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My daughters CX-3 kicked a bit and just shut down in the middle of a busy highway. She just had the time and
reflex to go on the shoulder so she wasn't blocking traffic. The car is still on warranty so we called roadside assistance and and
they showed up in about 20 minutes or so. Lucky we had that. The car was sent to the dealer and they'll diagnose the issue.
She was able to start the car but it shut down soon after. Have anyone ever experienced this or heard of a similar issue?
I'll let you all know the result of the diagnosis when it's available.
 

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I can't believe I wrote this 27 days ago. It's been a crazy busy month. Very sorry for not updating this earlier.

Turns out my daughter ran out of gas. But... she said that the low gas warning light turned on a few seconds before the car started to stutter. She noticed she had 2 lines showing on her dash board. She was then about 3km away from her exit so she figured she would stop at the gas station that's right after the exit. The car stopped 2km (right under the sign showing this) from her exit so she had only 1km left of gas from when the low gas light turned on before the pressure was too low to continue. The dealership wanted to charge her $132 for the diagnostic and the $10 of gas they put. My daughter was livid!!! There should be enough gas for her to run the car at least 10km or so before the car stops after the low gas warning. The mechanic explained that because of the shaft running in the middle of the tank (AWD) the tank is somewhat split at the bottom with only 1 pump outlet on one side. The tank shows 2 lines of gas which is right but can get trapped on the other side where there is no outlet for the gas to reach the pump. Does that sound right?

Is there an adjustment or calibration that can be done on this? The car is still under warranty so wondering if a fix could be performed before it runs out.
 

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Thanks for the info about the tank design.
Since I've always been skeptical of the accuracy of fuel gauges in the vehicles I've owned I have a habit of filling the tank when it shows between 1/4 and 1/2. However, I have been known to run my vehicles below 1/4 on occasion so I will take this information and remember to never let the tank get below 1/4.
There is likely no calibration that can be done to the fuel gauge or low fuel warning light. The easiest solution is to now treat the 1/4 mark on the gauge as empty.
 

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Many CX-3 owners experience that when the fuel gauge displays empty, they still have fuel left in the tank. They know because the maximum refill at the tank station is less than the full tank size.
Car manufactures designs the fuel gauge on the safe side to prevent what happened to the daughter of Danny.
 

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I can't believe I wrote this 27 days ago. It's been a crazy busy month. Very sorry for not updating this earlier.

Turns out my daughter ran out of gas. But... she said that the low gas warning light turned on a few seconds before the car started to stutter. She noticed she had 2 lines showing on her dash board. She was then about 3km away from her exit so she figured she would stop at the gas station that's right after the exit. The car stopped 2km (right under the sign showing this) from her exit so she had only 1km left of gas from when the low gas light turned on before the pressure was too low to continue. The dealership wanted to charge her $132 for the diagnostic and the $10 of gas they put. My daughter was livid!!! There should be enough gas for her to run the car at least 10km or so before the car stops after the low gas warning. The mechanic explained that because of the shaft running in the middle of the tank (AWD) the tank is somewhat split at the bottom with only 1 pump outlet on one side. The tank shows 2 lines of gas which is right but can get trapped on the other side where there is no outlet for the gas to reach the pump. Does that sound right?

Is there an adjustment or calibration that can be done on this? The car is still under warranty so wondering if a fix could be performed before it runs out.
I'm thinking of purchasing a 2019 Mazda CX-3 AWD but now thinking of maybe changing my direction. I really appreciate your researching and notating this issue.
I would feel better with an AWD vehicle, especially since it's not AWD all the time, so the MPG is better. But, not at the cost of what you have documented. Could you please tell me what year your car is, and if they were able to recalibrate, etc.? I like the price and size of the CX-3 (could be a touch longer), but I do want a vehicle that is reliable. Things I'm reading are having me truly second-guess proceeding further. It doesn't seem that Mazda learns from previous years. I wonder if they changed that design, I'll see if I can find out. Thank you so much for taking the time to write!!!
 

