What kind of problems does a Mazda B3000 usually have? In this blog, we’ve outlined the most important things you should watch out for when you’re in the market for a B3000. However, let’s first start with a quick answer.
Mazda B3000s have problems with rust throughout the frame of the vehicle, as well as HVAC systems not functioning and the engine misfiring. Furthermore, the automatic transmissions have rough shifting or jerking problems, and the suspension is relatively weak, causing parts to break.
That was the most straightforward answer possible. In the article below, we’ll discuss every problem in detail. We’ll do so for all generations of the B3000 in great detail. This means that, no matter what model year you’re looking at, you should know what problems you can expect, what causes them, and how they should be fixed. Read on!
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Also read: The Complete Cost Of Maintaining A Mazda
Rust is a huge problem that can eat away the whole frame if left unchecked. It’s hard to find these trucks without rust problems, as the B3000 was developed in association with Ford, and we know that Ford trucks are known for their rust problem, so not so surprisingly, the Mazda B3000 is full of it as well. In the image below, you see a 2000 Ford Ranger (which is identical to the 2000 B3000) and what kind of rust we’re talking about
The rust will start developing if mud, carrying moisture, is not cleared out on time. The time it takes to complete the reaction of oxidation causing rust is about four days. If the moisture is not removed from the truck within that time frame, your truck frame will begin removing itself from the body.
A rust removal might cost around $500 or more depending on the intensity of the rust. You can also remove it DIY, given that you have the necessary equipment and accessories to do the job.
They are made of plastic, and we know that all the plastic bits give up after some time and break as they can no longer bear the heat. So, you would have to replace these if the previous owner hasn’t replaced them.
If you don’t replace them, sooner or later, you will break them entirely off of the truck and then keep wondering what just happened. You can get a new door handle for about $20 on average.
Fuel Filler Hose
They go out often due to the age factor and causing fuel spills. The metallic part gets cracked, causing leaks, and the rubber part collapses, not allowing the fuel to get into the fuel tank. You can get this hose for about $40.
The Gauge Cluster Is Not Working
The odometer breaks and gets stuck, making it hard to know when to change the oil and what mileage you are getting. It happens because two small gears wear out. A big concern that arises due to this problem is that you won’t know the original miles the truck has done in its life span.
This problem mostly has been in the earlier models, i.e., the ones that came before the year 2000. Other models might also develop this problem, but the chances are low.
Another gauge cluster problem is the light goes out; of course, the bulbs won’t last 20+ years, so you might have to change them if you want to be within the speed limit when driving on the highway at night. On average, you can get a new gauge cluster/instrument cluster for $130. Replacing it yourself isn’t the most complicated task, as shown in the video below.
Oh, did I mention the fuel gauge not working? Yeah, the fuel gauge would stop working, making you oblivious to the amount of fuel left in the tank. It might deceive you big time when it first happens. You might think you have fuel when you are just about to run out of fuel; in the worst-case scenario, you might get stranded somewhere in the wilderness.
Blower Doesn’t Work On All Different Speed Settings
This is a prevalent issue where the control knob can no longer adjust the fan speed. This problem has an easy fix because the failed blower motor resistor causes it, and conveniently, it’s placed right next to the motor inside the engine bay and easily accessible.
On average, this part costs $15, and you can easily change it. It’s not that hard.
The Airconditioning Is Stuck On Either Cold Or Hot
The problem is with the blend door, which channels the hot air and cold air into the cabin by closing the cool vent or the hot air vent. This door likes to break when it gets older; in the case of these trucks, it’s pretty old already. Because it’s such a pain to get to the actuator, you would have to open the whole dashboard to replace it.
The cost to replace the blend door actuator is $250 on average, which might increase a little depending on your area.
The Heater Not Working
This is again a problem that happens due to old age. The heater usually goes out on these trucks as they are not very well maintained, probably because they are looked upon as sturdy and easy to break and cause problems, but it’s not true. Even if a tank is not maintained correctly, it will bail on you.
Many of these trucks in the market are not maintained properly, so you must be very careful when buying one.
The heater core can be replaced, but it’s not an easy job, as the whole dashboard needs to be removed to get to this core, which is the culprit for blowing cold air in the winter. Change this heater core, and you will no longer be cold but hot. The heater core replacement cost is $800 on average.
Engine Bogs Down And Has Poor Idle
There may be reasons other than the wrong plug wires on these, as discussed in the electronics problem section. For instance, we would face the misfire problem when we have a vacuum leak somewhere in the hoses, mostly the intake manifold, as they crack after some time. The spark plugs themselves might need replacement as well.
To check if the spark plug needs replacement, you have to check the color of the spark. A blue spark means the plugs are okay and don’t need replacement, while an orange spark implies that it’s time to replace them.
The regular maintenance item includes cleaning the EGR valve, which,h if it hasn’t been done before, will cause the engine to misfire as it gets clogged and needs to be clean to provide the optimum air/fuel ratio.
There is another way to keep the internals from getting clogged, simply using the seafoam to keep away the debris from building up inside the engine.
Instead of opening the EGR and PCV, we need to use the seafoam regularly, and it will keep the internals clean and prevent them from getting clogged up with carbon debris. Most of the time, engines misfire and bog down due to the incorrect air/fuel ratio, which can easily be fixed with the help of this cleaner.
One can of seafoam in a full gas tank does the job. If there are many build-ups inside, you can use more in a near-empty fuel tank to get the maximum cleaning. But it’s recommended to use regularly to prevent any considerable chunk from dislodging, blocking the fuel injectors.
Misfiring Issue Showing Code P0171 & P1000
It’s a common occurrence with the Mazda B3000 and the Ford Ranger trucks. You are probably experiencing the misfiring problem with the check engine light on. There are many reasons why you might have this misfiring problem.
