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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My girlfriend drives a 2010 Mazda 3 (2.5/manual) and has been having issues with the passenger side lower console heating up extremely hot to the touch while the A/C is on. I attached a picture of exactly where the heat is sourced. It doesn't do it when the A/C is off or if just the blower is on.

She just noticed it recently and I'm not going to lie, it gets pretty damn hot. It's to the point where you can't comfortably hold your hand there. The strange thing though is that it is still blowing really cold air without issue. From the workshop manual, it looks like the HVAC resistor is right behind that panel. Could it be that the resistor is going bad and overheating when under load? She ended up taking it to a shop who took apart the whole dash before I could get to it and came back finding nothing.

I was wondering if any others have experienced this issue or can check to see if they their 3 heats up there as well. I drive a 2013 Mazda 3 and haven't had any issues with excessive heat from that area. It gets slightly warm to the touch, but nothing like her car.
 

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Is the resistor the electrical connection that's on the cabin air filter cap? If it is take the panel off the side (it's easy) and take it for a drive with the fan 1 or 2 and see if it heats up.

Does it also heat up if the fan is on but not the A/C?

If no, it's not the resistor. If yes, it is very likely the resistor or it's circuit.

Does she have a cabin air filter? If yes pull it out to see if it's all crudded up and restricting airflow to cool the resistor.
 

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as above check all of this the cabin air filter is nice to have but a PITA to change so in my 2 3s that I had I pulled them and left them out so as not to have to spend 45 mins crunched up in the passenger foot well changing the every 15k miles when they get clogged. if the cabin filter is clogged it could be causing the resistor to over heat. you circled right where the cabin air filter lives I bet you money the filter is clogged and restricting airflow severely and causing the a/c to need to work much harder then normal to cool the car, especially if it has auto climate controls it will use the sensor on the dash by the windshield (the little dome) to read cabin temp and relay that info to the climate control system, well if the filter is clogged you get less airflow and the temp wont go down or up as expected by the system, this will in turn cause it to work harder longer and can induce over heating, also if the filters are clogged it could be overheating components that use the air flow to cool themselves like the resistor I would suggest changing your cabin air filter before doing anything else. resistors usually either work or don't and don't fail like that, especially on manual controls it usually will quit blowing at 1 or 2 speeds when it fails but the others work auto it will usually just burn out and nothing will work. the cabin filter in the 2010s is on the passenger side you have to scrunch up in the foot well and take the plastic molding off the center console (on passenger side of radio and a/c controls) and then you see a door with 4 bolts holding it in, you must remove the bolts and then the door slides out as a tray and there will be 2 filter elements inside, you must replace both and any cabin filter you buy that states it fits this car should have 2 separate little filters. make sure you note which one was on top, as it does matter.
 

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My girlfriend drives a 2010 Mazda 3 (2.5/manual) and has been having issues with the passenger side lower console heating up extremely hot to the touch while the A/C is on. I attached a picture of exactly where the heat is sourced. It doesn't do it when the A/C is off or if just the blower is on.

She just noticed it recently and I'm not going to lie, it gets pretty damn hot. It's to the point where you can't comfortably hold your hand there. The strange thing though is that it is still blowing really cold air without issue. From the workshop manual, it looks like the HVAC resistor is right behind that panel. Could it be that the resistor is going bad and overheating when under load? She ended up taking it to a shop who took apart the whole dash before I could get to it and came back finding nothing.

I was wondering if any others have experienced this issue or can check to see if they their 3 heats up there as well. I drive a 2013 Mazda 3 and haven't had any issues with excessive heat from that area. It gets slightly warm to the touch, but nothing like her car.
I am experiencing the exact same issue...almost too hot to touch, exactly where you have diagrammed it. Have you found out the cause and/or a solution?
 

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I have a 2008 and also am wondering if anyone found any kind of solution. It's getting to 160 degrees in that area under the plastic and no doubt it's adding to the heat in the car that the air conditioner has to try to fight off.
 
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