A light freshening for 2012 includes powertrain tweaks to improve the Mazda3's fuel economy to an impressive 32-mpg overall. This vaulted its road test score to near the top of our small car rankings for the model year. Further, Mazda's SkyActiv 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine delivers smooth and ample performance. An available 2.5-liter four cylinder provides more power, but is less frugal with fuel.
Alerts
There is 1 recall on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2012 Mazda 3 has been recalled 1 time by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years * Redesign year
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Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 329,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2020 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2012 Mazda 3 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"tire pressure sensing nice idea but between ice cold etc. they just don't seem too reliable and seeing yellow tire light makes you worry"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Drivers side window seal misshapen and allows wind noise to enter cabin"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Rattle fixed by replacing rear window seal"

W H., CT (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Needed to replace driver window seal/trim"

James M., GA (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"SeAl on sunroof"

Anonymous, NS (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaks or rattles

"The steering column squeaks sometimes when driving. It is not overly annoying though but for such a new car, I would have thought I wouldn't have such noises until much later"

David K., MD (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"When the temperature is about 40 degrees a constant rattle comes from the speedometer panel. A whack to the top normally stops the noise for a time"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Squeak from rear window area most evident in cold weather"

Anonymous, NH (2012 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Rear window rattle fixed by replacing seal. Driver side window rattling-not yet fixed"

W H., CT (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Extremely annoying squeaking sound when the car went over bumps. Took to one dealership, which did extensive testing but was unable to solve it. Second dealership resealed rear window, which solved the problem"

Christian P., NY (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Rattles and squeaks at highway speed"

James M., GA (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The rear window parcel shelf made a very loud and persistent squeeking noise when the car was in motion and the temperature was below ) deg C. At the second visit to fix this issue, the dealership came across a TSB, and repaired it successfully"

George Z., ON (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"brakes squeak when backing up. No problem with brakes, and it's intermittent and usually in the morning only. but loud"

Anonymous, HI (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"squeak coming from rear window in cold weather"

Anonymous, TN (2012 Mazda 3)

"Groaning/binding noise from front-left wheel well, especially in cold weather & when setting off following being parked for an extended period. The noise would completely disappear after a few feet of movement. Unsure of root cause; I took it to a licensed mechanic but they were not able to recreate the problem."

Anonymous, (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Rattles from eight wheel or brakes. Mechanic could not find anything wrong."

Anonymous, MA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Annoying squeak from rear window due to manufacturer defect"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The drivers seat squeaks a lot, even when I'm just breathing. Neither my local mechanic nor the Mazda dealer can isolate the problem. It is very annoying."

Anonymous, MD (2012 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Rear window had to be replaced. Seal issue causing sqeaking noise"

Steve P., FL (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Under carriage squeaks when I back up."

Eloise H., MO (2012 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"In temperatures below freezing, I regularly heard in the roof a noise like mice scurrying around. The second time I reported this problem, the mechanic determined that the noise fell under a notification from the manufacturer, TSB 09-14-28 of a noise coming from positioning pins located under the headline which need to be cut and the metal around them bent. This repair would have been done under warrnaty if the need for it had shown up when I bought the car from the dealer, but by then the car w"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The vehicle has begun to have noise issues in the rear of the vehicle. I guess this is to be expected with a 5-6 year old vehicle"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Squeak in the rear"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Sounds like knocking in rear. Seems like brakes even though new rear brake were bought"

Davey M., CA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"when I backup sometimes there is a squeaking sound"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Wind noise

"after having the car for a few months we noticed air noise coming from the top of the ceiling behind the moon roof around the light attached to the ceiling. We had already installed a wind foil? in front of the moon roof (outside) I do it on all my c"

Steven R., PA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring)

"Lots of road noise, I tried sealing the gasket around the door better because it almost sounds like a leak, but it still did not fix it"

Calais P., NH (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The car is noisy, lots of driving noise not sure if it's the materials used to lessen the noise or the tires designed for the car. But it is fairly loud when driving. When stopped at a light it is silent so the noise isn't engine noise. The engine purrs quietly."

Anonymous, PA (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"It appears that air is leaking around the door seals. It is distracting."

William D., TX (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"mazda 3 is fun to drive but the wind noise is loud"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Mazda 3)

"The car was always noisy but with age the wind noise has become oppressive. Really can't hear the radio well."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Wind noise from driver window."

