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BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
2/20/22 7:39 p.m.

We bought a 2010 Mazda 5 from John Welsh a while ago.  With a baby on the way our Focus was looking smaller every day.  The 5 had around 70k miles on it and won my wife over immediately because it combined big space with small car driving feel.  Here it is on a family getaway last February.

At that point I'd installed new struts, shocks, front control arms, and Continental snow tires on the 16" Borbet wheels.  That switch from the factory 17" wheels made a surprising difference in ride quality.  I'm actually debating if I want to get a set of 16" rims for summer too.

- Installing the control arms was pretty straightforward, especially with help :D

Current to do list: radio (she wants bluetooth for hands free calling) and fix the AC that stopped working last summer.  Gotta get that done before it gets warm again.  Also, maybe some rust intervention on the rear fenders:


BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
2/20/22 8:00 p.m.

Now there are two Mazdas!

At this point we were down to the Mazda 5 and my Echo coupe beater, which was not ideal for hauling kids.   I found this 2007 6 hatchback for a decent price and made a deal.  It's a 2007 2.3 auto that had 134k miles on it.  Not perfect but minimal rust for a Michigan Mazda and good enough to keep for a few years.  Same as the 5, this one got snow tires on arrival, Firestone Winterforce on 16" Tire Rack steelies because cheap.  The Firestones aren't amazing but, again: cheap.

I was going to try polishing up the headlights but then we had a warm day - I decided I needed to order new ones.  Currently waiting for those to arrive from RockAuto along with new hatch struts and a couple other small things.

I like this car.  It's good looking, pretty comfortable, and nice on the highway.  The 2.3 4cylinder is... adequate.  A stick would be more fun but with the auto my wife can drive it easily and it makes a better commuter.  The manual shift mode isn't terrible.

A week or so after I brought this home, the Echo got wrecked.  So for now we are a Mazda-only family.

Wxdude10 - Mike
Wxdude10 - Mike HalfDork
2/21/22 5:52 a.m.

What lights did you order?  My sons drive my old 2007 6 and complain about the lights.  How do the new lights perform?

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) UberDork
2/21/22 7:47 a.m.

New lights are worth every penny vs polishing lights 9/10 times in my experience. 

1kris06 HalfDork
2/21/22 4:27 p.m.
Wxdude10 - Mike said:

What lights did you order?  My sons drive my old 2007 6 and complain about the lights.  How do the new lights perform?

When I had my 2004 6 I did multiple headlight retrofits and always bought sets of TYC headlights. No issues other than occasionally the turn signal socket was a little snug when swapping parts over.

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
2/21/22 5:27 p.m.
Wxdude10 - Mike said:

What lights did you order?  My sons drive my old 2007 6 and complain about the lights.  How do the new lights perform?

I ordered the TYC replacement set from rock auto. Should be here Wednesday 

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
3/12/22 9:23 a.m.

Just a hatchback doing hatchback things.

Consensus: the 6 is far and away the better highway car, the 5 is better for hauling kids (sliding doors ftw) and more fun around town.

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
3/12/22 11:41 a.m.
BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
3/12/22 12:39 p.m.

In reply to spacecadet (Forum Supporter) :

Well the stock radio has been dead for a bit. Someone, either my kid or previous owner's kid put some coins in it, lol.

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
3/12/22 12:45 p.m.

Oil change on the Mazda 6 today. I've put 5k miles on it already, adds up quick when I'm driving almost 100mi/day for work.

Also found some rust on the subframe. Did some quick wire wheel and rust reformer action to hopefully slow it down. Bleh.


edit. It's ok. A little crustiness on this one will help keep at bay the temptation to send all my money to Racing Beat for suspension parts.

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
3/16/22 9:56 a.m.

Mazda5 Things:





Quick and dirty wire wheel, da sand, rust reformer primer, and the closest match metallic blue that was on the shelf at the local parts store. Should at least slow the rust down for another season, or until I can fix it properly.

lnlogauge HalfDork
3/16/22 11:04 a.m.

I owned a 2005 mazda6 v6 manual. Had a couple lexus's in between, and now drive a low mileage 2009 mazda5. Overall I enjoy the mazda5 more for the utility aspect of it. It annoys me how cheap they made the interior. I mostly loved the interior with the mazda6, wish they would have carried over at least some of the premium to the 5. 

