Mazda 6 Problems

No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Mazda 6 reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.

Does the 3rd generation of the Mazda 6 have unreliable in transmission?

Answered by CarsGuide 18 Sep 2021

Mazda’s 6 has always had a pretty good reputation in the trade for its reliability and durability, but globally, there have been a few concerns with the automatic transmission. The first of those is a situation where the transmission goes into limp-home mode. At that point, it can suffer slurred shifts and a lack of acceleration. It doesn’t seem a common complaint in Australia, but it’s reckoned to be caused by the transmission fluid becoming contaminated with small iron particles (possibly swarf from the production process) becoming attracted to the magnetic sensors inside the transmission. At that point, the sensors lose the plot and the information going to the computer becomes garbled.

The other thing seen (mostly in the US) has been a whining noise from the transmission. Inspections have shown this to be caused by a damaged bearing in the transmission, possibly the victim of misalignment of the gearbox casing. Again, it’s not a common fault showing up here.

Overall, the Mazda 6 seems one of the better bets out there in reliability terms.

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Mazda 4 - A bigger hatchback than the 3?

Answered by CarsGuide 21 Apr 2021

Mazda is unlikely to increase the number of its passenger car models, given the contracting nature of such body styles in favour of crossovers and SUVs.

Also, note that a CX-4 has existed in China for a number of years, slotting tightly between the CX-3 and CX-5 as a sleeker coupe version of the latter, so if you do see a '4' (or, more likely, a '40') on the tailgate of a Mazda in the future, it might be sat on an SUV-shaped rather than hatchback-shaped five-door.

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Mazda 7 - Will Mazda build a bigger sedan than the 6?

Answered by CarsGuide 21 Apr 2021

Probably not, sadly.

The slower-than-anticipated sales of the Mazda6 series over the past decade, combined with Mazda's hesitation to replace the existing, nine-year-old model, suggests that there is not a larger sedan in the pipeline.

However, with Mazda marching upmarket and its ties with Toyota strengthening, a joint-venture project with Toyota or even Lexus, using Mazda's new rear-drive platform and inline six-cylinder engine range, may make a model-sharing premium flagship – like a Mazda7 or even Mazda9 – a possibility.

But please don't hold your breath on this one because it is merely conjecture on our behalf.

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Mazda 9 - Will we ever see a successor to the 929?

Answered by CarsGuide 21 Apr 2021

Mazda is unlikely to introduce a sedan larger than the Mazda6, due to the declining sales of larger sedans globally in favour of SUVs.

However, with Mazda marching upmarket and its ties with Toyota strengthening, a joint-venture project with Toyota or even Lexus, using Mazda's new rear-drive platform and inline six-cylinder engine range, may make a model-sharing luxury flagship – a modern-day 929 in other words – a possibility.

But there are currently no plans that we know of pertaining to such a model, sadly.

We hope this helps.

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Problems with engine failure in my 2010 Mazda 6

Answered by CarsGuide 8 Feb 2021

This is a known problem in the Mazda turbo-diesel, and many owners have suffered similar failures. The problem begins with the formation of hard, carbon deposits in the top end of the engine which eventually find their way into the engine’s sump and block the oil pick-up. When that happens, the engine can’t pump oil efficiently and some parts of the engine become oil-starved. That’s when a build-up of friction and, therefore, heat, will cause a catastrophic failure with the attendant metal shavings that were subsequently discovered in your engine.

So why was the problem missed? An enthusiastic mechanic will always have a look at the oil that comes out of an engine, looking for just the symptoms you’ve noted. A really keen technician will sometimes even cut the old oil filter open to check for anything that shouldn’t be there. Unfortunately, in the context of a busy workshop with price-conscious customers, this doesn’t always happen. In the Mazda’s engine, the normal practice should be to check the strainer that covers the oil pick-up, but, again, that may not have been the case with your engine. If the workshop you used was a Mazda dealership, I’d be asking management why that process wasn’t followed. Even then, it’s difficult to say whether this check would have saved your engine, as the damage may already have been done.

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Why does it take more effort to steer left in my 2011 Mazda 6?

Answered by CarsGuide 11 Nov 2020

Let’s start with the basics here, Bryan, before lashing out on mechanics. Are the tyre pressures where they should be? A tyre can be pretty under-inflated before that’s actually obvious to the eye, but a tyre with an incorrect pressure can be harder to turn. Next, what about the wheel alignment settings? Has the car bounced off a kerb lately? Has there been any incident that could have wrenched the front end out of alignment? When was the last time the wheel alignment was checked?

For all of that, however, I’m tempted to suspect that there’s something wrong with the valving in the power-steering rack. I’d be having the rack checked for any foreign matter inside that could be blocking the valves or in some other way preventing the rack from guiding the wheels smoothly in both directions. A dodgy steering system is an obvious safety issue, so don’t mess about having it checked.

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What can be done about a broken transfer case in a 2007 Mazda 6?

