Most of these problems seem like build quality issues and a faulty manual transmission design. I say this because way too many pieces fell or broke off your car. I'd be annoyed too considering these Mazda 3's are not cheap comparably speaking. Also my friend's finance had problems covered under warranty with his manual transmission too.
Just curious if this may be your first standard vehicle; definitely sounds like the problems someone would have driving a manual improperly.
Front brakes should more often than not, need servicing long before the rears, since they do 90% of the stopping in all vehicles. However this does sound a little extreme.
I have a 2004 Mazda 3 with 59 000 KM's on it. Not miles.
I've gone through 3 sets of rear brakes (pads and rotors).
Front brakes never had to be replaced yet. Still 70% life left... really weird eh?
Skid plate and screws on the bottom have fallen off in the winter.
Front wheel bearings went at 52 000 km's.
Engine won't start sometimes, need to put it into neutral to start! (I think it's a faulty sensor) but still...
A lot of weird creaks and noises when accelerating from a stand still.
Cars paint already bubbled and is now rusting (NEVER BEEN HIT), and no it was not from a chip. It's from a bad paint job!!
If it wasn't for the coolness of the looks and power of the car, it being so fun to drive (when it's working) I would totally hate it. But since it's fun to drive, I'll give it a 5/10 overall.
Way too many problems for the 26 000 dollars including tax that I paid! Ridiculous. Mazda also is HORRIBLE for customer service. Don't buy Mazda... it's only fun to drive, but for the long term, it's a pain in the ass.
The rear brakes issue isn't new. Google a Mazda3 forum and you will find some information from actual owners and many "modders" discussing about it. It first shows up as really dirty rear rims from excessive brake dust and even grooving in the rotors.
Some member of the forum I know have "upgraded" their pads and report less brake dust and less wear, so you should try that and not replacing the brake parts with the same OEM stuff. The stock BADyear tires suck in rain and snow, but most stock tires aren't very good anyway and tires can be replaced easy enough. Again, don't go with OEM tires for replacement.
And 16:28, it is definitely a sensor issue, but the sensor maybe dirty rather than faulty. If you pull the center console piece around the AT shifter up, you will find the sensor. Any spilled liquid will gum it up and cause the car to think it was not in "P". Clean it and you're good to go.
Keep in mind folks that you bought a first year model and it did have a few kinks, but subsequent years have had their quality and reliability improved. I wouldn't write off an entire brand based on one first year model car.
2004 3s 4-dr.
I've heard that the settings by Mazda put too much pressure on the rear brakes, thus making them wear prematurely. I've also had the bad dust problem on the rears and have had to replace them twice (currently at 80000 miles) and not had to replace the fronts yet! I did to replace front brake rotors recently due to warping, and have a similar sound now coming from the right rear - will replace that one this weekend.
Goodyear tires on these are crap. Upgrade to any other brand. I put on Fuzion 215 (yes, look for 215 as there are many more options and they fit fine. My Goodyears barely made it to 40000 miles. Now I have 40000 miles on the Fuzions and they is probably 60% tread left. Much better in the Michigan snow too.
The underbody skid plate is cracked in many places and was flopping around due to loosing a few screws. I will repair that with some rivets and re-install this weekend. Been running without it for about 4 months with no problems.
The manual transmission is obviously a faulty design. I know one person who owns a Mazda 3 with manual transmission, and he too had problems with his transmission. So much for spending the extra money on a Mazda 3 over a much cheaper Ford Focus or any other cheaper economy car. Sad really because I LOVE the Mazda 3 and wanted one with a manual.
So much for Japanese engineering and the extra money they charge for it over cheaper American cars. Heck, you want manual transmission problems, go with a Hyundai Elantra. At least you're saving a ton of cash to begin with. Oh, what's with the terrible gas mileage in the Mazda 3?
I bought a used 2004 Mazda 3 with 55,000 miles on it. Six months later, I put on 8,000 miles and the automatic transmission has failed (63,000 miles). The ATF fluid was fine and checked at least 3 times during those six months (over-protective dad) along with regular maintance. I guess I was duped when I bought the car from the dealership. In my experience of owning several cars and talking with many people, transmissions shouldn't be failing at a premature mileage. I think this year of the Mazda 3 is completely unreliable. And who knows what else is wrong with the car (brakes, etc).
I agree the transmissions are an issue, I purchased mine brand new, a 2004 Mazda 3, and the transmission went at 35,000 miles, thank god it was under warranty. Now at 67,000 miles, the transmission went again (2 days ago). I've only put 31,000 miles on the car since they replaced the transmission. I drive less than a mile to work everyday, and I do all the regular maintenance. Mazda doesn't care at all because my warranty is up and my extended warranty as well. Mazda won't do anything to help me. The transmission should never have went at 35,000 miles, and surely not again 31,000 miles later. I can't get anyone to listen to me at Mazda or the dealership.
2004 Mazda 3 hatchback with 64,000 miles. This is a great driving car with average reliability and durability.
Rear wheel wells are rusting out everywhere. Wife's 2004 Civic has next to zero rust with more miles.
Rear pads gone at 62,000 miles. Front has 50% left.
Skid plate defective with misaligned filter hole. The oil filter was probably repositioned in the design process when the skid plate mold was already made. It broke off and I probably will not repair. Stock Goodyears were garbage. Lasted 35,000 miles but then I drove it hard. No traction on slick roads.
They should give that skid plate away for free!
I purchased a 2004 Mazda 3 from a dealer with just over 80000 km.
3 weeks later I had to replace the front brake pads, calipers and rotors. This was a very expensive brake job.
6 months later, with less than 100000 km, I had to do the same to the back. I have spent $2500 on brakes and haven't owned the vehicle for a year yet.
The brake shop says Mazda uses aluminum calipers instead of cast which apparently is weaker. Also it seems to have uneven brake wear. It will still have 50% brake pads left on one side but totally gone on the other. I found that to be pretty odd.
Other than that it has been a good car.