Water Pump failure led to need for new engine - Mazda not helping at all

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2010 CX-9 AWD Touring
Before I provide some details, I am aware that if the engine gets too hot this potentially can happen to any vehicle. What I am displeased mostly about here is the way Mazda is handling (or not handling) the situation. I will say to those that will think this is just sour grapes, we have enjoyed driving the car - I do think it is a great driving vehicle. Just won't buy another one.

Vehicle is a 2010 CX-9 Touring AWD. No abuse, normal driving. Went to a dealer for the 30K service which included a coolant flush. Vehicle now has 62,000 miles (important for what comes next).

Long story short, water pump apparently either failed or there was some sort of failure right at the pump (not a hose) which caused all the coolant to leak out while driving. The light comes on and my wife pulls right over and shuts the car down. I diagnosed on the road, and had it towed to a local reputable garage. Was clear is was something other than the radiator or hoses which you could see. Shop disassembled a bit further and it was clear it was the water pump. I contacted Mazda right away to see if they would assist as this literally was 2,000 over the warranty period. Pointblank no from the call center when I called customer assistance. Disappointed I told the garage to continue.

Long story short: Coolant is throughout the engine, and we need to replace the engine in this vehicle. Mazda is still unwilling to assist (I would gladly tow this to a Mazda dealer if I thought there would be assistance other than charging me dealer shop rates - I did contact them as well and they think it isn't going to fly with Mazda)

We found an engine with 12K miles on it so that will be what I put in, and then I will have to think if I trade this vehicle or just continue driving it.

Mazda so far here has not been of any assistance.

I totally understand the warranty technically has expired here and some could say "What should the cutoff be?" however I would at least expect given the circumstances a break on the parts/labor or some sort of middle ground when you are within 5-10K from the end of the warranty.

I have had two other problems on the vehicle, one was covered: Front Wheel Bearing replacement.

The other was the automatic lift gate: The insulation inside the panel where the motor is wrapped itself around the screw mechanism and jammed the auto lift gate. Clearly not something I could have done to it or caused, but Mazda is unwilling to do anything there either.

Just wanted to point this out to any potential new customers. I am open to changing my mind but we are already in process with a garage in getting this back on the road due to the lack of response from Mazda.
 
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2017 Mazda CX-5 GT, 2016 Mazda6 iGT, 2014 Mazda3 sGT hatchback
For the water pump problem, I am thinking that if you had towed the CX9 to the dealership first instead of an indie shop, Mazda's answer could be different.

As a side note, your dealership could have messed up the coolant flush.
Why? Modern coolant contains lubricant for the bearing of the water pump. If someone put in wrong type of coolant, water pump might fail prematurely. I learnt this from owning a BMW. Not sure about Mazda. This wouldn't be the 1st time a dealership put in wrong fluid. It happens more often than you think....

Sorry. Don't know how to help you. You can call Mazda 1-800 number again and plead your case nicely.
A different agent might be more helpful.
 
Sorry for your woes. Mazda's not going to concede anything. Right around now, they consider themselves 2K miles lucky. I do believe your previous flush is part of the story, but proving that is next to impossible, compounded by starting with an independent.

I hope you have better luck with the used engine. Hopefully it came out of a total loss vehicle and that the engine was 100% spared.

It may be time to unload. These vehicles are notorious for AWD transfer case failure (often with spline damage to the Aisin 6 speed). That would be insult to injury. Also, the rear shocks are due for failure at this mileage or shortly thereafter. Good bit of teardown to rectify that. One day at a time, you'll figure it out, whatever's best for your situation.

Welcome to the forum, despite the circumstances. Try Mazda once more, though I' pretty sure they'll stay true to form. Press the coolant change angle.
 
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2014 CX 9 Grand Touring w/Tech Package in Zeal Red
Sorry to hear of your misfortune...I'm wondering why you would need to replace the engine though? If you shut it down right when the light came one (assuming the "check engine" light) and the engine wasn't run for any length of time with no coolant maybe the damage wasn't extensive? You have probably verified the need for a new engine, but it's just a thought...
If you really like the vehicle, and have access to a "new" engine you might want to just chalk it up to random failure which can happen to any vehicle and keep on driving it.
It would be nice if Mazda would help out, but unfortunately those mileage and time limitations are usually adhered to pretty strictly in my experience unless there are mitigating circumstances. Since it had been quite some time since the coolant flush, it would be pretty difficult to prove any culpability on the dealer's part for the failure.
You might try writing a nice letter to Mazda Customer Relations and see if they would do a "good will" exception to help you out...but don't hold your breath on that one! Good luck with your vehicle!
 
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2010 CX-9 AWD Touring
Sorry to hear of your misfortune...I'm wondering why you would need to replace the engine though? If you shut it down right when the light came one (assuming the "check engine" light) and the engine wasn't run for any length of time with no coolant maybe the damage wasn't extensive? You have probably verified the need for a new engine, but it's just a thought...
If you really like the vehicle, and have access to a "new" engine you might want to just chalk it up to random failure which can happen to any vehicle and keep on driving it.
It would be nice if Mazda would help out, but unfortunately those mileage and time limitations are usually adhered to pretty strictly in my experience unless there are mitigating circumstances. Since it had been quite some time since the coolant flush, it would be pretty difficult to prove any culpability on the dealer's part for the failure.
You might try writing a nice letter to Mazda Customer Relations and see if they would do a "good will" exception to help you out...but don't hold your breath on that one! Good luck with your vehicle!
Thanks, and thanks everyone for the advice.

