Just bought a 2012 from Carmax...few questions - 2004 to 2016 Mazda 3 Forum and Mazdaspeed 3 Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
zombiehunter
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Just bought a 2012 from Carmax...few questions

Anyone have a link for the service intervals manual? The owner's manual references another manual that I don't seem to have.

I drive 80-120 miles/day with 75% being highway I'd think. How's everyone doing their oil changes? My Chevy had an oil life indicator (not monitor, it used some kind of algorithm to calculate when you nuked your oil and I regularly went 10-12k miles between changes at 275k miles which it calculated based on dino oil and I ran syth). I'd like to go 0w-20 Mobil1 with long life filter and thinking 7500 interval, thoughts?

Is there a way to get the car to start in 2nd gear instead of 1st? Both of my old Mercedes do it and if I put the auto in manual mode I can tell it to start in 2nd but can't figure out a way to just make it start in 2nd as a rule (my understanding was that it gives better mpg and 1st was more for slippery conditions in my other cars).

Speaking of transmissions:
Do all of these things downshift when braking down a hill? I'm used to a car just kind of coasting down a hill when braking; my Mazda3 will downshift and rev at like 4k instead of just letting me hit the brakes.

Same thing with cruise control, are they all so tightly controlled? The car downshifts after I gain like 3mph.

I'm averaging 37-38mpg which I love but when driving 35000 a year, any tips on getting that up? Anyone have any real world experience with low rolling resistance tires or CAI or lighter rims?

Then as crazy as it sounds, anyone else notice better mpg if their traction control is off? Pretty sure it's in my head but the numbers really do seem to back me up anecdotally.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Crap forgot a question:
I've got 22500 miles on it. How are all of yours holding up with high mileage? Probably should have asked before I bought it but...yeah.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 12:10 PM
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1, the transmission does down shift or "engine brake" when you let off and apply the brakes to assist with braking, mine in my 11 does this and it is kind of odd feeling in an auto but nothing im complaining about only does it below 35ish mph up to 4k is too high it may need some minor servicing, I would start with a trans filter change and a fluid exchange(not flush)2-3 fluid exchanges will get 95% or more of the old fluid out a flush may do more damage so just better to avoid this. 37-38mpg? is it skyactiv? if so that's normal and if not then that's amazing. 22500 miles IS NOT HIGH MILEAGE high mileage is 150,000+ these days. There is no way with our shifter set up to start in second if you have shut the car off, just a deal you have to deal with on sporty type cars with manually shift able autos. dos it still have stock tires? if so they are past their service life and need replacement due to age LRR tires may help mpg a little but you will notice a difference in handling and grip with LRR tires so I would live with 37mpg and get grippy tires I currently have cooper rs3-a and they are fantastic so far, even improved my mpg slightly over the less grippy and loud firestones on it. (I have a non skyactiv 2.5L so the worst non speed 3 mpg but average about 26-28 before tire change in the 1500 miles since have averaged 27-29) the coopers are light which helps with mpg more than LRR does. the OE tires on these cars are iron weights and will create mpg lowering issues. lighter rims will help this as well. the general rule is for every pound you take off of unsprung weight (wheels tires anything not in the body) you effectively cut 100 pounds off the cars weight, and I can say that you can feel it, the coopers where 2.5 pounds each lighter then the previous firestones so my car lost 10 pounds of unsprung weight the handling is better (though grippy tires with stiff sidewalls may help this more as the coopers have) throwing the weight into turns is better the acceleration and braking feel better and my mpg has gone up.

on my non skyactiv I do about 1500-2000 miles a month and do 7500 mile oil changes main thing with that interval is getting a good filter, use 0w20 SYNTHETIC and a long life filter like fram synthetic(gold box) or wix xp/napa platinum etc. to last that long but a 7500 mile change interval is the norm these days, just always better off getting the best you can. spend a few more $ on the filter and oil now or a lot more on an engine later. now skyactiv maybe different but my dads 14 6 with skyactive says 7500-10000 miles for oil change on 0w20 synthetic my 11 3 2.5 says 5000-7500 on syn blend (I use synthetic and go the longer interval as it protects better, for longer then a blend can) Mobil 1 or Castrol edge are great choices for oil but honestly as long as you get a reputable brand and a good filter you should be ok.

with the cruise and shifting it depends on the speed and gear your in when it needs to shift for going faster, in my 2.5 it is actually most efficient in 5th gear(highest in my model) between 70-75 and will downshift to speed up if I am in cruise below that and it is in 5th(as it tries to do in regular auto mode above 40ish mph), I use the manual mode most of the time though as I like manual cars and like to control my shifting. 4th is most efficient for me between 30-65 then I go to 5th

