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I just got my 2016 Mazda3 i sport, and I was hoping to do a few things to give it a few more HP. I don't want to make it take a hit in MPG though. I was thinking of replacing the OEM air filter with an AEM one (we're at 48k miles now anyways), but does anyone have any other suggestions?
What some other simple and relatively-cheap mods?
 

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Rubber side down
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This is a common question and there is a relatively simple answer. Without a tune, most, if not all bolt-on modifications will actually be detrimental to the performance of the motor. Mazda has tuned these engines so well and so efficiently that any alteration tends to make minimal to no gains. Some may actually reduce power. Plan on spending a few bucks on Orange Virus (seems to be most popular) or some other system plus a tune.
 

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Thanks!
I read that AEM air filters are the best (a bit better than K&N). Is it gonna be ok to just buy one of those and drop it in? (since I need to get a new one anyways)
 

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Thanks!
I read that AEM air filters are the best (a bit better than K&N). Is it gonna be ok to just buy one of those and drop it in? (since I need to get a new one anyways)
bought a washable AEM air filter. only engine mod I have done lol. i wash it at every oil change and for about a week afterwards, I feel like it has more pep! could be my mind playing tricks on me.
 

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bought a washable AEM air filter. only engine mod I have done lol. i wash it at every oil change and for about a week afterwards, I feel like it has more pep! could be my mind playing tricks on me.
I've been told that the AEM/KN filters can slightly improve throttle response (but probably not overall power), so that might be the "pep" that you feel.

As for what the OP wants, I was in the same situation last year. I'm at 5500 ft altitude, so I'm down about 15% on power compared to sea level and I wanted to gain a few HP back. After reading a lot of threads and trying to figure out what's real and what's marketing BS, the consensus is that intakes/filters/exhausts for the 3 only make the car noisier/more aggressive sounding (and maybe help throttle response) but make little or no change to power.

TL,DR: Other posters are correct: An ECU tune (like Orange Virus) is the only way (so far) to get more power from the Skyactiv 3.
 

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If you want more pep get the orange virus tune with throttle map. or just a throttle map controller like the one from Pedal commander.
 

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There ARE some things that can be done to make minor improvements in performance, without getting a new tune. The first thing I did was switch to a higher octane gas and I DID see my mpg improve, plus the acceleration was better. I can out run other stock 3's in my area.
 

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I have a 1.5 liter version of the M3 with comes with a whopping 110 hp :p I agree with OVT suggestion. I will mention that from what I've read from their blurb is that depending on the octane rating of the fuel you use, they'll have a different tune for you. From what I gather, a higher octane rated fuel will allow for a high tune. Currently saving up for the OVT tune. Not sure if it'll be wise to tune for a high octane fuel though.
 

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AEM filters is nice to have mainly because they can be cleaned, but I never noticed any difference in engine performance at all.
 

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*The Electrician*
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The answer is tune, yes, it is, no other "small mods" will net you anything whatsoever. Premium gas DOES NOT HELP YOU, without a tune. Get a tune or just enjoy the car as is powerwise. Try a rear swaybar, makes a big difference, way more fun to drive.
 

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My opinion has changed as I've got older. As far as I'm concerned, if you want to mod a car, buy a performance car first. Don't mod a regular car, it just causes issues and will kill your resale value.

If you want a regular car with more performance, buy one that has what you want. In the Mazda 3 case, buy the 2.5L instead of the 2L if that's what you want.

I'd recommend spending money on good car wash and detailing kit instead of money on mods for performance you won't even notice.
 

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Mazda "E" Division
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My opinion has changed as I've got older. As far as I'm concerned, if you want to mod a car, buy a performance car first. Don't mod a regular car, it just causes issues and will kill your resale value.

If you want a regular car with more performance, buy one that has what you want. In the Mazda 3 case, buy the 2.5L instead of the 2L if that's what you want.

I'd recommend spending money on good car wash and detailing kit instead of money on mods for performance you won't even notice.
Modifying/Customizing/washing/wax the car is fun. A high end fast car is just driving & wax/washing.
 

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*The Electrician*
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I agree it's fun, but working on a regular car you're more likely to make it worse than making it any better.
Especially when auto manufacturers are squeezing their cars more than ever before to get the right balance of MPG and performance. It's a new ball game now, these new cars are not like the Honda Civics of old, even the new base Civics will be just as difficult to squeeze extra performance from. It was said best in one of the above posts, know what you want for performance, and buy it right out of the box. Then you can customize it all day long and not be worried about needing to squeeze any extra performance out of it. This is why I got the 2.5L motor, and when my warranty runs out I will be getting the OV Tune for premium gas.
 

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my intuition is.... for the 2.0 the best bang for the buck is heat shield the stock airbox and sealed it, so it works better..
I saw way better temps running in this caribbean heat, and use a better flow filter...

Wy because I preffer -6C vs SRI... in normal driving
heat soak is way slower.

That is my take with intakes...
 
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