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
3/16/22 12:07 p.m.

In reply to lnlogauge :

I wish I could have the 6's seats and sound deadening in the 5.

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
3/17/22 5:45 p.m.

When I bought the 6, the window switch in the driver door didn't work to operate the passenger window but the switch in the passenger door did and all the other switches worked so whatever.

Well today that switch in the driver door started working all by itself. Win

It popped a code, p0126 for insufficient coolant temperature. Coolant level is fine so going to try replacing the temp sensor first. But if the thermostat's been getting sticky that might explain why the heat seemed a little weak on really cold days over the winter.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
3/17/22 6:02 p.m.

In reply to BlueInGreen - Jon :

It's Spring.  That thermostat sounds like a Fall problem.  In warmer temps the car will heat up fine.  

The fender rust on the 5 acceletated pretty quickly.  Though, I bet a dirt road (rocks) accelerates the fender lip abuse pretty quickly too.  

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
3/17/22 9:32 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

Yeah, dirt roads + winter salt are just brutal on fenders and rocker panels.


Could be worse though! This was a Mazda5 parked next to me at the grocery store today

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
4/3/22 11:05 p.m.

The 6 was due for rear brakes. The crusty rotors didn't put up too much of a fight.

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
5/6/22 10:39 a.m.

In todays edition of, "Why Jon can't have nice things"


I backed into a trailer at work. It was raining, the trailer wasn't parked where it usually is, cold tires, track was dirty, excuses, etc.

Hatch still latches and the tail light is somehow untouched so I think it will just stay ugly unless I stumble across a good used rear bumper panel.

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
5/6/22 10:45 a.m.

I'm still disappointed that the mk3 Focus and Mazdas use a different bolt pattern. Since that Focus is no longer with us, I'm swapping the summer tires I had for the Ford over to Mazda wheels.

As for the departed Focus... my father in law hit a deer and totaled it a few weeks after we sold it to him as a replacement for his Fusion that he also wrecked by hitting a deer.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/6/22 1:47 p.m.

sorry for being a month late, but that rusty rotor tells me that caliper isn't sliding properly.  did you grease the pins?

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
5/6/22 8:05 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) :

Yeah, they were pretty stiff.

All cleaned and lubed up.

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
5/7/22 2:28 p.m.

#overlanding ...or something

Since I was already playing with wheels and tires, I put the slightly beefier Mazda6  winter wheels on the 5.

Ok it's only 205/60r16 vs 205/55r16 so now it just looks like a dirty Mazda5 with snow tires on it :P

Also the air conditioning doesn't work and the exhaust has a new hole further up from where I've already repaired it. Last summer the a/c started to slowly get noticeably weaker. I attempted a recharge and it blew nice and cold for about 30 minutes before dying altogether.

Time for some spring time maintenance/repairs, I guess.

Still a great car especially for a 12 year old Mazda in Michigan, but maybe starting to make the transition from "nice used car" to "trusty beater"

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
5/7/22 2:51 p.m.

These are the summer tires now mounted on the stock Mazda6 wheels.


They aren't what I'd typically choose for a daily commuter; pretty heavy, bumpy, and noisy. But at ~$100/tire they're definitely worth a look if you want something cheap and sporty.

Plus they look cool and this case I already had them. So, win!

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
5/11/22 2:01 p.m.

When the exhaust gives in to "Michigan" and you have to temporarily hack something together from pieces in the scrap pile behind the shop:

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
7/12/22 6:34 p.m.

"...At that point I'd installed new struts, shocks, front control arms..."

Guess who gets to drop a front control arm again because a bushing bit the dust ~20k miles later. I just love aftermarket replacement parts... and these weren't even $cheap no-name brand parts.


Trying to decide if I should pop a new bushing in or just replace the whole assembly again.

Edit: upon further investigation the boot around the ball joint was torn and the big rear bushing was kinda squichy too. The other side wasn't too far behind. So new right and left control arms have been ordered from Rockauto. I went with the 
Mevotech brand this time because, while cheap, they at least have grease able  ball joints. Maybe we'll get 3 years out of them this time instead of 2.5. Ha.

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