Author Topic: HELP! Am I right to be wary?  (Read 320 times)

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Offline admmskl

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HELP! Am I right to be wary?
« on: June 19, 2020, 03:51:00 PM »
Hey guys,

I'm completely new to this forum, so much so, that I haven't actually bought my Mazda 3 yet! And, that's unfortunately because the main dealer I'm trying to buy it from is having a couple of problems with it, that I'd love some advice on if possible?

So, the car is a Mazda 3 2017 Automatic with low mileage. A week ago, to quote the Mazda main dealership:

The Battery Died:

"the car has been sitting in the forecourt during lockdown, and now the battery is dead. Jumped it and it threw a load of lights on the dash, not comfortable in you test driving it today".

They've since replaced the battery, which is good. And, they've done a full MOT and service, which passed with no advisories.

However, today I get another call from them saying they found that the alternator needs to be replaced. Because, again to quote the dealer:

"Because the alternator does a lot more than just charge the battery these days, they can sometimes need replacing. And, they tend to need replacing roughly every 3-4 years anyway."
They're saying that it's good they're finding this now, so that I'm getting a new alternator for the same price.

But, I'm obviously nervous about purchasing a car that has these problems. They've offered a new CX-5 in the meantime so it's not a wasted trip, until they've fit the part and everything is looking good.

My question is:

Am I right to be wary?
Or, am I actually getting a good deal from the fact they're replacing this stuff for free?

Cheers in advance for any help and guidance! Either way, can't wait to get a Mazda 3!

Offline Ed-Led

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Re: HELP! Am I right to be wary?
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2020, 07:13:41 PM »
The battery issue is a possibility with a car that's stood for a while. The alternator issue requiring a change every 3 or 4 years is a new one to me on a Mazda 3. As far as I know, I've never heard anyone mention this before relating to the Gen 3 model, unless it's something specific to automatics. Has it done a lot of mileage? 
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Offline Engineer Andy

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Re: HELP! Am I right to be wary?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2020, 03:06:58 PM »
The battery issue is a possibility with a car that's stood for a while. The alternator issue requiring a change every 3 or 4 years is a new one to me on a Mazda 3. As far as I know, I've never heard anyone mention this before relating to the Gen 3 model, unless it's something specific to automatics. Has it done a lot of mileage?

Indeed - I don't recall alternators ever being a common problem, and they should certainly last way beyond 3-4 years. Mine's still on the original (touch wood) after 14.5 years, and that's after having three batteries because my car mainly does low annual mileages.

If the dealer has replaced both that and the battery with OEM parts, and the rest of the car checks out fine (keep an eye on the brakes and tyres for problems cause by the car standing around for 3-4 months), then it should be ok. If it's a main dealer, then it should at least be backed by a Mazda 1 year warranty. Check also that all the ICE electronics is OK (battery cheange may need codes etc to be entered and resets/changes to some audio/trip computer settings) and mileage (to match the MOTs and service history).

Offline admmskl

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Re: HELP! Am I right to be wary?
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2020, 12:10:32 AM »
Thanks both. I went to see the car today, and I actually called him out on the "3-4 years" alternator comment. He said he shouldn't have said that and wasn't really thinking about what he said. He agreed they shouldn't just go. But, it did on this occasion and that's what would've helped kill the battery.

However, he said he'd rather be honest and tell me about the problems before I even show any interest. Which to be fair, he's done just that.

Also, a friend of mine made a good point in saying that I'm likely going to struggle to find a second hand Mazda 3 with a brand new battery and a brand new alternator... So there's that.

Anyway, I really appreciate the help. And, correct, it comes with a 1 year warranty. They also replaced the tyres for me too. Not certain about the brakes, but when I test drove it today, they seemed good.

As you say, it's a main dealer, so the risk is a lot lighter than private.

It's only done just over 13000 miles, so, I'm not too worried about anything else with it.

We'll see! You may see me introduce my new car very soon.

Thanks again!

Offline Kentish

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Re: HELP! Am I right to be wary?
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2020, 11:12:03 AM »
Surely the car is stilll under warranty?
My auto hasn't had any problems, and it only has 12k on the clock and the same age.

Offline Willpower

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Re: HELP! Am I right to be wary?
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2020, 12:31:11 PM »
Surely the car is still under warranty?


The information given is a contradictory. In the text of the posting the OP says it is 2017 but his profile says 2016.  If it is 2016 then the warranty would have ended.

admmskl .  If the information in your profile is wrong and you end up buying the car could you please amend it.  Year , Transmission etc.  Thanks  :) 
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Offline hanix

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Re: HELP! Am I right to be wary?
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2020, 03:00:39 PM »
Tyre change at 13000? I should run my finger over the brake discs as there should only be a minimal ridge at this mileage.

Offline Engineer Andy

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Re: HELP! Am I right to be wary?
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2020, 04:05:20 PM »
Thanks both. I went to see the car today, and I actually called him out on the "3-4 years" alternator comment. He said he shouldn't have said that and wasn't really thinking about what he said. He agreed they shouldn't just go. But, it did on this occasion and that's what would've helped kill the battery.

However, he said he'd rather be honest and tell me about the problems before I even show any interest. Which to be fair, he's done just that.

Also, a friend of mine made a good point in saying that I'm likely going to struggle to find a second hand Mazda 3 with a brand new battery and a brand new alternator... So there's that.

Anyway, I really appreciate the help. And, correct, it comes with a 1 year warranty. They also replaced the tyres for me too. Not certain about the brakes, but when I test drove it today, they seemed good.

As you say, it's a main dealer, so the risk is a lot lighter than private.

It's only done just over 13000 miles, so, I'm not too worried about anything else with it.

We'll see! You may see me introduce my new car very soon.

Thanks again!

As with the alternator and battery replacement, I'd check both the make, model and date of manufacture of said 'new' tyres - a shiny 'new' set could easily be a buffed up (with tyre dressing) set of ones that have been sitting around in his yard for months (which can be damaged like flatspotting if not stored indoors and correctly), one that is more than 3-4 months old (which would reduce their life, especially if stored outside/incorrectly) and/or of a cheapo ditchfinder brand rather than a mid or premium branded tyre.

They may well be fine, but always worth checking, as car sales people aren't exactly known for their honesty...to be frank, many aren't known for their car knowledge either!

Offline TopPop

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Re: HELP! Am I right to be wary?
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2020, 06:10:21 PM »
For peace of mind why don't arrange a motor engineer car inspection as offered by the AA, RAC and various other well known motoring organisations.
Looking at their ads I think you are unlikely to have to pay more than £200.
I note that the dealer is offering a 12 month warranty that would hopefully correct any developing faults but do you want to be back and forwards to the workshop.
The advice given by the members on here is to walk away if you are unsure about a car, especially when investing the amount of money you must be for a car of that age and mileage. There are thousands of cars out there although I acknowledge that the Mazda 3 is not as common as many others

Offline admmskl

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Re: HELP! Am I right to be wary?
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2020, 11:31:17 PM »
Surely the car is still under warranty?

Yeah, everything I've said in this post is correct. When signing up to this forum, I left everything blank, but it looks like my profile has been filled in for me.

I'll 100% get my profile filled in properly as soon as the purchase for this or similar is completed in a week's time.

The information given is a contradictory. In the text of the posting the OP says it is 2017 but his profile says 2016.  If it is 2016 then the warranty would have ended.

admmskl .  If the information in your profile is wrong and you end up buying the car could you please amend it.  Year , Transmission etc.  Thanks  :)

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Re: HELP! Am I right to be wary?
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2020, 11:31:17 PM »