Archive for September, 2018

2019 Mazda CX-5 to get 2.5-liter turbo and revised G-Vectoring?

Sunday, September 30th, 2018
Red Mazda CX-5 by mountains

The Mazda CX-5 has for many years been a leader in the crossover market. With a stylish and practical design, this vehicle has been at the top of wishlists for many drivers. It looks as though Mazda is ready to make a bigger statement in 2019 with their addition of a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine and revisited G-Vector technology. Here is a closer look at the potential changes for the new 2019 Mazda CX-5.

A new turbocharged 2.5-liter engine

With the addition of a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine, drivers can now have the extra punch that they may expect from Mazda. More drivers are now looking for fuel-efficient cars that can get up and go. This highly tuned four-cylinder engine will give drivers the experience of driving a fast car while not having to spend a fortune at the gas pump.

What does the G-Vector+ mean

With eight years in the making, G-Vector technology is one that has taken Mazda to the next level. This technology makes driving your car easier and better without you even knowing it. By reading steering and throttle input, G-Vector uses the onboard computer to fine-tune your driving experience to your current driving conditions and style. What the new G-Vector+ means for the CX-5 is still not clear. However, this G-Vector+ being paired with a turbocharged engine would point to a much more sporty crossover. It seems that Mazda is looking to appeal to a younger demographic who may not be in the market originally for a crossover.

The Addition of Apple Car Play and Andriod Auto

Apple Car Play and Android Auto are making it easier than ever to use your smartphone while you are driving. This technology turns your touchscreen display in your car into a controller for your smartphone. Mazda is behind the curve by just adding this to their CX-5. The addition of Apple Car Play and Android Auto will make this new crossover more appealing to those who want to utilize the full potential of their smartphone.

More expensive materials used in the interior

It has been rumored that there will be more durable and expensive materials used in the interior. This might be part of the push to make the CX-5 more appealing for younger drivers. It could also be a push to make Mazda transition into a more luxury brand than just a consumer brand manufacturer.

A new seven-inch touch display screen

The new seven-inch touch display will be competing with the ever-expanding displays on cars from all different manufacturers. This seven-inch display will offer a large view of custom car functions and media options without being too overwhelming. This touch-screen display will fit in nicely with the other additions to the interior that Mazda has hinted at.

New Signature trim level raises new potential additions

With the hint of a Signature trim level, the sky is the limit for how far Mazda would take the potential additions. Whether Mazda is looking for a flashier look on the exterior or added features on the interior, this is still pointing to the trend that Mazda may be trying to market themselves as more of a luxury brand rather than just a consumer brand. This will be a hard stigma to break for a company that has once shied away from more luxury styled vehicles. This CX-5 could be a great addition to the Mazda family as they move closer to high-end luxury cars.

No official statements have been released yet

All of this new information has come from a Reddit post that has only been verified by a Mazda salesman. While it seems that this information will most likely be from the manufacturer itself, there could be some prankster just trying to get a rise out of Mazda fans and other car enthusiasts. However, everything on the document posted on Reddit looks to be reliable. While this document was originally released in Canada, most of the options will still be available in the US only they might be listed under different names. It will be exciting to see if Mazda decides to make an official statement around these new documents that have been released. No news has come out as to who internally released these documents.

The 2019 CX-5 will most likely impress the younger demographic

It is easy to say that these new additions to the CX-5 will most-likely appeal to the younger demographic. While most Millennials are choosing not to buy new cars, these changes could provoke them to make the payments needed to drive a new 2019 CX-5 off the lot.

These are a few of the changes that may be available on the 2019 CX-5. It will be exciting to see this new crossover when it finally hits the market in a few short months next year.

Throwback Thursday: 1993 Mazda RX-7 Review

Thursday, September 27th, 2018
yellow Mazda RX-7

Throwback Thursday: 1993 Mazda RX-7 Review

The product of a unique moment in Japanese history, almost the exact minute the Japanese economic miracle of the 1980s came to a screeching halt, the 1993 Mazda RX-7 is one of the truest outliers in the history of automobiles. Intended for a Japanese market that was flush with cash and looking for sports cars, the FD-generation Mazda coupe found its way to America when the island nation’s economy went bust and the manufacturer needed an outlet for surplus units that couldn’t be sold. What followed were three model years, from 1993 to 1995, of one of the most genuinely special sports cars you’ll find on the road.

