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:
9 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,342 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2008 Mazda MAZDA3 Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #37

Jul 052010


  • 24,000 miles


I have a 2008 Mazda3. Once when we were in Florida and again this week, the power steering failed. Both times the weather was extremely hot. My husband put approx. 1 ounce of power steering fluid into the power steering receptacle and both times the problem was corrected. When in Florida we took the car to furman Mazda in tampa and they said there was no code in the car and if it happened again to bring it back. This week it happened again and again my husband put about 1 ounce of power steering fluid in the car and it was corrected. We called ray price Mazda in stroudsburg, pa. Where we purchased the car and they told us to bring the car in and they gave us a rental car to use until the power steering pump and lines are replaced. They told us that there is a problem with the power steering pump and also the lines are not big enough. We were fortunate both times to be able to park and stop the vehicle without incident. I believe this is a real safety issue if it would have happened when we were somewhere where we couldn't safely get off of the highway. Thank you.

- Dingmans Ferry, PA, USA

problem #36

Jul 022010


  • 21,000 miles
When placing my Mazda into reverse on 3 separate occasions, the power steering has failed and the steering wheel has totally locked. I am not able to steer the car at all. When I have turned the car engine off and restarted the car, the power steering will reactivate. I took the car into the dealership and they told me that there was "no problem" and charged me $42 for the "checkup". within 2 days, the incident recurred twice. The car is now back at the dealership for repair. A staff member told me that there was a "technical bulletin" out about this problem and I searched the internet and found this website. This is a major defect in this car obviously based on the number of complaints I evidenced on-line.

- Painesville, OH, USA

problem #35

Jun 042010


  • 36,000 miles
TL- the contact owns a 2008 Mazda 3. the contact stated that while driving approximately 65mph the power steering warning light illuminated and she lost all power steering function. The vehicle was driven home and when she restarted the vehicle the light was off and the power steering functioned normally. The failure recurred yesterday on the highway in heavy traffic. The vehicle was dropped off at a Mazda dealer for repairs. They stated the vehicle was not under warranty and the repairs would be done at the owners expense. The failure mileage was approximately 36,000. The current mileage is approximately 38,000.

- Philmont , NY, USA

problem #34

Jul 052010


  • 25,000 miles


Hot day, vehicle was running for 20-30 minutes without moving. Power steering stopped working. Was advised to turn it off then on for ten minutes, worked fine.

- Hamilton, 00, USA

problem #33

Jun 282010


  • 16,500 miles
We were driving the car in the usual manner when the power steering went out making the car very difficult to steer. This only happened once but was very scary and potentially dangerous. The car returned to normal once it was shut off and then re-started sometime later.

- Medford, OR, USA

problem #32

Jul 042010


  • 27,200 miles
I was driving my 2008 Mazda3 in heavy traffic on a 90 degree day and the power steering failed. We heard a thump, like running over a pavement reflector, then 20 seconds later the power steering light came on. I had to use two hands to pull it off the highway. After a restart, the light went off and the power steering came back.

- Dublin, CA, USA

problem #31

Jun 112010


  • 25,000 miles


While sitting in traffic on a hot summer day I went to change lanes to grab a coming exit, in the middle of my lane change the car became extremely hard to turn, to the point that I almost hit the center median. Once I was going straight I looked at my dash and the power steering light was on. I pulled over I turned the car off an on and my power steering came on. The next day I went to the Mazda dealer and they quickly recognized the problem and put in a new power steering pump. The fact that the Mazda dealer was aware that this type of problem was possible on my car but did not tell me led to me almost being in an accident.

- Medford, NY, USA

problem #30

May 272010


  • 23,000 miles
Hi - I saw in a news story that you opened up an investigation into Mazda3 power steering. This is a problem I've had a couple of times over the last couple of months. I have a 2008 Mazda3 purchased new in early April 2008. Basically, the power steering has gone out twice on me - the vehicle is still fully functional and the warning light does go on, but it just requires a lot of muscle to turn on the car. Both times, it was on a warm day (I live in Chicago) and toward the end of a relatively long commute (1 hour 15 minutes+) of mostly stop and go traffic, so I wondered if it may be heat-related but that could also be coincidence. The first time, I drove it the remaining mile or so and was able to park it. After restarting the car, power steering still didn't work. When I came later (either a few hours or the next day), it was fine. Second time was similar, I was able to take better mental notes of what might have triggered it - this time, it went out shortly after I cut the wheel all the way to one side when the car was practically stationary. Again, hard to tell if that was what triggered the problem or if it was sheer coincidence... this time, though, I pulled over and turned the car off for just a couple of minutes and when I restarted it, it was fine. Not sure what else you might need to know... I am up-to-date on my servicing and the first instance occurred about a week and a half after service at Mazda (a week in which I hadn't really driven the car since we were on vacation with our other car). I have not yet contacted Mazda about the problem, I was just going to ask them to take a look at it next time I brought it in.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #29

May 142010


  • 38,400 miles
My daughter was driving our 2008 Mazda 3 home from vacation. She was in New York city when the power steering failed. She stopped car. Re-started apprx 30 minutes later it was ok. The power steering failed again while still in New York. She was also having problems with all the electrical components. She could not steer car and had to stop in the hov bus lane. She was alone in the car with her newborn baby. This car only has 38000, less then 3 years old, always maintained at 3000 intervals. We had to pay over 600 to have fixed and were told there was nothing wrong with electrical. Some components failed after having it back for 2 days, returned to dealer and had to pay almost 200 to have repaired. We are out over 800 for a problem that should not have happened. In addition we had an extended warranty that covered almost nothing.