Eloise H., MO (2012 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"This vehicle has always had a small amount of air noise. I don't consider this vehicle to be "well built" by any means. I will not be purchasing a Mazda in the future"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"It appears the seals around the doors leak air and cause the noise"

William D., TX (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"When it is windy, which is alot where I live, you can really hear the wind in this car. Not very well constructed in that respect"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Winter ice and snow loosened up some trim on front of car"

David S., MN (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Rough roads has caused the front bumper moldings to separate from body"

Rick G., CA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Rust on rear window channels"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Mazda 3 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Panel that covers oil pan came loose and was destroyed by dragging on pavement."

Anonymous, MN (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"loose right front bumper; needed to be secured again by mechanic"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The outside molding at the bottom of the driver's side window has come loose."

Anonymous, VA (2012 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Right side moulding popped off by itself after first year"

Anonymous, RI (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Loose interior trim or moldings

"Cheap materials don't stand up to my preschoolers"

Anonymous, NH (2012 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Soft touch plastic trim around the radio center console started to come loose"

George Z., ON (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Rear window trim began to squeak and Mazda says I new clips and is not under warranty. Since they don't sell just the clips, I would have to buy a whole new trim piece"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring)

"Dash lifted and had to be replaced. Car past warranty by one month but Mazda replaced under warranty after I complained to Mazda US. Was told dash lifted due Florida heat"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Dash pad has come loose. Under Reacll"

Robert R., FL (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Dash is seperating from console. This is a covered under a recall from Mazda."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"driver's side window would not operate- $300 to fix. Black. dash separated from control panels-fixed for free by dealer"

Elizabeth M., NM (2012 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Excessive paint chipping, more so than any car I have ever owned"

Thomas B., NY (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Paint seems to chip off a little to easily from road driving and from small bumps/scratches"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"lots of paint chips from rocks, car chips easily"

Anonymous, BC (2012 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The paint sealant on the rear above the hatch is blistering and looks bad."

Anonymous, FL (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Paint is faded by the moon roof, and on the back of the car. Plastic coating is peeling."

James O., FL (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Rust

"rust on the window trim"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Corrosion on the rims resulted in 3 times going flat at the same time. All corroded in the same place on the rim which make me think it is a manufacturing issue."

Noel A., ON (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Over the winter started to get bubbling of the paint in spots on my roof that are showing sign of rust now"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

12V power plug

"fuse failed after 12mos. and 24mos"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Alarm or security system (excluding aftermarket systems)

"A faulty sensor made the alarm trigger occasionally. Replaced the sensor. All good now."

Anonymous, ON (2012 Mazda 3 Sport Unsure)
Clock

"The center dash area randomly dims or goes off, then comes back on every once in awhile (once a month)"

Calais P., NH (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Cruise control

"Cruise control no longer functional"

Daniel B., CO (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The cruise control intermittently does not work in cold weather. Once the car heats up, it begins working again"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Headlights

"Headlights dimmed and blinked when decelerating, creating visual disturbance and difficulty seeing. Problem was fixed through a software upgrade per a TSB: NHTSA reference# 10053740 and TSB number SB-01-019-13"

G S., TN (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"steering assisted headlights failed. The mechanical motor and mounting mechanism needed to be replaced. It was very expensive and a lot of labor involved, Who would have ever guessed that they would have to remove the front bumper from the vehicle i"

Greg B., NJ (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring)

"Lights flickered on braking due to a software problem. It was fixed under warranty"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Computer needed an update"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The headlights/exterior lights and gauges would dim under braking. It was covered under a Mazda Recall and fixed at no charge"

Matthew B., VA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The headlights would flicker when the brakes were applied."

Anonymous, MA (2012 Mazda 3 Unsure Unsure)

"The headlights on my the car began flickering when I would brake and decelerate, and this continued until I brought it to the dealer several months later. Although this was a known issue to Mazda, and some dealers in other states fixed this issue without charge, the dealer I went to in Denver, CO charged me close to $100 just to do a software update to fix the problem. So, a major auto manufacturer charges its customers to fix a safety issue that is caused by a manufacturing defect."

Anonymous, CO (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Headlights would dim when applying brakes"

Wayne L., GA (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Heated or cooled seats

"Bottom seat heater/control unit failed on both driver and passenger sides. Driver failed around 25000 miles and passenger failed around 35000 miles"

Spencer S., OK (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The driver seat, seat does not heat but the seat back does. The seat back stays on high of the time unless it is turned off"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Interior lights

"Interior lighting stayed on when rear passenger door open/close sensor malfunctioned indicating a false open door. I had to turn it off manually"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Keyless entry

"The key fob goes thru' batteries quickly."

