Notes: Except for a minor issue with cracked motor mounts, the 2008 MAZDA3 is a fantastic vehicle with a great reputation.

If you need to replace the motor mounts, first ask your dealer if they'll cover it -- the motor mounts were dealt with in a TSB & were recalled for some model years. Otherwise buy aftermarket motor mounts -- owners report this solves the problem. If you use the same OEM parts, they may just crack again.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
82,880 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 MAZDA3 engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Mazda MAZDA3 Owner Comments

problem #10

Feb 162016


  • 40,000 miles


Car accident going around 60mph on a highway, hit guardrail head on due to black ice and rain, spinning twice hitting guardrails again front and back multiple times, not a single airbag deployed. Thank goodness for the seatbelt as I'm sure death would have occurred if that failed too. Going through the insurance process now and will have more pictures and police report in hand shortly. I thought my wife and kids were in a safe car... I guess not.

- Apalachin, NY, USA

problem #9

Jan 312016


  • 85,000 miles
Car was vibrating a lot when in gear and holding brakes replaced motor mounts and throttle body to fix issue. Also when slowing down and speeding back up the transmission grinds when down shifting. Feels like it is slipping and is not safe if you are driving on the highway or in the city and want to switch lanes and speed up I'm afraid one day I'm going to switch lanes hit the gas and the transmission will fail. The carmax I got the car from insists it is just a transmission "shutter" and it happens with certain cars. I will be getting a second opinion from an ase certified transmission shop. Dealership made me think it was brake pads at first I paid $300 to have perfectly good pads replaced with new ones to have the problem not fixed. I am extremely irritated with dealership trying to get around fixing the car. Other than those 2 problems the car is great.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #8

Jan 252016


  • 79,352 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mazda Mazda3. The contact stated that while driving at 30 mph, the vehicle stalled. The contact was able to restart the vehicle however, the check engine warning light illuminated and the vehicle started to sputter. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to be diagnosed where it was diagnosed that the oxygen sensor was seized into the catalytic converter and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact also stated that the steering had excessive movement, while driving. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 79,352.

- Ocala, FL, USA

problem #7

Apr 062015


  • 127,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Mazda 3. while driving at various speeds, the atv and check engine lights illuminated. The contact pulled over to the side of the highway to restart the vehicle, but the warning lights were still illuminated. In addition, the vehicle jerked while driving and accelerated on its own. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the housing rod was cracked. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failures. The failure mileage was 127,000.

- Ownsborro , KY, USA

problem #6

Nov 072014

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 141,000 miles
The right font engine mount has broke. This was a recall on the 2006 model Mazda 3 but it appears that Mazda has continued to use the recalled pat O late models of various models.

- Goleta, CA, USA

problem #5

Dec 142014

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 87,637 miles
Check engine light came on 12/13/14, car wouldn't start 12/14/14, had towed to repair shop 12/15/14 and was told engine was flooded because the car couldn't meter air correctly and over fueled the car. Spark plugs, air filter and throttle body were all gummed up and dirty due to this. Repair shop checked the technical service bulletin relating to the check engine light and found that this is a a known issue. They had to modify a bracket and splice in new wire where it was rubbed through because of this defect. If this is truly a common defect Mazda should issue a recall on it and reimburse owners who have already had to have it fixed.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #4

Aug 032014

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 75,057 miles


Complete engine failure on well maintained Mazda 3I at 75000 miles. Traveling on freeway in slowest lane of traffic, first heard a clicking noise and engine light went on. Car seemed to be losing power. Called aaa roadside help, who checked the car and determined it was ok and could be driven home, about 10 miles away. Proceeded to drive home, 5 miles into trip began losing power, clicking noise returned so I pulled over to shoulder as car completely lost power, engine overheated. Prognosis: Timing chain broke, engine overheated and this car is a total loss. Finding now there are thousands of consumers that have experienced this issue with Mazda engines. This company is a fraud, and people's lives are in danger as the result. Never again will I have anything to do with Mazda cars.

- San Marcos, CA, USA

problem #3

Nov 012013

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
I parked my car on numerous occasions in the last few months where the transmission failed to engage in park. It required multiple tries to get the park indicator light on the dash to reflect that the car was safely engaged in park. Before I realized what was happening with the transmission. On at least 3 occasions I was unable to start my car at all when I returned from a brief stop. The problem with failing to start happened when the car was on a slight incline and I had engaged the parking brake. After jiggling the automatic transmission lever repeatedly, moving the steering wheel and applying the brake vigorously, I was eventually able to get the car to start. I'm not sure whether it was rocking of the vehicle from frustration or jiggling the gear selector that finally worked. The car has a new battery and has had all scheduled maintenance performed by my local Mazda dealer. When this happens, other electrical equipment functions but there is absolutely no response from the ignition system.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #2

Aug 052013

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
Overflow bottle cracked for no apparent reason causing problems with the engine costing more than 1500 worth of damages. The mechanic encourage that I report because he says this should not have happened and that Mazda is known for having this defect. It is a costly repair.

- Forest Park, OH, USA

problem #1

Nov 062012


  • 66,754 miles
Passenger side motor mount inop after only 67,000 miles.

- Hampton, VA, USA

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