Winter is here...and my cx5 turbo is now a 2.0!

Avoidin Deer

Central Virginia
Contributor
V
2019 CX-5 Reserve
The CX9 does not seem to be affected by this problem.
THAT'S interesting. So Mazda has some kind of goofy Weight-to-Torque algorithm in cold weather, huh? The thing that still makes no sense to me is that if this were for safety reasons, the threshold would be around freezing, not well below it.

Good for you for not letting go of it. And good for you for finding a curious (and responsible) dealer. "Operating as designed" is a meaningless statement.

I live in the middle of Virginia. We've only had a couple of times when it's got that cold so far, and that has been for a brief window of time in the wee hours...certainly nowhere near that cold during daylight hours...yet. We make get a handful of days like that in parts of January and February. So there's not going to be any real level of concern raised with dealers around here.
 
L
Quebec., Canada
V
2019 CX5 GT-R
THAT'S interesting. So Mazda has some kind of goofy Weight-to-Torque algorithm in cold weather, huh?
That’s basicly what i've been told but again, this is a guess as Mazda is mute on this.

This engine produce lots of torque. The heavier CX9 may handles it better than the CX5, i don't know.

Maybe Mazda thinks that the lighter CX5 with this amount of torque is too tricky to handle in colder temps and decided to tame it down (i completely disagree with them, though ! ).

At least, that’s what i understand after speaking with the service manager.
 

JT2

V
2019 CX-5 GTR
If the ecu is limiting boost in very low temperatures, say below 20, I would think it has more to do with protecting the engine from overboost rather than any driving safety issue.
 

Avoidin Deer

Central Virginia
Contributor
V
2019 CX-5 Reserve
If the ecu is limiting boost in very low temperatures, say below 20, I would think it has more to do with protecting the engine from overboost rather than any driving safety issue.
Then why does the CX-9 get exempt from this governor?

Do you think its weight helps damped the acceleration/boost? I've read some of the legacy threads for a Mazda sedan that had the turbo, and they were reporting this cold weather issue years ago.
 

JT2

V
2019 CX-5 GTR
Then why does the CX-9 get exempt from this governor?

Do you think its weight helps damped the acceleration/boost? I've read some of the legacy threads for a Mazda sedan that had the turbo, and they were reporting this cold weather issue years ago.
Are we sure that the CX-9 does not exhibit this behavior? I haven’t followed any CX-9 discussion to know.
 

Avoidin Deer

Central Virginia
Contributor
V
2019 CX-5 Reserve
Are we sure that the CX-9 does not exhibit this behavior? I haven’t followed any CX-9 discussion to know.
I don't want to answer that with any degree of certainty, but I searched the CX-9 "General" and "Engine and Transmission" groups for the word "turbo," and found this one thread where the "Does this happen to you?" question was put forth in January of 2019. But it was a general "Do you ever punch it and not feel the power" question, not specifically "At or below 19°F..."

No one answered in the affirmative. And there have been no other posts about it, in all the years (4 or 5?) the the 2.5L turbo has been in the CX-9, while the issue was noticed the first year that engine was put in the CX-5.

And there's this comment from Naivlys saying his dealer received a lot of CX-5 Turbo complaints since the weather turned cold and the dealer is investigating it. They are investigating it as a new "WTF?" issue, not as "Yeh, it's been a known issue with that [CX-9] engine for years."

When this first came up--as I mentioned elsewhere--I found older threads from turbo-equipped Mazda sedans (I do not recall the model) where this issue was discussed. So one would think that CX-9 owners would have noticed, since everyone else has. That's why I asked if it was only done to the lighter vehicles.

Of course, none of that is quantitative.
 
V
CX5 GT-R
Thanks !

I dont’ expect too much from Mazda ...

Two days ago, i called my dealer and have been told that they have never heard of this problem, that i was the first one complaining about it. Sure ....

I called another dealer and this time got some interesting responses.

First of all, they are very aware of this problem. The service manager told me that they have received lot of complaints from turbo CX5 owners since the colder temps are here. They have tested other CX5 turbo from their lot and they behave exactly the same. The CX9 does not seem to be affected by this problem.

Their master tech have installed data loggers on some CX5 turbo and according to him, there seems to be some kind of torque reduction that is applied to the wheels as soon as the outside air temp reach a trigger point, which seems to be around -7C,-8C. He's not sure if it involves the TCS or something else but to him , it seems that Mazda is messing with the torque on colder temps ...

They have tried to get answers from Mazda but just like everybody else here, they are left in the dark. Mazda told them that there was nothing wrong with the cars, they were operating as designed !
Their only guess for now is that Maxda may be doing this as a safety feature on colder temps but he agrees that the implementation is way too agressive, and a growing number of owners are complaining about this.

I'm going to push my case to Mazda ...
Oh...so it's not just "1 or 2 cars". Who woulda thunk?
 
