BK Mazdaspeed3 Is Great Except for One Horrible Problem

If you want a cheap car that’s a lot of fun, the Mazdaspeed3 is one of the best choices you can make. However, it’s not without peril. Mazda did a fantastic job with its four-door hatchback but unfortunately overlooked one potentially fatal flaw. If you can catch it early enough, the car will last without too much fuss for years to come. It might sound like an expensive fix at first, but ask yourself how much peace of mind is worth to you. The first-generation Mazdaspeed3 is almost a perfect car. Unfortunately, it has a horrific secret.

First, a brief rundown of what the Mazdaspeed 3 has to offer

2011 Mazdaspeed3 parked on a hill
2011 Mazdaspeed3 | Mazda

The Mazdaspeed3 from 2007-2013 was a four-door hatchback, which sat on 18-inch wheels and 3,180-pounds curb weight. Under the hood sat an all-aluminum 2.3-liter inline-four, with a 15-psi turbocharger, churning out 263 horsepower. Stabbing the throttle with comfortable and calculated throws into each gear gets you and the car to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. Not bad for a front-wheel-drive car, and one of the fastest ever made by Mazda. 

It’s big on the inside, small enough to park, and has decent comfort. Visibility is lacking thanks to the body style of the hatchback, and thankfully it’s a small price to pay. Otherwise, the car is agile, skipping around vehicles on the freeway like a super sportbike, and has brakes that immediately build pressure. All of that sounds like the perfect recipe for fun. Unfortunately, the Mazdaspeed3 suffers from something sinister under the hood, in the shape, of a killer high-pressure fuel pump.

The Mazdaspeed3 has an inferior pump that must be fixed

Direct-injected engines use something called a high-pressure fuel pump, which typically operates up to 30,000 psi. Arguably the biggest problem facing the Mazdaspeed3 is its high-pressure fuel pump. Owners report on dyno charts that the HPFP fails at a specific fuel flow rate, thus can make the engine run lean and can cause detrimental effects on engine internals. Allowing an engine to run lean can cause it to seize. 

Increasing the fuel rate above 1750 psi can cause the pressure relief valve to fail and eventually lead to a complete loss of fuel pressure. The fundamental problem is the stock high-pressure fuel pump simply doesn’t supply enough fuel for wide-open throttle applications. Granted, this has a much higher chance of happening on a modified car. However, even on a stock tune, the high-pressure fuel pump is something Mazdaspeed3 owners should address as soon as possible. Luckily there is a solution.

You can upgrade your Mazdaspeed3 high-pressure fuel pump

2007 Mazdaspeed3 parked in the snow in Tulsa
2007 Mazdaspeed3 | Getty Images

If you just bought a used Mazdaspeed3 and suspect it doesn’t already have an upgraded fuel pump, Autotech provides the parts needed to upgrade your high-pressure fuel pump. Not only will this help protect your engine’s internal parts, but it will also allow you to run more aggressive tunes and make more power. The Mazdaspeed3 has other issues, but the high-pressure fuel pump issue must be addressed quickly before your engine seizes.

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