I gave my son a second-hand Mazda Navajo for his high school graduation gift since it is a great beginner SUV. However, my son reported that lately he hears a growling noise when he turns the wheel. What is the cause of this problem?
The most common cause of this problem is a contaminated power steering fluid. The fluid is in good condition if it's clear with a reddish-brown hue. If you observe that the fluid is darker than it's supposed to be, then it has been contaminated with bits of chrome and rubber coming from the connecting hoses or seals. The contaminated fluid may cause damage and/or undue stress to the power steering pump, causing the growling noise. Foaming or bubbling is also a sign that oxygen has entered the reservoir, therefore check the power steering pump for holes that cause leaking. If you determine that the pump is indeed damaged, then a replacement would be in order. Also, you would need to bleed the fluid and replenish it with a fresh supply. Checking the quality of the fluid often will add more years to the life of your power steering system.
I find that the Mazda Navajo burns a lot of gas. How do I improve its fuel economy?
There are many ways on how to improve your vehicle's mileage. One of the most basic tips is to improve your driving habits. Strive to drive at steady acceleration and avoid harsh braking. Also, ensure that your tires are properly inflated. When it comes to tires, selecting low-resistance compound tires can do the trick. These tires are known to increase fuel economy up to a few percent. If you can consider replacing the tire set completely, then choose the narrowest tires possible. Having narrow tires reduce aerodynamic drag since they have less frontal area. However, be particular in choosing ones that are compatible with the Navajo. Another way to increase your Navajo's mileage is to put on some synthetic oil additive. Mixing a little bit of this additive to the present fuel supply can increase fuel mileage by up to 15%.
The A/C of my Mazda Navajo keeps on running hot and cold, literally. It also slightly emits a foul, old smell. How do I get the AC system running as good as new?
Erratic A/C temperatures are typically caused by leaking coolant fluid. Determine if there is damage to hoses and seals which may be the source of leaking. If there is noise present, then something might be wrong with the compressor. The compressor might already be damaged or not properly lubricated. This will cause the A/C temperatures to fluctuate. The thermostat and electrical wiring should be checked as well. Sometimes, the air conditioning system's mechanical parts are intact but refuses to work as it should due to a fault in electrical wiring. Have this checked by a technician. Regarding the smell, then it's likely due to microbe buildup somewhere in the air vents. This can be solved by cleaning the air vents with an antiseptic spray such as Lysol.
Mazda Navajo: Ford Explorer’s Short-lived Twin
Considered as Mazda’s first-ever SUV offered for the US market, the Mazda Navajo was actually a rebadged version of the Ford Explorer. It was on production from 1991 to 1994 and was manufactured at Ford’s Louisville Assembly Plant. Despite its short production years, the Mazda Navajo was moderately successful and earned a loyal following among Ford and Mazda fans. As a matter of fact, the Navajo earned the Truck of the Year award in 1991 from Motor Trend magazine.
1991: The Navajo enters the US market
Introduced in 1991, the Navajo was sold only as a two-door, four-wheel drive vehicle. To differentiate it from its Ford twin, the Navajo was equipped with different wheels, taillights, and a differently designed grille. As for the interior, the Navajo looked just like the Explorer except for new seat fabric and a redesigned steering wheel hub. Buyers were able to choose between two trims: base and LX. The base was equipped with standard equipment such as power mirrors, power locks, and power windows. As for the LX, it featured a steering wheel covered in lush leather and additional illumination for the interior. A premium package was also offered, which included cruise control, an easy-to-remove moon roof, a stereo system with cassette deck, and an adjustable power lumbar support for the driver’s seat.
1992: Introducing a 2WD version
For buyers looking for a reliable off-road vehicle, Mazda released a 2WD of the Navajo in 1992. This version featured more cargo space, a sportier look, and higher seats. All base models were also renamed as DX units in accordance to the new naming scheme implemented by Mazda.
1993: Safety and engine upgrades
In 1993, the Navajo, as well as the Explorer, was equipped with four-wheel anti-lock brakes to improve passenger safety. Its V6 engine was also upgraded to provide more power, and it was equipped with an optional CD player.
1994: Cosmetic upgrade
In the following year, the only change done on the Navajo was the addition of five-spoke alloy wheels. In 1995, the Mazda Navajo was discontinued to make way for the Mazda Tribute, a five-door SUV that was basically a twin of the Ford Escape. Another reason for its discontinuation was the immediate success of and increasing demand for the Ford Explorer, forcing Ford to focus more on its more successful SUV.
Throughout its short production years, the Mazda Navajo experienced only minor upgrades. This was due to the fact that this model was a well-designed, durable, and tightly built vehicle. Because it had no major mechanical flaws from the beginning, designers and engineers didn’t bother with major upgrades. Today, the Mazda Navajo continues to be a considerably popular option among buyers looking for a reliable SUV that’s easy to maintain and drive. Because this model continues to attract second-hand buyers, parts are still widely available and are quite affordable.