Mazda BT-50 Problems

No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Mazda BT-50 reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.

Why is my 2019 Mazda BT-50 is losing traction?

Answered by CarsGuide 15 Apr 2021

If this is a new phenomenon, then it’s almost certainly down to the condition of your tyres. As tyres wear, they become less able to clear the water between themselves and the road surface, allowing the car to almost 'float' over the bitumen, leading to the loss of traction you’re experiencing. But even a tyre that is simply old (as opposed to worn out) can cause the same problem as the rubber hardens and loses its ability to grip the road. This will also be most noticeable in wet conditions, which is when you’ve experienced it.

Another possibility is that the car has sprung an oil or coolant leak which is spraying from the engine bay, under the car and on to the rear tyres, causing them to slip. But that’s a lot more of a long shot and a close inspection of the tyres would be the first step to curing what is a potentially very dangerous situation.

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Why is my 2015 Mazda BT-50 losing power?

Answered by CarsGuide 8 Feb 2021

You can probably rule out anything like a split turbo hose as this would cause the vehicle to lose power all the time, not just after prolonged use. Modern turbo-diesels like the one in your car use a range of electronic sensors and controls to keep everything running properly. It could easily be that a sensor is sending erroneous messages to the computer. An electronic scan of the vehicle should offer some answers.

The other possibility is that the fuel system is not keeping up with the engine over time. This could be due to a blocked filter, a blocked fuel line or return line or even a fuel pump overheating. A check of the fuel system would also be in order.

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Is a Mazda BT-50 or Ford Ranger better for touring?

Answered by CarsGuide 20 Nov 2020

It’s nice to see somebody taking the long view when it comes to vehicle ownership. Cars have become an increasingly throw-away commodity, and it seems a shame that all that engineering and development doesn’t get a longer lifespan.

The BT-50 and Ranger you’ve nominated are, fundamentally, the same vehicles under the skin, so the choice will come down to the options fitted and the trim level that combines the features you want in one package. As a rule of thumb, the five-cylinder engine option will do a better job of hauling a slide-on camper into a headwind and will always be worth more as a trade-in (although that’s clearly not a concern for you).

If you’re planning to keep the vehicle up to 300,000km, there’s a very good chance you’ll need to spend some money on the vehicle’s direct injection system at some point. A set of injectors and filters as well as an injector pump are all likely to need replacement over the distance you’ve nominated. That said, all modern common rail diesels seem to be in the same boat here, but if you’re prepared to service the vehicle religiously, then those expenses should be kept to a minimum. Take it as read, though, that a modern turbo-diesel will not appreciate neglect in this area.

The other thing to watch out for is a vehicle that has already had a hard working life, as these dual-cabs often have. The tray-back you want also means the vehicle is likely to have been a work truck rather than a lifestyle accessory, so have any prospect checked independently before handing over the money.

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Are the fifth and sixth gears in my 2016 Mazda BT-50 overdrive gears?

Answered by CarsGuide 28 Oct 2020

To put your question into context, an overdrive gear is one where the output shaft of the gearbox spins faster than the input shaft. Or, put another way, a gear in which the car’s propeller-shaft is spinning faster than the engine’s crankshaft. This means the drive wheels can be spun faster (for more road speed) without making the engine rev too hard. Overdrive gearboxes have been common for many years now, typically when five-speed transmissions replaced four-speed units. Those earlier four-speeds generally had a 1:1 ratio on their fourth (top) gear which means the output shaft (and propellor shaft) spun at exactly the same speed as the input shaft (or engine).

Many manufacturers have now, of course, switched to six-speed transmissions and some do, in fact, use that opportunity to fit an overdrive fifth and sixth gear. But in the case of your Mazda, only sixth gear is overdriven (with a ratio of 0.794:1) while fifth gear takes the place of a traditional fourth gear by being 1:1. That gives Mazda the chance to make fourth gear a little lower and tighten up the gaps between all the gears to eliminate any dips in the power delivery. Ultimately, of course, how fast the engine revs at a given road-speed is also down to the differential (or final-drive) ratio fitted, and the diameter of the wheel and tyre package.

