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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I want to share my experience in my 2014 Mazda 3 issue that I'm having.

My 2014 Mazda 3 i sport showed engine light recently (with ~ 16000 miles on it).
The Mazda service said all 4 fuel injectors have to be replaced because I have been using poor quality gas in my car!
And therefore no warranty coverage for it where it's still under 3-year basic coverage (total of ~ $1500 inc tax).

I have been using Smith's gas station (Kroger at the mid-east side) and it's the same gas with the Shell.
So that means Shell is a bad quality gas that can damage the fuel injector, where Shell is one of the best top tier fuels in the U.S!
By the way, I'm leaving at Albuquerque NM (~1 mile above the sea level), and have been using regular (85-86 octane) and mid grade (87-88 octane) fuels.

I can't believe Mazda's engine is so sensitive to be damaged by using top tier gas in it. And worse, they are blaming gas companies and customers for it!

Does anybody have a similar issue as I'm having?

Thank you.
 

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The dealer does not get to decide what is or is not a warranty issue. They are jerking your chain. To deny a warranty claim the dealer needs to prove you did something wrong. Contact Mazda North America and tell them what is going on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I actually contacted Mazda USA about this issue (by email at this point).
Maybe it would work better to contact them by phone?

Thank you for the comment.
 

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Hi,


So that means Shell is a bad quality gas that can damage the fuel injector, where Shell is one of the best top tier fuels in the U.S!
By the way, I'm leaving at Albuquerque NM (~1 mile above the sea level), and have been using regular (85-86 octane) and mid grade (87-88 octane) fuels.

I can't believe Mazda's engine is so sensitive to be damaged by using top tier gas in it. And worse, they are blaming gas companies and customers for it!
Your car requires 87 octane or higher. Using lower than 87 can cause damage, and this is specifically outlined in the user manual.
How is it that "regular" is 85 octane? Around here you can't even get anything less than 87.
Regular is 87, mid-grade is 89 and high-grade is either 91 or 93.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your car requires 87 octane or higher. Using lower than 87 can cause damage, and this is specifically outlined in the user manual.
How is it that "regular" is 85 octane? Around here you can't even get anything less than 87.
Regular is 87, mid-grade is 89 and high-grade is either 91 or 93.
I believe this "below 87 octane fuel" has been addressed few times in here and other sites.
So here in NM and also CO which is at high altitude, regular is 85 to 86 octane.
And due to the low oxygen level at this high altitude, 85 octane works just like 87 octane at near sea levels (especially for a NA engines).
I also asked this to the mechanics and heard that 85 octane should be just fine in this area.
And Mazda shop said the problem was coming from using specific brand fuel, not using specific octane level.

As far as I can find, there was no case that skyactiv engine has been damaged by using 85-86 octane fuel at high altitude regions.
IF the damage was really caused by the low octane level, I believe this would be the first case addressed.
(even so, all 4 fuel injectors damaged in 16k of mileage looks really bad to me)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thats a crock. You might be surprised how many fuel companies draw from the same tanker ship......Its all the same.
Indeed!
I'm honestly afraid of having the same issue after fixing it (because the problem was not the gas).
So maybe it is just some Mazda cars have defected engine (or some parts) that damages the fuel injectors quickly.
I may have to consider getting rid of my Mazda 3...
 

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IMO, your injector issue might be traced to five potential things.

1) Your dealer's analysis and determination are wrong as to the cause of your injector problems (e..g nothing to do with Shell fuel);
2) Shell gasoline is defective. However, Shell gasoline itself is a "top tier" fuel, a gasoline rating that is specifically endorsed by many top car brands, e.g., BMW, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, and endorsed because its additives have extra engine cleaning additives.

I have used Shell and Chevron (about 90% of the time during the past three decades for way over 1,000,000 miles), and never had one injector issue.

3) There could be, however unlikely, problems with your specific Shell station's fuel. I sure do not know anything about this station, its tank, nor its fuel handling procedures, etc., but lets just say that there have been hundreds if not thousands of leaky gas station tanks over the years. Could also be that the fuel tank's top fill caps are defective, allowing other things to get into their tanks. Again, we sure have no clue. However from where we sit, we can not definitively say the opposite, that your gasoline station has no gas handling issues. Probably not, but?

3) Your injector issues were partially or totally caused by using below-Mazda-standard octane fuel.

4) Your Mazda has a batch of badly manufactured injectors.

5) There is something wrong with some other aspect of your Mazda fuel injection and/or electronics -- causing injector issues.

And we can not eliminate that there could be other causes.

So many variables. Let's just hope that Mazda corporate reverses your dealer's determination and directs them to further investigate your injector potential causes, AND replaces under warranty, all four of your injectors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
IMO, your injector issue might be traced to five potential things.

