CX-9 water pump issue years?

So we're looking to buy a used SUV, have it narrowed down to a v6 terrain/equinox,ford edge,cx-5 or cx9. Looking at 2015-2017 is about what our budget allows

We were leaning towards a cx5, as their engines are notoriously reliable, but we think it might just be a tad too small for us. So we started looking into a cx9. We were all for it but I started finding terrible info on water pump failures, in the ford/mazda 3.5 and 3.7

What years did these have the problems, and what years were they resolved? We love the reliability of the cx5, we were leaning towards an equinox or terrain in a 2.4 until I was reading their engines are basically junk, we dont want a turbo edge so we would want the gas engine, which apparently shares the water pump issues.

And help here guys? Thanks in advance!
 

sm1ke

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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
The 2nd generation of the CX-9 starts at the 2016 MY. 2015 MY and previous are the 1st generation. All CX-9s in the 2nd generation share the same 2.5T engine, which is a completely different design from the 3.5 and 3.7 used in the 1st generation. As far as I know, there have been no widespread engine or transmission issues, and any major drivetrain issues appear to be very few and far between.

The 1st generation CX-5 has a bit more cargo space than the 2nd generation. Would you consider a 2016 or 2016.5 CX-5?
 
I read somewhere the 3.7 was offered till 17.. seems like that was incorrect info... not really a fan of forced induction engines (not knocking them just dont trust them real long term and too much to fail)

We are looking at a 16 cx5 AWD later this week..

So I'm assuming the 15 cx9 can have the water pump issue as well?
 
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2010 CX-9 GT
All of the V6 CX-9s have the potential water pump issue. In the US, the V6 was offered from 2007 through 2015. The design was mostly unchanged aside from a displacement increase in 2008.

The likelihood of failure is not really clear at this point - although it is easy to find examples of failure, there are a ton of these engines in service in Ford Edge, Flex, Taurus, and various Lincolns too. In my opinion, the rate seems pretty low, but the consequences of failure are so high that it's not something to take a chance on, unless you can get one at a good price and replace the pump yourself.

Even then, there are no guarantees, as there have been failures with relatively low miles.
 
The failure on the V6s are totally unpredictable. It is not common enough to say most engines will suffer it, but common enough that it is a well known risk. I had a 10 year old ford edge with 120 000km with no water pump issue. But to some other it occurred before that. Keep in mind that it is otherwise a tried and true reliable engine design, that was in used in almost all the ford vehicle with a V6 of that era. But as mentioned before, the gravity of the failure when it happens is enough to make people think twice about it.
 
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2009 Mazda CX-9 GT
2011/2012 they changed to a dual sprocket pump, which also has less chance of failure compared to the single sprocket design. 254,000km and no water pump issues here. <knock on wood>
 
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Ottawa, Ontario
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17 Mazda 6 GT
I was just going to ask about this in a separate post, and then ran across this thread.
I'm contemplating buying a used Explorer with the V6 engine.
I logged onto an Explorer forum to do some research, and saw on there a discussion on the water pump issues.
The problem is the design and lack of space under the hood of the Explorer.
Normally a water pump is mounted externally, but Ford needed to save space, and somehow figured out how to mount the pump inside the engine.
Apparently if the pump leaks, it leaks water into the engine, and if not caught in time, will destroy the engine.
This is the same engine in the earlier CX-9's.
I am having serious second thoughts about buying a Ford with this engine.
Even if the engine is not destroyed, the cost of replacing the water pump is ridiculous.
I'm curious if any CX-9 owners with this Ford engine have experienced this issue.
 
The short answer is yes. But there are so few cx-9 sold compared tonford explorers that it is likely “less experienced” on cx-9. This is pretty much the same engine design. The reason the cost is so high is also because the pump is running on the timing chain, which is not cheap to get to and retime after. As mentionned before, the same engine was used on ford edge, ford flex, ford mustangs, and a lot of others. Both in 3.5 and 3.7L configuration. If you visit these forums you will find people with the exact same experience, but the thing is that for every horror story with the water pump there is a story of a ford v6 lasting forever. Maintenance and good care doesn’t really seem to factor in to the equation. My best recommandation is to check the oil regularly for sign of water dilution to prevent catastrophic failure.
 
All of the V6 CX-9s have the potential water pump issue. In the US, the V6 was offered from 2007 through 2015. The design was mostly unchanged aside from a displacement increase in 2008.