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I'm thinking of purchasing a 2019 Mazda CX-3 AWD but now thinking of maybe changing my direction. I really appreciate your researching and notating this issue.
I would feel better with an AWD vehicle, especially since it's not AWD all the time, so the MPG is better. But, not at the cost of what you have documented. Could you please tell me what year your car is, and if they were able to recalibrate, etc.? I like the price and size of the CX-3 (could be a touch longer), but I do want a vehicle that is reliable. Things I'm reading are having me truly second-guess proceeding further. It doesn't seem that Mazda learns from previous years. I wonder if they changed that design, I'll see if I can find out. Thank you so much for taking the time to write!!!
Hi Curious One, my daughter's car is a 2017 CX-3 Sport AWD, bought used in December with approximately 33.5K miles (54000KM). I believe that the issue she experienced is somewhat part of the learning curve when acquiring a new car. She now knows that when the dash gas indicator shows 2 lines or when the low gas light turns on she needs to look into it right away. I have to say that this vehicle runs very well. She is more than satisfied and pleased with it. She keeps the gas at a quarter tank minimum or tries to. There does not seem to be an adjustment possible of the gas gauge or floats. I personally believe this vehicle is a very reliable one. AWD is awesome and is extremely useful in snow. Quite a difference compared to my wife's FWD (I drive a Jeep 4x4 and will never go back to FWD if I can). I know many people with the same model and other Mazda models and the sentiment is quite positive. I must also add that the Mazda dealerships I have dealt with have all been extraordinary, engaged people. I bought a part for her car and a Toronto dealership was able to find one at another dealership. While I traveled there last week they had the part shipped to the dealership I had called at no extra cost and picked it up at a much lower price than any online seller. I think Mazda should not be ruled out of you potential new or used car candidates. That said, the choice remains yours. Hoping this post answers your questions and hoping it may help in your decision. Best regards,
 

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Hi Curious One, my daughter's car is a 2017 CX-3 Sport AWD, bought used in December with approximately 33.5K miles (54000KM). I believe that the issue she experienced is somewhat part of the learning curve when acquiring a new car. She now knows that when the dash gas indicator shows 2 lines or when the low gas light turns on she needs to look into it right away. I have to say that this vehicle runs very well. She is more than satisfied and pleased with it. She keeps the gas at a quarter tank minimum or tries to. There does not seem to be an adjustment possible of the gas gauge or floats. I personally believe this vehicle is a very reliable one. AWD is awesome and is extremely useful in snow. Quite a difference compared to my wife's FWD (I drive a Jeep 4x4 and will never go back to FWD if I can). I know many people with the same model and other Mazda models and the sentiment is quite positive. I must also add that the Mazda dealerships I have dealt with have all been extraordinary, engaged people. I bought a part for her car and a Toronto dealership was able to find one at another dealership. While I traveled there last week they had the part shipped to the dealership I had called at no extra cost and picked it up at a much lower price than any online seller. I think Mazda should not be ruled out of you potential new or used car candidates. That said, the choice remains yours. Hoping this post answers your questions and hoping it may help in your decision. Best regards,
Thank you so much! I understand to allow a buffer so one doesn't run out of gas, just in case. But the other concern is how is it built--I haven't found out yet if the AWD is still built the same--through the gas tank--but don't think there is much of an option in that regard. However, I think I want to check with a mechanic tomorrow to see what he can tell me about how that portion is engineered. It is a small tank to begin with, and don't want gas sitting on one side of the tank--that can't be too good. (I'm just detail-oriented, and a researcher type.)

BTW, have you had issues with other things I've read--tech safety issues and infotainment center not working consistently, fragile outside paint that chips easily.(?)

I'm a female on my own and need a reliable car that won't have a lot of issues. I appreciate your thoughts. Yes, stay safe and healthy:)
 

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Thank you so much! I understand to allow a buffer so one doesn't run out of gas, just in case. But the other concern is how is it built--I haven't found out yet if the AWD is still built the same--through the gas tank--but don't think there is much of an option in that regard. However, I think I want to check with a mechanic tomorrow to see what he can tell me about how that portion is engineered. It is a small tank to begin with, and don't want gas sitting on one side of the tank--that can't be too good. (I'm just detail-oriented, and a researcher type.)

BTW, have you had issues with other things I've read--tech safety issues and infotainment center not working consistently, fragile outside paint that chips easily.(?)

