CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Mazda dealer maintenance contract?

I am purchasing a 2010 Mazda 3, and I was wondering if the $2000 maintenance contract is worth it.



The contract (supposedly) include all of the maintenance listed in the manual to 100,000 miles. It also lets me go to any Ford family dealer to have it done.



Part of me thinks it would be a good idea to just be able to drop it off and say “Do your thing” and not have to worry about the cost. I will admit I have not kept up all of the maintenance on my “side of the road special” as recommended (except oil changes, which I have been pretty good on).



I really want (need) this car to last at least 10 years 200k miles, which I don’t think is unreasonable.



Any feedback?



I am picking up the car Thursday (3/5/09 for the archives)

If 3/5/09 is correct, you may have already made your decision. In general, I am an ala carte person when it comes to maintenance. That said, I also spend approximately $400-500 for each 30K service (plugs, coolant exchange, trans fluid change, new air filter, sometimes gas filter), regardless of which car it is. I would use that as my base to see if this is a good value, or not. Your labor may vary, so this could be a better deal than where I live. You just need to do the analysis based on what the owner’s manual maintenance schedule requirements are.

In many case, like ATF fluid change, it is not on the maintenance schedule – amke sure you have a clear handle on what and when these items get done.

The maintenance contract service date will also be an opportunity to “up-sell” you for other services and possibly pay much more for parts and labor that fall outside the maintenance contract, compared to an independent mechanic doing the work. Be aware of that issue, also.

They’re NEVER worth it.

Thanks for the input.

Looking at the owners manual it looks like mostly just inspection work up to 60k miles (5k intervals), 1 air filter replacement, etc.

I believe if I want it I could add it on later, so I might just sit on it and consider.

As for the date, I meant the 12th, not the 5th. (I spent all day at work today thinking about Tuesday last week, so I am a little confused)

Sorry I was a little confused, the date will be 3/12/09

I say no.

What happens if you total the car two years down the line? Do you get a refund(partial) or lose it all for example.

If I remember correctly, it was prorated back if it was totaled or sold.

Put the $2000 in a bank account and call it your “Honda Maintenance Account”. Why give it to them? Why not self-insure?

I started to agree with everyone else, but it might actually be a good deal for you. Ford needs money right now, and might be giving away something worth more in this instance. Edmunds.com estimates that it will cost $3781 for a Mazda3 during the first 5 years of ownership. That’s almost twice the initial $2000 fee. Edmunds figures that you will drive 15,000 miles per year; 75,000 miles in 5 years. You will get another 1.7 years of free maintenance. I think it’s worth it.

Here are the estimated maintenance (and other) costs:

Honda?

I was on Edmunds quite a bit and I didn’t see that feature, thanks for the heads up. The maintenance cost they post includes things that are not covered under the contract though (bulbs, wipers, etc).

…Edmunds includes a certain number of estimated repairs that may not be considered maintenance by Ford, like if a starter goes out.

It seems expensive; my son has a 2004 Mazda 3 and at nearly 60,000 miles he has only spent abour $350 on maintenance. I can’t imagine him spending $1650 in the next 40,000 miles!

I would put that $2000 in a high interest account and do maintenance at an independent garage as you go. Keep track of your expenses, and you will find you’ll be ahead quite a bit when the 100,000 miles rolls along.

The new Mazdas are very low maintenance, so you would be basically getting oil and filter changes. Coolant, spark plugs and transmission service are all at 100,000 plus, I believe.

As a reference, my wife’s Nissan, requiring more frequent maintenance, and changing oil every 3000 miles racked up $1225 for the first 100,000 miles. This included oil & filter changes,transmission service, coolant change and new spark plugs! Most of this work was performed by an independent garage.

It’s not worth it. What maintenance items that are replaced or services done will be based on the schedule in the owners manual; and that schedule often differs from the real world where most people live.

One air filter in the first 100k miles? Ha! Try that in Oklahoma.

Fuel filters (and normally the air filter also) should be replaced every 15k miles. What does it say about the fuel filter?
Or transmission fluid changes (about every 30k miles is what it should be)?

These are the big money makers for the dealers. Do as others say, put $2000 aside, have a party with what’s left when you sell the car!

The dealer tried to sell a maintenance contract for my wife’s 2006 Sienna. I don’t remember the exact numbers but it worked out to ~$300 for each oil change during the maintenance period. I declined.

Ed B.