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standard warranty covers it, I am still on extended MAP warranty.. NOT COVERED ? ?

I am in BC. I purchased a 2012 SkyAcive Mazda 3 in May 2012.

It is now November 30 2015 and the car is off the regular 3 year warranty.
I purchased the extra 1 year MAP warranty, so 4 years, 100K.
the service department at Kelowna Motors (the Mazda dealer here where I live in BC)
said that the problem was due to a 'bug' in the control computer and needed
to be 'flashed' with an updated, very similar to how a computer needs a service pack update.

Service Department said the regular warranty would have covered it,
but that the MAP warranty (which I thought just extended the original warranty, but obviously not quite...) does NOT cover it.

Is this true ?!
 

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Same issue. 3 year warranty had expired was still on extra 1 year MAP -Covered

Mazda Canada did cover this. I had the pulsating head lights upon braking problem. PCM flash required to fix a voltage problem. My 3 year warranty had expired , but I was still on extra 1 year MAP warranty that I purchased. the repair shop originally said this was not covered by my extended warranty and charge to flash, including diagnostic charge, shop fees, etc would be $218.00 CAD. this did not sit right and I called Mazda Canada, and gave them the technical service bulletin that I had found in a discussion here, they called me back and said this was an emissions control issue and that it was covered under my extended warranty, so no charge (and diagnostic fee was also not charged, because it was an extended MAP warranty item)
 

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I had this issue all this winter and took it in to get fixed, thinking it would be covered under the TSB. Dealer says I am out of warranty (I have a 2012 with about 76k miles) so I have to pay for PCM flash (like $50 or something).

Tech told service manager that he has same car with same problem. He said the PCM flash did not completely solve the issue, and headlights still flickered after he performed the TSB to his car. He then changed out his battery and said the issue went away completely. They are trying to sell me a new battery (stock one is less than 3 years old...) and I said no thanks for now.

We will see if the issue continues for me after reflash. The weather is warming up, so I probably won't have an issue until next winter.
 

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Does anyone know if it is covered out of warranty? I went to a dealer near home today and they wanted to charge me to look at it. From what I read here it looks like this should be covered for free since it's an issue with the PCM.
 

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Demon Spawn
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flickering headlights is for sure voltage issues. if they wont cover it and you still have a warranty take the car elsewhere and have a charging system test done. many cars with HID equipped lights get this issue when voltage fluctuates as the ballast needs 12-13v to operate correctly and then convert it to the higher voltage needed by the lights, the old saying dirt in dirt out applies, if you supply the ballast with weak or fluctuating voltage they cannot perform as needed. according to the tsb, the computer controls the voltage in the system. meaning the alternator itself may not be internally regulated (probably still is though for its own safety) either way the first thing to suspect is the tsb mentioned and try the fix if the dealer covers it. if not then have the charging system tested load test the battery and alternator and if either fail or test weak replace them before assuming the computer is at fault. working at a parts store and being a car guy taught me a lot of this, Chrysler 300s are bad about this because they have a lot of electrical issues anyways many times we would get someone in asking why their headlights flicker I would ask what kind of lights it had, if FACTORY HID then I would ask them to swing the car by so we can test the battery and alternator and look at the lights themselves, 7 times out of 10 the battery was bad and needed to be changed and it solved their issue (batteries can be too weak to perform right without any other symptoms before they "go bad") 1 or 2 times out of 10 it would be the alternator was either over or undersupplying voltage and the rest where other various causes from computers needing a reflash to a wiring issue to the bulb or ballast itself.
 

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flickering headlights is for sure voltage issues. if they wont cover it and you still have a warranty take the car elsewhere and have a charging system test done. many cars with HID equipped lights get this issue when voltage fluctuates as the ballast needs 12-13v to operate correctly and then convert it to the higher voltage needed by the lights, the old saying dirt in dirt out applies, if you supply the ballast with weak or fluctuating voltage they cannot perform as needed. according to the tsb, the computer controls the voltage in the system. meaning the alternator itself may not be internally regulated (probably still is though for its own safety) either way the first thing to suspect is the tsb mentioned and try the fix if the dealer covers it. if not then have the charging system tested load test the battery and alternator and if either fail or test weak replace them before assuming the computer is at fault. working at a parts store and being a car guy taught me a lot of this, Chrysler 300s are bad about this because they have a lot of electrical issues anyways many times we would get someone in asking why their headlights flicker I would ask what kind of lights it had, if FACTORY HID then I would ask them to swing the car by so we can test the battery and alternator and look at the lights themselves, 7 times out of 10 the battery was bad and needed to be changed and it solved their issue (batteries can be too weak to perform right without any other symptoms before they "go bad") 1 or 2 times out of 10 it would be the alternator was either over or undersupplying voltage and the rest where other various causes from computers needing a reflash to a wiring issue to the bulb or ballast itself.
My 2013 Mazda is doing the very same thing. My Protege did exactly the same thing but there was no TSB for it. I hate the fan motor revving up and down all the time due to these voltage fluctuations. I am not sure why Mazda needs the PCM to control alternator output. Why not have an old fashioned voltage regulator or build into the alternator?
 

