Mazda CX-7 Problems to Avoid, Common Issues and Complaints

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

If you’re considering buying a Mazda CX-7 or currently own one, it’s essential to be aware of some common problems that owners have reported.

The stylish and sporty CX-7 may appear attractive, but it has had its fair share of reliability issues over the years.

Engine problems, including failure and trouble-prone turbocharged models, have been a recurring theme among CX-7 owners.

Additionally, drivers have complained about issues with the lights on the vehicle. Understanding these problems will help you make informed decisions about purchasing, maintaining, or repairing your Mazda CX-7.

Mazda CX-7 issues

Model Year Specific Issues

2006 Mazda CX-7

In 2006, Mazda CX-7 owners reported relatively few problems compared to later years. However, you should keep an eye out for potential turbocharger failure, as it can lead to engine damage if left unaddressed.

2007 Mazda CX-7

The 2007 Mazda CX-7 saw an increase in reported issues. The most common problems included:

  • Engine oil leaks
  • Turbocharger failure
  • Timing chain issues

These can result in costly repairs, so be sure to keep up with regular maintenance for your 2007 Mazda CX-7.

2008 Mazda CX-7

For the 2008 Mazda CX-7, similar issues were reported as in 2007. Additionally, some owners mentioned problems with the air conditioning system. Maintain a close watch on your vehicle’s AC performance, and get it inspected if you notice any inconsistencies.

2009 Mazda CX-7

In 2009, Mazda CX-7’s problems remained relatively consistent with previous years. The same engine and turbocharger issues persisted.

Stay vigilant with maintenance checks, and keep in mind the potential for these issues to arise in your 2009 model.

2010 Mazda CX-7

The 2010 Mazda CX-7 is considered one of the worst years for the model, with recurring problems from earlier years and new issues with the fuel system.

Regularly check for potential fuel system leaks or related problems to prevent more significant issues that could arise.

2011 Mazda CX-7

In 2011, Mazda CX-7 continued to experience engine, turbocharger, and timing chain issues similar to previous years. Also, brake system issues became more prevalent.

To keep your 2011 Mazda CX-7 in good condition, schedule regular brake inspections and remain aware of the potential for engine troubles.

2012 Mazda CX-7

By 2012, most of the major issues with the Mazda CX-7 were addressed. However, you still need to be cautious with potential engine and turbocharger issues, as they can be devastating if left unattended.

Keep up with regular maintenance and inspections to ensure your 2012 Mazda CX-7 stays reliable.

TIPS: Here are serious common Mazda RX-8 problems, recalls and simple fixes!

Engine Problems

Engine Failure

In the Mazda CX-7, one of the most reported problems is engine failure. Keep an eye on your car’s performance, and if you experience any unusual symptoms, have it checked by a professional.

Oil Leaks

Another issue you may encounter is oil leaks. Leaks can happen from different parts of the engine, so it’s essential to monitor your oil levels and be aware of any signs of leakage.

Timing Chain Issues

The Mazda CX-7 is also known for its timing chain problems. If you hear a clanking noise coming from the front of your engine, this could indicate a worn timing chain. To fix this issue, you’ll likely need to replace the timing chain.

Transmission Issues

Automatic Shift Lock

Your Mazda CX-7 may experience an automatic shift lock issue, causing difficulty in shifting gears. To prevent this, ensure the transmission fluid levels are maintained at the appropriate levels.

A low transmission fluid level can lead to delayed shifting, high engine RPMs, or the car not moving in Drive or reverse.

Transmission Problems

A common problem for Mazda CX-7 owners includes transmission faults such as gear slippage, failure to engage gears, or engaging the overdrive gear during mild accelerations.

If you notice grinding or a burning smell while driving, it might signify transmission malfunctions. To avoid this, regularly service your transmission, making sure to replace worn-out parts and fluids as necessary.

Recalls and Reliability


Your Mazda CX-7 has experienced a few recalls, such as the recall on August 11, 2016, which affected model years 2007-2012 due to a manufacturing issue.


In terms of reliability, the Mazda CX-7 is ranked 17th out of 19 Mazda models. Common issues faced by CX-7 owners include engine and lights concerns, so it’s essential to stay informed and address any problems.


As a Mazda CX-7 owner, be sure to check your warranty details and keep track of any recall notifications that may arise. This can help you address any potential issues and keep your vehicle running smoothly.

Electrical System Issues

Warning Lights

Occasionally, you may encounter issues with the warning lights on your Mazda CX-7, such as the check engine light coming on.

It could be due to various reasons like oxygen sensor malfunction or underhood wiring. Make sure to get it diagnosed and fixed promptly to avoid further damage.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Your Mazda CX-7’s tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) ensures your tires are at the correct pressure. However, it might sometimes display false readings if the sensor is malfunctioning.

Inaccurate tire pressure readings can impact your vehicle’s performance and safety, so be sure to address the issue if you notice inconsistencies.

Fog Lights

If you find that your fog lights are on even when not required, it could be an electrical problem within your Mazda CX-7.

This issue needs attention to prevent unnecessary power consumption and ensure the fog lights function properly when needed.

Safety and Driver Assistance Features

Traction Control

Your Mazda CX-7 is equipped with traction control, a helpful system that improves vehicle stability, especially in slippery conditions.

By monitoring wheel slip and adjusting engine power, your car maintains better grip on the road.

Lane-Keeping Assist

Another feature in the Mazda CX-7 is the lane-keeping assist. This Mazda i-ACTIVSENSE® technology uses cameras and sensors to monitor your position on the road.

