Our Fleet Test Drive: Mazda 3 - 12th report
23 October 2014
Author: Hugh Hunston
A stop-start system glitch on our Mazda long-termer, plus human error, has required the aid of roadside assistance
Start, stop and don't re-start. That, in essence, was the sequence that led to our
Mazda 3 needing a weekend call-out and battery-to-battery defibrillation courtesy of Mazda's roadside assistance.
The technical cause of the unerringly reliable hatchback losing most of its sparking pulse was down to the stop-start system switching off the engine on my suburban drive after a skip trip to dispose of hedge cuttings.
But the human element involved me forgetting to later lock the car after hoovering and not returning to the cabin until seven hours later in the dark, when I saw interior and exterior lights flashing colourful warnings as the automatic headlights deployed at dusk.
Although the engine was isolated, the push-button ignition remained on, and ancillaries, particularly lights, soaked up electrical capacity. If, post-skip clean-out, I had tried to lock the doors, a warning beep would have alerted me to the latent ignition mode, and would have rendered the Sunday services of patient, efficient technician Christian Wheeler academic.
The copious handbook indicated that a warning beep should sound
as I opened the driver's door, but Mazda's technical team stated that only happens when you try to lock up