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Demon Spawn
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My 2013 Mazda is doing the very same thing. My Protege did exactly the same thing but there was no TSB for it. I hate the fan motor revving up and down all the time due to these voltage fluctuations. I am not sure why Mazda needs the PCM to control alternator output. Why not have an old fashioned voltage regulator or build into the alternator?
protege had the voltage regulator in the alternator, my old 03 protege 5 did that some but i had a 2000w stereo system in it. the newer 3s and most new cars have the ecu do this as it can more quickly adjust the voltage up or down when needed and it all has to do with adding more and more and more unneeded electronics such as fancy HID lights that require 35,000 volts and turn with the steering and adding the bose powered amp and 10 speakers and auto climate control and auto wipers and power seats and heated seats and smart keyless entry and all the other crap the car still has to have running. all on 12-14 volts. now imagine having electrical issues in a car like a tesla that is all electric and has ll this fancy crap and then some. and then you understand why i traded my 3 in for a 11 xrterra that has manual a/c basic keyless entry standard halogen bulbs manual seats no heated seats no fancy factory radio, though i did install a 500 watt aftermarket system i n it for good sound. ll it relly has is power windows and mirrors and keyless entry and a shitload of storage space and cubby holes ass well as pleanty of power and torque and only gets marginally worse mpg than the 3 did, that and i had to spend $1000 on a new headlight and assembly that started leaking right after buying the 3. the xterra has more miles but i have had it longer and had less issues. i fret the government forcing us to go to evs as ten i wont be able to fix my own damned car as you will need a phd in electro-engieering and know how to work on high voltage systems safely, that and the raw materials needed for ev batteries are rare and very limited as well as most of them being toxic and hard to recycle so we dont actually fix anything, just shift focus.
 

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protege had the voltage regulator in the alternator, my old 03 protege 5 did that some but i had a 2000w stereo system in it. the newer 3s and most new cars have the ecu do this as it can more quickly adjust the voltage up or down when needed and it all has to do with adding more and more and more unneeded electronics such as fancy HID lights that require 35,000 volts and turn with the steering and adding the bose powered amp and 10 speakers and auto climate control and auto wipers and power seats and heated seats and smart keyless entry and all the other crap the car still has to have running. all on 12-14 volts. now imagine having electrical issues in a car like a tesla that is all electric and has ll this fancy crap and then some. and then you understand why i traded my 3 in for a 11 xrterra that has manual a/c basic keyless entry standard halogen bulbs manual seats no heated seats no fancy factory radio, though i did install a 500 watt aftermarket system i n it for good sound. ll it relly has is power windows and mirrors and keyless entry and a shitload of storage space and cubby holes ass well as pleanty of power and torque and only gets marginally worse mpg than the 3 did, that and i had to spend $1000 on a new headlight and assembly that started leaking right after buying the 3. the xterra has more miles but i have had it longer and had less issues. i fret the government forcing us to go to evs as ten i wont be able to fix my own damned car as you will need a phd in electro-engieering and know how to work on high voltage systems safely, that and the raw materials needed for ev batteries are rare and very limited as well as most of them being toxic and hard to recycle so we dont actually fix anything, just shift focus.
If it had a voltage regulator in the alternator, it was still either monitored and/or controlled by the PCM. The wiring diagram shows this. While having the ecu control it is responsive, the software has to do it right. If not, then you can have an over reactive system that is overshooting or undershooting the target voltage, or hunting. Mazda got it wrong. Everything is factory on my car.
 

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Demon Spawn
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If it had a voltage regulator in the alternator, it was still either monitored and/or controlled by the PCM. The wiring diagram shows this. While having the ecu control it is responsive, the software has to do it right. If not, then you can have an over reactive system that is overshooting or undershooting the target voltage, or hunting. Mazda got it wrong. Everything is factory on my car.
exactly, i believe the ecu controlled a built in regulator in the protege as i tore down a protege alternator from an 02 and it had a regulator in it...
 

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I have nothing to add but to also confirm that the headlight flickering on my 2013 Skyactiv was covered free of charge under an 8yr/80k federal emissions warranty. I got that and the hatch struts recall done in ~90 minutes at no cost to me.
 

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I have nothing to add but to also confirm that the headlight flickering on my 2013 Skyactiv was covered free of charge under an 8yr/80k federal emissions warranty. I got that and the hatch struts recall done in ~90 minutes at no cost to me.
Me too. It still flickers, but less. The heater fan still fluctuates up and down as do the interior lights. Very frustrating. Then my 6 speed automatic started to “crash”. Also fixed under warranty.
 

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Me too. It still flickers, but less. The heater fan still fluctuates up and down as do the interior lights. Very frustrating. Then my 6 speed automatic started to “crash”. Also fixed under warranty.

My headlights, fan, interior lights etc flicker a bit when I'm parked and turn the wheel or something but the main problem of significant flickering while driving has been fixed. It's annoying but the big one was solved so I can't complain too much. What do you mean about your 'six speed automatic starting to crash'? Are you talking transmission? Covered under the factory warranty?
 

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My headlights, fan, interior lights etc flicker a bit when I'm parked and turn the wheel or something but the main problem of significant flickering while driving has been fixed. It's annoying but the big one was solved so I can't complain too much. What do you mean about your 'six speed automatic starting to crash'? Are you talking transmission? Covered under the factory warranty?
Yes, The transmission. All fixed. They replaced two solenoids and update the transmission software under factory warranty.
 

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I realize this thread has been idle for some time but wanted to chime in. I supposedly had the TSB "firmware" update done about a year ago but I still suffer from the headlights dimming quite a bit when turning the steering wheel. I was able to measure this with a multimeter and while turning the steering wheel just a few inches will dip the voltage down to 12.5v or so and will not recover to 14v+ until I release the wheel.

My question is, does the TSB not cover this defect or is this just something that happens to all 2013's with electric power steering? Seems like if you drive a lot on winding back roads, this could be an issue not keeping the battery topped off properly.
 

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I replaced my low beams with some Morimoto's, but my high beams flicker whenever I hit my brakes. It's been a few years now, so I don't recall if my low beams flickered when I hit my brakes, probably did.
 
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