Pacific Mazda has been in the car business for many years serving the Vancouver Island and Greater Victoria Community. Over the years, we have found many great car car tips and we decided to start to write about them to share with our customers.

What to Know When Replacing your Battery

dirtycleanThrottleBodyMy engine wants to stall when I’m at a stop – ever since I had the battery replaced! What happened?

As technology has progressed in automotive design, so have unexpected (to the consumer anyway) side effects. One of the changes that has been implemented is the electronically controlled throttle. For Mazda, most of our vehicles came with this as of 2004.  Prior to this, vehicles had a throttle that was directly controlled by the cable attached to the gas pedal. The throttle is essentially a metal tube with a flap that regulates air flow : the flap is closed at idle and opens as the gas pedal is depressed.

One of the normal byproducts of internal combustion engine operation is carbon-rich gasses that recirculate through the engine. These will accumulate throughout the intake (regardless of make,model,year,etc.) and more specifically on the throttle plate. This will slowly cause the throttle plate to stick slightly open, allowing air to flow past when it “shouldn’t”. On the good side, the PCM (powertrain control module – the engine computer which controls fuel, spark and timing) will adapt to this gradual change, typically noticeable after 80,000kms.

This memory is cleared and reset to factory settings any time the battery is disconnected (can also be reset if fault codes are cleared after performing a check-engine light repair).  Now the PCM can no longer compensate for the additional air flowing into the engine, causing a lean mixture (too much air , not enough fuel) and results in a poor idle and even stalling.

The fix? Clean the throttle body. It’s slightly more involved than it sounds as it requires the component to be removed from the engine; then the PCM needs to be “retrained”.

Ideally, the throttle should be cleaned periodically – between 50,000 and 80,000kms – to prevent these and other potential issues.


Pacific Mazda – Pre-Purchase Inspection on Used Mazda Cars, Trucks, Vans


Bring it to the source for a comprehensive 42 point mechanical inspection

  •  42 point visual inspection and written report
  • check to see if there are any outstanding recalls
  • check whether there has been any recent service history at Pacific Mazda
  • recommended safety and service items required

Evaluation includes these critical areas:

  • engine
  • drive train
  • brake system
  • front end
  • lighting
  • cooling system
  • heater and A/C
  • tire condition
  • accessories and fluids
  • safety items

Mazda’s are great cars and they are  usually a great used vehicle purchase…but the prospective purchaser has to do some due diligence. Minimize the risk when purchasing a used Mazda by having the Pacific  Mazda service professionals check it over.

Contact our service department for an appointment today.


For an additional fee, we can run a complete CarProof report on the car you are considering. These reports help you to see if the vehicle has been involved in accidents, has suspicious odometer readings, has liens against it, or is from a market outside of BC. Pacific Mazda recommends NEVER buying a used vehicle without a CarProof report.


Tires – Understanding the Sidewall – Tire Sizes and Info

How to Read a Tire Sidewall

Tires are confusing. At Pacific Mazda, we carry tires from most major manufacturers and we specialize in knowing which ones are best suited to your Mazda, your driving habits, and the types of driving conditions you are likely to experience in Greater Victoria and on Vancouver Island.

The starting place when you are looking for new tires is to check what you currently have on your car, and to check the recommended tires in your Mazda’s Owners Manual. Mazda does not make tires – there is no such thing as a “Mazda tire” but major manufacturers such as Toyo, Pirelli, Michelin, etc. all make tires in their line that are best suited to certain models of Mazda vehicles.

Tire size is expressed something like this:

P185/75R14 82S.

You can find these numbers and letters on the sidewall of your tire – see the diagram above.

Those numbers and letters can seem like Greek, so let’s define them one at a time.

P: The first letter stands for the tire’s intended use. P is the most common and it means Passenger. LT stands for Light Truck. An LT tire has a sturdier construction than a P tire, and it can carry a greater load, which we will talk about later.

185: The width of the tire, from sidewall to sidewall, in millimeters. A 185 is 185 millimeters, or 18.5 centimeters, wide. The tread width is actually somewhat smaller than the tire’s actual width.

