2018 CX-5 head gasket issues?

Need some advice on the the 2018. Been hearing about some having head gasket issues. Supposedly Mexico built cars are having this issue. I thought all CX5 were made in Japan. Is it a common issue on the 2018?

How would I tell if the car is made in Japan?

Looking to buy a car in the next couple of weeks. Thanks.
 

PaulZooms

16.5 GT Sensing
:
Lakewood, CO
:
2016.5 CX-5 GT
Need some advice on the the 2018. Been hearing about some having head gasket issues. Supposedly Mexico built cars are having this issue. I thought all CX5 were made in Japan. Is it a common issue on the 2018?

How would I tell if the car is made in Japan?

Looking to buy a car in the next couple of weeks. Thanks.
VIN starts with J for Japan-made.
 

HardRightEdg

US 2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
Also, there should be a sticker on the driver's door jamb next to the tire pressure sticker that shows the country of assembly. That would apply if you look at something other than a Mazda.
 
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yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Need some advice on the the 2018. Been hearing about some having head gasket issues. Supposedly Mexico built cars are having this issue. I thought all CX5 were made in Japan. Is it a common issue on the 2018?

How would I tell if the car is made in Japan?

Looking to buy a car in the next couple of weeks. Thanks.
Which CX-5 should I buy?
 
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2019 CX-5 AWD
All North American market CX-5s are built in Japan. See here: https://www.mazdas247.com/forum/index.php?threads/where-was-your-cx-5-produced.123869690/

You can enter VINs from Autotrader or elsewhere into the VIN decoder to verify this. The CX-30 and Mazda3 are built in Mexico. I prefer a J-Vin myself; I wouldn't refuse to buy a Mexican built car, but I'd need an incentive - see the Ford Mach-E which uses the Mexican production facility to keep the price down significantly below its competitors like the Model Y (batteries are expensive). The difference in price between the CX-30/3 and CX-5 (plus the inferior torsion beam rear suspension on the 30/3) is too small to make those cars appealing to me. Not to mention the size, cargo capacity difference, lack of towing ability, etc.
 
Thanks for the replies. Much appreciated.

The dealership has a few 2016 CX5. One has less than 15k miles. Are there any common issue with this year? Any issue buying a car that was run so few miles over 5 years. I know cars like to be driven, sitting is generally not good unless it is a temp/humidity controlled environment.
 
:
NY
:
2021 CX-5 Sig.
Need some advice on the the 2018. Been hearing about some having head gasket issues. Supposedly Mexico built cars are having this issue. I thought all CX5 were made in Japan. Is it a common issue on the 2018?

How would I tell if the car is made in Japan?

Looking to buy a car in the next couple of weeks. Thanks.
Again, since this thread seems to have been anecdotally caused by the other thread, I think you're honestly concerned over a non-issue. The whole situation seems to have been cause by a small batch of bad cylinder heads caught after the fact. I'd be surprised if more than 100 vehicles were affected.

If you're seriously that concerned I would be looking for a CPO vehicle with the factory warranty anyway as it seems anyone who had issues had them before the car left factory warranty.

Cylinder deactivation would be a bigger concern to me but the only way to avoid it is buying a 2.5T.
 
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2019 CX5 Reserve AWD
Thanks for the replies. Much appreciated.

The dealership has a few 2016 CX5. One has less than 15k miles. Are there any common issue with this year? Any issue buying a car that was run so few miles over 5 years. I know cars like to be driven, sitting is generally not good unless it is a temp/humidity controlled environment.
Have a 16 as well as a 19. Had the 16 since Apr 2015. No problems whatsoever. Great car. Runs like new. Two minor recalls, one for gas filler pipe and one for hatch hydralic tensioners.
If they're 16.5's that's even better.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
CX5 came in a diesel?
In US market Mazda imported 2.2L diesel CX-5 for only one model year, 2019, although Mazda does offer diesel CX-5 world wide since 2012. Recently Mazda has stopped exporting diesel CX-5’s into some countries apparently trying to avoid further liability from unexpected overheating issue (blown head gasket) on earlier diesel’s, and those countries have forced Mazda to replace the entire engine under recall.

