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Hi all,

***If you lost your 3.7L engine or had a huge repair bill because of a water pump failure please reach out to me. I am trying to collect data on how many people had this issue so I can try to get Mazda's attention. I have already reported it to the NHTSA and if enough people do it, maybe there will be a recall.***

I own a 2011 GT. My water pump just failed and took out my engine on August 31st. I had virtually no warning. Had it towed to the dealership which quoted me $7400 for a used engine and $13k for a new one!! A private shop quoted me $4500-5500. My car had 140k miles on it and is worth less than the cost of repairing it. But I kept it well maintained, it ran like a dream and I planned to drive it for many more years.

Anyway I contacted Mazda and they started an investigation. They asked my dealership for "warranty pricing" to fix the car. In other words what the dealer would charge for the repair if corporate paid. Mustn't have liked the answer because last Friday I got the call that corporate wasn't going to fix the car. Or contribute anything toward the cost. They did offer me 4% off dealer invoice for a NEW car. I asked if they would provide a longer warranty or any concession if I bought a new car. No, they wouldn't.

4% off invoice is probably around $1000. Needless to say I am not happy. I get that the car is out of warranty and has miles on it. But the water pump destroyed the engine. Cars should last more than 90k miles, 100k miles, with normal use. And these engines are not.
I've been doing research and this is happening to a lot of people - Mazda owners, Ford Explorer and F-150 owners, anyone who had a Duratec 3.5L or 3.7L engine.

If you lost your 3.7L engine or had a huge repair bill because of a water pump failure please reach out to me. I am trying to collect data on how many people had this issue so I can try to get Mazda's attention. I have already reported it to the NHTSA and if enough people do it, maybe there will be a recall.

Thank you.
 

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There will never be a recall on any engine that has 140K miles on it. Never
This.

The absolute best you may get is a class-action lawsuit, in which you'll get a percentage of the repair back. That's it.

Why? First, the water pump is considered a "wear and tear" part. In other words, they degrade over time, and they fail. They may not fail as frequently as in years past, but I've owned more than one vehicle that needed the water pump replaced.

Also, the NHTSA will NOT issue a safety recall over this, because it's simply not a safety issue. If it fails, the engine may die, but the car will still be driveable, and will allow you to stop and exit the vehicle safely. Now, a failing steering column, suspension components, brakes, airbags, etc. that may fail and possibly lead to severe injuries or death? That's what warrants a safety recall.
 

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I don't mean this in any accusing way what-so-ever, but do you have a full and current service record for the car? Has it had all required maintenance on the cooling system?



If you don't have full records from new then you should be happy they offered you anything. Otherwise, as stated, water pumps have a finite life span and I would not let one get more than 100K miles on it without proactively replacing it.


If you rely on oil change places for maintenance then you need to let a real mechanic look at it. The worst thing that ever happened to us is these damn quick change places that don't have a clue how to properly maintain a car.
 

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I don't mean this in any accusing way what-so-ever, but do you have a full and current service record for the car? Has it had all required maintenance on the cooling system?



If you don't have full records from new then you should be happy they offered you anything. Otherwise, as stated, water pumps have a finite life span and I would not let one get more than 100K miles on it without proactively replacing it.
I Agree. The MZI motor is decent but the water pump design is heavily flawed. Interestingly enough, RWD versions of this engine (used in the Ford Mustang) have a different waterpump placement and are far more reliable.
 

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If you lost your 3.7L engine or had a huge repair bill because of a water pump failure please reach out to me. I am trying to collect data on how many people had this issue so I can try to get Mazda's attention. I have already reported it to the NHTSA and if enough people do it, maybe there will be a recall.
This is a rather crappy design, but you're going nowhere with trying to get Mazda (Ford, really) to fix it.

I commented on this issue back in December. VW TDIs have the water pump driving off the timing *belt*, which has its own set of problems in that a seal failure will destroy the bearing and, if you don't catch it, lock up and then the belt strips. Now you're buying a cylinder head at minimum; PARTS to fix that are over $1,000, and if you have a shop do it, double that due to the labor charges.

But that's nowhere near as bad as a timing *chain* driven water pump that has oil on the other side of the seal, so WHEN it fails it screws you instantly. On the TDIs you almost-always get warning via a coolant leak -- if you ignore it then the result is on you. With these it seems you MIGHT get SOME warning if you check the oil with EVERY fuel fill (you do, right?) as you SHOULD notice the contamination, but if you are like most people these days and NEVER pull that dipstick on an every-fill basis you'll gonna get screwed and HARD.