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Why does the transmission in my 2017 Mazda BT-50 take so long to engage?

Answered by CarsGuide 28 Oct 2020

My take on it is that dealers should stop telling lies to their customers. Take your problem straight to Mazda Australia’s customer service division and side-step what is clearly a smoke-screen from your dealer. It is ridiculous to suggest that a relatively new vehicle needs ten seconds to engage a gear after it’s been sitting for a few days.

As for the problem itself, start with the basics. Check for a blocked filter in the transmission (which can slow down the flow of fluid) and make sure that the fluid itself is not just the correct grade and type, but also the proper brand. These modern transmissions are complex and intricate, and even something as simple as the incorrect fluid can create chaos. Beyond those simple fixes, the problem could also be caused by a few other faults. For starters, it could be an accumulator inside the transmission that is failing. The accumulator’s job is to store some hydraulic pressure (created by the transmission’s pump) so that the transmission always has enough pressure and fluid volume available to effect gearshifts. If this accumulator is bleeding off pressure when the car sits, it will need time to refill (again, from the pump) before the unit will be able to select Drive. The other possibility is that the pump itself is slacking off and taking too long to build up pressure within the gearbox. You could also be looking at a pressure valve that has lost the plot and supplying the part of the gearbox it’s responsible for with an incorrect line pressure. Either way, a gearbox that is slow to select gears is often headed for the scrap-bin.

Given that it’s possibly a fairly major problem, it isn’t going to get any better. Your problem is that Mazda didn’t introduce its five-year warranty until August 1, 2018, and vehicles sold before that date were covered only for three years. That said, you’re BT-50 might squeak in, particularly if you pointed this problem out to the dealer some time ago (within the first three years). At that point, it’s a pre-existing condition, and it will be covered by the factory warranty as it occurred within the warranty period, even if the dealer – as it appears in this case – elected to spin you a yarn and do nothing about it.

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Why has the transmission light come on in my 2012 Mazda BT-50?

Answered by CarsGuide 14 Oct 2020

I’ve had a flick through the BT-50 owner’s manual (and I suggest you do the same) and all I can find relating to a transmission warning light is a single 'powertrain warning lamp' which suggests something is not right somewhere along the length of the powertrain. Sometimes this light will come on in conjunction with the 'check-engine' light and it indicates that either a sensor has failed or there’s an actual problem with the hardware. Beyond that, the light doesn’t offer any suggestions on what might be wrong, but bear in mind that the four-wheel-drive system in this vehicle is electronically operated, so there’s lot of scope for errors.

A scan at a workshop should offer up some answers, but before you do that, just check that you haven’t bumped the rotary four-wheel-drive selector dial and have triggered the system into a mode it doesn’t like being in right now.

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Is there an allowable tolerance for the fitment of the aluminium tray on my 2020 Mazda BT-50?

Answered by CarsGuide 15 Sep 2020

I never cease to be amazed at the rubbish some car dealers resort to dipstick explain faults with their products. As far as I know, there is no allowable `tolerance’ for a brand-new aluminium tray to be out of whack. Nor should there be one; if a manufacturer can’t build a tray that is square and true in 2020, it really should be in another industry.

The other puzzling thing is that the tray on your car was re-set to 15mm out of whack and seems to be gradually returning to its original 35mm discrepancy. There are a few possible causes here. One would be that the tray itself is twisted and doesn’t sit square on the vehicle. The second is that the vehicle is somehow bent and won’t line up with the tray and its mounting points. Perhaps there’s a problem with the vehicle’s suspension that is sitting one side of the ute higher than the other. That could be a broken or faulty spring, a damaged shock absorber, a worn suspension bush or maybe a tyre that is a different size to the other three. But those are all pretty crazy suggestions in the context of a brand-new vehicle.

