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Thread: Who is towing with their CX-9?

  1. #61
    Nihilus

    2009 Mazda CX-9 Touring

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    I usually do 87 octane, but wanted 89 for towing. Yeah, probably a waste but it is just piece of mind. 93 octane and the ethanol free blend was just an experiment. No difference in mpg.

  2. #62
    Registered Member

    2012 Mazda CX-9 Touring AWD

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    You're not getting any additional performance running 89 in a vehicle tuned for 87, other than making your load a little lighter with a thinner wallet. High octane does not mean more power, it just means higher resistance to detonation. You can make more power in a car tuned for 91 because you can build the engine to run at a higher compression but simply adding higher octane to a motor built and tuned to run best on 87 does absolutely nothing helpful.

    I regularly tow a 3000lb boat in the summer with our CX9 and it does ok as long as you shift it manually. Left on it's own in drive the automatic will constantly grab 6th gear and then hunt in and out of torque converter lockup and sometimes between 5th and 6th gear. That's a guaranteed recipe for cooking a transmission. It will pull flatland and slight inclines at 65-70 in 5th no problem. My only issue is when you shift it manually on a long trip being accustomed to automatics you'll forget you're in manual mode, slow down for some traffic and when you go to speed back up the trans doesn't kick down. It would be a much more capable tow vehicle if they simply gave you a tow/haul button that would lock out 6th gear and remap the shift points.

    Also, don't forget that this same exact vehicle (engine, trans, cooling system) is rated for 4409lbs towing (2000kg) in other countries. While I'm not recommending exceeding it's 3500lb rating here I wouldn't be concerned about towing up to our 3500lb rating at all.
    Last edited by eskimo0101; 04-14-2016 at 01:12 PM.

  3. #63
    Nihilus

    2009 Mazda CX-9 Touring

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    It was more for the detenation thing. Again, don't beat me up on the 89 octane. Is using engine braking to slow down hard on the transmission? I would love to find a tune for this truck just for the simulated tow hall.

  4. #64
    goes to eleven chuyler1's Avatar

    2013 CX9

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    I've said this before but I'll say it again. Don't use ratings from other countries to justify hauling more weight. Reading the article below might help but to sum things up, horsepower and torque is only a small factor. Tongue weight, trailer design including brakes, maximum allowed speed, and driver license and education need to be factored in. The ratings are higher in UK because they assume the trailer will have brakes, you will not be traveling more than 60 mph, you will have a special license, and the tongue weight will only be 4-7% of the total trailer weight instead of 10-15% here in the US.

    So if you have a 4000 lb trailer, by all means tow it with your CX9...but keep it under 60, make sure the trailer has brakes, and make sure you don't have more than 350 lbs on the tongue because over that and an emergency stop could put the front of your vehicle pointed to the sky.

    http://oppositelock.kinja.com/tow-me...611/1609771499

  5. #65
    Registered Member

    2010 Mazda CX9

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    So we just purchased a Jayco SLX Ultra lightweight camper for the family. I purposely avoided the heavier models and settled on a 15 ft 2400Lb dry weight trailer. From extensive reading online and talking to people who tow/camp everyone seems to be fairly confident that with WD, sway control, class 3 hitch and trailer brake control I should have NO problem at all with my 2010 GT AWD CX9. I understand I will be driving in Manual mode and never taking it into overdrive but was hoping for some insight from others who have towed this size trailer with their CX9 AWD. I have preemptively installed a transmission cooler and replaced my fluids with synthetic. Thoughts? comments? Anything else I should be doing?

  6. #66
    goes to eleven chuyler1's Avatar

    2013 CX9

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    The 2010 CX9 AWD didn't come with a transmission cooler? It was factory installed on my 2013.

    First question: Are you sure the camper is really 2400lbs dry? Sometimes manufacturers make claims that only represent the base model, but adding options brings the weight up higher. Don't be fooled by words like "ultra lite" or "feather lite". Know the actual weight of the actual trailer. If you can't check the weight, you can at least measure the tongue weight by placing a bathroom scale at the same height as your car hitch. If the trailer is truly 2400lbs the tongue should be between 240-360 lbs (10-15% of total weight).

    Here's the catch though, the CX9 can only handle 350 lbs on the tongue. Over that is not safe, and moving gear to the back to sneak around this limit is not safe either if it results in less than 10% on the tongue.

    Furthermore, I'm not sure the CX9 is safe to use with a WD hitch. I would check with Mazda. It may be fine if the total weight is under 3,500lbs. I've been fine without one but my 16' fiberglass trailer is only 2,500lbs loaded (all my gear, stocked fridge, but empty water).
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  7. #67
    Registered Member

    2010 Mazda CX9

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuyler1 View Post
    The 2010 CX9 AWD didn't come with a transmission cooler? It was factory installed on my 2013.