The first and most common cause is the spark plug wires not in the right spot making the firing order go crazy. Thus, you experience misfires. The cylinders that might have this wiring mistake will show positive fuel trim on an OBD scanner tool. You can check the spark for each cylinder and cross-check the spark intensity and the order in which it fires.
Ensure to have the wires correctly labeled whenever you work with them to avoid accidentally putting the wrong wires onto the plugs. The best way to replace the plugs is to do it one by one so that the wires will not be confused with others. Another way is to color code the wires.
If you are looking to save some money on fuel, you should go with the inline-4 single overhead cam to have better fuel economy because if you go for a V-6, you will have a terrible fuel economy like a V-8; the power will be like an inline-4. V6 isn’t that fast either, so it’s much better to go for the inline-4 variant.
Inline-4 offers good power, and you will have a reasonably good speed toil; on top of that, you will save some money on fuel.
Pistons Are Not That Strong
After spending around 20 years on this planet, the pistons on these trucks will go to heaven sooner or later, so if the previous owner does not change the pistons, you might have to do that yourself, make sure to include the cost of a new set of pistons. Go for the inline-4; you will save some money on pistons as you only have to buy four instead of six.
Models before 1998 have this particular problem, so make sure to look into the condition of the pistons before considering it your next ride. The later models had this issue fixed and dealt with, so you don’t have to worry about the engine blowing up that much.
Any engine can blow up if it hasn’t been cared for, so never make an impulsive decision and always check thoroughly before buying your next beast. You can still find some in good condition, but you must look thoroughly. To replace the old ones you would have to spend $1000+. You can save about $500 if you know how to do it DIY.
Poor Idle And No Power
The ignition coils go bad in most cases. The ignition coils have a life span of about 100k miles, and sometimes they wear out even before that. After replacing these coils, you are good to go. The good thing about these trucks is that they are straightforward to work with, as they have a lot of space in the engine bay.
Ignition coils replacement costs $220 on average.
Most Of The Problems Occur With The Power Train.
These trucks have problems with the powertrain, especially those with automatic transmissions. Again this problem gets serious when there is some negligence in oil change intervals and routine maintenance.
Make sure the gear changes are smooth without any jerks, especially when looking at an automatic. The manual one should also have smooth gear changes, and the clutch shouldn’t feel like it’s without pressure. If it feels loose, it’s probably at the end of its life. To ensure the transmission lasts as long as possible, service it regularly, as shown in the video below.
The Bad Clutch Slave cylinder
One of the most common failures occurs with the clutch slave cylinder; they go out a lot, causing the clutch to feel loose. Other symptoms include the inability to switch gears and low fluid levels. You can have it replaced for around $225.
The Rear Differential Won’t Last Much Longer
You can find which rear axle comes with the truck by opening the driver’s side door and looking at the tag that gives the vehicle number and other important information; there,e you will find the number of axles used.
If it’s an open differential and the truck is the two-wheel-drive variant, don’t go for that truck; you would have to change the axle if it hasn’t been changed. The “8.8” with the limited-slip differential is the preferred choice. You can change the open diff with this limited-slip diff.
You can search junkyards for the same axle you need; you might be able to save some bucks there.
The engine mounts wear out a lot in these trucks, and if you are experiencing a lot of vibrations inside the cabin, you would have to change the engine mounts. After replacing the engine mounts, the truck will be much smoother and quieter.
To know which engine is bad, whether the passenger side or the driver side, you can start the engine and put the gear in reverse, and give it some revs; if the gear liver tilts to the left, then your passenger side engine mount is done for, and you need to change that.
To check the driver’s side engine mount, put the gear in 1st and give it some revs. If the gear lever tilts to the right, it means that the left one/driver’s side engine mount has gone to heaven, and now you need to put in a new one. On average, you would have to spend $330 to change B3000 engine mounts.
Heater Control Valve
These valves are prone to leak as they are made of plastic; they get hard and crack. They are supposed to let the coolant flow towards the heater core, and when the heater is not operating, this valve enables the coolant to bypass the heating core and makes it flow to the other side.
Now when this valve breaks due to heat exposure for a long time, we will see a lot of coolant leaks, so to prevent this leak, you can replace the heater control valve and try to go for the OEM because the aftermarket ones are not quite up to the task. The heater control valve replacement cost is $200 on average.
Wheel Bearings Problem
This is a common suspension problem that occurs in these trucks. You’ll hear a grinding/clunking noise, which increases as the vehicle speed increases and the steering wants to go more towards one side; on top of that, the vehicle tends to lose control when you are braking, making it seem like it’s the ABS fault.
Well, no, it’s not the ABS’s fault. It’s a wheel-bearing problem. You can replace the wheel bearing and get rid of this problem. You would need to spend about $150 to have it replaced.
The one that has the leaf springs will face the problem. The problem is related to them breaking in half and potentially causing a huge accident, tearing apart the whole bed. It’s pretty severe. The leaf springs should be checked thoroughly along with the mounts. The rust plays a considerable role in deteriorating these suspension components.
It’s a nearly $1000 fix, so buying them from the used market or a junkyard is better. You might be able to save some bucks.
Release Arm Bushings
If you are having these jolts when moving from a stop, like a wheel is loose and moving forward and backward, you have one of the common problems with this truck. The release arm bushings have gone nighty night. You would have to replace these bushings responsible for keeping the wheel in place, preventing it from having a play.
These bushings cost $170 on average to replace.
Hi! My name is Stefan, I’m the owner and lead writer at TheDriverAdviser.com.
I’m an active writer on this blog myself, although I mainly focus on research-heavy articles. For the technical stuff, I find writers that have experience as a mechanic or have studied mechanical engineering.
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