hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,647 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.

2003 Mazda MAZDA6 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Mazda MAZDA6 Owner Comments

problem #12

Oct 092011


  • 148,000 miles


Traveling at speeds of 30-60 mph during any type of traffic (stop and go, freeway speeds, etc), my 2003 Mazda6 will suddenly go into a "safe or limp" mode characterized by abrupt loss of power with no ability to accelerate. The rpms drop to between 1000 and 1300 and fluctuate quickly between the two numbers. I have had to quickly press the clutch, turn the car off and back on to regain normal function. When taken to a mechanic, the root cause was determined to be a defective throttle body. Upon more research (including this site), this does not appear to be an uncommon issue for this model of Mazda.

- St. Paul, MN, USA

problem #11

Jul 112010


  • 98,000 miles
Traveling at freeway speeds in ca on the san francisco bay bridge during evening traffic, my 2003 Mazda6 suddenly went into "safe or limp" mode. This caused abrupt loss of power with no ability to accelerate, which almost caused a multi vehicle accident. When taken to a mechanic, the root cause was a code dtc P2135 for a defective throttle body. Mazda admits 3 (three) versions of their throttle body for that vehicle defective with automatic discard if there is a mil with dtc P2135(per technical service bulletin no. 01-016/06 issued 05/18/2006 by Mazda North american operations), and throttle body markings "aa","ab","ba". mine is an "aa". obviously Mazda admits that these are defective, but only replaced them under warranty and my vehicle is not under warranty any longer. They call the new part an "upgraded version". my vehicle has done this (safe mode) several times, so now it is parked until I can get it fixed (quoted price for repair is $714 from Mazda dealer). These incidents creates an extremely dangerous situation and I feel very lucky that I was not involved in an accident when this happened to me, and luckily no one was injured, it could have been a very dangerous situation. I feel Mazda has made a technical service bulletin admitting that this part is defective and it can cause danger and possibly loss of life. Mazda needs to be forced to make a recall and replace these parts at no cost to the consumer. Defective part - throttle body with markings "aa", "ab", "ba" mine is "aa"

- Medford, OR, USA

problem #10

Aug 012010


  • 82,000 miles
On several models of Mazda 6's Mazda has issued a tsb for the problem which is a defective throttle position sensor. I have read thousands of complaints by consumers. Mazda has made a new part yet not recalled the old part. When this part fails you lose all acceleration power to the vehicle. The way to reset this is to turn off the motor and turn it right back on. I was driving on a two-lane highway crossed over the broken double yellow line to pass another vehicle when this defective part failed and I lost all acceleration. Thankfully, I had just enough time to be able to allow the same car I was passing to pass me and I pulled off the roadway. The car worked fine for the rest of that trip it occurred again on the freeway in the fast lane. I contacted Mazda corporate customer care they advised me that they were aware of the issue but had not issued a recall at this time.

- Clovis, CA, USA

problem #9

Feb 172011

MAZDA6 6-cyl

  • 102,290 miles


On 17 Feb 2011 I was driving my 2003 Mazda 6S and while driving at a low speed of 25 mph all my lights on my dashboard turned on and my car immediately began to reduce speed almost to a stand still. Luckily I was able to pull to the side of the road in time to avoid any accidents or possible damage to my vehicle. I restarted my car and was able to proceed in driving. However my engine light remained on. I researched this issue online and found that someone with the same model vehicle and year had the same issue almost verbatim. The referenced a service bulletin from Mazda bulletin no: 01-016/06 released in 2006 regarding throttle body replacement. I read the bulletin and sure enough it stated to inspect the letters on the throttle body. It showed aa, ab, ba markings = no good and bb marking = good. So I inspected my vehicles throttle body letter and sure enough it was "aa". I will have to definitely replace it, and of course I have no choice because you can imagine the ramifications of driving on a highway or freeway and something like this were to occur. Accidents, or even death. It is pretty upsetting that something has not been done to correct these issues especially with the potential consequences of this defect!