1) Your dealer's analysis and determination are wrong as to the cause of your injector problems (e..g nothing to do with Shell fuel);
2) Shell gasoline is defective. However, Shell gasoline itself is a "top tier" fuel, a gasoline rating that is specifically endorsed by many top car brands, e.g., BMW, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, and endorsed because its additives have extra engine cleaning additives.

I have used Shell and Chevron (about 90% of the time during the past three decades for way over 1,000,000 miles), and never had one injector issue.

3) There could be, however unlikely, problems with your specific Shell station's fuel. I sure do not know anything about this station, its tank, nor its fuel handling procedures, etc., but lets just say that there have been hundreds if not thousands of leaky gas station tanks over the years. Could also be that the fuel tank's top fill caps are defective, allowing other things to get into their tanks. Again, we sure have no clue. However from where we sit, we can not definitively say the opposite, that your gasoline station has no gas handling issues. Probably not, but?

3) Your injector issues were partially or totally caused by using below-Mazda-standard octane fuel.

4) Your Mazda has a batch of badly manufactured injectors.

5) There is something wrong with some other aspect of your Mazda fuel injection and/or electronics -- causing injector issues.

And we can not eliminate that there could be other causes.

So many variables. Let's just hope that Mazda corporate reverses your dealer's determination and directs them to further investigate your injector potential causes, AND replaces under warranty, all four of your injectors.
Thank you for the comments.

Yes, there really are too many variables. And it feels like they (Mazda dealer) just chose one that is most convenient for them and ignoring other options.
I'll see how Mazda USA responds to my request.
I will post updates when I get back from Mazda USA.
 

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Thank you for the comments. Yes, there really are too many variables. And it feels like they (Mazda dealer) just chose one that is most convenient for them and ignoring other options.

I'll see how Mazda USA responds to my request. I will post updates when I get back from Mazda USA.
I think your assessment is spot on, that the dealership choose the easy way out. Best of luck!

Maybe another appeal option to you @ripple80. I do not know, as very new to Mazda, but the other brands I know very well have a formal appeal process if your dealership denies you service claim. Each of the other brands (Subaru and GM), outline a very specific appeal process. And if you choose to follow it, each step you pursue (I recommend politely), requires the steps to be followed exactly and always in writing. GM has in its the appeal process, a referral to one to their Regional Warranty Supervisors. That person reviews the dealerships actions (or lack their of), their determination, and independently decides whether they agree. If they do not, they, as they represent GM corporate, can order the dealership to 100% reverse course (agreeing with what the customer has appealed), to do more and specific testing, to "settle the claim" in a compromise manner, or similar.

I do not have my Owners Manual right now, but might you look at it to see what are your parallel Mazda warranty denial appeals processes.

I have batted 1000 in following the appeals procedures. Hope you do also!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think your assessment is spot on, that the dealership choose the easy way out. Best of luck!

Maybe another appeal option to you @ripple80. I do not know, as very new to Mazda, but the other brands I know very well have a formal appeal process if your dealership denies you service claim. Each of the other brands (Subaru and GM), outline a very specific appeal process. And if you choose to follow it, each step you pursue (I recommend politely), requires the steps to be followed exactly and always in writing. GM has in its the appeal process, a referral to one to their Regional Warranty Supervisors. That person reviews the dealerships actions (or lack their of), their determination, and independently decides whether they agree. If they do not, they, as they represent GM corporate, can order the dealership to 100% reverse course (agreeing with what the customer has appealed), to do more and specific testing, to "settle the claim" in a compromise manner, or similar.

I do not have my Owners Manual right now, but might you look at it to see what are your parallel Mazda warranty denial appeals processes.

I have batted 1000 in following the appeals procedures. Hope you do also!
Again, thank you for the information.

I see there are also more formal approach to this "warranty denial appeal process" such as what I found at
Warranty denied?

I really don't want to go that step as it may take too much time and effort (and become not worth it).

The main reason why I don't like about my situation is that even after the car is fixed (whether under warranty or not), it feels like the exact same issue may happen again (as the real cause of the fuel injector problem is very likely not from using a specific brand of gas). And I don't want to be in the same problem every ~16k of mileage.
 

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Any word from Mazda Corporation yet?

Your car having all four injectors fail has to be extremely unusual. I haven't read of any injector problems with these cars. If anything, they seem to be exceptionally reliable.

With that as a given, what could be different with the OP's car? Fuel is certainly a possibility, but to determine that would take some type of test to determine exactly how the fuel made the injectors fail. Did the dealership say how they made that determination, and what is wrong with the fuel? If this fuel problem can be established, then I would let my insurance take care of this "accident" caused by the fuel supplier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As a follow-up, I got a response from Mazda USA about this issue.
In short, Mazda USA didn't agree with my objection to the dealership's decision.
Below is the entire comment I got from Mazda USA.

