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 2016 Mazda BT-50 3.2-litre using 14 litres per 100kms?
Unless you’ve changed the way you drive, a sudden jump in fuel economy suggests something wrong with either the mechanical or electronic side of things. Have the vehicle scanned and see if it throws any fault codes. From there, you can work out what component is giving you grief and target the problem accurately, rather than mess around for weeks flying blind.
One reason for the sharp increase in fuel consumption could be that the vehicle’s diesel particulate filter (DPF) is full and needs to be regenerated. If you’re not doing long, highway miles, the computer can take matters into its own hands and dump extra fuel into the exhaust system in an attempt to get the exhaust hot enough to regenerate the filter. But you could also be dealing with a faulty fuel-pressure regulator, worn injectors or even something as simple as a blocked air filter.
What do I do if a dealer gives me and incorrect quote?
This is one of the problems with the way the prices of band-new vehicles are haggled over. Had there been just a simple checkout price (as there is with nearly everything else we buy) this confusion probably wouldn’t have crept in. I take that, having asked for the tray upgrade, you then paid attention only to the final price being offered by the dealer.
Regardless of whether the dealer is trying to stall you with talk of a two month wait is a side issue. And perhaps you can hold out and force the dealer to supply the vehicle as per your contract of sale. Then again, if the mistake was a genuine one by a member of the sales staff (who could conceivably lose their job over such a blunder) then what’s the moral solution? Perhaps there’s a compromise to be made by both parties. I can understand you not wanting to pay an extra $7000 for a different type of tray, but surely that’s not the best result for anybody. In an ideal world, perhaps one solution would be for the dealer to provide the tray at their cost price (so they don’t lose money on the deal) and you get a cheap(er) tray because you’re not paying retail. Yes, it’s complicated. But that’s what happens when commerce meets karma.
I'm having problems with my Mazda BT50 twin-cab pick-up order
This is one of the problems with the way the prices of band-new vehicles are haggled over. Had there been just a simple checkout price (as there is with nearly everything else we buy) this confusion probably wouldn't have crept in. I take that, having asked for the tray upgrade, you then paid attention only to the final price being offered by the dealer.
Regardless of whether the dealer is trying to stall you with talk of a two month wait is a side issue. And perhaps you can hold out and force the dealer to supply the vehicle as per your contract of sale. Then again, if the mistake was a genuine one by a member of the sales staff (who could conceivably lose their job over such a blunder) then what's the moral solution? Perhaps there's a compromise to be made by both parties. I can understand you not wanting to pay an extra $7000 for a different type of tray, but surely that's not the best result for anybody. In an ideal world, perhaps one solution would be for the dealer to provide the tray at their cost price (so they don't lose money on the deal) and you get a cheap(er) tray because you're not paying retail. Yes, it's complicated. But that's what happens when commerce meets karma.
Why is my 2012 Mazda BT-50 making a scraping noise?
This is indeed a known problem on these transmissions and one for which Mazda issued a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB; like a recall but not safety related) back in 2014. Apparently, a problem with the valve-body (that controls the gearbox’s shifts) caused a scraping or buzzing noise usually when shifting form Park to Drive or Reverse. That’s not exactly what you’re reporting, but it’s almost too similar not to be related. Depending on the build date of the vehicle, Mazda either replaced part of the entire valve-body assembly.
The other problem you’ve alluded to; that of a faulty output speed sensor is a different issue to the one that sounds like it’s causing your problem. In the case of the dud sensor, the gearbox could suddenly decide to shift back to first gear unannounced. If that happened at speed, it could cause the vehicle’s wheels to lock up with some very interesting consequences.
What 4WD should I buy for towing?
To get a vehicle with meaningful (as opposed to a theoretical) towing ability of 2.5 tonnes, you really need to shop for a relatively late-model dual-cab 4X4 ute. The reason for that is that many vehicles that claim a 2.5-tonne limit in the brochure fail to explain that there’s also a Gross Vehicle Combination Mass in play and, by the time you’ve added passengers, gear and a full tank of fuel to the towing vehicle, there might not be much of that GCM to devote to a towed load.
Going for a vehicle with 3000kg or even 35000kg towing capacity in the first place is a good way to ensure you do accidentally start driving around in an overloaded vehicle with all the legal and insurance connotations that involves.
A lot of the current shape dual-cab utes fall within your budget on a second-hand basis, but there are caveats. Make sure you only buy a ute with a full service history. Some of these vehicles were worked hard by their original owners, so be very careful before handing over the cash. Avoid ex-mine fleet vehicles and don’t be afraid to buy a base-model vehicle if it offers better value. Even a single-cab version of these utes will be a lot cheaper than the dual-cab and, if you don’t need the rear seat, are often a more practical solution. Makes and models include the Ford Ranger, Toyota HiLux, Mazda BT50, Mitsubishi Triton and Isuzu D-Max. For real value for money, vehicles like the Ssangyong Musso can tow 3.5 tonnes, are well equipped and can be had for less than $35,000 drive-away, brand-new. That also gets you a seven-year factory warranty. All of these options are available with the automatic transmission you want and, indeed, this is the best option for a tow vehicle.
Why does the powertrain light keep coming on in my 2014 Mazda BT-50?
Even though this is a light commercial vehicle aimed at working folks, these later utilities are quite sophisticated in terms of their drivelines. Which is another way of saying that there are dozens of sensors and electronic control modules, all of which can give trouble. The powertrain light is trying to tell you that something is amiss under the bonnet and the lack of power is the symptom that goes with it.
An electronic scan of the car’s on-board computer is the first step in determining precisely what’s wrong and, as well as throwing up the root cause of the problem, is very likely to save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Replacing random parts in the hope that you’ve identified the correct one is a great way to waste hours and hours and lots of dollars.
Why is my 2019 Mazda BT-50 is losing traction?
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.
Why is my 2015 Mazda BT-50 losing power?
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.
Is a Mazda BT-50 or Ford Ranger better for touring?
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.
Are the fifth and sixth gears in my 2016 Mazda BT-50 overdrive gears?
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.