For more than the 12th time, and the 2nd time in the past month, the check engine light has popped on in my Mazda3. This is the final straw for me with this car. It’s had this history of doing this since the day after I drove it off the lot. My warranty is up at 50k miles and after that it’s going to cost me a minimum of $85 to get it looked into, so I’m going to get something else before I hit that number, which at the present pace would be sometime in the next 7 months or so.
It’s really a shame. Other than this issue, and the fact that Mazda stubbornly refuses to release its roof rack kit in the US despite offering it in every other territory (including Canada), I’ve loved the car. And to be fair to the car only one of the check engine light incidents have been serious (a part related to the fuel system failed, but it was a sensor), but the fact that they can never make the issue go away for good is troubling and at this point I’ve lost faith with the car. I’m also not going to eat the cost of getting it looked into every time it pops on when my warranty expires.
The question becomes what to get next. I have three cars on my list, all 3 from the last time I went through this – the Honda Element (practical but not very fun to drive), a Subaru WRX sports wagon (less practical but still fun to drive), and…a Mazda 3, but possibly the Mazda Speed edition this time. It may seem nuts to go for a car that’s done me wrong, but the issue I am having with mine is an abberation. No one else is confronting this kind of trouble, I just have lousy luck.
My plan is to see what the dealership will do for me (ie, give me a great trade-in on this car because Mazda sold me a lemon) and if they work a decent deal with me I will go for it. If they won’t, right now I’m feeling like the Honda is the way to go. It’s cheaper than the WRX is and most importantly it doesn’t take premium fuel, the cost of which really adds up over the lifetime of a car. Of course if Mazda does right by me, who knows, maybe I will go for the premium guzzling Mazda3 speed edition because hey, I’m 40 this year and deserve my mid-life crisis car 🙂
Feel free to suggest alternative models to consider. At or under $30k, no German cars, and some element of the practical ‘place to stick Soolin’ are all factors which will limit my choices.