Answered by CarsGuide 16 Sep 2020

It all depends on whether you bought the car privately or from a licensed used-car dealer. If it’s the latter, you might have some redress under the mandatory warranty conditions in your State. If you bought the car privately, I’m afraid there’s no comeback at all beyond contacting the seller, explaining the situation and perhaps coming to an arrangement on a refund or part-refund. I wouldn’t be holding my breath, however, and a private seller usually has no obligations whatsoever to make your problem their problem. Did you have the car independently inspected before the purchase? If you did, I’d be taking the matter up with whoever did the inspection, because a faulty transfer case should perhaps have been picked up as part of any pre-purchase test.

If the transfer case is damaged beyond repair, you’ll need a new one. The problem there is that the only Mazda 6 that featured this driveline (with a transfer case) was the MPS model which only sold in small numbers. So you might have trouble finding a second-hand one. Even the main gearbox (a six-speed) was different to the manual gearbox (a five-speed) on the other Mazda 6 models.


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What wagon should I buy for less than $35000?

Answered by CarsGuide 2 Sep 2020

Thanks for getting in touch with us. Our first thought was for you to consider a Mazda 6 wagon from Japan, since it is one of the few new wagons left on offer within your price range, is economical and reliable, a pleasure to drive and low enough (at 1480mm) for your garage situation. But it doesn't quite meet all your requirements in that it hasn't much ground clearance (at just 125mm) and back-seat legroom isn't great. It's worth remembering that the 6 wagon is 80mm shorter in wheelbase - the distance between the front and rear wheels - than the corresponding sedan version. It's a bit tight in there.

Alternatively, you might want to consider the just-discontinued Holden ZB Commodore wagon or Ford Mondeo wagon, as both offer substantially more rear-seat legroom than the Mazda 6 wagon, as well as the choice of a turbo-petrol or turbo-diesel engines. These are European-sourced models (Germany and Spain respectively), with big boots and towing-friendly torquey engines. However, again, low ground clearances might be an issue here as well.

So, our advice is to measure your garage roof and see if either of the medium SUVs listed below can fit, because if they do, then these would be the absolutely ideal vehicles for your need.

The better of the two, for its overall quiet refinement, all-weather all-wheel-drive grip and excellent all-round vision is the Subaru Forester from Japan. It ticks all your boxes in terms of needs and suitability, while providing heaps of ground clearance at 220mm. Plus it offers excellent standard safety kit, economy, reliability and resale, as well as decent performance. Just know that it stands 1730mm tall. If that fits, then find yourself a demo at $35,000 and enjoy one of the best family-car buys at any price available today.

Then there our second favourite, the wildly-popular Toyota RAV4, also from Japan. Much of what we said about the Forester applies here too, except it is front-wheel drive rather than AWD at your price point. There is a RAV AWD but it is a hybrid AWD system that takes the price into the mid-$40,000 region, so that's out of contention. The base RAV4 2WD also has a smaller engine (at 2.0-litres) than the Subaru, but it is equally response and agile. Where the RAV4 eclipses the Forester from your perspective is height – it is shorter at 1685mm high, while still allowing 195mm ground clearance.

Both Japanese SUVs are huge inside, with loads of space to boot. If their height doesn't end up being a problem, then know that either will provide many years of faultless, reliable, economical and enjoyable service. Good luck, we hope this helps. 

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What car should I buy now that my Mazda 6 doesn't suit my needs?

Answered by CarsGuide 15 Aug 2020

If you’re happy with the Mazda 6 wagon – and it sounds like you are - then there’s a good case for sticking with the Mazda brand. And if that’s the case, the next thing to consider is which model and body style. Given your requirement for a car that is easier to get in and out of, I reckon a mid-sized SUV might make the most sense since it’s footprint will be similar to the Mazda 6 you have now, but it sits you higher and more upright. On that basis, the Mazda CX-5 seems the natural choice.

If you go for the petrol-engined Touring model, you’ll get all-wheel-drive for extra grip and safety as well as keyless entry and start where you can open the vehicle and start the engine without even taking the key from your pocket. Very convenient. If you can afford a little more, the GT model gets you the powered front seats you need and these even have a memory function that will automatically adjust them to either your or your husband’s preferred settings as a one-button job. Again, very convenient. The GT model also get a powered tailgate which was also on your must-have list. About the only thing missing is the full-sized spare wheel, and all Mazda CX-5s use a space-saver spare. But be honest, are you going to change a flat tyre yourself, or call roadside assistance? And when was the last time you experienced a flat tyre anyway?

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Why is there so much cabin noise in my 2015 Mazda 6?

Answered by CarsGuide 4 Jul 2020

US-based Bose is certainly working on a system that will cancel out noise in cars. At the moment, though, it’s not available and will probably only be fitted to brand-new cars as standard equipment. At first anyway, because tech like this has a habit of tricking down to the aftermarket. However, that’s not much help to you right now.

Wearing noise-cancelling headphones is not practical (or sensible, or legal) so you need to look at an old-school solution such as the tyres you mentioned or stripping the car’s interior and fitting a noise-suppressing matting under the carpet and inside the doors. If it’s any consolation, it’s not your imagination; Mazdas for the last 20 years have been harshly criticised for their interior noise levels when the competition seems to do it better.

Ironically, active noise cancellation technology as proposed by Bose is not to tame mechanically noisy cars, but to remove wind and road noise from electric cars which are otherwise so quiet, these secondary noises become a big nuisance.

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