Coolant in the oil usually destroys the mains VERY rapidly, so the opportunity to detect the problem and fix it before catastrophic damage occurs is short and if you don't, well.....

Yeah.

Crappy design but not something you can get a recall over. At 100k+ miles it's not something you'll get the manufacturer to eat either.
 

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Mine failed on a curved entrance ramp to a freeway. Others' engines failed when they were on the freeway. Had I been going full speed when I lost steering and power there could have been a crash. I have been going to the same dealer for major work since 2011, nobody told me to replace the water pump, I didn't see it in the maintenance schedule, and they told me "you have a timing chain, it NEVER needs to be replaced." If I missed it in the manual, then my bad. I did what I was supposed to do, there weren't any leaks of fluid or weird noises or smells or anything before this happened. Just a couple minutes of running rough. And when I called the dealer they said "bring it in tomorrow."

Look, I know it's a long shot to think that anything is going to come of taking on a corporation. But they know there is a problem and if my car had fewer miles I think they would have given me a brand new engine. I would have been happy if they had split the bill with me. But regardless of my particular situation, don't you want your engine and transmission to last longer than 7 or 8 years? Most cars do. Only this one engine didn't. That's how I know this is a design issue, not a maintenance or "age" issue. Wouldn't it be nice if they stopped designing things to fail?

I had my dead 2011 towed home today and put in my driveway. Even though I have the newer 6 right next to it, I miss my old car. I just wanted it fixed. Not whining, just sad.
 

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You may be right. Although most people I've found who had the engine failure had way fewer miles on their engines. However like I said in another reply, it's worth looking into. Thanks for your support.
 

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BTW the SkyActiv engines have an EXTERNAL water pump driven by a "stretchy belt" (no tensioner required) so WHEN the seal fails it leaks coolant but doesn't blow up the engine, provided you don't let it overheat. It also looks like it's reasonably easy to change the pump as well.

I STRONGLY dislike any engine design that has anything other than oil-lubricated parts driven by a timing chain. Timing chains have no service interval BUT that doesn't mean they never fail -- they do, it's just that in nearly every case they announce it well in advance with a nice amount of noise so even modest attention to how your car sounds and is running will disclose the problem in plenty of time to fix it. By contrast timing BELTS have a nasty habit of breaking without any warning whatsoever, and if it's an interference engine (most are these days) you just bought at least a cylinder head rework and quite possibly pistons and/or rods too.
 

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BTW the SkyActiv engines have an EXTERNAL water pump driven by a "stretchy belt" (no tensioner required) so WHEN the seal fails it leaks coolant but doesn't blow up the engine, provided you don't let it overheat. It also looks like it's reasonably easy to change the pump as well.

I STRONGLY dislike any engine design that has anything other than oil-lubricated parts driven by a timing chain. Timing chains have no service interval BUT that doesn't mean they never fail -- they do, it's just that in nearly every case they announce it well in advance with a nice amount of noise so even modest attention to how your car sounds and is running will disclose the problem in plenty of time to fix it. By contrast timing BELTS have a nasty habit of breaking without any warning whatsoever, and if it's an interference engine (most are these days) you just bought at least a cylinder head rework and quite possibly pistons and/or rods too.
Timing chains are generally more noisy but the biggest benefit is that they make noise when they are failing.

Generally speaking, changing your oil on time is one way to help keep your timing chain healthy. Engines full of sludge will strain the chain.
 

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Mine went out last month just like yours at 126K, I had to beg for $1000 on trade in for a KIA.

"My beloved 2009 6GT bit the bullet last Saturday at 126k, no warnings, no lights and the coolant system was service June 2017 at 107K by Mazda. All the coolant was pushed into the oil and the head gasket blew. This engine got religious OCI of 4k with quality oils. I would say if you are over 100K get it all done or trade it in ASAP.

I begged for $1000 on trade in"
 

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I agree it's an uphill battle, but send me a PM if you want to continue looking into this. I had a water pump failure on a 2013 Taurus with the 3.5 with 135k on it. Full service records (including coolant flush around 100k). Repair was $2000 but the engine appeared to be ok afterwards. But knowing the engine had overheated and oil/coolant mixed befcause of the failure, I went ahead and sold it to buy my Mazda6.
 