Anonymous, ON (2012 Mazda 3 Sport Unsure)

"The locks do not reliably work any longer, and this began around 2016. With patience and fiddling, I have always been able to gain entry. The "keyless entry" is pressing a button on the keyfob for my car. Occasionally it fails for unlocking or locking. I have had to unlock the driver's door with by inserting the key into the door on occasion. I always check the doors are locked after leaving the car to see if they lock. With fiddling, using either the fob or mostly multiple tries with the manual button in the driver's door, I succeed. The first sign of the continuing problem was the hatch not opening. Sometimes I have to start the car before the hatch will unlock. The dealer has failed to address this complaint successfully. In late 2018, the driver's seat belt locking mechanism suddenly quit working and I had to rush to fix this. The entire belt was replaced promptly."

Anonymous, FL (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The remote key fob intermittently fails to unlock the back hatch door, making it impossible to get into the trunk. Sometimes it works find, and sometimes it won't work at all. The service center was unable to replicate the problem, but I'm getting the lock button replaced to see if that will fix it."

Anonymous, DC (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Warning lights

"Rear passenger door open/close sensor malfunctioned inside the door lighting dome light and door open indicator on dashboard even when the door was closed"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"rodents made a nest in the cabin air filter compartment and chewed up wires and caused several warning lights to go on"

Anonymous, KY (2012 Mazda 3 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Wiper motor or washer

"Washer motor burned out. Had replaced"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

CD player

"When playing a CD the right speaker started to make a lot of static noise. A dealership mechanic said that the whole media unit has to be replaced to fix that"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen difficult to see

"screen faded out"

Anonymous, ME (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"Entertainment System Replaced"

Anonymous, NM (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"It worked one day and the next day it did not. Have followed suggestions in manual, but it still doesn't work. Have gone back to using a plug in gps unit i owned before buying the car"

Peggy N., NJ (2012 Mazda 3 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"As designed this system was badly designed and outdated at the time the car was made. It is cumbersome to use and unreliable. The dealer was unable to help to fix or adjust the device"

Mark M., CO (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"this thing never worked. The dealer tried everything it could Mazda CA did nothing. Dealer said they could do nothing. it never worked and still doesn't. dealer told us lots of trouble with this year"

Anonymous, AB (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"For a while, the thing was worthless, if not dangerous. Ex. It would tell me to turn left when I was on a interstate, or turn right when I was 1/2 way across a bridge! There were no exits on either sides. I was so unsure of it that I bought a sta"

Louis B., WI (2012 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Very difficult to get Samsung Smart phone to hook on to the4 Bluetooth"

R D., ON (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"New iPhone 6 would not pair - had to take the car and the phone into the Mazda dealership - they were able to fix it, but i don't know if it was an apple problem or a Mazda problem"

Anonymous, WA (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring)

"the phone will pair with the vehicle but calls/apps no longer play through the vehicle's sound system"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Mazda 3)

"It was extremely difficult to pair a new phone. The new phone (major brand and model) doesn't work on the Bluetooth system as well as my last (minor brand and model) phone, and the system fairly regularly makes me go into setup to connect the phone and/or my Apple iTouch which I use to play music on the vehicle's sound system."

Anonymous, CO (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The phone pairing has to be re-initiated frequently and does not consistently work."

Anonymous, NC (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Car doesn't consistently pick up incoming calls on blue tooth"

Kenneth B., GA (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Radio

""Aux" input to radio has stopped working"

John C., NY (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"In November of 2014, the unit quit playing. CD,RADIO bluetooth"

Gregory M., TX (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Had the radio replaced 3 times when it was obviously a connection problem. When the local dealership was going to have to pay for the repair, they actually fixed it in one hour. They blamed me when I was the one who paid an outside stereo person who told me how to fix it!"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Mazda 3)

"Radio suddenly became intermittent. Does not always turn on. Loses track of pre-programmed stations. Wide variation of volume from station to station/"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Entertainment System had to be replaced"

Anonymous, NM (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The entire radio/cd/bluetooth Bose head unit just completely stopped working in the spring of 2016. Dealer told us the head unit possibly the amp was damaged and would require a $600 replacement unit. We procrastinated on getting the repair done and in a strange twist of fate, the car battery died and required replacement. Once the battery was reconnected and the radio/gps navigation unit reset itself, everything worked again! For the year it didn't work, it was a serious defect and reduced our"

Angie B., TN (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Speakers

"Speaker has become loose and rattles"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"intermitent speaker output"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Calipers

"I felt like Car X engineered the leaking caliper issue with a mallet/hammer blow to the part because of how it was presented to me and because of how it looked. But given it was the brakes I felt like I had no choice but to replace the part."