V
CX5 GT-R
If the ecu is limiting boost in very low temperatures, say below 20, I would think it has more to do with protecting the engine from overboost rather than any driving safety issue.
Yes, but how shoddy is that? SA engine tech allows them to reduce engine power slightly and imperceptibly to enhance corner entry balance, based on steering angle and other factors, and yet they have an "all or nothing" switch for overboost control!? WTF?!
 
Good to hear there is another dealer that is admitting there is an issue. I have no hope though. Good luck niavlys. I’ll write Mazda as well.

23*F on the way into work this morning and it was an issue, so as mentioned in other posts, it’s not just below 20. It’s inconsistent for sure.
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
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L
Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
Oookay, looong post alert. It seems that there's an issue with the search results not returning posts from before the forum changeover, and I've raised the issue with Antoine. In the meantime, here are a few of my posts from earlier in the thread:

0-60 test run comparison - 1 second difference between a single 34F run and a single 16F run.
In my CX-9, I did a 0-60 run in mid-October, when temps were at 1c (34F), and got a time of 7.8. I just did another 0-60 run at -9c (16F) and got a time of 9.0.

It does appear that the engine loses some power at colder temps, based on my own crude testing. Keep in mind that I tried to keep parameters as consistent as I could, but other factors may also contribute to the difference in reported times. For example, tires are the same and testing track is the same. While pavement was dry during both tests, the most recent test had some blowing snow on the road, so there was likely some traction loss or a minimal amount of wheel spin.
CX-9 appears to be affected, but not to the same degree as the CX-5.
For the record, my CX-9 doesn't devolve into some anemic 2.0L engine that can't get out of it's own way. It just feels like the boost has been dialed back a bit when the engine is being wound out.

If this is by design (and it seems to be), I have no problem with it as long as I know why it was implemented. If I know that it was done to protect the engine in some way, I wouldn't care so much. To be honest, I really don't care at all since I never need to accelerate hard enough to notice the difference, especially in the winter, with ice/snow on the ground.
Suggesting a better (IMO) test scenario..
I had done my own testing earlier in this thread and realized afterwards that my testing was not ideal. I think the best test to determine if there is an actual power loss would be to test WOT acceleration while at a cruising speed in temps above 20F, then again in temps below 20F. Get the car to 25mph, then go WOT and see how long it takes to get to 50 or 60. Repeat in warmer/colder weather and compare. A test like this would mimic real-world operation (highway merge) while a 0-60 acceleration test would not.
IMO, a slightly slower 0-60 time is still something to take note of, but it is much less important than WOT acceleration from cruising speed. I can't think of any reason I'd want to go WOT from a complete stop when it's below freezing (ice/snow could be on the road, tires will have less traction, surrounding traffic would generally be slower).
Testing WOT acceleration from cruising speed at 36F.. I planned to do another test to compare, but roads have been too icy/snowy. Can't expect much when even 19F is well below freezing, and more than cold enough for ice to form on the roads.
2018 CX-9 AWD, outside temps at 2c (36F). TCS off, engine cold.


Here's a general idea of what the road looked like.



Not dry, but not really wet either.
Dougal's post is notable to me, because it seems that the colder air is benefiting the engine to some degree, in the form of better mileage.
So is this good or bad?

I was just in the New England area and although it never got colder than 23F, the car felt fine. However, I don't do 0-60 runs and I don't floor it for the heck of it. Driving on the highway and passing cars felt the exact same as always. What I did notice in my time up there was that my gas mileage was about the same as it is down south - which honestly surprised me. In the past, with my CX-5 NA, my mileage would always be worse in the cold and with winter gas.
My reply to Dougal's "is this good or bad?" I also threw out a theory regarding the heavier CX-9 vs. the lighter CX-5.
It doesn't mean anything until I perform the same test, in the same conditions, but at a colder temperature, which would be -7c (19.4F) or colder. Once I've filmed that test, I'll post it so everyone can see the results for themselves. So far everything else appears to either be anecdotal, or a fair comparison hasn't been documented and posted here.

Even with this testing, this would likely only apply to the CX-9 as there are likely differences in tuning between this car and the CX-5. For all we know, the CX-5 is tuned to pull power because the lighter car paired with the OEM tires would result in the TCS kicking in way too often. Here's a question - does the Reserve/Signature come with the same tires as the GT/Touring/Sport (in the same wheel size)?
The reason I asked is because its possible that Mazda used a different tire on the GT compared to the tire used on the GT Reserve and the Signature. I'm trying to find out whether or not they are using a specific tire with the turbo models to offset potential wheel spin/grip issues that may have arisen from using the GT tires. If they are in fact using the same tires across the board, that could be a potential reason for detuning the turbo in colder weather (because they're using tires that were paired with the N/A version of the CX-5). I believe the CX-9 came with either Bridgestone tires or Falken tires across all trims, including the FWD models - I'm not 100% sure though.
Cliffs: The CX-9, in my experience and with my limited testing, does experience the same issue in cold weather, but to a much lesser degree. It is not significant enough for me to notice, mainly because I don't accelerate at WOT when the temps are cold, regardless of how dry the road appears to be. Rubber also gets harder when it's cold, and traction is reduced as a result. I think this issue boils down to a combination of factors - overboosting and/or oil dilution prevention, traction control due to cold weather conditions, and too much torque for the lighter CX-5.