The Rotary Engine

From an engineering standpoint, the fact that the RX-7 during the FD generation sported a 1.3L twin-turbo rotary engine — something normally only seen by consumers in the light-aircraft sector — is the most obvious thing that amateur mechanics will want to talk about. Notorious for blowing seals and being high maintenance, the rotary engine delivered:

255 horsepower
18 mpg city
24 mpg highway
215 foot-pounds of torque at 5,000 RPM
A 0-to-60 mph time of 5.0 seconds
A top driving range of 460 miles

Sports car enthusiasts could burn out using its 5-speed manual transmission, and more mundane drivers would still have lots of fun with the 4-speed automatic version. If you can lay your hands on a version with a twin turbocharger, do so. While the 1993 has excellent horsepower, the standard version can be a bit lacking for low-RPM torque, making it more sleepy than sleeper as a drag racer.

Smooth Lines

Mazda was also ahead of its time in producing a sports car with very smooth lines. While many car manufacturers were still lingering in the 1980s era of sharp edges, the RX had rounded lines that looked more like the generation of cars that were yet to come in the late 1990s and early 2000s, such as Detroit’s reborn Ford Thunderbird. This made it an instant standout on the road.

The interior trim spared no expenses for the time. Bucket-style seats provided an instant racing feel, and a robust instrument panel made the FD generation a favorite among lovers of snappy dials. It’s also an unapologetic two-seater, winning points with drivers who want nothing less than a proper roadster.

On the downside, the aftermarket for the RX is tilted heavily toward people who want the non-modified version. For those who want to trick out one 25 years after its anniversary, they should be aware that they’re likely to adversely impact its resale value.

Handling

The first thing you should know about the 1993 Mazda RX-7 is that it had a nearly perfect 50-50 weight distribution. It also was feather light at 2,800 pounds, and it came with ABS brakes, far from standard for the time period. A rock-solid rear differential allowed the Mazda to maintain excellent control in a wide range of conditions. For those who want to get adventurous, aftermarket kits for adjustable lower control and trailing arms can still be had.

The stock model is considered a vehicle that drives incredibly close to true, making it appealing if you’re looking for a car that corners aggressively without a lot of tinkering. Even a quarter-century on, this version of the RX is still widely considered one of the best handling in the series and among the best ever put on the road.

If there’s a downside to the FD generation, though, it’s the suspension. The arm bushings have a reputation for getting noisy, and the stock suspension has a reputation as being more for folks who want the look of a sports car rather than the road feel of one.

Maintenance

Like many sports cars, this version of the RX requires near-constant attention. There weren’t a ton ever put into production, so you can expect to have to order a lot of parts rather than just finding one at the nearest U-pull-it salvage yard. The rotary engine design also means you’d better be ready to learn to work on a type of engine you may literally have never put your hands on before. That also makes it an expensive vehicle to take to the garage.

You should also be prepared to do plenty of routine maintenance. This RX needs fresh oil every 1,000 miles, and you can expect to swap out wires, plugs and the fuel filter on an annual basis. The vacuum line system in this edition of the RX has been described by many technicians as a downright bird’s nest of a mess, too.

Conclusion

The 1993 model released in North America is rare enough to instantly get attention. If you’re looking for something that is powerful and handles well, you’ll definitely want to give the RX a drive.

8 DIY Car Repairs You Can Do For Your Used Mazda Vehicle

Saturday, September 22nd, 2018
mazda 6 motor

8 DIY Car Repairs You Can Do For Your Used Mazda Vehicle

Regular maintenance is required to keep your used Mazda car, truck, or SUV performing at its best. It also prolongs the life of the vehicle. Caring for your vehicle is necessary whether or not your car is still under the manufacturer’s warranty or an extended warranty.

The cost of maintenance and repairs are not typically covered by these so-called “bumper-to-bumper” warranties. This means you will be coming out of pocket to pay for work related to normal wear and tear. Imagine the big dent in your pocket if you have to take your vehicle to the mechanic shop for every little thing that needs fixing.

Many times, car owners forget to factor in these costs in their monthly budget which already includes car loan payments, gas, and insurance premiums. But this doesn’t have to happen to you. With these 8 do-it-yourself maintenance and repair projects even a simpleton can handle, you won’t have to break the bank to keep your car.

1. Brake Pads

You rely on your brakes to slow or stop the car. Good brake pads are essential for performing these actions and preventing a collision or a fatal accident. Pads don’t last forever and need to be replaced once they are worn to about 2mm-3mm in thickness. Things you will need are a jack and jack stand, c-clamp, lug wrench, hammer, wrench, a piece of string, and a turkey baster to remove brake fluid. You just saved at least $150-$250 on parts and labor to replace either the front or back brakes.

