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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:angry:
My 2000 Millenia S overheats when I take it on a long (2+ hours) trip and go up a long hill. This has happened three times this summer, even at fairly mild temperatures. The issue seems to be having the car loaded with people and luggage and pulling a very long hill. It has happened on hills that are 5+ miles long in temperatures in the upper 70s and on hills less than a mile long in temperatures in the 100s. In order to prevent the engine going into meltdown, I have to turn off the AC, turn on the heater to the highest temp (95) and open all the windows. Then the temperature inches back down to near normal.

The dealer is no help. They can't duplicate it because the car was not heavily loaded and/or there are no hills around here that are long enough to cause the problem at the temperatures during their tests. The service consultant acted as if I was delirious and the car really didn't overheat, which really ticks me off. The guy was a real a**h*le. They said Mazda won't authorize any part replacements unless the problem is duplicated. They expect ME to pay for the parts. (AutoWest Mazda, Roseville, CA).

Mazda has so far been no help either. They say they're 'researching it with the dealer'. Maybe some good will come of it, we'll see...

I KNOW this problem will surface again and again until something gets fixed. And since the warranty period is ticking away and fall is approaching (cooler weather), I will lose the ability to verify the problem has been fixed, until next summer.

Any ideas as to what the most likely cause is would be greatly appreciated.

I have told Mazda that it's time for them to start replacing parts at their expense and I will commit the hours it takes to determine whether the problem has been fixed.

After all, this is the mighty Millenia S, the flagship of the Mazdas, the 'Amati'; competitor to the baby Lexus. Somehow I think I would have been treated differently by a Lexus or Infiniti dealer!

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
:angry:
Well, just got a call from Mazda. Yup, they are walking away from this problem. They say that driving up a long hill (on the freeway or a state highway) with the Air conditioning on causing the car to overheat 'could be considered a normal condition'. So all of the other cars passing me with their windows rolled up on that same hot day were exceptional, I guess.

And Mazda says they won't even put their 'normal condition' statement in writing.

So what I am left with is a practically brand new (25K miles) car that I know will overheat every time I go up a long hill in it and a manufacturer that doesn't stand behind their product.

No more Mazdas for me! Mark my words, Mazda's going down if they treat others this way.
 

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Same exact thing happened to me. I took it to the dealer and they couldn't reproduce the overheating also. However they did find the problem. Do you know what it was? A leaky/bad/not functional water pump. It didn't leak enough to leave anything on the ground but it definitly was leaking. Mine has 26k on it (2000 S) so it was weird to see a water pump go that early. However, it did happen.

Tell your dealer to check the pump. It was all done under warranty for me.

If you are anywhere near, or are willing to drive to Greenville SC, the John Finger Mazda dealer here is the best dealer I have ever been too. They are courtious and do not stop until they know what the problem is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Dear Miller Cycle,

Thank you very much for that pearl of wisdom. Just curious, did the leak result in coolant loss? The reason I ask is that my dealer (a far cry from the dealer you describe) stated that all systems, including coolant level, were 'normal'.

Thanks!
 

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unfortunately service varies dealer to dealer. if i had to base all of mazda where i bought my milly, i would never buy a mazda. however, the mazda where i now bring mine (gunther mazda, ft lauderdale, FL) has the best service ive ever seen, and even gave me a ride home! most repairs are finished same day!

as far as overheating, i have a '99 milly S and the temp gauge has never even flinched even on the hottest days, or thru 2 hours drive in movies...if the dealer cant find anything wrong you may just need a high performance synthetic oil, or you are overloading cargo beyond the car's capacity for uphill driving. have them double check all coolant systems as the later milly S is designed to stay nice and cool. and definitly have them look at the water pump, those things are always tricky. Good luck
 

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Im stumped if your coolant level is good. Only thing I can think of is that you dont have the right coolant/water mixture. You may have too much coolant and not enough water. Easy fix though drain out about a 2 pints of coolant refill with water. and see what happens. If your problem persist there is a product called Redline Water Wetter. I has a very high boiling point just at to your coolant. You can buy it at High Performace parts stores. Or a Motorcycle shop. My Millenia has never gone above half way even when I spray it w/NOS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The latest update on my overheating problem is that I took it to another Mazda dealer in the Sierra foothills. They have determined that the thermostat was marginal with regard to full-open and also they spotted coolant around the seams between the heads and the block. They now have it on the operating table and are checking to see if there is warpage in the heads. The odd thing is that the coolant level was always OK. I did see something about air pockets being caused by a very small leak, but that was at the water pump.

