Mazda BT-50 Problems

Are you familiar with Mazda BT-50 problems?

The Mazda BT-50 for the longest time has been the alternative choice for those in need of a double cab bakkie and fans of the brand. The BT-50 competes with the D-Max, Toyota Hilux, Volkswagen Amarok, Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi Triton, GWM Ute, and others.

It uses a 3.0-liter four-cylinder turbo Diesel engine making 140kW of power (187 HP) with a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions.

The interior, equipped with an elegant corporate Mazda steering wheel, and a clean seat and dash design, looks pretty decent. Between it, the aggressive front fascia, the decent rear end, the diesel engine option, and the manual transmission, the BT-50 looks like a damn compelling truck.

Common Mazda BT-50 Problems


Though the BT-50 isn’t as refined or easy to drive as a full-bodied SUV, it’s not as rough around the edges or focused as an old-school pick-up either. It’s not hard to see how it could be used as a family car day-to-day, being no less maneuverable but fundamentally more practical than a large SUV.

But is this truck perfect? Absolutely not! The Mazda BT-50 has its fair share of problems and in this article; we’ll look at some of the most common Mazda BT-50 problems.

  1. Engine Problems

Engine stalling or hesitating during acceleration can be caused by anything from a faulty fuel injector, a faulty battery, or a damaged engine control module.

Another problem is vibration, knocking, or whining noise coming from the engine often caused by worn-out engine or transmission mounts and the latter caused by worn-out wheel bearings, and faulty timing tensioners.

The commonest reported issue of the Mazda BT-50 2.2L engine type is related to the turbocharger. The turbocharger may fail or malfunction causing reduced power and acceleration and increased fuel consumption. [1]

This engine type also has frequently reported issues relating to fuel injectors. The cooling system also malfunctions with this engine type. There have been reported problems with the radiator, which can lead to overheating and engine failure. Others have complained of problems with the water pump causing coolant leaks.

With the Mazda BT-50 3.2L 5-cylinder diesel engine, many drivers have experienced problems relating to the engine’s EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve. The EGR valve is responsible for circulating some of the engine’s exhaust gases back into the combustion chamber to help decrease emissions.

Over time, the Mazda BT-50’s EGR valve can become clogged with carbon buildup. This will increase emissions and ultimately lead to poor performance and reduced fuel economy. Another issue with this engine type is the engine’s timing chain. Over time, this chain can become stretched leading to poor performance and in the worst-case scenario, engine damage.

The 2.5L Petrol engine has poor fuel economy. Drivers have reported this engine consumes a lot of fuel compared to other similarly sized petrol engines.

This engine type also suffers from power loss and engine hesitation caused by factors like faulty ignition systems, clogged fuel injectors, and a malfunctioning engine sensor. Other problems with this engine type include oil leaks from the engine and issues with the engine’s cooling system.

The Mazda BT-50 2.2 and 3.2-liter turbo diesel engines have EGR coolers located at the rear of the engine. This cooler has two lines that enter it and cools the exhaust gases in the EGR system. But this cooler has a higher tendency to split in the Mazda BT-50.

Once this cooler split, coolant will leak out and this loss of coolant will lead to the engine overheating and also head gasket failure. In some cases, the coolant entered the exhaust manifold or the combustion chambers of the cylinders causing bent connecting rods or a cracked cylinder head.

  1. Gearbox Problems

The transmission is another part where the Mazda BT-50 has issues. In some of these situations, an intermittent Out Shaft Speed Sensor failure could result in an unintended downshift into first gear. If this occurs while the vehicle is being driven, it could cause an immediate wheel speed reduction.

This will then cause the rear tires to slide or lock up until the vehicle slows down resulting in a loss of control of the vehicle. Some owners have complained of other issues with the automatic transmission including slipping or delayed shifting, harsh shifting, and difficulty engaging gears.

In the manual transmission, the gearshift cable retaining may not fully engage and the gearshift cables may move out of position and contact the propeller. Continued contact between these two components can inflict damage to both, causing difficulties in changing gears.

  1. Brake Problems

Another common problem of the Mazda BT-50 is issues with the brake pads, rotors, and calipers which reduces stopping power and brake noise. The Mazda BT-50 specifically MY2016-2018 models have potential problems with their front brake hoses and front brake calipers, affecting over 30 505 vehicles.

The failure of the front brake hose or cracking of the front brake caliper could potentially lead to a loss of brake fluid, resulting in increased brake pedal travel end and increased stopping distances.

There have also been complaints of the brake pedals going to the floor, usually caused by a bad master cylinder, leaking brakes, bad horseshoes ( if the brakes are equipped with rear drums), faulty wheel bearings, and bad brake fluid.

  1. Clutch Problems

For the Mazda BT-50 vehicles with manual transmissions, the dual mass flywheel can cause accelerated clutch wear. Common signs of clutch wear include a pulsing through the clutch pedal, a shudder when accelerating from rest, or difficulty shifting from the first to the second gear. There can also be a whining noise from the transmission caused by a worn clutch release bearing.

In some models, the clutch can be prone to slipping resulting in poor acceleration and reduced power. In most of these situations, the solution might be to replace the clutch or adjust the clutch cable. [2]

  1. Steering Problems

In the BT-50, the intermediate steering wheel shaft weld may not meet the required specifications and the steering column may detach from the steering gear. This will ultimately lead to loss of control of the vehicle and a collision.

There have also been complaints of vibration in the steering wheel at high speeds caused by faulty steering wheel damper or steering components

  1. Suspension Problems

Includes shocks, struts, and springs, causing a rough ride, reduced handling, and uneven tire wear. Some drivers have complained of problems with the shock absorbers, which can cause a bumpy ride and reduce stability while driving. [3]

  1. Faulty Seats

Some drivers have complained of their rear seatback not fitting incorrectly and causing the rear seatback to fall forward which may put the occupants in danger.

In September 2016, a recall was issued for some models of the Mazda BT-50because the end of the return spring for the rear folding seatback latch could break causing the seatback mechanism to malfunction. [4]

  1. Malfunctioning Heater

There have also been complaints of the Mazda BT-50 heater only working while driving. Low coolant, air pockets, a bad heater core, an air locked cooling system, or a malfunctioning thermostat can cause this.

Other Mazda BT-50 problems are loss of power while driving, caused by a faulty fuel pump, fuel filter, or fuel injectors which can lead to poor fuel efficiency, rough idling, and difficulty in starting the engine.

There can also be problems with the electrical system, issues with the alternator, battery, and starter, and issues with the power windows, door locks, or central locking system. These issues may be caused by a faulty or blown fuse or damaged wiring.

Read Also: BMW X5 Problems

Final Thoughts

The Mazda BT-50 may not be the obvious choice for a first car but you can’t deny that it is an impressive pick-up in its own right. The BT-50 like every other vehicle has some problems.

These include brake problems, steering wheel problems, engine problems, problems with the suspension, issues with the seat, and heater malfunctions. These Mazda BT-50 problems are all common problems and you shouldn’t have a hard time resolving them.

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