I'm a female on my own and need a reliable car that won't have a lot of issues. I appreciate your thoughts. Yes, stay safe and healthy:)
If it helps relieve any concerns-

The tank is smaller but it does run longer than others because of the car's efficiency and there should be a 1gallon reserve below the threshold of E. I have not seen an issue like this happen to other owners so it could just be a one-off incident which is unfortunate but still happens in production. Another possibility for this is the previous owner. It may be a stretch but theres always a chance that someone couldve damaged the rear/tank area and repaired it but unless in a major accident this would never be reported to a carfax/auto history record. I recently had to sell a jeep 2 months after I bought it because the previous owner had absolutely demolished the torque converter and rear differential and the jeep had only 38k miles so this was a lesson I learned the hard way that used cars carry a risk regardless. For example, you may also find around the forum some issues that others have posted and then mention later that their car has been in an accident or that things had to be rewired which will cause issues that a normal owner might never experience.

For the most part almost all issues have been addressed with the cx-3 the 2 critical ones were the infotainment reboots which were for some reason related to the sd card reader for navigation(new part has corrected this and only 16ish model year effected but not all in that year), and the ac compressor or evaporator (which mazda has an extended warranty on which again was for early models years). Ive had my cx-3 since dec 2015 and its been my favorite and more reliable vehicle in any terrain/weather. Aside from a few quirks like loud engine and interior vibrations which im too lazy to go around finding and insulating.

I would suggest avoiding any features such as start/stop at red lights (i-stop) and the cuirse control package with the extra hardware found behind the rear view mirror. This features are more likely to cause issues as others have reported and also it costs quite a bit to replace that auto-starter battery which cranks the car back on at a red light. In my experience of owning and seeing others buy newer cars of other brands with all the extra 'safety sensor features', they cause more problems and higher repair bills over time.
 

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Thank you so much! I understand to allow a buffer so one doesn't run out of gas, just in case. But the other concern is how is it built--I haven't found out yet if the AWD is still built the same--through the gas tank--but don't think there is much of an option in that regard. However, I think I want to check with a mechanic tomorrow to see what he can tell me about how that portion is engineered. It is a small tank to begin with, and don't want gas sitting on one side of the tank--that can't be too good. (I'm just detail-oriented, and a researcher type.)

BTW, have you had issues with other things I've read--tech safety issues and infotainment center not working consistently, fragile outside paint that chips easily.(?)

I'm a female on my own and need a reliable car that won't have a lot of issues. I appreciate your thoughts. Yes, stay safe and healthy:)
No issues what so ever with her infotainment. I went out and had a good close up look at the front of the car for visible signs of paint issues. Unlike my wife's 2012 Elantra where I asked her if she drove through a pebble storm, the paint is in remarkable good shape. We live 40 minutes due North of Montreal and she goes to University 3 to 5 days a week. Drive is 90% highway where the chance of getting small rocks hit the hood or front of the car is highest I think. I did see a few indications of very small chips but nothing I can't easily fix. I detail and wax our cars 3 times a year; once in the spring, main buffing and use a synthetic wax, once during the summer using a carnauba based wax and late fall using a synthetic wax for longer protection. Seems to work best for me.
 

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If it helps relieve any concerns-

The tank is smaller but it does run longer than others because of the car's efficiency and there should be a 1gallon reserve below the threshold of E. I have not seen an issue like this happen to other owners so it could just be a one-off incident which is unfortunate but still happens in production. Another possibility for this is the previous owner. It may be a stretch but theres always a chance that someone couldve damaged the rear/tank area and repaired it but unless in a major accident this would never be reported to a carfax/auto history record. I recently had to sell a jeep 2 months after I bought it because the previous owner had absolutely demolished the torque converter and rear differential and the jeep had only 38k miles so this was a lesson I learned the hard way that used cars carry a risk regardless. For example, you may also find around the forum some issues that others have posted and then mention later that their car has been in an accident or that things had to be rewired which will cause issues that a normal owner might never experience.