If this issue was significant enough for me to notice, I'd be doing the following. I don't think that I personally would be pushing for a fix, but I would want to know exactly why the issue was happening.

I'm kinda surprised you haven't raised a bigger stink - I sure would. Here's what I'd do:

1. Take car in again and get the corporate and dealer acknowledgements in writing. Spoken words mean nothing.
2. Post a good quality comparison video on YouTube
3. Post on Mazda's social media platforms
4. Reach out to corporate independent of dealer with history of your problem and the video evidence.
5. Reach out to as many auto reviewing people as possible to spread the story.
6. If that doesn't get traction, then dig up your state's lemon law and see what qualifies.
Seems like it's time for folks to file complaints with NHTSA and get this on their radar screen. That might eventually force a formal Mazda response...or a fix.

If some are correct that the turbo has been dialed-back to diminish oil dilution issues in cold weather, I gotta think that it's an acceptable trade-off, within reason. But at this point it's only conjecture.

Maybe a software update is in order.
 
V
2014 & 2019 CX-5 Touring(s)
So have people been noticing this issue only while the engine is cold (in cold weather) or after the engine gets up to operating temps (in cold weather).

If only the former, it could well be that the ECM is withholding boost while the engine (and oil) is cold to avoid turbo wear. My other car is a turbo and it's a well-know function of that engine's ECM.
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
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L
Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
According to other posters, engine temp doesn't matter. It seems that ambient temps (or maybe IAT?) is what matters.
 
V
13' CX-5 and 16' Mazda6 both Touring w/Tech/Bose
According to other posters, engine temp doesn't matter. It seems that ambient temps (or maybe IAT?) is what matters.
Perhaps if "you guys" in cold weather situations try putting one of those microwavable heat wraps on the temp sensor it would fool the car into thinking its in the middle of summer lol. Being real here though.....where is said sensor? At first I thought its in the cabin right behind the front center speaker but then the cabin would eventually warm up?- Try anyways?

Perhaps its getting info from the navi system? Try disconnecting navi card.
 
V
2013 VRM Mazdaspeed3, 2016 Soul Red CX-5 GT
Sorry I skipped pages in between. Has anyone actually datalogged to see if max boost is lower during those situations where they think the turbo is not getting all the boost it can? I understand that the 0-60 times are slower by a second or two, but would be interested to see what the max boost was.
If max boost was lower, then you have your issue. Most likely a tuning issue. If it was not lower, then something else is responsible for the slower 0-60 times.

My theory is that this is a grip/traction issue with the AWD system. Mazda's iActiv AWD is designed to not spin the wheels at all. Has anyone seen the traction control light turn on at all during those slow 0-60 attempts? My guess is that either the system is too conservative, restricting performance to avoid any wheel spin on colder weather, or your tires are spinning, you're just not noticing it because the AWD system is pulling back power to stop them from spinning.

Note that in the new AWD Mazda3 they switched to a different AWD system, where they actually check the load on the tires to determine if they can take more power.
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
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L
Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
More reading material. Thread from back in '08. Thread from NASIOC.

Whatever their reason for doing it back then, they must have applied to the turbo CX-5 and CX-9 (maybe Mazda6 as well? Can any 6 owners confirm?). I can see why they would be more conservative with it given that these are CUV/SUVs.

Was this ever an issue with the turbo CX-7?
 

7eregrine

The man, the myth, the legend
L
Land of Cleve
V
2016.5 CX5
This is a major deal killer for me.
100%
People saying "It's not that big a deal, it only happens when it's cold out, who needs that power when it's cold out?"

I'm not buying a car that gimps out under any condition. I'm not that brand loyal to anyone.
 
V
2019 Mazda CX-5 GTR
How often do you guys drive your CX-5's like you're on a drag strip? I got mine last Feb, so this is my 2nd Boston winter and daily driving, I have no lack of power feeling. Lots of hyperbole in this thread.........
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
100%
People saying "It's not that big a deal, it only happens when it's cold out, who needs that power when it's cold out?"
I understand the sentiment. Both POVs are valid, IMO.


I'm not buying a car that gimps out under any condition. I'm not that brand loyal to anyone.
Does that mean you're staying away from all cars with traction control systems? All cars that have torque vectoring control? Seems like a broad statement..
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
How often do you guys drive your CX-5's like you're on a drag strip? I got mine last Feb, so this is my 2nd Boston winter and daily driving, I have no lack of power feeling. Lots of hyperbole in this thread.........
I don't think its a matter of being able to use it or not. Moreso an issue of "I paid for it, so it should be there".
 
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