really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
88,650 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace motor (3 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
2004 Mazda MAZDA3 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Mazda MAZDA3 Owner Comments

problem #4

Jul 152011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles


click to see larger images

motor blew motor blew motor blew motor blew motor blew motor blew

Well, I noticed a clicking noise about a week after its oil change, checked the engine out, seemed fine. No check engine light, no OBD reading, thought maybe I was crazy, then after 3 days I was like hey! should go take and get her looked at just in case. I'll go right after work I said, then during lunch I hear a "BOOM!!!", panel lights up like it's a red alert due to the Romulans attacking. Now there is a loud clacking noise.''

However it still drives, so I drive her into the shop (Deepstage Automotive) and ask my buddy Drew, "think you can fix her?" Drew said give him a few days and he would get me an issue, solution, and of course a bill. Get the awesome photos and everything later the next day, with a new engine bill of around $2,300. Of course Drew is pretty inexpensive when it comes to his labor cost, but it took a few weeks to get the engine in from Japan. No engine issues since that event.

- Rafferty V., killeen, TX, US

problem #3

Feb 122015

MAZDA3 Sport GS 2.4L

  • Manual transmission
  • 85,439 miles

Last Thursday night (February 12) I started driving home. The engine started making an odd noise, like someone was running a 3/8" electric drill under the hood. It was bitterly cold (-25 C or -13 F) here in the great white north, so I thought it was a belt slipping a bit until the car was warmed up.

After driving about 4 km. (2.5 miles) the CEL lit up. I had three choices: stop immediately on the side of the road, out by the side of a farmer's field where the wind was whipping up a blizzard of blowing snow, turn around and go back (4 km.) or continue on home and put my analyzer on the engine to check out the CEL (another 5 km.).

It's a CEL, right? We've all probably had CELs light up before. The last time I had one, it was a faulty thermostat that wasn't closing fully. The car ran fine. No big deal.

5 km. later the car just up and stopped. Wouldn't start again. Called a tow truck. Took it to the local Mazda dealer.

Local Mazda dealer says my oil pressure switch failed. The oil pressure switch has a plastic top and an aluminum insert that threads into, I believe, the filter base. The plastic piece popped out of the aluminum part. The tech I spoke to thought it was because of corrosion of the aluminum part, thereby causing the plastic piece to come out. I saw the plastic piece, just hanging there from the bottom of the engine. It wasn't attached to the aluminum part at all.

So there was a hole about the size of your finger spewing oil out of the engine, with nothing to stop it.

I told the Mazda Service Writer that the oil pressure warning light didn't light up. He told me that it wouldn't because the oil pressure switch had failed. So the oil pressure switch can fail, spew oil out the engine, and you don't know because the low oil pressure warning light is controlled by the oil pressure switch, which is draining the oil out of your engine as you drive.

There was only a tiny bit of oil on my garage floor, mixed in with all of the snow and ice on the garage floor. Not 4-5 liters of oil. So I suspect that the oil spewed out on the way to and from work. At work, where I usually park, only another small bit of oil on the snow. Maybe it spewed most of the oil out on the way to work. I don't know.

I checked my 2004 Mazda 3 FSM and the only way that you can check if your oil pressure switch is operating correctly is to notice that the oil pressure warning light lights up when you turn on your ignition key and turns off when you start the engine. Of course, we always notice that, don't we.

So I have a blown engine. Only 85,500 miles on the car and I follow the Mazda maintenance schedule religiously. Fanatically, even.

If the oil pressure switch can fail and drain your oil out of your engine without any warning lights lighting up - until it's too late, and your engine dies - then this is a real bad design flaw, don't you think?

You might say, "check your oil more often". Yes, but if you check your oil every Saturday morning and the oil pressure switch fails on Monday morning and spews out all your oil by Tuesday morning, what are you to do? Check your oil every time you park the car?

- James W., Ottawa, ON - Ontario, canada

problem #2

Jan 122011

MAZDA3 Sport 2.3L

  • Manual transmission
  • 86,992 miles

Never fixed as it was too expensive to fix/more than car is worth.

- Etta P., Rockwood, Ontario, canada

problem #1

Aug 252009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

The motor kept making noises and everytime I took it to dealership they could not find nothing wrong. Until one day while driving down a highway with lots off traffic the big boom happened the motor blew with no warning at that time. Whats so bad is a friend of mine bought the same make and model has mine and she had the same problem the motor blew in her car also, it really makes you wonder. Well lets just say I am pissed, I still havent come up with the money to get it fixed. I worked my tail off to get that car and its just not in my budget ($4000.00) to get it fixed anytime soon. Whats a girl to do. Need to get the word out do not buy the Mazda 3 it suxxxxxxxxxx.

- Wendy T., Spartanburg, SC, US

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