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Discussion Starter #1
my car has around 180,000 miles, my wife bought it around 125,000 before we got married etc. recently it has been giving problems...

1) shaking/rattling in the front part of car,
2) slow acceleration, stuttering.
3) less gas mileage.
4) front axle ball joints were giving way. (breaking)

My wife was literally almost giving up hope on this daily driver, (can't afford a new car yet)
to remedy this,
1) engine air filter was changed. (cabin air filter is a bit** to change so ill do that another time. ive done it before)
2) spark plugs were replaced ( i have absolutely no idea when or if these were ever changed.)
3)front 2 ball joints changed

this was all done by a family mechanic, besides a "tune up" literally after all this was done, no rattling, engine start up is so smooth like Butter, it literally feels like a brand new car.

I believe the spark plugs did the trick and the ball joints.

my A/C is TRASH but beside that a new car...
 

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Sweet!

You might want to check the passenger side motor mount to see if it is broken. Also check the front struts to see if they are leaking. And yes, that cabin air filter is a wicked pain. I replace them for two of my kids every two years (not more often!) and I do NOT look forward to when their replacement is due.

Cleaning the MAF sensor in the air intake is also easy to do and needs to be done occasionally.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sweet!

You might want to check the passenger side motor mount to see if it is broken. Also check the front struts to see if they are leaking. And yes, that cabin air filter is a wicked pain. I replace them for two of my kids every two years (not more often!) and I do NOT look forward to when their replacement is due.

Cleaning the MAF sensor in the air intake is also easy to do and needs to be done occasionally.
The engine mount needs to be changed, this I know, the struts are still good and thanks for the MAF sensor, did not think that, I know there is a cleaner/spray to do it myself.

Lol Mazda made it SO difficult for the gen 1 model to change the cabin. Crazy and yes I never look forward to it.
 

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Since the cabin air filter is so difficult to change, and since I only change them every 24 months, I definitely take the time to clean as much as that filter cavity area as possible. I get a shop vac nozzle in there to vacuum out debris and leaves and such. I'm always surprised at how much junk can accumulate in there. Then I take lysol wipes and do as much cleaning of the walls as I can. It's all done "blind" since you can't see in there, but my wipes come out dirty so I think I'm doing something good. And I gotta say, the air coming in through the vents does not stink, so there's that.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I changed mine recently, the only reason why i did it because the airflow was getting low, so literally i had to you tube my way through the monstrosity of changing it, i was also surprised why i had a ton of leaves in it. i also burned myself a bit since its next to the firewall. any one with a 1st gen mazda, im sorry.
 
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Hmm interesting that the cabin filter was such a b on the older models - Guess mazda listened to someone somewhere because on gen 3 it's gravy. You open glove box further than usual by squeezing the back a bit to clear the stoppers, and viola! cabin filter access.
 
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