75: Aspect Ratio. This is the sidewall’s height from the inside diameter to the outside diameter. It is expressed as a percentage of the width. A 185/75 is 75 percent as tall as it is wide, making it approximately 138.75 millimeters tall. As aspect ratios decrease, the tire’s firmness increases. Smaller aspect ratios, such as 35 or 40 are generally reserved for performance tires on sports cars.

R: The tire’s type of construction. R stands for Radial, and all new cars and light trucks today use radials. You may also see B in this spot for Bias Ply. Bias ply tires were used prior to the mid 1970s.

14: The tire’s inner diameter, which matches the outer diameter of your car’s wheels.

82: Load Rating. Load ratings range from 0 to 279 and each has a corresponding weight associated with it. A 82 load rating means that tire is certified to carry up to 1050 pounds at maximum inflation pressure. If a car weighs 4000 pounds, then each tire handles 1000 pounds with no passengers or cargo aboard. If you intend to tow a heavy boat or trailer, you should buy tires with a higher load rating. This will require some math to figure out the vehicle weight, the trailer weight, and the weight of a load you may carry inside the vehicle while towing. Add it all up, divide by four, and make sure your replacement tires have a corresponding load rating.

H: Speed Rating. All passenger tires have a speed rating expressed as a letter. Those letters and the corresponding speeds the tires are capable of are included in this chart:
S: 112 mph
T: 118 mph
U: 124 mph
H: 130 mph
V: 149 mph
W: 168 mph
Y: 186 mph
Z: over 186 mph

A Speed Rating is really an indication of a tire’s ability to dissipate heat to avoid a blowout. Higher speeds mean greater heat buildup. Tires with higher speed ratings are constructed to handle heat better. In general, they also ride harder than tires with lower speed ratings. S-, T-, and U-rated tires are considered regular passenger-car tires. H- and V-ratings are reserved for touring tires, which are generally found on sport sedans. The Z rating is for performance tires found on sports cars.

M+S: Mud and Snow. This is an all-season tire. A summer performance tire would have no designation here.

For more information:

Call our tire experts in the Parts Department at Pacific Mazda (250) 385-5747.

Also check out this excellent information on WikiPedia

Thanks to Bob Mitchell, Parts Manager, for assembling the information in this article.

Auto Detailing -Take Pride in Your Ride

Pacific Mazda has a large and experienced car detailing department. No matter what make or model of car you have, you can trust our auto detailing experts to make it look like new.
Auto detailing is a great gift idea!

Give us a call to book an appointment – (250) 385-1355 or send an email to

Have You Replaced Your Car’s Cabin Filter Lately?

Have You Replaced Your Car’s Cabin Filter Lately?

First of all – what is a cabin air filter?

In simple terms, the cabin air filter is a part of the air conditioning system in your car that filters the air coming into the passenger “cabin”. Do you ever get that “old gym sock” smell in your car? This is often caused by a dirty cabin air filter. Even if you don’t get the smell, the filter may become clogged with pollen, dust, and other pollutants and not function properly.

Allergy sufferers should pay particular attention to regular maintenance of the cabin air filter in their vehicles.
In most Mazdas, this is not an expensive procedure with prices ranging from $30 to  $75 including parts and labour.

Cabin filters really work but need to be replaced at regular intervals. The air you breathe is only as clean as the filter it goes through. A new cabin air filter will reduce airborne impurities such as pollen, dust, etc.

Recommended every 12-24 months

To book an appointment to get your cabin air filter changed, call Pacific Mazda at 250-385-1355 or book online

For more details on the cabin air filter, read the rest of the article below:

Over the years, there have been a few significant changes in the air-conditioning systems in cars:

