The Most Common Mazda3 Complaints Can Get Expensive to Repair

The newest 2020 Mazda3 is winning countless awards for being one of the best compact cars on the market today. Unfortunately, the older Mazda3 cars don’t fare as well when it comes to reviews. There are a lot of consumer complaints, with the 2010 model year getting the worst ranking. There is a common problem that also occurs in the 2011 model that is leaving vehicle owners frustrated with hefty repair bills.

Clutch failure

The 2010 and 2011 Mazda3 models have severe issues with clutch failure. It’s concerning that this is common in two model years in a row since Mazda didn’t correct an existing issue in the design process.

According to, owners are having to replace their clutch before the car hits the first 50,000 miles. Consumers report that mechanics are saying it is a common problem in the 2010 and 2011 Mazda3 vehicles, with the single-disc clutch configuration being the cause of the problem. Owners of these cars are extremely aggravated because Mazda refuses to pay for the clutch assembly replacement parts that average $1,250.

Time after time, the automaker has been calling it driver error and refusing to cover the repair cost. Owners that have been driving manual transmission cars for decades argue that Mazda needs to step up and cover what is clearly a manufacturer’s defect.

Grinding gears

Owners of the 2012 Mazda3 report hearing grinding sounds when shifting gears. When attempting to put the car in reverse, the shift stick repeatedly gets stuck. Mechanics are telling drivers that the noises they are hearing are being caused by the bearings getting stripped when changing gears.

This causes major problems with the transmission and can cost upwards of $5,000 to repair. When the car is out of warranty, which is frequently the case, the owner is left with a costly repair bill on their hands.

Complaints about the Mazda3’s interior accessories

The 2010 Mazda3 has the most complaints when it comes to issues with interior accessories. The 2014 and 2015 models seem to have similar problems. The average cost of repairs is $400, and owners report noticing issues around 55,000 miles.

The most common concern is the collapse of the driver’s side seat, sometimes occurring while driving. Replacing the seat back bracket is an easy fix, but leaves owners feeling anxious when it happens to them. There are also many complaints about the infotainment system as well as problems with the dashboard melting under normal operating conditions.

Suspension issues with the 2010 Mazda3

Consumer Reports gave the 2010 Mazda3 a one out of five score when it came to the suspension. Owners frequently reported the struts and rear shocks going bad, causing uneven wear on the tires.

Other issues involved problems with ball joints, tie rods, and alignment. It seems obvious why Car Complaints gave the 2010 Mazda3 the “Beware of the Clunker” award. This is one model to avoid at all costs.

It’s concerning that problems are occurring in recent model years

There are a lot of older model cars on the road, some of them with upwards of 200,000 miles that are still rolling along. There are a lot of good deals out there. It just takes time, a lot of research, and a little bit of luck to find the right deal.

When considering the purchase of a used Mazda3, keep in mind that these vehicles are experiencing drastic repair issues in models that are less than 10 years old. This is concerning considering it is unusual for cars to be having such difficulty so early on in their vehicle life. For the Mazda3 to already be having major problems is a clear indication that there will be more serious issues in the not-so-distant future.