The Mazda MX3 is one of the most modifiable cars in the world. When it came out, what people most took notice off was the fact that, by itself, it was already a pretty good car. It looked great for one-sleek and "futuristic" enough to be featured on I, Robot-and it was a very capable performer. Little the Mazda, or the world for that matter, know that it would become one of the most popular cars among racers and DIY-ers everywhere. Unsurprisingly enough, a solid platform like the Mazda MX3 has few problems under its hood-or anywhere else, for that matter. No car is perfect, however, and here are two that any MX3 owner might need to look out for.
This rather strange case occurred on a 1992 Mazda MX3 equipped with manual transmission at about 50,000 miles into its service life. It seems that on some MX3s, the application of the accelerator pedal caused the car to buck and jolt violently as if about to stall-this is most especially noticed at slower speeds. The only indicator of a problem is a displayed error on the part of the speed sensor. It never elevated into something more serious than an inconvenience or a nuisance, but it is a discomfiting thing to experience.
As this problem was limited to only a few MX3s, no recall orders were ever issued. The problem has been alternately pegged to failure with the transmission itself or, in fact, with the aforementioned speed sensor.
The trouble is specifically tied with the rear-end brake lights, and is a rare occurrence on the 1996 release of the Mazda MX3. Several customers complained that the rear brake lights were very poorly illuminated, making them extremely difficult to see, even at night. No major accidents or crashes have yet been reported with regard to this problem, but the potential for much trouble is there. Those who own and drive the 1996 MX3 are advised to check their brake lights early on as the reports indicate this manifests as early as 300 miles.
No recall orders issued because of this problem, and it is not as widespread as one might imagine. While it is advisable to have the electrical and lighting system checked by the dealer, it's a problem easily solved.