2008 2.0L Mazda3 potential purchase questions

Nearby dealer has it for $6000 out the door. I thought it was a bit high, but it only has 88k thousand miles.

I test drove it today and noticed some minor rust issues underneath, but clean inside and out. Overall the car drove straight and I didn't notice vibrations besides the engine being very loud, along with road noise. Is it normal for this car to sound so loud when accelerating? Also what are some things I should check?
 
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2010 Mazda 5 Sport
Just bought a 2008 Mazda3 Hatch out the door for $6500 with the 2.3L. It's a bigger engine but it wasn't loud at any time. It needed around $1k worth of parts to get it back into A1 near perfect shape. I think I paid way too much...but used car prices are going up.

Check the fluids for oddities (pink milkshakes and mocha latte).

Check the shocks/struts for leakage. They go exactly at 90k miles like clockwork. $250 for a set of KYB front and back and the front strut mounts/bearings from MAZDA.

Keys. Had only 1 key...no fobs. I spend $75 on 3 fobs from Amazon. $150 on 2 more keys and programming. If the seller has only 1 key...you will require a locksmith to program at least 1 more.

Check the AC.

Check the date code on the battery. (cost of a new GOOD battery $180)

DO NOT BUY ANY USED CAR BEFORE YOU DO A SCAN WITH A CODE READER. Simple readers are cheap. A good scam by a seller, is to clear all codes so that the buyer doesn't see the check engine light. 2 days later, after you buy the car, the light comes on. You need to make sure that the car is in READY TO BE INSPECTED MODE. This means that the car has run for a good while and no codes have been thrown.

The loud engine makes me think someone has fiddled with the exhaust. This can cause issues with downstream O2 sensors. You might just want to take it into a mechanic and pay the fee for an inspection. Then quiz them about the above issues.

My family has had 3 Mazda5s and 1 Mazda3 that were around this time frame. The only real mechanical issue has been the struts.
 
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2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
Check the date code on the battery. (cost of a new GOOD battery $180)
Why would a "good" battery cost $180? Either the Walmart Evermaxx or a Costco battery cost far less and typically lasts for 5 years. My 3 has a somewhat unique type of battery, due to its super capacitor but most cars need only a standard battery for less than $100.
 
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2010 Mazda 5 Sport
That's just what a good battery costs.

$150 + tax is what I paid for the battery I got for the Mazda 3 and that was mid-range.

No way would I touch a Walmart battery.
 
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Ottawa, Ontario
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17 Mazda 6 GT
That's just what a good battery costs.

$150 + tax is what I paid for the battery I got for the Mazda 3 and that was mid-range.

No way would I touch a Walmart battery.
Walmart doesn't make it's own batteries, just like Costco and other big box stores don't make batteries.
Most auto batteries are made by just three manufacturers, Delphi, Exide, and Johnson Controls Industries. Each makes batteries sold under several different brand names, like Kirkland etc.
Just because it's got a Walmart sticker on it doesn't make it bad.
BTW, what constitutes a mid-range battery? I wouldn't use retail prices to grade batteries.
Personally, I've used Kirkland (Costco) batteries for years with no issues. Good prices and good warranty.
 
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2010 Mazda 5 Sport
Those manufacturers don't use the same quality control for stuff they send to Walmart. Just because the same manufacturer makes the battery doesn't mean it's any good.

Costco may be fine but you make up the difference in member fees.
 
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2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
Walmart doesn't make it's own batteries, just like Costco and other big box stores don't make batteries.
Most auto batteries are made by just three manufacturers, Delphi, Exide, and Johnson Controls Industries. Each makes batteries sold under several different brand names, like Kirkland etc.
Just because it's got a Walmart sticker on it doesn't make it bad.
BTW, what constitutes a mid-range battery? I wouldn't use retail prices to grade batteries.
Personally, I've used Kirkland (Costco) batteries for years with no issues. Good prices and good warranty.
Yes, according to Consumer Reports, Walmart and Costco Kirkland batteries have consistently ranked well. I've bought quite a few of each over the years and they have been great.
Keep in mid that every time you drain a non-deep cycle battery (for whatever reason) so that your vehicle does not start, you reduce the life of that battery. This is not the battery's fault. I noticed a few people having AAA jump their batteries because their cars were not started for more than a month. If you are not going to start your battery for that long, either remove it from your car or hook up a battery maintainer.
 
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Ottawa, Ontario
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17 Mazda 6 GT
Those manufacturers don't use the same quality control for stuff they send to Walmart. Just because the same manufacturer makes the battery doesn't mean it's any good.
I have not seen any proof of that anywhere. I suspect that's just conjecture/guessing on your part.
Show me some data or give me a link that says batteries sold at Walmart are built to a lower standard (by the same manufacturer) as batteries not made for Walmart.
 
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2010 Mazda 5 Sport
I have had bad experience with Walmart batteries. Especially in the southern heat here. They last a few years.

I have had outstanding luck with Silver/Gold Autozone/Advance batteries lasting around 10 years.

All this is anecdotal, so take it or ignore it.

I did look up CR and that is actually an interesting list they have there for the batteries. Most brands are scattered throughout the spectrum so maybe it is indeed a crap shoot no matter what. So "consistently ranked well"?....ehhhh not really. Not as bad as I expected I guess.

As to whether manufacturers dumb down products for Walmart, this is well documented:


This is my favorite, really good read on how Walmart gets concessions on quality:


And a fairly long hit list:

 
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