Richard M., WI (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"6 year old car with less than 100,000km when the fluid leaked out of the rear left caliper entailing a costly repair."

George Z., ON (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Master cylinder

"The Master Cylinder leaked into Brake Booster thereby contaminating the Booster. It took Mazda dealer approximately 5-weeks to get the Brake Booster. Both the Master Cylinder and then the Brake Booster were then replaced."

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Normal routine brake wear

"The car was in for a service and we were advised that the brake pads needed to be replaced."

Anonymous, ON (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"none"

Anonymous, NC (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"bought all parts necessary to perform brake job, but unable to remove old brakes. bought tools needed to remove brakes in none-garage setting, still unable to get old brakes off. will now have to pay at dealership to get this done"

Anonymous, CT (2012 Mazda 3)
Premature brake wear

"Brakes have worn faster than the previous model of the Mazda 3"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"For some reason, if the vehicle is not driven for a couple of days, rust forms on the brake disc very quickly (particularly noticeable after a day or two of rain). When the car is driven again, you can hear the brakes grind as they wear off the rust. The result is that brakes have to be serviced more often than on other vehicles that I've owned. (This was also an issue with a 2006 Mazda 3 that I owned several years back)."

Anonymous, NS (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Over the years I have owned this Mazda I have complained several times about brake noises and have also had the brakes replaced twice."

Anonymous, NY (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Rear brake pads appear on both sides appear to have rusted to caliper housing preventing them from moving as designed... this caused un even brake wear and rotor damage"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Squeaking rear brakes. Was told the front need to be replaced though the noise came from rear. Replaced the front. Was told the rear need to be replaced soon. That was at less than 60000"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Pulsation or vibration

"Mazda said it was the tires, but they were not even a year old. They said brakes were fine as they were still under warranty--now they are not. The car are great--the service is not nearly as good as it was hen I bought my first one in 2009."

Anonymous, KS (2012 Mazda 3)
Rotors

"worn out"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Shimming when braking at speeds greater than 45mph"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Brakes started to make a grinding noise. Had to have pads and rotors replaced."

Anonymous, MD (2012 Mazda 3)

"rotors hand to be sanded"

Adam D., NM (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaking

"Backing up while engaging bracks causes extreme noise"

Rick G., CA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"rear rotors / calipers are squeeking when backing up"

J S., NC (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"If it rains and the car has been sitting 12 hours or more, the brakes squeal and squeak when applied. Lasts for 3-6 applications before it stops"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Only a couple weeks into the brake replacement, they began to squeak"

Charles K., CA (2012 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"replaced break pads and rotors on front wheels.(non factory but highest quality)Squeeled for 2 months returned to shop twice"

Anonymous, ME (2012 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Alignment

"the wheels had been knocked out of alignment"

John W., AL (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Out of alignment after 1 year, uneven tire wear. This is the same problem that I had with my 1998 Mazda Prot?, looks like the company has a problem in this area"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Shocks or struts

"We were told it already needs strut towers"

Alejandro G., CA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"All four corners must have shocks/struts replaced. Unexpected on such a new car"

Anonymous, MO (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Driver side shock make squeaky noise when the car was started cool and passed a bump"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Rear shocks needed to be replaced"

Andrew W., NC (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"It's actually my engine mounts. Front mount literally snapped in heavy (the synthetic rubber material broke). My side mounts need to be replaced as well."