I actually contacted an aluminium-tray manufacturer to be told that in some cases, the vehicle’s cabin and chassis will not be aligned precisely from the factory. In that case, the tray would be fitted to visually line-up with the cabin so that the truck looks `right’ to the eye. Even then, this condition is very uncommon and, either way, 35mm is too far out to be considered anything like acceptable. The specialist I spoke with was confident that, in your case, Jason, the tray is simply incorrectly fitted and needs to be removed and fitted properly. Make it the dealer’s problem. One other thing is for sure, too; it’s not the location of the fuel tank that is causing this problem.

Further to that, Mazda Australia has weighed in and confirmed that there’s no tolerance involved but that the problem would be an easy fix at a Mazda dealership. Your best bet is to contact Mazda’s customer service hotline on 1800 034411.

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What is causing the automatic gearbox to clunk in my 2014 Mazda BT-50?

Answered by CarsGuide 15 Sep 2020

This model Mazda BT-50 and its Ford Ranger counterpart (they’re the same vehicle under the skin) have had their share of automatic transmission problems over the years. There are known problems with the gears in the oil pump which are prone to wear, valve-body problems and a fault with the output shaft speed sensor which can also fail, forcing the gearbox back into first gear at relatively high speeds. All these problems could be contributing factors in the problems you’re seeing.

While EGR valves often need replacement (and I’m not disputing that yours did) I don’t imagine the EGR valve would have had anything to do with your gearbox problem. It’s not uncommon – nor unreasonable - for workshops to charge a diagnosis fee (it involves workshop time, after all) but servicing the transmission alone won’t fix it if it has any of the problems I’ve listed above.

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Why is the clutch making an odd noise in my 2015 Mazda BT-50?

Answered by CarsGuide 11 Sep 2020

The most common cause of a noise like this is likely to be a worn throw-out bearing, also known as a release bearing. Like most bearings, this component is designed to allow interaction between a moving surface (in this case the clutch which is turning at engine speed) and a stationary one (the clutch fork that physically disengages the clutch when you stand on the clutch pedal).

If this bearing becomes contaminated, rusty or just plain worn out, it can begin to emit the sort of sound you’re hearing. Why doesn’t it do it when the clutch pedal is pressed? Because the springs in the clutch are loading the bearing and taking the wear (or slack) out of it. When you release the clutch, the bearing relaxes and is free to make its noise again. Sometimes the reverse is true, and depending on where precisely the wear is located, the bearing makes the most noise when it’s loaded by the clutch springs. Either way, it’s a gearbox-out job, but beyond that it’s not a difficult task for a workshop.

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What could be causing my 2009 Mazda BT-50 to misfire?

Answered by CarsGuide 11 Sep 2020

It sounds like you’ve tried pretty much everything here, but I have a few suggestions. Have you cleaned out the inlet manifold? The combination of soot and oil mist that gets recycled back through the Mazda’s engine (and a lot of modern turbo-diesels are the same) can cause all sorts of poor running conditions including surging and mis-firing. I know you said you’ve disconnected the EGR valve, but this build-up could already have occurred.

What about the fuel system? You said you’ve replaced the injectors, but have the fuel pumps been checked for flow and pressure? What about the fuel return line? Is it blocked and causing an obstruction to the fuel flow below 80km/h? What about the fuel pick-up inside the tank? A split or damaged pick-up can allow air into the system and cause all sorts of grief.

Also, this generation BT0-50 used throttle-by-wire. Many owners didn’t like the operation of the standard set-up and changed to an adjustable system that allowed them to soften (via a dial on the dashboard) the throttle action for off-road use. Has your vehicle been modified like this? Even if it hasn’t, the standard throttle set-up could be faulty and causing the problems you’re seeing.

The fact that the vehicle operates perfectly in some situations leads me to suspect an electronic or fuel supply problem. If it was a major mechanical issue such as a burned valve or a major mechanical glitch, the engine would likely not run properly at all.

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