2002 Mazda Mazda3 - What problems can I expect?

problems for this model

The Mazda 3 was first introduced in 2003 as a 2004 model

My guess is a 2002 doesn’t really exist

It is 20 years old and should be out of the house and on it;s own by now.

Seriously, there is not an answer for this question.


All of them… because it is 20 years old.


I’m presuming 2002 a typo, OP meant 2012. 2012 looks pretty good overall w/2.5 L engine. Esp if equipped w/manual transmission (presuming that option was available), as appears to be a couple of issues w/automatic trans version. One quibble, good idea to do a visual check for a problems with rear tailgate area corrosion.

I think your biggest problem, if there.is such a model, would be the availability of parts for a 20 year old non-collectible car.

thats as this car has only done 86700 klm so your saying the answer iusthey are crap

I did not say they were good or bad . I said there is not a real answer to this question be cause it is old and what ever was wrong may have been fixed . No one can tell you what might be wrong or need repair on a vehicle of this age .

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Well the first problem is the Mazda 3 was not even available for the 2002 model year, so you better check your paper work and VIN. Since the car is probably actually a 2003, (20 yrs old) you can expect/suspect everything between the bumpers. And BTW any guesses need better info year, engine, transmission, general condition, your impression how it runs, any know maintenance that’s been done, any known repairs etc… Lack of pertinent info Leeds to bad answers and even worse guesses.

Aging of components that contain rubber is a factor of age, not odometer mileage, so the fact that this vehicle is 20 years old is relevant. Additionally, how well it was maintained by its owner(s)–there could have been several individuals who owned it over those two decades–is a major factor relating to how reliable and durable this car will be.

As just two examples of the relevance of maintenance, if the previous owner(s) were lax in their attention to oil changes, the engine could be choked with damaging oil sludge. On average, this car has been driven less than 5k km per year, and if the oil wasn’t changed at least twice each year, there is almost surely a lot of sludge in the engine.
If they didn’t flush the brake fluid every 3 years, the brake hydraulic system could be a significant safety problem.

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Looks like we had the same thoughts at the same time :grinning:

Without being able to physically examine your car, here’s what I think are some of the biggest possible problems . . .

poorly maintained by previous owner

worn out suspension, steering, brakes and tires


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In 2002, this car was still called the Protege in the U.S. market. The biggest problem is the need to change the timing belt, which may have never been done, since many people choose to trade-in a car, rather than spend $1000+ on this service. I believe this is an interference engine, so without any proof that the timing belt was changed, you better assume it wasn’t…and budget accordingly.

Depending on where it has lived, rust. I see few old Mazdas here in MN and WI, and they seem to be much more rusty than any other brand.