You may still be able to find a brand new 2019 diesel CX-5 sitting in some US Mazda dealers. But I wouldn’t bother even with huge discount.
 
Again, since this thread seems to have been anecdotally caused by the other thread, I think you're honestly concerned over a non-issue. The whole situation seems to have been cause by a small batch of bad cylinder heads caught after the fact. I'd be surprised if more than 100 vehicles were affected.

If you're seriously that concerned I would be looking for a CPO vehicle with the factory warranty anyway as it seems anyone who had issues had them before the car left factory warranty.

Cylinder deactivation would be a bigger concern to me but the only way to avoid it is buying a 2.5T.
probably right about worrying too much. but this is a car for my parents who are on fixed income and can't really afford any serious trouble. So a little worrying and research on my part to keep the wolves at bay is ok :)

With the cylinder deactivation, what issues are seen? One i heard of is the low speed jerky behavior. Not sure if that would be transmission or engine issues.
 
In US market Mazda imported 2.2L diesel CX-5 for only one model year, 2019, although Mazda does offer diesel CX-5 world wide since 2012. Recently Mazda has stopped exporting diesel CX-5’s into some countries apparently trying to avoid further liability from unexpected overheating issue (blown head gasket) on earlier diesel’s, and those countries have forced Mazda to replace the entire engine under recall.

You may still be able to find a brand new 2019 diesel CX-5 sitting in some US Mazda dealers. But I wouldn’t bother even with huge discount.
No diesel. Prefer good old gasoline.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Thanks for the replies. Much appreciated.

The dealership has a few 2016 CX5. One has less than 15k miles. Are there any common issue with this year? Any issue buying a car that was run so few miles over 5 years. I know cars like to be driven, sitting is generally not good unless it is a temp/humidity controlled environment.
If I were you this 2016 CX-5 would be my strong potential candidate with such low miles (15K miles) if I’m looking for a used CX-5 for lower cost, although I airways prefer getting a lowest-priced brand-new vehicle. No, very low miles is not a concern to me, actually I believe the miles should be the lower the better on used cars. Since there’re too many unknowns on a used car, so inspection and history are very important. Background check to vehicle’s history making sure there’s no major incident involved. If you don’t feel comfortable, pay someone you trust inspect the car throughly. I personally like to pull the dipstick check the oil level and condition, eicj would tell me some syory about the engine. If the oil is fresh and full, oil may just got changed. But if the oil is dirty and low, this could be a bad sign that the maintenance had been poorly done, and worse, the engine may have started burning oil.

Since I have a 2016 CX-5 GT AWD with tech
Thanks for the replies. Much appreciated.

The dealership has a few 2016 CX5. One has less than 15k miles. Are there any common issue with this year? Any issue buying a car that was run so few miles over 5 years. I know cars like to be driven, sitting is generally not good unless it is a temp/humidity controlled environment.
If I were you this 2016 CX-5 with such low miles (15K miles) would be my strong potential candidate if I’m looking for a used CX-5 for lower cost, although I airways prefer getting a lowest-priced brand-new vehicle. No, very low miles is not a concern to me, actually I believe the miles should be the lower the better on used cars. Since there’re too many unknowns on a used car, so inspection and history are very important. Background check to vehicle’s history making sure there’s no major incident involved. If you don’t feel comfortable, pay someone you trust inspects the car throughly. I personally like to pull the dipstick check the oil level and condition, that should tell me some story about the engine. If the oil is fresh and full, oil may just got changed. But if the oil is dirty and low, this’s a red flag that the maintenance had been poorly done, and worse, the engine may have been burning oil.

Since I have a 2016 CX-5 GT AWD with Tech Package, I can recommend a 2016 CX-5, or even better a 2016.5 CX-5. This doesn’t mean the 2016 CX-5 is 100% trouble-rfree, but it’s a good MY on CX-5 to consider.

