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Mazda BT-50 Problems

Are you having problems with your Mazda BT-50? Let our team of motoring experts keep you up to date with all of the latest Mazda BT-50 issues & faults. We have gathered all of the most frequently asked questions and problems relating to the Mazda BT-50 in one spot to help you decide if it's a smart buy.

2008 Mazda BT-50 overheating

This is a really common problem with this model (and the Ford Ranger with which it shared its mechanicals). Many buyers avoid this model for this very reason. Even though many fixes have been tried it seems that this car, shown a hill and a hot day, will often overheat.

Several theories exist including that the EGR valve is the problem, as it fails and allows coolant to escape (usually into the engine cylinders). But even when the EGR valve is working properly, this engine is prone to running too hot. Some other theories hold that the thermal management of the engine itself was just underdone and there鈥檚 no real fix for it. That鈥檚 borne out by the number of people who have tried different radiators, thermostats and cooling fans and still have a vehicle that overheats.

But you could try reverse flushing the radiator and making sure than every part of the cooling system is working efficiently and properly. That will maximise your chances of not having the engine overheat but, in this case, there are no promises.

Steering locking up in my 2013 Mazda BT-50

Rather than the steering completely locking up, it鈥檚 more likely you鈥檙e feeling steering that has lost is power-assistance. It can make the wheel extremely heavy and could feel as though the car won鈥檛 steer at all. This is linked to the engine stalling, because the power-steering on this vehicle is driven by a belt from the engine. No engine means no power-assistance.

The other questions, of course, are why is the engine stalling and why only on left-hand turns. There are plenty of things that can cause a modern engine to stall from a dirty fuel filter to a blocked injector or an electronic fault. And about a million things in between. An electronic scan of the vehicle might throw up a fault code that will help a mechanic unravel what鈥檚 going on.

Is it common for a 2019 Mazda BT-50 or Ford Ranger to blow a motor due to a faulty oil pump?

We have heard some reports of Ranger and BT-50 (they're the same vehicle mechanically) suffering oil pump failures with fairly terminal results for the rest of the engine. The other quirk with this engine is that you can't drain the engine of oil and leave it for any more than a few minutes without the pump running dry and needing to be primed before the engine is started.

Not all mechanics know this and many a Ranger or BT-50 engine has been destroyed when the oil has been dropped from the sump and the mechanic has gone to make a cup of tea or do some paperwork. They return half an hour later, replace the sump plug, fill the engine with oil and start it up. But because the pump hasn't primed, there's effectively no oil pressure and the engine is reduced to scrap in a few short seconds.

The problem is partly to do with the different design of the pump and there are even companies that have engineered more conventional oil pumps to replace the standard units on these engines.

There is no option for car heating in my 2013 Mazda BT-50

I can assure you the 2013 BT-50 was, indeed, engineered with a heater and this came standard with any BT-50. The dial that controls the coldness of the air-conditioning is the same one that controls the heating. Turn the dial all the way clockwise and you should have warm air entering the cabin through the various vents.

If not, then I'd suggest that a previous owner has blocked off the car's coolant supply to the heater core by rerouting the plumbing so the hot engine coolant no longer enters the heat exchanger in the cabin. This was probably done because the heat exchanger was leaking and this was a quick way to stop the leak and keep the vehicle operational, albeit without a heater. It's one of the oldest tricks in the used-car book.

The best bet is to take the car to a radiator specialist who will be able to figure out what has been removed or bypassed and reinstate the necessary hardware so that your car is heated once again.

Indicator and speedometer issues in a 2010 Mazda BT-50

Modern vehicles have lots of electronics that operate functions such as the dashboard and warning lights. If the car is showing a 4WD light when it's not actually in 4WD, then there's an electrical glitch somewhere in the system.

But the fact that it occurs in tandem with a second fault (the incorrect speedo reading) makes us wonder if you're not looking at something as fundamental as a bad earth somewhere on the car. Electricity can't flow if the circuit isn't earthed, and this is a common source of problems like the one you're seeing. A good auto electrician should be able to sort both problems with simple test gear. If not, a scan of the vehicle's systems may throw up the answer.

