Crossover & Midsize

Why You Should Never Buy the 2008 Mazda CX-9

SUVs and speed aren’t always synonymous. In fact, when most people go to look at a potential SUV, they aren’t going there because they want something to go racing in. It’s often thought that you give up speed for cargo room and off-road ability. Mazda resented that line of thinking and created an SUV that has the best of both – the Mazda CX-9.

The CX-9 had a bit of a rocky road, however. It had a lot of issues that Mazda has had to work out over the years. According to Car Complaints, the 2008 model was the worst model due to problems with the engine and brakes.

The 2008 Mazda CX-9’s water pump fails

The major problem with the 2008 Mazda CX-9 is when the water pump fails and begins to push coolant everywhere except for where it’s supposed to go, especially the engine. Even those who aren’t familiar with mechanical terms know that’s bad.

One owner said, “No ZOOM ZOOM here. At 109K [miles], the ‘internal’ water pump went out causing coolant and water to mix with the oil resulting in the ruination of the engine. UNBELIEVABLE engineering design! Water pumps go out on vehicles all the time without ruining the engines. It’s appalling to think that Mazda would ever use such an inferior design in their vehicles causing such an incident.”

Owners reported that it costs $3,990 to have the problem fixed. This meant replacing the entire engine. A few owners were able to replace the engine with used parts, which probably saved them some money in the long run. The water pump typically begins to fail around 102,150 miles.

The master cylinder brake booster stopped working

Some problems leave you stranded on the side of the road. Others are so dangerous that it can end up causing a wreck that costs others their lives.

Several Mazda CX-9 owners reported that their brakes began to act hesitant but continued to work. For a while, at least. Then the brakes suddenly went out, usually while the owner was driving down the freeway.

The only fix appears to be replacing the master cylinder brake booster. One owner reported that they had to wait for months because there were no parts to be had. In fact, Mazda apparently had to build a new computer that was capable of building the parts needed. They ran up a $600 bill driving around in rental cars while waiting to get back in their Mazda CX-9. 

Most owners had to have their trucks towed in, which only added to their expenses. It was a very scary experience, and many owners have sworn to never buy another Mazda again. Surprisingly, there was never a recall for the master cylinder brake booster problem.

The Mazda CX-9’s wheels look stained and dirty

Not all problems are life-threatening. Many are more cosmetic and can prove to be more of an annoyance than anything else. That’s the case with the 2008 Mazda CX-9’s wheels that look dirty and stained.

No data was offered as to how much it costs to repair since none of the owners who reported the problem were even given a solution by Mazda. One owner reported, “Mazda blames the stained wheels on improper car washing as opposed to a defect in the aluminum wheel. Refuses to warranty them.”

The Mazda CX-9 was still relatively new when the problem began to show up. In fact, the wheels began to look stained at around 32,000 miles. For owners who only get a warranty for up to 30,000 miles, this means they were on their own. 

They could always replace the wheels, but the fact that they should have to really irked some of the owners. It was also frustrating that Mazda refused to admit any fault. While the problem could be caused by someone not washing their car properly, it’s hard to imagine that multiple owners all had the same problem on this one model. Either way, Mazda probably lost some customers over the 2008 CX-9.