Should I sell my Mazda MPV?

I bought a 2004 Mazda MPV w/17,000 miles a year ago. I’ve added about 13,000 miles. In the past year I’ve had to replace the transmission range switch once, the ignition coil and spark plug twice. I find the car shifts rough sometimes to the point of feeling like I’m getting hit from behind but the dealer can find nothing wrong. The car is about to come out of warranty. Do you think I should sell it even though it’s lost about $3,000 in value according to Kelly blue book?

It sounds like the dealer can’t figure out what’s wrong. Could you take it to another dealer? The issues you mention should remain under warranty until they are solved as long as you have a printed record (receipt) of the work done to date. It has to describe the problem so that there is no mistake that you notified the dealer before the warranty ran out.

Check into your states’ lemon law-- it sounds like this thing might be a candidate for it. Typically, if you take a car in for a warranty repair a certain number of times for the same problem and they can’t fix it, they are considered in breach of the warranty contract and may be required to take the car back. Most of these laws were written back when warranties were only for a year or a few thousand miles, so the idea was that they’d just replace your car, but I don’t know how they’d handle it with a 4-year old car. I’d guess that if you start suggesting that you’re considering a lemon-law claim, they’d be more likely to put in a new transmission, which is what it sounds to me like it might need.

Re-reading your post carefully, I noticed that you bought the van used, so the lemon-law may not apply.

Keep it! I have a 2004 and have had exactly the same problems but otherwise it’s been trouble free for 60,000 miles. I’m on the original brakes and just changed tires at 50,000 miles. The transmission problem is called “shift shock” and is a known problem for this vehicle. The TCM (transmission control module) needs to be re-flashed by the dealer under Mazda Special Program MSP03 (TSB 005-003/04). The coils (six, one for every plug) were a problem, especially the three that are buried under the intake manifold (hot under there). If any of those need replacement, all three under the manifold should be replaced at the same time. The new coils have been improved and should carry an “AC” suffix on the part number printed on the coil. Any front coils, if they fail, are a snap to replace. I have many friends with Mazdas – they are reliable and easy (read cheaper) to repair. Besides, my van gets over 28 MPG on the highway which is hard to beat in ANY van. As a final thought – this engine uses timing chains rather than belts – so no regular and expensive timing belt replacements like so many other vehicles.