  • as cars have gotten smaller and evaporators ( the unit that cools the air ) got smaller.
  • refrigerant changed from R-12(Freon) to R-134a because of ozone depleting substance regulations.
  • older, larger evaporators had lots of space around the tubes and fins for moisture from the air to run through without freezing. Dust, pollen, bacteria that came into the car through the fresh air intake was quickly washed out by the freely running water. The smaller, more compact evaporators were redesigned to increase efficiency but had little space for water flow. They also ran a bit warmer which didn’t pull as much moisture out of the air as before. The messy build up didn’t wash off, but sat on the evaporator and when warmed up created a foul smell  every time the fan was put on ( like old gym socks! ). It was a very difficult procedure to clean off this mess and reduce the smell.
These issues created the need for filter to get rid of the debris and allow clean air to enter the passenger cabin. Most newer vehicles have cabin air filters in the A/C heater system that clean the air coming into the passenger compartment. This filtration unit is designed to filter the dust, pollen, and bacteria before the air gets to the evaporator. Problem solved? Not quite. Without periodic filter service, air flow is restricted resulting in poor A/C performance in summer and poor heater performance in winter.

Bottom line: Replace the cabin filter before the A/C season starts for efficient, clean A/C performance.

Best Prices on Oil Changes in Victoria, BC

At Pacific Mazda, we  always knew our service pricing was competitive. A recent survey of local oil change prices confirmed this belief.

Basic Oil and Filter Service with Regular Oil

Our Price…………….. $49.95 (plus tax, shop supplies, & environmental fee)

(competitors $50.00 and up)*


  • replace engine oil & oil filter
  • vehicle inspection report
  • lubricate hinges, latches and door locks
  • check & top up fluids
  • adjust tire pressures

Compare Mr. Lube, Canadian Tire, Midas prices starting at $50.00 and up*


Basic Oil and Filter Service with 0W20 Synthetic Oil

Our Price…………….. $59.95 (plus tax, shop supplies, & environmental fee)

 (competitors $85.00 and up)*

  • includes:
    • replace 0W20 engine oil & oil filter
    • vehicle inspection report
    • lubricate hinges, latches and door locks
    • check & top up fluids
    • adjust tire pressures

Compare Mr. Lube, Canadian Tire , Midas  prices starting at $85.00 and up*

We encourage you to bring your Vehicle to Pacific Mazda for all service work. Our Mazda specialists will inspect your vehicle, maintain your service schedule and ensure all outstanding warranty items or recall bulletins are completed. Also, we will keep a full service history on your vehicle which is proven to improve your vehicle resale. 

We value and appreciate your business and look forward to providing our customers with excellent service and a lasting relationship with people you can trust.

Book a service appointment now online or call 250-385-1355

*(based on phone survey Feb.22, 2012 in Victoria, BC)

Mazda Impresses 2012 Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports released its 2012 predicted reliability rankings for automotive manufacturers in October of 2011. Mazda was ranked fourth overall, and first among non-luxury, full line automakers – behind only Scion,Lexus and Acura. Consumer Reports predicted that every Mazda model would achieve better than industry average reliability, a feat that even Lexus and Acura failed match.

Today, Consumer Reports released its overall rankings for 2012 model year vehicles and Mazda scored an even more impressive feat, finishing second amongst all automobile manufacturers and only a single point behind first place finisher Subaru. These scores reflect not just predicted reliability, but overall test scores in areas of comfort, performance, value and fuel economy.

Powered by all-new SKYACTIV technology that boosts both power and fuel efficiency by more than 15%, superior driving dynamics and industry-leading levels of quality and reliability, Mazda offers and outstanding line-up of vehicles, including our ground-breaking new Mazda CX-5 compact SUV, the most fuel efficient compact SUV sold in North America including hybrids.

For more information, please visit:

Mazda Steel Wheel Cover Hubcap

Steel Wheel Covers – A cost effective way to make your Mazda look great in all seasons

One of the most practical ways to get winter tires put on your car is to buy an inexpensive set of steel wheels and have your winter tires mounted to them. The only thing about steel wheels is that they are…   for lack of a better word…  ugly

There is a very quick and affordable solution to keep your Mazda looking great even when it has its winter shoes on – some Genuine Mazda Steel Wheel Covers.

This is what a steel wheel looks like without a cover

This is what a steel wheel looks like without a cover

Mazda Steel Wheel Cover Hubcap

This is what a steel wheel with a cover looks like