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Hey dear members of the forum,

This is my first post here. I have been passively reading many forums to understand my car's problem to no avail. I hope you can provide me with some hints and bear with me if I make beginner mistakes!

I own an automatic 2018 front wheel drive 150hp CX3 in Germany. I think it's the sport (basic) version. It is a US model though. How come that I own this car instead of a EU model is another story. (I have to probably fight a legal battle if I want to return it to the previous owner.) I get little support from Mazda dealership because they complain I have a US model and they can't read error codes (to my surprise!) with their current devices. So I think you people here might be able to help more! So let's move to the problem description.

I have this car for the past few months. Everything was working flawlessly except in two occasions where I was unable to start the car. The red key would turn red and the start/stop button would turn amber. However after multiple tries and disconnecting/reconnecting the battery and pulling out/in some relays it worked. Untill yesterday that the same problem happend and the car refused to start whatsover.

I read in Mazda's online manual that I can emergency start the engine, but it does not work. They key fobs are fine, since I can lock/unlock the doors. However when I press the brake the start/stop key turns amber instead of green. Pressing the button causes all the symbols to turn on (perhaps anti-theft system is activated?)

I have been driving with this car for almost 6000 kilometers with no problem (now it has 9000), except those two occasions and the final one which I described earlier.

What could be causing this failure? I will happily provide more information if necessary. I'm also not afraid of making my hands dirtly if it's necessary.

Thank you for reading and I appreciate any ideas.
 

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Have you checked the battery in the key fob?
 

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Have you checked the battery in the key fob?
Both key fobs lock/unlock the doors but don't start the car. This happened at the same time, so I guess the batteries are fine (I haven't checked them with any specific device though).

Moreover I got a call from local Mazda and they told me they have phoned with Mazda EU and they can't offer me any help since they can't use their software to find out the exact failing device even though they can read the failure code. This is ridiculous. This is a car, not an space ship. :confused:
 

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Just to confirm, it does not turn on when you press the keyfod end physically into the start button?
Yes, nothing happens. I have tried it numerous times with both keys as described in Mazda users manual (which I found online).

Apparently the antitheft system (if I'm correct) is activated for any reason, since the key symbol remains red. It must turn green when the key is inside the car.
 

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Now you said this happens on occasion. I can assume that the issue somehow later corrects itself and then repeats randomly again? Im fairly certain that it might have something to do with the keyfob itself but ofcourse cant be sure. Usually if an internal part fails, theres no random interval where its corrected and then works again unless theres a critical wiring issue where contact is being made and lost again. If theres an internal issue its usually pretty consistent until its fixed.

The only other thing i can think of which would make it work intermittently is temperature. Is the car cold/ outside temps cold when this is happening? Usually cold starts in the morning are the biggest indicator of temp issues which some have been found related to key fob operation as well as infotainment system usage etc.
Unfortunatly I havenot had any experience with anti theft mode to be able to help diagnose it but looking around to other mazda model forums, quite a few people are reporting a obd error code "P1260 Immobilizer System Malfunction". If you have a CEL with this code then its definitly the culprit itself. Unfortunatly that would be most likely something only a dealer would fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Now you said this happens on occasion. I can assume that the issue somehow later corrects itself and then repeats randomly again? Im fairly certain that it might have something to do with the keyfob itself but ofcourse cant be sure. Usually if an internal part fails, theres no random interval where its corrected and then works again unless theres a critical wiring issue where contact is being made and lost again. If theres an internal issue its usually pretty consistent until its fixed.

The only other thing i can think of which would make it work intermittently is temperature. Is the car cold/ outside temps cold when this is happening? Usually cold starts in the morning are the biggest indicator of temp issues which some have been found related to key fob operation as well as infotainment system usage etc.
Unfortunatly I havenot had any experience with anti theft mode to be able to help diagnose it but looking around to other mazda model forums, quite a few people are reporting a obd error code "P1260 Immobilizer System Malfunction". If you have a CEL with this code then its definitly the culprit itself. Unfortunatly that would be most likely something only a dealer would fix.
Thanks for taking time and replying.

> I can assume that the issue somehow later corrects itself and then repeats randomly again?

It happened on two occasions with almost one month in between. Each time road-mechanics managed to start the engine in different ways. I don't go into details since I'm pretty sure both just started the car by chance. And the error cleared itself automatically. (The check engine in both occasion was turned on, but I don't know whether it was the car reporting an error or it was due to their modification while trying to start the engine). Once the car showed https://www.obd-codes.com/u0100 error. But it was removed by itself after a few days. The last time though no check engine failure showed up and the car refused to start not matter what.

> unless theres a critical wiring issue where contact is being made and lost again.

I check the VIN on some US websites and some list an accident in US for this car (the dealer didn't mention this, he just told me it has had a simple accident which is repaired). I strongly guess this car has been exported to EU because of the accident and fixed and sold here. So it could be that something is not fixed properly.


> The only other thing i can think of which would make it work intermittently is temperature. Is the car cold/ outside temps cold when this is happening?

On multiple very cold days I started the engine with absolutely no problem with temperatures around 0 degrees Celsius. On almost all occasions the engine was warm and temperature was above zero.


> Unfortunatly that would be most likely something only a dealer would fix.