For 2016 CX-5, there’re 4 recalls issued. In addition to 2 recalls mentioned.l above. A passenger-side reprogramming, and LED headlights recall if the 2016 CX-5 comes with optional Tech Package. A common and more serious problem on 2016 CX-5 EPB dragging issue. See this TSB:

2016 CX-5 rear brakes...Maintenance mode?

(The website apparently can’t do a search right now after the system has backed up a short time ago, Will provide the TSB link once the search function restored)
 
@yrwei52, thanks for the info. The TSB isn't opening as you said. Is there a specific vin range impacted?

With TSBs, do the dealership fix them automatically on Mazda's dime? Or do owners have to pay?
 

HardRightEdg

US 2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
It seems most issues with cylinder deactivation relate to low gear performance, jolts and lugs, as discussed at length in this thread:


In that latter pages of that thread is the following TSB as a possible solution:

file:///C:/Users/jdelf/Documents/Downloads/MC-10185048-0001%20(1).pdf

I had that TSB applied last week and since my initial impressions posted in that thread I've put on another 100 miles of local, less than zoom-zoom, driving. There are subtle but worthy improvements in my 2020. In trying to "manufacture" a jolt I was getting a not entirely unpleasant bump-zoom. I can now get it to the edge of a lug but it takes more effort to manufacture it and it is less notable and bothersome than before.

My pre-TSB impression that the low gear issues were not CD-caused per se, rather an engine-transmission integration issue, is on the way to being confirmed. I'm a driver, not an automotive engineer, but I think there's more to this TSB than just suppression of torque resonance. Or the question is, "What did they do to suppress that resonance?" I seem to feel a little more engine braking in the low gears and a little firmer gas pedal. I think they might have tweaked the torque curve and/or the power curve. It's a PCM change, not specifically a trans software update.

I had the TSB applied at the same time as an oil change--one year old oil with 4k miles. I doubt fresh oil would cause these kinds of differences.

All-in-all, so far, the vehicle behavior is now not outside the bounds of inherent limitations in a normally aspirated 4-cylinder 6-speed set up. Feels pretty good now, actually, pending more driving. I'm heading out on a 1,500 mile road trip on Sunday. I'll probably have a follow-up in that other thread after that.

Under the heading of “unintended consequences”, the gas mileage still looks good and no idiot lights have displayed—so far so good.

Or as one other poster said in that other thread with an enviable economy of words ;), "It's fixed!" or something like that. I may join him in that declaration after the road trip.
 
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HardRightEdg

US 2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
@yrwei52, thanks for the info. The TSB isn't opening as you said. Is there a specific vin range impacted?

With TSBs, do the dealership fix them automatically on Mazda's dime? Or do owners have to pay?
Dealers don't apply TSBs unless you report a problem and they know of or find a TSB that will fix it. Ordinarily a TSB would be covered under manufacturer warranty but brakes are considered a wear item so maybe not. If the warranty has expired getting a TSB applied for free is probably a tough sell.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
It seems most issues with cylinder deactivation relate to low gear performance, jolts and lugs, as discussed at length in this thread:

IMO you’ve overlooked many problems coming from cylinder deactivation on 2.5L, especially on engine itself. The turning point is the 2018 MY CX-5 when Mazda added cylinder deactivation feature to its excellent SkyActiv-G 2.5L for a mere 0 ~ 1 mpg benefit on EPA ratings. The problems are based on the CD history and whoever started implementing the CD would always come up issues from design principles on CD. Although Mazda had done its best modified and added many components on engine 、transmission、and even the exhaust system to compensate and prevent potential issues, but the results are still inevitable. So far since 2018 Mazds has issued a recall (software fix for fallen rocker arms)、several Servicd Alerts、and TSBs on engine and transmission especially on oil pressure control issue from switchable hydraulic lash adjusters. Just this year in 2021 Mazda has issued yet another TSB which offered modified switchable HLAs for 2.5L with CD apparently is trying to manage the oil pressure better by re-designed hardware instead of using the software.

