I just learned that to have a tune-up done on my MPV would cost $561 US at the dealer because the spark plugs are on the bottom of the engine, meaning the engine needs to be removed to do a tune up! Who in their right mind puts the spark plugs on the bottom of an engine?
The catalytic converter died last year, and the Mazda replacement cost $1,000 US.
The window regulator died last week, and Mazda only sells the part in a kit with a new motor (my window motor is fine) for $300 US.
This van is designed to be a money pit. I will never, ever, ever buy a Mazda again.
Dear everyone, welcome to the world of modern cars! Japanese or otherwise, you will start learning over the next few years that these modern cars are not old Chevys or Cressidas.
There are items like that coolant hose which are NOT maintenance items -- they will last a very long time, but not forever, like an alternator or heater matrix. That's just how they are. Even the highest quality plastic or rubber will fail in time. And mechanics will not fix it unless it is very, very obvious, because as you will well know, they get blamed for trying to charge for "unnecessary repairs."
Spark plugs located inconveniently? My Galant's front plugs are a 10-minute job. The rear 3 plugs need the inlet manifold out to get to, because that's where they have to be to do their job right. That's why Mitsubishi fits expensive plugs which only need replacement at 100,000 km, but they STILL need to be replaced at that time. Just the way it is.
We want cars that will meet emission legislation and still be powerful and be frugal all at the same time? No problem! But they'll put the components where they can be fitted, and add computers and sensors to get there.
No guarantees these days, not even on Japanese cars. Don't blame Mazda for that. Luck of the draw.
Our 1999 MPV was leaking coolant from the right rear wheel well at purchase, and we found out it is a known MPV weakness for those with the dual front-rear aircon installed. Basically the iron coolant pipes that run around the top of the rear wheel well just rust out. We used a lot of water keeping it topped up, until we sourced replacement pipes cheap from a wrecker and had them fitted. We then found it still leaked, though slower, from inside the rear heater core area, so we left the cooling connected and bypassed the rear heater. No problems since. Note that the Mazda technical fix/workaround involves removing and discarding the rear well plastic that covers the pipes, as trapped moisture is worse for them than dirt.