2004 to 2020 Mazda 3 Forum and Mazdaspeed 3 Forums banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, all! I just purchased a 2011 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring from a dealer up the road. I test drove it and everything felt fine, but I didn't drive it fast or use cruise control. It was a great deal for the mileage and everything checked out great.

On the way home, the highway has some rolling hills. I would regularly use cruise control on these hills while driving my crumbling 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix GT, just allowing it to speed up by 5 MPH as it coasted down the hills.

In the Mazda (automatic trans,) I noticed the RPMs surge up to about 6000 at the very bottom of the hill. Before this happened, it felt almost as if some sort of engine braking was being applied to keep the speed. This is the only other car I've ever cruised in, and I don't know much about cars or if this is normal behavior. I also noticed an odd smell coming through the vents as this happened. I can't really describe it... it didn't smell like coolant or oil (VERY FAMILIAR WITH THESE CABIN SCENTS FROM THE PONTIAC,) or even burning. It kind of smelled like Chinese food, lo mein, to be honest. I then noticed this smell lightly emitting now and then on the way home. No other strange phenomena occurred as far as shifting, acceleration, and cruise control go. I actually checked in and around the car for any hidden Chinese food, and didn't find any. :laugh2:

Is this normal behavior, or something to be concerned about? I have no problem braking at the top of the hill or disabling cruise control in this type of terrain. I just do a lot of night-time highway driving, and got used to just hitting cruise and chilling.
 

·
ch ch ch chia
Joined
·
504 Posts
The smell can occur if you rarely rev your car high and it is burning off excess sulfur in the cat, or you may have an exhaust leak. As for the cruise it is generally a good idea not to use it on steep hills. What gear and speed were you travelling when it reached 6000 RPM?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your response. The car had been on the dealer's lot for a while, and I have no idea how the previous owner may have driven the car. Doesn't sulfur smell like rotten eggs? It definitely wasn't that sort of smell. It may have smelled like exhaust though; I was just a little hungry and too pressed on Chinese food at the time. Ha. I'll try to reproduce it on an empty stomach.

The engine doesn't sound unusual or perform unexpectedly, although I've never driven this model before so I can't say. Gas mileage is actually a little higher than anticipated (32 mpg on the drive home.) There are no strange sounds at idle, visible exhaust, or discoloration around mufflers as far as I can see. These are just some symptoms I found on Google, although I will ask my mechanic to take a peek. I had it inspected at a nearby shop before buying and they said it was fine.

It's automatic, so I really have no idea what gear it was in. :eek:( And I was going about 65 MPH. My Pontiac zoomed without a hitch cruising up hills at 250k miles lol, but I can't fault cars for performing differently. I must say it's refreshing to not be driving a boat (kind of literally, that thing gathered rainwater like no one's business.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Automatic Transmission Has Brains - 2012 Mazda 3 Long-Term Road Test

I found this, different engine, different trans, but perhaps this car just puts more effort into downshifting when on a long decline? This particular hill was not steep, but tall and long. My old car would just kind of roll down hills like a toy car. I really don't know much about cruise control or automatic transmissions, but maybe it was just a awkward, miscalculated downshift as the hill ended right there and an incline began immediately thereafter. And maybe the previous owner just ate a lot of lo mein. :dunno:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
An update-- I replaced the cabin air filter... and... well, there were what appeared to be dried noodles in there. Very strange. The whole area that housed the cabin air filters smelled of Chinese food, so I sprayed some Lysol in there and in the vents. Haven't noticed the smell since. Before changing the filters, I disconnected the battery. Since then, I haven't noticed any unusual behavior from the transmission. Wondering if it picked up some strange logic from the previous owner's driving habits. Still at a loss how the food got there... car was spotless otherwise, even under the hood.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top