3.7L engine failure-looking for owners who lost engines - Mazda 6 Forums : Mazda 6 Forum / Mazda Atenza Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-10-2018, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
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3.7L engine failure-looking for owners who lost engines

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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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-10-2018, 04:23 AM
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How can I politely say you're wasting your time?

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

Best of luck
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-10-2018, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by idrive View Post
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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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-10-2018, 05:24 PM
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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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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-10-2018, 08:27 PM
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I can't add anything to what's already been said. You're tilting at windmills. Mechanical things break. That's just the way it is.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-10-2018, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b1lk1 View Post
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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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-10-2018, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LM97027 View Post
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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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-11-2018, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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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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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-11-2018, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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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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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-11-2018, 12:47 PM
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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.

Last edited by tickerguy; 09-11-2018 at 12:49 PM.
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