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I am looking into installing a hitch on my Mazda 3.
I wanted to see if anyone has installed a hitch on this particular year and any recommendations to which product they like the most for towing bikes and smaller trailers.
 

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Before anyone jumps in and says "RTFM - No Trailers Allowed" - please realize that i) hitch with evident wiring may be grounds for warranty claims for certain things being denied; ii) seems to me that Moss- Magnussen (sp?) requires Mazda to prove cause / effect; iii) in Europe with same powertrain no across the board prohibition is in play; and iv) just a receptactle hitch doesn't prove you tow a trailer (e.g. bike rack)... hint: modularly plugged in wiring harness.

Note that the car is CANbus. You absolutely need a wiring kit / BCM isolator or you'll damage the BCM. Try Tekonsha..

Me I'm not fussed.
 

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I would add two things:

i) you would need to stay really moderate, by way of trailer weight (total loaded weight). My personal sense is that 1000 to 1200 lbs ought to be the max (see Mazda Australia's Accessory website... and see what their tow-bar is rated for, for an Un-Braked trailer); and

ii) if it were me, I would do two things: put a transmission fluid temp gauge in, and additionally, I would add auxiliary transmission fluid cooling.

The latter is not easy to do on this car. There are NOT typical transmission cooling lines out to a radiator tank cooling loop. Instead, there is an engine coolant-to-ATF heat exchanger that is close-coupled to the case of the transaxle. In order to plumb-in an auxiliary cooler, you would need to machine, say, a 1.250" thick block of aluminum that has taps to go to and from the aux. (in front of radiator) cooler - sandwiched between the previously mentioned exchanger - and the transmission case. And longer bolts, and O-rings would be required.

OK for the enterprising individual.... a bit of a PITA for most folks.

See the attached graphics. The plate-with-tubing attached is for a transmission flushing arrangement that a former member, here, procured. The photos are intended just to show the captured o-ring arrangement. Using this plate (and taking out the OEM heat exchanger) COULD be done - but perhaps is inadvisable because it also takes away the cold-weather (beneficial) ATF heating that the OEM heat exchanger affords the car.
 

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