For the most part almost all issues have been addressed with the cx-3 the 2 critical ones were the infotainment reboots which were for some reason related to the sd card reader for navigation(new part has corrected this and only 16ish model year effected but not all in that year), and the ac compressor or evaporator (which mazda has an extended warranty on which again was for early models years). Ive had my cx-3 since dec 2015 and its been my favorite and more reliable vehicle in any terrain/weather. Aside from a few quirks like loud engine and interior vibrations which im too lazy to go around finding and insulating.

I would suggest avoiding any features such as start/stop at red lights (i-stop) and the cuirse control package with the extra hardware found behind the rear view mirror. This features are more likely to cause issues as others have reported and also it costs quite a bit to replace that auto-starter battery which cranks the car back on at a red light. In my experience of owning and seeing others buy newer cars of other brands with all the extra 'safety sensor features', they cause more problems and higher repair bills over time.
It is very efficient on gas. Talking with my daughter last night, she told me the low gas light had turned on before and showed 1 line. She then had enough gas to drive a much longer distance than the last time the car stopped when it showed 2 lines of gas. She was so close to her exit (2KM or less than 2 miles) she didn't make much of it. That's why she was so surprised the garage said she ran out of gas. I had the car inspected by my usual trustworthy mechanic. No bodywork was detected nor no signs of potential damage either body or under. Other than a few stains on the front black seats this car was and still is in excellent shape. I plan to go for a ride with her when she's low on gas and bring an 8L gas container with us and drive til it stops. I think it's a good practice to adopt when getting a new car. I should do that on my new Cherokee as well.
 

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If it helps relieve any concerns-

The tank is smaller but it does run longer than others because of the car's efficiency and there should be a 1gallon reserve below the threshold of E. I have not seen an issue like this happen to other owners so it could just be a one-off incident which is unfortunate but still happens in production. Another possibility for this is the previous owner. It may be a stretch but theres always a chance that someone couldve damaged the rear/tank area and repaired it but unless in a major accident this would never be reported to a carfax/auto history record. I recently had to sell a jeep 2 months after I bought it because the previous owner had absolutely demolished the torque converter and rear differential and the jeep had only 38k miles so this was a lesson I learned the hard way that used cars carry a risk regardless. For example, you may also find around the forum some issues that others have posted and then mention later that their car has been in an accident or that things had to be rewired which will cause issues that a normal owner might never experience.

For the most part almost all issues have been addressed with the cx-3 the 2 critical ones were the infotainment reboots which were for some reason related to the sd card reader for navigation(new part has corrected this and only 16ish model year effected but not all in that year), and the ac compressor or evaporator (which mazda has an extended warranty on which again was for early models years). Ive had my cx-3 since dec 2015 and its been my favorite and more reliable vehicle in any terrain/weather. Aside from a few quirks like loud engine and interior vibrations which im too lazy to go around finding and insulating.

I would suggest avoiding any features such as start/stop at red lights (i-stop) and the cuirse control package with the extra hardware found behind the rear view mirror. This features are more likely to cause issues as others have reported and also it costs quite a bit to replace that auto-starter battery which cranks the car back on at a red light. In my experience of owning and seeing others buy newer cars of other brands with all the extra 'safety sensor features', they cause more problems and higher repair bills over time.
SlyCoopers, Thank you so much for your reply. This does put me a bit more at ease about the vehicle, but I have another question: when you mentioned: "cruise control package with the extra hardware found behind the rear view mirror. " Is this a different cruise control than the regular cruise control? Sorry, I'm not totally up-to-date with all of the newer features these days. Thanks again so much. It helps to hear from those who have actually experienced this vehicle for a number of years, to get an idea going forward of what to perhaps expect.
 

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SlyCoopers, Thank you so much for your reply. This does put me a bit more at ease about the vehicle, but I have another question: when you mentioned: "cruise control package with the extra hardware found behind the rear view mirror. " Is this a different cruise control than the regular cruise control? Sorry, I'm not totally up-to-date with all of the newer features these days. Thanks again so much. It helps to hear from those who have actually experienced this vehicle for a number of years, to get an idea going forward of what to perhaps expect.
The new ones may have additional stuff but theres basically 2 unique features which might be part of the same tech package but you always want to make sure. The start/stop thing which turns engine off at redlights, theres already controversy about that as a feature in itself by many technicians in the auto industry. In my opinion its a feature that puts wear on the starter and needs a separate proprietary battery which costs alot more than the regular one after 4ish years. The cruise control stuff is a little unique and Im not sure how much its changed isnce then buts its an additional module to the generic cruise control on the wheel which simply just sets mph and keeps it etc. The new cruise features are in a black tech box attached to the windshield behind the rear view mirror. It has sensors which are used to see ahead of the road for predictions and automatic stopping and such. The other supporting sensors for this package are in the mazda logo which will be a solid almost glass panel infront of the logo on the grille on the front bumper. The ones without these features have a 'cheaper' mazda logo that is popped out on the grille and nothing behind the rear view mirror. Unless you are a diehard fan of these new cruise control features I would suggest to pass on these features if available because itl just add more parts to fail later on.

