Not sure if i'm allowed to ask questions on the introductory sub-forum but here goes...
Just bought my first car, being a 2008 2.0l Mazda 3 neo sport hatch with a 5sp man trans (AU version)
The car has so far felt pretty good except there's a few things that aren't the best
Keep in mind my driving experiences have only consisted of a mazda 323, nissan tiida, volvo 240, honda prelude si(5th gen) and an older toyota corolla all of which have a manual trans
The steering is way too light although feels good other than that.
The accelerator feels mushy and doesn't feel very responsive, makes it difficult to get downshifts nice and smooth. (Grounding might have helped but i'm a sucker for placebo)
The car likes its revs and takes corners well. Feels as fast as the prelude si in 1st and 2nd gear
Gears I find are too short for highway use
The front has a hard time staying planted with stock 15"s and hankook optimos, lots of wheel spin in 1st.
The interior has lots 'o rattles and the engine and tyre noise can become irritating after some time on the highway
It's been a joy to drive so far especially knowing that I actually own it.
This one was built in japan according to the VIN so that's a plus right off the bat.
The previous owner(s) seem to have taken care of it in terms of oil changes but that's pretty much it.
I have so far changed the oil, flushed the coolant as there were some deposits forming in the reservoir, replaced the cabin air filter which was a major pain, cleaned the throttle body as the backside had about 2mm of carbon baked on and topped up the fluids, all of which seemed pretty low.
Also did the dumb timing mod, didn't notice any power gains but have only been running 91RON so far (equiv to 87MON for the americans)
I'm also aware that these cars don't have the best paint so have been keeping the wax up to it
A lot of the parts are made by ford
I've now noticed some things with the car, wondering if these are normal?
Straight up the car sounds like a diesel, which has got me concerned.
It has a loud ticking noise coming from the engine but i'm not sure exactly where, the only thing i know is that it ISN'T the timing chain, my mate says it's normal but it's much more noticeable than any of the other cars.
I've been reading that the plates for the VTCS system have been known to break loose and destroy the engine although it might just be valve noise as the engine has just over 220,000km (136,000 miles)
Iv'e tried some semi-synth 10w-40 to see if it would correct the issue if it was the valves, it didn't.
There's quite a bit of blow by when you open the oil cap, more so than the volvo which has over 2x the kms but no smoke or coolant leaks.
Reverse occasionally doesn't engage fully
There's a lot of vibration in the cabin at idle, much more than any of the other cars I have driven.
So my question is have they corrected the issue with the shitty plastic swirl plates or is it still present in the 2008 MY, and if so whether I should remove them or not?
Also if there's any things to check that are known to fail on this car that may need replacing after 220,000kms.