Friday, August 23, 2013

I want to believe Mazda, but I'm not feeling it

We got a Mazda5 a five years ago, great vehicle, very happy, so happy we got a Mazda2 three years ago.  Again, very happy, a wonderful second vehicle.

I just took the Mazda2 in for its 50k service (yes, it's only put on 50,000kms in 3 years of service) and got clobbered for $500 to replace the front brakes.  Apparently one side had worn down to steel on steel.  I've greatly enjoyed my 5 and my 2, but for the first time today I missed my Honda Civic, which went 150k between any need for brake work.

Like the Civic, the 2 is a light vehicle that should be easy on its brakes.  It's also a stick shift, so the brakes don't get leaned on a lot anyway.  I had to get the brakes done on the Mazda5 at just over 100k kms.  It's a big vehicle that we use as a carry all, often moving lumber, multiple passengers and other stuff for projects.  How the 2 needs brakes done at half the kilometers of the 5 is quite beyond me.  Mazda was more than happy to look the other way though.

I'm a fan Mazda, but you left me hanging on this one.  Your dealership took it in the teeth, only charging me labour and parts at cost (which still cost me over $500), but Mazda itself wouldn't consider what was obviously a caliper failure on one side of a virtually new car a warranty repair.  As I stood in the dealership looking at all the ads about craftsmanship and standing behind your product I felt very much alone.

Now I'm left wondering if the brakes on Mazda2s are up to the job.  I'm not comfortable driving my family
My tough little Mazda2 can take on ice storms, but the
brakes are flaky!  Is it safe on ice?
about in a car that apparently will burn out pads and rotors on one side, it isn't safe.  If I'm driving to work in the winter and one wheel is dragging as I hit ice, I'm going off the road.

I'd love to know if others have had problems with Mazda2 brakes, I'm certainly not impressed with the engineering, or the backing of a vital and failing component by Mazda Canada.

I just got back from a week of driving a Fiat in England.  It made me miss my Mazda2 until I got home and got left standing with this bill.  That Fiat was still on its first set of brakes at 60,000 English miles.

It hasn't been a good day for this loyal, and otherwise very happy Mazda owner.  Am I to expect $800 brake jobs every 50,000kms on this Mazda2?  That is hardly the economical and dependable vehicle I was promised in the brochure.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Did Sisyphus Come To Love His Rock?

I'm a couple of days away from heading home with my Mum's ashes.  Going back to Norfolk is always emotional for me (I got emigrated to Canada when I was eight and left a lot of family and friends behind).  On top of that I'm seeing Mum's last wishes through by taking her home.  Mum has been sitting on her cupboard in our front room since we got her ashes last year.

I'm at the end of a decade long odyssey that began around my parents' divorce in 2004.  My Mum's deteriorating mental health made this a tragic trip into the abyss.  In retrospect, suicide was the inevitable conclusion to this horrible experience.

Sisyphus and his rock
I've been pushing this rock up the hill for so long, with so many moments of total despair, that I'm suddenly finding myself anxious about letting it go.  Did Sisyphus come to love his rock?  When you think misery is going to last forever, do you start greeting misery like an old friend?

My anxiety about doing this is peaking.  I'm wondering if that isn't because I've come to see this misery as a part of myself, but is it?

My greatest fear is that the madness that claimed Mum is in me somewhere.  If this grief is an avenue to that, I need to realize that it's not a part of me, and I can let it go.