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A close up shows the grille on a grey 2022 Mazda3.

Know Before You Buy: Mazda Maintenance and What to Expect

More now than ever, it’s important to be informed about the ins and outs of the vehicle you buy. What the fuel economy is like, what grade of fuel the vehicle runs on, what kind of oil it takes, what sort of tires it uses, and all sorts of other minutiae that comes with owning a vehicle. If you’ve been eyeing a new Mazda but are worried about the costs associated with maintenance, there are a few things you should know before you buy a car or SUV from a Mazda dealer and learn about all the important maintenance on the fly.

Thankfully, you have CarBuyerLabs here to help you out when it comes to knowing before you buy, so you have an idea of what to expect when you get your hands on a Mazda. This won’t be an encyclopedia of Mazda maintenance, but this article will cover some of the basics. We will cover some of the essentials regarding longevity, maintenance needs, and parts replacements to give you a quick heads-up on what to expect if you opt to buy a new Mazda and are worried about what the service and long-term maintenance costs might be like.

How Long Do Mazdas Typically Last?

When it comes to buying a Mazda, a lot of people are going to question the reliability of the vehicle. The good news is that Mazda is a Japanese brand with a reputation for building extremely dependable vehicles. In fact, Mazda even beat Toyota in Consumer Reports’ 2020 and 2021 reliability studies. Generally, you can expect a well-maintained Mazda to last you 200,000 miles or more. Of course, anything over 300,000 miles will be extremely rare for even the best vehicles, but it’s not impossible for a Mazda.

A lot of the longevity will boil down to having your vehicle serviced regularly, ensuring that it remains in good mechanical condition. If you go through the effort to keep your car in great shape, you can get hundreds of thousands of miles out of an average Mazda. But your mileage will also vary depending on your driving style. Wear and tear from off-roading, lots of short trips in traffic, or performance driving can significantly affect how long a Mazda can last, but if you’re looking for a commuting vehicle or a daily driver, you can expect to get hundreds of thousands of miles out of a Mazda, on average.

A close up shows a mechanic working on a Mazda engine.

How Good Are Mazda Engines?

Mazda makes all of its own engines, and the majority of its new vehicles are powered by the proven Skyactiv family of four-cylinder power plants. This extremely reliable and efficient engine design was introduced in 2012 and has become a mainstay of the Mazda lineup. In the American market, there are three variants of the Skyactiv engine: a 2.0L, a 2.5L, and a 2.5L turbo. All three use the same architecture and have no reported issues.

Because Mazda has used the same basic engine across its lineup for a decade, this has allowed it to fine-tune the design and maximize performance and reliability. The Skyactiv design philosophy also goes beyond the engine itself and encompasses the entire powertrain, ensuring that every component is engineered from the ground up to work together. Because of this, the Skyactiv series has gained a reputation for being reliable on the road and durable over the long haul for the kind of vehicles that Mazda used the engines in. If you opt for a Mazda with the Skyactiv platform, you’re in good hands.

What Sort of Maintenance Can I Expect?

Although they are extremely reliable, Mazdas require all the maintenance you would expect from a newer vehicle. That means regular oil changes, getting the tires rotated, checking the battery and tire pressure, and getting fluid top-offs. If you need to replace parts or get new parts installed, Mazda always recommends OEM parts and official Mazda Genuine Oil for your vehicle.

You will need different oil grades for the different Mazda engines, but synthetic oil should always be used in your Mazda. If you own a car with a 2.0L or 2.5L Skyactiv engine, it’s recommended you use SAE 0W-20 full-synthetic engine oil. For the Skyactiv 2.5L turbocharged engine, a heavier-weight SAE 5W-30 engine oil is recommended. The oil change interval for all three Mazda Skyactiv engines is once a year or every 7,500 miles, whichever comes first. However, most Mazda models come with an oil life monitor for more precise maintenance.

A basic inspection should also be performed annually, including the brakes and air filters. Other basic maintenance for most Mazdas includes new light bulbs, inspections of the belts and hoses, and sometimes having to replace the battery. Like other vehicles, you will also need to ensure you get the alignment checked regularly and have your tires rotated.

How Often Do Parts Need to Be Replaced?

Part replacements can be one of the most expensive aspects of maintaining any vehicle, especially if the OEM parts are hard to come by. However, the good part about Mazda is that its vehicles have very low failure rates, and most of the parts you may have to replace are not related to the powertrain. The most common major parts to replace will be shocks and struts in higher-mileage vehicles.

In short, though, you won’t have to replace parts on a typical Mazda very often, so long as the vehicle is well maintained. You shouldn’t be scared off from a Mazda dealer fearing high maintenance costs due to frequent part replacements because you won’t have to replace the parts on a Mazda often at all. When you do need to replace parts, you will find that the costs are affordable and in line with Mazda’s accessible reputation.

What Parts Should I Expect to Replace Within the First Five Years?

The most common parts replacements within five years are going to be windshield wipers, air filters, and maybe new tires. All Mazda vehicles have a very low frequency of repairs and lower-than-average maintenance costs when compared to other brands in the same segment. Part replacements are not common among most newer Mazda models. This is good news for anyone who is looking for a low-maintenance vehicle where you won’t have to replace parts often. Within a five-year span, it’s rare to have to replace anything significant on a new Mazda. Typically parts replacement will only become necessary after the 100,000-mile mark when timing belts and spark plugs need to be replaced.

A mechanic is shown picking out parts at a Mazda dealer.

Mazda Is a Reliable Brand

Whether you are shopping for a Mazda3 or a CX-5, you can rest easy knowing that you are buying a dependable car from a trustworthy brand. Even the Mazda MX-5 Miata sports car has a reputation for reliability that you usually don’t find in the high-performance segment. With Mazda’s three-year or 36,000-mile new vehicle warranty and five-year or 60,000-mile powertrain warranty, you have additional protection against the rare factory defect. Mazda even offers standard warranties on factory parts, including batteries and brakes. While every car requires regular maintenance, purchasing a Mazda means you’re in good hands when it comes to saving at the service center.