2. Oil Change

Doing an oil change on your used vehicle doesn’t call for mechanical skills. This job can easily cost from $15-$100. First, you’re not only saving money, but you’re also guaranteed the correct and quality oil is used as specified in the vehicle’s manual. There are too many complaints of mechanics using low grade, synthetic oil or synthetic blends. This can shorten the life of your engine and reduce fuel efficiency.


3. Air filter

Another simple fix is the air filter. Air filters prevent dirt, debris, and harmful contaminants from entering your engine. Over time, the filter’s ability to clean the air entering the engine reduces. Replacing the filter after every 20, 000 to 40,000 miles help keep the engine running smoothly and maintain fuel efficiency. It also prolongs the life of the engine. All you have to do is pop the hood of the car, remove a few screws, open the air filter housing, remove the old filters, fit the new ones, then replace the screws. In 10 minutes, you’re done!

4. Fuel filters

The fuel filter cleans the fuel before it reaches the pump to ensure clean gasoline get to the engine. This helps preserve the life of this expensive car part—the engine. Unclean fuel can damage the fuel injector and cause fuel to drip. The average fuel filter change costs about $100-$150 for parts and labor. Replace the filter by removing a few parts and swapping out the old with the new.

5. Windshield wipers

Don’t throw away about $100-$150 to replace windshield wipers. Replacing or fixing chipped windshield wipers is quite simple. First get the right size and fit for your vehicle. Follow the instructions that come with the wipers to slide out the old wipers and fit the new ones. Who needs a pro when it literally takes about 2-5 minutes to complete this DIY job!

6. Install new battery

This is by far one of the easiest DIY projects. First, ensure you have the right battery designed for your model of used Mazda. Battery changes are typically done every 4 to 6 years. Use a wrench to the detach cables securing the battery. To avoid a short circuit, remove the negative (black) cable first and replace it last. Take the old battery out and fix the new one in place before reattaching the cables. You saved about 200 bucks by not having a mechanic replace it.

7. Change spark plugs

Check your spark plugs about every 30,000 to 40, 000 miles and replace if necessary to maintain good fuel consumption. A set of plugs cost about $30. Armed with a wrench and the usual car tools, replace the plugs and save big! Like, $200-300 type of big!

8. Replace headlights or taillights

Headlights and taillights help you see ahead and be seen by other drivers. They also indicate turns, lane changes, and braking. You can purchase aftermarket bulbs compatible with your used Mazda and state laws. You will need to remove the car battery, nuts, bolts, and screws before placing the new lights. Wear gloves to avoid transferring grease unto the bulb. Otherwise, it can shorten the bulb’s life or cause it to explode.

So you see, you don’t exactly need to be car savvy to perform these quick fixes on your car. There are many videos on YouTube that offer step-by-step details for these DIY car maintenance and repairs. All you need is basic knowledge and some simple tools. You will save thousands of dollars in the long run.

If you’d rather have a certified Mazda mechanic work on the vehicle for you, then you can schedule your service today!

