How to Troubleshoot a Mazda 3

by Elyse James

The Mazda 3 is available in two models: the sedan or the four-door hatchback model. While the sedan is offered in five different trim levels, the hatchback is available in only two trim levels. However, regardless of which model you purchase, you are bound to encounter some problems the more miles you put on your Mazda. These basic troubleshooting tips will help you resolve some typical problems that could occur with your vehicle, including failure to start, the failure of electrical components and problems with the internal navigation system.

Car Won't Start

Turn the key in the ignition. If the starter doesn't crank, the battery could be dead and your car will require a jump-start to get it going.

Turn the key in the ignition. If the starter cranks but the engine starts and stalls, check your fuel levels. Or, there could be a problem with the battery or the starter.

Drive your car in rainy conditions. If the car stalls only during a rainy day, when it gets wet, check to see if your ignition coil is cracked or if there is any visible electrical arcing.

Brake Problems

Press the brake pedal all the way to the floor. If the brakes do not stop the vehicle when they are fully pressed to the floor, check the brake fluid level to make sure it is filled to the line. If the brakes are soft, bleed the brake lines.

Press the brake all the way to the floor and check the dashboard to see if the brake warning light comes on. The light could indicate anti-lock failure. In this case, the vehicle's brakes will need to be serviced.

Press the brake and see if the car stops completely. If you need to pump the brakes when you stop, there could be a caliper bolt loose, problems with the car's suspension or even broken or worn brake pads and shoes.

Navigation System Errors

Check the screen to see if any pictures appear. If the screen is completely blank, a fuse could have been blown or the voltage level of the battery is low.

Check the screen to see if any GPS symbols are being displayed. If GPS symbols are not being received, this is because there could be obstructions. Moving the vehicle away from any signal obstructions should resolve the problem.

Listen to see if there is voice guidance along with the on-screen navigation instructions. If no voice is audible, the volume could be turned down or the vehicle could be off the programmed route.

About the Author

Elyse James began writing professionally in 2006 after deciding to pursue a career in journalism. She has written for "The Algonquin Times" as a general assignment reporter and published blogs and articles on Webcitybeat. James holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Ottawa.