my shift pattern for my 2.5 if I do it myself is 1-2 at like 10-13mph (right after take off almost) then 2-3 around 19-25mph (depends if I am needing to go faster or not) 3-4 between 25-35 (again depending on the speed and traffic I am in) 4-5 between 45-65ish mph (again depending on traffic and road speed limit) I will go to 5th at closer to 45 if the speed limit is around 40-45 or flat if hilly I stay in 4th most of the time to keep from downshifting and 4th and 5th at that speed are practically the same efficiency wise for me so id rather stay in the lower gear to get more power more efficiently, and closer to 50-60 if 50 or more on the speed limit as the 2.5 is most efficient between 2.5k-3.2kish rpms I try to stay in that range and shift accordingly up or down yours maybe different and skyactiv autos are 6 speed so different ratios (you just need to try it in manual mode and see what it gets you) I cruise at 70-75mph on the highway as that's the most efficient spot for me to cruise in, if I need to go slower I watch the rpm and if needing to be closer to 60 I keep it in 4th as its more efficient in 4th at 60 then 5th because 5th chokes out some power and keeps it too low in the rev range 4 cylinder n/a (not turbo) engines like to be revved even the turbo ones do, so they are not as efficient at low rpms as a v6 or v8 (comparatively obviously a 4cylinder at 1500rpm should use less gas then a v6 at 1500rpm) etc. the torque in the 2.5 starts coming on noticeably at about 2k rpm and gets efficient at 2.5-3.2k so look at your engine specs and look at the rpm the max torque is the range right around that is usually your target for efficiency. the 2.5 has max torque at 3.5k rpm or so. so right below and to the max torque is usually most efficient, depending on driving style, situation, speed etc. just play with it in manual mode and you will soon find the efficiency range you/the car likes also the 5 speed on mine says it learns from manual mode and uses that in auto the 6 speed on the skyactiv may too so you may learn it something. and yes in auto mode it WILL downshift when needed for power in cruise control as it will turn off cruise control if you drop speed too fast. again ironically going faster may help this and may help your mpg I get closer to 26-27 average going 60-65 and closer to 27-29 going 70-75 almost 80.

HINT: its skyactiv if it has the badge on the back dead giveaway it says skyactiv on it. and 16 inch wheels (hatchbacks)

this is the link to the 2012 maintenance schedule table from the manual:2012 Mazda MAZDA3 Official Maintenance Schedule click the heading below the one with the mazda logo it opens a pdf with the schedule in it.


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 01:30 PM
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I'm in a metric market so bear with me...

The 2nd gen car treated me very well while I had it, and the only reason I don't still have it is because I was rear ended and it was written off.

I bought my car with 72,000 kms. It got written off just under 3 years later at 176,000kms. I had no required repairs other than maintenance. Mine was a 2010 2.5 auto

My brother also has a 2010 2.5 but manual. He has had his since new in 2010. He has been a little more relaxed than me at maintenance (he tends to be late) but his repairs (other than maintenance) have been limited to a wheel bearing replacement and an idler pulley on the accessory belt. He is currently at around 220,000 kms the last time I asked him. We both have the same driving pattern as you, distance and km. Take care of the car and the car will take after you.

Your theory on starting in 2nd gear is backwards. The only reason to start in 2nd is in situations with reduced traction to reduce torque. Basically... when you're stuck in snow or other non-pavement situations. Let the car start from first in regular driving, only good things will come of it.

Your downhill transmission behavior is normal. It's trying to engine brake. Don't worry, let the engine / transmission do it's thing it's fine on the car. Your engine is using no fuel at all when it's doing this and it's saving your brakes if you don't need them. Of course, absolutely hit the brakes if you need to.

Cruise behavior is normal as well. I always felt the cruise was a bit sensitive shifting-wise but it is what it is. I got in the habit of cancelling ahead of time if I could see that the road was going to trip the car up (hilly, moderate speed roads).

I averaged 8.3-8.5 l/100km without trying to be easy on it. It would do better at times but that was my real world average. Converts to about 28mpg so I'm assuming you have the 2.0, but I think you're doing pretty good.

T/C only cuts engine output / torque when slip is sensed. Seeing different numbers on vs off is likely a mental thing, or you're subtly changing your driving style without realising it.

Enjoy the car, seems pretty low mileage. Should last you a good while :-) Hope that helps a bit
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 02:35 PM
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I'm in a metric market so bear with me...

The 2nd gen car treated me very well while I had it, and the only reason I don't still have it is because I was rear ended and it was written off.

I bought my car with 72,000 kms. It got written off just under 3 years later at 176,000kms. I had no required repairs other than maintenance. Mine was a 2010 2.5 auto

My brother also has a 2010 2.5 but manual. He has had his since new in 2010. He has been a little more relaxed than me at maintenance (he tends to be late) but his repairs (other than maintenance) have been limited to a wheel bearing replacement and an idler pulley on the accessory belt. He is currently at around 220,000 kms the last time I asked him. We both have the same driving pattern as you, distance and km. Take care of the car and the car will take after you.

Your theory on starting in 2nd gear is backwards. The only reason to start in 2nd is in situations with reduced traction to reduce torque. Basically... when you're stuck in snow or other non-pavement situations. Let the car start from first in regular driving, only good things will come of it.