Podcast: Nathan White Service Manager

Thursday, September 20th, 2018


Matt 00:01
Hello, friends and family and all the listeners out there. First off, I am your host, Matt. And I do want to say thank you very much for tuning in to another episode of the Puente Hills Mazda Podcast. This month, I am going to be interviewing the service manager here at Puente Hills Mazda. But first, I wanted to just invite all of you to kind of engage with us a little bit. What I want to know is if there’s any questions that you guys have about anything here at Puente Hills Mazda. I do want to advise you to just let those questions or comments– just let them be known. So if you hop onto the Puente Hills Mazda website – that’s phmazda.com – you’ll be able to find tons of ways to get in contact with us. There’s a live chat that you can actually have with a human being on the other end. And they more than likely are working with the internet sales team, so they’ll have plenty of information for you about any of the vehicles that you might be interested in. But I also want you to be aware that there is a service tab at the very top of the page. So what you would do is you would just hover over service, and you can start to see all the different options that pop up. You’ll be able to schedule an appointment. You’ll be able to see some of the coupons that we have available to you when it comes to the Mazda Car Care. You can even order parts online. You can look at the tire store. Even if you were just looking at some accessories that you wanted to shop for, it’s all available to you right there on the website. Again, that’s phmazda.com.
Matt 01:35
You will have access, again, to ask any questions that you might have in regards to service as well. So if you do have those questions, understand that they are being heard by the team over here at Puente Hills Mazda. Chances are, those questions will come back to me, and we’ll be able to cover those things on a future episode of the PH Mazda Podcast. So that’s an open invite. Again, I am going to be talking in this episode, coming up very shortly, with the service manager. So you might not hear– if I don’t cover any of the questions that you are interested in getting answers to in this episode, rest assured that we can go ahead and answer them in a future episode. You can also contact them. They are on social media: Twitter, Facebook. Even if you want to say something on their Instagram page, you can do that as well. They’re very good at answering anything online as well. So without further ado, please welcome my guest, the service manager at PH Mazda. Enjoy.
Manny 02:47
Welcome, everybody. We are here at Puente Hills Mazda. I am here with Nathan White, and he is the service manager here at Puente Hills Mazda. How are you doing, Nathan?
Nathan 02:56
Good. How are you doing?
Manny 02:57
Doing very good. Doing very good. So tell us about yourself, Nathan. What got you started in the car industry?
Nathan 03:02
Well, I started in the industry as a service advisor about 30 years ago. Worked in the service departments for approximately 5 years and then moved into the parts department. Worked as a parts counter person. Moved up to a parts managing position. Got back into the service side of the business, and here we are, the service manager at Puente Hills Mazda.
Manny 03:20
Wow. What an interesting story, Nathan. That’s super awesome. Tell us a little bit about your service department. What’s so special here?
Nathan 03:27
Well, service department, right now we have three service advisors. I have nine certified Mazda technicians, one of which is a senior master tech. And we also have four master techs under that one. And also, too, probably, I would guess, a well over a hundred years of Mazda experience out there in the shop.
Manny 03:45
Wow. So you guys have a lot of experience here. You guys know– very knowledgeable with all your vehicles. That’s super great to know. How long does it take for a technician to move up master?
Nathan 03:54
Usually, a technician will come in and start out as a loop technician. And depending on how hungry he is, he can move up within six months.
Manny 04:02
Awesome. Wow. So people can really level up here. That’s awesome. So, Nathan, tell us. Why should Mazda customers come and bring their cars to get serviced here, at Puente Hills Mazda?
Nathan 04:12
Well, like I stated before, our technicians are all Mazda certified. We have state of the art Mazda diagnostic tools, over 100 years of experience working on Mazdas. And that’s what we do. We work on Mazdas.
Manny 04:25
Oh, wow. Awesome. Is there anything that a Mazda customer might learn by getting their car serviced here, at Puente Hills Mazda?
Nathan 04:32
Well, there is a general thought out there that going to an independent shop is going to be less expensive than it is coming to the dealership. And that simply is not the case. Our costs compete with the independent shops on all levels.
Manny 04:47
Awesome. That’s good to know. Hopefully, all customers will keep that in mind. What kind of advice would you give to all customers, to anybody about maintaining their car?
Nathan 05:02
Well, service your car with the factory-recommended schedules. Depends on your type of vehicle. It could be 3,500 miles to 7,000 miles, but get your maintenance done on the vehicle. One of the major things we see is a lack of maintenance on cars, which will definitely affect your driving performance. You bring it in here, and you get it maintenanced on a regular basis. We want to make sure that you’re safe on the road, your brakes are good, your tires are good, you’re changing your oil and filters when needed. And we want to keep your Mazda running as well as it did the day you bought it.
Manny 05:38
Well, that’s great. Thank you so much for your time, Nathan. And hope everybody have a great day.
Nathan 05:44
All right. Thank you.

Mazda Miata: Check Engine Light On?

Saturday, September 15th, 2018
Mazda Miata check engine light on

You are driving that beloved Mazda Miata and all of a sudden you notice the check engine light is on. Your heart starts beating fast, and panic hits. You ask yourself why you haven’t noticed it before? Then run scenarios of all the possible things that can go wrong with your car. So, maybe you’re not as dramatic as I am but nothing brings down a car owner’s day like the appearance of the check engine light. Like car insurance and payments, the check engine light is not something you should stall on. Most people will immediately and make an appointment with an auto shop to avoid further damage. However, before you make that appointment, here are some stuff you can check, and possibly fix yourself.

1. Check The Gas Cap

It’s hard to believe that a gas cap can trigger a check engine light since it is far from – and doesn’t touch- the engine. However, driving around with a faulty gas cap can cause fuel vapor to leak and throw off the whole system. If you notice the check engine light appearing near the time of fueling, then you want to check your gas cap. Pull over in a safe place to see if there are any cracks in it. If there aren’t any cracks, try tightening the cap. You’ll be required to drive about twenty to fifty miles or so before the light turns off if this is, in fact, the cause.