Anonymous, MI (2012 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Shock Bracket broken off"

Anonymous, (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"I had to replace my rear struts because they were causing uneven wear, not functioning properly."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Mazda 3)

"Shocks and struts required replacement on vehicle well under 100,000. This is unacceptable and not normal"

Thomas K., VA (2012 Mazda 3)

"I live on a gravel driveway and after driving too fast on it for too long - despite its pot holes .... I pad the price and needed a new strut"

Kevin C., MN (2012 Mazda 3)

"Right front strut had oil seal leakage. I had both struts replaced at dealership"

Mark E., BC (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Tire wear is uneven

"Irregular tire wear resulted from need to replace vehicle suspension well under 100,000. This is highly irregular and Mazda's quality is questionable"

Thomas K., VA (2012 Mazda 3)
Wheel balance

"Driver Side Front tire wore out faster than the other tires. Mazda repair shop could not find out why"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Wheel bearings

"wheel bearing noise. Factory Rep advised Dealer to replace entire knuckle assembly with the bearing"

William P., CA (2012 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Locks and latches

"Locks would activate and deactivate sometimes after a stop and sometimes while driving. Also interior lights would flash on/off. Hatchback door would unlock intermittently with key fob and now won't open at all unless I use the emergency latch in door access panel."

Anonymous, FL (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"inside door latch (opener).is controlled by a cable ,frayed and broke ---not heavy duty"

William P., CA (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"hood latch broke resulting in inability to open engine hood"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The cable connecting the inside door handle to the latch broke. The cable separated from the lead end piece. After discussing with Mazda USA they offered to pay 50% of the repair cost even though the car was out of warranty due to time (but not mileage). Kudos to Mazda!"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Rear lock/latch does not work below 20 degrees"

Ben K., MA (2012 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Seat belts

"Drivers side seat belt doesn't fully retract. Have had it in twice to be fixed. Still is a problem. More an annoyance than anything"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Mazda 3 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Seat belt will not retract"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"Tailgate lift cylinder fixed after recall"

Anonymous, BC (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Gas struts for hatchback on recall"

Anonymous, BC (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Screws to the spoiler became loose. I had to manually tighten and apply loctite"

Anonymous, RI (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Windows

"Rear window had to be removed and reinstalled to repair a noise the window was making in cold weather"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Gear selector or linkage

"Sometimes the car jumps out of 4th gear while driving. Can put the car back in 4th gear while moving to keep going"

Anonymous, SC (2012 Mazda 3 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Slipping transmission

"Traction control would come on for no reason and car would just rev with no forward movement. Scary when it happened on I95! Took 6 weeks to get parts and get fixed"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"It pops out of second gear for no apparent reason"

Laura D., CA (2012 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Transmission computer

"Dealer said had a service bulletin from Mazda on the traction control issue. Not sure what they had to fix"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The transmission control module went bad at around 60,000 miles--it happened suddenly, no warning. The cost to fix it was $800 for the part and $500 for the installation."

Anonymous, (2012 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Software required reprogramming"

W W., GA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"After a transmission fluid change the system acted up causing a jerk during gear changes. Two software upgrades later and it is a bit better but still not resolved"

Kirk M., ON (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"When the car had about 30k miles, the AT fault and check engine lights turned on, and the transmission locked itself into second gear. Turning the car off and on restored normal function. The dealer checked the vehicle electrical grounding, and reflashed the transmission computer with a newer firmware, per a service bulletin"

William K., CA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission sensor or solenoid

"Transmission would not shift gears. Fixed under 60,000 drive-train warranty"

Anonymous, TN (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Warning light, Mechanical Noise"

Anonymous, (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"the ac stopped working"

Marsha L., PA (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Automatic climate control

"Takes forever to warm up or cool down"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring)
Blower (fan) motor

"the blower can not been turned on high because of load vibration and rattle would cost to much to fix we run the fan on low or med and live with it but inside just not built very well"

Anonymous, MN (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Blower motor needed replacement and because of difficulty in accessing it the labor cost was $1,000."

Anonymous, MN (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Evaporator

"stopped cooling; blowing only hot air; cost $700 to fix"

Teresa D., FL (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Heater system

"Heater does not warm the car well if the temperature is below freezing"

David K., MD (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Takes too long to heat up and can't control the amount of heat. Once it heats up it is too hot almost immediately"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring)
Refrigerant leaks

"Dealer found leak when I reported lack of A/C cooling. Received free rental while problem fixed in one day at no cost due to warranty"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Ac is expensive to repair"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Received code indicating emissions problem. I replaced the 2 EGR devices I could reach, but was not fixed until EGR device above the fuel tank was replaced by mechanic."

Anonymous, PA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The charcoal canister on top of the fuel tank failed which caused the odor of gas to permeate the passenger compartment for several days until the fuel level dropped. If, when refueling the car, if we kept the fuel level in the tank below 3/4 then the interior fuel odor would not occur."