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I do have maintenance records, no offense taken. And I also understand that nothing lasts forever. A car with 140k miles is on the back end of its lifespan. For sure. Although we have a Subaru Forester running nicely at 165k miles and I am sure there are plenty of auto models that get 200 and 300k miles.

But that's not the issue. The failure of a $200 part should not take out the engine. It's a design issue. And it can affect resale for a vehicle if the engine is likely to fail at a certain point. There are thousands of Ford owners who have the same issue on their vehicles.

A class action suit has been filed against Ford for the Duratec engine failures. I spoke to the lawfirm that filed and they are willing to amend the complaint and add Mazda. But I need to find more owners who had the engine failure. The courts agree with the majority of you, that past 100k a car is bound to have defects and that's just tough luck for the owner, so owners with under 100K miles are needed. So if you or anyone you know had this issue, contact me or go direct to the lawfirm. Their name is Kessler Topaz Meltzer and Check, out of Pennsylvania. I spoke to a guy named Jim Maro.
 

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A hobby chasing class action lawsuits is a waste of time. You are already out of the lawsuit via the miles on your engine. Why do feel so duty bound to chasing something that will never benefit you in any way?

If a settlement ever comes and I do mean IF, it might be enough to buy dinner one night, maybe.
 

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The failure of a $200 part should not take out the engine. It's a design issue. And it can affect resale for a vehicle if the engine is likely to fail at a certain point. There are thousands of Ford owners who have the same issue on their vehicles.
My Dodge was killed by a $35 timing belt. A $6 wrist pin failure will lead to catastrophic motor detonation.I would argue price is irrelevant. I would love to say that 100,000mi is a reasonable distance to expect out of a machine like an automobile but I realize they are "durable goods" and only expected to last 3 years. For me that means 15,000mi and anything after that is gravy. Yes, that notion is not grounded in reality but this is the world we live in.


I empathize with your situation. I am frequently forgoing music on my ride home so I can listen to the motor and transmission (not to mention bearings everywhere). I own a 2004 V6 ATX, and if you would like to talk about design flaws (present in any engineering endeavor) I can converse for a while. Ever own an Italian car? I had a $25 part on my Mazda 6 cause over $2000 damage in parts alone and that was at 126,000 miles



A class action suit has been filed against Ford for the Duratec engine failures. I spoke to the lawfirm that filed and they are willing to amend the complaint and add Mazda. But I need to find more owners who had the engine failure. The courts agree with the majority of you, that past 100k a car is bound to have defects and that's just tough luck for the owner, so owners with under 100K miles are needed. So if you or anyone you know had this issue, contact me or go direct to the lawfirm. Their name is Kessler Topaz Meltzer and Check, out of Pennsylvania. I spoke to a guy named Jim Maro.

I wish you the best of fortune. Perhaps my cynicism for corporations "coming through" in any capacity for the regular Joe is dominating my response. I did get $4.13 from one of those lawsuits once so maybe it is not technically worthless.


I wish there were more like you among us.


Godspeed
 

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The one thing I will never understand is why most people simply dispose of a car that needs a new engine and rush out and replace it. If you have the disposable income then it is not so much of a big deal, but ditching a paid off car for a new fresh loan to me is insane. In my mind, replacing that engine is FAR cheaper than another car.


I know I am of a very small minority, but if I cannot buy a car for the cash I have saved then I cannot buy a car. I don't even like the idea I have a mortgage, but we do concentrate on paying it down.


Simply put, if you can afford to buy a new car with no loan then it could be a viable choice, but if you have to get a loan it is FAR more financially prudent to take out a much smaller personal loan and fix the car you have.
 

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A little late, but yes, my pump went out. I posted about this some time ago. I agree that design is significantly flawed. I had 104k when my pump fully failed. Two huge issues: 1) that son of a @#$%^ pump is sandwiched I side the timing cover and fully exposed to oil pan--any internal leak dump right into oil pan; 2) engine has come out to replace a part that is supposed to be a maintenance item. Can't remember the exact number, but reputable local shop charged me between $2,200 to $2,700 labor, alone. Water pump cost about $120 to $150. I was on the freeway, and it did die in the middle of traffic. I love the car and bit the bullet on the cost, but it seemed ridiculous that it would cost so much for a maintenance item.
 

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A friend just had bearing failure as he was pulling into his garage he noticed a noise, had the car towed to Mazda $2200 later. At least his car didn't kill the engine! 131K miles.
 
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