Mazda would not look at any other issues. My vehicle is still under the 60,000 mile warranty and a defect of the engine going out should be covered. Mazda is illegally making the allegation about the owners of the vehicle causing the engine failure in a car only two years old, only to not be responsible for a problem it has caused. Please help me and other Mazda owners correct this issue. There are currently multiple complaints against Mazda and many vehicle owners such as myself are without a vehicle while in litigation with this issue. The repairs would cost over $7000. I have also copied and pasted the forum in which over 100 people have discussed this exact trend in their vehicles and Mazda being less than willing to further assist with this issue.

- Brandywine, MD, USA

problem #8

Jun 302010


  • 38,000 miles
Mazda CX7- turbo engine failure. Excessive oil consumption and burning oil lead to turbo failure and ceased engine. June 30, 2010. Had to pay $10,000 to replace engine and other major parts in SUV.Mazda blamed customer although there are 100's of complaints regarding this very issue whereas the customer was ultimately blamed. It is well documented about the excessive engine oil consumption and engine ceasing on these vehicle. Each complaint has the same problems and end results. Customer is blamed for lack of oil changes and therefore blamed on the failure of this vehicle.I eventually had all of my oil change certificates and was told by Mazda they do not honor hand written receipts. Mazda only wanted computerized receipts. All of my maintenance was done by mechanics that have a combined 50 years in business.that was not good enough for them. There fore I had to pay this huge bill to get my vehicle back.

- Atlantic Highlands, NJ, USA

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