The update so far is that Mazda did not reply to my email sent around a week ago at this point, and it was a polite one. No reply is hardly the answer you want to see.

This should be a word of warning to those that are looking at Mazda. Luckily I think for the most part the vehicles are solid, however this is no Infinity or similar in terms of taking care of the customer. It is a lower cost brand, and I should have known that and will be more careful in the future with extended warranties, etc.

The need for the new engine is that once coolant is mixed into the oil you can try and fix the issue (gasket, etc) and flush out the system and put new oil however it may fail soon thereafter. It certainly will never run the same again.
 
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2007 Mazda CX-9 Touring
I had the same situation as you. The only difference is that no light came on and the engine was still at half on the temp gauge. I took it right away to the dealer and the extended warranty saved the day. I had coolant service done at the dealer also. They put some water with the coolant and was told by the tech that mazda said it was okay. That was 2 years before the failure. When you look at the coolant it specifically says do not add water. I always check my car before going out so i picked up on the fact that the recovery was low. At first i thought it was evaporating until i went to the gas station to fill up. That is when i noticed the sound of something leaking. I feel for you . I have always extended the warranty on the new and used cars i bought after my experience with a pontiac i owned years ago.
 
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2014 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring
You might want to consider posting on their social media sites. Try to be overly polite and praise their product while showing your displeasure for the lack of consideration on this issue. I've had several positive experiences with various companies' Social Media Managers. They don't want to look unresponsive to their potential future customers browsing the page. I'd also write a review on Yelp for the dealer and explain this issue there. They may contact you and offer to help in some way to mitigate the less than perfect review.
 

helbigtw

T-Rav
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PA
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08 CX-9 GT FWD
Your car insurance will cover the engine subject to your deductible. Also wheel bearing issue you had is from pneumatic impact guns over tightening your wheel lug nuts at tire shops or the dealer. I am more than certain whoever flushed your rad screwed up. P.s. I looked at a 11 cx9 with 60k the other day as part of my job. It had hail damage. I noticed when the shop started up the engine some white smoke came out the exhaust. I ran the vin.... sure enough it had been a fleet/lease at Chicago Ohare. Moral of the story.... whenever I hear about unusual cx9 failures, there is usually some reason. With yours, someone jacked up the coolant. I don't think it is a Mazda issue. Call your car ins. carrier!
 

tex2670

Grand Poobah
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2012 CX-9 GT AWD, Copper Red/Sand
Thanks, and thanks everyone for the advice.

The update so far is that Mazda did not reply to my email sent around a week ago at this point, and it was a polite one. No reply is hardly the answer you want to see.

This should be a word of warning to those that are looking at Mazda. Luckily I think for the most part the vehicles are solid, however this is no Infinity or similar in terms of taking care of the customer. It is a lower cost brand, and I should have known that and will be more careful in the future with extended warranties, etc.

The need for the new engine is that once coolant is mixed into the oil you can try and fix the issue (gasket, etc) and flush out the system and put new oil however it may fail soon thereafter. It certainly will never run the same again.
Whether Mazda should do something as a "courtesy" or not is fact-specific in every case. But they should *never* just ignore a customer--that is wrong.
 

tex2670

Grand Poobah
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2012 CX-9 GT AWD, Copper Red/Sand
Your car insurance will cover the engine subject to your deductible. Also wheel bearing issue you had is from pneumatic impact guns over tightening your wheel lug nuts at tire shops or the dealer. I am more than certain whoever flushed your rad screwed up. P.s. I looked at a 11 cx9 with 60k the other day as part of my job. It had hail damage. I noticed when the shop started up the engine some white smoke came out the exhaust. I ran the vin.... sure enough it had been a fleet/lease at Chicago Ohare. Moral of the story.... whenever I hear about unusual cx9 failures, there is usually some reason. With yours, someone jacked up the coolant. I don't think it is a Mazda issue. Call your car ins. carrier!
Really?! I never knew that...
 
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2007 Mazda CX-9 Touring
Helbigtw, can you explain that to me. I would understand if the engine got damaged from an accident, but from a dealer screwing it up. Would that fall under the comprehensive part of the policy?
 

helbigtw

T-Rav
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PA
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08 CX-9 GT FWD
I won't say which company I work for, but I have paid (on behalf of the company) for several engines. If someone damages your car (i.e. mechanic/dealer/etc) you can turn it in to your car insurance under comprehensive (other than collision). If you are driving down the road and your car overheats due to mechanical wear/tear/failure, that is not covered, but if someone is responsible for something breaking on your car (i.e. putting water in your coolant when mazda specifically says don't do that) and your engine eats itself, then your car insurance will cover that under comprehensive. Yes its a fine line, but it is a line non the less. It's not your job to find that line, its the insurance company's job to determine that line.