Anonymous, NC (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel injection system

"Had to be completely replaced"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel pump

"It cracked"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"Mass Airflow Sensor failed. Car would not start"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The Mass Airflow Sensor malfunctioned and was replaced under the original emissions warranty."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The air fuel sensor didn't work. I had to have the car towed to the dealer and it was replaced. It works now with no problems"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Master airflow sensor failed and the car had to be towed to the dealer"

Bill E., ON (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Mass Air Flow Sensor had to be replaced. I had to tow the car in the service"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

"The clutch burnt out and was not covered"

Laurie L., ON (2012 Mazda 3 SV 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Mazda dealership replaced it without question - under warranty and furnished me with a rental"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Transmission noise was start. Took it in. Issue diagnosed. Only able to correct with used transmission. Parts not available, even from Mazda. They only had new transmission. Able to find used transmission. Replaced originally with used. So far so good."

Anonymous, (2012 Mazda 3 Touring Unsure)

"Heard a noise. Took it to a garage. Could not be repaired. Used transmission sourced and installed. Apparently this is a common problem with older Mazdas. Wish I'd known."

Anonymous, (2012 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"My Mazda 3 experienced sudden and complete transmission failure when I was driving it down the interstate, and the car completely lost power. I could have been killed trying to coast from the fast lane across 3 lanes of heavy traffic to the shoulder. Mazda hemmed and hawed about it but finally agreed to put in a refurbished transmission at no cost to me, because the car had 59,500 miles on it and the power train warranty went to 60,000 miles."

Anonymous, VA (2012 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"This vehicle is on its 3rd transmission, they've replaced it twice"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"High idle when clutch released in neutral"

Daniel B., CO (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Engine mounts

"Engine mount was squeaking, fount out it was damaged"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Oil leaks

"Small oil leak continues even after new deal installed by dealer"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring)

"I can see leak spots on my driveway, but can't identify where they com from"

Davey M., CA (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"engine experienced oil leaks the dealership did not fix which led to engine failure"

Katherine L., TX (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"Carbon build up, check engine light was on. Dealer had to clean the build up"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Mazda 3 Touring)
Pipes

"Rusted exhaust pipe required replacing entire exhaust system, including catalytic converted."

Anonymous, MA (2012 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Rplacens rusted pipe required replacing unit with catalytic converter."

Anonymous, MA (2012 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

"My engine had a catastrophic failure at approximately 105,000 miles. I was driving 70 mph and began to accelerate. Without warning the engine blew up. A piston rod failed in compression. After snapping, it cut the engine block into two pieces and destroyed the water pump, oil pump, oil pan, clutch and fly wheel, turbo and inter-cooler, injectors, etc. The internals of the engine were not built to support the added heat, pressure, and torque, caused by the addition of a large stock turbo."

Anonymous, OH (2012 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Engine seized up because of oil leaks"

Katherine L., TX (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Driveline vibration

"Driver's side front bearing needed replacement. $500 CAD."

Anonymous, ON (2012 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Driveshaft or axle

"Driveshaft needed replacing at ~50000 miles"

Anonymous, MN (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Alternator

"Replaced alternator"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"The battery will not stay charged. It repeatedly loses charge and the car can't be started!! This has been a problem since purchase. We replaced the battery but this made no difference"

Carol T., MI (2012 Mazda 3)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Compare 2012 Models

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This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
STRUCTURE:BODY:HATCHBACK/LIFTGATE
Sep 06 2016
If the lift gate falls unexpectedly, it may hit the user, increasing their risk of injury.
Summary:
Mazda North American Operations (Mazda) is recalling certain model year 2010-2013 Mazda3 and Mazdaspeed3 vehicles manufactured November 18, 2008, to June 8, 2013, 2012-2015 Mazda5 vehicles manufactured October 26, 2010, to June 22, 2015, 2016 CX-3 vehicles manufactured June 1, 2015, to December 26, 2015, and 2013-2016 CX-5 vehicles manufactured December 15, 2011, to December 26, 2015. On the affected vehicles, the lift gate support struts may corrode, possibly causing the struts to break and/or the lift gate to drop unexpectedly.
What should you do:
Mazda dealers will replace the both lift gate supports, free of charge, however parts are not currently available. The recall began April 2017. Owners may contact Mazda customer service at 1-800-222-5500. Mazda's number for this recall is 9916H.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 16V644000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 580455
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