Used Mazda 3 Buyers Guide: What Common Problems and Faults to Look For

The Mazda 3 compact car first went on sale in the 2004 model year, and was produced as a replacement for the Protégé. It is available as both a four-door saloon and a five-door hatchback. The 2004-2008 model which is most commonly seen on the used car market was sold with either a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine, or a 2.3-litre 4-cylinder 16-valve DOHC engine, and either a four-speed automatic transmission of a five-speed manual gearbox. From 2006 onwards the 2.3-litre engine also came with the option of a 5-speed automatic transmission.
When you are buying a used car it is important that you check through the car’s history records, as this can help you to get a better idea of what the car has been through, what condition it is currently in and therefore the proper value for the car. Look for any accidents the vehicle has been involved in, any repairs that have been done, and whether or not it has been properly serviced and maintained. A complete service history is a great sign that the car will be in good condition. If you are buying a used car from a private buyer you should also be on the look-out for fraudsters trying to pass on a stolen vehicle. Make sure you go to the home of the registered owner to buy, and check that the paperwork matches the numbers on the car’s engine and chassis.
It is also a good idea to look for common problems that the specific make and model of car you are looking at is known to suffer from. Here is a list of specific things to look for when buying a used Mazda 3:
Make sure you check the condition of the wheel rims.
Check the oil level. A low level of engine oil may indicate a car with excessive oil consumption.
Check for engine vibration, which is often caused by bad engine mounts that may need to be replaced.
Check that the air conditioning system is working, as this often breaks.
Check the exhaust fumes when the car is first started up – blue smoke could be an indicator of serious engine problems that may well cost more than the value of the car to get fixed.