If you begin to drift out of your lane, the system sends a subtle alert and can even provide steering assistance to keep you safely within the lines.

Common Complaints

Top Complaints

Mazda CX-7 owners often report a few recurring issues. Some of the most common problems are related to the engine and turbocharger.

You may experience a stretched timing chain that results in a noisy engine and check engine light around 80,000 miles. Additionally, the turbocharger may fail, causing difficulty in maintaining speed.

Lemon Law

The Lemon Law applies to recurring problems that are not resolved within a reasonable number of attempts while the vehicle is under warranty.

If your Mazda CX-7 encounters significant issues, stay informed about your rights under the Lemon Law to potentially get a refund or replacement vehicle.

The Mazda CX-7 Years to Avoid

Let’s examine four Mazda CX-7 years to avoid: 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011.

2007 Mazda CX-7

The 2007 Mazda CX-7 is the first year and generation of the CX-7, and it comes with some problems.

It’s common for new models to have initial issues, and the 2007 CX-7 is no exception. You might encounter turbocharger malfunctions and engine issues, which can lead to costly repairs.

2008 Mazda CX-7

Moving on to the 2008 Mazda CX-7, you’ll find that the same drawbacks of the 2007 model persist.

Additionally, this year’s model introduced new problems related to the air conditioning system. To avoid these headaches, it’s best to skip the 2008 CX-7 as well.

2010 Mazda CX-7

As for the 2010 Mazda CX-7, you may come across issues with the timing chain and engine. Unfortunately, engine problems can be quite expensive to fix, so it might not be worth your time or money to invest in a 2010 CX-7.

2011 Mazda CX-7

Lastly, the 2011 Mazda CX-7 still experiences some problems despite improvements in other areas. Steering and suspension issues might give you a rough ride, and engine concerns still persist.

With these ongoing issues in mind, it’s advisable to pass on the 2011 model.

In summary, avoid the 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011 Mazda CX-7 models and opt for alternatives like the 2009 or 2012 models, which tend to have fewer issues and higher ratings in safety, cost, reliability, and performance.

Maintenance and Care

Checking Oil

To maintain your Mazda CX-7, make it a habit to check the engine oil regularly. Use the dipstick to determine the oil level, and top it up if needed.

Proper oil levels prevent issues like turbocharger failure and engine oil leaks.

Low Fuel Indicator

When the low fuel indicator appears, refuel your Mazda CX-7 as soon as possible. This simple action helps avoid potential damage and ensures a smoother driving experience.

Alternatives in the Mazda Lineup

Mazda CX-3

If you’re looking for a smaller crossover SUV, consider the Mazda CX-3. It offers a stylish design, good fuel efficiency, and impressive handling.

This subcompact crossover is perfect for city driving and tight parking spaces, with so much sweet driving times if you avoid those models with bad years and CX3 issues.

Mazda CX-5

For a step up in size and features, consider the Mazda CX-5. It’s a compact crossover, providing more space and comfort than the CX-3.

The CX-5 has strong performance and is acclaimed for its fuel efficiency and outstanding safety ratings.


If a sedan suits your needs better, the Mazda6 is a great alternative. It boasts a sleek design, comfortable interior, and a responsive driving experience.

The Mazda6 is packed with advanced technology and safety features, making it an excellent choice for you and your family.

Remember to research and test drive these alternatives to find the perfect fit for your lifestyle and needs.

Variable Valve Timing Issues

Failure of Variable Valve Timing (VVT)

Mazda CX-7 has known issues with its Variable Valve Timing (VVT) system. Problems include oil leaks, excessive smoke from the tailpipe, and loose timing chains, which can lead to catastrophic engine failure.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is crucial to address them as soon as possible. Mazda’s L-series engines are particularly susceptible to VVT defects.

Dealer Solutions

Mazda has acknowledged these issues in a “special service program.” However, some owners have reported that warranty coverage has been denied in certain cases.

If your Mazda CX-7’s VVT is problematic, getting the VVT solenoid replaced can help regain the lost performance and ensure a smooth-running engine. Keep an eye on your vehicle and consult with your dealer for appropriate solutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which years have the most turbo problems?

Mazda CX-7 models from 2007 to 2012 are known to have turbocharger failure issues. It is important to regularly check your vehicle’s performance and address any issues early on to prevent further damage.

How long do Mazda CX-7 engines typically last?

With proper maintenance and care, Mazda CX-7 engines can last over 150,000 miles. Always follow your vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule and address any issues as soon as they arise to ensure the longevity of your engine.

Why was the Mazda CX-7 production discontinued?

Mazda discontinued the CX-7 in 2012 to focus on the production of the more efficient and popular Mazda CX-5. The CX-5 offered an improved fuel economy and better overall performance, making it a more attractive option for consumers.

How reliable is the Mazda CX-7?

The Mazda CX-7 is considered a reasonably reliable vehicle; however, it does have some known issues such as turbocharger failure, engine oil leaks, and timing chain problems.

By following your vehicle’s maintenance schedule and addressing any concerns promptly, you can help extend the life of your CX-7.

Are there any recurring computer problems with Mazda CX-7?

There have not been many reported computer issues with the Mazda CX-7. However, as with any modern vehicle, it’s crucial to stay up-to-date with software updates and address any potential issues that may arise. If you notice any problems, consult a Mazda specialist or dealer for assistance.


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