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Hey everyone! I have a 2016 2.0L mazda3 and am looking for any suggestions as to what can be done to give it a but more "pep" so to speak.

My main annoyance is that I regularly drive at highway speeds up a very steep, very long hill, and I usually have it floored. If I downshift to 5th, I still have it floored, running around 2500 rpms, but if I downshift again to 4th it jumps up to around 4500rpms. Over an extended period I'm a little worried about what sort of stress high rpms can have on the engine. It can also get pretty annoying trying to merge onto highways as it feels super sluggish except at those high RPMs. I have a basic understanding of engines and transmissions, and was wondering what potential fixes are out there for this, or if this is just a matter of "should have gotten the bigger engine."

I was considering CAI plus headers and a throttle body, but in my research I've come to see that most people think the stock headers are best given the Skyactiv engine's compression ratio.

I also know that in RWD cars you can adjust the gear ratios but don't know if that's something that can be done in a FWD car. Warranty isn't a problem as it'll be totally out of warranty within the next 8 months.

Lastly, I thought about tires with a shorter sidewall height...not sure if that would help anything at all.

Like I said, I have a very basic understanding of how this stuff works, and this is this first car I've ever had the opportunity to modify. Sorry if these are stupid questions!
 

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Hey everyone! I have a 2016 2.0L mazda3 and am looking for any suggestions as to what can be done to give it a but more "pep" so to speak.

My main annoyance is that I regularly drive at highway speeds up a very steep, very long hill, and I usually have it floored. If I downshift to 5th, I still have it floored, running around 2500 rpms, but if I downshift again to 4th it jumps up to around 4500rpms. Over an extended period I'm a little worried about what sort of stress high rpms can have on the engine. It can also get pretty annoying trying to merge onto highways as it feels super sluggish except at those high RPMs. I have a basic understanding of engines and transmissions, and was wondering what potential fixes are out there for this, or if this is just a matter of "should have gotten the bigger engine."

I was considering CAI plus headers and a throttle body, but in my research I've come to see that most people think the stock headers are best given the Skyactiv engine's compression ratio.

I also know that in RWD cars you can adjust the gear ratios but don't know if that's something that can be done in a FWD car. Warranty isn't a problem as it'll be totally out of warranty within the next 8 months.

Lastly, I thought about tires with a shorter sidewall height...not sure if that would help anything at all.

Like I said, I have a very basic understanding of how this stuff works, and this is this first car I've ever had the opportunity to modify. Sorry if these are stupid questions!
Not really a lot you can do that will actually make more than a couple hp gains. Intakes are marginal at best, most don't really do much of anything. Headers? No, nothing available yet that would be any better than the OEM part. No sense in swapping throttle bodies as the factory part flows more than enough air already. New exhaust might get a few hp at the expense of more noise. The only way to get any sort of real gains is a full tune from a reputable shop like OrangeVirus or Open Flash Tunes.
Final drives can be swapped out at some expense. The CX-5 has a 4.7:1 and the Mazda 6 has 4.1:1 vs the 3.85 for the 3. That could make a difference but you will be shifting a bit more.
 

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Not really a lot you can do that will actually make more than a couple hp gains. Intakes are marginal at best, most don't really do much of anything. Headers? No, nothing available yet that would be any better than the OEM part. No sense in swapping throttle bodies as the factory part flows more than enough air already. New exhaust might get a few hp at the expense of more noise. The only way to get any sort of real gains is a full tune from a reputable shop like OrangeVirus or Open Flash Tunes.
Final drives can be swapped out at some expense. The CX-5 has a 4.7:1 and the Mazda 6 has 4.1:1 vs the 3.85 for the 3. That could make a difference but you will be shifting a bit more.
^
This


A 2.0L engine with bolts on and proper tuning might achieve between 170-190BHP, but this depends on many factors of course.

One of them has the been a long debate on the forum regarding aftermarket intakes. In the following thread a 2.5L Orange Virus tuned car presented very low numbers and members were signaling the SRI as the cause of this marginal improvement (open for debate):

http://mazda3revolution.com/forums/...e-virus-tuned-gen-3-skyacitv-2-5-writeup.html

Additionally, depending on the area where you live, altitude might be an issue if your are tuning your car, a member living in Spain having a 2.0L 165HP vehicle reported little gains on his tuned engine as he was living in area over 1700 feet of altitude.

All of these factors are needed to be taken into consideration when trying to squeeze a couple of HP from your vehicle, as results might be disappointing and expectations can be too high when we are speaking about a natural aspirated 2.0L engine (EcoBox).

I would say that if you are not invested on your car already, then probably its worth saving that money and buying a more sportier vehicle with a solid platform where you can work from it, as tuning, lighter wheels, axle back exhaust / cat back on your Mazda can get you on the ballpark price of approx. 2000$USD.

Or you could try a tune and see where it can get you, it will make the car more fun with better drivability , but don't expect a Focus RS or an AUDI S3 from it :grin2:

IMO since Mazda didn't release a 3rd Gen MazdaSpeed on this platform, many of us who purchased a regular "3" are left wanting for more...therefore we try to squeeze so much from something so little.
 

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No stupid questions man, we're all learning here.

As @arathol said though, these cars don't have a ton of aftermarket capabilities. The high compression ratio of the engine really detracts from the aftermarket support. Not like you can just slap a turbo on a 2.5 and go.

Your best bet, and at a very reasonable price if you ask me, is to go with an OVT handheld tuner. They offer one-size-fits-all tunes for different Octanes. 87, 89, 91, and 93 Octane. Obviously the higher the Octane, the better the gains.

https://www.ovtuned.com/collections...ctiv-handheld-tuner-denso?variant=36484884236

I don't know much about it. I ordered mine on Monday and it shipped yesterday. So other than the general understanding, I'll be sure to give it a full review once I have some time to play around with it. But for $500, you'll get more benefit out of that as far as added "pep" vs. any CAI and catback exhaust you can find.
 
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When i go on my summer vacation i drive fast up the steep canyon roads and with all my mods i feel really safe doing it.
That said i have a 2.5 Liter and all the bolt-ons that normal people get. So yes maybe not getting the 2.5 was your mistake,
but i would say try the bolt-ons and see where that gets you. Will there be snow and ice on these steep hills ever?
 
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