Your downhill transmission behavior is normal. It's trying to engine brake. Don't worry, let the engine / transmission do it's thing it's fine on the car. Your engine is using no fuel at all when it's doing this and it's saving your brakes if you don't need them. Of course, absolutely hit the brakes if you need to.

Cruise behavior is normal as well. I always felt the cruise was a bit sensitive shifting-wise but it is what it is. I got in the habit of cancelling ahead of time if I could see that the road was going to trip the car up (hilly, moderate speed roads).

I averaged 8.3-8.5 l/100km without trying to be easy on it. It would do better at times but that was my real world average. Converts to about 28mpg so I'm assuming you have the 2.0, but I think you're doing pretty good.

T/C only cuts engine output / torque when slip is sensed. Seeing different numbers on vs off is likely a mental thing, or you're subtly changing your driving style without realising it.

Enjoy the car, seems pretty low mileage. Should last you a good while :-) Hope that helps a bit
he has to have the skactiv 2.0 not the normal one as 37-38mpg average is way above the 2.0 and 2.5 non skyactiv range the 2.0 at best may muster 35 or so unless your hypermiling

my car does engine brake as well but never had it rev up to over 2500prm in the process maybe the 6 speed on his skyactiv does different or more aggressively (probably more aggressive for fuel saving) and I never notice mine doing it over about 40mph (may just be less noticeable to me or I have gotten used to it)

yes the cruise is shift happy again your suggestion is great and I like mine too, keep it in manual mode and it wont do that to you, if you need to downshift for power you can but it wont force it to.

Yes traction control only comes on when slip is noticed and applies brake force and less power (fronts only for the power) to compensate and keep you going turning it off wont increase fuel economy though it may make twisty roads more fun. I have only made mine activate once and it was in the rain at 75 mph I got cut off on the freeway and had to brake and swerve to avoid this guy and traction control kicked on for a second (saw the light) but in normal driving having it on or off wont effect performance or mpg.

I agree on starting in second as well, its only needed when it is slick and you lack enough grip or have too much power to the ground in 1st to get rolling. 1st is there for a reason, low gear to get the power down and get you going amplifies torque and provides for crisp acceleration


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-30-2017, 07:09 PM
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I've got a 2012 GS-SKY 6MT, and mine just hit 90,000kms. Great car, only complaints was that the passenger leather seatback rattles on occasion if no one is sitting in it. The other complaint was that my clutch pedal began to squeak early on (< 20,000kms), to which after over a year of complaints to my dealer, they replaced.

Surprisingly, I haven't ever had to change my brake pads (and no, I don't engine brake)...on my last maintenance visit 3 weeks ago, still running 50% tread up front, and 60% in the back
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-31-2017, 02:11 PM
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I've got a 2012 GS-SKY 6MT, and mine just hit 90,000kms. Great car, only complaints was that the passenger leather seatback rattles on occasion if no one is sitting in it. The other complaint was that my clutch pedal began to squeak early on (< 20,000kms), to which after over a year of complaints to my dealer, they replaced.

Surprisingly, I haven't ever had to change my brake pads (and no, I don't engine brake)...on my last maintenance visit 3 weeks ago, still running 50% tread up front, and 60% in the back
90,000km=55,923.4 miles so that's about right little less wear then expected but the factory brakes should last 50-70k unless your tracking the car, or just ultra hard on them. I bought my car used at 61k miles not long ago and it had the factory pads on it still, I changed them and the rotors because they only had about 3mm of pad left all around and the rotors where scarred up from normal wear and rusty in the usual spots all uncoated rotors get(plus age gets to everything and that includes pads and rotors so I figured 5.5 years is enough), so 55,900 miles on oe brakes does not surprise me just be careful if you return to a mazda dealer to get new pads and rotors make sure the pads are not the ones that say mazda "value line" on them as these pads are over priced garbage and not what the factory installs oe on the car is a ceramic formula the "value line" is basically dirt particles some copper fibers and bonding glue (it says the contents of the pads on the box)with a metal backing plate that costs 3-5x as much as aftermarket ceramics that perform much better with way less dust. now the factory style ones are fine and for the average driving style will do you great. stoptech and hawk make great upgrade pads for more aggressive driving and track use and even the cmax pads at autozone are pretty good (not much dust and a lot of stopping power to them, for a bargain price plus no questions lifetime warranty when they wear out or you wanna change em just bring em in and swap em) may not be an option since your using metric and probably means Canada, but autozone pads are made by science friction which is wholly owned by bosch. wagner brakes aren't bad either just a little pricey for what they are due to the name.

carquest, oriellys, advance all use the exact same pad supplier as autozone just with their own name. look up your part numbers and you will be able to spot the places where its the same thing with a different name because autzone part numbers read like mkd1044 for the bottom barrel front pads on my car and orieelys shows THE EXACT SAME NUMBER! but the upper level ones like oe (autozone gold, orielly select brands) read dg(duralast gold) dg1044 and oriellys reads sc1044 but they are the exact same pad. when you see the part number as that close you can bet it comes off the same assembly line and gets whatever stores number and logo thrown on it at the end


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