The likelihood of failure is not really clear at this point - although it is easy to find examples of failure, there are a ton of these engines in service in Ford Edge, Flex, Taurus, and various Lincolns too. In my opinion, the rate seems pretty low, but the consequences of failure are so high that it's not something to take a chance on unless you can get one at a good price and replace the pump yourself.

Even then, there are no guarantees, as there have been failures with relatively low miles.
Hi All, I have a '13 CX-9 which has been a terrific SUV/CUV, but I am very concerned about the Water Pump failure and catastrophic engine damage. Is there any way that the Mazda techs can check if the water pump is at risk without dropping the engine? I have 89K miles, and I don't believe I have flushed/changed the coolant (not sure if it matters for this issue?). My goal was to keep the car until ~ 130-150K miles, but if there is too much risk of engine failure then maybe time to trade/sell it?
 
I think the only thing you can do is monitor the oil for early sign of water/coolant presence. If you do find one then you could get the water pump replaced before total failure.

It may never fail, but i don’t think there is any preventive maintenance that will guarantee it won’t happen.
 
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2010 CX-9 GT
The best you can do is religiously check the coolant level in the coolant expansion tank. Mine is perfectly lined up with the "L" mark when the engine is cold. I check it in the morning every once in a while - I probably should check it more often. If it ever drops below that mark I will assume the pump is leaking.
 
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2020 CX-5 AWD
The best you can do is religiously check the coolant level in the coolant expansion tank. Mine is perfectly lined up with the "L" mark when the engine is cold. I check it in the morning every once in a while - I probably should check it more often. If it ever drops below that mark I will assume the pump is leaking.
Although checking the coolant level is certainly much better than doing nothing, it's unsettling to consider that the pump could potentially be leaking for quite a while before the level changes enough to become visually noticeable.

Thinking about this problem makes me wonder how long fluorescent dye would remain active and effective, when added into the coolant. If the dye held up well for an extended amount of time, then just checking the oil regularly with the proper glasses on should be able to provide a very early indication that the problem has begun. Might be worth it for someone owning one of these vehicles to do some research with one of the dye makers.

Very happy to not have one of these engines myself, and I'm sorry for those who do. The cylinder deactivation issue on the 2.5L doesn't seem like nearly as big a deal, when compared to this ticking time bomb.
 
A little bit of water in the oil likely won’t cause any problem, certainly not anymore than typical fuel dilution in the oil, so i wouldn’t be too concerned with a slow leak. I think it would mostly evaporate or get flushed during regular oil change.

But i think monitoring the coolant level is the only way to prevent it. It is otherwise a very reliable engine, as i said before in use across pretty much the entire Ford fleet of that generation, with many examples 150-160k engines without any issues. So it is a bit of a hit or miss. If the resale value is lower than the cost of the potential repair, i would keep running the car as long as I could. Odds are your engine may never have that problem.
 
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2010 CX-9 GT
The overflow tank is actually pretty small cross-section wise so you can see level changes readily. This won't protect you from a sudden catastrophic failure, however.

As stated elsewhere, the real failure rate of these engines is not known. Calling it a ticking time bomb may be overstating the case. I haven't gone through the effort of counting the number of posts of this forum from people who suffered this failure but, while sizable, the number is likely <100. Given that there are nearly 200,000 cx-9's on the road with this engine, this isn't what I would call an epidemic. Even if you double or triple the number of cases reported on this forum, it still equates to a failure rate of about 1%.

Frankly, I find the number of reports of cracked blocks and low compression on the new 2.5T more worrisome. It seems that there is an issue with at least some of these engines.
 
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2014 Ford Explorer Sport, 2009 CX9(Wife's)
My wife's old 2009 cx9 had 185k miles on it with the original water pump and coolant when we sold it last month. We purchased it in late 2010 off a lease return with ~25k miles.
 
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2009 Mazda CX-9 GT
As stated elsewhere, the real failure rate of these engines is not known. Calling it a ticking time bomb may be overstating the case. I haven't gone through the effort of counting the number of posts of this forum from people who suffered this failure but, while sizable, the number is likely <100. Given that there are nearly 200,000 cx-9's on the road with this engine, this isn't what I would call an epidemic. Even if you double or triple the number of cases reported on this forum, it still equates to a failure rate of about 1%
^ This.
 
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