The check engine and four-wheel-drive lights in my 2012 Mazda BT-50 keep turning on and off

This sounds like another one of pesky electrical problems which occur but don't really create havoc beyond making you wonder why it's happening. In many cases, this sort of problem can be caused by a poor earth somewhere on the car or even a chafed wire that is short-circuiting and turning random lights on and off.

But it could also be a symptom of something more serious with the car's electrical systems, so an electronic scan of the vehicle should be your next move. That will rule out a lot of things and also possibly pin-point the problem.

How to activate the headlight alert in my 2010 Mazda BT-50

Your owner's manual should give you a bit of insight here, but often, functions such as these can be turned on and off via menus within the car's infotainment system or its switchgear.

What's probably happened is that the car's battery has been disconnected at some point during the servicing procedure and the car has reverted to what's known as factory settings. If there's no provision for turning the warning buzzer back on, I'd take it back to the servicing workshop, as something has been altered to disable the buzzer.

Drivetrain and acceleration problems in my 2013 Mazda BT-50

The clue here might be in the fact that this problem occurs when you drive slowly for an extended distance. This could suggest that something (engine or transmission perhaps) is becoming hot and the vehicle is switching to limp-home mode to avoid damaging any components. Also, it could be a dodgy sensor which is simply making the vehicle 'think' it's getting hot.

It sounds counter-intuitive, but driving slowly can lead to overheating as there's less air flowing over the radiator and/or oil coolers to whisk temperature away. When you stop the car and re-start it, the on-board computer goes back to its default settings and away you go again until the sensors detect more heat build-up.

With that in mind, I'd be checking the radiators and oil coolers for a build up of dust, mud, leaves and other rubbish which could be blocking airflow. But before you start replacing sensors and other components, have the car scanned (by a mechanic) to see if any fault codes make themselves apparent.

Mazda BT-50 having trouble starting

The rule of thumb states that if the engine fires on starting fluid sprayed down the intake, but won't run on the fuel in its tank, the first thing to check is the fuel pump. Just because there was some fuel present when you cracked the seal on the fuel injector, does not necessarily mean that there's enough of it or the fuel pressure is sufficient to start the engine.

Modern common-rail diesel engines use very sophisticated fuel systems which use super-high pressure. Without a pump to build up to this pressure, the injector won't deliver the right amount of fuel for successful running. But you should also check the operation of the glow-plugs as well as the condition of the fuel filters. An electronic scan is also a good idea at this point, before you start replacing expensive bits and pieces.

Be extra careful fiddling with engines like this one, especially if you're messing about with the injectors and fuel system. The inherent pressures are so high, that a leak can act like a water-jet cutter; sufficiently powerful to remove a finger.

Low-level grinding/vibration occurring on my 2016 Mazda BT-50 through the steering column

The steering system in your Mazda is the old-school hydraulic type, rather than the more modern electrically-assisted set-up. Noises when you turn the steering wheel often indicate a problem with the rack itself or the hydraulics, either of which can make the system grumble and rumble when you deflect it from the straight-ahead.

The first thing to check would be the hydraulic system for leaks. These will show up as drops of fluid seeping from the various joins in the system. A check of the power-steering pump's fluid level is also a good indicator of a leak somewhere; if it's down on where it should be, you have a leak. If that's the case, the whole system probably needs a once over.

You should also check the actual steering column for the source of the noise, as sometimes a simple plastic-on-plastic contact somewhere on the column or its shroud can produce a noise like this.

Within the rack itself are valves and fluid passages that can, over time trap air. When that happens, the air bubbles can make the sort of noise you're hearing, also. So before you spend any money, try this trick: Start the engine with the car stationary and then cycle the steering from full left lock to full right lock a couple of times. Often, this will bleed the air out of the system and restore things to normal. It may or may not work, but since it's free, it's worth a crack.

Disclaimer: You acknowledge and agree that all answers are provided as a general guide only and should not be relied upon as bespoke advice. Carsguide is not liable for the accuracy of any information provided in the answers.
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