- Southold, NY, USA

problem #28

Apr 042010


  • 30,000 miles
Vehicle: 2008 Mazda3 5 door semi-automatic after idling for approximately 15 mins. There was a complete loss of power steering. I restarted the vehicle and changed gears with no effect. I drove the vehicle home without power steering. The next day the power steering returned with further incident.

- Ballwin, MO, USA

problem #27

May 082010


  • 48,000 miles


1. while the car was stopped for more than 5 minutes the engine was running including the air conditioner 2. loss of power steering 3. stopped the car and waited for a while and then restarted this has happened twice in the past 2 months.

- Ridgewood, NJ, USA

problem #26

May 012010


  • 36,000 miles
While driving my '08 Mazda3 5-door, 2.3L on the I80/94 expressway in stop and go construction traffic, I lost power steering. Idiot light came on. Was able to steer car home; just no power steering. Per owner's manual restarted car and problem was gone. Power steering has not been a problem since. Happened with about 36,000 miles on car.

- Hammond, IN, USA

problem #25

May 282010


  • 39,000 miles
2008 Mazda 3 5 door, approximately 39,000 miles. Driving on interstate in heavy traffic at ~10 mph. Heard a clunk-like noise and the power steering warning light came on. Realized I had lost power steering. Pulled into a service station, checked fluid and belts. Nothing looked to be wrong from the outside. After 20 minutes or so, re-started car and power steering had been restored. No similar problem since.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #24

Jul 152009


  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mazda, Mazda 3. while driving 70 mph, the power steering locked and she was able to use extreme force to turn the steering wheel onto the emegency lane. The vehicle was turned off and when it was restarted, it began to function normally. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure; however, the power steering fluid was replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 20,000 and the current mileage was 28,000.

- Thompson State, TN, USA

problem #23

May 142010


  • 18,200 miles
My car is a Mazda 3 sedan 2008 model under warranty. The power steering failed 3 times now randomly while the car is in motion. The power steering indicator lights up and the steering feels very heavy when the problem occur. The problem goes on and off. My service advisor told me he cannot fix the problem because during that time I was in the dealership, the problem is not happening. I told him, why wait for the problem to occur before you fix it. This is a safety concern and should be dealt soon.

- Pikesville, MD, USA

problem #22

Jun 232010


  • miles
Failed power steering for 2008 Mazda 3: I had no indication that there was a problem until it was to late. I was stuck in traffic and near my Mazda dealer when the power steering went out. Unable to turn steering wheel at idle, but able to steer as the car speeds up--but had to put much effort into it. I bought the car brand new. I was unaware of any recalls for this particular problem. Car is still in the shop for part replacement. Despite part replacement, I'm sure there will be more steering problems in the future. This is major safety issue.

- Belfair, WA, USA

problem #21

Jun 182010


  • 24,700 miles
I was driving out of the parking lot and my steering wheel was extremely hard to move. I was able to pull over and check the steering fluid and there wasn't a leak. I was scared as the car was very hard to steer and it could have been worse if that happened in the highway or high speed road.

- Portland, ME, USA

problem #20

Jun 172010


  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mazda 3. the contact stated when taking the vehicle to the dealer for its routine 3,000 mile maintenance, the dealer advised that the power steering module was exhibiting failure. The dealer stated the power steering failure was a common occurrence and would be replaced at their expense. The contact was unaware of the exact repairs being made to the vehicle. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage and current mileages were 32,000.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #19

May 262010


  • 20,663 miles
I drive a Mazda 3 2008, 5 door with power steering. The power steering suddenly went off as I was turning from a busy street left into a parking lot. I was able to control the car and parked. The owner's manual said to turn off the engine wait and restart. If light stayed on call dealer. After 10 mins the indicator light stayed off. I was able to drive the car home without further incident. I am taking the car to the dealer. I went online Mazda users websites, jdpower, about automobile, etc. And discovered that this is a persistent (back to 2008) to current( 5/27/10) problem. When does such a problem rise tot the level of a recall? this is a dangerous condition!

- Birmingham, MI, USA

problem #18

May 262010


  • 16,200 miles
Normal freeway driving to an off ramp, to slow traffic to power steering failure while in traffic. High effort necessary to exit car to nearby restaurant. After approximately 1.5 hours power steering was again fully operational. Drove car to dealer, code 1099, replaced bp4L-32-410 pipe, bbm4-32-68Z body, 4 ea gaskets 9956-21-400 and fluid.

- Loveland, OH, USA

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