    First question: Are you sure the camper is really 2400lbs dry? Sometimes manufacturers make claims that only represent the base model, but adding options brings the weight up higher. Don't be fooled by words like "ultra lite" or "feather lite". Know the actual weight of the actual trailer. If you can't check the weight, you can at least measure the tongue weight by placing a bathroom scale at the same height as your car hitch. If the trailer is truly 2400lbs the tongue should be between 240-360 lbs (10-15% of total weight).

    Here's the catch though, the CX9 can only handle 350 lbs on the tongue. Over that is not safe, and moving gear to the back to sneak around this limit is not safe either if it results in less than 10% on the tongue.

    Furthermore, I'm not sure the CX9 is safe to use with a WD hitch. I would check with Mazda. It may be fine if the total weight is under 3,500lbs. I've been fine without one but my 16' fiberglass trailer is only 2,500lbs loaded (all my gear, stocked fridge, but empty water).
    I asked a TON of these questions when looking. I purposely did not lookat anything over 2500Lbs despite the assurance of many salespersons to the contrary....The 15BHS has a tounge weight of 305lb with full propane. I will not be towing with any water in my tanks and will be making an effort to keep my overall weight down in "stuff"

    I called Mazda service and discussed this and It was recommended that I install a WD product called Equalizer hitch. The biggest comment that I have gotten from Mazda is that I operate in Manual mode almost exclusively. the Automatic apparently tends to have issues with getting confused between 5th and 6th.

    you are a perfect resource as it seems you tow with a CX9. Any additional tips? aside from my general through of slow and steady safely gets to a campground without a blown transmission?

  8. #68
    goes to eleven chuyler1's Avatar

    2013 CX9

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    Starting tongue weight of 305 should be fine as long as you keep the heavy gear centered over the axle.

    Mazda is correct about manual mode. Here's what will happen. First, if you try to drive 55-60 mph it will continuously hunt between 5th and 6th unless the terrain is perfectly flat. It's just a bad spot for 6th gear which is around 1900 rpm. However, you can cruise on flat ground at 65-70 mph with the transmission in auto (well I can, your trailer will be heavier so I don't know). It will choose 6th at about 2100 RPM. When you approach a hill, the transmission will jump to 2500 still in 6th. This is the torque converter engaging in preparation for a gear change. If this happens a lot, you'll have to start using manual mode. Drop it to 5th manually and the RPMs should stabilize right around the same rpm. However, if the hills get steeper you'll find the transmission will still engage the torque converter and the RPMs will rise again (even though you have locked it into 5th). Whenever you hear the RPMs change while locked in gear, that's usually the sign you need to downshift unless you are almost at the top of the hill. Excessive shifting isn't the issue, it's extended time in that slushy torque converter zone where your speed is not directly related to RPMs. So basically, pick a speed, be it 55, 60, 65, and learn the RPMs. 5th will have two (torque converter engaged/not engaged) and 6th will have two. Once you recognize them, you'll know when to use manual mode, and while in manual mode when to shift. In the mountains of NH and VT I have shifted as low as 3rd to stay above 55 mph but most of the time I just leave it in auto unless I have trouble maintaining 70 mph. Disclaimer though, every camper pulls differently. I've got an aerodynamic Scamp and sometimes forget its back there on long stretches of highway...I've towed a few other trailers that I wouldn't dare go over 60 mph with.

    A few other tips to deal with the heat: plan ahead one or two exits before you get off the highway and slow down below cruising speed. This should bring the temps down before you come to a complete stop on the off ramp. Let the car idle for a while when you get to your campsite or a gas station...Don't turn it off, you want the fluids to cycle until it gets back down to a typical operating temp.

    And just other towing tips... Test the trailer brakes every time you hitch up. Most controllers have some sort of setup where you fully engage at 15 mph and make sure you get max braking without lockup. The dreaded sway...if you start to feel sway...don't make any drastic inputs. If you quickly try to correct it you'll make things worse. If you hit the brakes, you'll make it worse. Control the sway as best as possible with minimal steering input and gently ease off the gas until it dissipates. Check your tire pressures if sway is an ongoing issue. A little extra PSI in the rear can help keep things under control. Add spot mirrors or extensions to see around the camper. Practice backing up at home before you make a fool of yourself at the campground. Practice some signals with your spouse, significant other, children too. Backing into the spot and getting the camper right where you want it is the key to starting a great weekend of camping. Bring a lock for your hitch. Camper theft can be a real issue. Grease your camper axle every few 1,000 miles. There should be grease ports behind rubber caps on each end of the axle. Most dealers forget to tell people about them.
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  9. #69
    Registered Member

    2010 Mazda CX9

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    Thanks for all of the great info! This is very helpful. I will let you know on Tuesday how it goes when I tow it back from the deal. Its a nice 45 min ride over a few big hills.

