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I've been a lurker for a a little while but finally join your family of Mazda3 owners. I just got myself a:
2007 Mazda3 i Sport with 110,000k miles. $4500. Interior 9/10, Exterior 9.3/10.
it has a buyback clause (would cost approx 200 bucks to execute) for another 24 hours -- I got it from a wholeseller who only knows it was a trade-in.
I took it to the Mazda dealership and got the $120 "150 point certified pre-owned" inspection to make sure the thing wasn't a death trap, and it seems like it is mostly good where it counts (engine, transmission) and even the motor mount#3 is fine, but, it does have lots of wear and tear and future repairs to restore it to ideal.

things like:
Thermostat housing is leaking (parts + labor = 390) ***
Front struts leaking (parts + labor = 690)
front and rear stabilizer links and bushings are worn (parts + labor = 620)
needs engine decarb (labor = 140)
and a few other minor things like brake lights and window motors.

so my question is: Should I just take this car back to the wholeseller and eat my losses at 300, or is this type of wear and tear something I can expect to find in any of the Mazda 3's of this year with this type of mileage. It was relatively inexpensive, at $4500, so with the essential repairs does that make this car just barely worth it to keep? or is this thing going to cost me more than its worth, in your opinion. (Im really not a car person, so I trust others opinions more in this regard). Or is this really just a case of these prices being inflated for dealership figures and some of these repairs I could get done for cheaper? The service dept guy told me only the Theromostat housing needs to be done relatively soon, and that the other I can wait on it if doesnt bother me, for at least a few months. Perhaps give it a try and resell if It's too much a bother to me?
Just looking for some context on where this car ranks. is it a lemon, or is it just a good deal I got turned into an average deal.
thanks in advance
 

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Well, you can get some of those things (for instance, suspension related issues) repaired at an independent shop, which would cut down on the costs. How are the tires?
 

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I've been a lurker for a a little while but finally join your family of Mazda3 owners. I just got myself a:
2007 Mazda3 i Sport with 110,000k miles. $4500. Interior 9/10, Exterior 9.3/10.
it has a buyback clause (would cost approx 200 bucks to execute) for another 24 hours -- I got it from a wholeseller who only knows it was a trade-in.
I took it to the Mazda dealership and got the $120 "150 point certified pre-owned" inspection to make sure the thing wasn't a death trap, and it seems like it is mostly good where it counts (engine, transmission) and even the motor mount#3 is fine, but, it does have lots of wear and tear and future repairs to restore it to ideal.

things like:
Thermostat housing is leaking (parts + labor = 390) ***
Front struts leaking (parts + labor = 690)
front and rear stabilizer links and bushings are worn (parts + labor = 620)
needs engine decarb (labor = 140)
and a few other minor things like brake lights and window motors.

so my question is: Should I just take this car back to the wholeseller and eat my losses at 300, or is this type of wear and tear something I can expect to find in any of the Mazda 3's of this year with this type of mileage. It was relatively inexpensive, at $4500, so with the essential repairs does that make this car just barely worth it to keep? or is this thing going to cost me more than its worth, in your opinion. (Im really not a car person, so I trust others opinions more in this regard). Or is this really just a case of these prices being inflated for dealership figures and some of these repairs I could get done for cheaper? The service dept guy told me only the Theromostat housing needs to be done relatively soon, and that the other I can wait on it if doesnt bother me, for at least a few months. Perhaps give it a try and resell if It's too much a bother to me?
Just looking for some context on where this car ranks. is it a lemon, or is it just a good deal I got turned into an average deal.
thanks in advance
My advice would be find somebody else to fix it. Those prices are ridiculous. $620 to replace the stabilizer end links? I can buy a really good set for maybe $230 and install them in an hour in the driveway.
$700 for front struts? Holy cow that is more than I shelled out for good aftermarket struts and rear shocks. Rear shocks are about an hours work, fronts a bit more.
Why does replacing the thermostat cost $400?
Anyway, the moral of this is when you buy an older car with 100K+ miles you either need to be prepared to do some repair work yourself or you'll go broke paying huge money for endless minor repairs that you could otherwise do yourself for a fraction of the cost. None of those repairs listed are major undertakings and any one of them could easily be done as a weekend project.
If you cannot do some mechanical work yourself, return the car as the repair costs are already out of hand. You mentioned that there are some electrical issues also. Chasing down electrical problems will cost $$$$$$. If the car has no brake lights, take it back. That is an important safety item and the car should never have been sold to you if they don't function.
 

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I replaced all front struts, rear shocks, all new end links, polyurethane sway bar bushings for about 600! give or take. these cars are very very veryyyyy simple to work on. these forums are very helpful/ youtube. i bought my mazda 3 hatch 06' 5 spd with 116k. Had very similar issues. 4500 was what i spent... don't regret it. Yes i had to spend extra money to get it in top notch working conditions. but at the end of the day you have a very good reliable ride. invest some now... ride for a while.
 

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If you're feeling up to it...

Thermostat housing is leaking (parts + labor = 390) ***
-get Stant ($30 something) or Mazda OEM ($50 something) thermostat and coolant and replace the thermostat (total of like $65)
Front struts leaking (parts + labor = 690)
-get KYB front struts from Rock Auto or the front struts at 1aAuto (South of $145 for both front KYB struts without springs | $140 for both front 1aauto struts WITH springs)
front and rear stabilizer links and bushings are worn (parts + labor = 620)
-1aAuto has a set of front and rear swaybar end links for $41. If the current ones are rust-fused like mine were, if you have a cutting tool, cut the **** off or get the parts and take it to an independent shop to only be charged for labor prices.
needs engine decarb (labor = 140)
-Seafoam!

Old Total - $1840
New Total - $271 (seafoam bottle + hoses and whatever else may be needed)

and a few other minor things like brake lights and window motors.
-Brake light bulb? Check the shop manual to see how to replace it. Same with window motors.


If you need any help replacing any of these parts (IF you decide to do it, of course..no pressure) feel free to DM me.
 
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