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Discussion Starter #1
Considering a 2013 Mazda 3 for my son for a first car. Found a decent one, Mazda Certified, but when test driving it last night, I noticed that when braking, the headlights flashed. Not always but enough to be noticeable.

The dealer said it may be the battery because it's been sitting a while, so offered to replace it. Also said, "the lights tend to do that when turning and braking cause the car uses an electronic power steering system". I've never heard of this so figured I'd ask actual owners.

Thoughts?

Thanks,
Doc
 

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He's trying to sell you a car along with some swamp land in FL. Sure headlights can dim, but that is only when something is electronically wrong, like a bad charging system, or piss poor grounding.

I see it as you have 4 options...

1) hold that against them and get them to Discount the car is significant amount.

2) don't buy the car at all.

3) buy a 2014 instead with the newer style

4) usually certified comes with extended warranties, so if you want to gamble you may look to make sure the warranty will cover the electrical system.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. I suspect the same. I remember last night when they were telling me the options of the certified extended warranty, they said it was 12,000 on the engine and 70,000 on the drivetrain, but no mention of electrical.

Upon carfax investigation I see that the car has been on the lot for 7 months now, which I would think is much longer than average.

Think I might have to let this one pass.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So for anyone who finds this thread in the future, Miatamanreturns on the Mazda3 sub-reddit had this to say:

> This is a known issue with some 2012-2013 Mazda3 vehicles.
> Here's the TSB describing the problem and fix: <cut>

The forum won't let me post a URL but it's at:
https colon slash slash static dot nhtsa dot gov slash odi slash tsbs slash 2013 slash SB-10053740-5159.pdf


Doc
 

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Demon Spawn
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that's a voltage drop, if its very bad alternator/battery are bad if its just kinda "well they did dim but not really a lot" then that is somewhat normal as all cars with electric power steering pumps do that some but it should barely be noticeable and only really happen when the steering is all the way turned either way hard, if you just barely turn the wheel and it does it, issues await. if they dim enough to notice from outside the car in the day time then I would pass as the car has electrical issues and that's not something you want to deal with. I would ask them to change the battery and let you test the car again, if its still bad then pass on the car or request a test drive and have your trusted local shop look at it (most will for free or a nominal charge and tell you any issues they find)

and the lights should not dim when braking ever as the alternator keeps charge in the system, the belt maybe loose, battery maybe that depleted and bad or alternator is bad. drive the car for 20ish miles at highway speed and check for the issue again, also look for the red battery light on the dash while engine is running, this indicates low voltage in the system. after driving the car at highways speeds for awhile go to Autozone, oriellys, advanced auto parts or just about any national parts chain and they will test the battery and alternator for you on the car for free, it only takes a few minutes and can let you know if you need to pass, bargain or what. if the battery is bad let them change it and take it and have the alternator tested if its bad either work out a deal on the car or pass. they maybe correct though that the battery is faulty as the car could have sat unran for a very long time and drained the battery so low it wont charge right anymore.

my sister got an 06 mazda 6 when we went and looked at it a few times before buying they had to jump start it for us, but we negotiated a price and they replaced the battery for her before purchase, she hasn't had any electrical problems since, it also had a bad mass air flow sensor they replaced at my request when I plugged my obd2 scanner in and saw the code pop up. again has not had any issues with that since. so issues happen and can be fixed, just a matter of determining how bad they are and if you want to deal with them, all used cars have something wrong that's usually why they get traded in.

if the dealer has any leg to stand on certifying the car then it will most likely be a fine car to buy, most likely does need a battery as they state but get a shop you trust to look it over anyways that's always good to do with a used car. if they are like the mazda dealer near my house and you feel you cannot trust them at any time go elsewhere, if they are like the mazda dealer across town from my house I feel I can trust to the extent one can trust a car dealer then I would have n problem taking the car to have my shop look it over and as long as it gets a clean bill of health from them then work out a price.
 

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So for anyone who finds this thread in the future, Miatamanreturns on the Mazda3 sub-reddit had this to say:

> This is a known issue with some 2012-2013 Mazda3 vehicles.
> Here's the TSB describing the problem and fix: <cut>

The forum won't let me post a URL but it's at:
https colon slash slash static dot nhtsa dot gov slash odi slash tsbs slash 2013 slash SB-10053740-5159.pdf


Doc
https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2013/SB-10053740-5159.pdf

Easy fix. Voltage output needs to be corrected. Any dealer can do it. I would not walk away from the car if this is the only issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I passed on it. Didn't like that the "mazda dealer" had no clue about the TSB, just replaced the battery, admitted it still did it, and refused to budge on the price. I'll give my business to someone else.

Thanks for everyone's input!

Merry Christmas!
 

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Gearhead
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Good for you to walk when the dealer would not work with you. There are a lot of good Mazda dealers out there; we sometimes need to do research to find one. Kind of like restaurants, we don't necessarily always go to the closest one. I got one of my new cars from a dealership 3,100 miles away because unlike all my local dealers at that time, he had allocation and sold me the brand new hot model at list, not demanding the $5,000 or $10,000 for "market adjustment."

Best of luck Doctauri!
 

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Demon Spawn
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probably for the best, I walked away from about 5 mazda 3s of this generation because of issues. one had been up north and underneath was rustier than an abandoned Russian ship wreck pass, another had 67k miles and blacker than coal transmission fluid that was goopey on the dipstick (at mazda dealer that had certified all was good) as well as needing all motor mounts replaced (engine was cockeyed when you opened the hood) and alignment was way off so the tires where bald on one edge this one seemed to have been neglected, or possibly wrecked/salvaged so I passed especially after the sales manager got hostile when I tried to negotiate with those issues on price. I passed on several with bad colored tranny fluid and several with unknown history as well from many brands not just mazda. I ended up with a decent one with all the features that has been good so far headlight issue was fixed by dealer and had a caliper get stuck but after 8k miles on it since I bought it im not complaining. It had new tires at time of purchase (most I looked at tires where bald and old so replacements where needed) the car I got had nice bright red trans fluid fresh alignment per dealer report (gave me the before and after) all service records up to date, and best of all no wrecks or bad motor mounts. keep looking you will find one someone took care of, they are out there. if you like one have it inspected by a 3rd party mechanic you trust if he finds anything you don't want to deal with pass, if its minor or you feel you can deal with it, use it to negotiate a better price
 
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