As a rule of thumb, mechanical things can last a long time with maintenance but electronics/sensors will always be faulty over time and susceptible to abuse from temp changes. We dont have any actual long term data of how long these sensors that every manufacturer puts in new cars last in the first place since manufacturers seem more inclined to just keep things lasting past the warranty period aka 3yrs and then move on. My other reason for hating these things was a relatives 2018 nissan rouge lease already had failing front collision sensors which would cause the car to randomly hard brake on the highway and the dealer refused to fix it and wanted to charge $1200 for 2 sensors. I want to avoid anything like that as a rule of thumb for the future haha


How to tell if the extra sensors for cruisecontrol etc is included: 1:14 notice the mssive black box behind the mirror

In this one around 1:44 you can see the rear mirror is by itself. There will be that dot-tint around the area but the actual sensor unit is not there.
 

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The new ones may have additional stuff but theres basically 2 unique features which might be part of the same tech package but you always want to make sure. The start/stop thing which turns engine off at redlights, theres already controversy about that as a feature in itself by many technicians in the auto industry. In my opinion its a feature that puts wear on the starter and needs a separate proprietary battery which costs alot more than the regular one after 4ish years. The cruise control stuff is a little unique and Im not sure how much its changed isnce then buts its an additional module to the generic cruise control on the wheel which simply just sets mph and keeps it etc. The new cruise features are in a black tech box attached to the windshield behind the rear view mirror. It has sensors which are used to see ahead of the road for predictions and automatic stopping and such. The other supporting sensors for this package are in the mazda logo which will be a solid almost glass panel infront of the logo on the grille on the front bumper. The ones without these features have a 'cheaper' mazda logo that is popped out on the grille and nothing behind the rear view mirror. Unless you are a diehard fan of these new cruise control features I would suggest to pass on these features if available because itl just add more parts to fail later on.

As a rule of thumb, mechanical things can last a long time with maintenance but electronics/sensors will always be faulty over time and susceptible to abuse from temp changes. We dont have any actual long term data of how long these sensors that every manufacturer puts in new cars last in the first place since manufacturers seem more inclined to just keep things lasting past the warranty period aka 3yrs and then move on. My other reason for hating these things was a relatives 2018 nissan rouge lease already had failing front collision sensors which would cause the car to randomly hard brake on the highway and the dealer refused to fix it and wanted to charge $1200 for 2 sensors. I want to avoid anything like that as a rule of thumb for the future haha


How to tell if the extra sensors for cruisecontrol etc is included: 1:14 notice the mssive black box behind the mirror

In this one around 1:44 you can see the rear mirror is by itself. There will be that dot-tint around the area but the actual sensor unit is not there.
I cannot thank you enough for all your input on your experience and background! I found this to be very beneficial in knowing what to look for and what not to look for. That's good to know that the electronics/sensors tend to last as long as the warranty....what a surprise, eh? (I think various mfrs. are trying to use the stop-start idea because of the Toyota Prius...but again I agree I don't need extra wear on the starter and also to need a special battery. Thank you for the videos and yes, I saw the black box behind the rearview mirror! I would not have noticed it otherwise, or known to ask or check about that. Definitely don't want that, either. (I've said for a while now that they need to offer a simple/less techie version of a couple of vehicles, for those of us that did not grow up with all of this, plus don't want more to go wrong...down the road, so to speak. But, I guess that is how they make more money. Again, I can't thank you enough!! You are very kind to take the time to help me sort some of this out. Stay healthy!
 
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