[V8] NAC Mazda reliaibility

Dave Saad dsaad at icehouse.net
Tue Jan 6 20:11:09 PST 2009

I sure get a different feeling from reading this -
- 120K and the motor is dead
- numerous half shafts wore out
- muffler rotted out
- nearly killed in an accident
- 2 and a half brake jobs
- loud, rough, crude

and she went back for another Mazda?
The 626 doesn't sound much better either.

I think this sort of reasoning is part of the reason Detroit iron gets  
such a bad rap. I hear similar stories all the time.
Among my favorites was a friend who bought a 93 Toyota forerunner  
about the time I bought a 93 Explorer.  Before he hit 50K miles, he  
had to replace the motor because it overheated (stuck thermostat) and  
twisted the whole motor - not repairable.  He was just giddy  
(really!!) to pay $5000 to get his "tank" back on the road.  Being an  
avid outdoors kind of guy, he had roof racks (Yakima - the good stuff)  
which caved in the roof of his tank from the weight of plastic  
kayacks.  He also bragged that he kept his "tank" in such "great"  
shape with a yearly dealer tune up which ran around $1K.   I knew of  
lots of people who had to replace their toyota V6 for the same reason  
(overheat), and they all seem to be happy to do it - most of them  
literally giving me crap for driving a Ford.  All of them routinely  
spent lots of money on tuneups, brakes and mufflers and were happy to  
do it in order to keep their oh so reliable rigs on the road.  I lost  
count of the number of times we had to abort or modify trips because  
someones toyota or subaru couldn't make the trip - in which case we  
always took my rig (either a Bronco II or an Explorer).
My 93 explorer was sold at 145K miles, never had a motor issue and ran  
the same as the day it was new.  I towed a 2000 pound trailer for many  
many thousands of miles - usually with four bikes on the roof rack as  
well. I did manage to wear out the transmission (it did not fail) and  
all it really needed to rebuild it was new bands.  That cost me $2000  
and was the only major expense I ever had, and was the only time it  
was in the shop.  Even the brakes went to 100K, and I only needed to  
replace the front pads.  Muffler was also OEM at 145K.
My current explorer just passed 150K miles, and has never been the  
shop for anything other than tires and alignment.  We are taking it on  
a 3000 mile drive this spring down to the Grand Canyon and I have no  
worries at all about it.  I am considering replacing the water pump  
just because of the miles, and I don't want to have a problem on the  
road, but this is preventative. It does not appear to be leaking.

I guess my point - if there is one in here - is that people seem to  
overlook or excuse just about anything on a Japanese car (noisy,  
crude, eats mufflers and brakes and clutches and halfshafts...) while  
insisting it is "reliable" but if the ashtray gets full on a Chevy it  
must be a piece of junk.  I am not saying Detroit iron is flawless - I  
am very familiar with their weaknesses, but I find Japanese car  
stories to be very much like urban myths and my personal experiences  
don't at all match them.  In fact, I have been driving cars since 1984  
that most people run from - Audis and Fords- and have never really had  
the problems or spent the money for repairs and maintenance that my  
Japan car driving friends have.  And this includes the V8.

Oh well....


On Jan 6, 2009, at 1:36 PM, Mike Arman wrote:

> Dear Bride has had two Mazdas, a 1990 323 and now a 2002 626.
> She bought the 90 new, drove the living you know what out of it.  
> Needed a radiator because she went
> to the local Citgo station where they convinced her that the  
> radiator needed to be reverse flushed,
> and the moron broke the plastic end cap on the radiator and never  
> bothered to tell her - so why is
> my car overheating? I did front brakes (pads and discs) twice and  
> rear brakes (shoes and drums) once
> in 120K miles, she also went through three or four half shafts and  
> two timing belts and a muffler.
> At 120K it was smoking and sounding a bit weary, so we found a  
> junkyard engine with 45K on it and
> had it installed. A month later she got whacked head-on by some 16  
> year old brain-dead munchkin in a
> pickup truck who ran a light which totaled the Mazda and came damn  
> close to killing her - this was
> in 2002, and she still suffers.
> So - 90 323 Mazda, basically a cheap car, runs almost indefinitely  
> with little to no maintenance,
> loud, rough ride, crude, but gets you there.
> Replaced it with a 2002 Mazda 626, bought with 6K miles on it.  
> Automatic, because her left leg
> wasn't working right yet (still isn't). Now shows just over 100K.  
> Front brakes (pads and discs -
> they warp) twice, rear is coming soon - and the rear brakes are  
> TINY, they look like something off a
> scooter. Two timing belt/water pump/roller/tensioner jobs, three or  
> four half shafts, an alternator,
> full set of belts (serpentine, PS, etc.), again, nothing  
> particularly unusual or disastrous.
> The car is NOT particularly quiet or comfortable - she asked me why  
> my 1986 5K Audi was
> significantly quieter and rode a lot better ("Dear, the Audi cost  
> $33,000 in 1986, the Mazda cost
> $15,000 in 2002." She didn't like that.), the driver's sun visor  
> retainer is broken, no one has the
> part or knows where it can be obtained, she's got it jammed in with  
> cardboard or something. Seats
> LOOK plush, but give me a backache in 25 miles, the car isn't  
> rattly, but does have quite a bit of
> engine and drive train noise (4 cyl), again, it mostly goes and goes  
> and goes, totally uninspired
> and boring, and again, it gets you from A to B.
> Admittedly, my "sample" is small, only two cars, but consistent.  
> Mazda seems to provide cheap,
> durable transportation for people who basically dislike driving and  
> cars in general.
> (Good car for a parts runner for an Audi V8Q though!)
> Best Regards,
> Mike Arman
> _______________________________________________
> Audifans V8 mailing list
> Send posts to: mailto:V8 at audifans.com
> Manage your list connection: http://www.audifans.com/mailman/listinfo/v8
> You can help keep the audifans site running by shopping at http://audifans.com/shop/

More information about the V8 mailing list