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Thank you for connecting with us at the Mazda Customer Experience Center. I do apologize for the delay in our response but I did reach out to the dealer and verify the diagnosis. Unfortunately, due to the damage being outside influence it would not be covered under the warranty. The dealer did verify that it was due to the poor quality fuel that has been used on the vehicle that the spark plugs failed.
---------------------------------------

So for me, it looks like Mazda USA again chose an easy answer and didn't go with any further investigation (seriously? poor quality gas from Shell? And it damaged all four spark plugs in ~16k miles? and no coverage?)
 

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Wait-a-minute!

The original post said the fuel injectors had to be changed.

Now we're talking about the spark plugs.

Big difference.

If it were the fuel injectors, this is worth a fight.

If it is really the spark plugs, I'd have grabbed a wrench and changed the damn things without looking back or asking why.

Move along here. Nothing to see.
 

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As a new owner of a used 2014 GT (2.5L) I am very interested in this case outcome, would be good to know
1) what the codes were ?
2) press the dealer as to what led to their diagnosis, as others already suggested.
3) Is it a typo on the part of Mazda USA, (spark plugs when they meant injectors) $1500 for
spark plugs Cannot Be) the must've meant Injectors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
As a new owner of a used 2014 GT (2.5L) I am very interested in this case outcome, would be good to know
1) what the codes were ?
2) press the dealer as to what led to their diagnosis, as others already suggested.
3) Is it a typo on the part of Mazda USA, (spark plugs when they meant injectors) $1500 for
spark plugs Cannot Be) the must've meant Injectors.
Sorry for belated reply.
I was traveling abroad for the last couple of weeks.
So,

1) Code,
I don't remember exactly what number it was but the dealer said the code is showing that the engine is lean.
I think it was P0171 but I have to double check it.

2) I'll ask them soon as I'm back from the trip.
As far as I know, there have been "some" Mazda 3 cars in this town showing the similar phenomenon. They claim that all those cars have been using the same brand gas. They said, after using a couple of fuel injector cleaners and different brand gas, they have been fixed.
While my Mazda 3 doesn't look like it was not good enough with the same way and had to replace parts.
(my guess is those other cars will have the same problem sooner or later if the problem was not really the gas)

3) Fuel injector? Spark plugs?
I have to double check it but I believe Mazda USA made mistake and said spark plug instead of fuel injector as I've been talking with the dealer for many times and they have been saying it was the fuel injector).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wait-a-minute!

The original post said the fuel injectors had to be changed.

Now we're talking about the spark plugs.

Big difference.

If it were the fuel injectors, this is worth a fight.

If it is really the spark plugs, I'd have grabbed a wrench and changed the damn things without looking back or asking why.

Move along here. Nothing to see.
As I said to shak911,
I'm pretty sure it was actually the fuel injector and Mazda USA just got confused and said spark plugs instead of fuel injectors.

Makes me feel like Mazda USA don't really care that much about my issue and concern.
 

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Yeah, that's a really significant difference: fuel injectors vs spark plugs.

There seems to be a failure to communicate between you, the dealer and Mazda. Let us know how this turns out, especially if it's a fuel injector problem that destroyed them.

As I noted earlier, if bad fuel destroyed the fuel injectors, then the dealer should have proof of what is considered bad fuel and how it destroyed the injectors. If it can be established that bad fuel did this, then you and your insurance company should have recourse against the fuel supplier for the damages their fuel caused.

However, if it is the spark plugs that were damaged as Mazda seems to think, then I wouldn't waste my time trying to recover damages and just change them out myself.

Best of luck with your issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yeah, that's a really significant difference: fuel injectors vs spark plugs.

There seems to be a failure to communicate between you, the dealer and Mazda. Let us know how this turns out, especially if it's a fuel injector problem that destroyed them.

As I noted earlier, if bad fuel destroyed the fuel injectors, then the dealer should have proof of what is considered bad fuel and how it destroyed the injectors. If it can be established that bad fuel did this, then you and your insurance company should have recourse against the fuel supplier for the damages their fuel caused.

However, if it is the spark plugs that were damaged as Mazda seems to think, then I wouldn't waste my time trying to recover damages and just change them out myself.

Best of luck with your issue.
Thanks for the comment, MeteorGray.

It was the fuel injector problem and I saw the photo that a service person took. It was really bad.
So, at least I understood that they had to replace fuel injectors.
They also cleaned intakes, throttle body, etc.
And say, it cost ~$2000 total to replace parts and cleaning.

I can think about contacting my insurance company to recourse against fuel supplier but I believe it will be very difficult to prove that they are actually "poor quality" or not.
(also the dealership said so far, I'm the only one person that had this serious issue)
I really don't want to go that far to spend too much time on it.
I just decided to let as many people know about this issue and replace my car in near future (not that I hate my Mazda 3, but I had an unsatisfying experience with Mazda USA service).

Thanks all.
 
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