really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
106,400 miles
Total Complaints:
7 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced with used engine (4 reports)
  2. not sure (3 reports)
2008 Mazda CX-9 engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Mazda CX-9 Owner Comments

problem #7

Nov 252019

CX-9 3.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles


Mazda CX-9 problem with 130,000 miles.

On November 25th, as I was dropping off my children to their schools, the defrost suddenly stops working. I try to turn the fan/heater all the way up, but to no avail. I had to use a towel to wipe the windshield. As I pulled into a curved side, the engine turns off, I turned the ignition key to off, then restarted the engine, and the engine light comes on. I pulled out and drove about six hundred feet and parked. I call a mechanic and explain the problem. He told me some likely problems and ask to take it to the shop. I drove it again for a mile to the shop. He opens up the hood and poured in some coolant and all the coolant were on the floor. He immediately told me that coolant leaks and oil is probably mixed and causes the engine failure. He told me I had to change the engine, because fixing it will cost me over ten grand.

I drove it home, then the following morning, I took it to a different shop, where they did the diagnosis and related the same story that check codes showed three codes: P0016, crank position sensor correlation bank one sensor A. 1285 cylinder head over temperature, 1299 cylinder head temp protection. The codes indicated an overheat scenario that resulted in engine shut down. They checked oil and found milky substance instead of oil. The pressure check for coolant leak pushed milky oil out of dipstick tube. The head gasket has failed due to overheating and the coolant has contaminated the engine oil. Their recommendation is to replace the engine, assembly and flush cooling system. Their total estimate is $10,900.

I regularly service the car even before due dates, just to be on the safe side. But, I guess that did not work. I can't afford to pay for this service repair. I cannot even spend that much of money on another car. I have four kids and we literally live from hand to mouth. We bought this car thinking that it will take us for some time before we'll need another car. I contacted Mazda customer experience center, and their response was, they "wish there were never part failures". Now, I'm stuck. So This is my story!!!

- Amo K., Seattle, WA, US

problem #6

May 222018

CX-9 Touring 3.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,150 miles

Wife turned into parking space at work, CX-9 lurched, and began spraying antifreeze onto ground. I checked the dipstick and got the same tell-tale sign - light brown and runny consistency. The coolant resorvior was completely empty as well. I attempted to drain the oil, and the first 3 seconds was clear fluid (car was not started for 5 hours after initial discovery).

Towed to my shop, and their diagnosis is the same as the others you're reading - Ford parts (Mazda is owned by them), specifically, the water pump fails and pushes coolant everywhere it's not supposed to go.This has also been repaired by my shop on Ford Flex and Edge - make a note.

Note - the local Dealership service department also admitted this is an issue that Mazda is aware of. Two solutions offered by shop: 1. clean engine with BG products, multiple gallons of oil pumped through and changed, $2,000.00 2. Rebuilt engine, approximately $4,000.00 My shop is looking for one in case we want to go down that road. 109,150 miles. Ridiculous.

This is my first, and LAST, Mazda. I am making it my part-time job to get satisfaction out of this situation. It is a widespread issue and Mazda had better step-up, regardless of the lack of a recall. I will be calling their recall dept, complaint dept, going to social media, and even thought of picketing in front of the dealership if they don't offer a good resolution.

- Bill R., Tulsa, US

problem #5

Apr 202018

CX-9 Touring 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,500 miles

I noticed some liquid dripping in the driveway and made a mental note to check on it later. I was thinking that maybe it was some dripping AC condensation. I looked at the car later and see that it appeared to be coolant leaking. I popped the hood and the coolant reservoir was empty. I checked the dip-stick to rule out that oil was leaking and I found the oil on the stick to be of a milkshake type consistency. I looked up the problem on the internet and a lot of people were complaining about this issue with the water pump giving out and leaking coolant into the engine.

At this point, the mechanics are closed so I will have the car towed tomorrow to the shop to see if the engine can be salvaged. The car's engine turned on the last time it was used and there were no indicator lights flashing so I am hopeful that the engine can be saved. If it can be saved or repaired, I am going to sell this car and get a SUV with a different engine design. I don't think I will be coming back to Mazda any time soon.

- bluenote53, Los Angeles, US

problem #4

Apr 022017

CX-9 GT 3.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,526 miles


Heard some crackling noises while turning left. Didn't know what it was. Thought it was cv joint. While driving last Sunday on my wife's birthday, started to smell hot coolant (know how that smells). I looked down at the temp gauge and it was normal. So I pulled in the street on my right and turned the engine off. I popped the hood, looked at the overflow tank and saw some antifreeze in there. Looked under the vehicle and saw a trail and dripping of antifreeze. I poured in a bottle of antifreeze into the overflow tank, it all ran out.

Had the vehicle towed to Mazda dealership, paid $131 to check it and was told the the engine was cracked. The cost to fix? $6,500 plus tax (Canadian dollars - cost of a used engine).

This sucks!!!

- Joseph W., toronto, ON, Canada

problem #3

Aug 082016

CX-9 Grand Touring 3.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,787 miles

We have had this CX-9 since it came off a 1yr lease. It has ALWAYS gone to a Mazda shop for all work. At just under 102k miles, we "lose" the water pump. It's inside the engine (a crappy Ford design) so around $2k later, we have a newly installed pump. Then, about 1k miles later, BOOM! It throws a rod. These are"throw away" engines. Try to find someone to rebuild it. So, after the dealer finds a used engine. I wind up paying to have the new water pump removed from my dead engine, installed on the used engine and put into the car. I loved this car until this...and the next issue. Poor quality Ford parts make a piss poor Mazda. Cars should last more than around 100k miles.

- Alan M., Parker, CO, US

problem #2

May 022016

CX-9 Sport 3.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,671 miles

No ZOOM ZOOM here. At 109K, the “internal” water pump went out causing coolant and water to mix with the oil resulting in the ruination of the engine. UNBELIEVABLE engineering design! Water pumps go out on vehicles all the time without ruining the engines. It's appalling to think that Mazda would ever use such an inferior design in their vehicles causing such an incident. Finally, I called Mazda USA headquarters to see if I could get some financial assistance with the engine replacement cost but was told since I didn't take it to the dealership to perform the work that I was out of luck. (Mazda Registered Complaint No. 1-281511575)

- Michael R., Gilbert, AZ, US

problem #1

Jan 082015

CX-9 Touring 3.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

A poor engine design. Water pump mounted inside compartment with oil all around. Contaminated the oil, overheated, wore out bearings; not worth fixing it.

Simply to get to the pump the engine has to come out, this is horrible. I loved the car till now.

- theone, Dover, NJ, US

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