Thinking about an MX3

  • Hi there,
    im Alex and im looking to get a new interesting car. This will be my 35 car in 14 years of driving. The MX3 has caught my eye but i need to know a bit more. I cant seem to find to much info on the cars, apart from wiki. Are there any good vids on youtube of that V6 sound, what problem areas do these cars suffer from, what is spare parts availability and after market upgrade availability. Whats the running cost like for maintenance, tax and realistic mpg. And the last and mist important question, is there any one that lives around the Brighton area that would let me look up close and around the car?

  • Hiya, I am based in southampton if you want to look mine over

    The MX3 are pretty bullet proof with the engine, its based on a 2.5 but being a 1.8 its very over engineered, cambelt is good as they are a clearance engine so if it goes it doesnt normally take the valves with it and always do the waterpump at the same time when changing

    Things to look for on them are the plastic induction pipe from the air filter box are renowned for splitting replace mazda only part or aftermarket inducion kit (will help wth the V6 sound)

    They get rust in the rear wheel arches at the top so check them

    Brake calipers seize a lot at this age so always good to get them removed and cleaned up and greased when you buy one

    red ones are normally pink so it could be very well polshed and need a lttle more looking after

    the 1.6 is the same engine as mx5 so parts are very cheap
    the V6 most parts are the same as MX6, ford probe and other mazda v6 engines of the same era and normally not that dear compared to most cars these days. mazda used a lot of mx3 parts on other cars
    imprts have a higher spec and use the same parts on the 1.5 mx3 has same power as V6 only cheaper to run

    Costs - it costs about £50 to fill from empty normally and careful driving i would get 350 out of a tank. I managed southampton to dublin on one tank in my old one before i ruined it and stuck in a KLZE lol

  • Thanks for that. IM pretty sold on one and just selling my mini mayfair and then have to find an mx local(ish). I may have found one but its at 109,000 and they cant tell me when the timing belt was done. What's the aprox cost of a timing belt change? Also they said the only fault of the car is the sun roof doesn't open, you can hear it trying but it just doesn't move, is this a common issue with the sunroof mec?

  • Unusual one for non working sunroof, it would be easier to buy one from a matching colour car and just swap it in, sounds like motor is working but the gears have gone.
    Another to try with the sunroof thats popular is lack of use makes it stick, push the button and push it up at the same time, if it opens and runs then use silicone grease and grease all the tracks and the rubber seal around it
    If its a swap paid £40 for one that matched and it took about 90 minutes to fit from scratch its only a few bolts holding it in

    Timing belts vary a V6 kit costs around £110 but you can buy the belt itself for around 30 and the waterpump is around £25, watch out theres 2 types of waterpump 91-93 and 93-98 so make sure you get the right one as they have different size pulley holes and you will end up buying a different belt pulley
    get a decent brand of belt like gates or continental
    My dad is a local mobile mechanic and he charges £150 plus parts for an mx3 cam belt change
    just shop around locally to you

  • I'm pretty set on getting a mx3. The problem now is finding one close. There are 2 in Southampton im tempted by and the one on here with the white leather interior!!! All of them are a good drive away from me, and im pretty Shure the first one i look at i will buy. Why must these things be so complicated!!!

  • They are great cars and very reliable if looked after and lots of fun to drive.

    One thing you have to ask yourself when buying an MX-3 is, will I ever want to swap the engine to the 200 bhp 2.5 litre version??? If you want this as an option then you need to buy a 1992 or 1993 model.

    Apart from that they are all the same pretty much.

    As for things to look out for there is nothing major to do with the MX-3, but when looking at any car of this age you need to check for rust underneath around all the suspension mounting points!! plus all the usual checks when buying a used car.

    As for mileage, i've owned a few and enjoy my driving but do not thrash my cars. I'd call it spirited driving, but on average in my experience 1.6 = 30-32 mpg, 1.8 = 26-28 mpg, 2.5 = 21 mpg.

    They really are lovely cars to drive.

  • i did the 2.5 swap on my 1995 car no problems

    If you can find a rare special edition, the white SE with the nice interior or an equipe with its K8ze engine that has a few more HP and a nice colour and interior :respect:


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