Getting dealer to fix faulty Mazda - pete&hisgolf
I bought a 'T' Reg Mazda 323 (1.5 engine) on 11 November from an independent dealer. The car had 32,000 miles, 1 previous owner and a FSH. Within a day or so two faults became apparent:

(1) jerky throttle response and intermittent flat spots - lifting off the throttle would sometimes result in either too much loss of speed (felt like engine braking was coming into play even if I lifted off at 40 mph in 5th gear) or slight 'run on'.
(2) brakes squealing when applied at low speed (eg when inching forward in a traffic queue.

I hoped that the poor throttle response might be due to the car needing some long runs so I ran it for a few weeks, gave it a shot of Redex and made sure I stuck to Texaco petrol.

After a month the dealer rang me to see if I was happy with the car. I explained the problems and booked it in to be looked at. The service manager said that they could stop the brakes squealing but the problem might recur because "brake pads can't contain asbestos anymore". The car was with the dealer all day on 18 December. When I picked it up one of the mechanics explained that the jerky throttle response had been because of it being "coked up" and that they had used some kind of throttle cleaner. When driving the car that evening I noticed that the brake squeal was as bad as before and that although the throttle response was smoother there was still the occasional 'flat spot' feeling, most noticeably at 15 mph in 2nd gear.

I visited the dealer today (19 December) and explained that I wasn't happy. The service manager suggested I bring it in on 23 December and we would take it for a run together so he could see what the problem was. He also said that the flat spots might be a characteristic of the engine rather than a fault (which sounds to me like a version of 'that all do that, sir').

I'm wondering if these flat spots and squealing brakes are to be expected on a 4 year old Mazda. I'm also concerned that when the service manager goes out with me on 23 December the intermittent flat spot might not manifest itself.

This is the first time I have bought a car from a dealer (have always got cars from family members in the past) and I have no technical knowledge. I would really appreciate the thoughts of any backroomers on how best to proceed in this situation.

Thank you

Getting dealer to fix faulty Mazda - Mark (RLBS)
On the face of it I would say that you have a proactive and responsible dealer.

Take him for a ride and see what he says...

Getting dealer to fix faulty Mazda - pete&hisgolf
Thanks, Mark. One of the reasons I posted is that I do need other people's perspectives on this - being new to this game I find it hard to tell whether I'm being ripped off or not.
Getting dealer to fix faulty Mazda - Aprilia
I wouldn't worry too much about the squealing brakes. It is a fairly common problem and they could clean up the brake ssy. and put a smear of 'anti-squeal compound' (or copper grease) on the back of the pads. At the end of the day even a new set of pads isn't going to break the bank.

The flat spot is another matter. It could be many things, from a bad spark plug to a faulty airflow meter, but muck in the throttle body would be a possibility. If you get the chance I would take the car for a good long hard run. Half an hour cruising at 70mph and then some hard acceleration in lower gears to 6000rpm (appropriate road conditions, of course).

If you still have problems after this then a trip to a Mazda dealer to put it on the diagnostic tester may be required.
Getting dealer to fix faulty Mazda - hillman
The first time I came across the 'Italian tuneup' was in Zambia when a friend who was a long time motor mechanic was unable to find the cause of flat spots in car. He then took it out on the road and after a thorough warm up he ran it at 70 mph for several miles. Then he started from rest and ran it up through the gears at high revs. It worked like a charm. All of the coke disappeared out of the rear. He was, though, a superb motor mechanic, and knew exactly what he was doing.
Getting dealer to fix faulty Mazda - pete&hisgolf
Hillman - thanks for this suggestion. The mechanic I spoke to said I needed to make sure the car gets revved hard from time to time, so I took it out that evening for a thrash up and down the local bypass. It still had the flat spots afterwards. Must admit that I tend to try and drive with a fairly light foot so it sounds as though in future I need to give it some more revs occasionally.
Getting dealer to fix faulty Mazda - pete&hisgolf
Hi Aprilia. Thanks for the suggestion re getting it hooked up to a diagnostic machine at the local Mazda dealer. This hadn't occurred to me as a possibility. Presumably only a Mazda dealer would have the right machine for my car?

Getting dealer to fix faulty Mazda - Vin {P}
"Presumably only a Mazda dealer would have the right machine for my car?"

Depends on your garage - my garage hired their diagnostic kit when required from their local Bosch specialist - costs them about £20 a day. You might ask if your garage can do that - if you'd rather they did it, that is, rather than the local Mazda shop.

Getting dealer to fix faulty Mazda - Aprilia
I was assuming that the seller was going to pay for this - so whether they run it round to the dealer or hire a suitable code reader shouldn't matter to you.

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