Tips for Changing the Battery on a Mazda 3

I have a 2004 Mazda 3, and the battery was finally done after six and a half years.  I learned some new things about “newer” cars (my last car was an ’89 pickup) and I thought I’d share.  This may only apply to Mazda 3, since in the forum-reading I’ve done it sounds like people are a little surprised at the way the Mazda 3 behaves.  So here’s what I’ve learned.

When you disconnect the battery in your car, all the electronics reset.  That makes sense.  What you may not know is that the computer in your car also resets itself.  In the case of the Mazda 3, this means the computer has to relearn how much fuel to give the engine during idle.  So for a few days your Mazda 3 may rev between 500-1200 RPM when idling at stop lights.  It’s a strange experience, but after three days my car is back to normal.

I’ve heard (although it didn’t seem to help me) you can try assist the car in learning the idle by starting it cold and letting it warm up without touching the gas. I attempted this and it didn’t seem to affect things – time only solved my problem, but your experience may be different.

Additionally, the computer in the Mazda 3 does need to be updated from time to time, and I believe you can take it to your dealer to have the computer “flashed”, as they call it.  All they are doing is updating the firmware on the computer to the newer version from Mazda.  This may also help.

So if you’ve changed the battery in your Mazda 3 and you’re worried about the idle, wait a few days.  There may not be a need to start taking things apart, replacing air filters, and cleaning throttle bodies (as I’ve seen recommended).

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    8 Comments

    1. Adam July 30, 2011 3:25 pm 

      My ’98 Honda Civic DX did the same thing. It freaked me out until the internet saved me. I actually reset the computer and re-trained the idle a second time because the first time, I kept gunning the engine to keep the car idling at stop lights (I had no idea what was happening). I think pressing the gas aggressively did actually confuse the computer the first time. Once I learned what the problem was, I think I could have just kept driving it for a few more days and the computer would have wised up, but to save time I reset the computer. The second time, I let it painfully idle for about a half an hour (the engine kept almost dying) before driving it. Like you, the idle was a bit off during the next three or so days. Even for the first time I had the problem, and as you said, time seemed to be the best medicine.

    2. Hmm January 24, 2014 5:16 pm 

      For many, it’ll take a few weeks of stalling at stops and red lights, and idle hunting.

      Google Mazda re-learning procedure. Otherwise you will regret changing the battery.

    3. Hemanth November 14, 2014 5:20 pm 

      naglaro din pala kau ng nyan my M.u din kami kaso lack of money and players hnd nag click pero try nanimg ibalik paki post din d2 pag meron na

    4. Jowie November 23, 2014 4:25 pm 

      I have a mazda 3 2005 and I replaced my battery too but when the car starts the battery drains and rev between 500-1200 RPM when idling at stop lights. Eventually it dies up, but it starts up again when you let the car cool down for a few hours.

      Just wondering if you might have any ideas what the problem is? thx

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