- Travis Afb, CA, USA

problem #8

Nov 122010


  • 62,000 miles
2003 Mazda 6 with regular maintenance and approximately 60K miles. Having incidents of stalling and idling hard. Per one mechanic it is a pvc and lines. A second mechanic showed us a crack in the intake manifold. These parts are cheap since they are plastic. But the quoted installation is over $700 for just the pvc.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #7

Jan 102009


  • 51,800 miles
Engine seized up as it was sitting in driveway warming up. Oil was all over the driveway under the car after the seized up.

- Rochester , MN, USA

problem #6

May 152006


  • 61,000 miles


Beginning in 2006, my 2003 Mazda 6 would randomly experience power failure while driving. This was both scary and dangerous. I would be driving, the car would completely loose power with no warning and all the lights on the dashboard would come on. I would have to pull over, turn my car off and back on, and then it would work fine till it randomly happened again. Obviously loosing power at a high speed is extremely dangerous for both myself and the other drivers. I took it to the dealership many times and they were never able to determine a cause. I brought my car to the dealership over 10 times for this behavior. Finally in August 2008, I was reading on a Mazda message board that this behavior is caused by a bad throttle body. There was even a Mazda service bulletin issued for it in 2006 (bulletins 01-016/06 last issued May 18, 2006). I called the dealership, had the throttle body replaced and have not experienced this behavior since. The service bulletin had serial numbers of bad throttle bodies listed on it, mine was one of them. I believe that this should be a Mazda recall, not just a service bulletin, as dealerships do not even seem to be aware of the problem and it the car is extremely dangerous if the throttle body fails.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #5

Aug 252008


  • 3,000 miles
Since I first purchased my Mazda there has been a faulty fan control module that shorts out my computer. This time the vehicle forced my into an intersection with my grandchildren in the vehicle. It could have been a serious accident. I could keep my vehicle from moving even with the brake on.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #4

Jul 042005


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The consumer stated the engine hesitated when she hit the gas and when she is driving, it seemed to hesitate and then goes on. She said the check engine light came on. She has had it to the dealer three times. All this has happened in the last three weeks. She said that two months ago they tried to lock it and the horn started blowing. The dealer was unable to duplicate the problem.

- Hickory, NC, USA

problem #3

Dec 222003

MAZDA6 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
Check engine light came on car was hesitating in middle of highway felt like it wanted to shut off made it home next day car did not start had it towed to the dealer car kept in shop for a month dealer could not figure out the problem said it was a sensor in the engine that was defective got the car back but it since then continued to give me problems brought the car back to original dealer crystal Mazda for 3 recalls in july04 and other problems, in april05 check engine light suddenly turns on in the middle of a busy highway car starts to jerk and just died car was towed to the dealer and they called me weeks later to tell me the engine seazed I have had a lemon law case with kimmel and silverman for a year now dealership have been very nasty to me as well as the manufacturer they do not want to fix the vehicle or give me a replacement I also requested a copy of an invoice describing the cause of the engine dying and diagnosis they refuse to do so I have become so ill because of this and have a child to think about I just want a reliable car that me and my daughter will be safe in can you help.

- Perth Amboy, NJ, USA

problem #2

Oct 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles
I purchased a 2003 Mazda six on 6-28-03. 2 months later the engine and other dash lights appear and car shuts off. I pick up the car 6 days later only to return it a week later when the engine light comes on again. A week later I pick it up on Friday at 11:00 a.M. and by 7:00 P.M. all dash lights come on, transmission slipping, speed odometer erratic, and loss of power. It has been in the shop for 12 more days and they can not tell me anything. My piece of crap has been in the shop for 26 days, they have damaged numerous things(spoiler has crack, paint nicks on hood and doors)all I want is my money back and I walk away!

- Murfreesboro, TN, USA

problem #1

Aug 152003


  • Manual transmission
  • 1,170 miles
Power windows only worked intermittently. Dealer in salem, va could not reproduce problem. Dealer in dale city repaired. Check engine light came on during acceleration. Dealer diagnosed and determined light was associated with power windows. One week later, light came on again. Dealer rotated a fuel injected, took the car for two days and deteremined that the problem was fixed. Two months later, the light came on again. Dealer replaced PCM. Two weeks later, light is on again.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

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