So if you want a used CX-5, 2017 MY which has no CD definitely is a better choice, especially if you plan to keep the CX-5 long. But it’s the first year gen-2 CX-5, it also suffers some first-year problems on new designs such as front suspension, and engine mounts, where several TSBs have been issued.

I’ve seen some have argued that there’re only 100+ cases reported with fallen rocker arm, that’s not a big deal. But when you encounter a situation like Go Hawks did that you lost the engine power suddenly while you’re passing on the 2-way highway, that’s a severe safety issue even with a few cases. Because the sudden power loss is unpredictable, and it could happen at the time you need power the most. You really don’t want this happening to you in any situation.

Dangerous cylinder deactivation trouble on 2018 CX-5 and 6 models
 

HardRightEdg

US 2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
IMO you’ve overlooked many problems coming from cylinder deactivation on 2.5L, especially on engine itself. The turning point is the 2018 MY CX-5 when Mazda added cylinder deactivation feature to its excellent SkyActiv-G 2.5L for a mere 0 ~ 1 mpg benefit on EPA ratings. The problems are based on the CD history and whoever started implementing the CD would always come up issues from design principles on CD. Although Mazda had done its best modified and added many components on engine 、transmission、and even the exhaust system to compensate and prevent potential issues, but the results are still inevitable. So far since 2018 Mazds has issued a recall (software fix for fallen rocker arms)、several Servicd Alerts、and TSBs on engine and transmission especially on oil pressure control issue from switchable hydraulic lash adjusters. Just this year in 2021 Mazda has issued yet another TSB which offered modified switchable HLAs for 2.5L with CD apparently is trying to manage the oil pressure better by re-designed hardware instead of using the software.

So if you want a used CX-5, 2017 MY which has no CD definitely is a better choice, especially if you plan to keep the CX-5 long. But it’s the first year gen-2 CX-5, it also suffers some first-year problems on new designs such as front suspension, and engine mounts, where several TSBs have been issued.

I’ve seen some have argued that there’re only 100+ cases reported with fallen rocker arm, that’s not a big deal. But when you encounter a situation like Go Hawks did that you lost the engine power suddenly while you’re passing on the 2-way highway, that’s a severe safety issue even with a few cases. Because the sudden power loss is unpredictable, and it could happen at the time you need power the most. You really don’t want this happening to you in any situation.

Dangerous cylinder deactivation trouble on 2018 CX-5 and 6 models
Your critique may be valid for 2018's and to the point for the OP's consideration. I speak from the experience of a 2020 owner. The rocker arm recall does not apply to 2020's. In fact there are no recalls at all on the 2020, pretty unusual these days for a car on the road for 1.5 years. I've scanned through the engine TSBs for 2020 and don't see anything alarming. If I get a low oil pressure light or performance/mileage drop off from crud on the valves I'll let you know. Many owners have not experienced these issues. I would certainly go by the CR reliability ratings, aggregating the experiences of 100's or 1000's of drivers over isolated anecdotal reports or guys making some youtube bucks fixing up anecdotal (and possibly poorly maintained) vehicles for public display. I'm sure you can find a youtube guy tearing down a Mazda turbo laden with crud and attributing the issues to poor oil pressure and that has nothing to do with CD.

Any vehicle built by anybody can go bad. It's about frequency. Cars of a make, model, year, drive train are not clones nor are their owners. I've walked through a forum for 2016 Siennas and find all kinds of issues whereas I've had none except crappy OEM tires. It's about the odds and I think the odds on the 2020 2.5L are pretty good.

The point being for this thread is I would not paint all cylinder deactivation CX-5's with the same brush. If by chance the 2018 does have a high problem rate contrary to the CR report (4 out 5 for the drive train, probably down a peg due to the recall inconvenience) it would be another example of why it is not a good idea to buy the first year of a model, generation or drive train, CD or otherwise.

I was happy with the vehicle before, my only issue being with the goofy low gear shifting. Early returns on the TSB indicate I'll be even happier now.

Now that I jinxed it the engine will blow half way to Chicago on Sunday. 😭 Just kidding--there are no jinxes, just the odds.
 
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