Mazda (EU) already refused to fix the car reasoning that US cars are different and they can't search their database for this cars serial number (it doesn't exist in their EU database) and therefore they can't find the failing part. They told me they have the code (something like C150 but I'm not sure) but there could be multiple different parts and they can't go and check/replace them one by one. They don't like US models :/
 

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Oof sorry to hear that, an accident can cause all sorts of internal problems depending on how the car was hit/what was effected. That should definitly have been communicated with you prior to buying since you could be buying a salvaged vehicle (totalled then 'fixed' but not enough to pass us inspections so someone pawned it off overseas). Im more curious as to how and why the car managed to set sail and end up over seas for a US model cx-3 lol a sports car or a collectible I can understand but I dont think the cx-3 is super in demand to the point it needs to be imported for sale.
 

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Have you checked the battery in the key fob?
Yes, this...
I would change the key fob batteries regardless of the doors lock/unlocking if anything but to completely eliminate it as a potential issue.
In regards to the dealership not being able to help is pretty inexcusable. It’s THEIR car! Whether or not the software can or cannot be read is not your issue.
 

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Oof sorry to hear that, an accident can cause all sorts of internal problems depending on how the car was hit/what was effected. That should definitly have been communicated with you prior to buying since you could be buying a salvaged vehicle (totalled then 'fixed' but not enough to pass us inspections so someone pawned it off overseas). Im more curious as to how and why the car managed to set sail and end up over seas for a US model cx-3 lol a sports car or a collectible I can understand but I dont think the cx-3 is super in demand to the point it needs to be imported for sale.
This might really be the case here. Do you know of any way to check whether this car has been salvaged? I can provide the car VIN if necessary.
 

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Yes, this...
I would change the key fob batteries regardless of the doors lock/unlocking if anything but to completely eliminate it as a potential issue.
In regards to the dealership not being able to help is pretty inexcusable. It’s THEIR car! Whether or not the software can or cannot be read is not your issue.
At the moment car sits there. The problem is Mazda EU refuses to take responsiblity for reimported cars (that's how they call them here in Germany). They have a database and they rely solely on it, so they simply keep telling me that they can't help since they can't use their software stack.

The person that has sold me the car is a non-Mazda secnd-hand car dealership. Apparently he has hid something from me.
 

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Im not sure if it still applies honestly since international titles wouldnt be in a local US database and the car might have been removed. I know you we can check at local dmv here but it would require US title and vin which I presume you would not have over there since it would be transfered to a title of the designated country's requirement. I would suggest seeing if you can find any accident /vin check sites online. Never had to use any so not sure of any legitimate free ones that dont try to make you pay unfortunatly. Even then its still not 100% accurate since its reliant on people/insurance companies reporting said accident or total losses. You can imagine that if someone wanted to get away with pawning off a damaged car, they would try to hide anything possible. It happens quite a lot around here in hurricane prone states where a car gets severe flood damage then gets reported as something else to 'total' out for easier paperwork which becomes a salvage title vehicle if it passes inspection after 'repairs' to resell again.

Edit:
Keep in mind that this is an EXTREME scenario like when diagnosing an ailment on online medical sites. Dont let it get to you as I can imagine the stress of worrying is intense.
 

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Im not sure if it still applies honestly since international titles wouldnt be in a local US database and the car might have been removed. I know you we can check at local dmv here but it would require US title and vin which I presume you would not have over there since it would be transfered to a title of the designated country's requirement. I would suggest seeing if you can find any accident /vin check sites online. Never had to use any so not sure of any legitimate free ones that dont try to make you pay unfortunatly. Even then its still not 100% accurate since its reliant on people/insurance companies reporting said accident or total losses. You can imagine that if someone wanted to get away with pawning off a damaged car, they would try to hide anything possible. It happens quite a lot around here in hurricane prone states where a car gets severe flood damage then gets reported as something else to 'total' out for easier paperwork which becomes a salvage title vehicle if it passes inspection after 'repairs' to resell again.

Edit:
Keep in mind that this is an EXTREME scenario like when diagnosing an ailment on online medical sites. Dont let it get to you as I can imagine the stress of worrying is intense.
Thanks for your reply SlyCoopers.

I'm at the moment taking other measures to see if legally I can return the car, if I don't succeed I would need to know as much details and history about the car as possible, in order to be able to maintain it myslef and prvoide the mechanics with necessary information.

The car's VIN is untouched and as far as I can say it is a US one. Even on the papers it doesn't have normal German manufacturer identification, there are only zeroes instead. I'll pm you the VIN just in case you can check it locally, of course you can simply ignore it. I appreciate deeply any further information though. Moreover, out of curiosity I'd like to know the history of this car. I checked it online but various websites provide contradicting information and don't sound reliable.
 

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Thanks for your reply SlyCoopers.

I'm at the moment taking other measures to see if legally I can return the car, if I don't succeed I would need to know as much details and history about the car as possible, in order to be able to maintain it myslef and prvoide the mechanics with necessary information.

The car's VIN is untouched and as far as I can say it is a US one. Even on the papers it doesn't have normal German manufacturer identification, there are only zeroes instead. I'll pm you the VIN just in case you can check it locally, of course you can simply ignore it. I appreciate deeply any further information though. Moreover, out of curiosity I'd like to know the history of this car. I checked it online but various websites provide contradicting information and don't sound reliable.
I replied to your pm with my findings, best of luck friend.
 
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