2. Replace Spark Plugs and Wire

The spark plug is the electrical gadget that generates a high voltage needed to spark the fuel and creates combustion within your engine so your car can start running. The plug “sparks,” ignites and a small explosion takes place within the spark channel. The process happens thousands of times per minute. The process is; fuel and air mix in the throttle body, then the mixture is injected into the cylinder, the spark plug receives charge from the coil, the spark plug ignites air-fuel mixture, and then the process starts again.

Fortunately, replacing spark plugs is one of the easiest and cheapest auto repairs. Spark plugs replacement is listed to be one of the easiest DIY car projects. Purchasing all four spark plugs can be as cheap as $30 and will take less than a few hours. Go on YouTube and find tutorials that are specific to your vehicle. If you opt out of doing it yourself, it can cost you anywhere from $200 and higher.

3. Replace Oxygen Sensor

Replacing the oxygen sensor monitors the unburn oxygen from the exhaust. It helps monitor how much fuel is burning. Over time, the sensor can get covered with oil ash and reduces the ability to monitor correctly. A broken or faulty sensor provides incorrect data to the computer and significantly decrease gas mileage.

An oxygen sensor is easy to change on most cars. It usually involves unplugging the old one and plugging in the new one. Be sure to read the instruction manual on your vehicle. Alternatively, if you learn better with instructional videos, then again, go to YouTube. You can find plenty of tutorials specific to your car.

4. Replace the Mass Airflow Sensor

The mass airflow sensor tells the car’s computer to add the proper amount of fuel based on the air coming through to the engine. A faulty one can increase emissions, cause the car to stall, and decrease gas mileage. A malfunctioning mass airflow sensor is a consequence of not changing your air filter. So be sure to check and replace your air filter as needed.

5. Replace Catalytic Converter

A catalytic converter device is in the exhaust system of a motor vehicle. It contains a catalyst for converting pollutant gases into less harmful ones. A faulty catalytic converter is the third most common triggers of a check engine light. Unfortunately, it is not easy to replace yourself, unless you are familiar with fixing cars. The cost of parts and labor can be between $300-$3000. Most catalytic converter problems do not prevent your car from functioning, but if a catalytic converter is completely plugged in, you should not drive your car at all. A car with a damaged converter won’t pass a smog check. If you live in an area that requires a smog check, you can’t legally drive the car.

Many auto parts store can assist with diagnosing the trigger. They can tell you what error is causing the check engine light to appear. A computer system, plugged into your car, produces a code indicating what caused the trigger. Then you can determine how you want to move forward. I strongly encourage all car owners to fix any car issues ASAP. You can avoid further, and more expensive, damage. Driving with car issue, especially unknown car issues, can be dangerous for you and other people on the road.

What Engine Options are there for the 2018 Mazda6?

Friday, September 14th, 2018
2018 Mazda6 red parked outside in the city

It’s always important to have options no matter what you’re doing. No one likes being stuck to just one thing especially when it comes to car shopping. Different models, companies, trim levels, there are a lot of options, but some options are more important than others. Engines come in all shapes and sizes, but not all of them are created equally.

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How Far Can You Go in a 2018 Mazda CX-5?

Friday, September 14th, 2018
2018 Mazda CX-5 red parked outside glass doorway

It may seem like it with Winter coming right around the corner, but in beautiful California, there’s still plenty of time left for an adventure. One or two more trips into the great unknown or maybe just a regular camping trip out to the wilderness, either way, you’re going to need a vehicle that can get you where you need to go. 

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How Often Should You Bring in a Mazda for Maintenance?

Friday, September 14th, 2018

Taking care of your car can seem like a daunting task, there’s so much to do and check just to keep it healthy. Oil changes and tire rotations are some of the more obvious things you can do, but with so many moving parts and fluids to check is there more? 

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When Will the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Be Released?

Thursday, September 13th, 2018
2019 Mazda MX-5 driving past the ocean

The anticipation always builds as it gets closer and closer to the release date for a new vehicle. That anticipation is doubled when it comes to luxury cars like Mazda. What’s new? What’s changed? Those questions and so many others surround the release of any new car. 

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How Much Can the Mazda CX-9 Carry and Tow?

Thursday, September 13th, 2018
2019 Mazda CX-9 gray driving down autumn road

Sometimes you need something with just a little bit more space and a regular sedan won’t do. That’s usually when you upgrade to an SUV something with a bit more power and space. Whether it’s tailgating or heading out for a weekend camping trip you need that combo to make sure you’re getting the most out of it. 

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