I’m not a frequent poster, but some of you may remember a few posts about a Mazda 6 MPS or Mazdaspeed 6 for U.S. folks that I bought last summer. Long story to follow, scroll down for summary, haha.
I bought this Mazda 6 MPS, or just MPS6 for short, last summer while looking for my first car to own. I’m 28, but had never needed a personal car before, nor room to own one. That changed last year, I had my own parking and wanted something to get me out of the city and have fun with.
The MPS6 is basically Mazda’s attempt to put something in line with the WRX and Lancer Evo’s of the time. It’s a souped up version of their family sedan, with a bit more of an aggressive body, a turbocharged 2.3L four-cylinder making about 260bhp when new, a 6-speed manual, all-wheel drive that is front biased but capable of 50-50 delivery, full leather interior and more goodies.
Since the Evo’s and WRX were not exactly in my budget, I gambled on this MPS6 that had the odometer rolled back by 100k KM/60k miles, no known service history, a few small issues and 6 months left on the inspection.
Since then I did some small work on the interior and lights by myself, like giving the leather some loving care and removing the horrible window tint foil. The main issue has always been an airbag light that is permanently on, which prevents the car from going through inspection, it would fail already solely based on that. I had done some research and tried ‘home’ fixes but nothing works. I procrastinated and come December I had made an appointment with the local Mazda dealer to diagnose the issue, but their diagnostics hardware broke down and I couldn’t get the issue solved before the inspection lapsed. So from 1st of January onwards, my car was basically illegal to drive.
Because I don’t need my car as daily driver, I once again procrastinated, but now finally got around to getting shit done. The dealer seemed like a way too expensive road to go down so I looked around for an alternative.
Found a place called MazdaAbi, which literally translates into Mazda Help. They barely speak English (I’m a Dutch expat in Estonia) but we managed to agree on a time and date, and when I showed up yesterday, the guys were super patient with my limited Estonian skills. Talking slowly, keeping it simple.
I asked them to do a full inspection of what needs to be fixed to get it through an inspection. And to check the airbag light. And they delivered. Found issues with the alternator belt, some alternator bearings, oil issues and managed to find out more about the airbag issue. It’s probably a crash sensor on the driver side mounted at the bottom of the center pillar. The car had hit something, that I knew, but airbag hasn’t fired as far a I know. So hopefully it is just a sensor to replace, but their diagnostics guy can find out more so I’ll wait for that. He’ll be available in a week or so, vacation for him.
Told them to replace the belt, bearing and put in fresh new oil. While they worked on it, they found one of the engine mounts was cracked, told them to fix that too. The were working on the car for about 4 hours in total, including the initial inspection, and it ended up costing me about €220 which I thought was fair.
Car runs better after this. I think an issue with fairly rough shifting, as in putting the car in the gear you want taking too much effort, has been solved by fixing that engine mount. Perhaps it caused some alignment issues between engine and transmission or something. The best part is that those guys in the shop absolutely loved the car, thought it was great and in relatively awesome condition. I think it’s one of the reasons they were so patient with my deficient language skills. I will probably be going back to them for all other stuff I need as well.
So far, this car has been worth the money put into it. I paid about €4000 for it, put €600 worth of summer rubber on it (went all-in on quality, haha), needed about €40-50 to fix some lights, €150 for a new exhaust, €100 for a new battery because the old one couldn’t handle the -15C cold if I didn’t drive it every single day. And now €220 in repairs. So slightly over €5000 into it now. If it stays under €6000 to be all good for inspection I’m happy. By then it will be a €6000, thirteen year old car, but it is so much fun and drives well and looks cool as fuck in my opinion.
Then I can start dumping money into a pit on some mods like fancy Corksport exhaust, nicer air intake, suspension bits and just put money into it I will never get out but that will make me enjoy the car even more.