Good luck.
 
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2003 Mazda Protege 5
How has your history been with the dealer? Visit regularly for service? Faithful and loyal customers usually get assistance from Mazda on a repair or Mazda may be willing to split the cost with you. The biggest issue now is you had someone else work on it/look at it and Mazda can't really prove anything at this point. I have seen many repairs approved even after 20,000 miles out of warranty for engine/transmission repairs. You could just have it towed to a different mazda dealer however, now you have probably provided your vin to Mazda when you called and they might send a alert to look out for your vehicle coming in to different shops. I was a Master Certified Service Advisor a while back.
 

Rawyzf

Contributor
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2011 Mazda CX-9 GT AWD
I won't say which company I work for, but I have paid (on behalf of the company) for several engines. If someone damages your car (i.e. mechanic/dealer/etc) you can turn it in to your car insurance under comprehensive (other than collision). If you are driving down the road and your car overheats due to mechanical wear/tear/failure, that is not covered, but if someone is responsible for something breaking on your car (i.e. putting water in your coolant when mazda specifically says don't do that) and your engine eats itself, then your car insurance will cover that under comprehensive. Yes its a fine line, but it is a line non the less. It's not your job to find that line, its the insurance company's job to determine that line.

Good luck.
Curious on this: Do you have to have prove that water was added in this case? I am not sure how this could be done with all the coolant gone?
 

helbigtw

T-Rav
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PA
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08 CX-9 GT FWD
Well, take the radiator out, tip it sideways and fill a test tube's worth and send it off to a lab for testing. Even when "all the coolant drains out" there should still be some in the radiator. Or, take a voice recorder with you to the dealer and stealthily and calmly figure out a way to find out which tech worked on the vehicle and talk to him. Say something like "I've got a CX-9, I just want to make sure I don't put TOO much water in the coolant "mix," how much do you usually put in? Since you are not telling him you are recording the conversation, that cannot be used in court, however, you can use it to show your insurance company that they add water in the coolant. Several ways you can go about making your case.
 
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2007 Mazda CX-9 Touring
So lets say that you can prove that the dealer did this. How would this work? does the insurance pay you and then go after the dealership? I am pretty sure they are not just going to pay out and not try to recover some or all of the money. I am curious as to how that would work.
 

Rawyzf

Contributor
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2011 Mazda CX-9 GT AWD
So lets say that you can prove that the dealer did this. How would this work? does the insurance pay you and then go after the dealership? I am pretty sure they are not just going to pay out and not try to recover some or all of the money. I am curious as to how that would work.
I am curious as well.

I have a feeling the insurance company would say, whos to say you didn't add water to the coolant or the sample. Some one has to pay in the end here.

Now - if you get the dealership tech to say he added water, then I can see you being golden. But in most cases, you don't chat with the tech, only the Service Advisor at the dealerships.
 

helbigtw

T-Rav
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PA
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08 CX-9 GT FWD
Ins. co. has a "good faith" obligation to provide coverage where coverage exists. Good faith obligation is to find coverage. We paid a guy when he took his old rust bucket to a transmission shop to diagnose engine noise. He alleged they took his whole engine apart and put the pieces in boxes and told him he owed them 2500 dollars. Shop told him he needed new lifters yet they tore the whole engine down. Literally ...rod bearings, lifters, cams, spark plugs, valves, pistons, chain, all in boxes. We paid his claim subject to his comp deductible. We attempted to subrogate the shop but in the end I think we ate the claim. True story. The guy provided receipts where he had bought all the parts for the motor and put it together himself. He insured it after he rebuilt this rust bucket and had a legitimate claim for a shop tearing his motor apart without reason. You don't have to rip a motor to pieces to diagnose a lifter problem.
 
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2008 Mazda CX9
I know this thread is a year old but, if it's any consolation, the same thing just happened to us. Regular maintenance, regular oil changes (not always at the dealer) and no sign of problems. My daughter took the car out last weekend to the local mall (2 miles) and no problems whatsoever. She came home, no warnings or anything and when coming back into the neighborhood, the engine light came on and the car stalled. I went down to take a look and the car started up but the engine light was still on. There was no indication of anything leaking and the last couple of times the engine light came on it was to replace a sensor. I brought it to the mechanic the next day (less than a mile) and he found the anti-freeze was gone. I then had it towed to the dealership and they called today to say that the water pump failed and leaked into the engine and I'd need a new engine.

So, no warning, no leaking, no indication of any sort of problem and suddenly: *bam* I'm out a car. This is an incredibly stupid design. To go from fine to dead in seconds is just wrong.

Mazda should take responsibility in these and explain to customers the risks of owning their car or increase the frequency of these type of checks. I could see it if there was a leak or some temperature warning. Something. But nothing? That's just wrong. Even my '98 BMW will give me some text of a problem.

So now I have a dead car and I have to go through the hassle with Mazda to, most likely, get nowhere.

I think I might make them do the recall on the ball joints just because......
 
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