  10. #70
    Registered Member

    16' CX-9 GT AWD (wifeys) 18' Q7 V6 Quattro (mine)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Billz1979 View Post
    Thanks for all of the great info! This is very helpful. I will let you know on Tuesday how it goes when I tow it back from the deal. Its a nice 45 min ride over a few big hills.
    Just out of curiosity, did your vehicle have the pigtail in the compartment behind the 3rd row seat that you plug in the Mazda wiring harness for the lights? My 2010 GT didn't have it but my 2013 GT did. The reason I ask is because if your vehicle had the built in wiring harness, its connected to the transmission and engine ECU to help the car compensate when pulling the trailer. I towed a 5' X 10' Uhaul enclosed trailer full of furniture for 500 miles and had no issues other than lower gas mileage.
    Last edited by jrtouareg; 06-10-2016 at 09:51 AM.

  11. #71
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    2010 Mazda CX9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrtouareg View Post
    Just out of curiosity, did your vehicle have the pigtail in the compartment behind the 3rd row seat that you plug in the Mazda wiring harness for the lights? My 2010 GT didn't have it but my 2013 GT did. The reason I ask is because if your vehicle had the built in wiring harness, its connected to the transmission and engine ECU to help the car compensate when pulling the trailer. I towed a 5' X 10' Uhaul enclosed trailer full of furniture for 500 miles and had no issues other than lower gas mileage.
    YES. I have the pigtail. I am having the RV place install my harness though so I do not know if they will use it as they need to run a new line for the brake control. If it is something I should be doing (using the OEM pigtail for lights ) and then a seperate line for brake control I really should call them and let them know.

  12. #72
    Registered Member

    2010 Mazda CX9

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    Thought I would fill everyone in as I just picked up my Trailer today and towed it about 60 miles back to my house. First impressions are that the CX9 is a perfectly capable tow vehicle as long as you know your limits. my trailer is 2300 or so Lbs dry and has a 305lb tongue. I had NO issues whatsoever towing on the side roads or highways;however I dont know that I would go heavier. Keeping in mind the comments on using the manual transmission and driving conservatively I averaged about 12.9MPG and never really felt the engine struggle at all. On hills just dont be afraid to drop down a gear. The brake controller and WD system is worth its weight in gold. barely knew the TT was back there. Thanks everyone for the input!

  13. #73
    goes to eleven chuyler1's Avatar

    2013 CX9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrtouareg View Post
    Just out of curiosity, did your vehicle have the pigtail in the compartment behind the 3rd row seat that you plug in the Mazda wiring harness for the lights?
    I don't think the pigtail is connected to anything except your lights and a 12v source for the control box. There is no way via the 4-pin output of that box to know that a trailer is connected. I believe it just senses the signal for turn signals, marker lights, and braking, and provides an isolated output for each signal to the trailer. It's no different than the off the shelf units you can buy...



    For my installation, I used the factory part so I didn't have to splice into any wiring. Then I used a kit from e-trailer to convert the 4-pin output to 7-pin to support my brake controller. If you had someone install yours, they probably skipped the factory part (and the device shown above) and wired straight inline with the bulb leads. There's no issue with that, but sometimes turn signals blink at a slower rate and are less bright when the trailer is connected.
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  14. #74
    Registered Member

    2011 CX9 AWD GT

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    Who is towing with their CX-9?

    I'll add my $.02 to this thread. Just finished towing a 6x12 uhaul, loaded weight around 3000 pounds, some 2200 km from Winnipeg to Toronto via the US route. 2011 cx9 AWD, factory towing package, mazda hitch.

    Observations:

    Gas mileage; yeah, what you would expect. 10 liters/100 km out on way out without trailer, driving legal limit (up to 75 mph). Way back, usually at 55-60 mph, more like 17 liters/100 km. Worth noting that I managed to get into the middle of a couple of semi-trailer convoys, got mileage up to 13 l/100.

    Brakes seem fine. Braked early, slow down way before exit (some US exits are much shorter than what I'm used to in Ontario ).

    Going downhill, this combination was so unaerodynamic that it slowed down if I took my foot off gas.

    Dual axle trailer tracked very well, and we were careful with loading. Estimated tongue weight a bit north of 300.

    The comment earlier in thread about switching to manual shifting was very helpful. In some terrain, it was searching for a gear a lot and losing torque converter lockup.
    Last edited by furballs; 07-11-2016 at 09:55 PM.

  15. #75
    goes to eleven chuyler1's Avatar

    2013 CX9

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    Anyone towing with the new 2016 Turbo model? I'm considering upgrading.

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