When I get it back, I will update this post with what was done.
 

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I'm now starting to experience overheating problems in my 2000 Millennium Edition. It has 38,000 miles on it (just passed the warranty) but I bought the extended warranty from the dealer (4 years, 80,000 miles). It happens when I am in traffic (stop and go) when there isn't alot of movement. The temperature gauge will go from about 1/2 to 3/4 and that's without the air condition running. Once I start moving for a little while it will drop back down to 1/2. Today I was driving up the San Diego fwy (405 N) from Santa Monica to the valley and it was on 3/4 all the way up....and I try not to push my car. Once I started coming down the hill it dropped back down to 1/2. If I have the air on it goes to almost the H level. I haven't seen any coolant loss on the ground either. I live on a hill and it's mostly stop and go before that. Once I get to the top it's close to the H. I am taking my car to the dealer tomorrow for the 37,500 service and I told them about the overheating problem. Hopefully they will determine what the problem is but at least I know other people have had similar problems that I may be able to relay to the dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I wound up taking my car in to another Mazda dealer. They have had it for almost three weeks now. They found crystallized coolant around the seam between the heads and the block, and a thermostat that wasn't opening all the way. After pulling the heads, they discovered a hairline crack in the head gasket of one of the heads that was leaking exhaust gas into the coolant. After pressure testing the heads and re-fitting them (and the head gaskets and bookoo other gaskets in the re-assembly process), they started up the car and found the radiator was partially plugged. I called today and they said the fan thermostat was also faulty. So, it basically sounds like they have replaced several factors that could have been causes of overheating. I am sure glad this is under warranty! Man oh man, I can only imagine the hours this has taken...

I am anxiously awaiting getting my car back again. I will update this thread afterward. (w00t)
 

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Glad you're getting your car's overheating problems taken care of. That speaks very low of mazda to turn a deaf ear to you. They're usually a lot better than that. I was gonna say maybe your radiator's plugged, but the one on my car didn't get bad until it had well over 100K miles on it, and that's 95 degree days in the humidity of Little Rock, Arkansas. The fans could definitely have been a factor if they weren't kicking on at the right temperature. I'm betting your main problem though was that head gasket if it was in fact blown. Good luck with your problem.

Kyle
 

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Just an update to my overheating problem:
Took my car to the dealer. They said they would need it one day to duplicate the problem. My car is still under warranty (50,000) and the dealer would provide a rental car. I upgraded to a larger car so that I could fit my family in it (rental would have been a Kia Rio) and it was going to cost me an extra $10 a day. No problem. Well, the dealer had my car for 3 weeks: They were able to reproduce the problem I was having and noticed hot and cold spots on the radiator and had sent it out for rodout. They also changed the thermostat. Problem stil existed. They were on the phone back and forth with the Mazda Factory Tech line. The Mazda Tech line thought the problem was with the fan. They replaced it but problem still there. They then thought it was the control module that controls the fan. Problem still there. The dealer had tested a new 2002 Millenia to see what the water temperatures were and compared it to my car. They were in the same range. The Mazda Tech line still thought it was a problem with the fan not going to the 3rd speed. They were able to jump the fan to get to the 3rd speed but it wouldn't do it automatically. The dealer still thought the Temperature Guage was not reading correctly. Well they ended up replacing the guage and now the problem is gone. Problem was a bad gauge giving wrong readings. Also while the car was at the dealer they got the infamous "Check Engine light" and changed an oxygen sensor under warranty. In addition, the dealer paid the extra amount for the rental car so nothing came out of my pocket. The rental car I had was a Hyundai Santa Fe. I really missed driving my Millenia and it sure felt nice driving home!
 

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That's great man, glad you got the problem fixed. Don't you hate these warranties that give you crap cars when you take in your 30K dollar car?
 
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